The past Labor Day weekend was one of the best ones on record with limits of flounder being caught along most of our South Jersey reef sites. Bucktails tipped with large Gulp baits and strip baits have been the best lures to box keepers. The offshore action was “on” for chunking and jigging solid numbers of yellowfin tuna. Mahi action started slow this season, but has been on a hot streak as of late with good numbers coming from the canyons. Anglers finding floating debris or structure have been able to fill coolers with these green & yellow treats.
South Jersey Fishing Report
Creekside Outfitters in Waretown had a nice weigh-in on a solid 76 pound wahoo that was caught in the area of the Barnegat Ridge. The pelagics have been very good this season and the area of the triple wrecks continues to have good numbers of yellowfin. The reef sites were very good this weekend to mid-week on keeper flounder. Anglers working the bay are still finding excellent numbers of blowfish along with a few kingfish.
Bobbies Boats in Barnegat Light said most of the bay action is centered on the inlet area as fish continue to move out. Anglers looking to blowfish have been going anywhere in Barnegat Bay. The shop continues to rent out boats for the season and has a full stock of green crabs and spot for the upcoming fall.
Reel Reaction Sportfishing out of Waretown/Barnegat Light reported an excellent ocean fluke bite over the Labor Day weekend and past few days with catches of quality fluke to 6 pounds. One of the more recent charters had a 5-man limit of fluke with three weighing over 5 pounds. The bay still has fish, but it’s getting much more challenging to put quantities of fluke in the box. With the fluke season coming to a close in the next few weeks, the skipper will begin the 3hr evening trips targeting striped bass, weakfish, and small bluefish on artificials.
The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light worked some of the reef sites over the past weekend to put anglers on quality numbers of keeper fluke. The swell had the fish a little off the chew, but there was plenty of fish to go around.
Fisherman’s Headquarters on Long Beach Island reported another solid week with offshore action at the Triples being the place to be for yellowfin. The canyons are holding yellowfin and mahi along with some big sharks. The bay fishing was excellent for blowfish this past week with lots of anglers chumming them up in all parts of Barnegat Bay. Fluke fishing was fair along the inlets, but much better at the reef sites.
Absecon Bay Sportsman in Absecon reported a fantastic weekend as the fishing was off the hook. The canyons were firing on all cylinders with big mahi and tuna hitting chunks and jigs. Anglers fishing closer to home are finding good numbers of keeper fluke at the reef sites. Small Striped bass are hitting artificial lures in the Mullica River and it’s looking to be an amazing fall.
Offshore Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City had good reports of flounder hitting jigs at the local reef sites and anglers working tight to structure were finding limits. The backbays have a variety of fish right now and some anglers have been finding nice sheepshead along the sods. The beaches have good numbers of kingfish and spot while the jetties are producing Tog.
Fin-Atics in Ocean City has received good reports of keeper flounder from the Ocean City reef and the Wildwood reef sites. Anglers making the run south were finding easy limits of keepers. The surf continues to have good numbers of kingfish, spot, and some croakers mixed in. Anglers trolling the nearshore areas have been finding some spanish mackerel and mahi around floating structure.
Badfish Charters in Ocean City had some good flounder action this past week with a nice 8 pounder landed. The ocean has been much better for keepers than the bay. The tidal creeks in the back are loaded with peanut bunker and mullet which should make for a good fall run. The skipper is excited for the upcoming fall and has dates available.
Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City said the place to fish over the weekend and past few days has been the reef sites as lots of flounder have moved out. There has been a good number of keepers on the wrecks, but it’s necessary to fish real tight to structure. The backbays are still offering up tog, sheepshead, and some weakfish near the bridges.
Avalon Hodge Podge in Avalon had sheepshead being weighed in over 10 pounds from the backwaters as anglers using crabs around structure are finding biting fish. Tog continue to pick up crabs in some of the same areas. Flounder fishing out front has really exploded with most of the small wrecks and reef sites holding good numbers of keepers.
Peace Token Fishing Tackle in Cape May Court House reported some small striped bass picking up artificials along some of the marshes during dusk. The Cape May beaches continue to have good numbers of kingfish, spot, croaker, and some flounder. Small pieces of bloodworm or Fishbites are working off the beaches.
Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Cape May had some reports of cobia being caught a few miles off Cape May along with spanish mackerel. The canyons produced good numbers of yellowfin over the weekend and the closer to shore reef sites had limits of flounder for anglers. The shop said it’s shaping up to be an excellent fall as the back is loaded with baitfish. Anglers looking to cast-net mullet are finding them in the back and along some of the beaches.
Greenhorn Outdoors in Bridgeton reported good numbers of flounder being caught at the Wildwood reef site and the Reef Site #11. The Fortescue area has been good for weakfish on shedder crabs and soft plastics. Crabbing along the creeks and marshes has been good, but a little off due to the recent full moon.
South Jersey Fishing Forecast
Last week was the golden weekend in terms of weather and fishing activity, but this weekend looks to more of weather event with rain and higher winds. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the best bet will be to fish the local jetties for tog, sheepshead, or triggerfish. Simple one-hook and sinker setups can be used as snags definitely occur along the jetty rocks. Bay fishing is also in play as blowfish, fluke, and small snappers are around many backwater areas. If the weather or sea conditions cooperate, fluke at the local wrecks and reef sites are producing quality filets. I don’t think the offshore scene would be do-able, but if it would be safe the area with three wrecks has been producing consistent yellowfin action. A third option is to begin getting all of your fall striped bass gear ready — plugs, soft plastics, poppers, and metals. Good Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines!