Anglers have plenty to be thankful for this fall as the excellent striper bite continues.
The boaters continue to get the best of the action, but there was definitely an improvement in the beach bite from Sandy Hook to Island Beach State Park. You just had to be willing to put the time in and search around a bit.
Plus, the blackfishing isn’t too bad either. The action has been fair to excellent in the Point Pleasant Canal, at the inlets and all the local reefs and wrecks.
Rick Hebert at Tackle World in Rochelle Park fished the Triangle in Raritan Bay on Saturday and had a great day with stripers.
After catching a load of bass, the boat moved to the Shrewsbury Rocks for some tog fishing and the crew got their limit of blackfish along with some decent sea bass. A short fluke also came over the rail.
Capt. Phil Sciortino at the Tackle Box in Hazlet called this fall’s bass fishing just incredible and the best he’s ever seen. It’s been going on for weeks and they’re still being caught on flutter spoons, shads, live bunker, topwater plugs and on the troll.
Sciortino also reported gator blues have joined the stripers.
Mike Pinto at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright said the surf fishing for stripers slowed down after the full moon. There was a big blitz of fish on the beach last Wednesday on peanut bunker but lately the bite has turned into a pick.
He did say the kayakers are doing very well on bass in the bay and they’ve been catching the big blues as well.
Mike Gleason at Tak Waterman in Long Branch said the beach fishing has been very good lately, especially at night. There have been peanut bunker and big spearing in the wash and the stripers are hitting bass assassins, shads and SP Minnows. He also recommends a teaser.
He, too, got word of blues in with the bass.
Gleason said he went out in search of tuna late last week and while they were nowhere to be found, they did find false albacore, which is a bit unusual for November.
The shop is holding Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales with 30 percent off Tak merchandise along with other special offers.
Short and keeper bass have been hitting shads and plugs in Asbury Park, Ocean Grove and Bradley Beach, mostly at night. There was also an unconfirmed report of a 50-inch bass taken at the Eighth Ave. Jetty in Asbury Park earlier this week.
Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar reported very good fishing lately for winter flounder, stripers, blackfish, blues and porgies.
Matthews said the flounder pounders in Shark River are having no trouble getting their two-fish limit with sandworms and bloodworms doing the trick. The flatties have been up to 18 inches.
He said the striper fishing has been a challenge at times for surf anglers while the boats on the other hand have enjoyed exceptional fishing
Blackfish and porgies are keeping the anglers fishing the bottom busy while tog and sundials are being caught at the inlets.
Matthews said the Den will be open on Thanksgiving for those looking to take a break from food and family.
The party boats out of the Belmar Marina, including the Big Mohawk, Capt. Cal II and Ocean Explorer have been targeting blackfish, porgies and sea bass with varying degrees of success depending on conditions. Some days there are limits while others bring some tough fishing.
Capt. Steve Spinelli on the Skylarker out of Belmar said the striper fishing was very good this past week with lots of keepers and slot fish. The blackfishing was fair to middling with some folks getting their limits and others just one or two keepers.
Capt. Pete Sykes of Parker Pete’s Sportfishing out of Belmar said the striper fishing has been good when you can find them. The bass are moving around with the bunker so some days it takes a bit of searching.
He said there are still a few spots left for the striper extravaganzas scheduled for Thanksgiving Day and the following Sunday. Check Parker Pete’s Facebook page for details.
Capt. Jay Richardella on Side Job Charters out of Belmar said it’s been lights out striper fishing for his charters. He’s been getting them on the troll and with shads. He’s still got a few open dates left in the season.
Paul Puccini at the Reel Seat in Brielle reported good striper fishing on the beach and in the boats. The reports on blackfishing on the local reefs and in the Point Pleasant Canal have been very good.
Jason Szabo at Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach called the blackfishing phenomenal at the Axel Carlson and Sea Girt reefs and at the Shrewsbury Rocks.
The striper fishing has been very good as well out front but not at any particular spot. They’re popping up at different locations so the boats have to travel to find them. Ben Parker flutter spoons, heavy shads and trolling bunker spoons are all catching fish.
He also reported some nice bass being caught in the Manasquan River. Fish up to 18 pounds have been taken on shads.
Capt. Kenny Namowitz on the Mimi VI out of Point Pleasant Beach reported good blackfish action on Monday’s trip with a nice cod coming over the rail along with the tog.
Capt. Kenny has open boat blackfish trips scheduled for December. Check the website for dates and details.
Chris Parlow at Capt. Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach said the blackfish have been cooperating on all the reefs, wrecks and rough spots and in the Point Pleasant Canal.
The striper fishing for the boats slowed up a bit, he said, as it wasn’t always easy to locate the fish. Still, there were fish to be found and many limits were reported.
Parlow said the catch of the week went to Capt. Joe Marotta and the crew of the Seaquester for the 218-pound bigeye they caught last Sunday.
Frank Giacalone at Gabriel Tackle Co. in Brick reported a hot striper bite from right outside the Manasquan Inlet, north to the Shark River Inlet and south to the Barnegat Inlet.
Surf fishing, he said, has been up and down. The bite just hasn’t been very consistent in the last few days.
Pete Kupper at Charlie’s Bait and Tackle in Normandy Beach said striper fishing in the surf was excellent up until last Saturday when it just fell off a cliff. Anglers are still picking a few bass with along with plenty of hickory shad.
Kupper said there are still plenty of bass to the north and he’s expecting another shot of stripers to arrive. He just hopes it’s in time for the annual Surf Turkey Tournament taking place this Thanksgiving Weekend. There is still time to register.
Scott at Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park said the bass fishing from the beach has been hit or miss for the last couple of days. The stripers did show up on Monday night and Jarret Dial caught a bunch of them on a blurple SP Minnow.
He also mentioned a there’s a load of shad in the wash.
Fishing Forecast for Northern New Jersey
Striped bass are as traditional as turkeys on Thanksgiving. There is still plenty of bait around so if you’re walking along the beach to work off extra calories, be sure to have a rod along with shads, SP Minnows and swimming plugs.
Togging has been pretty good as well so jumping on a party boat for blackfish is another holiday option. Happy Thanksgiving.