Southern New Jersey Fishing Report- March 28, 2024

White perch fishing is good in the rivers, striper activity improves with action from upper 30-inch class fish, and anglers prep for the tautog season opener.

late fall schoolie striped bass

Southern New Jersey Fishing Report

The start of tautog season is upon us South Jersey anglers and if the weather cooperates there should be a few nice tog caught to start the season on April 1st.  Since the water is still cold and the bite may be scratchy, it’s best to work an area for a while to develop a bite.  The bites are usually much slower or subtle in the early part of the season, but by the end of the month it should progress to a mad-dog bite.  Striped bass action has been steadily improving with consistency despite on and off weather conditions.  Size ranges are slowly increasing, especially in the extreme southern parts of New Jersey.  Bloodworms and clam baits are working for these fish, with better artificial action occurring in the warmest areas of the back bays.  White perch continue to provide angling opportunities for fisherman working small tidal creeks or offshoots of the Mullica or Tuckahoe Rivers. 

Here is this week’s rundown:  
Hook House Bait & Tackle in Toms River said the weather this past week was a little tough on the striper and perch fishing, but looking into the weekend it should rebound.  Bass are active and the best baits to use are bloodworms.  There was word of a few blue crabs out behind some of the lagoons, but it has been very limited with most in the mud.

Creekside Outfitters in Waretown has been loading up the shop with bloodworms as there are stripers biting in the Toms River, Barnegat Bay, and Graveling Point.  The activity has been hit or miss due to the weather.  Anglers getting ready for tautog should have shots at the reef sites and the shop has bushels of green crabs in stock.  A few anglers reported a few birds working between. 

Reel Reaction Sportfishing out of Waretown continued to prep for the start of the 2024 season.  With spring break coming up, the skipper and mate Luke will be plying the backwaters for bass on the warmer afternoons.  

The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light reported the maintenance should be wrapping up in the next week or two and the vessel will be ready for the start of sea bass in May.  The skipper said if there was enough interest, they may run tog in April. 

Tony’s Bait & Tackle in Manahawkin reported good white perch fishing in the Mullica River until the buckets of rain the past week.  Bloodworms and grass shrimp have been the baits for the breeding perch.  Some areas in Beach Haven West have also been decent for white perch action.  Striped bass have been hitting at the local bridges and some areas on the West side of the bay. 

Tackle Direct in Egg Harbor City said striped bass are whacking baits along the marshes in the Tuckahoe river, Great Bay, and spots on the Mullica River.  Most of the striped bass have been in the schoolie range, but a few 28 to 30 inchers have been landed on bloodworms.  Anglers casting two-hook rigs of grass shrimp are finding spotty action on white perch along the banks.  The better action has been in the deeper holes assessable by boat or kayak.  

Tight Lines Bait & Tackle in Somers Point reported some nice striped bass to 30 inches on bloodworms along the backwaters.  Land fisherman have been hooking up consistently from some of the typical early season spots.  Most have been casting simple circle hook rigs tipped with one or two jumbo bloodworms.  The shop has a full line up of tog rigs, jigs, and green crabs for the start of the season.   

Badfish Charters in Ocean City has the vessel in the water and the skipper hooked up on a few shallow water bass.  Capt. Brian gave a few nice tutorials over the last few weeks on using different modes of sonars.  He expects to target schoolies over the next several weeks.   

The Cape May and Fortescue area continued to see better striped bass action with some fish in the 35- to 37-inch rangeBloodworm, clam, and even some bunker-chunked bass were reported, so thats good news for the start of the migratory runThe Delaware River is seeing bass also, so Cape May and Wildwood should start seeing more migratory fishToggers are getting ready for the start of the season next week, and the offshore wrecks and reef sites will be the place to beGreen crab baits or cooked shrimp should work to catch the first ones of the season

South Jersey Fishing Forecast

The best bet for the weekend will be enjoying the Easter holiday with your families, but if you can sneak out and work some of the area bridges for striped bass with small artificials, you may have a shotThe better bet will be to clear your schedules for the tautog season opener on MondayThe artificial reefs are a great place to start if you have access to a headboat, charter, or recreational vesselI suggest bringing both rigs and jigs to try to entice the first fish of the season. Be sure to keep that rod still and be ready for subtle bites as they are generally scratchy in the beginning of the seasonAnother viable option would be to target one of the rivers or freshwater influences that harbor white perch. Grass shrimp tipped on single or double hook rigs absolutely make the best baits for these fishGood luck, be safe, and tight lines! 

1 thought on “Southern New Jersey Fishing Report- March 28, 2024

  1. George Taylor

    We are catching keeper striped bass every day at Fortesque Beach in South Jersey! Bring your bloodworms and get yours. Weather conditions and tide doesn’t seem to matter right now.

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