We had an amazing week with the weather cooperating along with various species of gamefish for most of southern New Jersey. Offshore angling has been exceptional with lots of bluefin, yellowfin, and bigeye being landed on trolled spreader bars and rigged ballyhoo. The nearshore lumps and usual shark spots have been producing some keeper-sized makos, along with a few other shark species. Even a few white sharks have showed up in chum slicks. The sea bass season ended strong with many anglers putting keepers in their coolers. Fluke fishing has been very hot in most of the channels with the 8- to 12-foot depths producing bigger fish. Hopefully, the stable weather and bite continues over the next several weeks.
Here is this week’s rundown:
Creekside Outfitters in Waretown reported good fluke fishing around the Cedar Creek areas and near Barnegat Inlet. There has been tons of bluefish at Barnegat Inlet and along the beaches that have been relatively easy to catch on small metals and plugs. The tuna bite has been very good offshore from the Resor to some of the inshore lumps and yellowfin have been boxed at the canyons.
Bobbies Boats in Barnegat Light reported good fluke fishing around the inlet as many of the rental boats are catching throwbacks along with keepers. Crabs and clams are also in play in the in the bay, especially in the shallows. Owner Vince said the boats have been out each day, but there are some boats available throughout the week.
Reel Reaction Sportfishing out of Waretown / Barnegat Light had excellent fluke fishing up until Father’s Day with clients catching 6 to 10 keepers per trip. The skipper welcomed his family’s newest addition, Jake Taylor, and will be off the water until July 1st to spend time with his family. There are still some dates available for July and August bay or ocean fluke trips.
The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light did a good job on the sea bass as the skipper ended the season with boat limits. The boat will begin some of their offshore trips targeting yellowfin tuna and inshore trips for fluke at the lumps and wrecks.
Fisherman’s Headquarters on Long Beach Island had another week of excellent reports with yellowfin and bluefin being caught at the Resor, Atlantic Princess, and offshore canyons. Shark fishing is in full swing with brown sharks being released off the beaches and some mako sharks being caught offshore. Fluke fishing in the bay and along the inlet has picked up this week with some bigger fish being landed. The bridges have been steady with small bluefish and striped bass during the night.
Absecon Bay Sportsman in Absecon received a big load of shedders this past week which have been excellent baits for striped bass, flounder, and weakfish. The shop reported a beautiful 10-pound flounder caught on live bunker around the Absecon area this past week. There has been small bluefish and kingfish off the surf in Brigantine and around the Atlantic City jetties.
Offshore Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City reported another good week for bluefish and kingfish off of the beaches. The jetties are firing with throwback and keeper fluke along with some schoolie striped bass. Offshore fishing has been absolutely excellent over the past week for yellowfin and bluefin. The store is loaded with flats of ballyhoo for the offshore anglers.
Fin-Atics in Ocean City reported an excellent week for keeper flounder in the 8- to 15-foot depths, and drifting live bait around the bridges has also been good for keeper flatties. Some of the fish have been in the 8-pound range. Kingfish, bluefish, and some flounder have been caught off the beaches along with sharks during the night tides.
Badfish Charters in Ocean City has been working the backwaters for striped bass and bluefish on topwater poppers, plugs, and flies. The flounder bite has finally started to pick up over the past week. The skipper has been pretty busy, but does have some open dates available.
Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle was busy weighing in backwater species such as flounder, but the best bite of the week has been the yellowfin and big eyes which have been caught in the offshore canyons. The beaches have had a variety of species from skates and sharks to kingfish and small bluefish.
Avalon Hodge Podge in Avalon reported excellent flounder fishing in the bays of Aval on, Sea Isle and Wildwood. Anglers have been reporting good numbers of keepers up to 24 inches with Gulp being the hottest bait so far. The bridges and jetties have had some small striped bass and sporadic weakfish around.
Jersey Bait & Tackle in North Wildwood reported flounder picking up bucktails tipped with live minnows in the back and some have weighed over 6 pounds. Areas behind Wildwood and northern Cape May have been productive on flatties. Offshore action has been very hot on yellowfin, bigeye, and mako shark up to 200 pounds.
Peace Token Fishing Tackle in Cape May Court House reported excellent sea bass bites through the closure of the spring season this past week. Many boats fishing the deeper wrecks to 150 feet reported full limits of fish. The offshore seen has been rocking with the mid and southern canyons hot on the bigeye and yellowfin bite.
Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Cape May received solid reports of flounder being landing off the inter-coastal waterway along Wildwood to Cape May, But the best reports of the week have been the outstanding tuna bite occurring nearshore and offshore. Bluefin up to 100 pounds are being caught 15 to 40 miles out, while the canyons are lighting up with yellowfin and bigeye tuna.
Greenhorn Outdoors in Bridgeton reported another full shipment of minnows and shedders for striped bass, flounder, and weakfish. The areas, especially around some of the larger tidal creeks have been holding good numbers of striped bass. The deeper holes in the bay and any structure areas are great places to go for weakfish.
South Jersey Fishing Forecast
The best bet for the weekend will be to get out and do some type of saltwater fishing as we have been having an excellent few weeks. The offshore scene has been the hottest with the usual spots producing bigeye and yellowfin. It seems most of the canyons have pockets of fish, so pick ones that are closest to your port. The 15 to 60 mile runs are holding makos and bluefin tuna, and don’t be surprised if Mr. White shows up as there has been a few white shark sightings. Anglers working the inlets, jetties, or back bays should be able to have some productive outings working bucktails and Gulp baits. Most of the colors have been producing, but white seems to be the top producer. If you can get your hands on live spot or snapper bluefish, hit those jetty bases for doormat fluke. Good Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines!