Northern New Jersey Fishing Report – October 1, 2020

Mr. Riley yellowfin
Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach posted this photo of Mr. Riley, an 89-year-old angler who boated this yellowfin tuna after a 42-minute fight.


Last week’s punishing winds had little impact on the tuna fishing as anglers found the yellowfin right where they left them biting, around the Triple Wrecks.

Plentiful catches of fish over 80 pounds were reported.

The constant blow also made for some rough surf this week and curtailed the beach fishing. Small blues and short bass, however, made some anglers happy.

Everybody is still waiting for things to pop. There is plenty of bait around and the downside of this full moon might get the fall run going in earnest.

Rick Hebert at Tackle World in said he received nothing but positive reports about the tuna bite at the Triple Wrecks. He said the yellowfin have plenty to eat out there with all the chunking going on.

He went blackfishing over the weekend and said there were plenty of fish, just too many shorts. He also reported small bluefish at the tip of Sandy Hook and they were breaking on the way out and the way in.

On the freshwater side, Hebert said the recent rains have brought water levels back up on local rivers and streams just in time for fall stocking. That should help the trout fishing in the coming weeks.

Side Job Charters yellowfin
Just some of the yellowfin caught aboard Side Job Charters out of Belmar last weekend.

Capt. Phil Sciortino at the Tackle Box in Hazlet reported that keeper bass are being caught on eels and worms by the Verrazzano Bridge and up the Hudson River.

There are still plenty of porgies over by Breezy Point and between the channels, he said, along with cocktail blues in the bay. Unfortunately, he’s had no reports of false albacore.

Mike Pinto at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright said there are plenty of small blues and an occasional short bass in the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers hitting poppers.

It’s the same in the surf where Pinto said there is a load of bait. Everyone, he said, is still waiting for the albies to show. With cooler weather on the way, it may be a long wait.

Norma-K blackfish
A nice blackfish caught aboard the Norma K III out of Point Pleasant Beach last weekend.

Mike Gleason at Tak Waterman in Long Branch said the fishing has been good with blackfish biting well on the rock piles. Striper fishing has been decent in the surf on shads and Bass Assassins and small blues are in there with them.

The blues and bass and are in the rivers as well. Gleason has also had reports of weakfish in the area hitting small metals.

He, too, had good reports of yellowfin fishing around the Triple Wrecks with some days better than others.

It’s been a tough week in the Ocean Grove surf with the surfers getting the better end of the bargain. Small blues and a few schoolie stripers have been about it.

Max Kristiansen mahi mahi
Max Kristiansen of the Reel Seat in Brielle with one of the mahi-mahi he caught offshore last weekend.

Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar said the lousy weather kept beach anglers at home this past week with too much wind and rain. He’s betting more fall-like weather in the forecast will get things moving.

People making the effort are still catching bass in the surf on Tsunami rubber eels, shads, SP Minnows, Bombers and poppers.

Some of the biggest fluke of the year are also showing up in the wash hitting bass baits. But as the season is over, they have to go back.

The party boats out of the marina have been doing well with bluefish in the 2- to 4-pound range and the blues are in the Shark River and surf as well. Porgies and kingfish are still in the river, too, and a small piece of clam will get their attention.

Mimi VI yellowfin
An impressive catch of yellowfin tuna by the Mimi VI out of Point Pleasant Beach on last weekend’s offshore trip.

Finally, he said, tuna is still the hottest fishery going as long as the boats can sail.

Capt. Jay Richardella on Side Job Charters out of Belmar got into the hot tuna bite over the weekend scoring a dozen yellowfin on Saturday then another 17 on Sunday.

His charter was getting the fish on the chunk by the Triple Wrecks and they ranged in size from 40 to 85 pounds.

Who knows how long this epic bite will last so if you want to get out there, Capt. Richardella can be contacted through his website.

Max Kristiansen at the Reel Seat in Brielle also reported excellent tuna fishing at the Triple Wrecks on poppers, jigs and chunking. And, he added, there are mahi-mahi to be had offshore as well. He got into them last Friday.

Blackfishing has also been good on the local reefs and rockpiles, he said, and folks are picking stripers in the surf.

Dylan at Fisherman’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach reported that the renewed tuna bite grabbed all the headlines this week. The weekend was busy as a lot of boats took advantage of the weather window.

For those not fortunate enough to get offshore, there are blackfish in the Point Pleasant Canal, which he said has been giving up a lot of nice tog. They are also at the Manasquan River Inlet.

Folks have also been getting bass and blues in the Manasquan and Point Pleasant Beach surf.

Just a quick reminder, there are still a few days to sign up for the Barrier Beach Brawl taking place Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9 and 10 and sponsored by Saltwater Underground. For complete details, visit www.saltwaterunderground.com.

Capt. Kenny Namowitz on the Mimi VI out of Point Pleasant Beach reported another banner tuna trip last weekend with a load of yellowfin coming over the rail. His offshore trips are all currently booked but you can check his website for cancellations

Capt. Matt Sosnowski on the Norma K III out of Point Pleasant Beach said Tuesday’s trip showed an improvement in the bottom fishing with bigger porgies coming aboard. They’ve been catching blackfish and triggerfish along with the porgies.

Folks have been throwing a lot of black sea bass back, he said, but that will change come Oct. 8 when the season reopens.

The Norma K III is still running Friday and Saturday night bluefish trips and reservations are required on all trips.

Gary at Capt. Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach said it was all about the tuna over the weekend and he did get some reports of bonito in the mix.

He added that the blackfishing in the Point Pleasant Canal has been very good and decent at the Manasquan Inlet.

The Manasquan River continues to give up stripers at night, mainly on eels.

Frank at Gabriel Tackle Co. said the offshore tuna bite was hot last weekend at the Triple Wrecks and he hopes it will be the same this weekend.

Fishing in the surf remains about the same, he said, with blues on mullet, metal and epoxy jigs. There are small bass around along with the blues.

He said SP Minnows and Kettle Creek shads are working along with the eels for bass in the Manasquan River and the reports on tog from the canal and inlet have all been good.

Pete at Charlie’s Bait and Tackle in Normandy Beach said fresh mullet is catching bluefish, kingfish and even a few fluke in the surf there. Clams are also working for the kingfish.

The bay is also loaded with short bass that are hitting small Storm shads and freshwater poppers and swimmers. Docks and bulkheads with green lights in the water seem to be attracting the fish, he said. He added there were a lot of American shad around and folks are getting them on Sabiki rigs.

Ray Kerico at Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park said there are still bluefish in the surf hitting metals and mullet. There are also more stripers being caught, especially at sunrise. He believes the fall run is still a couple of weeks away.

Kerico reported the blackfish bite is good on the inlet jetties and he’s also had several reports of weakfish in the bay. They aren’t spikes either, but fish up to 4 pounds.

Francine at Betty and Nick’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park said there are lots of small blues around during the day in the surf and the bass are biting in the dark.

She, too, said the blackfishing on the rocks has been good and the snapper blues and small bass continue to bite in the bay.

Fishing Forecast for Northern New Jersey

This incredible tuna bite can’t last forever, so if you have an opportunity to get out there, take it.

Cooler temperatures and the waning moon might just be what we need to get the fall run started. Small bass and blues are already in the surf and this weekend may be when their bigger brethren join them.

5 on “Northern New Jersey Fishing Report – October 1, 2020

  1. Dominick Zaccardi

    For informative thank you. I will wait for albies and will try this week end for tuna. Hope weather holds like last week. Season getting shorter, so GOOD LUCK TO ALL sportsman.

  2. John ODonnell

    There are a lot of boats fishing for bonita and bluefish, but no locations have been mentioned. DO you have any information or feed back. I assume the action is in places like the east lump or Seside Lump but no one is saying.

  3. John ODonnell

    There are a lot of boats fishing for bonita and bluefish, but no locations have been mentioned. DO you have any information or feed back. I assume the action is in places like the east lump or Seside Lump but no one is saying. This is not a duplicate.

  4. James Donohue

    I don’t begrudge anyone keeping a fish or two, but that photo of 10 people with what must be 500 pounds of fish is pretty disturbing.

  5. peter okeefe

    please feel free to throw yours back…just dont violate my rights to keep what i will..please

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *