Northern New Jersey Fishing Report- November 22, 2023

Stripers and gator blues feed on bunker and sand eels in the surf, Raritan Bay hosts a solid bass bite, and tog fishing is better around the jetties and inlets than the wrecks.

Northern New Jersey Fishing Report

Anglers have plenty to be thankful for with this year’s striper run. 

It was another excellent week of bass fishing even though a sizable swell over the weekend made fishing a little tough for beach anglers. The boats, however, had no trouble locating bass until Tuesday’s storm kept most at the dock. 

Most reports indicate that offshore togging got off to a slow start since last Thursday’s opener but the fishing improved as the week went on. There’s been no let up in the excellent blackfishing in the Point Pleasant Canal and at the inlets. 

And the inshore bluefin bite has been very good as well as a number of catches were reported all along the coast. There were also some big bluefish landed in the past week. 

Rick Hebert at Tackle World in Rochelle Park said it’s still stripers, stripers and more stripers. He did a combination tog and bass trip last Friday and while the blackfishing was slow at the Shrewsbury Rocks, they went back to Raritan Bay and found incredible striper fishing. Hebert also reported that sharpies are still catching lake trout at Round Valley and the winter trout stocking program just released more fish this past Monday and Tuesday. The store, he said, will be holding in-store and online Black Friday sales this weekend. 

Danny Stolba at Fish Tail Bait and Tackle in Carteret said the night bite for stripers picked up this week in the Arthur Kill. He caught a 33-inch bass Monday night on a bunker head. The daytime action has been holding up on bunker chunks and green crabs continue to catch blackfish. 

Danny Stolba of Fish Tail Bait and Tackle in Carteret caught this 33-inch bass in the Arthur Kill on Monday night.

Patrick Sciortino at the Tackle Box in Hazlet said the stripers continue to bite, and while there are still big fish around, they seem to be getting smaller every day. He said the weekend saw catches of slot fish, keepers and bass up to 43 inches. Adult and peanut bunker are the main diet but Sciortino said there are more sand eels showing up. Anglers are having luck with Tsunami sand eels and NLBN shads. He said dogfish were plaguing the tog anglers and there is a lot of bluefin craziness going on with the tuna in close. For Black Friday, Sciortino said the shop will have 20 percent off on selected merchandise.  

Mike Pinto at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright said the beach bite slowed up this week with the heave but Sandy Hook still gave up some fish and there were blitzes in Deal and Elberon on Sunday. He also reported bluefish mixed in with the stripers and sand eels in bigger numbers. Pinto said there is currently a good selection of Super Strike Lures in the shop. 

Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright shared this photo of Bob Pastor and the big bass he caught in the Long Branch surf last week.

Mike Gleason at TAK Waterman in Long Branch said the surf fishing wasn’t as frenzied this week but there were fish around for those who went looking. The best action was up at Sandy Hook with lots of fish in the 35-inch range. He also said there were bluefin around from regulation-size fish up to giants. Gleason added there will be lots of holiday sales in the shop this weekend and online starting Monday. 

Tim Rizzuto at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar said the bass bite is still going strong for the boats out of the marina and the folks fishing the beaches. He had a good week on a buddy’s boat and on the beach in Sea Girt with Madd Mantis poppers. He also managed a keeper blackfish at the Shark River Inlet. 

Capt. Steve Spinelli on the Skylarker out of Belmar called the recent striper fishing nothing short of spectacular. He also made his first blackfish trip of the season on Monday and put several limits in the boats. He fished in shallow water and reported loads of short life as well along with some porgies and sea bass. 

Capt. Jay Richardella of Side Job Charters out of Belmar said he’s been crushing the stripers on every trip out. He’s got a few open dates in December and can be contacted through is website. 

Capt. Jay Richardella of Side Job Charters shared this photo of one of the many stripers caught in the last week.

Capt. Pete Sykes of Parker Pete’s Sportfishing out of Belmar will be running open boat striper trips this Saturday and Sunday leaving the dock at 6 a.m. Reservations can be made online. 

Steve Jones at The Reel Seat in Brielle said he had good reports on striper fishing from Sandy Hook down to Manasquan until the weather went bad on Tuesday. Tog fishing has been fair on the rocks and reefs and at the Manasquan Inlet while folks have been running and gunning for inshore bluefin, he said. 

Jason Szabo at Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach said the bass fishing remains incredible with the boats getting the best of it lately due to beach conditions. Mixed in with the bass, he said, are some gorilla blues up to 14 pounds. Peanut and adult bunker and sand eels are fueling the bite. Boats targeting bluefin are getting some good shots at fish five to six miles out, he added. Madd Mantis poppers, Hogy shads, RonZ lures and trolled ballyhoo are all working. Szabo said the tog fishing in the Point Pleasant Canal is spectacular. 

Capt. Kenny Namowitz of the Mimi VI out of Point Pleasant Beach said it’s been a slow beginning to their togging season. The day will get off to a promising start with a good bite for an hour or so and then shut down. But there are plenty of stripers around to keep everyone busy with lots of keepers coming over the rail. The Mimi VI is still finding sea bass and porgies on its bottom fishing trips. 

Capt. Danny Gregory on the Norma K III out of Point Pleasant Beach is running a special Thanksgiving morning striper trip from 6 to 11 a.m. and then it’s back to daily togging.  

Chris Parlow from Captain Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach reported that the striper fishing has been red hot all week with massive schools of bass found from the beach all the way out to the three-mile line. There have also been a number of inshore bluefin tuna caught on poppers and trolling ballyhoo. Parlow said tog fishing has been very good on the local rough spots, at the Manasquan Inlet and in the Point Pleasant Canal. 

Captain Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach shared this photo of Mike Voss with his 10-year-old son Matthew and the nice bass they caught while trolling mojos.

Frank Giacalone at Gabriel Tackle in Brick said boat anglers heading north or south out of the Manasquan Inlet this week found a decent striper bite. A mix of cow and keeper stripers were caught on just about everything, including the troll, livelining, shads and flutter spoons. 

Pete Kupper at Charlie’s Bait and Tackle in Normandy Beach said compared with last week when there were blitzes every day, things slowed down. There’s still plenty of bass around, he said, but they are on the smaller side. There are more sand eels mixed in with the peanut and adult bunker and anglers are having more luck with Tsunami sand eel imitations. Kupper was busy getting ready for this weekend’s annual Surf Turkey Catch and Release Tournament where cash prizes will be awarded for the longest fish.   

Scott Thomas at Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park said the striper fishing slowed down over the weekend but picked up again at the start of the week. Bass were caught on shads, bucktails and bait. The shop reported good surf catches even in Tuesday’s rough conditions. He said togging got off to a terrible start offshore but it has been good from the inlet jetties and in the canal. Thomas said there will Black Friday sales with 20 percent off factory rods and apparel and other in-store and online specials.

Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park posted this photo of Jake Keller and the striper he caught in Tuesday’s tough conditions.

Best Bets for the Weekend

Stripers still lead the hit parade. Fish can be found offshore and on the beach from Sandy Hook down to Island Beach State Park. 

Tuesday’s quick-hitting storm was already on its way out by Wednesday morning with the wind turning west. Conditions should clean up by Thursday, making for a very fishable Thanksgiving for boaters and beach anglers.

Offshore tog fishing is on the upswing after a slow start and inshore bluefin are being caught within a couple miles of the beach. Happy Thanksgiving. 

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