The crew aboard Fish Head Charters had a great morning trip. It started off with a good dawn patrol bite. We had some small blues and schoolie bass on light tackle. Blowups on poppers and I had one bite on the fly rod but dropped it. Blake was dialed in and got four bass on a lead head tipped with a softbait. After having a solid half hour of fun we decided to make a move and look out front. A short run and found the same bait that’s been stacked up for weeks but this time… it was frothy! Albies busting!!!
Long story short, the bite was on! Lots of fun with tight lines with screaming drags. Things got frustrating once the run and gun crowd showed up zig-zagging in every which direction with no patience or respect. Luckily we already had enough fun and called it a day. I could care less if someone idles by and bumps the boat. But snow plowing through with motors screaming and wake swamping is just inconsiderate.
Got a report from a friend who was fishing close by to us and he jigged up two striped bass. With a couple big piles of bunker, an active whale and brown clouds of anchovies it’s on!
Gotta match the hatch!!! Top: Live Anchovies – Bottom: Hand Tied Anchovies Imitation by me.
Captain John Lewis of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association, who runs the charter boat “Insatiable” out of Morrison’s Marina, is walking around with a smile on his face. Captain John says to all who hear him, “The ocean temperatures are finally dropping so the bass cannot be far behind.
There are reports of big bass to the north of Long Beach Island feeding on schools of bunker, and these bass should be off Beach Haven any day now. Between the cool weather dropping water temperatures, and northwest winds driving baitfish from the bay waters into the ocean, a perfect recipe seems to be forming for striped bass action.
There are currently good numbers of bass in the bay waters, but they seem to be mostly schoolie size fish. The bigger bass are in the ocean and will be caught in two primary ways. Many captains will look for schools of bunker and work their magic with the “snag and drop” technique whereby live bunker are snagged and used immediately as bass candy. The other method is trolling lures such as bunker spoons or Mojos to attract action. Either way, the fish will be in the 25-40 pound category right now.
In other BHCFA action, Captain Ray Lopez had the “Miss Liane” out recently looking for tuna and mahi. They left the boat at 3am and once they set up on the troll, they had two fish on immediately. Throughout the day the crew landed over 15 fish for an action packed day.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.net
Heading out Sun, Oct 21 and Mon, Oct 22. Sailing Open Boat or Charter. 7AM to 3PM (or later). Making a left out of Barnegat Inlet and cruising the shoreline until we find life. Birds, readings, breaking fish. Good chance we could run into albies, bonita, or stripers. I will have spinning and jigging gear on board for anything that arises. I will also be packing the trolling gear in case we have to. Snagging rods in case the bunker show. I have no limit as to how far north we will run. If we don’t find them close, we could end up at the Shrewsbury Rocks, I get there at least a few times a season when I have to. $200 person, 4 person max, all fish are shared.
The days get shorter, cool air fills in, water temps fall, bait moves and game fish predate. This is fishing during the transition of autumn! What a great time to be on Long Beach Island!
The recent chill has started the season’s cooling trend with the LBI ocean surf temperature is in the mid 60’s, some areas of the bay in the mid to high 50’s and others range in the 60’s. Opposite from the spring, the ebb tide is cooler while the flood is warmer.
One of the best mullet run in a long time lingers on and clouds of bay anchovies are along the beaches. Having their way are small bluefish, spike weakfish and the occasional false albacore and bonita. The waters offshore and some areas north have lights out fishing with these small pelagics. Hopefully they slide our way in bigger numbers soon. Last year this was the time it turned on!
LBI Surf Fishing Report
Small blues rule the roost as we bridge the gap between the Mullet Run and the Fall Run. Soon the migrating striped bass will move into our waters. Typically they arrive in good numbers around Halloween.
This morning we heard of a surf side striped bass caught and released on a plug.
Right now the variety of summertime species remain. Kingfish, fluke, puppy drum, croakers and pompano are good species to target. All of these species were reported in the surf in recent days. Anglers fishing small hooks rigs baited with clam / worm / squid are finding the panfish assortment his past week.
To target the blues fish lures or mullet on the classic doodle bug rig.
Brown sharks are still hanging around with a couple recent reports from anglers chunking bunker looking for the fall’s first classy striped bass. For those that didn’t get their fill, this us the last hurrah for brownies.
The Merchantville Fishing Club’s 2nd Annual Surf Fishing Tournament is this weekend. This team and individual ASAC tournament will be on the beach of LBI is this Saturday October 20. Register now by calling Mike at 856-466-9546.
Land Based Tog Fishing On LBI
It’s prime time tog fishing season at the Barnegat Light Inlet State Park. The Barnegat Inlet Jetty is home to an awesome fishy, one of New Jersey’s best land based tog spots. The fall is a great time to fish the Inlet Jetty. Anglers are having a blast day in and day out. Get in on the action will the fishing is good.
Here’s a recent report from Khoa (@thatasianangler), “Fished with a couple friends and caught. We got our three man limit of tog up to 19.5 inches. All on green crabs from Fish Heads and Bottom Sweeper Jigs. Nothing feels better than a big tog slurp when it picks up your jig!” Photo above.
Yesterday Jeff C. got a nice fat keeper tog on the jetty first thing in the morning.
The Inlet rocks of Barnegat Light offer great tog fishing and still sheepsheads and triggerfish; however, we expect those two species to slow as the water cools more.
Barnegat Bay Fishing Report
The backwaters of Long Beach Island offer productive fishing opportunities all fall. Right now there’s good fishing (no quality size that we’ve heard about yet) along the sod banks, flats and thoroughfares.
With a light tackle approach fishing plugs these fish are a be tons of fun! These school size striped bass will soon increase in size when the migrating fish show up.
The blowfish continue but fill the cooler reports have slowed. There’s still time to get out and enjoy the awesome showing of puffer we had this season. Land based anglers are picking too, photo above.
Inshore Fishing Report
Better fish are starting to show! Two Fish Head’s alumni caught some quality this week. Both were fishing the waters of Monmouth County. Very soon some of these will be close to LBI.
First Mike Kelly was fishing on Monday and trolled up this pig!
Then Tuesday Dan was out on the water and had an awesome evening session. He reported, “We trolled and picked up two fish then on the way home we came across bunker pods and it came alive. The top water bite was really good on the Big Bone Doc!!!” Photo below
Inshore fishing is currently made up of good bottom fishing at wrecks and reef sites. Sea bass, tog, porgies and triggerfish are on the snags.
Ryan Warford was out recently and hit a few wrecks. He reported, “Lots of fish at all three wrecks we fished! We caught about 200 sea bass, only 10 keepers, five porgies and albies out the wazoo.”
We got word from a few different anglers the Hogy Epoxy jigs are dynamite on both the sea bass jigging and casting to the false albacore. We just got a restocking delivery in today. Stop in if you need some. Sorry we don’t have enough for online sales.
Albies are around in the local waters.
Jersey’s Big Game Fishing Report
It’s that time of year when the bluefin tuna come in close as they migrate south. But it’s also the time that weather windows get short. Traditionally speaking Halloween to Thanksgiving and a week or two after is the best time to look for them. The Jersey Coast’s waters from 3 to 30 miles can be productive. Popping as well as jig, chunk and trolling will catch these powerful creatures. By far popping is the most challenging but also rewarding. For those who have not caught a tuna on a popper you have to seek out this exhilarating experience.
This year it looks like they are ahead of schedule. Tuna showed up strong on the inshore grounds and a number of boats got into the action! Before this blow, strong bluefin tuna reports came in from all over. Good new from the Mudhole – Glory Hole, Chicken Canyon and also Lemkies. We heard one report of tuna outside of the Barnegat Ridge.
Chris DeGennaro aboard the Kaley Marie shared a report, “The kids cranked their arms off all day reeling in albies… Finally we got the right bite late in the afternoon.” *Report from Sunday 10/14
One good report came from the Reel Fishers out of Barnegat Light. On their last tuna trip they had Dante from MagicTails aboard and they found fish. Word was some new MagicTail products in the pipeline were being tested and caught!
Feedback From Happy Traveling Customers
Big shout out to Fish Heads. Thanks fro setting me up with the gear and lures to land this awesome fish! ~Mark Garcia
Adam Sherer and Martin Truex Jr had a successful quick Canadian Big Tuna Strike Mission fishing with Walter Bruce.
Barnegat Bay continues to offer up it’s bounty with species such as stripers from 22″ to 30″ , blue fish [ 1-5lbs] , catch and release jumbo fluke to 27″, Weakfish and non stop blow fish action that can fill buckets depending on interest and intent .
The bay’s local waters are brimming with abundant forage such as peanut bunker, mullet, bay anchovy, spearing and assorted other juvenile species that should provide yet another outstanding Fall migration fishery .
With the calendar turning yet another page and advancing further into the fall season anglers aboard the Reel Fantasea are looking forward to cooler temps and anticipating our world class fall migration!!
I have this October 13 [ am and pm] and 14 [am only] for interested parties or individuals.
We made it out on Monday for an early afternoon 4 hr. Sea Bass trip. The later start and short time window left us with minimal spots to fish since all of the local wrecks were already being fished and we could not travel far. On top of not having many spots to choose from, there was a big ground swell which made anchoring very tough. Once we anchored on the first spot, it was non stop double header action of short sea bass and porgies. After spending some time here but not finding any keepers we decided to move to look for bigger fish. I held the boat over some small hangs as was able to put together a catch of 8 keeper sea bass and a nice big trigger fish. The ocean was very alive with albies, sunfish, sea turtles, and giant bluefin all close to home.
I also have this year’s striped bass bonus tags ready to go. Now is the time to get out and fill the freezer for the winter with sea bass. Blowfish fishing also remains very good and we can target them to fill the freezer as well. I will also be targeting striped bass very soon.
The Fall is one of the best times to get out and fish with lots of species to choose from as well as mixed bag trips. Albies, bonito, bluefish, blowfish, sea bass, striped bass, tautog, you name it and we can go out and fish for it. I have dates available for sea bass and mixed bag trips. I am also booking striped bass trips. Let’s get out and fish! Call or text Captain Mike to get in on the action! (609)-709-7264
We got the call late morning… “Tons of albies out front!”All along the beach albies, mackerel, blues and weakfish. Lots of bird plays with active fish underneath. Looks like things are coming together. Bummer we have some poor weather tomorrow.
Bunker delivery came in and with it came a solid report of cobia. They are still around and in good numbers!
Tog fishing at the Barnegat Inlet continues strong! Chet Kosarek sent in this report, “Tog at inlet! You have to pick through a lot of shorts but they are everywhere. I fished Sunday and Monday and both days caught a bunch.”
Jack “Skiff” was in the shop today and shared the same report, “Fishing is good with lots of tog at the rocks.”
In the bay, blowfish are still thick! Customers in the store today raved on really good “fill the cooler” type fishing.
Fish Head Charters Fishing Video
Late September was really good to the anglers on Fish Head Charters. Here’s a link to a short video from one trip. This day we had light winds with a residual ground swell and mullet pouring out of the Barnegat Inlet. It was a hot bite for about an hour around the top of the tide.
Fresh Lures In!!!
Yesterday a new spread of Super Strike Lures arrived. We got them up on the wall today and they are ready for the fall run. Are you?
On the Jersey Shore summer winds down, tourists leave and the days get shorter. Tropical ground swells hit the beaches with the peak of Hurricane Season. The Bermuda High gives way to lower pressure, Nor’easters and westerlies. The weather and water cool and the Fall Season tees off!
This is the September/October transition on the Jersey Shore and smack-dab in the middle… The Mullet Run!
Jersey Shore Mullet Run
The Mullet Run is a very special time on the Central Jersey Shore because it marks the real transition from summer fishing to fall fishing. It jump starts the fall season and brings life to the waters.
During this time the bays, inlet and surf are all productive. Casting distance isn’t of the utmost importance because mullet hang in tight to the beach. When mullet make the move out they are commonly found close to the beach lip, in the wash, in the waves and also tight to jetties and pockets. Look for their subtle v-wave signs to help reveal their presence.
While some could debate until blue in the face, these are the Fish Head Top Five Picks for all weather conditions…
3) Bucktails – The most productive and widely used fishing lure in the world doesn’t need an introduction or a suggestion. If you are fishing the surf and not carrying a bucktail you are no question missing out. We love to fish the Magic Tail Bucktail because they are with top quality Mustad hooks and tied right with the perfect amount of hair. The right weight depends on the conditions, usually 3/4-2oz covers most bases. Don’t forget to tip the jig off with a trailer like a Gotcha Curly Tail, Fat Cow Jig Strip or Otter Tail.
5) Floating Swimmer – Last on the list but definitely not least in terms of significance. From plastic to wood there are so many options in the swimmer category. The classic Cordell Redfin is a floating plastic swimming plugs that shines in the Jersey Shore surf during the mullet run. It’s ability to slow swim on the surface with a picturesque mullet like v-wake is unmatched. The Bomber Windcheater is another one that works wonders on the surf and jetty for their ability to swim down deep with a tight actions. A Gibbs Danny Metal Lip Surface Swimmer’s slow craw sass is irresistible to game fish in the surf hanging right on the edge of a jetty, rip line or the lip of the beach.
We had an awesome weekend on LBI with the 64th LBI Surf Fishing Classic Kick Off. The opening day seminar had a great turn out and all feedback from attendees was great. The Island was jumping with the Tournament, Kite Festival and the 18 Mile Run.
Finally the Fall Sea Bass Season Is Here! The New Jersey Black Sea Bass Fishing season is now open, October 8th to October 31st. During this time it’s a 12.5″ minimum size with a 10 fish bag limit. On November 1st to the end of the calendar year the bag limit increases to 15 fish with a 13″ minimum size.
Things are settling down after one of the longest swells (from a single source) in a very long time… possibly ever. What’s the word on the fishing front?
LBI Surf Fishing Report
The Mullet Run is still going strong! They were pouring by yesterday but it’s slowing down. It’s been a great run that will stack up against some of the best. There’s no debate, it’s the best and longest in a long time!
Blues are cruising in good numbers. Small ones in the snapper to cocktail range (1-3 pounds) are very common. We hope the larger class move in from offshore and hit the surf! Fish mullet, cut bunker or plugs.
Here’s a fishing report that was sent in by Robert Gernert, “It was a great weekend fishing the mid island surf. There was no time for rod resting! I caught a total of 14 cocktail blues Friday and Saturday. Each day in only a few hour of high tide with everything was on mullet rigs and chunking bunker. WOW! What a lot of catch-n-release fun! Thank you Fish Heads staff for getting me set. The mullet was the ticket. Now back to PA for bowhunting some deer!
Barnegat Inlet Fishing
On the jetty tog fishing is very good. Anglers fishing crabs are producing. October is traditionally a stellar month for land based tog fishing. We expect it to only get better.
Triggerfish and Sheepshead are also here in good numbers. Tog anglers are getting some good sized ones fishing jig heads tipped with crabs.
Barnegat Bay Fishing Report
In the bay blowfish, weakfish, small blues and striped bass are present. Those anglers anchoring up and chumming are raising fish. Clamming will yield blowfish and shrimping will attract weakfish. Working the flats, islands and sod banks with small lures and softbaits will get the striped bass to bite.
Offshore Big Game Fishing Report
With offshore anglers chomping at the bit, there’s finally a downward trend in swell. But it doesn’t look to totally let up anytime soon. With fair to marginal weather some bigger boats pushed off this weekend (Saturday/Sunday) to go on the hunt. Most found some life.
Captain Jeff Warford on the Reel Innovation reported, “No sword bites but the mahi were thick. We ended up with over 50 in the box.”
Captain Cody Melton of Jersey Nuts Sportfishing Charters sailing out of Brielle reported, “We found solid bluefin action for our overnight charters this weekend. Landed a 46″ and a 48″ bluefin while releasing a few more. Added a nice pile of mahi to round out the haul. Overall it was good fishing. Spots are available so contact us to get in on the bite!” Call Cody at 609-354-2734
Here’s a report from the Miss Barnegat Light… “This weekend’s canyon trip started off with a limit of mahi on Saturday afternoon. After heading off the edge we setup a drift in 75 degree water. Within the first hour we a nice longfin albacore was on the deck. About an hour later we released a short swordfish. On our second drift we caught a 240 pound swordfish that ate a squid. A short time later we added a 90 pound swordfish and released another short. Unfortunately that was it for the night. At sunrise a white marlin came up on a free lined live squid.”
Looking for a deep sea adventure? Jump aboard the Miss Barnegat Light for a 30 hour Offshore Tuna Trip. Sailing every weekend in October, one tuna trip per weekend, $450 per person. Reservations Required… Call 609-494-2094 to book today.
Fish Head Charters
Last trip out (a few days ago) I had Tim White aboard for a dawn patrol light tackle trip with focus on fly fishing. Tim started the day off right with a bite on his first cast. It turned out to be a toothy one (small blue) that chewed the fly off. From there it was slow but we did the best we could to look around and try different areas. While on the hunt we found a striped bass and a couple bluefish. Towards the end of the trip things came together like a flip of a switch. A feeding frenzy broke out with bass, blues and albies. They were pushing bait and on the feed. Our sights were set for albies but we didn’t connect. The other game fish outnumbered them.
With summer further in the distance and cooler night becoming the usually the local waters begin to cool. Sunday morning’s bay temperature at the top of the tide in Barnegat Light was 66 degrees. I expect this slow drop to continue and with it an influx of migrating and hungry game fish. With the October New Moon tonight I anticipate promising progress in our fall fishery.
Looking back on last October it was very similar to this year. The month started off with lots of bait staged up and on the move with resident striped bass and small blues on the feed. It kicked off strong mid month with phenomenal false albacore fishing, larger bluefish and also live baiting (spot and eels) striped bass. The classy stripers appeared in the inshore waters mid to late month and that’s when things really got rolling. I’m geared up and looking forward to fishing ahead.
~ Captain Greg Cudnik, Call: 609-389-9963
Hot New Product in Penn SSVI Series
Select sizes of the all new Penn Spinfisher VI Series are in stock now. Stop by to check them out. The entire/complete product line is anticipated very soon!
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The Penn Spinfisher VI is everything a saltwater spinning reel should be; smooth, powerful and built to last! With sizes ranging between 2500-10500, there is a Spinfisher VI for every saltwater fishing application. The ALL NEW 2500 SIZE is perfect for fishing the backwater flats, light tackle inshore, surf and kayak. The 2500 is the smallest and lightest sealed reel available.
Being a long time Penn Warranty Repair Center, Fisherman’s Headquarters knows reels. We fish them. We repair them. We field test them. The crew here put the screws to the VI Series and they stood up to the test catching trophy striped bass (last fall and spring) and big brown sharks (all summer long). We love them! If you have any questions about the reels give us a call.
Upcoming Fishing Event
The Maximilian Foundation’s 4th Annual All Boat Tournament and Family Fish Fry is Saturday November 3, 2018. The mandatory Captain’s Meeting is Friday November 2, 2018 at 7pm at the Manahawkin Elks Lodge located at 520 Hilliard Blvd., Manahawkin. For the schedule of events and more information go to… www.theMaximilianFoundation.org
We are still chumming with live grass shrimp for weakfish. Every day the size changes, they range from 12 to 19 inches. Once they get to be 15 inches or bigger they zip some drag off of our six pound spinning outfits. In the mix, and dominating the slick, are a million snapper blues, some that are approaching the one pound mark now. Also, silver perch, sand sharks, out-of-season and short anyway fluke, and more. It is steady, sometimes constant action. A test of endurance to fish through the body of snapper blues. We are using little 1/16 oz jigs tipped with shrimp as our best weakie catcher right now.
Sailing Open Boat or Charter Sun, Oct 7 and Mon, Oct 8 Shrimping Trips 8AM to 1PM on Sun and 9AM to 2PM on Mon (it’s a tide thing). $125 person, 4 people max on Open Boats, all fish are shared. $500 for the whole boat if you charter.
From here in we will only be sailing on Sat, Sun, and Mon’s through the rest of 2018. I am launching the Philadelphia Fishing Show, Feb 22-24, 2019 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo center in Oaks, PA. I am committing all of my time to coordinating this event. If you are looking to book a striper date with us we will only have these three days available each week and some are already booked. Just a heads up.