Northern New Jersey Fishing Report – December 16, 2021

West Marine
Tak Waterman in Long Branch shared this photo of Skyler Wilson and the bluefin tuna he caught on a Hogy paddle tail last Friday.

The stripers haven’t gone anywhere.

Anglers continue to catch bass from Raritan Bay down to Long Beach Island. The boats are out-fishing beach anglers as the surf is proving to be a hit or miss proposition.

Most reports indicate the blackfishing is pretty good and appears to be getting better.

And those with boats still in the water are chasing bluefin. It seems everybody is seeing them but getting them to bite has been another story.

Rick Hebert at Tackle World in Rochelle Park said the bass bite continues strong in the back of Raritan Bay all the way to the Garden State Parkway. Trolling, shads and flutter spoons are all working.

The blackfishing has been pretty good, he said, with the better fishing on the northern spots.

Capt. Phil Sciortino at the Tackle Box in Hazlet said it’s still a crazy striper bite in the back bay with most of the fish in the keeper range. They’re being caught from boats, docks, rocks and beaches.

Toggers are doing well when they can get out but a lot of folks have already pulled their boats for the season.

Mike Pinto at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright said the surfcasters there are still picking fish but the action is far from hot. You’ve got to put the time in, he said, with the night hours more productive.

After Dec. 22, Giglio’s will switch to winter hours, open on Saturdays only until noon or by appointment.

Mike Gleason at Tak Waterman in Long Branch said the surf guys are doing fairly well on stripers fishing shads and bucktails. He said holes along the beaches are holding sand eels.

He said the boats off the beach are still catching plenty of striped bass while the blackfishing is getting better.

Madd Mantis poppers and Hogy paddle tails continue to catch bluefin for the boats that can find them. Skyler Wilson got a 50-inch bluefin on a paddle tail last Friday.

Small bass are in the Asbury Park/Ocean Grove surf with the bite mostly after sunset. SP Minnows and Red Fins along with a teaser are working.

Speaking of Asbury Park, don’t forget the Asbury Park Fishing Club’s Annual Fishing Show will be on Sunday, March 20 at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel in Asbury Park, starting at 9 a.m.

Capt. Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach shared this photo of Bruce Stout with the 19.7-pound tog he caught aboard Gone Fishing last week.

Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar said that even though it’s almost Christmas, the striped bass are still around. Sand eels finally made an appearance on the beach and small bass are all over them.

He said the bite is better after dark on black bombers and blurple SP minnows. He recommends adding a teaser.

During the day, Tsunami six-inch sand eels or Ava 17s with a green tail are a good bet. Again, go with a teaser.

Matthews said the blackfishing on the party boats such as the Big Mohawk and Capt. Cal II has been very good with a lot of limit catches and some really nice fish.

The flounder bite is holding up well in the Shark River and many folks are also fishing for sundials, Matthews said. They’re plentiful and very good eating with no bag limit.


Capt. Pete Sykes on Parker Pete’s Sportfishing out of Belmar said the stripers are all along the beaches and his charters have been crushing them on jigs and on the troll. He believes the fish will be around until January.

He’ll be switching it up a bit on Friday heading out for blackfish. Check the website for details on upcoming striper and tog trips.

Capt. Jay Richardella of Side Job Charters out of Belmar made his last trip of the season on Tuesday and he left them biting. He was blackfishing for the finale and called the tog bite awesome.  The boats, he added, are still catching plenty of striped bass.

Capt. Steve Spinelli on the Skylarker out of Belmar said the blackfishing on his last two trips has been very good with fish up to 9 pounds. He also said his charters have been picking up occasional porgies and sea bass as well.

He plans on sailing through January.

Steve Thomas at the Reel Seat also reported bass all along the beaches of Monmouth and Ocean counties. He reported better concentrations of fish to the south off Island Beach State Park and Long Beach Island.

The togging has been good, he said, at the Manasquan Inlet and at the Axel Carlson. He added that a number of their customers have been out chasing bluefin.

Kyle Tanger at Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach said schoolie bass are biting at the Manasquan Inlet early in the morning and at night. The outgoing tide has been best with 4-inch plastics on a half- or three-quarter ounce jig heads doing the trick. Nothing big, he said, but fun on light tackle.

There have also been pockets of bass on the beaches, he said, feeding on sand.

eels. The blackfishing has been good, he said, with the better fishing on deeper spots out past the local reefs.

He was out chasing tuna on Monday and said they saw plenty of them but just couldn’t get them to bite.

If you’re looking to try something different this weekend, Kyle said the freshwater action has been good for trout and panfish.

Chris Parlow at Capt. Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach said the striper fishing continues to be on fire. There’s still a lot of fish being caught even with the reduced participation. There seems to be more fish than fishermen in these days.

Sand eel umbrella rigs have been working on the troll while shads and plugs are catching bass breaking on top. He also said there are stripers in the Point Pleasant Canal.

The blackfishing, he added, was very good this past week at the Axel Carlson and Sea Girts reefs. The highlight was the 19.7-pound tog caught by Bruce Stout aboard the Gone Fishing.

Capt. Kenny Namowitz on the Mimi VI out of Point Pleasant Beach said the blackfishing this week has been very good on his trips. He even reported a striper caught on a white crab. He’s been sailing open boat tog trips on selected dates in December. Check the website for details.

Pete Kupper at Charlie’s Bait and Tackle in Normandy Beach said anglers are picking up small stripers in the surf there, mainly at first light and on the outgoing tide.

He said to make sure you have a variety of offerings as the fish can’t decide on a favorite. The stripers are hitting Tsunami sand eels, small Avas, teasers, small needlefish and bucktails.

He also reported stripers being caught in the back bay on shads.

Scott at Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park also reported bass in the surf there hitting sand eel imitations.

He said there are bigger bass to be had back in Barnegat Bay. Bucktails have been the ticket for those fish.

Scott said the togging has been good on the reefs, but it’s slowed down on the inlet jetties and at the Point Pleasant Canal.

Fishing Forecast for New Jersey

Striped bass continue to be the target. The boats are getting the best of the action on shads, flutter spoons and on the troll. Sand eel imitations with a teaser are working for surfcasters early in the morning and at night.

Reports all indicate an improvement in the tog fishing with the deeper pieces offering the best fishing.

West Marine store finder

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.