Northern New Jersey Fishing Report- August 11, 2022

Fluke fishing around the rivers, beaches and bays remains productive, and offshore anglers enjoy tuna, mahi and wahoo.

The dreaded south wind started blowing during last week’s heat wave and while the thermometer climbed, water temperatures fell. The high winds and cold water made for a challenging week of fishing. Still, those that made the effort were rewarded. A couple of double-digit fluke were reported this week by party boats, tuna anglers tracked down yellowfin and bigeye and the surf gave up fluke, blues and bass. 

And when the wind switched on Wednesday, the fishing improved almost immediately. 

Capt. Phil Sciortino at The Tackle Box in Hazlet said the fluke fishing was very good this past week. Anglers fishing rough bottom at Scotland Grounds and the Rattlesnake landed fish up to 11 pounds. Sciortino said blues and snappers are in Raritan Bay and there are porgies around but that fishing has been just so-so.  

Mike Pinto at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright said it was a bit quiet there this week with the south wind making for tough conditions in the surf. Pinto did say big blues up to 10 pounds blitzed the beach earlier this week and there are fluke in the wash but small fish outnumbered keepers. The crabs in the rivers, though, are big and the crabbing has been very good.  

Nick D’Eufemia jumped on the American Mustang out of Long Branch this week and was rewarded with a 76-pound wahoo during a short afternoon trip.

The 76-pound wahoo measured 70-inches in length. (Instagram:

Mike Gleason at TAK Waterman in Long Branch went diving off the beach earlier this week and reported seeing a lot of fluke in relatively shallow water. Surfcasters are catching a lot of shorts, he said, but there have been some keepers. Squid, Gulp and bucktails will do the trick. He said he saw plenty of schoolie bass on the same dive and there are triggerfish around as well. Tuna fishing remains hit or miss, he said, but there have been a number of nice mahi-mahi caught in the 20-pound range. Corey Hutting landed a 16-pounder earlier this week. Bait is building up in the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers and both are thick with peanut bunker. It was a tough week for me in the Ocean Grove surf with the south wind sending the water temperature plummeting. Fluking was slow but there is more bait showing up in the wash. 

Tak Waterman in Long Branch posted this photo of Corey Hutting and the lit up mahi-mahi he caught earlier this week.

Bob Matthews at Fishermen’s Den in Belmar said fishing is good right now with the number of keeper fluke in the Shark River on the rise.  He also reported that party boats are doing well ocean fluking despite the colder water temps. The Big Mohawk out of the Belmar proved there are big fish around on Tuesday when Dan Mancini boated a 13-pound doormat. Offshore, Matthews said he’s been getting good reports on tuna, sharks, mahi-mahi and cobia. He’s also hearing good things about triggers and kingfish around the jetties and at the Shark River Inlet. Worms and clams are working for them. 

The crew of the Big Mohawk with Dan Mancini and the 13-pound doormat he caught on Tuesday’s trip.

Capt. Pete Sykes on Parker Pete’s Sportfishing out of Belmar said it was a tough week of fishing with all the south wind. Then on Tuesday’s open boat trip, with the wind still blowing, the fish started to chew. Capt. Sykes said there were multiple limits all around the boat and plenty of keepers caught.  Parker Pete’s will be running open boat trips next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Fluking was excellent on last Tuesday’s trip aboard Parker Pete’s Sportfishing out of Belmar.

Capt. Steve Spinelli on the Skylarker out of Belmar said it was a slow week with the chilly water but he still managed to put fluke, sea bass and ling in the coolers for his charters. 

Capt. Jay Richardella on Side Job Charters said the winds made it difficult to sail this week but he got out Tuesday night and was rewarded for his effort with several yellowfin about 50 miles out. Capt. Richardella still has some open dates for inshore and offshore trips and can be contacted through his website. 

Capt. Jay Richardella of Side Job Charters found this yellowfin about 50 miles out on Wednesday’s trip.

Logan at The Reel Seat in Brielle said the word that best describes fishing right now is inconsistent. Offshore, the yellowfin are scattered all over the place and while bluefin have been spotted, it’s been hard to get them to bite. He also heard of a few swordfish being landed. Fluking, on the other, hand is very good in the Manasquan River and there are stripers and blues to be caught off the beach. 

Kyle Tanger at Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach said the fluke boats struggled over the weekend with the cold water. The wind finally switched to the northeast on Wednesday and the bite improved almost immediately. The fluking never faltered in the Manasquan River, he said, especially toward the back where the water stayed warm. Small bass and blues are also in the river. The bass are still eating sand fleas on the beach and Tanger said he’s been getting good reports of triggerfish and sheepshead around jetties and offshore rockpiles. Tuna fishing is up and down from what he is hearing but the mahi fishing has been good at the Mud Hole and Chicken Canyon.  

Chris Parlow at Capt. Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach said the inshore tuna bite has been hot and cold over the last week. The fish are moving quickly, he said, and never seem to set up on one location. He did report a number of cobia have been caught and there is a good mahi bite going on. Parlow did say fluke fishing has been a struggle for the last week on the local reefs, but those anglers who work hard continue to put together limits of fish. Inshore areas right outside the inlet seem to be holding better fluke. Sea bass and triggerfish are also being caught.  

Capt. Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach shared this photo of a yellowfin brought to the dock earlier this week.

Capt. Danny Gregory on the Norma K III out of Point Pleasant Beach said the chilly water made for tough fishing but it got a lot better on Wednesday when the wind switched. Along with more and bigger fluke, the boat also saw some nice sea bass come over the rail.  The Norma K sails three-quarter day trips Monday through Friday and two half-day trips on the weekend. 

Last Monday was a good day to be aboard the Norma K III out of Point Pleasant Beach.

Frank Giacalone at Gabriel Tackle in Brick said the Point Pleasant Canal has been producing plenty of stripers on eels and swim shads overnight and early in the morning. He’s also had good reports of blackfish in the canal and at the inlet. The current limit on those is one fish at 15 inches. Crabbing, he said, remains good in the bay and lagoons with some nice size crabs being landed.  

Pete Kupper at Charlie’s Bait and Tackle in Normandy Beach said it was a weird week with the incessant southerly wind and cold water making things difficult. The blues showed up off the beach now and then, he said, but they really have yet to get going. There’s plenty of fluke in the Manasquan River and the north end of Barnegat Bay but you have to weed through a lot of shorts. Blowfish are in the bay, he said, but not as thick as last year. 

Ray Kerico at Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park said the fluking in the surf there remains strong with weigh-ins at the shop this week up to 4 pounds. There’s also been cocktail blues off the beach hitting epoxy jigs and metal. Kerico said blowfish are being caught off the local docks and the crabbing keeps getting better in Barnegat Bay. 

Best Bets for the Weekend

Now that the weather has turned in our favor, fluking looks to be the best option for the weekend. More and bigger fluke are showing up on the reefs and rockpiles as summer moves to its conclusion. Rough bottom is yielding larger fish, just make sure you have extra tackle to cover your losses. 

Fishing for other summer favorites also looks to be improving with snappers and crabs in the bays and rivers and blues, kingfish and fluke off the beaches. 

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