The past week ended our New Jersey flounder season and most areas reported some nicer fish being caught, but tougher on the slot category. Most anglers were happy with the season even with the 1-inch differential slot fish. There is a lull for charter and headboats as the sea bass season does not open until October 8th. Opportunities are still out there as our bays and inlets have striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, and tog. The tog fishing has been excellent off most of the jetties and anglers are easily catching their 1-fish limit. The upcoming weekend looks to be a blowout as the remnants of Ian reaching our areas.
Here is this week’s rundown:
Hook House Bait & Tackle in Toms River reported bluefish off the front and back sides of Island Beach State Park. The fluke season ended the past week and some anglers were able to pull some keepers around the Barnegat Inlet area. Tog were hitting off the rocks around the Barnegat inlet. Striped bass have been active off the surf and in the bay with the best bites coming at night.
Lacey Marine in Forked River reported decent fluke fishing in the bay as the winds and sea conditions had anglers stuck inside. Decent tautog fishing off the rock jetties of Barnegat Inlet and green crabs have been working the best. Schools of bluefish have also been marauding baitfish on the ebb and flow tides. Offshore action remains excellent for yellowfin and mahi in the central canyons.
Jerzey Buoyz Sportfishing did some prospecting this past week and had a decent tog bite at the inshore wrecks. With fluke season over, the skipper will be prepping for the upcoming sea bass opener.
Creekside Outfitters in Waretown received some decent reports of quality fluke to 6 pounds being caught the last remaining days of the season. Anglers working small metals have been scoring on bluefish around the inlet and off the surf. The midshore ridges have some bonita, false albacore and spanish mackerel mixed in. Tog fishing has been very good off the jetty rocks on green crab.
Reel Reaction Sportfishing out of Waretown finished up the fluke season with a solid trip of 8 keepers to 5 pounds caught in the bay. The skipper also ran a few 3-hour blowfish trips boxing up to 80 puffers. The crew will be setting up for upcoming trips of sea bass and tautog season on the bigger boat. There are open dates for night-time striped bass fishing on the shallow water boat, give them a call.
The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light was working inshore wrecks for the final days of the fluke season and Capt. Ted reported some nice fish being caught. The boat has also been sailing for yellowfin tuna at the canyons when the weather windows are good. The skipper did let me know that there are some sea bass dates available, so give them a ring.
Tony’s Bait & Tackle in Manahawkin received decent reports of snapper bluefish being caught along the beaches of Long Beach Island and the inlet area. Small metals or bucktails were working the best. Striped bass have also been caught off the surf with the best bites occurring at night. Fisherman dropping green crabs on jigs have been finding good tautog action off the inlet jetties.
Tackle Direct in Egg Harbor City had good reports of yellowfin and mahi being landed from the canyons. The lobster pots are thick with quality sized mahi out there. False albacore and spanish mackerel from the inshore lumps on trolled feathers were reported. Bluefish and small striped bass provided good action for anglers working the bridges and shoreline.
Tight Lines Bait & Tackle in Somers Point had nice reports of some wahoo and yellowfin being caught around the offshore canyons with trolled lures working the best. The shop is stocked with green crabs, blood worms, and fresh bunker for a variety of species. Tog fishing has been excellent off the rocks while bluefish and striped bass have been cooperative around the larger bridges.
Badfish Charters in Ocean City reported some fun striper fishing in the backwaters on poppers and small plugs. The skipper has been working the shallow flats with top-waters to produce some good striped bass action. There are still a few dates remaining for early October.
Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain in New Jersey!
The Cape May and Wildwood areas ended the flounder season strong with some nicer fish to 8 pounds landed on the inshore wrecks.Beach fishing continued to provide good action on a variety of species. Bloodworms, clam, and bunker baits have been producing striped bass, bluefish, kingfish, and croakers off the surf. The rock jetties and bridges were good for keeper tautog on green crabs. Offshore reports were slower this week, but a few boats did box limits of yellowfin at the Spencer and Wilmington canyons along with some quality mahi.
South Jersey Fishing Forecast
The best bet for the weekend may be to remove the flounder gear from the boats, cars, or trucks and start prepping for the fall season. Leftover Ian is supposed to hit us from Friday night to Monday. A few hardy anglers may be able to drop green crabs off the jetty rocks for tautog, but most fishing will be very challenging to say the least. Once the system passes, look for striped bass and bluefish opportunities at the inlets as quite a few have been caught over the past week. The schools of peanut bunker and mullet are starting to move and with that comes excellent feeding opportunities for our gamefish. Early Saturday morning may be a small window to target our bay striped bass and with the approaching low they could be on the feed.
Good Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines!