Today is the big day as anglers are allowed to target black sea bass with the season running until October 31 with a 10-fish bag limit. Unfortunately, the opening day winds are not optimal for offshore action. But once the seas lay down, the wrecks should be loaded with keeper sea bass. Tog fishing continued to be outstanding this past week along most of the Jersey shore jetties and there have been some southern species caught. Pompano and redfish were caught in the Long Beach Island area and the croaker action has been outstanding towards Cape May. With the cooler nights and some more fall-like weather, we should start seeing false albacore and other migratory species heading south.
Here is this week’s rundown:
Creekside Outfitters in Waretown reported blowfish and baby sea bass being caught from some parts of Barnegat bay with heavy clam chumming. Striped bass action has been very slow, but there have been a few caught on artificials and live spot. The big word of the week was the red-hot yellowfin tuna bite occurring from the triple wrecks to the canyons. The shop is fully stocked with clam baits for the opening of the sea bass season.
Bobbies Boats in Barnegat Light had a few rentals over the weekend bring back some nice sized blowfish as the bay water is still in the 70’s. The inlet fishing has been very good for small bluefish and keeper tog off the jetties. The dock will continue to be fully stocked with spot, green crabs, and fuel for the remainder of the season.
Reel Reaction Sportfishing out of Waretown / Barnegat Light reported good fishing action on tog and bluefish as the skipper ran a few trips over the weekend. The charters caught limits of tog up to 20 inches and blues were scattered outside hitting small epoxy jigs. The backwaters have some schoolie action on striped bass on Yo-Zuri mag-darters in the evening.
The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light was able to hit the offshore tuna scene again with favorable sea conditions and the boat has been doing well on yellowfin. With the sea bass season opening, the crew will begin running sea bass charters — so give them a ring.
Fisherman’s Headquarters on Long Beach Island reported some southern species caught from the Long Beach Island surf in pompano along with some snapper bluefish. The inlet area gave up a few short striped bass and bluefish. The jetties and inlet are still firing on tog, but you have to work the crab around the structure to find keeper fish. Offshore fishing was epic again as many vessels reported limits of yellowfin and the triples to the canyons had cooperative fish.
Absecon Bay Sportsman in Absecon had good action being from anglers fishing the backwaters of the Mullica and Great Bay as stripers have been hitting plugs and soft plastics. The key is to work some of the bends and points on the tidal creeks to find feeding fish. The tog onslaught continued with the Atlantic City jetties being on fire. Green crab tipped on traditional tog rigs or jigs were the prime setups. Capt. Dave said anglers have been picking up spot for the offshore tuna action as they are yellowfin candy.
Offshore Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City had another solid week of tog fishing from the jetty rocks with green crabs being the hot bait. The bite has been fantastic and the fish have been getting bigger in size. Anglers drifting bloodworms around some of the sod banks have been picking up schoolie striped bass. The store has some flats of butterfish and sardines for the offshore tuna anglers.
Fin-Atics in Ocean City said the backwater striped bass action has begun to heat up over the past week with fish being landed on top-waters and soft plastics. Tog fishing has been exceptional from a lot of the jetties and inshore wrecks. Anglers who fished the deep over the weekend reported lots of yellowfin being landed as some of the 60 to 80 mile areas were like parking lots.
Badfish Charters in Ocean City did some scouting over the weekend and was able to find some false albacore caught on epoxy jigs. The skipper also worked some bay waters to find striped bass on top-waters.
Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City had good reports of striped bass hitting live spot around the outgoing tide and some fish measured up to 36 inches. The areas close to the inlet and near the bridges have been producing during the day and for anglers working eels at night are getting similar results. The shop weighed in a potential state record, 6.25 pound gray trigger fish caught from one of the local wrecks.
Avalon Hodge Podge in Avalon received a new shipment of green crabs this week as the bite has been red hot from most of the small inshore wrecks. The shop prepped for the start of sea bass season with an influx of clam baits and rigs. The surf has been hit or miss for small bluefish and a few weakfish, but anglers are still getting a few kingfish in the wash. As the water temperatures begin to dip the area should get an influx of feeding striped bass.
Peace Token Fishing Tackle in Cape May Court House reported good beach fishing for anglers working bloodworms as some bluefish and weakfish have been caught. There are a lot of croakers and spot around to make for a fun day and tasty dinner. The shop is loaded with sea bass rigs and baits for the opening of the 10-fish limit.
Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Cape May reported more croaker, kings, spot, and some weakfish being landed from the area on bloodworms. Small bluefish have also been picking up baits and small metals off the surf. Striped bass fishing has been spotty with the best bites coming during the early morning and evening tides. Tog fishing remained excellent off most of the jetties and green crabs on traditional or jigs is the bait of choice.
Greenhorn Outdoors in Bridgeton reported another solid week of croaker, kingfish, and spot action from the Fortescue area. Weakfish and some bluefish were caught from some of the boats working the buoys off the beaches. The creeks are producing striped bass and white perch with mixed results. The best action has been on bloodworms, but anglers are having to move around to find good action.
South Jersey Fishing Forecast
If you can find a window, sea bass fishing would be your best bet with the wrecks being untouched and loaded with fish. Clam baits or small diamond jigs would be the way to go to catch keepers along with working some of the deeper wrecks. Tog fishing is still in play, especially with the wind forecast for the next few days. I prefer using ¾- to 1-ounce tog jigs tipped with Asian shore crabs, green crab, or fiddlers. Anglers looking to get in on the backwater action should try fishing the shallows during the early morning sunrise as schoolie striped bass have been very cooperative on plugs, poppers, and Tsunami swim-shads. Good Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines!