Southern New Jersey Fishing Report – October 28, 2021

West Marine

The weekend looks fishable with seas calming down enough to provide some inshore action on short sea bass, trolled stripers north of Island Beach State Park, and tog along most of the jetties and bridges.  The problem was the most recent nor’easter putting a damper on the mid-week fishing, but it may have started to push some of the striped bass down from the north.  The ocean water around the Barnegat Light area is still hitting 65 degrees, so we have some time before the temperatures get in “the zone.”  Reports from the tuna grounds proved excellent over the weekend with lots of yellowfin being landed, but time will tell if the storm sent them swimming.  Bay action has been better with cooler nights, and the resident striper population has responded with increased activity at a variety of bay locations down the coast.  A few more days until November, which has been historically been the best month to land bass.

Here is this week’s rundown:

Lacey Marine in Forked River had some reports of large stripers to 35 pounds being trolled off of Seaside and Lavallette, but it was very spotty.  Tautog fishing has been excellent, but it has been tough getting fish over 15 inches as there are a ton of little ones around.  Blowfish are still in the bay, but the action has slowed up.

Creekside Outfitters in Waretown reported some striped bass being caught from the inlet and the back-channels, but most of the fish have been under 28 inches.  Tog fishing was active off the inlet rocks, but there are lots of small fish. The storm the past week had most fishermen tied to the dock.

Reel Reaction Sportfishing tautog
Reel Reaction Sportfishing was limiting out on keeper tautog before the storm pushed through.

Reel Reaction Sportfishing out of Waretown/Barnegat Light had a busy weekend catching close to 75 striped bass over 5 charters, but most were released except for a dozen tagged fish. The charters did switch over to tautog and some trips limited on keepers amongst over 50 shorts.

The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light was out over the weekend targeting sea bass on the inshore and midshore wrecks.  The sea bass fishing has been good for short fish, but tougher on finding ones over 12.5 inches.  As the water begins to cool, the boat will eventually switch over to striped bass and bluefish.

Tony’s Bait & Tackle in Manahawkin had reports of striped bass from the local jetties and bridges, but action has been best late at night or very early in the morning.  Soft plastics, live spot or live eels have been hooking the most fish.  Sea bass fishing has been good, but anglers need to travel far to find them over 12.5 inches. Tog fishing remained good up until the most recent blow and green crabs tipped on S&S jigs are doing the best.

One Stop Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City reported good fishing even in the tough conditions as trying to the feel the subtle tog bite in the winds is challenging.  Anglers working green crabs on the Magictail jig are producing keeper tog to 3 pounds.  It is fun fishing as there are alot of small ones in the mix.  Anglers pitching clam from some of the jetties reported black drum and even a few redfish in the mix.  The surf reports were a tad slow this week due to the mid-week blow.

Tackle Direct in Egg Harbor City had good reports of striped bass and some white perch along Mullica over the weekend as the weather finally cooperated.  The mid-week weather had most anglers tied to the dock, but there are still opportunities to find keepable tog at the inlets and jetties with tog jigs like the MagicTail Game Changer.

Tight Lines Bait & Tackle in Somers Point received a fresh supply of shucked clams and sand fleas over the week, and the green crabs are back in stock.  Anglers drifting eels have found striped bass along the back channels of Ocean City, and around the bridges at night.  The daytime bite has been slower on live spot, so the shop recommends fishing the dark hours of the tide.  Tog have been active along most of the rocks, bridges, and pilings on green crabs, and there are still a few triggerfish around.  The past week was slow due to the recent nor’easter.

Sterling Harbor in Wildwood reported a slower week in the report category as the winds and rain put a damper on the fishing, but the weekend was cooperative.  Anglers making it to the deeper wrecks have found sea bass and triggerfish caught on clam and squid baits.  The beaches had some action for schoolie striped bass and snapper bluefish with anglers casting small metals doing the best.  The Cape May and Wildwood reef sites have been providing action on sea bass, triggerfish, bluefish, and croakers with both regular and red clam working.  Tautog were still being caught around the inlet jetties and bridges on green crab.

Cape May Bait & Tackle in Cape May had few angler reports this past week with the strong low pressure system that moved along the coast.  The weekend provided better weather and action for anglers with the Cape May and Delaware Bay beaches having some small striped bass, bluefish, and croakers around.  The reef sites have been good for sea bass, but you need to fish far and deep.

South Jersey Fishing Forecast

The first half of the weekend looks a little rough for boaters with wave heights to 6 to 7 foot, but Sunday looks like the best bet to target a variety of our coastal species.  Tautog fishing has been excellent in terms of activity with lots of small fish on wrecks and the rock-lined jetties.  Green crabs tipped on traditional rigs or tog jigs have been the tactics of choice.  If looking for striped bass, then targeting our South Jersey backwaters are the best bets.  Deeper holes along the channels, tidal creeks, and sod banks are great places to start.  Additionally, our bridges and inlets provide ample locations to target these fish.  Unfortunately, the weekend winds may place a damper on the canyon or mid-shore sea bass fishing due to large seas.  Good Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines!

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