The past two weeks have been spectacular with sea bass opening on the 15th and fluke last weekend, and the fishing did not disappoint. Most of the South Jersey shops reported excellent fluke fishing in our backwaters with light jigs, bucktails, Gulp and minnows doing the trick. There were some bigger fish to 7 pounds weighed in, but the numbers of fluke being caught was on par with last season. Slime has been a factor for a lot of bay anglers as it’s a pain and requires anglers to constantly clean their offering. Striped bass fishing has been spotty with some areas producing decent numbers of fish while others have no bass to be found. Boaters trolling the 3-mile line with mojos and bunker spoons are finding some success, but I’m hearing you definitely have to punch the clock with them.
South Jersey Fishing Report
Lacey Marine in Forked River had reports of big bluefish from the BB to the BI for anglers trolling ponytails and some of the fish have been in the 10-pound range. Fluke fishing started off in a good way with lots of action reported from the usual bay spots. The slime has been somewhat of an issue and it’s important for anglers to continually clean their jigs.
Creekside Outfitters in Waretown had good reports from the BB to the BI on fluke in the 5 to 10-foot depths. Anglers working the S&S bucktail tipped with Gulp were finding success. The mid-island bridges also produced some nice fish to 4 pounds. Sea bassing has been exceptional on the wrecks when anglers find the right sea conditions. Striped bass fishing was a little slow this week with a few being pulled off the north jetty and along the 3-mile line off of Seaside.
Reel Reaction Sportfishing out of Waretown/Barnegat Light had a busy opener for fluke season with his charters boxing 3 to 8 keeper fluke while releasing 40 to over 65. Jigs and artificial baits were the choice offerings. A few bluefish and striped bass were also landed on the trips. The skipper will be running 7 days a week starting June 18th through Labor Day.
The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light had good action on sea bass over the past week with some of the wrecks produces good numbers of bass and some nice ling. The boat is sailing for striped bass, sea bass, or fluke charters, so give them a ring.
Tony’s Bait & Tackle in Manahawkin reported a good opening to the fluke season with good numbers of short fluke and keepers. There were a few nice fish to 25 inches that were caught during the past week. The mid-island bridges have been productive on small bluefish and striped bass during the night tides.
One Stop Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City reported that the kingfish are in with anglers boxing a few off the T-jettty with bloodworms. Fluke fishing has been producing on the start of the outgoing and blues have been in the area. The jetties are still producing some big bass up to 43 inches on cut bunker and clam during the day and live eels are the ticket at night. Weakfish are still being landed during the night tides, but the action has slowed.
Tackle Direct in Egg Harbor City reported a solid week of reports for back bay flounder along Great Bay with some of the shallow staked areas producing. Bucktails tipped with live minnow or Gulp has been producing when jigged in the 4 to 8-foot depths. Striped bass are being caught along the beaches and the Atlantic City jetties on live eels.
Tight Lines Bait & Tackle in Somers Point received great reports of sea bass fishing from the area wrecks as most boats have been able to box their limits. Flounder fishing has been very good along parts of the ICW and near some of the bay islands. Striped bass are still being landed in the rivers on soft plastics and live baits. Weakfish are in the bay, but it’s best to target them during the early morning or late evening tides.
Sterling Harbor in Wildwood reported good flounder fishing for opening day and throughout the past week on flounder. The best depths have been in the 4 to 10-foot range and jigs tipped with Gulp or minnows have been producing. Weakfish have been making a good showing this year and anglers working the jetties with bloodworms have been producing some to 6 pounds. Sea bassing has been on fire for boats hitting the inshore wrecks and both clam and Ava jigs have been working.
Cape May Bait & Tackle in Cape May reported some stripers being caught along the beaches and a few nice ones near Cape May Point on clam. Drum are still biting with the past full moon and there have been some nice ones weighed in up to 75 pounds. The fish are moving around, so working some of the deeper sloughs are producing at times. The fluke fishing opener was decent with most of the fish being caught in the back and behind Wildwood.
South Jersey Forecast
Fishing looks tough for this Memorial Day weekend with the predicted winds to be in the 25 to 35-mile range and Saturday looks like a soaker. The best bet would be to hit the fishing on Friday or Monday as you could probably eek out a trip. Beach, inlet, or bay are probably the best options and for anglers looking for striped bass have the surf sticks ready as the East of Northeast winds should have them biting. Fluking along the jetties and bay is another viable option, but if you head out on Monday it may be challenging depending on how much wind and rain we received from the weekend. Good Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines!