Here’s the Fish Head Friday Fishing Report Update for May 14, 2021. The Long Beach Island area has offered great fishing this past week and the weekend is looking like a good one. Quality striped bass are being caught on the beach and boat. Get out there and enjoy the great spring fishing!
Angler in the title page thumbnail above is Paul Sowney with an awesome striped bass he caught off of the LBI surf on a lure Thursday (5/13/21) evening.
We will be running Open Boat this Thursday afternoon, May 13, Noon to 6 PM, for Stripers and Blues. The plan is to fish the bay and/or the ocean depending on conditions and what’s happening. If it’s nice outside the inlet, we could go look for bunker pods along the beach or put the trolling rods out depending on what you guys want to do. We could cast lures at the inlet jetty. I will have a pail of shucked and salted surf clams to try anchoring up in my favorite spot of Oyster Creek Channel. We could try casting the channel edges for schoolie stripers in the bay. There are a lot of options and we can try any combination of them. 4 people max, $175 person, all fish are shared.
Pic: Dave Thompson and his son Baxter with Baxter’s 26 inch striper he took on a topwater in the bay Saturday.
May is off to a great start and it’s only getting better. There’s bass, blues and bluefin as well as much more. Here’s the LBI Fishing Report Update on Mother’s Day May 9, 2021.
Happy Mother’s Day! Thanks you to all the great mothers in the world.
Striped Bass On The Move
This week a new showing of striped bass was welcomed by beach and boat anglers. Number reports of bass over 40″ tells without a doubt the first wave of migrating fish is in our area now!
Early this week the surf had a slow but steady pick of bass but as the weekend arrived so did a nice wave of striped bass. Anglers are fishing a variety of baits but it seems those fishing clams are most successful. We expect this to soon switch over to the spring time favorite, BUNKER! This is only the start so hopefully it’s just a hint at what the spring’s surf fishing on LBI will be all about!
Store Staffer Paulie, fishing the Northern LBI Surf was able to pick up this 42” bass (photo above) on Fish Head’s Clams on Friday. As of yesterday we had many more reports of keeper fish. Customer Paul Lindsey reported many keeper fish yesterday but kept his one 29.5 inch fish for the table. It seems that if you want in on the action now is the time to get down here and make it happen.
Also on the surf… Reports of blues, fluke and kingfish.
Boating Big Bass
The cows came hone today and showed their stripes and bucket mouths! Randy Townsend and Evan Toal fished outside Barnegat Inlet this morning and were quickly covered up on the troll. Evan’s first ever bass wasn’t one but two, a double header on a Magictail Mojo tandem rig while the other rod was hooked up too. They caught and released four bass, all overs.
Black Drum Fishing
To make this week even more interesting some good size Black Drum showed their faces. Store Staffer Frezza smoked a nice one on clams fishing the prime tide in the bay (LBI’s south end).
We heard a handful of other black drum reports too from both in the bay and on the surf. One black drum report from this weekend came from Wei Phin Tan. he stopped in the shop and got some fresh clams on his way to the surf. He reported back, “Got a nice 30″ drum on the surf!”
Bluefin Big Game
For big game crews, if you didn’t get the word… there’s big tuna here right now and they aren’t too far away! Gear up and get out on the hunt. We just got our Baitmaster’s Ballyhoo delivery this past week so we are fully stocked up on premium offshore baits.
Nick Deg is now working aboard the Mushin Sportfishing as a mate. He shared this report as well as a chunk of fresh bluefin tuna. “Yesterday’s Mushin crew trip with Capt Alan, Darryl, Jon and I was a good one! We got the right bite and it took about 45 mins on the Shimano Tiagra 130 Fish was 102″ and weighed in at 582#”
There’s striped bass, bluefish, black drum, weakfish, kingfish and fluke in the local waters of Long Beach Island. The bay, inlet and surf are all good to
In recent days the surf reports have become more consistent. Having almost 200 anglers fishing the American Angler Surf Fishing Tournament on Sunday helped out for sure! The tournament was help on the mid-island surf on the Long Beach Township beaches.
Anglers caught 10+ kingfish, short striped bass and a quality 40″ striper. Surprisingly no bluefish because Saturday there were numerous bluefish report.
Boli Mamm caught the 40″ bass and the largest kingfish at 11.5″… he was clearly dialed in and in the right spot! The bass was “over” so it didn’t score however, his 11.5″ king earned Top Over All.
A 10″ blowfish was also caught. All of this kingfish and blowfish talk has us thinking summer is getting closer. But until then we have some awesome fishing to enjoy here on LBI.
Carl from the American Anglers reported, “The first annual tournament was a success. There wasn’t epic fishing but the conditions were goof and some fish were caught. It was great for everyone to get out and enjoy the LBI surf while fishing on a sunny west wind day.” Be on the look out for next year’s event!
We just put the Hi Flier in the water yesterday, Wednesday, and Capt Nick ran a trip today (Thursday) in the bay with his friend, Colin Scott. They have been throwing topwater lures on light tackle and connecting with stripers all morning. Most are 18 to 24 inches but they have three slots already (24 to 28″), and some bigger fish that follow the lure all the way to the boat and then veer off. Bigger: Older: Smarter. Poppers and Zara Spook walk the dog type lures are drawing fire.
It looks like the wind is going to blow pretty hard Friday into Saturday morning. Right now the Saturday afternoon marine forecast has the wind dropping out to 6 to 9 knots. We will be sailing Saturday afternoon, May 1, from Noon to 6PM. Sunday, May 2 and Monday, May 3, 6AM to Noon. Available for charter or Open Boat. Also available during the week for afternoon departures. We will be targeting stripers and blues on light tackle, casting topwater lures.
Pics: Colin Scott of Cape May, NJ with a nice back bay slot striper. (White slickers) Capt Nick DeGennaro with one of his bass. (Orange slickers)
The Pink Moon earlier this week set our next phase of Spring. The extreme tides from the first of two super moons this year were wild to see. The large swings from very high to very low had lots of water moving and defiantly got things going. The warm sunny days also helped big time! Here’s the Long Beach Island Fishing Report Update for April 29, 2021.
Reports are firing in from the bay, beach and inlet this week with a variety of fish showing in the local waters. Striped bass fishing is and has been good. It’s only getting better as the spring migration hits our local waters in the next couple weeks. Bluefish are starting to show and their performance on Wednesday was the best yet this year.
LBI Surf Fishing
For a couple weeks now the winter time swells have given way to a more spring like pattern. A couple smaller size long period swells came in with rotating winds which is a receipt for putting sand back on the beaches, naturally. Right now most of the Island’s beaches are set up beautifully for a great spring run with beach profiles that are some of the best we’ve seen in along time. The mini points and bowls, toughs and cuts are very promising! The recent super low tides offers prime opportunities to scout spots.
Reports from the LBI surf are becoming more and more promising. In recent days bunker were present on some of LBI’s beaches. Chris Masino sent in a photo, “Bunker all over the beach!”
“Nice day on the surf before work.” Aust Bunl fished Wednesday morning and caught a nice size bluefish from the surf. Another report came in from Steve George at Night Strikes Guide Service. He had clients out on the surf and they caught both striped bass and bluefish today. “We enjoyed the gorgeous late April day fishing the surf. It’s only improving more from here on out!”
A couple days back two striped bass catch and release reports came in from the surf. Tim Daly shared a report, “First bass off the beach this season. Caught it and had it right back in the water after a quick picture. Measured 22”. Great conditions along the mid-island surf with high tide and the super moon. “
Tim Stumpf shared a report, “First striper of the spring for me. It measured 25.5″ and had a tag from the Berkley Striper Club. I quickly released it.”
So far we have heard of three fluke caught from the surf. Let’s hope this hints at strong summer surf fluking
Barnegat Inlet Fishing Report
For most of April anglers were targeting tautog (blackfish) at the Island’s north end inlet. While we can’t say it was epic there were some days of good fishing. There’s only Thursday 4/29 and Friday 4/30 left in the New Jersey Tog Season. It will be closed on May 1st.
More recently striped bass have begun to show their stripes! This past weekend Paul Lindsey was fishing the Inlet jetty for tog and had a slow crack at them. He switched gears and pick up a small bass.”
Hello Mr. Yelloweye!
Bluefish are showing in much better numbers as of late. Only time will tell how good things turn out but if today is any hint at what’s ahead we are stoked! Paul Lindsey weighed in a 31″ bluefish and he reported others were caught and some were lost due to tackle failure.
Barnegat Bay Fishing Report
Striped Bass and black drum are the name of the game. There should be some weakfish around but direct no reports yet. Perch fishing continues on strong!
Brian Sullivan caught this black drum a few days back fishing Barnegat Bay.
Some anglers are doing really good with the resident and new arrivals. Ed Plichta reported getting into some good action recently fishing a small lead head with a softbait. “Released over 40 bass today.”
Some areas of the bay have an abundance of small slender bait what is mostly spearing but also could have other baits commingling.
Clamming and crabbing reports are great. Seems like the warmer days have got the crabs moving and feeding. The extreme tides helped clammers get to areas not frequently worked.
Today’s nice breezy morning turned sour with afternoon storms. Some anglers reported slow fishing due to conditions but report from recent days have been great. Here’s the LBI Fishing Report Update for April 21, 2021.
Bass Is The Best Game In Town
The best game in town right now is striped bass fishing in the bay. Both land based and boat anglers are finding striped bass in a range of sizes from micro to keepers. To get after these look towards the sod banks, rolling flats as well as the many docks in the area. Bait anglers are fishing live worms and clams are doing it. Fishing artificials is putting good numbers up too. You can never go wrong fishing a bucktail jig. Top softies are the Kettle Creek Shads. Picking one or two top hard baits is a tricky one but we give the nod to the Yo-zuri Mag Minnow if looking for a swimmer or the Stillwater Smack-It Poppers if going topwater.
Steve George reports, “At this point in April the water is warming up and coming to life again. Days are getting longer and the fishing is improving. Everyday is a new day come down and let’s fish.”
There’s some bass showing in the Inlet and surf and we expect these ares to get better with time.
The areas first (that we know of via direct report) BLUEFISH was caught just a couple days ago locally here in the Barnegat Bay by Dan Coghlan. Dan reported, “I’ve been catching a lot of bass in the bay since early march. Was great to see a big blue. Let’s hope they show up good this year!”
Tog Fishing Report Update
With the NJ Tautog season closing at the end of the month we are currently in the final days. Some days have been fire on the wrecks.
Fishing hasn’t been on fire for land based anglers but some days are good.
60 Days Left Of Spring
Summertime isn’t far away! Already had a kingfish and a summer flounder caught from the waters of LBI hinting that winter is in the rear view mirror.
Our first fluke was reported in from Connar McGlynn. He got the bite on Monday fishing a Daiwa SP minnow on the Long Beach Island surf.
White Perch fishing continues on strong with great reported flowing in. Liam sent in the photo recently.
Black Drum, winter flounder and cod are other species to target right now.
NJ Black Sea Bass Season Opens On May 15th with a minimum size of 12.5″ and a 10 fish bag limit.
Barnegat Bay’s Double Creek Channel is well know for shoaling and shifting sand bars. It was closed before (in recent years) and it looks to be closing up again. There’s two areas of potential navigation hazard in Double Creek night now. Small shallow draft boats have no issue however at lower tides, vessels which drawl some water have had issues… hard groundings.
Here’s a Notice To Mariners.
The best way for medium and large size vessels is always Oyster Creek Channel.
South End Of Double Creek – Hazard A On Chart
The southern end of Double Creek Channel at the elbow is pinching off again. For many years this area has shoaled. It was dredged a number of times, but never enough. At the time of this post there are two danger buoys at the site alerting mariners of the shallow water here. The area is very narrow with little to no room for error.
North East End Of Double Creek – Hazard B On The Chart
On the northern eastern portion of Double Creek Channel, west of the tip of the Dike, there is shoaling in an area inside of the marked channel. It is marked by two danger buoys. Proceed with caution!
South Side Of The West End of Oyster Creek – Hazard C On The Chart
Many small boats navigating westerly through Oyster Creek with a southern destinations short cut off to port in the areas of buoy 37-39. No more! There is a new sandbar (sort of mini-island) that was made from the dredge materials removed from Oyster Creek. It is not in the channel however it will catch some off guard.
Navigate With Caution
Mariners must always navigate with caution. Be aware of shifting sediments which impact the entire bay. Each spring it’s best to review your common routes and adjust waypoints accordingly. This way when navigating in conditions with limited visibility you are aware of the dangers. It’s always good to have a handle on the lay of the land.
I hope this alert helps save someone from grounding and possibly injury to boat or passenger. Recently a friend witnessed a mid-range center console hit bottom (Hazard A) running on full like a brick wall. It’s no joke!
Entering my 18th year of being a professional saltwater fishing guide I have learned that I can often rely on my back bay bluefish strategies to bend the rods and put smiles on my client’s faces. Beginning in late April or early May, until the end of my season, I am dialed in on the bay’s fishery including bluefish.
Fishing artificials, early morning after sunrise or the magic hour before sunset may be best. On the flats I love throwing poppers. However, sometimes you need to stay off the top. There is nothing like a visual strike! Working the bay’s shallow flats, bright sun will often put the fish down. Still, cloudy days may extend surface action. When that occurs, my go to lure are soft plastics. Use the lightest jig head possible to keep you below the surface but off the bottom. Usually that is about ¼ – ½ ounce. On the flats boat traffic is always a factor but in the channels it may not have a negative effect. More on that later. Although you may not get into all-out blitzes with hundreds of birds working, subtle signs of just a few birds picking can give the location away of actively feeding blues. The passage of a spring cold front followed by a wind from the northerly quarter can often turn the bite off.
When working artificals, I do it on the drift. And when on the flats I have my clients cast down drift or to side drift of the Debbie M since the boat may spoke fish when fishing in two to three feet of water. Yes I fish that shallow. When in the channels, fishing bucktails tipped with fresh bunker strips, I make sure my offering is close to the bottom. One thing to note is to always keep the slack out of your line so you can set the hook as efficiently as possible. Closer to the inlet you can get away with metals in the ½ to 1 ounce range.
Probably the most overlooked method for spring bluefish is bait fishing. It is simple and a deadly method. Anchoring up in prime locations such as the channels or even in the open bay where blues are roaming, fishing bait can result in nonstop action during the right tide. In the spring the bay warms up much quicker than the ocean. The closer to our inlets you are fishing, the further into outgoing tide you will need to fish. Pay attention to your fish finder’s temperature gauge and note when the bite turns on. My experience has shown that the bite turns on when the temperature gets around 58 degrees. For this method I fish conventional outfits with a fish finder rig. While at anchor, use enough weight to securely hold bottom. I can’t say enough about circle hooks here. Most times I don’t go to wire and use 18 – 24 inches of 50 lb. fluorocarbon and a 6/0 to 8/0 circle hook. If the fish start running into slammer territory I may switch to a wire leader. You can’t beat fresh bunker from Fisherman’s Headquarters, but if that is not available other meaty baits like frozen salted mackerel or mullet will get it done.
Anyone that knows me knows that trolling is my least favorite way to fish. I’m a live bait specialist and will leave it that. The best areas to troll is the open water of the western side of the bay. When trolling for spring blues, leave the heavy bass trolling gear home and go with tackle rated in the 8-12 lb. range. You can even use spinning gear if you want. Suggested lures are: pony tails; swimming plugs; Clark spoons with a 1-3 ounce drail (depends on speed and line test-the heavy the line or the faster the speed to more trolling weight needed). Trolling bucktails or plastics will even be effective as long as you keep them greater than two to three feet from the surface. I usually do not troll the bay any faster than 3kts.
Even though our summer inshore bluefish fishery seems to have hit rock bottom, there has not been any change in Barnegat Bay’s spring bluefish run. Some years we see fish over 10 pounds. Like we did in the years of 2016-2019 where I had several fish around 15 pounds. Hooking a 10 pound blue in 2-3 feet of water rivals world class flats action offered by species such as bonefish. Most years we see fish from a few pounds on up the eight. Regardless of their size, when you match your tackle to the size of the spring blues invading the bay, there is nothing like a screaming drag after a bluefish explodes on your popper!
Are you looking to get out fishing Barnegat Bay and the Surrounding waters of Island Beach State Park and Long Beach Island? Give a call to Captain Alex at Lighthouse Sportfishing today!
As we get further into Spring we begin to see better size striped bass show and the tog fishing kicks into high gear. Recently the local Long beach Island area saw both. If you’re looking to go fishing on LBI, now is the perfect time to get in on some great fishing that Long Beach Island has to offer. Stop in, geared up, get dialed in and go catch some fish!Here’s the Fishing LBI Report Update for Tuesday April 13, 2021.
LBI Surf Fishing Report
This past weekend we got our first striped bass reports from the front beach. It’s great to see!!! The next big milestone will be seeing the first bluefish. With the LBI ocean temp right at 49-50 degrees (it has been above 48 for 48 hours) and April’s new moon behind us they could be hear NOW!
Our first LBI surf fishing catch report came in from John Moran of the LBI Fishing Club. He caught two striped bass off of the surf on clam this past weekend.
Jason Kemp “My brother caught size bass on the surf this past weekend plugging Saturday. Too bad I had to work. I’ll be out there as soon as possible.”
Recently some better size striped bass were caught in both the back bay (Barnegat Bay and Manahawkin Bay) as well as the waters slightly south of us (Great Bay). Striped Bass fishing in our local bays has been very good over the past 2 weeks.
Multiple keeper sized striped bass were reported with plenty of nice sized school fish in the 22-26” range. Soft plastics have been doing best for many people. Some have reported 10+ fish nights. Top producing soft plastics are the Kettle Creek shads as well as the two classics Lunker City Fin-s and Storm Shads. Small swimming plugs like the 3.5″ Yo-Zuri Inshore Minnow, 4″ Yo-Zuri Mag Darters and 13F Daiwa SP Minnow have been our best selling back bay plugs as of recent.
Bryan Coccia caught a 29.75″ 10# bass on the bayside.
Shop regular Paul Lindsey has been putting in a lot of time fishing every chance he gets. He reported, “Had fish up to 27” in the past week with some quality schoolies in the mix. Live bloodworm and sandworms from Fish Heads have been the ticket for me!”
Bobby Capri reported good fishing on Sunday. He said the bite was on. “I released five bass in an hour and also got a drum. The guy next to me had 8 in a two hour session.” He also shared a review on his new Lamiglas rod, “I’m a huge fan of my new Lamiglas surf rod. It matches up great with my Van Staal 100.”
The White Perch fishing has been excellent with anglers catching consistently on Grass shrimp and panfish style plastics. Local creeks and rivers have been most productive for everyone’s favorite ultralight tackle fish.
Winter Flounder reports have been few and far between. Now’s the time to get out and hunt them down with some chum and worms (sandworms/bloodworm) or small pieces of clam.