Northern New Jersey Fishing Report- November 3, 2022

Over-slot stripers are crashing on bunker pods, blackfishing is good around reefs and wrecks, and the yellowfin bite slows offshore.

It’s all bass all the time.  

The mad striper bite continues with fish being caught from Raritan Bay down to Island Beach State Park. Every method seems to be working with live bunker and bunker chunks leading the charge. There are other fish to be caught but no one seems interested.  

Capt. Phil Sciortino at the Tackle Box in Hazlet called the bass fishing “totally unbelievable.” The stripers are all over Raritan Bay, he said, in the back bay, on Chapel Hill, over by Staten Island and in front of Officer’s Row. Sciortino said there are a lot more keeper size fish showing up lately. NLBN shads, poppers, flutter spoons and livelining are all catching fish. 

Mike Pinto at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright said the surf turned quieter this week, but added there were still plenty of fish caught. Those who went and put in the time on the beach found fish. OutCast plugs, shads and SP Minnows all worked. Pinto said the bay side of Sandy Hook was better than the beach this week but added that the stripers crashed the surf on Sandy Hook on Wednesday. Shop regular Vegas Vin caught six. 

Mike Gleason at TAK Waterman in Long Branch said simply that the fishing is good. In addition to all the big stripers being caught on the boats, there’s been a solid beach bite on bucktails and bottle plugs with bass in the 10- to 15-pound range. Gleason said he heard the offshore yellowfin bite slowed down but he’s looking forward to bluefin showing up inshore in the coming weeks. He also said the Back Bay Plugs are now in stock at the shop. The boats off Asbury Park, Ocean Grove and Bradley Beach continue to catch jumbo bass. The beach, however, isn’t giving up many fish, at least not for me. I did get up to Raritan Bay on Wednesday and found keeper bass breaking on peanuts. 

Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den had good reports on something other than bass. He said the winter flounder fishing in the Shark River is hot right now with limits common. Sand and bloodworms, clams and even nightcrawlers are working. Matthews said the boats are enjoying the best striper fishing in years with big bass hitting everything that’s thrown at them including flutter spoons, shads, poppers and, of course, live bunker. He added that more stripers are showing up in the surf every day and more of them are in the slot between 28 and 38 inches. Matthews also reported that the blackfish bite at the inlets and Point Pleasant Canal is as good as it gets.  

Capt. Pete Sykes of Parker Pete’s Sportfishing out of Belmar said he’s been catching plenty of jumbo stripers on shads, flutter spoons and livelining. The only downside is that most are too big. He’s looking forward to the start of the jig bite when more keepers should be in the mix. Capt. Sykes is running open boat striper trips when there’s no charter. There’s an open boat trip scheduled for this Friday. Check the website for details. 

Capt. Jay Richardella of Side Job Charters out of Belmar has been concentrating on stripers as well catching the big ones livelining and on the troll. He has trips scheduled for the next 12 days with spots available on some trips. Check the website for openings. 

Side Job Charters out of Belmar has been putting anglers on fish like this all week.

Lloyd Bailey at The Reel Seat in Brielle said the stripers are piled up on all the bunker. Boats off the beaches are catching plenty of big ones livelining. The beach bite is definitely slower, he said, but that should improve when the smaller baits like sand eels and peanut bunker arrive in the surf. The offshore tuna action has cooled off, he added, and the watch is on for inshore bluefin. 

Kyle Tanger at Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach said things haven’t changed much since last week with everyone still chasing bass. And they’re catching them. Striper fishing has also been good in the Manasquan River at night. While the beach fishing can’t compare with the boats, there are fish to be had if you put in the time. Being in the right place at the right time also helps. He did say blackfish anglers are catching some quality fish on the reefs and at the inlets. Tanger also reported that the tuna bite is holding up as the Voyager returned on Wednesday with a boatload of yellowfin and a few swordfish. 

Chris Parlow at Capt. Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach said the striper fishing remains hot these last few days with good fishing reported from Manasquan Inlet to Sandy Hook. Fish continue to bust on large schools of bunker. There have also been large bluefin tuna going through the bunker as well, he said. Blackfishing has also picked up over the last week on the local wrecks and reefs. The canal and the inlets, he said, have produced quality fish. 

Captain Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach shared this photo of Chris Gonzalez and Pete Acari with stripers they caught off Monmouth Beach.

Capt. Kenny Namowitz of the Mimi VI out of Point Pleasant Beach said the bottom fishing continues to be great with all of the sea bass and porgies you want. He’s also getting in on the striper action with plenty of monster bass around. There are also keepers in the mix, he added. The Mimi VI will be sailing open boat for stripers this Friday, leaving the dock at 6 a.m. 

The Mimi VI out of Point Pleasant Beach posted this photo of two young ladies and the big girl they caught on a recent bass trip.

Capt. Danny Gregory on the Norma K III out of Point Pleasant Beach reported a good bass trip on Wednesday afternoon catching big stripers livelining and on swim shads. A number of fish were over the limit, but there were a few keepers in the mix. Capt. Gregory said the water temperature is dropping ahead of the blackfish opener and he’ll be sailing for them full time come Nov. 16 when the limit goes to five fish at 15 inches. 

This bruiser of a bass was caught on Wednesday aboard the Norma K III out of Point Pleasant Beach.

Frank Giacalone at Gabriel Bait and Tackle Co. in Brick said the local beaches are producing some monster stripers up to 52 inches on bunker chunks, topwater plugs and swim shads. With striper fever running high, he’s reminding anglers that sea bass reopened with 15 fish at 13 inches. There’s good blackfishing as well in the Point Pleasant Canal and at the inlets.  

Pete Kupper at Charlie’s Bait and Tackle in Normandy Beach said the fishing there is good with big bass hitting bunker chunks in the surf. His tip was to find and fish the holes along the beach. A few fish have been taken on artificials off the beach as well. He also reported stripers in the Toms River at dusk and dawn with bloodworms doing the trick.   

Jenni Ackerman at Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park said the bass bite on bunker chunks has just been crazy with huge bass being caught from the beach. Many of the fish are too big, she said, and the usual fall run of sand eels and peanut bunker hasn’t even started. There are some keepers being caught and more are expected to show as the smaller baits move in. Ackerman also said that stripers are being caught in the surf on artificials like poppers, Ava jigs and Mag Darters. They’ve been working in the trough between the beach and the sand bar at Island Beach State Park.

Best Bets for the Weekend

It’s pretty evident now is the time to go striper fishing. While boat anglers are getting the best of it, the surf guys are getting their share, especially to the south on Island Beach State Park on bunker chunks and plugs.  

Surfcasters are also doing well on Sandy Hook with shads, poppers and swimming plugs. 

Sea bass are also back on the menu with an increased limit of 15 fish at 13 inches. And there are plenty of porgies around and some nice blackfish to be had at the inlets and in the Point Pleasant Canal. 

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