The striper bite is relentless. Every day brings blitz style fishing to the shoreline from Belmar to Seaside. Thousands of birds, pick your own flock, surfacing stripers. We haven’t had to troll yet. Everything has been on surface plugs and soft plastics on light spinning gear. This is a migration run for the ages.
Running Open Boat or Charter Monday, Dec 5, 7AM to 3PM. $275 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared.
Here’s a short fishing report update to supplement yesterdays deeper dive. Today Tuesday 29th was another really great day of striped bass fishing on light tackle. Top water and the jig were crushing fish. The large body of striped bass has not moved much. If anything they pushed a little north into the morning wind/current. They are still HUNGRY too. This is about as good as it gets! In the morning fishing was good. As the day went on, the wind dropped out and the fishing ignited. It fired up even better going from really good, to great, to well… you had to be on the bite. Fortunately there were not 100’s of boats driving over the fish so was much better!
I tried to keep today’s video short on the report side of things to prevent being a broken record. I wanted to share some helpful tips on strategizing your approach with lures. I hope it brings some value and better fishing to you!
The back stretch of November and December is traditionally very good to anglers of Long Beach Island. Whether hunting striped bass or tog there’s great opportunities right now for both beach and boat fishing.
Here in the final days of November we must look back on recent days and weeks to give thanks for a November To Remember! BUT also keep focused and keep a wet line as the biomass of striped bass is still here now and feeding on their southerly migration. If you got in on the recent fire fishing, great! We are stoked to hear. If you haven’t, now’s the time to give a go. I don’t see any snow or wintery mix in any of the upcoming weather systems. Below normal temps Thursday night and Friday but likely above normal Saturday and normal temperatures to follow after the weekend so things look promising!
Here’s my most recent video report update which I forgot to post here on the blog in a timely fashion. This is one good reason to subscribe to the Youtube Channel to get notified as soon as they go live! I’ll do my best to get another one up to close out the month or kick off the new month of December. Stay tuned.
For the most part the past two weeks LBI was left out (a touch too far south) of the historic day after day bass blitzes. But anglers fishing the Island have caught some fish (more so since Thanksgiving day), just nothing like the magnitude or day to day consistency like up north. Hungry striped bass ranging from schoolies to overs (and more than occasionally some trophy size fish in the mix) rolling on bait; peanut bunker, scattered adult bunker, butterfish, squid, herring. Some days bass feeding for miles. It’s just an absolute beautiful “Nat Geo” site to see and witness the what seems to me as a really health striped bass stock (despite what data and managers are say, the opposite). Top water, metal lips, gliders, spooks, on the fly, light tackle or trolling umbrellas and mojos… Take Your Pick, Pick Your Poison.
Looking back on November all I can say is it proved to be one of if not the best month for local striped bass fishing out of the year. Fishing comfortably in t-shirt and jeans, just about the whole first half of the month. It was mild until about November 13/14/15, when the cold snap came and temps fell fast.
The Barnegat Inlet water temperatures dropped from 61º to 51º on the 13/14th and it was then that the back bay bass activity, arguably one of the best “bay runs” this area has seen in many many years, shut down. The inlet bite, also one that was phenomenal, came to somewhat of an abrupt stop. The fish didn’t disappear the activity just stopped due to the cold snap. As things settled and fish acclimated, it crept back but not nearly a crumb of the cake we had. What a sweat cake it was! I shared info on the bite as it materialized and cranked on and on, so I hope each and everyone got a piece of it. I know Jason Peak (photo below) amongst many others put in a lot of time and scored numerous great nights of fishing on the bay.
With all of that said, there’s a good showing of bait still in the bay, lagoons and coves. Soon this will exiting and join the party out front. I’m still fishing hard as I know there’s a lot more to come, especially for the Long Beach Island beaches. More on that topic below.
The Barnegat Inlet tog fishing was on fire during this same time period. It too was slowed by the cold but the tog fishing held up significantly better. Eventually, the majority moved off to the many inshore/mid-shore wrecks and reef sites that they will call home for the winter. Sure there’s still some land based tog fishing to enjoy but for the most part that season is setting. The ocean areas are most productive now and will be into the New Year. Fish live green crabs and white leggers on a rig or jig and enjoy the fun! As of today (Monday) we have both greenies and whites in stock available for sale in half bushels (15#) or full bushels (30#). As always we sell greenies by the dozen too.
LBI Surf Fishing Report
The weigh ins for the LBI Surf FIshing Classic (Live Results Page) trickled in, a couple a day, up until the 19th when there were none until the 25th. The 6 day period (19-24)was for the most part dead on LBI while areas north had epic fishing. The good news is, the LBI surf fishing got going on Black Friday 25th and is rolling along, slow and steady. At times some great fishing took place, on the north end one day, the south end the next and a couple flurries in between. Nothing consistent but we hope to see things kick into another gear.
Sunday afternoon Dante from Magictails (and a long time LBI surf rat and sharpie) reported on his first trip out on the beach in weeks, “The exist! I was told there are not fish on LBI! I caught a dozen in the 24-34” range on bucktails and metal lip swimmers. Fishing my new Magictail Rods, 8′ medium one piece rod it was a blast. We smoked the bass on the boat with the rod all fall but today it proved to be perfect for the surf too. It’s exactly what I designed it for, an all around versatile saltwater fishing rod.” There aren’t many one piece 8′ rods in the market place yet there should be since it’s the perfect size for a rod that can do all with tog and striped bass… Fish the surf, Fish the boat, Fish the jetty. Check them out today at the shop. We have them in stock and on display.
Bill Tyson shared this report, “I fished the mid-island south during this afternoon’s outgoing tide and got into a few striped bass in close. Lost one in the wash but was able to land one 26″ fish. Used my bonus tag to score it for dinner. A big shout out to the team at Fisherman’s Headquarters! I caught this fish on my new St.Croix and Penn Slammer combo with a 6″ paddle tail that the team recommended. Paul at the shop helped me and also let me know that the bass were biting on the south end today.”
Pat Ciervo caught a red drum off the LBI surf on bunker Monday. The fish was over the 18-27″ slot so it was safely released.
It’s been windy and cold but the fishing has been hot. This past weekend had two awesome days (Friday and Saturday) full of great fishing. The last couple days (Sunday and today, Monday) were slow. They can’t blitz and full on feast everyday. Be on the lookout for good fishing opportunities the rest of the week and right into the end of the month.
Here’s a quick look at the local water temperatures from the Barnegat “Bay” (Inlet) USGS Tide and Temperature Gauge. Note this data shows bay water temp on the outgoing tide and ocean water on the incoming tide. Right now the outgoing bay water is significantly colder than the ocean due to the recent Arctic blast. Ocean waters further from the inlets (like Ship Bottom/ Surf City) are warmest right now at approximately 54º. Beaches such as Chadwick down to the Bather’s Beach also fall into this too. Take note of the bottom one with the green heading showing this same 7 day period from last year. There’s a significate difference this year having a ~20º range with a low of 38º and last year having a ~10º range with a low of 45.5º. The weather forecasts are calling for a return to normal temperatures mid-week so our fingers are crossed the temps will bounce back some or at least slow the plummeting trend. In the past we’ve had epic bass fishing in 54-48º ocean waters.
Here’s an older fishing report video that was never posted here…
This is it. This is the weather and the fishing we have all been waiting for. Sure, it’s cold….and windy. But it’s a west wind and the fish are tight to the beach, so the ocean will be flat calm. The harder it blows from the west, the flatter it gets, as long as you are within a mile and a half of the beach, beyond that, you will have some waves. The good news is that the fish have been tight to the beach. It doesn’t always go that way this time of year. A few seasons back, the fish and bait were in the 3 to 7 mile range offshore where you are not even allowed to fish for them. The other positive right now is that most of the fish are less than 38 inches so you actually get to go home with some fillet. Our last trip out we even had some 24 to 28 inch slot fish which I have bonus tags for. So far it’s been all casting and jigging. No better way to catch them!
Sailing Open Boat or Charter: Saturday Nov 19, Sunday Nov 20, and Mon Nov 21 6AM to 2PM $275 person. 4 people max. All fish are shared
At one point or another this past weekend (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) had just about every type of weather. From warm to cold, from gale to dead calm, rain, fog, it was all dished out this weekend. For the most part the weekend will be remembered for its very powerful Sou’Westerly that pounded the beaches with 6-8′ surf (buoy 44091 peaked out at 10′ on Saturday 11/12) which then left the waters churned up and dirty, turbidity wise and weedy.
On this Monday afternoon fishing report update, I don’t have a lot of great local catch reports to share. But I do have one good one… Carl Hartmann caught and released a 52″ striped bass off the LBI surf on bunker this weekend.
What I can also share… I fished every day in the past 5+ days. Some were GREAT days and others were slow. I know with confidence the body of fish I was catching has most likely moved on. We are in a waiting period, hopefully seeing a new wave of striped bass soon. I expect that wave to show this week with a short NE blow followed by a stretch of westerlies.
Yes I fished through the blow fishing this weekend’s LBI Cup Striped Bass Tournament. It was gnarly and fishing was TOUGH and rough. Out of 19 boats only 7 striped bass were entered. The crew aboard the Endless Summer entered three of the seven. We had a couple other small slot fish and a handful of beautiful overs. The best action we had was fishing the northern ocean county waters on Saturday afternoon livelining.
We have a variety of baits in the local waters right now; adult bunker, juvenile bunker, squid, herring, bay anchovies and still a couple mullet. See the striper stomach contents photo at the end of this post. We also have a LARGE biomass of spiny dogfish adding a frustrating challenge.
Like many others, I am guilty of using the term “epic” in describing the day of fishing we had. With that said, yesterday’s open boat trip was “epic”. By no genius of mine, mind you. It was all because Capt Gene Linder on the Side Chick, currently sailing from Shark River, NJ gave me the call.
We broke Barnegat Inlet early in the morning and made the left. It was not feeling good, the water was still a little murky from the storm, the wind was up hard, and we didn’t have any life until Seaside Heights. We had blackout readings, lots of bird play, but not a touch trolling and casting. We kept moving north and found a small group of boats working a big bunker pod off of Belmar, but no bent rods or nets going over. Just then we got the second phone call from Gene that we should get up there as the bite is now topwater with breaking fish. Up there, as in the Atlantic Highlands.
Off we went, and I warned my crew that I have taken these rides before only to hear how good it was and we should have been there earlier. Also, we were arriving right at slack tide, so I told everyone on board that it was going to be a slow hour or two before we saw action again. Fortunately, that all proved to be wrong. We got into fish immediately and it got better every hour both with casting topwater lures or snagged bunker. Mostly all were 26″ to 36″ fish which meant people were also going home with Ziplocks.
This was the first real workout on the new set of Fishermans Headquarters INS701MHS Spinning Rods I paired with Battle lll 5000’s and they were perfect. Flexible enough to enjoy the fight and still had enough backbone to throw heavier lures and set a hook. Could not be happier with these outfits.
I just looked at the marine forecast and it is going to blow W or NW for the longest stretch I have ever seen. Most of it at low velocity. We will be sailing every day starting Wed Nov 16 thru the first weekend of Dec.
It’s probably best if you don’t use this trip as the expectation for your trip as this doesn’t happen every day. It’s fun to to know that it is possible anytime you go out, but this is not a typical day. But if given the information, we will go wherever the bite is. Number one rule: Fish where the fish are. Also know that our scheduled end time is not always our exact end time, we often go later.
Tues thru Fri 10AM to 5PM. $250 person. Sat, Sun, and Mon’s 6:30 AM to 2:30 AM. $275 person. Four people max on all trips, all fish are shared. Any of these days are also available for charter.
Pics: Roger Rabain of Delaware (black hoodie)
Stuart Lombardi of Demarest NJ (orange hat) Stu also gets credit for the videos
Bill Buckham of Lansdale, PA (red hoodie, black hat)
Phil Falato of Seaside Park NJ (green rain jacket)
The messy weather is already gone and the wind has switched to hard west. Then it’s going NW, which is our best wind for Fall stripers. All that W/NW wind should help flatten out the ocean to make for a comfortable few days of chasing stripers. The velocity is up, 15 to 25 mph, but the harder it blows, the flatter it gets, for the first 1 to 2 miles offshore, anyway. Which is all we need as the fish have been closer than that to the beach, so far.
We will be running Open Boat Stripers: Sunday Nov 13 and Mon Nov 14. 6AM to 2PM. $275 person. 4 people max. All fish are shared. These dates are also available for your private charter.
We will be ready to snag bunker, cast lures, or troll. Whatever it takes to put fish in the boat.
Pics are from last weekend’s fish that we caught very close to home. Pics: Dave Flood of Mantua, NJ in brown camo shirt
Fishing continues to be good as the great fall rolls on. The weather has been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride and that looks to remain. All we can do is fish the prime windows and make the most of it. Right now an abundance of adult bunker and squid in the local waters has the body of striped bass sitting like happy fat cats. The waters have stayed unseasonably warm so most fish don’t seem to be flying through the area. So far this fall striped bass and some really good size ones have moved in and called the Barnegat Bay home. It’s been a number of weeks now. These fish are here now and continue to feed offering a lot of fishing fun.
Tautog fishing continues strong for land based anglers. Fishing both green crabs and sandfleas are working well and keeper size fish (15″ minimum size) are common in the right areas. Prime time tog fishing is now! The season opens up to a five fish bag limit on November 16th. We currently have live green crabs, live white crabs and sand fleas in stock.
Frustrated catching dogfish? Each year they invade right around Halloween and usually stick around all fall. This year is no different. For sure doggies are never wanted but since they are around in good numbers and not going anywhere it’s important to know how to fish around them. Don’t quit fishing in frustration! I’ve caught some of my biggest striped bass while catching doggies. Sometimes weeding through them is necessary. If chunking the surf try fishing heads to cut down on dogs. Striped bass will take a bunker head and usually dogfish will not. If fishing in a boat it is very important to understand and know our sounder. Being aware of the differences in marking striped bass vs dogfish is paramount! Also try not putting baits on the bottom. Usually that help. Also fish lures as doggies will rarely touch a lure.
Lure recommendations from the boat? Match the hatch! Right now it is adult bunker and squid… casting mojo, bucktail, metal lip, large top water spook, pencil popper, flutter spoon, glider/slider, large rubber swimbaits. Later this month I expect peanut bunker and hopefully sand eels so some smaller profile lures will be more valid.
Lure recommendations from the surf? Bucktail, Super Strike Lures Bottle / Darter / Popper / Needlefish, Hopkins (with dressed hook), Gibbs Danny Surface Swimmer (or one of many metal lip swimmers) Yo-zuri Lures Mag Darter / Hydro Monster Shot / Hydro Twitch and of course the Daiwa SP Minnow.
LBI Cup Hosted By The Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club
Due to the weekend’s weather the LBI Cup Striped Bass fishing tournament schedule was changed. Sunday was added to offer extended fishing through the entire weekend. Registration is 5pm Friday with the Captain’s meeting following at 7pm. Lines in right after the meeting. First weigh in on Saturday 3-5pm. Lines out at Sunday 3pm and the final weigh starts then and ends at 5pm. Awards dinner at 7pm on Sunday night. This is a great local event and part of the three way Striped Bass Grand Champion Series; Sea Shell Derby, LBI Cup, Stafford PBA Tournament (Nov 18/19th).