Fine weather greeted the opening of sea bass season last Friday. By Saturday morning, Mother Nature slammed it shut. A howling northeast wind started and didn’t stop blowing until Tuesday. There was decent sea bass fishing reported on Friday but few fish of any kind were caught until the boats got back out late Tuesday. By all accounts, the sea bass were waiting. The bluefish were around as well.
Now we just have to see about the stripers, tuna and albies. There’s still plenty of bait in the rivers and bays.
Fishing Report For Northern New Jersey
Rick Hebert at Tackle World said the folks who went deep had the best sea bass fishing last Friday. Then the big fan went on.
He said stripers were being caught in the Hudson and East rivers on eels and fall trout stocking started on Tuesday and will continue for a week.
Capt. Phil Sciortino at the Tackle Box in Hazlet said it was a quiet week with all the wind but there were stripers caught on eels in the vicinity of the Statue of Liberty and on shads at night in the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers.
Mike Pinto at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright said the surf fishing was great until the wind shut it down. He, however, is confident it will bounce right back as there is still tons of bait back in the rivers.
Bass and blues in both the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers are feeding on it.
Mike Gleason at Tak Waterman said the ocean was unfishable but the rivers are giving up stripers and bluefish along with some nice weakfish in the 20-inch range.
Time will tell if the tuna are still around and it’s a good bet they are.
Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar said he had good but not great reports from the sea bass opener. He did get word on Wednesday that the party boats out of the marina, including the Big Mohawk, Capt. Cal II and Ocean Explorer all found good sea bass fishing after the storm.
Porgies, a few cod and some winter flounder were caught along with the sea bass.
Matthews said there are also bass and blues in the Shark River and the Point Pleasant Canal. Blackfishing has been good at the Shark River Inlet.
Capt. Pete Sykes of Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters out of Belmar said they crushed the sea bass on opening day and found them hungry when they got back out on Wednesday. Everyone on board limited out. He said there were porgies and winter flounder in the mix, too.
He’s got openings for upcoming sea bass trips and will be sailing for stripers as well when that bite gets going.
Capt. Jay Richardella of Side Job Charters out of Belmar reported a great day of tuna fishing last Friday with 11 yellowfin coming over the rail. He’s got openings for fall tuna fishing as well as striper and sea bass trips.
Steve Thomas at the Reel Seat in Brielle said fishing options were limited due to the weather but the bass and blackfishing has been good in the Point Pleasant Canal.
The Reel Seat still has a few openings for its bottom fishing trip scheduled for this Friday aboard the Big Mohawk out of Belmar. Call the shop for details.
Kyle Tanger at the Fishermens Supply Co in Point Pleasant Beach said there wasn’t much to report due to the relentless wind. Prior to the blow, the sea bass fishing was good at the Axel Carlson and Sea Girt reefs and decent blackfishing in the Point Pleasant Canal.
Capt. Kenny Namowitz of the MIMI VI sailed on Wednesday and found plenty of sea bass, porgies and triggerfish. The Mimi VI has a few openings for this Friday’s black sea bass and ling trip. Check the website for details.
Frank Giacalone at Gabriel Tackle Co. in Brick said initial reports on the sea bass bite were all good before the weekend got blown out.
Barnegat Bay, he said, is still holding a lot of blowfish at the mouth of the Point Pleasant Canal and by the BB and BI buoys. The blackfishing is good in the canal as well.
The Manasquan River has bass on eels at night around the Route 35 and train bridges and there are blackfish at the inlet.
Pete Kupper at Charlie’s Bait & Tackle in Normandy Beach said it all shut down when the wind came up. The ocean was like a washing machine.
Just prior to the bad weather, there were blues and albies in the surf hitting small Avas and epoxy lures. He’s waiting to see what happens now that the surf has calmed down.
On the bright, he said there have been a lot of people signing up the annual Surf Turkey Day Tournament taking place over the Thanksgiving Weekend.
Scott at Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park said he actually heard of two bass being caught in the surf over the weekend on bait. But that was it.
Until Wednesday, when Grumpy’s posted a report that the blues were back in the surf at Island Beach State Park hitting mostly bait.
He said there are still a ton of blowfish in Barnegat Bay but not a lot of people were fishing for them due to the wind.
Fishing Forecast for Northern New Jersey
The surf was getting back to normal on Wednesday and the fishing for blues and bass should follow. There’s still plenty of bait around. The sea bass seemed to have weathered the storm and were backbiting on Wednesday. Strike while the iron is hot. You never know when another storm might appear.