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All anglers in the shop report catching on the surf. Small striped bass are tight to the beach offering light tackle fun. Here’s a number of reports from today and yesterday.
Dan D. was on the beach today for an sunset session. He reported, “Light tackle fun… It was on consistent with a number of guys. Everyone was catching. I had a bunch of shorts and one keeper size fish. Super Strike Needlefish, bucktails and AVA Metals were working great but you gotta have a teaser!
A customer in the shop this evening was fresh off the beach and had a good stick of striped bass. He stopped in to get his rod tip repaired. He reported, “No keepers but a bunch of shorts throwing little light stuff.”
These small bass are also feeding on bait but you have to scale down! One customer reported, “My long rod didn’t get touched but the small chunks in close to the beach were bit. I released three fish. One was 30″ and would have been a good one for the table. I should of harvested and taken advantage cause no fish were checked in that day for the tournament.”
Barnegat HS’s fishing club is holding their annual fishing flea market Saturday 12/8/18
@Barnegat High School
180 Bengal Blvd
doors open @ 9 AM
see you there!
by Matt Sorrentino (@swagmattic)
Whether you’re new to the game or an old salty dog with decades of experience dropping rigs on wrecks, there’s a lot to learn if you want to catch blackfish with jigs.
Skip ahead to the videos!
Do you attempt to catch blackfish with jigs? You should! At times they out fish rigs and produce really big catches. I must ask… How did anglers target summer flounder 10, 15, 20+ years ago? The majority now target them with jigs. The migration to the jig occurred in the sea bass and tuna game years ago and guess what… The tog game too!
Light tackle jigging for tautog is still a relatively new technique and the concept is simple. Lighter line, small reels and lighter rods all directly contrast conventional tog fishing wisdom. Lighter tackle allows the small jigs to get to the bottom faster, entice more bites and with its stealth approach gives the fish a sense of security so they take the bait. Unlike heavy blackfish rig fishing (typically use 6+ ounce bank sinker) the tog can pickup the smaller jigs and swim away without feeling the tug of the line and weight as they crunch and munch the bait. Light tackle jigging for tog allows anglers the most natural presentation of baits. This directly results in more bites and opportunities to catch. The obvious first step top catch blackfish with jigs is to pick out the jig.
There are a variety of tog jigs options on the market. With all of the brand names, at some point you’ll ask, “What type of Tog Jig should I use?” Or “What is the best Blackfish jig?” In my book, the answer is simple. It’s in the name of the jig… The Magictail “Game Changer” Tog Jig is the best jig. Whether targeting blackfish from the boat on reefs and wrecks or land based fishing, Magictail Tog Jigs outproduce.
The Bean Jig – The bean jig is a flat jig that lies with the hook on it’s side.
The Football Jig– Resembles a football with the hook pointing upright.
The Banana Jig – Similar to the football jig this jig is more slender and the hook point still faces upright.
Tautog pick at their food. They’re typically chewing on mussels, barnacles and other crustaceans clinging to rocks and structure. When feeding off the bottom they come at the bait from above and pluck at it. That is why you get those small taps when you first feel the fish. Setting the hook on a tog is a process that gets refined only with practice and experience. But as common sense would point out, if the fish’s point of attack is from above the jig, you would ideally want the hook pointing in that direction. When you swing that hook is more likely to land and set in the fish mouth then with a side facing jig.
It’s all in the intricate design which was advanced from the classic football and banana styles. The Magictail Tog Jigs take the concepts to the next level! The lead head shape ensures the jig always lays flat and doesn’t roll. The long shank, super strong and super sharp Mustad Black Nickel hook has all of the right qualities; shank length to easily bait and accept large pieces of crab while offering the ultimate in strength and point sharpness. The upward facing hook sits with open space between the hook and the bottom structure. This allows the fish to swim in and take a clean swipe at the whole hook. It makes the elaborately timed hook set process a whole lot easier and increase your hookup percentage. These are is the Magictail Tog Jig secrets which set them apart for all the others.
Check out the video links below to learn more about the Magictail Game Changer Tog Jigs.
So far this December things are not stacking up like last year. We had a rock solid striped bass bite for the first part of December 2017. Take a look at our report archive. I experienced awesome fishing between the 2nd through the 8th. Then the 11th and the 17 were stellar! My last trip out was December 21, 2017 and it was a fishy one.
It feels like this December we’ve had much more wind and a smaller class of fish. Whatever the case, we didn’t see these large bass this year in the first week of December. My fingers are crossed that we’ll see another few medium sized one but with the abundance of small bass.
Here’s my report… Yesterday I woke up to a blown forecast. Stronger northerly wind than anticipated made the decision to bail out an easy one. Since fishing was on the brain I hit the surf. I was greeted with active birds but couldn’t reach out far enough. One angler close by got two small bass in a half hour time frame but I couldn’t make it happen. After putting in some time I made a move to another spot. First cast I was tight with a light drag puller. Only a second or two later it was on top in the face of a wave and shook off. I got one other short strike and that was it for me as the wind started to gust and the snow was falling.
Yesterday a couple other surf reports came in with a similar theme… some small bass (15-22″) on the surf biting on teasers fished with a bucktail, diamond jig or soft bait.
Last night Pete Kelly caught a 28-7/8″ 8.64 pound striped bass fishing the night shift. He got it on bunker fishing the town of Loveladies
Another striped bass fishing report came in from Steve Cammann. Tuesday afternoon after leaving the shop he got into some schoolies fishing at the Causeway bridge. He released four.
Late November and December are prime time Ghost Hunting on the Jersey Coast. For a couple weeks now hunters are finding 50-100lb class tuna ranging from 12-30 miles off. They are in similar ares which held the summer’s smaller class of fish. Right now finding them is one thing but getting hooked up is another story.
Eight years back… this is how we rolled! Ghost busting with Captain Adam Sherer.
What we currently lack in size class from striped bass is made up ten fold by blackfish. The tog fishing reports are solid. Yesterday anglers that braved the rough conditions got into good fish. Again today reports are strong. The blackfish are hammering Magictail Game Changer Tog Jigs baited with live crab.
Store staffer Blake was out with Dante from Magictails. They reported, “Sporty conditions and good fishing.”
Today Swagmatic (Matt S.) was on the water. He got 6 keepers up to 8lb 10oz and was the high hook aboard the Osprey. He just missed pool with another angler getting a bigger fish late in the day. He said it was a good day, “My MVP was the 2oz Magictail Game Changer Tog Jigs. I fished the same jig all day and didn’t snag once.”
When the weather gets cold, tog fishing heats up! Now’s the time to get out there. Anyone going should try out Magictail Game Changer Tog Jigs!!!
Here’s guest blog about Catching Blackfish With Jigs from local tog fishing sharpie Matt S aka Swagmattic. He spills the beans and shares information about tog fishing with jigs.
I apologize for this video up, and taking it down, and putting it up, and taking it down thing. The YouTube copyright secret service kept blocking it for copyright infringement. My friend had the radio on when I was filming and it picks up the song in the background that I evidently do not have the rights to. Like, WTF “big brother” is so far up my …. that he can see my tonsils. But wait, “big brother” should know I had my tonsils pulled when I was a kid. LOL enjoy!
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This week saw an influx of small striped bass. Reports from the North End, Mid-Island and the South End show this young class of fish are stretched out along the drifting sands of Long Beach Island. Gear up on the light side with a teaser and then find a cut or big bar with feeding ducks. You’ll surely be into fish.
If you aren’t, stop in the shop and we’ll set you up with the right tackle. This will shut up the laughing fish and other anglers that are ten deep. All joking aside there’s millions of striped bass on the beach of LBI. Get out there and enjoy this great fishing.
These fish are feeding on sand eels so small slender bait imitations are the keys to the game. Standout Options: Hogy Epoxy Jigs, Bucktails, AVA Metal Diamond Jigs as well as hard baits lures such as Super Strike Needle Fish and Daiwa SP Minnows (size 13). Soft baits like the Tsunami Sand Eel and Lunker City’s Slug-o are top choices too.
Todd Luber fished yesterday (Saturday) afternoon and reported, “Lots of fish on the beach. They were tight and rolling at times. Numerous guys all catching. Must have seen 40-50 fish caught between the small group of anglers.”
Brendan Craig reported, “Yesterday morning was a rope session with doubles! Today (Sunday) was also super fun. Teasers are the ticket!”
The tog fishing is firing on all cylinders! The reports just get better and better with everyone into fish and most of the sharpies into numerous double digit fish each trip. Now’s the time so get out there!
Store alumni Rob Vallone always seems to be on the bite! We would like to take this time to congratulate him on his new personal best that he caught yesterday! Way to go Rob… 14lb 4oz, 28″ is one hell of a fish!
Yesterday’s voyage was the Carolyn Ann III’s last trip of the year. The boat reported, “Finally a nice day on the water. A few nice blackfish were caught. Billy Weisz of Manahawkin won the pool with a 7.3 pounder. We would like to thank everyone who sailed with us. We hope to see you next season! Have a safe and blessed holiday season.”
December started off right with very good fishing today. I had Matt Polito and his dad aboard for a morning trip aboard Fish Head Charters. We kicked off the morning with schoolie bass rolling on top. The first hour was super fun fishing with light tackle. As day progressed the action slowed to a steady pick all day with bass from micro to 25″. Everyone caught a bunch of bass fishing bucktails, small metal and epoxy jigs. I got the opportunity to whip the fly around and got two in just a few casts. They were piling on the sand eel fly. By far the fly is the ultimate fun with this size fish. Hopefully everyone puts away the heavy gear and enjoys this light tackle fun!
Numerous anglers in the shop today all reported lots of small bass on the beach and the boat. It’s December and we’ve got a lot more fishing to get in this year!
November closes out on a good note with great fishing and nice weather. You could not have asked for a nicer conditions today; calm winds, Lake Atlantic, chilly but comfortably manageable. Best of all clean water!!! Thankfully the fish wanted to cooperate. There’s a large body of striped bass here albeit rather small. Both beach and boat anglers are catching. Sand eel imitations are the ticket!
Tony Cuccinota stopped in the shop this afternoon. He reported, “The mid-island surf had small bass this morning.” He was catching using a metal and teaser. Another report came off the surf from Pete Kelley. Pete said school sizes striped bass on slender rubber. Store staffer Dan fished the North End surf this evening and caught bass into sunset. He said, “They were in tight and at times rolling on top.”
I was finally able to get back out on the water today. Last trip out (Black Friday) I blew out my steering. Thanks to the gents at Hance & Smyth, I was back up and running for the next break in weather (today). We didn’t have to run far to find piles of sand eels and small striped bass staged up. Only a few miles from Barnegat Inlet and we were into bass on small lures. The go to seemed to be bucktails, slender metal jigs or softbaits with a teaser. I also had fun fishing the fly catching three spunky small ones.
Store alumni Rob Vallone was on the water this morning and found very good fishing with friends. He said they were limited out by 9am with quality tog. Robbie said, “The biggest was 10 pounds. The fishing was so good, we were releasing some good size ones.”
Store staffers Blake and Dave were tog fishing today too. They also reported very good fishing.
Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Fishing Report by Jim Hutchinson Sr.
Date: Tuesday November 27, 2018
As winter weather fast approaches, the end of the 2018 striped bass action for the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association nears. However, there are still fish available, and with positive reports to the north, the action should continue for another couple of weeks.
Captain Gary Dugan of the boat “Irish Jig” recently took second place in the MICA striped bass tournament based out of Mystic Island. He said he is catching stripers off Beach Haven and is eying up a prize in the Italian American Club fishing tournament this coming weekend. The tournament is also based in Mystic Island and will run from November 30 to December 2.
Captain Ray Lopez had a striped bass charter Black Friday on the “Miss Liane.” Michael Jackson and his group were very happy they chose fishing over shopping. Despite 13-degree weather and salt spray freezing on the deck by the minute, the hardy group from Philadelphia had steady action on various sized bass. The next day the Ian Miller group from Cherry Hill, arrived early to get in on the early morning striper bite. From capturing beautiful sunrise photos to reeling in a monster striper, they had a spectacular time on the water.
The captains of the BHCFA recently held their annual membership meeting, and one of the first orders of business was recognizing outgoing president Captain Jimmy Zavacky. He was presented with a plaque citing him for his contributions to the association his commitment to local fishing.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.com.