Southern New Jersey Fishing Report – October 29, 2020

A jumbo triggerfish caught off the New Jersey deep shore wrecks.
A jumbo triggerfish caught off the deep shore wrecks of New Jersey.

The fall run is nearly on schedule, as some inlets to our north are getting the first schools of big bass showing up as we approach Halloween. Anglers have been regularly catching and releasing stripers in the 30-to-40 pound range. With some lower temperatures at night, the back bay and inlet areas are starting to see good schoolie striped bass action. Black sea bass fishing has been tough over the past week, with quite a few wrecks holding smaller fish, and schools of spiny dogfish.  Tautog fishing continues to be exceptional along the inlet rocks and jetties.  Green crab, sand fleas, and Asian shore crabs are the hot baits.

Southern New Jersey Fishing Report

Creekside Outfitters in Waretown, says some decent striped bass in the 20-pound range are being caught during the night tides by drifting eels. Anglers working the main channels and drop-offs are finding feeding fish. Tautog fishing has been excellent at some of the southern reef sites, with fish to 8-pounds being weighed in.  The inlet rocks are another good spot for anglers to use crabs for keeper tog. The wrecks have been flooded with spiny dogfish, making it difficult to catch black sea bass.

Bobbie’s Boats Bait & Tackle in Barnegat Light, says the tackle shop has good numbers of green crabs. There have been catches of small striped bass on poppers and plugs towards the west side of Barnegat Bay. Tautog are being caught at Barnegat Inlet. There are spots left on the boat for anglers who want to get out and catch striped bass and tog.

 Reel Reaction Sportfishing in Waretown, says it has been a solid week of fishing. The charters have been catching tautog, striped bass, and small bluefish. Furthermore, the Captain put the Futterman family on black sea bass, big triggerfish, and a 5-person limit of tautog.  The boat will switch over to striped bass and tautog trips for November and December.

Super Chic Charters in Barnegat Light, says they’ve been hitting the offshore grounds for some yellowfin to 75-pounds, and nice Mahi.  The inshore fishing scene has been good with black sea bass, triggerfish, and tautog caught from some of the Captain’s favorite wrecks. The charter has some open striped bass dates in November and December.

Fisherman’s Headquarters in Long Beach Island, says it has been a solid week of fishing. Surfcasters are getting into some schoolie striped bass action towards both ends of Long Beach Island.  Bass were also caught close to the inlet on poppers and plugs during the early morning hours. Tautog fishing continues to be exceptional along the condos, the finger jetty, and the south jetty of Barnegat Inlet. There were reports of some bluefin tuna exploding on baits in the 10-to-15-mile range.

Absecon Bay Sportsman in Absecon, says it has been a banner week for striped bass in the 30-inch range. Anglers have been catching on soft plastics, plugs, and live spot.  The hot bite of the week has been behind the Atlantic City inlet, and northward to Wreck inlet. Tog fishing is still very good along the jetties and rocks. Anglers fishing at night are getting better shots at bigger fish with eels.

Fin-Atics in Ocean City, says they’ve received good striped bass reports in the back bay. The bite has been occurring mainly at night. Spot or eels drifted along some of the deeper channels and marshes are producing fish from 24-to-33-inches. Black sea bass fishing has been fair at the inshore wrecks, but better in the deep wrecks when anglers can get out.

Badfish Charters in Ocean City, says they’ve been catching and releasing some nice bass in the backwaters of Ocean City to Avalon. Plugs, twitch baits, and poppers have been the top lures for the Captain and his clients in shallow waters. The boat has some openings in the next few weeks.

Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City, says some striped bass are being caught in the surf on mullet and clam baits. The shop has some white crabs for tautog. They also just received a shipment of spot for backwater, and inlet bass.  Black sea bass fishing has been better in the deeper water, but you have to pick through some of the spiny dogfish.

Avalon Hodge Podge in Avalon, says they’ve been stocking the shelves with some nice soft plastics for backwater bass.  Striped bass have been caught around the inlets, bridges, and sod banks on live and artificial baits.  There haven’t been any reports of big bass, but the shop said there are plenty of fish up to 33-inches in the backwaters. Tautog fishing is excellent for anglers seeking their one-fish limit.

Peace Token Fishing Tackle in Cape May Court House, says black sea bass fishing continues to be a mix of keepers and shorts. There have also been some catches of triggerfish, tautog, and spiny dogfish.  Tautog fishing has been excellent on the wrecks, with some keeper-sized fish.

Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Cape May, says there are good numbers of tautog being landed from the inshore wrecks. The tackle shop says if the fish stay around until November 16, it should be excellent fishing.  Striped bass action has slowly gotten better. More stripers have been caught in the backwaters and channels around the inlet with live spot or eels. Sea bass fishing remains challenging, as anglers have to find some smaller pieces of structure, or wrecks that haven’t been overfished.

Greenhorn Outdoors in Bridgeton, says white perch are still feeding aggressively during the morning and evening tides.

Offshore Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City, says it has been a good week for tautog, triggerfish, and striped bass around Atlantic City. The jetties, bridges, and rocks are holding tautog to 6-pounds. Anglers are catching tog on fiddler crabs, green crabs, and sand fleas. Striped bass have been caught on spot and eels during the night tides along the inlet. Some of the back bay marshes are holding good numbers of schoolie bass, which have been caught on Gulp, soft plastics, and plugs.

South Jersey Fishing Forecast

The best bet for the weekend is to hit the backwaters and inlets for striped bass while Tropical Storm Zeta moves up the Atlantic Coast. There should be striped bass at Island Beach State Park and Long Beach Island, and maybe even an opportunity to catch a 40-pound fish, as they continue to migrate south. Tautog are still being caught at the bridges and inlets during the day. Schoolie striped bass are being caught at the inlets and bridges at night.  With the fall migration of bait and bass, November should be a great month.

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