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 .
COLUMBUS DAY 10/9…
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
LBI Fishing Report Update – October 10, 2018
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?
Best Jersey Shore Mullet Run Lures
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…
5 Best Jersey Shore Mullet Run Lures
1) Little Neck aka Polaris Popper from Super Strike Little Neck Popper and Gibbs Polaris Popper are some of the most popular top water surf fishing lures ever made. Well known for their productivity in a variety of conditions from calm to windy, chop to big water swell. These lures can be fished with a slow crawl and an intermittent twitch, pop retrieve. The Nomad Chug Norris Popper, Stillwater Smack-It Popper , the Storm Chug Bug Poppers can also be grouped into this category. All three have unique rattles (Chug Norris medium pitch / Smack-It low pitch / Chug Bug high pitch) that attract striped bass from long distances. Another awesome popper is the Yo-Zuri Hydro Popper.
2) Rubber Swim Shad – Whether fishing Tsunami’s Holographic Swim Baits or Storm’s Wild Eye Swim Shad you’ll catch if game fish are present. These life-like baits are about as close to live bait as a lure angler can get. Fish them slow and low and be ready for a strike. The Gotcha Rubber Sassy Shad rigged on a Kalin’s Swim Bait Jig Head is also a great option. We suggest 4 and 5″swim baits. Pro Tip: When fishing softbaits always carry a bottle of Zap-A-Gap (Green/Medium) to make emergency repairs if and when a bait gets ripped.
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.
4) Top Water Spook/Pencil – The Heddon Super Spook, Tsunami’s Talking Popper and Yo-Zuri’s Hydro Pencil are all floating top water lures that come alive with a little action from the rod tip. With a walk the dog approach fish pile on with exhilarating top water strikes!
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.
LBI Fishing Report Update – October 8, 2018
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!
With major advancements to both the gearing it’s the best in performance and reliability at an unbeatable price the VI Series offers saltwater anglers the best in class!
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
Beach Haven Charter Fishing Report
Update October 5, 2018
by Jim Hutchinson Sr.
Although the summer flounder season in New Jersey has ended, the boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are putting together some good catches bottom fishing on the inshore artificial reefs and structure further offshore. This fishing will receive a shot in the arm when the fall season for black sea bass re-opens on Monday, October 8, with a 10-fish per day limit.
Captain Carl Sheppard had an outstanding trip on the “Star Fish” recently. The annual trip of the Eppinger family was a great success with a wide variety of fish caught. The weather cooperated with nice sea conditions and a sunny 80-degrees. A total of 200 fish were brought to the boat including many large black sea bass to 18-inches and fluke, both of which had to be released. Captain Carl estimated about 45% of the sea bass were keeper sized. For a while they caught bluefish until their arms tired and then shifted to bottom fishing. They kept 14 two-pound bluefish and 6 triggerfish. The best fishing was in over 100-feet of water.
Captain Lindsay Fuller had the Jim Warren party on the “June Bug” recently, and they located quite a few pods of peanut bunker and a few rainfish pods as well. No fish appeared to be feeding on the bait, however. They trolled up a small Atlantic Bonita and a small Spanish mackerel. They ended the day on the Little Egg Reef where they found bottom action including a large fluke that was released. Captain Lindsay is hoping water temps cool off soon to activate the striper action.
Captain Gary Dugan is gearing the “Irish Jig” up for striper season. Until that action begins, he is wreck fishing and trolling inshore for bluefish, bonito, mahi, and other similar species. He says dates are filling up fast for the fall run.
Captain Jimmy Zavacky reports things have slowed a bit for the “Reel Determined” once fluke season closed. Captain Jimmy notes the 2018 fluke season was a good one with a lot of keepers. He is now booking black sea bass and striper trips and is looking to get offshore this weekend if weather permits.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.net.
LBI Fishing Report Update – October 3, 2018
The bait and resident striped bass continue to offer fun in the bay. Store staffer Jordan fished last night and got two bass fishing Kettle Creek Paddletail Softbaits. Other reports came from the bayside haunts up and down the Island’s west side as well as the mainland.
The bay’s water hold blowfish and weakfish among other species.
Bill Bannon of West Creek was on the jetty today and caught a 5.38 pound triggerfish while targeting blackfish. Word from other anglers up on the rocks is the tog fishing is very good!
Also roaming the inlet; blues, striped bass and the occasional surprise false albacore. Be ready with an Hogy Epoxy Jig (gotta stop in to buy… not enough for website demand) or Deadly Dick Metals for fool the fat alberts!
64th LBI Surf Fishing Classic
The nation’s oldest surfcasting tournament is only a few days away! Sign up now for 9 weeks of surf fishing fun and take advantage of the early registration promotion… While supplies last free collectible hat and t-shirt. This offer ends on October 15 at which time all shirts will be $20.
Kick off the “Classic” Saturday October 6th with the Opening Day Seminar.
Save the dates for all of the bonus days! The first bonus day is October 7, $500 cash prize to the largest striped bass. The second bonus day will be October 12, $250 cash award for the largest Striped Bass. Don’t miss out on these great opportunities.
LBI Fishing Report Update – Saturday Sept 30, 2018
Fish Head Charters
LBI Fishing Report Update – Sept 27, 2018
Well into the second full week of the Jersey Shore Mullet Run and it’s going strong. This is definitely LBI’s the best mullet run since Sandy. The weather hasn’t been pretty but manageable especially in the backwaters. While not for everyone there’s good fishing to be had. We aren’t talking big fish but really fun light tackle entertainment.
Jeffrey Fiedeldey sent in this report…”Wednesday Barnegat Inlet was on fire with cocktail blues 1-3 pounds. The afternoon low tide was good with them hitting mullet and top water poppers and SP Minnows.”
LBI Surf Fishing Report
The Long Beach Island surf is alive with bait and fish. Surf anglers are reporting lots of blues. Most are small but there are 1-3 pound cocktails around. There’s also STRIPED BASS, kingfish and other species too! Just a heads up to surf anglers fishing this weekend, extra lead will be required with rising easterly groundswell on the beaches. It arrives Saturday and will last into much of next week.
Chris O’Neill was up on the beach this afternoon and found the little blues (12-15″) were snapping. These feisty devils are taring up rigs baited with mullet and also piling on lures like
Anglers targeting kingfish are picking. Some better then others. Occasionally other species are coming up… Andre from Ohio stopped in the other day and report, “Pompano in the surf! I’m fishing FishBites in the surf at low tide looking for kingfish. I’m catching pompano.” Andre got them two days in a row so there must be a good number of them around. This isn’t our first reports of these.
Today (Thursday) we got a report from our bait guy, “You don’t see this everyday… Fluke were on the mullet in tight to the beach eating on top. They are well know for being very aggressive fish but top water fluke sightings are something special. Major bummer the season’s closed because this is the best time of year for land base flounder pounds to get into good quality flatties.
64th LBI Surf Fishing Classic – The LBI surf fishing tournament is only days away! Sign up not to take advantage of the early season sign up incentives… Free T-Shirt and Free Hat!!! Reminder the Kick Off Seminar is Saturday Oct 6th at 10am. There will be free coffee (sponsored by How You Brewin?), donuts from Crust & Crumb Bakery and some awesome giveaways.
Surfcaster’s Journal broke 50! The Surfcaster’s Journal Issue 51 is Live… check it out.
Barnegat Bay Fishing Report
The bay is loaded with good fishing opportunities. From blowfish to weakfish and striped bass to bluefish there’s fun fishing.
Mike Kelly was out on the bay today (Thursday) got 20 nice blowfish in a morning session. He also caught some kingfish and croakers. While he did not catch any spot there are some around.
Robbie Vallone was working poppers on the backwaters and found hungry bass. He said the amount of bait stacked and staged is very promising.
Fish Head Charters
With all of the foul weather, I took the opportunity to get some boat work maintenance and upgrades taken care of. Why push off something that can get done now?
I’m back in the water and off to a stellar start with fall!
Wednesday I had Brooks from Cortland aboard for some saltwater fly fishing. [Anyone who’s not familiar with Cortland… Let me introduce to you the oldest and best braider in the country! Since 1915 Cortland has been dedicated to fishing line now offering top quality fly lines, Dacron, Master Braid (great spectra braided line) and C-16 (the world’s best hollow core spectra). Best of all Cortland line is made in the USA!] We started out the morning working a number of different areas in the fog. On the hunt bait was found but no game fish (striped bass, bluefish, weakfish). All we had to show for our efforts was a boil but that was all we needed to stay active.
Fortunately by late morning (930ish) the dense fog lifted and the wind started up. Despite the super rough conditions, we made a quick decision to see what was around the Inlet. We were greeted by monster swell and acres of bait! Mullet were pushing in every which direction and fish were all over them. It was ROUGH but the bite was on like Donkey Kong! First cast and Brooks was tight with a screamer on a white deceiver. This nice striped bass in the rough conditions took him for a ride on the six weight rod meant weakfish and small striped bass. We made a couple more drifts each time hooking more fish but we were forced to call it quits when the Brooks got green. These conditions could have turn any good sea legs weak.
Today (Thursday) I was back on it. This time for first light and sure enough it was the right call. Again acres of bait scurrying for their lives with bass and blues all over them. Within 5 minutes the boat was a murder scene with blood and regurgitated bait all over the deck. The all out blitz went on for about two hours. We surprisingly caught more striped bass than I would have expected, about 10-12 all together. The largest was about a low teen size fish about 13-14 pounds. The rest were blues from snappers to four pounders. Too many fish to count with no one around!
~ Captain Greg Cudnik
Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Weekly Report – Thursday September 27, 2018
~ Jim Hutchinson Sr.
Fall officially arrived this week, and recent cooler temperatures have the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association starting to think about the arrival of the area’s greatest inshore sport fish, the striped bass.
Just like “snowbirds” heading down to Florida when winter arrives, the striped bass on their way south for the winter stop by local waters looking for food. When they find abundant food, they have been known to remain for quite some time. Right now with a good supply of mullet and bunker, they will be sure to stop in to fill their bellies.
To commemorate the presence of striped bass in the fall, there are several local striped bass tournaments, most for boats only. To mention a few-the Sea Shell Club, the Maximilian Foundation, the Stafford Township PBA, and the Red Men Lodge in Tuckerton all have e vents set for this fall. Most of these are for charitable causes and come with cash prizes, calcuttas, and various parties replete with good food.
Fishermen do not have to own a boat or be an expert to be competitive in one or more of these tournaments. Some of the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are available to take anglers out to compete in these events. A good boat and expert captain can make a difference in coming home with fish or empty handed.
To see how fishing with one of these experts might be accomplished, go the association’s website at www.BHCFA.net and get in touch with one or more of the captains to see what can be worked out.