Southern New Jersey Fishing Report- November 22, 2023

Big bluefin tuna blitz on near-shore bunker pods, 20 to 40-inch stripers feed along the beaches and in the bays, and tautog season is off to a slow start around the wrecks.

Southern New Jersey Fishing Report

The most recent blow occurring pre-Thanksgiving should start pushing more bass down from Long Island as they have had spectacular jigging action.  On our end, the passing of some mixed schools of bass has been the main action.  Some days it’s a jig and shad bite, other days they are spread out and only hitting trolled baits.  Most stripers being caught has ranged from 24 to over 44 inches.  The tautog opening was more of a bust for anglers working the wrecks as the water has been warmer than normal.  The body of fish and keepers were being landed off the area’s jetties.  But that should definitely change in the coming weeks with some colder weather beginning to move in.  The best news of the week was the blitzing bluefin bite from Manasquan south past Barnegat with fish to 90 inches being landed.  Trolled ballyhoo, casted poppers, and Hogy’s were the most popular baits. 

Here is this week’s rundown: 

Hook House Bait & Tackle in Toms River said the beach bite has been a slower pick during the day, but dawn and dusk are offering much better action for anglers.  There was word of a good bite off the sands of Lavallette occurring mid-week.  The shop will have some deals for the post Thanksgiving holiday, so stop in.  

Creekside Outfitters in Waretown reported good togging off the condos, south and north jetties of Barnegat Inlet.  Green crabs and Asian shore crabs were the top baits again this week.  Striped bass fishing has been tougher in the back with a few small fish, while the action out front was sporadic depending on the days.  Bluefin tuna were caught 3 to 5 miles east of Barnegat Inlet. 

Reel Reaction Sportfishing out of Waretown was busy over the weekend and the charters have been getting close to their limits on tautog, while also getting some 3 and 4 man limits of striped bass.  When the bass bite is spotty, togging offers much better angler involvement as it’s been drop-n-reel on some of the right pieces.  The crew will be fishing through the Thanksgiving weekend. 

The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light was out working a small wreck for tautog over the week and the boat reported a good number of shorts, but small number of keepers.  Striper fishing can be really good on the jig or incredibly tough when the fish spread out.  The skipper will be at it all through the Thanksgiving day weekend. 

Tony’s Bait & Tackle in Manahawkin reported a slower bass bite in the backwaters on live spot or eel at night as the Barnegat bay waters have dipped into the upper 40s and anglers have reported a few seals working the North Jetty.  Schools of striped bass have been hit or miss on any given day, but days ahead of bad weather have offered the best action.  Togging has been exceptional for land-based anglers working the rocks of the southern Barnegat Inlet jetty.  Green crab on small jigs seem to be accounting for the majority of keepable fish.  “Bluefins are in and they are close” was the word from local anglers, the shop has a full lineup of bluefin catching tools.

Tackle Direct in Egg Harbor City reported a bang-em up bite off the rocks of Atlantic City jetties as jetty-based anglers have been boxing up keepers to 5 pounds.  Jigs or rigs haven’t really mattered as the bite has been that good.  Anglers looking for striped bass found a few isolated schools further out in the ocean.  Bay bassing has been consistent in the back closer to the mouthes of any rivers. 

Tight Lines Bait & Tackle in Somers Point loaded up on custom plugs and gliders for the striped bass run and some nice striped bass are being caught 1 to 3 miles out.  The key has been finding isolated schools of feeding fish.  Togging remains “en fuego” off any ocean-based or inlet-based jetty with green crabs and sand fleas doing the work.  The shop has a full line up of tautog rigs, jigs, and baits, so stop in and get rigged. 

Badfish Charters in Ocean City was working the backwaters and outside to put some clients on epic bites of striped bass this week.  The backwater bite continues to be fairly solid on artificials, but the skipper has seen a slight drop in the action.

The Cape May and Fortescue area reported pretty good tautog fishing from the reef sites and jetties along Cape May and Wildwood.  Green crabs were the main bait of choice with the warmer water.  The bite has been so quick that you have to be ready as soon as the sinker or jig hits the bottom.  Stripers have been making their way down and anglers have been picking a few on the troll around the 3 mile line.  Fortescue area are producing good numbers of striped bass and white perch for anglers.  The river outflows have been the spots for white perch and bloodworms or shrimp are the top baits.  Perch have also been hitting small Rapala plugs or spinners. 

South Jersey Fishing Forecast

The best bet for this weekend will to hit the beaches or boats for striped bass with another round coming down through our areaJigging, shads, metal-lipped swimmers or trolling gear looks to be the top choices for anglers.  If youre in the boat, hit the 3-mile line for striped bass, but be on the look out for bluefin tuna.  Run-n-gun style fishing with poppers and heavy duty spinning gear may have you hooked into 2 to 3 hour long fightsToggers should look to hit the jetties, but as the water temperatures begin to decrease the shallower wrecks to 40 feet should begin producing by next weekFinally, enjoy the time with friends, family and hopefully you get the opportunity to get on the waterGood Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines! 

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