How appropriate are the temperatures as the fishing has been on a “hot” wave over the past couple weeks. The beaches have kept most anglers very busy with catches of kingfish, bluefish, throwback flounder, and some big rays. Nighttime action has been excellent for anglers chucking kingfish or bluefish heads for the grey “brown” suits. Fluke or flounder fishing was very good this week with lots of catching in the bays, and a throwback:keeper ratio running around 9 to 1. Fishing off the wrecks and reef sites is beginning to amp up as more fish begin to make their migrational run. But don’t worry, this will take at least another solid month as the bay was still holding keepers till the end of the season last year. Offshore fishing has almost been “guaranteed” with anglers boxing yellowfin and inshore bluefin.
Here is this week’s rundown:
Creekside Outfitters in Waretown reported some nice fluke weighed in over the weekend for the FishHawk’s Ladies tournament. Fluke fishing has been good in the bay, but getting better in the ocean. The local reef sites are beginning to sustain decent bites with Gulp-tipped bucktails. Offshore action has also been very good on yellowfin and bigeyes in the canyon, while school-sized bluefin have been much closer to shore.
Bobbies Boats in Barnegat Light had another busy week with all of their skiffs and pontoons rented out to ply the local waters. The shop has big, live minnows which most of the anglers have been using to box keeper fluke in the inlet area.
Reel Reaction Sportfishing out of Waretown / Barnegat Light reported a pretty solid week with fish to 5 pounds and the crew has been using either boat depending on the weather. Most of the trips are still averaging 40 to 50 fish with 6 to 7 keepers per 4-hour charter. The skipper said the fish are beginning to move closer to the inlet and skipper plans on running mostly ocean fluke trips through the next month.
The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light had a nice report of inshore sea bass fishing and offshore tuna bites over the past couple of weeks. The skipper has been running both inshore and offshore trips for tuna with clients getting their under limits.
Fisherman’s Headquarters on Long Beach Island had solid reports of action off the beaches on kingfish, flounder, and small bluefish. The north end has been better on fluke for beach, jetty, and kayak fisherman. Anglers working the backwaters are reporting good ratios from 8 to 1 on keepers and the ocean bite has definitely started this past week. Good reports from Barnegat Light reef and the southern reef sites on bigger sized flatties.
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Dave from Absecon Bay Sportsman in Absecon was out on the water this past week and said there are lots of fluke in the bay with anglers able to box a few keepers. The local wrecks and reef sites are starting to produce better results. The beaches of Brigantine have been inundated with kingfish and small bluefish.
Offshore Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City received reports of mahi starting to show at the inshore reef areas. Lobster pots or floating debris are great places to check out for schooling mahi. The shop had good reports of tuna off Ocean City near the 30-fathom line. The flounder bite has steadily been picking up at the reef sites and anglers are getting keeper sea bass as bycatch.
Fin-Atics in Ocean City reported good fishing at the Ocean City and Townsend Inlet reef sites. There has been a lot of keeper fluke and some sea bass coming from the reef sites on bucktails and Gulp. Anglers working the backchannels are producing keeper bay flatties and some weakfish have been caught in the early morning hours. Sheepshead have been picking up crab baits from the local bridges.
Badfish Charters in Ocean City reported another busy week with trips in the backwaters and the fish have been biting. Flounder, small striped bass, and some bluefish were biting on the incoming tides. The skipper has some dates available for August, so give them a ring.
Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle said that the flounder and weakfish bite in the backwaters has been very good over the past week. Shedder crabs or soft plastics soaked in shedder oil has been the ticket for early morning or late evening weakfish. Most of the keeper flounder are coming from around the inlets and bridge areas. The beaches are still pretty decent for kingfish, snapper bluefish, and big rays.
Avalon Hodge Podge in Avalon got a fresh load of butterfish as the tuna bite at the canyons has been excellent for yellowfin and bigeye. Chunking or trolling during the day are the best options to put them in the box. Fluke and sea bass fishing was very productive at the reef sites.
Peace Token Fishing Tackle in Cape May Court House had excellent reports of yellowfin picking up chunks at the Wilmington and Spencer canyons. There has also been some white marlin raised on the troll. Inshore has been getting better each week, especially at the reef sites with the Wildwood, Cape May, and Delaware Bay sites producing keeper flatties.
Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Cape May reported the beaches (CM and DE) have been producing small weakfish, kingfish, and some dogfish. Flounder fishing has been better around the jetties and much better at the reef sites via boat. Offshore fishing has continued to be exceptional this season with lots of yellowfin, a few bigeye, and mahi are starting to show up at the pots.
Greenhorn Outdoors in Bridgeton reported decent flounder fishing around Miah Maul Shoal and the surrounding area. Most fish have been caught on bucktails tipped with Gulp or squid. The back creeks are producing a few white perch and small striped bass on bloodworms in the deeper holes. The shop has been busy stocking the fishing and hunting shelves, so stop in.
South Jersey Fishing Forecast
The best bet for the weekend will be similar to last week’s options depending on your vessel or limitations. The Spencer and Wilmington canyons had a good week in terms of yellowfin and anglers have started to pick up some mahi. Don’t forget to check the floating pots or any debris. If you plan on doing any ocean fishing for fluke, then the reef sites are your best bet to find consistent action and a few keepers. Jigging 3- to 6-ounce bucktails tipped with Gulp are the best means to catch keeper sized flatties. The jetties offer a ton of variety this time of year with triggerfish, sheepshead, flounder, and even small sea bass in the mix. Anglers working the twilight shifts will find striped bass and the occasional weakfish. Good Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines!