We had some winds and swell this past week which made it difficult for the offshore anglers to venture out for yellowfin. The yellowfin tuna bite has been stellar this year with lots of excellent catches hitting the docks. Inshore structure has been producing good numbers of fluke, but that depends when they decide to feed. Anglers over the past week reported one hour bite windows on the ocean fluke. Keep a keen eye as this is the time of year when mahi and cobia make their way onto the reef sites depending on the wind conditions. September is a great month as most bay baitfish will begin stirring for their annual migration. Cast-netting baits, juvenile bunker or mullet, are excellent ways to secure keeper fluke in the backwaters for this month.
Here is this week’s rundown:
Creekside Outfitters in Waretown reported some nice fluke being landed near the lighthouse on bucktail tipped with squid. Most of the action on keepers is occurring at the local reef sites as these fish have become moving out. The Barnegat Inlet area has anglers catching tog, sheepshead, and some triggerfish. Due to the weather the past week, the shop didn’t receive too many offshore reports.
Bobbies Boats in Barnegat Light is still busy renting out pontoons and skiffs for the bay as fishing continues to be good around the inlet / no-wake area. A few anglers did stop in the store with keeper tog caught along the rocks.
Reel Reaction Sportfishing out of Waretown / Barnegat Light reported hot and cold fluke fishing over the past week due to the recent groundswell. The skipper has been hitting the choice wrecks for limits of sea bass and keeper fluke to 7 pounds. Later in September and through October the crew will be running 3-Hr trips on the skiff for light-tackle stripers.
The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light worked the area lumps and reef sites this past week for fluke and some nice keepers were caught. The ground swell definitely made for tougher fishing as the bite was a little tough.
Fisherman’s Headquarters on Long Beach Island reported a good bite for fluke around the Barnegat inlet as both jetties are producing fluke, triggerfish, and even a few sheepshead. The reef systems are producing more keepers, but you have to really work for them. The offshore report was null this past weekend, but there was word of some thresher sharks on bunker and cobia around some of the inshore lumps.
Absecon Bay Sportsman in Absecon reported some keeper flounder being taken from the Townsends Inlet and Ocean City reefs. Bucktails with Gulp or large strip baits were taking most of the keepers. The shop has a load of shedder crabs available for bay or ocean use. The creeks and river mouths are producing schoolie striped bass along with a few white perch.
Offshore Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City heard of some good numbers of kingfish and spot biting along the Ventnor Pier. Most of these fish were caught on small pieces of bloodworm which the shop has available. The yellowfin tuna bite is still going on offshore and the weekend looks like a “Go”. The jetties along Atlantic City have been producing good numbers of tog on green crab baits.
Fin-Atics in Ocean City has received positive flounder reports from the inlets, Townsends, and the Ocean City reef site. Bucktails or rigs tipped with Gulp have been the ticket for most anglers.
Badfish Charters in Ocean City has been busy on the water running charters in the bay for fluke and hitting the ocean for flounder, sheepshead, and triggerfish. The skipper was out early on a few cooler mornings and found some small stripers and weakfish.
Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City had anglers stopping in the shop with keeper fluke to 8 pounds being caught on the Townsends inlet reef and surrounding wrecks. Anglers working the bucktail tipped with Gulp or strip baits are producing the best results.
Avalon Hodge Podge in Avalon weighed weakfish close to 4 pounds over the past few days as anglers have been catching a few in the back on jigheads tipped with shedder crab or pink/white soft plastics. The nearshore lumps are producing king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and some false albacore on trolled Clark spoons.
Peace Token Fishing Tackle in Cape May Court House reported more kingfish, croaker, and flounder action along the beaches of Cape May. Anglers fishing the Wildwood and Cape May reef sites have been catching good numbers of keeper flounder. There are some Tog around especially near the inlet rock piles.
Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Cape May had the best flounder reports from the Wildwood Reef site with anglers able to catch their 3-fish limits. The lumps have been producing some king and spanish mackerel on trolled Clark spoons. Although boats didn’t make it out over the past week, the northernly canyons have been producing better for yellowfin.
Greenhorn Outdoors in Bridgeton reported good flounder catches at the reef sites, especially in the Delaware Bay side. The surf has had some fluke, weakfish, kingfish, and croakers on rigs or jigs tipped with bloodworm or shedder crab.
South Jersey Fishing Forecast
The best bet for the weekend will to hit the inshore or offshore grounds as both the fluke and tuna bite have been solid for most of the season. The weather looks excellent for our Labor Day weekend and anglers should definitely try to spend one of the days on the water. Inshore flounder or fluke fisherman should be targeting most of the reef sites or surrounding wrecks as fish have been very cooperative. Fisherman preferring land-based angling will find success fishing the area beaches for kingfish and fluke. Another good option this time of year is to play catch and release with Tog off the jetties and catching your 1-fish limit is usually a solid bet. Good Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines!