Striped bass fever is a reality for most of South Jersey. The bass are migrating south and some nicer fish are being landed in the backwaters from Barnegat Bay to Wildwood. Most of the action has been during the night tides on live spot or eels, with fish up to 20-pounds. However, some fish are starting to be landed on the incoming daytime tides. The jig bite has been excellent from Manasquan Inlet and north, with fish to 40-pounds. Tog fishing is excellent at the inlets and some of the inshore wrecks. Black sea bass fishing is good, but anglers are having to run offshore to find better numbers of keepers. A few headboats added trips this week for offshore tuna, as the bite has held steady through the first week of November.
Southern New Jersey Fishing Report
Creekside Outfitters in Waretown, says it has been a tough start to the fishing week for boaters due to the high westerly winds. Anglers working the surf at Island Beach State Park (IBSP) were able to find some striped bass to 30-pounds on metal lures. The jetties are fishing well for tautog, and green crabs tipped with 1-ounce jigs have been the ticket.
Bobbie’s Boats Bait & Tackle in Barnegat Light, says there are good striped bass reports along Barnegat Inlet during the incoming tides. Furthermore, live spot and white bucktails have been working. The shop has green crabs and spot for anglers looking to hit the jetty.
Reel Reaction Sportfishing in Waretown, says it has been a slow start to the week because of Tropical Storm Zeta. The crew ran two trips on Wednesday, and caught roughly 25 striped bass. Most of the bass have been taking live bait and soft plastics. The anglers also hit their limit on tautog.
Super Chic Charters in Barnegat Light, says they’re booking striped bass trips for the majority of November. The Capt. will also run full tautog charters once the season opens to 5 fish per person.
Fisherman’s Headquarters in Long Beach Island, says it has been a solid week north of Manasquan Inlet, as striped bass over 40-pounds were landed. Schoolie striped bass and keepers up to 31-inches are being caught from the inlet areas on both sides of Long Beach Island. Tautog fishing is excellent from the jetties and wrecks in depths to 60-feet. For those interested in tuna, there were reports of bluefin 10-to-15-miles out prior to Tropical Storm Zeta.
Absecon Bay Sportsman in Absecon, says anglers are catching striped bass up to 31-inches in the Brigantine backwaters on jigheads tipped with Gulp Nemesis. Live spot drifted along some of the deeper holes is close to a guarantee. The Brigantine beachfront is producing stripers on plugs, with bass up to 37-inches. Tautog fishing is outstanding off the Atlantic City jetties. 3/4-ounce to 1-ounce jigs tipped with green crabs have been the hot ticket. Dave said the shop is loaded with live spot, eels, and green grabs for your bass and tog needs.
Fin-Atics in Ocean City, says there are reports of dirtier water in the backwaters and inlet due to the recent 2-day blow. However, striped bass continue to be caught on live spot during the day. Boaters drifting the back-channels and edges are finding short bass. Anglers fishing live eels around the deeper channels and bridges are catching bigger bass to 32-inches.
Badfish Charters in Ocean City, says the topwater bite with poppers held up after the recent storm. The Capt. said they probably had over 100 bass on topwaters over the past week and a half. Some anglers were able to catch some fish on the fly on the “less windy” mornings. The boat has some openings over the next several weeks.
Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City, says keeper tog up to 6.5-pounds have been weighed in over the past few days. Tautog rigs or jigs up to 1.5-ounces at some of the inshore wrecks have been the top producers. The shop says some bigger tog are moving into the usual areas. Striper catches continue to get better.
Avalon Hodge Podge in Avalon, says the inshore wreck tautog bite is excellent. Anglers are hitting their 1-fish limit quickly. Most are culling their catch to work up to some bigger sized males. Striped bass action remains excellent for schoolie bass along some of the back-channels and bridges.
Peace Token Fishing Tackle in Cape May Court House, says the tautog bite on the local reefs and wrecks is good. Green crabs continue to be the top bait. Striped bass are being landed from the bridges and inlet areas, from Wildwood to Cape May on drifted live spot and eel. The night bite has been better over the past several days.
Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Cape May, says there are good numbers of tautog catches from shore anglers fishing the rocks and using green crabs. The backwaters and around some of the bridges have lots of small stripers to 28-inches hitting both artificials and live baits. Black sea bass fishing was tough over the past week, as many boats couldn’t make it out. Nonetheless, there are excellent boat reports at some of the wrecks in 12o-to-140 feet of water.
Greenhorn Outdoors in Bridgeton, says the shop received a new shipment of jumbo bloodworms. They’ve been fantastic for striped bass along the creek and channels mouths. The Fortescue area has good numbers of schoolie bass picking up soft plastics, bloodworms, and live spot over the past few days.
South Jersey Fishing Forecast
For the weekend, the best bet is to search for striped bass from Barnegat Light to Ocean City as large fish start to move south. The back bays remain the top locations to drift live spot and eels . Don’t be surprised if you find some nicer fish to 25-pounds in the back bays. There have been several reports of bigger sized stripers landed in the bays. If you’re looking for bigger fish, grab a dozen eels and drift the main channels at night. Tautog fishing remains steady as the water has started to clean up after Tropical Storm Zeta. With a 1-fish limit, it’s best to be selective and harvest males, as the big females keep the population going. If you’re into keeper black sea bass, try targeting southern wrecks in 110-to-130 feet of water.