New Jersey Fishing Report – January 6, 2021

Anthony Hacker caught this 12-pound cod fishing aboard the Skylarker out of Belmar last Sunday.

The change in the calendar brought a change in the fishing.

It was bound to happen and a bit overdue, but the striper fishing finally slowed down.

The surf was giving up bass, especially on Island Beach State Park, over the weekend. But the arrival of colder weather at the beginning of the week hurt the bite and participation.

Die-hards are still picking fish here and there, but it looks like the majority of bass anglers have put their gear away for a couple of months.

The blackfishing, on the other hand, is holding up well, with the local wrecks and reefs giving up some nice tog.

Rick Hebert at Tackle World in Rochelle Park said he heard of bass caught on the beach over the weekend but things went quiet with the arrival of the chilly weather. He had good reports on the togging but that was about it for the new year.

Mike Gleason at Tak Waterman in Long Branch said things have definitely slowed down in the surf. He said the birds are still diving on bait off the beach there and he believes there are bass around.

He gave it a try on the beach on Monday night but got nothing but frozen hands for his efforts.

The store has gone to winter hours open every day except Tuesday from 10 to 5 and from 10 to 4 on Sundays. Gleason said the shop is fully stocked for all your off-season needs and new gear is always coming in.

The Mimi VI out of Point Pleasant Beach shared this photo of a 11.3-pound blackfish caught on Tuesday’s trip.

Although the striper season in rivers and bays closed last Friday, Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar said the Shark River is still loaded with peanut bunker and spearing and small stripers are feeding on them.

The blackfish boats out of the Belmar Marina, such as the Big Mohawk and Capt. Cal II, are doing well with blackfish when they can sail. Rough weather and a shortage of anglers has kept the boats at the dock on some days.

It was a good year for winter flounder, he said, and that season reopens in less than two months on March 1.

Capt. Steve Spinelli on the Skylarker out of Belmar said his charters have been doing pretty well with blackfish. Last Sunday’s trip saw Anthony Hacker land an 8-pound blackfish and a 12-pound cod.

Steve Thomas at the Reel Seat in Brielle said the best thing going on now is the blackfishing. He did say that the boats bottom fishing have been catching more ling on recent trips.

Vinny at Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach said he hasn’t seen any anglers chasing bass on the beach for a couple of days.

He did, however, see a photo of a 21-pound blackfish caught aboard the Riptide. Vinny said the boat’s owner is a good customer and the fish was released. A 14-pounder was landed on the same trip.

Capt. Kenny Namowitz on the Mimi VI said the togging has been very good lately and Wednesday’s trip was no exception.

He reported lots of limits around the boat with an 11.3-pound tog the fish of the day.  He also added that the stripers are still around and two keeper bass came over the rail.

The Mimi VI is sailing open boat for blackfish through January. Check the website for details.

Frank Giacalone at Gabriel Tackle Co. in Brick reported that the blackfish bite on the local wrecks and reefs remains good with plenty of anglers limiting out.

Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park shared this photo of George Browne and the keeper bass he caught from the beach on New Year’s Eve.

Ray Kerico at Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle said the stripers were still biting in the surf over the weekend hitting paddle tail shads, sand eel imitations and 5-inch metal-lipped swimmers.

George Brown fished in the fog on New Year’s Eve and nailed a keeper on a Hopkins.

Then the snow hit and everything went quiet. He suspects the fish are still around but nobody has really been fishing.

Grumpy’s is now on winter hours open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Fishing Forecast for New Jersey

The weekend weather looks less than promising with snow, cold and rain in the forecast. If you still want to give it a go, blackfishing looks to be the best option. The bite appears to be improving and there have been some big pigs landed in the last week.





1 thought on “New Jersey Fishing Report – January 6, 2021

  1. Paul

    Caught a nice striped bass keeper on sandy hook New Year’s Day plenty of peanut bunker in the water

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.