Southern New Jersey Fishing Report – March 23, 2023

The reports are back…and that means fishing has begun for coastal New Jersey.  It’s a great feeling even if the weather hasn’t been completely cooperative, but the light is at the end of the tunnel.  Striped bass fishing has been hit or miss because of the weather, but anglers have been catching on clams and worm baits.  Fisherman throwing soft plastics are finding limited success during the day and better fishing during the night tides.  Almost every lighted bridge in south jersey is holding striped bass up to keeper size.  White perch fishing has been on fire along the Tuckahoe, Mullica, Great Egg Harbor, and the Toms River.  Shrimp or cut bloodworm has been the best baits for success.

Here is this week’s rundown:
Hook House Bait & Tackle in Toms River said it’s been good on white perch further up the Toms River and striped bass have been fairly active along the marshes and Rt. 37 bridge.  Bloodworms have been the ticket, but give the shop a call to reserve the bait.

Lacey Marine in Forked River has been busy with their annual spring boat sales and Dan has been selling boat paint like hotcakes.  Anglers stopped by the shop to get small soft plastics as some of the lagoons and areas around the power plant have been providing striped bass action.  The Route 37 bridge and LBI bridges also had some reports of schoolie bass.

Creekside Outfitters in Waretown has redone the shop and improved their reel inventory.  Liza said they are fully stocked with Gulp and have bloodworms in stock.  The shop will be getting crabs in the near future for the opening of tautog season.  Striped bass fishing continued over the past week with some being caught along the bridges with bloodworms.

Reel Reaction Sportfishing out of Waretown has both boats ready and will start on the 1st of April. The skipper will be plying the night tides in the skiff looking for schoolie bass while the bigger boat will be targeting tautog.  The team has close to 100 trips booked for the 2023, so call to get in the schedule.

The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light has been at the dock prepping for the upcoming season as Capt. Ted is hoping to be in and begin targeting tautog.

Tony’s Bait & Tackle in Manahawkin reported that the striper action around the Causeway bridges and Graveling Point on Mystic Island cooled off a bit, but anglers putting in their time have been rewarded.  Bloodworms continue to be the bait of choice.  The shop hasn’t received any word of white perch in the Beach Haven West lagoons so far, but it should be any day.

Tackle Direct in Egg Harbor City said the rivers have been full of white perch and striped bass.  Bloodworms and shrimp have been the ticket for both species, but the annelids have produced more stripers.

Tight Lines Bait & Tackle in Somers Point reported decent schoolie striped bass action along the bridges on 4-in plugs like the Yo-Zuri minnow.  Bloodworms have also been working along some of the backbay sedges.  The shop will be fully stocked with green crabs for the start of the tog season.

Badfish Charters in Ocean City had the vessel in early this season and has been working some of the rivers for striped bass.  The skipper is currently booking trips for the 2023 season.

The Cape May area had some striped bass in the back bays behind Wildwood and Ocean City.  The bite has been good on small 4-inch soft plastic Zoom baits and Fin-S lures.  Casting small Yo-Zuri minnows around the bridges and shallow marshes has resulted in some hook-ups on bass to 26 inches.  The Cohansey and Maurice rivers also have reported good numbers of schoolie striped bass and white perch.  White perch action has been better in the deeper holes around the creek mouths on small pieces of bloodworms.  Most tackle shops are getting ready for the tautog opener which will occur in a couple of weeks.

South Jersey Fishing Forecast

The best bet for the weekend depends on your location, but pitching out a few sandworms or bloodworms should get the bite going on striped bass.  Anglers will need to work structure or deeper holes to find feeding bass as the bay temperatures sit around 45F.  Another place to try is any areas that have mud flats and adjacent grass flats which are prime areas for striped bass to feed during the early morning tides.  Winter flounder word has been nil, but this is certainly the time of year to get out and try to chum some flatties up.  Good Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines!


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