Last weekend was a complete washout with heavy winds and rain, so not too many anglers fished for the Memorial Day weekend. The striped bass bite has been spotty for boaters with trollers doing better along the 3-mile line or very tight to the beaches. Although northern jersey has been better for boat bass fishing, the south jersey beaches have been holding some decent fish to the 40-inch mark. Sea bassing remains excellent with anglers hitting wrecks from the 15 to 35 mile range in order to find full limits. Fluke fishing has been pretty solid for most anglers with more fish in the 8 to 10-foot depths as the shallows have been covered up with slime. The first week of June ushers in a ton of fishing, crabbing, and clamming options for South Jersey.
South Jersey Fishing Report
Lacey Marine in Forked River had some sporadic reports of striped bass hitting spoons and some baits off of Island Beach state park prior to the weekend storm. This week bounced back with an influx of 12 to 20 inch bluefish around the inlet and some cleaner water for fluke in the bay. Bucktails tipped with Gulp or live minnow has been working with good results on keepers.
Creekside Outfitters in Waretown had good reports of fluke being landed on fluke belly and bluefish strips in some of the main channels and towards Barnegat Light. The inlet rocks have been a good spot to find small bluefish on metals. There has been some reports of blowfish from the BB to the BI over the past week. Stripers have been hitting clam baits along the north jetty for boaters.
Reel Reaction Sportfishing out of Waretown / Barnegat Light had a few trips pre and post-storm and anglers have been consistently catching 25 to 50 fluke per trip. Keepers have ranged from 3 to 9 fish and the biggest the season has taped close to 24 inches. The skipper is running full 7 days a week starting June 18th through Labor Day.
The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light had anglers on some of the wrecks catching humphead sea bass along with ling and on some of the returns have been able to cast metals for bluefish around the inlet. The skipper has offshore tuna trips available for the summer, so give him a ring.
Tony’s Bait & Tackle in Manahawkin reported striped bass off the beaches of Long Beach Island in the Barnegat Light and Harvey Cedars areas. Fresh clam and bunker are doing the trick. The bridges along the causeway have been producing small bass, bluefish, and a few weakfish during the night tides. Fluke fishing bounced back this week with the influx of cleaner water and reduced slime. Fishing both sides of LBI has produced keepers on jigs, bucktails, and Gulp. Anglers drifting rigs with fresh spearing or minnow are also producing quality results.
One Stop Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City had more consistent reports of striped bass to 30 inches being landed from the jetties in the area. Most of the jetties are producing and chunking bunker or soaking clam is working well. The deeper channels in the back have also been producing some black drum from AC down to Cape May. Fluke fishing remains pretty good for anglers fishing the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW).
Tackle Direct in Egg Harbor City reported some small bass being caught along the Mullica River and good fluke fishing behind Brigantine up to the old fish factory off of Tuckerton. Bay flounder fishing has been hampered by the winds and slime, but anglers working the jig with Gulp are producing if they keep the baits clean. There was some word of drum being landed in some of the deeper channels near inlets off Great Bay.
Tight Lines Bait & Tackle in Somers Point received good reports of flounder coming from the local jetties, bridges, and bays. Flounder have been hitting Gulp on jigs and live minnows. Most of the keepers have ranged from 18 to 20 inches with a few larger in the mix. Cut bunker or clam bellies are working for striped bass off the beaches. Crabbing has been picking up in the back along some of the marshes.
Sterling Harbor in Wildwood reported some drum being landed from the Delaware Bay and the wrecks to 150 feet have been peppered with black sea bass. Anglers working AVA jigs or double hook rigs with clam have been crushing the sea bass. Fluke fishing has been slow out front which is expected, but much better in the backwaters around some of the channel cuts.
Cape May Bait & Tackle in Cape May reported decent striped bass fishing in the Delaware Bay, especially around the Fortescue area. Bunker and clams have been working well, but a large quantity of the fish have been in the over 38-inch throwback range. Flounder fishing has been hit or miss along the DE bay, but better in some of the narrow cuts along Cape May and Wildwood.
South Jersey Fishing Forecast
The weekend weather looks great and there are some fluke tournaments going on for most of our area. Anglers fishing tournaments should be upsizing their baits to target the largest fluke. Striped bass are still hitting on the incoming tides with the cooler water and bluefish seem to be more prevalent around the inlets. The beaches are still producing numbers of striped bass with some of our southern beaches from Atlantic City south producing better results. Sea bass fishing is another viable option, but boaters will need to hit the deeper untouched wrecks to box limits of keepers. Wrecks in the 10 to 30-mile range are the best bet for anglers looking to box some sea biscuits and anything off Atlantic City southward is producing. With the passing of the full week last week, crabs have been much more active following a big shed. Good Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines!