Here is this week’s rundown:
Lacey Marine in Forked River received good reports of tog action from the southern reef sites with the Garden State sites and Atlantic City sites producing the best action. Cut green crabs tipped on traditional or S&S Whitechins have been working.
Creekside Outfitters in Waretown had solid reports of striped bass action along the backside of Island Beach state park and the Long Beach Island bridges. 3 to 4 inch soft plastics have been the best baits to catch these 18 to 23 inch schoolies. Tog fishing remains excellent along the inshore wrecks off IBSP and LBI.
Reel Reaction Sportfishing out of Waretown / Barnegat Light worked a few spots with his son and mate Luke in the backwaters. The father/son scout trip produced some short and keeper action on tog to 16 inches in the back. The crew did add an AED to the charter fleet which will be onboard all charters. The skipper will be running bay striped bass, bluefish, and tog trips through the end of April.
The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light will be heading out for sea bass starting May 15th and the skipper is booking trips for the season. The boat should be ready to go in the next week.
Tony’s Bait & Tackle in Manahawkin had reports of blue crabs from some of the western areas of Barnegat Bay. There are small crabs, but keepers have been exiting the mud and you can make a meal if you put in the time. White perch are still picking up shrimp baits along the backside of Beach Haven West. Striped bass have been cooperative at both inlets, but the Graveling Point bite has been on fire.
One Stop Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City reported some nice action on striped bass from the jetties this past week. The bites have been on jumbo blood worms and the bass have taped out to 31 inches. Tog are also big players during the day with the bite being on green crabs on the jig. White Perch are still being landed along the surrounding rivers with both blood worm and shrimp working. As Noel says, “It’s Bangin down here!”
Tackle Direct in Egg Harbor Township mentioned that the bite at the Point has been excellent on striped bass up to 30 inches. Anglers working bloodworms from land and boaters trolling small Yo-zuri minnows have been doing the best in terms of action. White perch have still been cooperative along the rivers, but there are greater numbers of schoolie bass along the creeks.
Tight Lines Bait & Tackle in Somers Point reported a good few days for anglers working the bloodworm and clam bellies in the bay and the rivers. Tog have been picking up crab baits along the bridges and rocks in the bay. The inshore wrecks are also producing good action for boaters, but you have to put in the time.
Sterling Harbor in Wildwood reported good fishing from the area bridges off land and from kayaks for tog. Green crabs tipped on 1/2, 3/4, or 1 oz jigs have been producing. Anglers looking to get on the striped bass bite should work the shallow flats and creeks along the west side of the bay.
Cape May Bait & Tackle in Cape May had a good week for anglers working the rockpiles, jetties, and wrecks to find keeper tautog to 9 pounds. Green crabs have been the best bait, and if the opportunity arises try using jigs.
South Jersey Fishing Forecast
The best bet for this weekend will be to fish the late afternoon on Saturday, or even better work the waters on Sunday as the seas are supposed to be relatively calm. Tautog is on the minds of most anglers, so get on the wrecks in the 60 to 80 foot ranges for keeper action. Jetty and land-based fisherman are not out of the game as most of our South Jersey jetties are producing good action on spring tog. Green crabs which are cut and quartered will do the trick on these early season bruisers and try dropping light jigs 3/4 to 1oz down between the rock crevices. Anglers looking for striped bass should stay in the backwaters as the ocean bite hasn’t materialized yet. Lastly, don’t be afraid to work the bunker and hand-lines in the extreme back-water creeks on the west sides of the bays. I received some positive reports on blueclaws, with more coming out of the mud each day. Good Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines!