This past week has been all about the tuna as the canyons have been on fire for yellowfin with head, charter, and recreational boats putting tuna on the deck. Boats have been running overnight to hit yellowfin, swordfish, and some mahi. With most seasons closed, closer to home options have been kingfish, blues, and some bass off the surf. There was an influx of bigger blues that have hit the northern beaches while the inlets have been producing steady 2 to 4 pounders. Sea Bass opens up in a less than two weeks, so wreck fisherman should be getting ready. The mullet run is in full swing and anglers have been cast-netting them off the beaches and jetties. They make great baits for weakfish, bluefish, and even fluke if frozen for next season.
Fishing Report For Southern New Jersey
Lacey Marine in Forked River had solid reports of blowfish in Barnegat bay, but anglers are having to sort through lots of smaller fish to put 20 to 30 keepers in the boat. Bluefish and weakfish have been active around the inlets on soft plastics and small metals. Anglers plugging the rocks are finding some striper success during the outgoing currents.
Creekside Outfitters in Waretown reported weakfish in the Myers Hole area and if you get shrimp them up – you will catch. Soft plastics and live peanut bunker are working for the weakfish. Bluefish have been consistent around the Barnegat Inlet and the southern inlet on small metals. Offshore canyon action has been hot for yellowfin especially around the Toms, Spencer and Lindy.
Reel Reaction Charters out of Waretown and Barnegat Light took the week off to perform 100 hour maintenance on both vessels and will be back to targeting striped bass at night with the skiff. Sea bass dates are completely filled, but there are a few open tautog & striper spots.
The The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light had offshore tuna trips over the past week and the boat did excellent on yellowfin and mahi. The skipper will be running sea bass trips for the start of the season.
Tony’s Bait and Tackle in Manahawkin said lots of short tog from the Barnegat Inlet, but there has been lots of bluefish and some stripers from the north inlet. The bay has been loaded with blowfish and small sea bass. The night bite has been good along the flats and sedges for striped bass in the 20 to 28-inch range.
One Stop Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City reported an uptick on striped bass activity from the Atlantic City jetties during the dusk and evening. Small plugs, swimmers, or live bloodworm have been working. Weakfish have also been active during the times of dusk with soft plastics. Tog fishing has been excellent for action as the number of shorts is outstanding, but you have to work a bit for a keeper. The surf has been alive with kingfish, small bluefish, and even a few pompano as the ocean water is still warm.
Tackle Direct in Egg Harbor City had good reports of striped bass hitting small poppers, plugs, and soft plastics in the backwaters of Brigantine and Great Bay. Anglers have also been catching good numbers of white perch. The surf from Atlantic City south through Sea Isle has been producing good numbers of kingfish on pieces of bloodworm or Fishbites.
Tight Lines Bait & Tackle in Somers Point had good reports of triggerfish from some of the local wrecks and inlet rocks. Tog fishing has been good, but tougher on keepers. The surf has continued to produce excellent numbers of kingfish and some croakers. There were a few anglers that got into night-time shark action off the beaches. The backwaters are producing stripers from 18 to 30 inches.
Sterling Harbor in Wildwood reported good action for triggerfish and tog from the bridges. There are still a few sheepshead around, but the action has slowed overall. The shop received great reports of offshore tuna action from some of our southern canyons for yellowfin and mahi.
Cape May Bait & Tackle in Cape May had a few customers report good action on sheepshead, tog, striped bass, and weakfish. They have been using local shedder crabs during the week. The beaches still have good numbers of kingfish, small striped bass, and croakers.
South Jersey Fishing Forecast
The weekend offers a few options for your best bet to put some fish on the line. Offshore anglers should hit the canyons as late September through October is primetime for pelagic yellowfin action. If you have the gear, then deep drop for swordfish or tilefish along the canyon edges. There was a few good reports of mahi around floating markers or debris, so remember to bring light tackle gear as these fish are a blast on the light stuff. Anglers working the surf are finding good numbers of kingfish on bloodworms and bluefish feeding on exiting mullet. Bay fisherman have excellent opportunities at resident striped bass along the marshes, tidal creeks, and inlets. 4 to 5-inch plugs, swimmers, or poppers are perfect to cast along shallow flats during the evening tides. Good Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines!