Southern New Jersey Fishing Report – November 4, 2021

West Marine striped bass fins up

“They’re here”, which was the sentiment from anglers fishing off Island Beach State Park and northward to Lavallette as 40 to 50-pound striped bass were being landed on live-lined bunker.

We had nice temperature drops over the past week which helped to get the striped bass feed going from the surf, ocean, and jetties. Sea Bass regulations have changed to 13″ and 15″ per person, but anglers will need to go “deep” to find them. Tautog fishing remains very good for action, but keepers have been a little tough as there are lots of 12 to 14-inch fish around. Offshore fishing remained solid over the past week with yellowfin, longfin, and swordfish at the canyons.
 

Fishing Report For Southern New Jersey

Lacey Marine in Forked River in Forked River had good reports of early morning stripers caught on live-lined bunker off Seaside to Lavallette. Anglers working bunker pods found fish to 40 pounds, but all fish were over 38 inches and had to be released. The inlet did have some fish around and boats working live baits have been producing better striped bass.

Creekside Outfitters in Waretown reported good action on striped bass in the inlet off the North and South sides with live eels and spot. Anglers pitching small jigs are also finding some small bluefish in the mix. The canyon bite was excellent over the past week with a variety of species of tuna caught in the Hudson.

snook
A nice snook taken by the author’s son during a family vacation to the west coast of Florida

Reel Reaction Charters out of Waretown and Barnegat Light took a week off to spend a family vacation on the west coast of Florida. Capt. Brett and family booked two charters playing catch-n-release with snook to 35 inches on light-tackle. The skipper will be back in Jersey to resume charters for the rest of the season.

The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light took the weekend off to perform some routine maintenance and will be back in action this weekend to work a few charters on the striped bass that have just arrived. The boat does have tags for slot fish, so book them soon.

Tony’s Bait and Tackle in Manahawkin had quality reports of striped bass action along the inlet and beaches around Barnegat Light. Most of the fish have been running 22 to 27 inches, but there are a few over 28 inches in the mix. Anglers working green crab along the rocks on S&S Jigs have been the ticket for keepable fish, but the shop recommends bringing a bunch as there are a ton on shorts.

One Stop Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City reported similar results this week as AC has been “BANGIN” with fish from striped bass off the jetties, bridges, and piers to tautog to 5 pounds off the rocks. As Noel says, “It’s on!”. With reports of bigger fish moving south, it shouldn’t be long before Atlantic City anglers find success with the cows. The surf has had some action on short striped bass and some bluefish.


Tackle Direct in Egg Harbor City had excellent reports of striped bass on soft plastics and live baits along most of the Great Bay and it’s tributaries. Most of the rivers and sod banks are holding good numbers of short striped bass along with a few keepers. Offshore action was again excellent over the past week with yellowfin, longfin, and some swords coming from the Hudson and Toms canyon.

Tight Lines Bait & Tackle in Somers Point received a few shipments of fresh bait and jumbo bloodworms have been working for striped bass and even a few weakfish along the back bridges and piers. Fishermen working inshore wrecks, rock piles, and bridges are finding excellent numbers of tautog on green crab. Jigs have been working best for keeper blackfish, but you have to work hard to find them.

Sterling Harbor in Wildwood reported striped bass to 25 inches and bluefish off the beaches along with a few remaining kingfish. The water temperatures have dropped so most, if not all of the kingfish have pulled out. Offshore canyon action was hot again this week with limits of yellowfin reported from some of the southern canyons.

Cape May Bait & Tackle in Cape May had a solid report this past week for the Wildwood and Cape May area. Mostly short striped bass on the beaches on clams and cut bunker, although there have been a few keepers in the mix. Tog and some sheepshead are pounding crab baits on the inlet jetties and rock walls. Good numbers of sea bass on the reef sites, but for keepers, anglers need to hit the wrecks farther offshore. The shop did hear of a few swordfish and yellowfin caught at the canyons.

South Jersey Fishing Forecast

This weekend looks excellent for striped bass and the best bet should be hitting the surf, inlets, and oceans in search of bunker-busting bass. Areas towards our north will have better shots at these fish, while our southern locales have excellent back-water action on stripers. Anglers looking to stay busy and enjoy the bite/fight should grab dozens of green crabs and hit the local jetties for non-stop tautog action. Although you are only allowed to keep one fish right now, the fishing end of it makes for action-packed hours of catch-n-release. This is also a great way to sharpen your tog catching skills for the 4-fish season opener in the coming weeks. The weather may be doable for the canyon tuna, but that remains to be seen as it looks like we are getting some wind Saturday. Good Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines!

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