It’s been all about striped bass for the past week and the epicenter of the action is north of Long Beach Island. However, bass have begun to trickle into more of our southern locales. Some of the beaches from Brigantine to Ocean City are beginning to see an uptick in striper activity. Trolling has been the most successful, as most of the fish are on sand eels and have been jig shy. Tog fishing continues to be tremendous and once we actually get some cooler weather, fish should begin to slowly migrate inshore. Amazingly, there were still some yellowfin tuna around over the weekend with boats hitting the same three wrecks to fill the icebox.
Southern New Jersey Fishing Report
Creekside Outfitters in Waretown, says a few anglers are catching decent stripers working tight to the beach and further along the 3-mile line. There were some nice fish caught south of Barnegat Light on the wire-line troll. The shop has been selling green crabs as the jetty onslaught of keeper blackfish continued throughout the weekend.
Bobbie’s Boats Bait & Tackle in Barnegat Light, says the reports were slower from Barnegat Inlet. Anglers using live-spot are really having to work the moving tides. The back channels do have some fish, but the bite slowed considerably as most of the action has been outside. Tautog fishing continued to be excellent for anglers working the condos, the finger jetty, and south jetty with green crabs. Vince recommends dropping crab tipped baits in some of the jetty cracks and crevices.
Reel Reaction Sportfishing in Waretown, says the Captain put clients on fish to 20-pounds over the past week. Action was both in the ocean and bay, with the crews finishing off each trip with 3-to-6-man limit of tautog. Most were caught on the jig in deeper water.
Super Chic Charters in Barnegat Light, says the boat has been working the rolling striped bass and found a few cooperative bass on jigs. Most of the action has been sporadic with lots of spiny dogfish down deep.
Fisherman’s Headquarters in Long Beach Island, says it was a good weekend of fishing with boats running from Barnegat Light to Asbury Park to find cooperative fish. Some anglers hooked up along the Harvey Cedars lump area. Surfcasters have been finding more consistent action along some of the deeper holes off Long Beach Island with plugs being the main lure. Sea Bass fishing has slowed inshore, but some of the offshore wrecks are producing good numbers along with big porgies.
Absecon Bay Sportsman in Absecon, says there is some decent action on smaller schoolies in the back creeks and tributaries off the Mullica and Tuckahoe Rivers. Gulp Nemesis baits tipped on jigheads and small 4-inch plugs are the choice lures for these areas. Tautog fishing was pretty good this past week with some nicer fish coming over the rocks along Atlantic City. Anglers drifting live spot or eels during the early morning and evening tides are finding more success with less boat traffic. It is key to work some of the deeper holes. The sonar machines should show marks if bass are around.
Fin-Atics in Ocean City, says there are reports of some nice bass making their way down the coast. Boaters have been able to find them close to the 3-mile line. The best game in town has been trolling wireline setups for these fish, and some have weighed over 30-pounds. Schoolie bass and keepers continue to offer good action along the marsh sedges, channels, and bridges. Soft plastics tipped on 3/8-ounce jigheads or small plugs worked during the evening tides are producing the best results.
Badfish Charters in Ocean City, says the boat worked some nice marks over the early part of the week and caught some striped bass in the 20-pound range. The Captain said the fish have been falling for small 3-inch shads tipped on lightweight jigheads.
Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City, says there was a rush of anglers to scoop up 9’er umbrella rigs as the troll bite has been pretty good north of Sea Isle. Anglers working the backwaters are still finding schoolie bass, and some are big enough to stick with a NJ bonus tag. Tautog fishing slowed a tad, but anglers hitting the jetty rocks have been able to find keepers to 4-pounds. Green grabs or shore crabs tipped on 1o-ounce jigs have been the best way to box keepers.
Avalon Hodge Podge in Avalon, says striped bass to 29-inches are being caught along the beaches. The bay bite continues with anglers catching keeper bass on live eels and spot during the evening tides. Anglers reported good sea bass action from deeper wrecks in the 90-to-120 foot depths.
Peace Token Fishing Tackle in Cape May Court House, says the head boats fishing for black sea bass fishing are doing well. The Captains have been finding some good action in deep water on diamond jigs and are finding some nice fish. The beaches have been a little slower, but anglers are still picking at small bass.
Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Cape May, says the bite on the deep wrecks is solid. Anglers are catching black sea bass, triggerfish, and porgies. The wrecks are beginning to get picked over, so it’s crucial to find areas off the main wrecks that hold fish. Striped bass have been slowly showing up, but it’s far better north of Wildwood. There are still plenty of fish in the backwaters and they can be caught drifting live bait or working soft plastics.
Greenhorn Outdoors in Bridgeton, says anglers are catching on bloodworms in the rivers and along the beaches east to Fortescue. There has been some keeper perch along the back creeks and anglers working small skiffs have put some good numbers in the cooler.
Offshore Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City, says the tautog bite has been still going strong, although there have been more shorts than keepers. Green crab on traditional rigs or tipped on 3/4-to-1o-ounce jigs are working the best. Anglers are hooking up with striped bass to 32-inches in the back bays and some have been making the run to Island Beach State Park. Anglers working the wrecks at depths of 110-to-140 feet have been finding some nice black sea bass to 5-pounds.
South Jersey Fishing Forecast
The best bet for the weekend is striped bass or tautog as the weather looks okay from Saturday to early Sunday. Anglers looking to hit the beaches should go early before sunup, casting dark plugs until sunrise. A quick switch over to sand eel shaped jigs would be your best bet at catching migrating bass. Boaters looking to get in on the action can look for bird play and rolling bass. Soft plastics, jigs, or plugs are working on these fish. When the fishing is tough, troll with umbrella rigs or Mojos to put fish on the deck. Most of the action seems to be in the upper half of the southern Jersey area, but that may change with this week’s blow. Tog anglers can work for their 1-fish limit throughout the week but come Monday, the fall season officially begins with an increase to 5-fish per person at 15-inches.