Bigger fluke are finally showing up on the beaches with just a little more than a week left in the season.
The folks on the boats are catching some beauties as well with a number of fish over 10 pounds reported this week. You have until Sept. 19 to catch your trophy.
If you want to avoid the fluke deadline pressure, there’s plenty of other fish to catch. Blues were on the beaches from Sandy Hook to Long Branch this week and Spanish mackerel, false albacore, bonito and even some king mackerel are not too far offshore.
Plus, the yellowfin tuna bite is still off the charts.
Northern New Jersey Fishing Report
Kevin Cuff at Tackle World in Rochelle Park said he’s been getting very good reports on false albacore and Spanish mackerel.
He was out catching some this week and also managed to put a number of king mackerel, up to 36 inches, in the boat.
Cuff said fluke anglers are finding more keepers lately on the rough stuff.
Capt. Phil Sciortino at the Tackle Box in Hazlet said there have been some nice fluke caught in the last week.
Tiago Pereira from Springfield weighed in a beach fluke that went nearly 10 pounds. He’s been fishing live killies under a bobber. Tia DeGavero also got a doormat of over 10 pounds on a killie at the Rattlesnake.
Sciortino said there have been blues in the bay and at the tip of Sandy Hook and the porgy fishing on the rock piles remains good.
Steve at Julian’s Bait and Tackle in Atlantic Highlands said there have been plenty of reports of bluefish blitzes from Monmouth Beach to Long Branch. The bunker has been thick off the beaches attracting all kinds of life, including whales.
Mike Pinto at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright said last week that he expected bigger fluke to start showing up in the surf and he was right. The shop weighed in a 5½-pound, 28-incher on Wednesday.
Pinto got three keepers in the suds himself on Friday.
He said there have been plenty of blues on the beach up to 6 pounds along with some Spanish mackerel.
Keeper stripers are hitting poppers in both the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers as there is bait everywhere.
Mike Gleason at Tak Waterman in Long Branch said the inshore bluefin bite cooled off but it was fun while it lasted.
There’s been plenty of action on fluke off the beach with more keepers turning up. Shorts, however, still rule the day. There have been several bluefish blitzes during the past week with the fish hitting any kind of metal.
There are more mahi showing up offshore mostly on the small side and guys continue to pick small stripers off the beach.
In Ocean Grove, false albacore popped up in the surf earlier in the week but it was a short visit. There are enormous schools of rainfish around.
More fluke are showing up in the wash and they are getting bigger. My catches just haven’t been big enough.
Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar said the fluking was excellent this week with a lot of quality fish caught aboard the party boats. The Ocean Explorer had a 9½ pounder come over the rail while other boats reported similar catches.
The Shark River is still holding a lot of fluke, Matthews said, but most fall short of keepers.
Peanut bunker and spearing are plentiful in the river so night anglers are seeing a large number of striped bass.
The yellowfin tuna bite remains strong and false albacore and Spanish mackerel are keeping anglers happy.
Capt. Pete Sykes of Parker Pete’s Sportfishing out of Belmar said Tuesday’s bucktail extravaganza aboard the Express provided excellent fluking. More than 60 keepers were caught with a good number in the 6- to 7-pound range.
Conditions on Wednesday were a little tougher but the crew managed to put a good catch of big fluke together.
Capt. Sykes said he’s trying to get another extravaganza together before the season ends on the 19th but it’s all up to the weather.
Capt. Jay Richardella of Side Job Charters out of Belmar said last Saturday’s offshore trip was a resounding success with tuna, mahi-mahi and bonito all coming over the rail.
His other charters during the week have also done well with false albacore, Spanish mackerel and king mackerel.
He’s booking inshore and offshore trips and can be contacted through his website.
Max Kristiansen at the Reel Seat in Brielle said that it looks like the bluefin that were in close made a move to Long Island.
There are now a lot of albies around and most of them were being caught on the troll. The yellowfin bite is still hot at the Triple Wrecks on poppers and chunks.
The good fluke bite looks like it will continue right to the end of the season barring any big storms and Kristiansen said they are still getting nice ones out of the Manasquan River.
Kyle at Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach said the fishing is awesome right now and if you can’t catch a fish, you must be using rubber hooks.
The Axel Carlson and Sea Girt reefs are consistently giving up fluke in the 7- to 9-pound range and there are plenty of smaller keepers in the mix.
Spanish mackerel, bonito and false albacore are around the reefs as well and folks chumming spearing are getting into those.
Mahi-mahi are around the pots but they are a bit more hit or miss. Spearing, small jigs and metal are the ticket for them. He also said there are small bluefin around the Manasquan Ridge.
The Manasquan River is loaded with life, he said, with stripers at night on eels, keeper fluke, small blues and tons of blowfish.
Gary at Capt. Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach reported a busy weekend with solid yellowfin action at the Triple Wrecks. He said the Shimano Coltsniper jigs were accounting for a lot of fish.
There have been shots of false albacore and bluefish at the Manasquan Inlet and keeper fluke and stripers back in the river. The river is packed with bait, he said, with sand eels joining the spearing, peanut bunker and mullet.
Capt. Kenny Namowitz on the Mimi VI out of Point Pleasant Beach said this past week saw a tuna smackdown.
He had headed offshore to Hudson Canyon without finding any good size schools but things changed on his return trip when they stopped at the 60- to-70-mile mark and came upon plenty of yellowfin and longfin.
Along with the tuna, the boat had an excellent catch of mahi-mahi and triggerfish.
Capt. Matt Sosnowski on the Norma K III out of Point Pleasant said the fluking has been steady the last several days. Pool winners have ranged from 7 to 11 pounds.
He’s been fishing rough bottom to catch the big ones. Gulp, bucktails and bait are all working.
The Norma K III is also running night bluefish trips on Friday and Saturday and reservations are required for all trips.
Frank at Gabriel Tackle in Brick said the fishing remains very good with blues in the surf on mullet, metals, and epoxy jigs. Keeper fluke are in the wash hitting Gulp and bucktails. There is also the occasional schoolie striper.
The Point Pleasant Canal is producing blackfish during the day and stripers at night on eels. He’s also received word of blowfish at the south end of Barnegat Bay and a few reports of them showing up around the Mantoloking Bridge.
There has been nothing but good reports on the yellowfin fishing and he also heard of small bluefin tuna three to five miles out.
Pete at Charlie’s Bait and Tackle in Normandy Beach also reported bluefin in close. He said a couple of his employees were surfing at the Lavallette/Ortley Beach border when the tuna breached nearby.
The fluking has been good off the beach, he said, and anglers are keeping busy with them and bluefish in the surf.
Shark anglers have also been doing well off the sand at night, he added.
Ray Kerico at Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park said it was a busy Labor Day weekend with steady action on fluke and bluefish off the beach. The blues are hitting bunker chunks, metal and epoxy lures.
He’s been hearing a lot more chatter on false albacore and Spanish mackerel off the beach and the striper bite has picked up as well, especially early in the morning.
The crabbing, he said, is starting to slow down.
Dennis at Betty and Nick’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park said the beach fluking has definitely picked up. He also reported good kingfishing with Fishbites the bait of choice.
The blackfishing has also been good on green crabs at the Barnegat Inlet.
Northern New Jersey Fishing
With all the bait around, the fishing along the beaches will only get better. There are bigger fluke to be had in the surf and there have been a number of bluefish blitzes from Sandy Hook to Long Branch. Small stripers are in there as well.
Plus, Spanish mackerel and false albacore are lurking close to the coast and you never know when they will pop up. Have fun.