Northern New Jersey Fishing Report – July 30, 2020

A good day of fishing for this young angler aboard the Norma K III out of Point Pleasant Beach last Monday.

Time to catch all your summer favorites.

Fishing is good with fluke out front and in the rivers and bays, the crabbing is excellent, snappers are all over the place and there are even bass to be caught in the surf.

Plus, there are blues and Spanish mackerel off the beaches.

Rick Hebert at Tackle World in Rochelle Park is getting good reports on fluke fishing at the Farms and the Axel Carlson Reef

He said the tuna bite is now a bit scattered but he did get word of bluefin at Barnegat Ridge.

The heat has taken a toll on the freshwater fishing and all he’s heard of lately are hybrid stripers at Lake Hopatcong on live herring.

Capt. Phil Sciortino at the Tackle Box in Hazlet said a lot of nice fluke were caught this week between the channels in Raritan Bay on mussel beds. Scotland Grounds was also a productive spot.

The porgy fishing is holding up nicely on all the local rock piles and the crabbing in Keyport and other spots around the bay keeps getting better. There are loads of snappers at the docks and piers.

Just part of the catch aboard Parker Pete’s Express earlier this week.

Wendy at Julian’s Bait and Tackle in Atlantic Highlands said it’s been fluke, porgies and crabbing for their customers this week. She also said they’ve been selling a lot of snapper poppers so they’re definitely around for the kids.

Mike Pinto at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright said Spanish Mackerel made a big showing off Deal on Monday along with bluefish in the 2- to 5-pound range.

The fluking in the local surf, he said, has been a slow pick for keepers among the many shorts.

Anglers are still catching small bass in the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers, he added, and the crabbing in the rivers is very good.

Mike Gleason at Tak Waterman in Long Branch said there are still plenty of bass being caught at dawn and dusk on paddletails.

There are lots of fluke being caught in the surf there, he said, but it’s a bit of a struggle to find a keeper. Beach anglers are also hooking Spanish mackerel and blues.

A beautiful bluefin caught aboard Side Job Charters last weekend.

Cownose rays continue to cruise around off the sand and Gleason said a few people are actually targeting them.

Gleason said he had a good tuna trip with his pals aboard Gerard Faccone’s boat at the beginning of the week with bluefin on jigs and yellowfin and Mad Mantis poppers.

There’s been an enormous amount of bunker off the Ocean Grove beach all week along with bluefish and Spanish mackerel. It’s mostly small fluke in the wash but I did have a short striper hit my pink shine Gulp in the wash on Tuesday.

Schoolie stripers are also hitting white shads at night.

Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar said the fluke fishing has been better than average and the party boats out of the marina have been coming back to the dock with plenty of limits and the bigger fish hitting 8- to- 10 pounds.

The Den’s rental boats have been doing well in the Shark River this week with more keepers and the big fish of the week at 8½pounds.

Matthews added that Spanish mackerel, small blues and stripers are giving surf fishermen plenty of action. Teasers above the epoxy or metal lures are getting the Spanish macks attention.


Mike Gleason of Tak Waterman got this shot of his bluefin hooked on a Hogy jig.

Capt. Pete Sykes of Parker Pete’s Sportfishing out of Belmar reported outstanding fluking on back-to-back bucktail extravaganzas aboard the Express this week. The Express is fishing the rough stuff and here were a number of limits with plenty of fish in the 3- to 5-pound range.

The smaller boat is catching a mix of fluke and sea bass over less sticky terrain.

Capt. Sykes schedules one or two bucktail extravaganzas a week so check the website for availability.

Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for New Jersey.

Capt. Jay Richardella on Side Job Charters out of Belmar reported a good tuna trip last weekend going three for six on bluefin around 40 pounds.

He also had the Mike Smithson charter out this week for fluke, catching a handful of keepers among dozens of shorts and a limit of sea bass.

Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park posted this photo of Ken Hollins and the 3.5-pound fluke he caught in the surf on Gulp and a bucktail.

The charter switched it up later in the day and put some Spanish mackerel, bonito and bluefish in the box.

Tommy Freda at the Reel Seat in Brielle said the tuna fishing is still good, it’s just not the mad bite it was a week ago. There were good reports from the Triple Wrecks, Bacardi and Texas Tower.

Fluking, he said, has been pretty good off the Red Church and Jeff from the shop added that the Manasquan River continues to give up some nice ones as well.

Jason Szabo at Fisherman’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach said the fluke fishing has been good on the local wrecks and reefs with a good number of keepers caught and lots of fish in the 6- to 8-pound range.

There are plenty of sea bass in with the fluke, he said.

The fluking has also been good in the Manasquan River. It’s loaded with bait right now.

Spanish mackerel in the 3- to 5-pound range are at the Chicken Canyon and Glory Hole. He’s also had reports of bluefin tuna at Barnegat Ridge.

Anthony at Capt. Charlies Bait and Tackle in Point Pleasant Beach said the fluking in the Manasquan River has been good. He’s been fishing right from the dock with fresh spearing and catching plenty of fish.

He said there are tons of snappers and spearing in the river.

Capt. Matt Sosnowski on the Norma K III out of Point Pleasant Beach reported a nice improvement in the fluking on Monday’s trip. The weekend was okay, he said, but they could have used a few more keepers.

There were plenty more on Monday, up to 6 pounds, plus lots of short action and some sea bass.

Folks fishing with Gulp had the advantage with 6-inch grubs in a variety of colors doing the trick.

Frank at Gabriel Tackle in Brick reported that the fishing remains good across the board with good fluking at the Manasquan Inlet along with Spanish mackerel and cocktail blues.

Outside, nice fluke are being caught at the Sea Girt and Axel Carlson reefs along with sea bass.

He added that the crabbing has been extremely good at the Mantoloking Bridge and the blowfish are biting at the south end of the bay.

Pete at Charlie’s Bait and Tackle in Normandy Beach said it’s been good fishing for blues from cocktails on up off the beach. Deadly Dicks and other metals are all working.

There are lots of short fluke and the occasional keeper in the wash on bucktails and Gulp or squid strips. Kingfish are there as well.

He said there are plenty of snappers around for the youngsters and the crabbing is off the charts.

Phil at Dock Outfitters in Seaside Heights said the fishing in the bay is a little slow but the crabbing is terrific.

Ray Kerico at Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park said the fishing is much the same as last week which means good.

Plenty of fluke in the wash, he said, with a good number of keepers in with the shorts. The shop weighed in a 3.4 pounder for Ken Collins he caught in the surf on a bucktail and Gulp.

The blues and Spanish mackerel are off the sand as well and Kerico said the crabbing in Barnegat Bay is the best they’ve seen in years.

John Bushell at Betty and Nick’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park reported there are tons of bluefish around but you need to cast past the first sand bar to reach them. Light metals to 2 ounces and a long rod will do the trick.

Fishing Forecast for Northern New Jersey

Between the fluke, porgies, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and sea bass, there’s plenty to catch right now. But the best thing going on right now might just be the crabbing.

Handlines, traps and scooping are all working and it’s great fun for the family. Don’t forget to take along some snapper poles. The little blues are everywhere.



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