Northern New Jersey Fishing Report- October 27, 2022

Tautog fishing remains productive and stripers pack into Raritan Bay, while yellowfin and bigeye tuna crush live baits offshore.

The wild striper bite continues. Although wet, foggy and windy weather made for challenging conditions at the beginning of the week, jumbo bass were caught from beaches and boats. The best fishing was north of the Shark River Inlet, especially in Raritan Bay. 

At the same time, the offshore tuna action has been outstanding for yellowfin and bigeye. The majority of the fish are being taken on bait.

Blackfishing has also been good, especially in the Point Pleasant Canal. The sea bass fishing, however, has been off, with reports indicating loads of short fish around and not a lot of keepers. 

Rick Hebert at Tackle World in Rochelle Park said they’re still catching big bass in Raritan Bay. Boaters are also getting them up the Hudson River and by the Statue of Liberty. There’s plenty of trout to be caught as well, he said, following the fall stocking in rivers and streams. The recent rain has helped get water levels up.

Capt. Phil Sciortino at the Tackle Box in Hazlet said bass are everywhere. They’re being caught at Raritan Bay Park in South Amboy, all over the bay, at the Rip on Sandy Hook and down along the beaches. There are keepers among the jumbos and they’re hitting just about everything including poppers, swimmers, flutter spoons and shads. Capt. Sciortino fished the bay in the rain on Sunday with his son, Patrick, and got bass up to 50 pounds. They were feeding on peanut bunker.

Patrick Sciortino of the Tackle Box in Hazlet with a big striper caught last Sunday in Raritan Bay.

Mike Pinto at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright said the bass have been on the beach from Sandy Hook down to Monmouth Beach. All of the stripers have been big, between 25 and 30 pounds with some larger, and there are keepers in the mix. Pinto said OutCast Lures, swim shads, Doc Spooks and bucktails were all catching fish.

Mike Gleason at TAK Waterman in Long Branch said the fishing is excellent. The boats are crushing the stripers in Raritan Bay and off the beaches on Doc Spooks, flutter spoons and metal-lipped swimmers. The offshore tuna bite is equally good with yellowfin and bigeye being caught in the canyons. Most of the fish are being taken on the chunk but Gleason said poppers have accounted for a few fish. He also said that a long-awaited order from Back Bay Plugs is expected in the shop this week. There have been some small bass in the Ocean Grove surf this week in the fog but most of the action is taking place off the beach on the boats. 

Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar said the winter flounder was the hot bite on Wednesday with many keepers caught in the Shark River on worms, clams and night crawlers. Matthews also reported that the sensational bass bite continues as does the offshore tuna action. The Big Mohawk and Golden Eagle are sailing daily for stripers out of the marina.

Fishermen’s Den in Belmar posted this photo of Adam Gorcey with the 9-pound tog he caught fishing with his friend, Nathan Franco.

Capt. Pete Sykes of Parker Pete’s Sportfishing out of Belmar said the striper fishing has been excellent. He’s been running open boat trips for bass when there isn’t a charter. Check the Parker Pete Facebook page for the schedule of upcoming trips.

Capt. Jay Richardella of Side Job Charters out of Belmar has been getting in on the bass and tuna action and crushing both. He said the yellowfin bite has been savage and last Saturday’s trip saw 18 caught and dozens of other bites. The trip before that put 22 tuna in the boat. His striper trips have been equally successful with big bass caught on the troll, livelining and plugs. Capt. Richardella still has some open dates for tuna and striped bass and can be contacted through his website.

Side Job Charters’ offshore tuna trip last weekend saw an incredible yellowfin bite with Capt. Jay Richardella calling the fishing as good as it gets.

Lloyd Bailey at The Reel Seat in Brielle said it’s all about the tuna bite right now. It’s been going on for a couple of weeks now, he said, and everybody is trying to get in on it before it cools off. Then there’s the big bass, which he said are biting mostly north of the Shark River Inlet with Raritan Bay the hot spot. Flutter spoons, shads and topwater plugs are all working. Bailey said the shop just started carrying a new brand of flutter spoons from Ahern.

Kyle Tanger at Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach said that while the boats having been doing well with stripers, it’s been hit or miss off the beach. The surf looks promising, he said, but there hasn’t been a lot of fish. The tuna fishing is another story with lots of yellowfin and bigeye being caught. It’s as good as it gets, he said, and chunking is the way to go. Sea bass fishing, he said, has been slow with a most of the catch shorts. He said a lot of micro-sized sea bass showed up in the Point Pleasant Canal this week. The canal, he added, continues to give up a lot of blackfish, including keepers. 

Capt. Kenny Namowitz on the Mimi VI out of Point Pleasant Beach is gearing up for blackfish season. The limit goes to five fish on Nov. 16. In the meantime, the boat is bottom fishing for sea bass, porgies and winter flounder.

Capt. Danny Gregory on the Norma K III out of Point Pleasant Beach has been sailing morning and afternoon striper trips, catching bass up to 50 pounds. While a number of fish have been too big to keep, he did say there have been some keepers in the mix. The morning trip leaves at 7 a.m. and the afternoon trip leaves at 1 p.m. He’ll be blackfishing starting Nov. 16 and plans on a few sea bass trips to the offshore wrecks later in the year.

Chris Parlow at Captain Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach said very large stripers continue to bite along the beaches. Most of this week’s action has been north from Belmar up to Sandy Hook. The bait bite for yellowfin tuna has a been extremely good in the Hudson Canyon and there have also been a number of bigeye and swordfish being caught as well. Parlow also mentioned that there are mahi-mahi still on the pots. 

Capt. Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach shared this photo of Jim Egleston with the jumbo bass he caught off Spring Lake this past week.

Frank Giacalone at Gabriel Tackle Co. in Brick suggested that if you’re after bass, head north. He heard the stripers were in the Asbury Park area.  He said the Manasquan River striper fishing at the Route 35 Bridge and the train bridge remains good while blackfishing in the Point Pleasant Canal is excellent with plenty of keepers being landed. 

Pete Kupper at Charlie’s Bait and Tackle in Normandy Beach said folks are picking a few bass on the beach but it’s a little slow right now. A lot of anglers are heading north where the fishing is better. He’s getting ready for the annual Surf Turkey Tournament that takes place over the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend, Nov. 23-26. First prize is $2,000 for the longest striped bass.  

Jenni Ackerman at Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park said the bass fishing slowed down there as well. She did say anglers are having fun on light tackle with all of the hickory shad around.  There are also some small bass back in the bay hitting top water plugs. She expects the fishing will pick up over the weekend with the change in the weather.  

Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle posted this photo of John Bo and the 42-inch bass he caught on bunker Wednesday night.

Best Bets for the Weekend

Stripers are the best option as there are loads of them around right now.  Northern Monmouth County offered bass for surfcasters and boaters this past week while Raritan Bay has had the most consistent striper fishing.

Where they will pop up this weekend is anybody’s guess. A brisk northeast wind in the forecast might make things a little dicey for boaters but the weather looks good for a walk along your favorite beach with rod in hand.

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