We have entered another transitional period as the ocean surface temperatures have risen into the mid to upper 70’s. Inshore reef sites have started to pick up and we should start seeing better fluke action along with some Mahi coming around. Fluke will begin to head toward the inlets as they begin to school up for their journey offshore. Bay fishing is still very good, but that will begin to taper downward as our wrecks and reef sites come alive. The beaches have been doing very well for kingfish as areas from Island Beach State Park to Cape May have reported decent catches. Once the ocean settles down, we should have a nice rebound on the yellowfin, bigeye, and bluefin bite.
Here is this week’s rundown:
Creekside Outfitters in Waretown reported good fluke fishing in the Barnegat bay from the BB to the 42 marker. The main channels have had some nicer fish, but the key is to finding the right tide. Crabbing continues to be very good and overnight traps are catching 1 to 2 dozen keepers along some fo the western sod banks. Liza said the shop has been very busy as only 4 anglers at a time may enter the store and a mask is required.
Bobbies Boats in Barnegat Light has been busy renting out pontoons and skiffs everyday. The boats have been coming back with a variety of species from clams to keeper fluke. Owner Vince said most of the action has been closer to the lighthouse and minnows have been the ticket. The shop has a good supply of primo minnows and fresh gas for your fishing needs.
Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for New Jersey.
Reel Reaction Sportfishing out of Waretown / Barnegat Light reported epic backbay fluke bites this past week with his charters catching 7 to 11 keepers per trip. Some of the fish have been of the bigger size up to 9 pounds. The skipper is booked through the second week of August, but has some remaining dates available.
The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light was out cashing in on the offshore tuna and tilefish bite. The boat has been running to the canyons for these trips and will continue as long as the bite stays good. The skipper is also booking inshore fluke or wreck fishing trips for July and August.
Fisherman’s Headquarters on Long Beach Island had more reports from the beach on kingfish, rays, fluke, and shark at night. Blowfish have been caught along the entire island, but anglers are having to chum heavy with clam logs. Fluke have been biting on both sides of the tide and the inlet areas are starting to produce better number of keepers. Bucktails tipped with Gulp baits are still the best option. Tuna fishing was doing well, but the sea conditions have kept most anglers at the dock.
Absecon Bay Sportsman in Absecon received good reports of quality flounder in the bays and reef sites this past week. He has been selling his custom-made salmon belly strips for the bigger fish and locals reported fish to 6 pounds. Striped bass and some weakfish have been bending rods around the inlets and bridges during the night tides. Dave expects the reef sites to really start firing once the ocean settles through this weekend.
Offshore Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City had a busy weekend with lots of anglers having good luck on kingfish and triggerfish from the beaches and along the jetties. Spot are starting to show in the surf and bays, so it’s time to start penning them up for striped bass. There wasn’t much news on the tuna front as very few boats made it out due to the weather and sea conditions.
Fin-Atics in Ocean City reported good numbers of kingfish off beaches and flounder coming from the reef sites this past week. The reef sites have also been producing a few triggerfish and keeper sea bass. Bay fishing remains solid with lots of shorts for action and keepers in the off-channel areas.
Badfish Charters in Ocean City reported good striped bass fishing from the backwaters and around some of the inlets. Plugs, poppers, and saltwater flies have been working well. Flounder have been hitting jigs tipped with Gulp baits in the back and areas in the 8 to 12 foot depths have been producing.
Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle had another solid week of reports of quality kingfish and some triggerfish from the beaches and structured areas. The bridges have been good for sheepshead and some triggers on fiddler or blue crab. Fluke fishing is still good in the bay, but the ocean fishing has definitely begun with some of the shallower wreck sites starting to produce.
Avalon Hodge Podge in Avalon reported some nice flounder fishing this past week for anglers dragging minnows with 5 to 6 pound fish caught along some of the deeper channels in the ICW. Small striped bass are still around some of the bridges and sod banks, but the evening is the time to target these. Anglers working the beaches have been landing a variety of species (rays, kingfish, flounder, snapper bluefish, etc).
Peace Token Fishing Tackle in Cape May Court House had anglers taking a break from the tuna action to hit flounder at the inshore reef sites. The Wildwood, Cape May, and DE sites have been firing up with keeper sized flatties. The best means have been bucktails tipped with Gulp or the shop’s bug jig. There have been some weakfish, kingfish, and croakers landed off the Delaware Bay beaches.
Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Cape May had some reports of weakfish being caught along the Delaware Bay, but the recent tropical system reduced the water clarity around Cape May. Fishing has begun to rebound with some keepers being landed at Cape May reef site.
Greenhorn Outdoors in Bridgeton reported a busy week selling shedder crabs as there has been some weakfish and small striped bass caught. Anglers have been traveling to the local reef sites along the Delaware Bay to find feeding flounder.
South Jersey Fishing Forecast
The best bet for the weekend will be to hit some of the inshore reef sites if conditions permit as the ocean temperatures are in the keeper flatty range. Don’t forget to bring clam baits out with you to catch your limit of sea bass and a few triggerfish. Anglers working waters closer to home are still finding a variety of species and some of the toothy critters are excellent gamefish at night. Kingfish or croaker heads work best for these night-time feeders. Offshore boats might have a window on Saturday, but the window keeps changing. It’s always best practice to check the most recent forecast no matter what type of fishing you do. Good Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines!