Northern New Jersey Fishing Report- July 13, 2023

Quality fluke are caught around ocean reefs and wrecks, bluefin and yellowfin bite well at the canyons, and bluefish smash poppers around the inlets.

There’s plenty to catch right now in the waters in and around Monmouth and Ocean counties. The secret is to go. 

Ocean fluke fishing has been very good on the reefs, wrecks, lumps and rough bottom. The surf has also been giving up a lot of fish with some areas holding more keepers than others. 
Blues and bass are off the beach as well, hitting poppers in the early morning hours. There are also blues at the inlets and in the rivers and bays. Snappers are starting to show as well as the crabbing is really starting to take off in the same areas. 

There was also an uptick in the tuna bite this week with bluefin and yellowfin caught in mid-shore waters and at the canyons. 

Mark Fuduli at Tackle World in Rochelle Park said the reports on ocean fluking have all been good with sea bass to go along with the flatties. He also heard there’s plenty of fluke on the beach from Sandy Hook down to Island Beach State Park. The largemouth bass fishing is very good at the Monksville Reservoir on ned rigs while night walleye fishing has been hot at Greenwood Lake and Lake Hopatcong with black bombers. 

Patrick Sciortino at the Tackle Box in Hazlet said the fluke are biting all around Sandy Hook and the beach and boat anglers are getting in on the action. He also had good reports of yellowfin in the canyons. Anglers fishing from the Keansburg Pier are getting all the spot and croakers they want, he said, while there are blues and small snappers in Raritan Bay and the rivers. He added the crabbing is very good in the Navesink River. 

Mike Pinto at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright said there were some ocean weakfish caught this week on jig heads tipped with white or pink Gulp jerk baits or bubble gum Slug-gos. The fluking from the beach is holding up and there are bass and blues in the surf as well hitting early morning poppers. He’s been getting good reports on the boat fluking with one customer landing a 10-pounder. 

Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright shared this photo of store regular Rodney and the 10-pound fliuke he caught this week.

Mike Gleason at TAK Waterman in Long Branch said the tuna bite was good this past week with bluefin in mid-shore waters. There were some yellowfin around, he added, but they seemed to have moved on for the time being. Topwater plugs, jigs and paddle tails accounted for the fish. The fluking on the beaches has been solid but it seems the striper bite has slowed down in the surf. It’s been mostly short fluke in the Ocean Grove/Bradley Beach surf and the bass fishing on bugs has slowed down. But, on the bright side, more small bait is showing up off the beach and that should help the fishing. 

TAK Waterman in Long Branch posted this photo of Capt. Rob Radlof and the cobia he caught while out chasing tuna.

Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar said it’s been a good week of fishing with the Shark River producing fluke up to 7 pounds. The party boats out of the marina have also been doing well with fluke, sea bass, blues and mackerel. He’s also had good reports from the boats heading out for tuna with bluefin and yellowfin caught. Stripers are being caught in the Shark River at night while triggerfish are being taken at the Shark River Inlet. There’s been some bluefish in there as well.

Fisherman’s Den in Belmar posted this photo of Christine Torretta and the 7-pound, 4-ounce fluke she caught in the Shark River earlier this week.

Capt. Jay Richardella on Side Job Charters out of Belmar said it was slow fishing on his last couple of trips until Tuesday when they brought several bluefin over the rail. He’s got openings on upcoming trips and can be contacted through his website. 

Capt. Steve Spinelli on the Skylarker out of Belmar said it was a good week of fishing with a mix of fluke up to six pounds, sea bass, blues, ling, cod and winter flounder.  

Capt. Pete Sykes of Parker Pete’s Sportfishing out of Belmar said the open boat trips on the Express are catching some nice fluke up to seven pounds. Some days are better than others depending on conditions but overall, it’s been very good. Open boat trips are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. He’s also sailing Friday and Saturday nights for bluefish. Check the website for details. 

Liam Kelly at The Reel Seat in Brielle said the fluke bite on the local reefs has been good all week. He also reported good catches of mackerel and there are reports of bonito and false albacore moving into the area. Fluking continues to be good in the Manasquan River and customers are getting into the tuna bite in the canyons and mid-shore waters. 

Kyle Tangen at Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach began his report by saying there’s a lot of good things going on right now. Fluke fishing in the Manasquan River continues to be solid with almost any kind of Gulp on a jig or bucktail catching fish. Grubs, jerk shads, shrimp and swimming mullet are all popular choices. There are still some bass at night in the river, he added. He said the Point Pleasant Canal is giving up fish with bass up to 36 inches and blues up to 10 pounds. The bass have been hitting on the outgoing tide and blues on the incoming. He also heard of weakfish at the Inlet going after Fin-S baits and there are triggerfish there, too. It was also a good week for tuna fishing. Tangen said the mid-shore bluefin bite went a little nuts with multiple catches reported. He was fishing on Monday and a put a nice bluefin in the boat. There were a lot of fish around, he said, all in the 50-inch range. 

Kyle Tangen of Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach got this bluefin on Monday.

Capt. Kenny Namowitz of the Mimi VI out of Point Pleasant Beach found the tuna as well on mid-shore trip on Tuesday boating a giant bluefin along with several yellowfin. Before heading out to the tuna grounds, Capt. Kenny was doing well bottom fishing for ling, sea bass and winter flounder. There are some open boat trips on the schedule so check the website or Facebook Page for availability. 

The crew of the Mimi VI out of Point Pleasant Beach with Tuesday’s catch of a giant bluefin and several yellowfin tuna.

Chris Parlow from Captain Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach reported another good week of fishing. The inshore tuna bite picked up at places like the Barnegat Ridge and Little Italy. Fluke fishing remained steady at the local reefs and the Manasquan River is still producing a lot of action.  Bluefish have also been coming in and out of the Manasquan River. 

Captain Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach shared this photo of Sebastian Acari with the nice 26-inch fluke he caught fishing with his dad in the Manasquan River.

Capt. Danny Gregory on the Norma K III out of Point Pleasant Beach said they’ve been catching plenty of fluke lately with lots of limits around the boat and pool fish up to 6 pounds. He also had productive night bluefish trips last weekend and will continue with them through the summer. 

Frank Giacalone at Gabriel Tackle in Brick reported that the fluking remains good in the surf with a bucktail tipped with Gulp or squid.  There are also reports of blues on mullet. Keep on eye on your rods as the cow nose rays have showed up in the ocean. He also reported that the crabbing has been great at the Mantoloking Bridge and off the local docks and piers. 

Pete Kupper at Charlie’s Bait and Tackle in Normandy Beach said summer is in full swing there with lots of fluke and sun dials in the wash. Gulp, bucktails and spearing are doing the trick. There are blues and triggerfish at the inlet, he added, and the crabbing really picked up in the last week. 

Frankie Z at Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park said fluking in the surf is good with fish up to 5 pounds weighed in. Blues are around as well in the 1- to 3-pound range hitting metal, mullet and fresh bunker. Blowfish are in the usual spots at the BI and BB buoys and chumming is a must. There are spot around as well. Crabbing also picked up around Good Luck Point. He also reported better tuna fishing this week in mid-shore waters. 

Best Bets for the Weekend

From the boats or the beach, fluke is still the top target. Good fishing has been reported from just about everywhere with the Shark and Manasquan rivers providing a lot of action while the reefs, wrecks and rough bottom are holding more keepers. Gulp, bucktails, squid and spearing are the go-to baits. 

There are also bass, blues, weakfish, blowfish, triggerfish and tuna around. Take your pick and go. 

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