Northern New Jersey Fishing Report- July 21, 2022

Bluefish, bass and fluke bite well in the surf and back bays, meanwhile, the bluefin and yellowfin bite picks up within 10-miles of shore.

The fishing is nearly as hot as the weather. 

Yellowfin tuna keep moving east with reports of fish caught as close as 10 miles. Most folks are jigging, but the tuna are also being taken on the troll and with poppers. There are bluefin in the mix as well. More bait has moved onto the beaches fueling the fluke and bluefish bites and small bass continue to hit sand crabs and small plugs in the surf. The wrecks and reefs are giving up more and bigger fluke with anglers filling out their catches with sea bass, ling and triggerfish.  

Mark at Tackle World in Rochelle Park said the fluking off the beaches has been very good with 4-inch Gulp grubs doing the trick. He also said there are small blues biting at Sandy Hook early in the morning. On the freshwater side, he reported good bass fishing at Spruce Run Reservoir along the edges on Senkos early in the morning or the evening. 

Mike Pinto at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright said loads of rainfish showed up on the beach at Sandy Hook and the fluke bite took off accordingly. Pinto did report Rob the Grinder got a 26 incher in the surf. He also said there was a lot of peanut bunker off the beach. Blues are being caught off the beach on poppers and metal and the crabbing has exploded in the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers. 

Vegas Vin, a regular at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright, got this fat bass in the surf on a popper.

Mike Gleason at TAK Waterman in Long Branch said the yellowfin keep moving closer and the boats are getting them on jigs and poppers. The boats are also getting triggerfish and he’s hearing about more cobia offshore. The fluking continues to be decent off the beach and he said there seem to be more stripers hanging around the jetties. He, too, is getting better crabbing reports from the rivers. Striped bass continue to bite on sand bugs in the Ocean Grove surf and Wednesday saw the arrival of loads of small baitfish in the surf. That should help the fluking. The cow nose rays were also gliding around in the waves. 

Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar said the overall fishing is very good. The party boats out of the marina, including the Big Mohawk and Capt. Cal II, have been doing well on their fluke trips with plenty of limits and pool fish in the 6-pound range. Bluefishing on the party boats has also been good with plenty of topwater action. Fluking remains strong in the in the Shark River with lots of keepers on the rental boats. Matthews also reported bluefish invaded the Shark River Inlet earlier this week. There’s lots of bait around, he said, and snappers have finally showed up in the Shark River.   

Capt. Pete Sykes of Parker Pete’s Sportfishing out of Belmar said the fluking has been good when conditions cooperate. He’s been fishing rough bottom and getting some nice fluke up to 6 pounds. He has open boat trips scheduled for this Friday and Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. 

Capt. Steve Spinelli of the Skylarker out of Belmar said his charters have been catching a wide variety of fish in the last week. There’s been fluke up to 5 pounds, sea bass, cod, ling and mackerel. There have also been a few sharks and last Saturday saw an 8-pound white hake come aboard. 

This 8-pound white hake was caught last Saturday aboard the Skylarker out of Belmar.

Capt. Jay Richardella of Side Job Charters out of Belmar said he’s been crushing the yellowfin just 20 miles out. He’s been getting all of his fish on the troll but the folks jigging them have also been doing well. Monday’s trip went 4-for-8 on jumbo yellowfin with a couple of heartbreakers right at the boat. There are bluefin in the mix and Capt. Jay has open dates for tuna. He is also fishing for fluke, blues and sea bass. Check his website for details. 

Side Job Charters out of Belmar shared this photo of one of the big yellowfin caught on last Monday’s charter.

Kyle Tanger at Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach said the inshore tuna bite is on. The Manasquan and Barnegat ridges and inshore lumps are all giving up fish. Nomad Streaker and Mustad Moonriser jigs are doing the trick as is trolling side trackers. Tanger said there are cobia around as well. RonZ and Bill Hurley soft baits will work for them. He also reported bass in the surf on sand crabs and Spanish mackerel off the beaches. Fluking on the local reefs has gotten a lot better, he said, especially on the Sea Girt Reef and the southern end of the Axel Carlson. It’s also been good at the Farms and Rattlesnake. 

Chris Parlow at Capt. Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach reported that fluke fishing remained strong over the weekend with many limits being reported on the Axel and Sea Girt Reefs. Fishing in the Manasquan Inlet remained solid with fluke and blues caught from the sea wall. The tuna bite also continued strong with yellowfin and bluefin being caught at a number of different inshore locations. There were also some large mahi-mahi caught by those venturing out to the canyons. 

The crew of Reel Fuelish and the yellowfin they weighed in at Capt. Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach.

Capt. Danny Gregory on the Norma K III out of Point Pleasant Beach said the fluking has been good as long as they don’t have to battle bad conditions. A stiff southerly wind can ruin a good day of fluking in a minute. There were a couple of days this past week that saw 20 to 40 keepers come over the rail. Capt. Gregory said they’ve also been doing well on their Saturday night trips for bluefish and mackerel with some ling getting into the mix. 

A nice fluke caught aboard the Norma K III out of Point Pleasant Beach earlier this week.

Capt. Kenny Namowitz on the Mimi VI out of Point Pleasant Beach reported getting in on the inshore tuna bite. He’s also got open boat dates for fluke, ling and sea bass. Check the website for details. 

 Frank Giacalone at Gabriel Tackle in Brick said the tuna bite has finally kicked off with good reports of yellowfin at the Atlantic Princess, Little Italy, and the Resor Wreck. Jigging, chunking, and trolling are all working. He reported plenty of good fluke fishing at the north end of Barnegat Bay and blowfish caught over the weekend around the BI and BB buoys. He also said the Point Pleasant canal has been producing plenty of stripers on eels and swim shads and crabbing at the Mantoloking Bridge has been really good.  

Also in Brick, the local West Marine is hosting a Tackle Tuesday seminar on July 26 from 6-9 p.m. with Captain Dan Bias, to demonstrate bucktailing for fluke and jigging for blackfish.

Pete Kupper at Charlie’s Bait and Tackle in Normandy Beach said there’s a lot of nice fluke being caught off the beach. Spanish mackerel are popping up for surfcasters and there are blues and bass around. Crabs in the bay are getting bigger and snappers are starting to show. Cow nose rays are cruising the in the wash so keep an eye on your rods if you’re dead sticking.  

Scott Thomas at Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park said the fluking off the beach remains excellent with Gulp and bucktails. Surfcasters are also catching blues and Spanish mackerel. Boaters are also doing very well with fluke on the wrecks and reefs and they are also finding a few cobia around. Triggerfish are being landed at the inlet jetties, Thomas said, and there are blues in the southern part of Barnegat Bay. Crabbing, he added, is excellent. 

Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain in New Jersey!

Best Bets for the Weekend

Warmer water and an influx of small baitfish on the beaches has juiced up the fluke and bluefish fishing. Gulp and bucktails or spearing and squid will do for the fluke while metal, topwater plugs and mullet will catch the blues. 

The yellowfin bite on the inshore spots got hot over the last week with jigs catching fish up to 70 pounds. Boats on the troll are also picking up tuna. 

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