Southern New Jersey Fishing Report – December 16, 2021

West Marine
tautog
According to Reel Reaction tautog fishing has been good, but a little tough as of late with some quality fish to 9 pounds coming over the rail.

We are nearing the holidays and the good fishing continues to bless South Jersey with striped bass and lots of tog to 8 pounds. Most of the reef sites are producing and when anglers can find small pieces that haven’t been hit, it’s been game on for keeper tog. White leggars have been the key to success with hermits also providing some great action on larger fish. Striped bass action has been good south of Long Beach Island and also way north of Manasquan Inlet. Most of Atlantic county and southward has been experiencing phenomenal bird-plays and good bassing on trolled lures, plugs, and plastic shads. Offshore sea bass action has been excellent with limits on most of the 16hr headboats when they can get out. The only negative of the past week has been the poor wind conditions as very few wind/sea windows have shown.

Fishing Report For Southern New Jersey

Lacey Marine in Forked River reported slower action on striped bass as only some smaller bass have been reported around the inlet on incoming tides. Most of the action has been on live spot and plain AVA jigs. Tog fishing has been slow closer, but better at the southern reef sites such as Atlantic City and Little Egg.
 
Creekside Outfitters in Waretown heard of good striped bass action for anglers running to Manasquan Inlet and most of the action was on jigs. Several northern headboats reported all day action this past week. Tog fishing has been slower, but some anglers reported decent action off the Seaside pipe and Axel reef sites.

Reel Reaction Charters out of Waretown and Barnegat Light was docked due to the weather, but did make it out with MeatEater host and saltwater editor Joe Cermele to bang up tog to 7 pounds. Joe caught his limit on the S & S Whitechin wrecker 1 oz. Tipped with white crabs. The action was spotty, but good due to the tough ocean conditions.

The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light was tied up at the dock the past with due to poor ocean conditions and the boat is nearly finished for the 2021 season.

Tony’s Bait and Tackle in Manahawkin reported good action for anglers and boaters running south of Little Egg inlet. Bird play from 1 to 2 miles out along Brigantine to Atlantic City was great over the past week. Beach anglers have been picking up a few fish here and there, but overall the action has been slow. Surf temperatures have been hovering in the mid to upper 40’s and most of the fish caught have been in the 18 to 22 inch range. Tog fisherman have been coming in the store to purchase jigs in the 3/4 to 1 1/2 oz varieties as the S&S Whitechin wrecker has been doing great on the southern reefs.


One Stop Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City reported good action for boaters as the past week had striped bass to 34 inches being caught under steady bird play 1 to 3 miles out. The jetties had a few anglers working for tog and there have been some keepers around, but its slower action with the colder water temperatures.

Tackle Direct in Egg Harbor City had some nice reports of keeper white perch being landed in the Mullica and Tuckahoe rivers. Anglers are also catching some small striped bass in the mix with most in the 16 to 22 inch variety. Tog fisherman reported great action from the Ocean City, Wildwood, and Cape May reef sites.

Badfish Charters in Ocean City was working some of the bird play this past week from Strathmere to Ocean city. Most of the action has been a mile or two off the beach and soft plastics and jigs were the hot lures. The skipper will be wrapping up his season pretty soon as the preparation for the 2022 season begins.

Tight Lines Bait & Tackle in Somers Point reported a great bite on Niners and umbrella shads over the past week with anglers catching striped bass to 2 miles out. Trollers have been picking up multiple fish on umbrella rigs. The shop received a large shipment of trolling gear and jumbo bloodworms as the backwaters and tidal creeks have been providing action on striped bass and white perch.

Sterling Harbor in Wildwood had great reports of tog action from the extreme southern reefs with a good number of keepers coming off the Wildwood and Cape May reef sites. A few of the local charter boats reported keepers over 10 pounds being released at one of the reef sites. The tog action has been red hot on white crabs and light jigs. Striped bass fishing remains steady with some nice action occurring 2 to 3 miles out on trolled umbrella rigs.

Cape May Bait & Tackle in Cape May had reported some striped bass action occurring offshore of the beaches and good tog fishing at the Cape May reef site on white leggars. The shop is closed for the rest of the 2021 season and will re-open in March of 2022. The store-owners wanted to wish all of their patrons a happy holidays.

South Jersey Fishing Forecast

The best bet for the weekend may be to hit some wrecks for Tautog as it looks like there may be a rainy, calm sea window for Saturday. Unfortunately Sunday looks like a blowout for most boat and beach anglers. Tog action has been excellent on the jigs tipped with white crab and it is imperative to use the lightest jig possible while competing with ocean currents and wave action. The bite has been so good along the Wildwood and Cape May reef sites that several fish in the 10+ pound range have been released. It’s also a great thing to see anglers taking nice pictures and releasing this big breeders. If your fishing out of Barnegat Inlet, it is probably worth the run to the Axel as limits of blackfish have been taken. Be Safe, and Tight Lines!

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