Fishing Report Update 8/13/22

What an exceptionally nice day today… dry air and a much cooler than usually mid-August day. Just a flawless Saturday here on Long Beach Island.

The dreaded upwelling event has eased over the past few days due to a distinct change in weather pattern. It’s a welcomed change from the dog days of summer, Bermuda High, humid, hot and ripping south winds. But as always weather changes. This will break down as high pressure weakens, moves off and a coastal low brews up in the Carolinas and slides up.

Here’s the Long Beach Island Fishing Report for Saturday August 13, 2022.

LBI Summertime Fishing Overview By Near Shore Species

The waters are at their season high in August and the variety of species are also at their peak. Whether beach or boat, right now there is a plethora of species to catch. It’s the best time to catch a Barnegat Bay Grand Slam (fluke, striped bass, bluefish, weakfish) as well as an Inshore/Mid Shore Bottom fishing Grand Slam (Fluke, Tautog, Black Sea Bass, Cod/Ling).

Summer flounder (fluke) fishing the waters of LBI in August is great, arguably one of the best times. All summer long there’s a huge biomass of fluke staged up and feeding in the bay. The bay is still loaded with fluke but now’s when they start moving out (mid-August moon was Thursday’s Full Moon) and activity in the ocean’s wrecks, reefs and open bottom heat up. The surf which is good all summer for fluke can really shine at this stage of the game. Don’t overlook the inlets as everything funnel through! This time of the season anglers don’t need to get fancy. Use all of the same tricks that have caught fluke all summer. Light line jigging with Gulp is the most basic approach and one of the most deadly! Use 5-6″ baits fished on as of a light as possible to effectively feel and tap bottom. A few baits that I add to spice up my arsenal this time of year… live peanut bunker, live snappers, whole squid and mackerel strips.

Kingfish (northern Kingfish) love the clean surf waters on Long Beach Island and south Jersey. They usually show up when the surf temps get into the low to mid 60’s in June. It’s common to see the first good wave right after the larger class of striped bass leave in the spring. Then they hang around all summer long. It’s common to see the kingfish disappear right when the classy bass show back up (usually the same time as the horn-dog aka spiny dogfish invasion) in mid October. Fishing for kingfish is a lot of fun, it’s easy and they are good to eat (just like whiting, in the same family as are croakers and drum). These critters absolutely love live bloodworms (also great Fish Bite Bag O’Worms & Dyna Bait Freeze Dried Bloodworms) as well a sand fleas. Small pieces of clam, squid or shrimp will work too. The most common and effective rig is a hi/lo rig with pill floats and a 2-4 oz sinker (depending on conditions). Remember that kings tend to be in schools so it’s common for anglers to catch more than one. If nothing is happening after 10-15 minutes move around. It’s worth a shot to walk the beach and try to find where they are holding. Don’t dedicate your whole trip to one spot if not catching.

Striped Bass fishing is really good for this part of the year. There are always a body of resident fish that hang around and are a ton of fun. This summer seems much better! It could be the one positive from the numerous upwelling events in late July and early August. Bass love lures! You can’t beat a bucktail, an SP minnow or a Smack-It Popper, especially when blues are also in the area. All three of these will catch striped bass day in and day out and hold up to abuse from bluefish. I love soft plastics but the toothy ones will do a number on them too quick. Looking out September is a great month for schoolie striped bass as they get active chasing the exiting summertime baits (spearing, peanut bunker, mullet). Usually around mid October the run/migration shows, is here all of November and usually into December. We commonly see two to three waves so there are ups and downs during the run. Bigger but fewer at the beginning and more but smaller size at the end. I’m going out on a limb, picking the best week of the fall for both quality and quantity will be… October 30 to November 5. Maybe I’m a week early?

Bluefish are around in the bay, inlet and surf chasing small baits. Mostly they are chasing spearing but also peanut bunker. Throw slender metal to match the hatch! Deadly Dick Metals, Hogy Epoxy Jigs, Kastmaster, Krocodiles. Soon mullet will be the bait of choice on the surf, buy never too soon. Remember there is no minimum size however there is a 3 Fish Bag Limit. Yes snappers are bluefish. There is a special 5 Fish bag limit when on charter (for hire) vessels.

Blowfish were somewhat few and far between in the earl and mid part of summer, but they really came on strong the past week or so. Reports from all around the Island’s bayside waters have has a strong uptick. Anchor up, chum and send down small baited hooks with clam or squid. This is also a great time to use those Gulp slugs if you save them when fluke bite the tails off.

Tog fishing at the Barnegat Inlet jetty is offering up a lot of fun and it will continue to do so right through the fall season. The Tautog season opened August 1 at 15″ with a one fish bag limit. It will remain until November 15th when it opens up to 5 per person. If you have never tog fished before this is a great and very easy fishery to try out. First make sure you have protective footwear for safe jetty walking – Korkers!

Other structure loving species on tap right now… Triggerfish and sheepshead hang around structure all summer. From the bridges, docks and bulkheads to the sod banks, jetties and inlet, just about any type of structure can and will hold these two crustacean loving species. Fishing for these is a lot like tog fishing but they are usually not inside the structure like tog. They are usually hanging around or on top of and much more active at the slower staged of the tide.

Black Sea Bass are on the inshore reefs and wrecks all summer. This year the NJ state fishing regulations give angler a two fish bag all of July and all of August at a 13″ minimum size. This offers fluke anglers fishing the snags to bring home a nice sea biscuit or two. If looking to target Sea Bass first you have to find an area holding them and identify their presence on a sonar. They usually look like a Christmas tree when present in good numbers. Then drop a slender jig like the classic AVA Diamond Jig or my favorite the Hogy Sand Eel Jig. Another way is to bait up hi/lo rigs (1/0-3/0 hooks) with clam.

Weakfish were somewhat gone for a number of year; however they are resurged. Last year there was a great showing in the late summer. So far things look good this year too. Weakfish are a great species to catch at night in the lights at the many street lit bulkheads and docks. Their presence is usually give away by their surface feeding smacks when slurping shrimp, crabs and any type of baitfish. Also flashes in the light lines mean they are active. The classic pink softbait must not be forgotten. Bubblegum – Pink Shine is their favorite in either a fork tail, straight taper or a curly tail grub. Fish it on a small lead head 1/4-3/4oz. A small Storm Shad Is also another great lure. As always with weakies, the lighter the better. Light tackle is the only way! Weakfish also can’t resist small bucktail jigs and flies (Pink and White Clousers, Shrimp, Crab Patterns). If you are fishing in a boat and have access to get live grass shrimp, there’s no better way to seal the deal than live chumming and casting the fly rod! (or fishing small hooks baited with live shrimp) There is no closed season for weakfish but there is a 1 fish Bag Limit per angler and a 13″ minimum size regulation. Do your part in ensuring this fisheries rebounds to it’s prior greatness and practice catch and release!

A few summertime species that must not be forgotten… A few Spanish Mackerel are around and were caught recently. They are usually hanging around with the blues chasing bait. Catch them on small lures matching bait. Also anglers troll small metals or spoons in clean warm waters outside of the inlet or in close proximity. Doing this same sort of this will also turn up other hardtails like Bonita and Albies which should show very soon.

There’s lots of bunker pods and stretched out along LBI right now. There’s also a lot of predators on them from whales and porpoise to Cobia

Sharks & Rays – With the warm surf tempers rays and sharks are also cruising the suds. If looking to chunk and get tight with a substantial pull this would be for you, HOWEVER! Know the laws and know the species. Don’t be that guy who illegally lands and photographs prohibited species! You will ruine it for everyone. Both sandbar sharks and sand tiger sharks are both federally protected species. They can not be removed from the water. There are black tip and spinner sharks present right now as well as cow nose rays among others (bluntnose, roughtail, butterfly) that anglers can catch and release.

Beach Haven Charters Fishing Report 8/11/22

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association

Weather continues to be a topic around Long Beach Island with high temperatures, wide fluctuations in water temperatures, and occasional thunderstorms making things interesting. At times these changing conditions make fishing tough, but the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association continue to find fish.

Captain John Lewis of the “Insatiable” reports variable water temperatures made finding fish a challenge, but he has managed to keep his anglers happy with fluke, black sea bass, and a variety of other fish in the mix. One recent trip saw ocean water temperatures in the mid 50’s, but the bite started as it rose to 61-degrees as the day wore on. With Beach Haven packed with vacationers, Captain John reports his sunset cruises have become quite popular.

Captain Dave Wittenborn of “Captain Dave’s Charters” had celebrity chef Graham Elliot out on the “Benita J” filming a television pilot, “Winner is Served.” Fishing was slow but they managed to land a nice fluke for him to cook up. Captain Dave said “He’s a great guy to hang with. Look for us on the Food Network.”

Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” had a dedicated group of fishermen out this week who “really kicked butt’” They returned to port with a nice catch of good-sized fluke caught on structure in the ocean.

Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” has had several successful charters recently. He reports finding better action for the most part in the bay waters rather than the ocean. Tom Dillon and crew put 4 keeper fluke and a few bluefish in the box despite strong winds. His last charter featured Bob Dodds, Boston Bob, and Produce Jack for a 4-hour charter. The guys worked some live bait and jigs boxing 7 solid keepers to 21 inches while releasing close to 50 shorts.

Captain Frank Camarda has been piloting the head boat “Miss Beach Haven” into some decent fluke fishing. Several of his anglers have been bringing good sized fish over the rails, and fishing seems to be improving daily.

Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.org

Upwelling Events On Long Beach Island

After a string of upwelling events this summer, some that could rank towards the top of historic records, everyone from anglers to surfers and bathers are asking, “Why’s the surf so cold?”

Attaching a thermometer to the back of a casting lure is a great way to monitor the water temperature when fishing.

Growing up on LBI, I’ve experienced our changing waters both fishing and surfing since a young age. Then in Oceanography Classes at Stockton College I learned more about our unique Cold Pool and the intricacies of our coastal dynamics. I’ve talked about it numerous times on my fishing report videos but never laid out a full blog post to comprehensively share information on the topic of upwelling on Long Beach Island. Here it goes!

Photo: Casting Lure and Thermometer, Steve George, Night Strikes Guide Service

The Cold Pool

What is the source of the cold water?

The waters of the New York – New Jersey Bight (Cape May, NJ to Montauk, NY) are unique. It is arctic in the winter with water temps in the 30’s and it is tropical in the summer with water at times reaching the 80’s. These are some of the largest ranging ocean temperatures in the world.

The waters change over the season…

WINTER: During the coldest months of the calendar (December–March) the water is well-mixed.

SPRING: April and May are the spring transitional months when the days get longer and the weather patterns calm. During this time the ocean’s surface temperature warms and stratification occurs creating a two layer summer ocean.

SUMMER: All summer, June/July/August/September the surface layer remains warm, but the bottom layer remains cold. This cold bottom water is known as The Bight’s Cold Pool.

This cold dense blanket is a vital part of our ecosystem supporting the diverse fisheries. Anglers can catch warm water species (mahi, marlin, wahoo, cobia, tuna, etc.) on the surface or upper water column and at that same exact location bottom fishing for cold water species (flounder, ling, cod, black sea bass, etc.)

FALL: The fall transitional months (October and November) the days get shorter, the surface cools and more frequent storms mix the ocean. The stratification breaks down.

The seasonality of ocean temperatures and the detailing of spring/summer stratification.

Looking at the graphic, the seasonality of ocean temperatures, take note of the stratification in June – August! It’s the time with the most radical temperature range and that is when the upwelling events pack the biggest cold punch!

Upwelling Events As A Result Of Ekman Transport

Let’s dive into the work of Vagn Ekman, a Swedish oceanographer who in the early 1900’s observed icebergs did not drift in the same direction as the wind. Through his study of fluid dynamics and commitment to physics he published his theory, The Ekman Spiral, which detailed the Coriolis Effect [due to planetary rotation objects in motion in the Northern hemisphere deflect clockwise, opposite in the southern hemisphere] in the ocean.

Part of his theory, Ekman Transport details the wind’s influence on driving and dragging surface waters at 90º from the direction of the wind due to the Coriolis force. Water displaced is replenished. Diverging waters due to Ekman transport create a void which in turn acts like a suction, upwelling deep sea water. In the exact opposite way downwelling occurs. Both of which have significant impacts on the world’s oceans.

Depending on the wind’s direction, duration, speed and area, these downwelling or upwelling events can range from none existent or minor to major.

The causes of upwelling graphic by the NWS.

Late July’s & Early August Upwelling Events – The Cold Water Event Recipe

Storm fronts and coastal storms largely drive the Mid-Atlantic weather. However in the summer it’s common for those patterns to break down and the “Bermuda High” takes over. Long Beach Island then gets its daily southerly sea breezes that at times can be very strong. These winds cause the surface waters to be pushed offshore making cold bottom waters upwell.

Due to persistent and prolonged southerly – southwesterly winds from high pressure in control of the Western Atlantic (around about Bermuda) and a lingering inland trough, a round of significant upwelling events took place in mid to late July 2022.

The lack of frontal system activity held the pattern and upwelling continued. There were numerous upwelling events one after another with a climactic ending, a much stronger event late in the month. The ice cold waters bounced back but it didn’t last long. Another upwelling event took place August 7-10th which is shown in the chart below. Temperatures were recorded by local anglers even colder, mid to low 50’s.

Barnegat Light water temperatures 8/4-8/10.

Central NJ Water Data

More local monitoring and a better buoy network would be nice but we must be happy and utilize what we have.

Barnegat Light USGS Station 01409125 – This tide and temperature station is uniquely located at Barnegat Inlet where it records the Barnegat Bay waters on the outgoing – ebb tide and ocean waters on the incoming – flood tide.

*Note the recorded data at this gauge/site can be influenced especially during low tide, it’s common to see LBI surf temperatures 2-4 degrees colder then recorded here. It is a great resource so long as you read it properly! The warmest (highest high) was at the end of the ebb current, August 9th at 3:37PM and the coldest (lowest low) was at the end of the flood current, August 9th at 9:49PM. The dropping lower lows from 8/6-8/10 is the upwelling event in the ocean taking place and progressing.

NOAA Waverider Buoy 44091 – The 44091 buoy is 15nm offshore of Barnegat Light, so it does not record the nearshore coastal upwelling data. It does however give a great read into the ocean surface temperatures. These waters will get pushed in with north and north east winds creating a downwelling event.

Atlantic City Steel Pier’s Station 8534720 – The Atlantic City Steel Pier data is what’s most commonly shows on the news. It’s an accurate surf temperature for general purposed. However, it’s not always a great read for the LBI surf. AC has a much more southerly facing beach and also Absecon Inlet. A persistent south wind can pile up the Absecon Bay’s outgoing waters against the beaches in close proximity and therefore read slightly warmer.

Better Your Catching When Summertime Fishing

Anglers who know about the upwelling phenomenon and the reasons why it occurs better understand the local area’s dynamics. Furthermore anglers who are mindful of and use water temperature to their advantage more effectively plan, alter and abort fishing trips.

Upwelling events are common for Long Beach Island. We all love that they offer a break from the hot and humid mainland. The surf and the sea breeze is the lure of the shore! Make the most of it and enjoy fishing!

Hi Flier Tuna and Weakfish

Had a good week of fishing. Returned to the inshore tuna spot on Monday. After waiting for the messy weather to blow thru which delayed our departure from 3AM to 7AM, we took it on the chin head on into the northeast wind and waves that were a little stiffer than forecasted. Lines in at 9:30 AM. No readings and no hits until 12 Noon when the deep rod goes screaming. It was a sardine bait with a sinker, four cranks off the bottom. We use light gear, 30 class conventionals, so this fish took a ride. 90 minutes later, an 80 lb yellowfin hits the deck. A little while later we released a five foot hammerhead shark. No more hits until 5PM when we are cleaning up and clearing the rods to go home and the last rod to be cleared starts singing. Fifteen minutes later, we deck a 50 lb yellowfin and head for the barn. That one hit a weightless flatine. 

Yesterday (Thursday) we did some inshore sharking and caught three Atlantic Sharpnose sharks before heading into the bay to pickup some live grass shrimp I ordered. It was our first effort of the season with the shrimp and I was not overly optimistic as I know a few people who tried recently, and the reports were not good. I conveyed this to my charter and they were willing to try anyway. After about 15 minutes of chumming shrimp we had the first of the weakfish, they were all about 11 to 12 inches. Then it changed to 13 to 15 inch fish, one after the other, all on 6 pound ultralite spinning rods. It looks like this fishery is underway.  

Available for charter Sunday Aug 7, Mon Aug 8, and Fri Aug 12 for Back Bay Weakfishing with live grass shrimp. 5 hour trip $700. 

We are fully booked until Thurs Aug 25 is our next availability.
Hope to see you on board.

Dave DeGennaro

Hi Flier Sportfishing

732.330.5674 cell


LBI’s Early August Fishing Report

In the heat of summer the Central Jersey Coast has a lot to offer anglers inshore, offshore and from shore. After the back half of July was plagued with unseasonably cold waters due to an abnormally long and severity upwelling event, August is off to a great start! Let’s beat the heat and go fishing!

Here’s the Fishing LBI Report Update for the Long Beach Island Area on August 3, 2022.

Inlet & Surf Fishing Report

Long Beach Island has great land based fishing opportunities all year. It’s especially good now in the peak of summer. With the waters back, now the LBI surf temp is right about 70º, the fluke and kingfish bite on the surf has improved.

Remember it’s not necessary to cast far for fluke or kingfish. The majority of the fish are caught right at the beach lip.

Store staffer Tyler and Jared are catching fluke on the beach. Tyler says, “The Gulp 5″ Pink Shine Grub has been my go to. I don’t catch as many fish when using the 5” grub over the 4” swimming mullet, but I’m finding better quality fish.”

The kingfish bite has been consistent with the warmer waters. Customer feedback is better trending with kings on the mid-island and south end. A simple Hi/Lo Kingfish rig, a 1-3 oz sinker (depending on conditions) and some blood worms is all you need. The past couple weeks live bloods have been very tough to get and talking to the diggers in Maine there’s not a positive outlook. Fortunately we got a delivery this week. There’s no question they are the ultimate bait but there are awesome substitutes that are very effective and much more convenient to store and fish. Dyna Bait Freeze Dried Bloods & Fish Bites Bag’O Worms Baits such as live sand fleas (mole crabs) as well as cut squid are also good baits for northern kingfish.

Pro Tip: To better your odds in the warm, clear summer waters scale down! When targeting kingfish and fluke we suggest using no more than 20# fluorocarbon. 10-15# is more than enough. Light lines prevail!

Right now there’s bunker pods stretched along Long Beach Island. Some have predators like sharks, COBIA and porpoise. Some do not. Anglers fishing meaty baits like bunker and mackerel are catching some large line pulling creatures.

Here’s a stud cobia that Brendan Craig speared on Wednesday evening and weighed in at 45#.

August is a great month for fishing the Barnegat Inlet Jetty.

Tog fishing is open! One Tautog At 15″ From Now Until November 15th. All summer the inlet and inshore structure has been alive with tog. Now that it’s open. Get in the game! Green crabs and sand fleas are great baits. Reports from the first couple days all point to fleas outproducing. If you don’t have time to dig them we have live sand fleas in stock daily. If you want to catch your own we have rakes in stock. Just a heads up, certain tides have been grassy if you get caught up in those conditions, rather than casting out you will want to fish straight down in the mini caves.

Here’s a Spanish Mackerel caught recently aboard the Reel Fantasea with Captain Steve Purul.

Other opportunities at the Inlet…

We have seen a recent uptick in small to cocktail size bluefish. At times feisty schoolied up cocktails have worked up small schools on spearing into a frenzy. Also there’s a few Spanish Mackerel and small bonita in the mix but they are more of a hit or miss bite. For these it is important to make long casts with metals and don’t hesitate to fish them quick or intermittently. Good lure options include the size #1, #2, and #3 Deadly Dicks Slender Metals as well as Hogy Epoxy Jig and No1 Slender Metals.

Pro Tip: These mini pelagics can be and usually are finicky. This is usually when the quick skipping retrieve fools and entices a bite.

Looking to learn about Surf Fishing 101? Or are you a novice yearning for the finer point of surf fishing?Give Steve George with Night Strikes Guide Service a call. Steve reports, “Conditions have improved and the bite is on.” Anyone looking to expedite their fishing progressions should touch base with Steve and book a trip. He is a very experienced surfcaster that has helped a lot of anglers get around the learning curves and speed bumps that plague rookies.

Back Bay Fishing Report

Areas of the backwaters are stacked with spearing and peanut bunker making for some fun light tackle striped bass and bluefish action. Fluke fishing remains productive at the right times and places really productive with some nice quantity and quality. A recent uptick in blowfish as well as spot round out the fishing in the backside waters of LBI. Last but not least, crabbing and clamming!

Willie Lakes with a nice striped bass!

Inshore Fishing Report

Fluke, sea bass and ling are still on tap bottom fishing the inshore waters and as of August 1 NJ Blackfish – Tautog Season is now open!

Dave Moores was out today and reported a good mixed bag. Some squid around.

John Barrett was fishing out front today in 50′ of water and shared, “Caught approximately 50 shorts with five keepers. Tried to get our two man limit but it didn’t happen.”

Offshore Fishing Report

The month of July has offered good fishing but much more spotty than previously years.

Mid-Shore Fishing Report

Yellowfin and bluefin tuna fishing action has been popping up from 15-50 mile range. Some anglers doing better than others on the troll, on the chunk, on the jig and on top water. To each his own! When you find them and they are ready to eat it’s game on!

Brian Casey and store staffer Tanyon picked up 2 smaller yellowfin on 120g Nomad Streaker jigs. A few days earlier Dave Werner was out with friends and got a good one on a popper. Last year he purchased a top water casting outfit and Dave put it into action!

The mahi mahi have shown up in good numbers. Store staffer Jack and his Buddy Cole took advantage of Lake Atlantic conditions this week and got into some small mahi within 8 miles of the little egg inlet on a 20 foot boat. They caught their fish on small Fat Cow Epoxy Jigs.

There is also king mackerel and wahoo here too! Luke Haley caught a mondo wahoo!

Offshore Fishing Report

There have been a few big eye tuna at the Southern Canyons and some yellowfin. Captain Jeff Warford just got back in today from a two day trip at the Wilmington. His crew got a 175# big eye, a sword and some yellowfin tuna. Here’s first mate Jake holding up the big eye that fell for a Wolkpack Tackle Ahi Head.

Store staffer Frezza picked up a few nice Golden Tiles, 2 rosefish and a keeper Swordfish on a recent trip with Captain Nick Perello.

Capt Jon Kelly from LBI Sportfishing caught a mondo blueline tilefish. He reported, “Had another killer day at the ledge on Monday. Got to the canyon at 11pm, set up on troll looking for a bigeye. At midnight has a huge hit that dumped drag and chaffed up and broke off. Guessing a sword or shark. In the morning we got a solid longfin tuna and a smaller yellowfin. Then we decided to bottom fish for tiles. It was good and we managed to get a big one hand cranking, three pounds shy of the state record!”

Deep Dropping can be an exciting plan B when plan A doesn’t come to fruition. Golden Tilefish, Blueline Tilefish, Rosies, Barrelfish, Wreckfish and even some grouper are all on the menu. It’s also a great Plan A too! Here’s Tom Winters with a stud 80″ sword!

Hi Flier Open Boat Schedule Thurs July 28 thru Mon Aug 1

Not great. That sums up our own personal offshore fishing lately. On our last two trips, we covered 180 miles and 140 miles, respectively, with nothing to show for it except a 15 lb mahi. While I was covering all that water from the Texas Tower to the 28 Mile Wreck, some boats were catching 30 lb class bluefin less than 20 miles from my home port of Barnegat Inlet. I think I am going to keep it closer to home this weekend and Monday, unless I get some really good intel to change my mind. To be clear, they are not slaying the bluefin, they’re catching a few, one, or none. The grounds they are fishing on typically provide a variety of bonita, albacore, king mackerel, spanish, mackerel, mahi, and more. I’m not saying any of those species are there, I’m saying, historically, this time of year, any of those species could be in the mix. The water there is blueish and 74 to 77 degrees. A good amount of flying fish, which should attract some mahi. I will be running Open Boat or Charter to these grounds, armed with trolling gear and prepared to bait fish, as well. 

Our inshore sharking trips have been doing very well. I tell people to expect two to three foot Spinner, Blacktip, and Atlantic Sharpnose sharks. They are small in stature, but are high powered pelagic sharks that give a really good fight on light tackle. The bigger sharks don’t always get the memo that we are fishing for smaller sharks and on all three of our trips last week we had a 130 to 150 lb class brown shark. All catch and release, as these are not edible species. It is possible to combine some inshore fishing with this, as well, like casting lures at the inlet jetty for schoolie stripers and blues, or fluking inside the bay. We could also try some live grass shrimp for the ultra lite mix of species on six pound tackle. Weakfish are always the target, but they are not always there, so the goal is to catch as many different species as we can. 

Looks like a really good marine forecast for this stretch of dates:

Sailing Open Boat or Available for Charter: 
Thursday July 28 10AM to 5PM  Barnegat Ridge 15 to 20 Mile Range $275 person
Friday July 29 10AM to 5PM  Barnegat Ridge 15 to 20 Mile Range $275 person
Saturday July 30 6AM to 2PM Barnegat Ridge 15 to 20 Mile Range $300 person
Monday August 2AM to 4PM Mid Range Tuna 30 to 60 Mile Range $450 person
All trips are limited to 4 passengers. All fish are shared.
Any of these dates are also available for your private charter to fish inshore, offshore, or the bay.

Pic: Steve Ondrof of Rockaway NJ with his 15 lb Mahi caught at the 28 Mile Wreck this past Saturday.

Dave DeGennaro

Hi Flier Sportfishing

732.330.5674 cell


Jersey Coast Beach Access Issues

Last week I got word about a beach access issues in northern Ocean County. Beach access has been an ongoing issue for many years but this time it has “new roots”. Due to a native plant growth, there is new concerns and possibly action coming down the pike. What’s taking place could set precedence and eventually take root on Long Beach Island. Before we know it a full fledged campaign with big money backers and radical environmental groups could spark up and then life as we know it is gone.

Listen Up Any & All Jersey Surfcasters, Especially those who utilize 4×4 Beach Buggy Access!

Seabeach Amaranth is a native plant to New Jersey’s barrier island beaches. It is typically found on the upper beaches, dunes and in over wash areas. In 1993 the plant was listed as threatened under the US Endanger Species Act. NJ’s highest concentrations of plants are at Sandy Hook’s Gateway National Recreation Area. But recently more plants have been found on beaches of southern Monmouth and Ocean Counties. The plant, Seabeach Amaranth is now being talked about and possible action limiting 4×4 beach buggy access is a possibility.

Brick Beach 4×4 Access In Jeopardy

This whole controversy sparked with the state and feds pushing local municipalities, in this case Brick Township to restrict access and even cease beach buggy permits. Brick’s Mayor Ducey shared, “US Fish & Wildlife contacted us and said we had to eliminate beach buggy access.” Town council said, “No way! There has to be another way!” Township engineer got involved with suggestions and basically a settlement. What is sounds like is to keep the beach buggy access/ordinance there will be a limitation on dates, required signage, fenced off areas and also constant enforcement of any violations by police. Ducey and town council did not want to make any changes to the beach buggy ordinance but was forced to give concessions to the federal government in order to keep 4×4 access. Mayor Ducey said, “The council agreed that the permit with the restrictions was better than eliminating it and that is why there is a new ordinance.”

For all that can please attend the Brick Town Council Meeting, at Municipal Hall on Chambers Bridge Road, Tuesday July 26th at 7pm. Show up to respectfully ensure the fisherman’s voice is heard to ensure fishing access in Brick Beach, the state of NJ and the entire Striper Coast!

Signage and fencing of the sensitive areas is the logical thing to do to ensure public awareness and access. Also it would be rational to provide an informational postcard when buying beach permits. But, cutting back 4×4 access from October 1st – April 30th to November 30 – March 15th is unacceptable! This cuts out the entire spring surf fishing season and the majority of the fall surf fishing season too. Also beach access must be protected and preserved by having thoughtfully worded ordinances. They must not be vague!

Mixed Up Finger Pointing At The Beach

The Brick Beach situation is the tip of the iceberg and what action the town takes, possibly pushing back fighting the state and feds will set precedence for the coastal municipalities of the Jersey Shore.

The state and feds are pointing fingers at anglers and their 4×4 beach buggies. But who is really to blame? Anglers are not fishing and driving in the high beach area and dunes. Those ones who should be taking the heat is all of those parties associated with the beach replenishment projects as well as beach maintenance!

Major Threats To Seabeach Amaranth

What are the major threats to Seabeach Amaranth?

  • Storms
  • Beach replenishment
  • Pedestrian traffic
  • 4×4 access
  • Beach Maintenance – Raking

All summer the Jersey Shore beaches are raked to keep the soft sand clean from seaweed and litter. This municipal raking at the foot of the dunes is the major threat to beach plants and it limits the natural widening of the dune. Also lifeguards and township public works vehicles daily drive the high beach line commonly at the foot of the dune to avoid beach goers. If Seabeach Amaranth was an issue on the areas of the beach where rakes and these vehicles travel daily why didn’t the alarm sound sometime in the 90’s. Why now?

This same area is where beach goers (pedestrian) use the beach and walk on at designated access points (most of which are fenced). This is also the exact same areas are where 4×4 beach buggies access and use the beach. The low and high dunes are and have always been closed off. Sensitive areas of beaches should be fenced off for public awareness.

Now we are basically left with two major threats; storms and beach replenishment.  We can’t stop storms so the elephant in the room is Beach Replenishments! And what a co-incidence another round is slates to repave our beaches very soon.

The whole Jersey Coast has been re-engineered and fortified with little regard for the environmental impacts to fisheries, flora and fauna.  When I was a kid, not many years ago, there were big pine trees on the dunes, lots of shrubs, vines and large grasses. There was once a living dune with strong and deep roots, as well as lots of animals. Now, even years after our “new dunes” don’t have a real foundation and just blow – wash away. The beaches were also built in such a way that the gentle slow slope profile natural to LBI was blatantly ignored. Due to this, any type of storm and mild erosion chews out the dunes and the event looks catastrophic and news worthy. This all plays into their job security and master plan of routine replenishment ruining the fishing, surfing and communities during and for a handful of years after.

So who’s really to blame?

LBI Mid-Summer Surf Report 7-26-2022

Back on the Fluke Grounds this week as it looks like that extended heat-wave was finally broken with yesterday’s T-Storms.
*great morning tides the rest of the week wrapping up the month of July so if your looking to get into some mid-summer Surfcasting on the beaches of LBI there is a nice variety of species cruising the surf line to catch and have some light tackle fun with .

The Fluke/Summer Flounder bite has been up and down along with the drastic water temperature changes recently with slot size fish up to 19”

~ Fluke~ Weakfish ~ Kingfish & Bluefish

Early morning surfcasters are finding some nice Weakfish feeding along with Snapper Bluefish chasing schools of spearing just outside of the sandbars and also on those sandbars are aggressive Kingfish taking up their summer residence on our beaches right now.

Slot Size Fluke up to 19” recently

If your looking to book a trip for the rest of the summer feel free to call me at 609-276-6983 or email me at Nightstrikes@comcast.net for more information

Steve George / Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Service LLC

Van Staal VS X2 Series Fishing Reels

The legendary saltwater spinning reel got a big update for its 30th birthday!  The Van Staal VS X2 Series reels are everything and MORE than their predecessors… Lighter, Smoother, Faster, More Waterproof and some new sizes and options!

Buy Now: Van Staal VS X2 Series Bailess Models: 100, 150/151, 200/201, 250, 300.

Buy Now: Van Staal VS X2 Series Bailed Models: 50, 150, 200.

Van Staal VS X2 Series Features

The next generation Van Staal VS X2 Series still has the same great aircraft grade aluminum construction, solid titanium main shaft (slightly thicker for less flex and more strength) as well as the same proven ultimate internals; same stainless steel spiral-bevel gears, seals, bearings  and patented waterproof sealed drag system.

Van Staal VS X2 is available in silver or black (very limited run of gold 200's) and in sizes 50-300 with lefty versions in the 151 and 201 sizes as well as full bail models in the 50, 150, 200 sizes.
Van Staal VS X2 is available in silver or black (there’s a very limited run of gold 200’s) and in sizes 50-300 with lefty versions in the 151 and 201 sizes as well as full bail models in the 50, 150, 200 sizes.

The Van Staal VS X2 Series Reels now have a one piece “unibody” (which is stronger and more waterproof) and a redesigned rotor, anti reverse clutch assembly and modern skirted spool. The VS X2 Series now comes with the VS Power Grip Drag Knob and Power Grip Handle Knob as well as a new redesigned (offset for comfort) extended (for more power) handle arm and extended reel foot.* These four features eliminate the need for aftermarket upgrades.

*The extended reel foot provides more distance from the rod to the rotor’s line roller, eliminating knuckle busting and helping when fishing with gloves.

The Van Staal Power Grip Handle Knob with extended handle arm, Power Grip Drag Knob and extended reel foot are all included with the VS X2 series.
The Van Staal Power Grip Handle Knob with extended handle arm, Power Grip Drag Knob and extended reel foot are all included with the VS X2 series.

The redesigned rotor and clutch give the reel a very noticeable no-play feel in your hand and also it stands out when fishing. The rigid rotor has no flex or backplay because the infinite anti-reverse clutch and pinion are together (now under the rotor), offering incredible hook set power.

Another major difference is in feel when reeling the VSX-2 Series. Traditionally sealed reels with hard stainless gearing felt rough and would take years to wear in. Not the Van Staal VS X2 reels!  They feel “worn in” and smooth as butter right out of the box. With regards to gearing the 100’ and 300’s were made quicker but the 150/200/250 were kept at the traditional gear ratio and line retrieval rates that anglers have fallen in love with. 

Van Staal VS X2 Stand Out Additions

  • The all new VSB50 X2 (bailed only) weighs in at the 12oz, offers 35” per turn and 25# of drag, holding 360 yds of 20# braid this size is a game changer! Finally a small reel that will stand up to hard fishing. It’s possibly the ultimate inshore reel that will be perfect for light tackle surf plugging and kayak fishing. We are looking forward to tog fishing with this!
  • The VS100 X2 (bailless only) weighs in at 13.8oz, offers 33.5” per turn (Now As Fast As The 200 – the 100 used to be at 27 IPT it used to be at 27IPT) and 30# of drag, holding 460 yds of 20# braid. This is the smallest bailess reel and another compact workhouse that’s ready to battle and defeat big fish in the salt and sand!
  • The 150 and 200 sizes are available in bailless and full bail styles *** as well as FINALLY TRUE LEFTY MODELS, 151 and 201! 
    • The 150 weighs 14oz, offers 30” per turn, 30# of drag, holds 440 yds of 30#
    • The 200 weighs 24.1oz, offers 33.5” per turn, 42# of drag, holds 500yds of 40#
  • The 250 (bailless only) weighs 24.9oz, offers 36.5” per turn, 42# of drag, holding 600 yds of 50# braid. The VS250 is a great reel for using on a 10’6”-11’ surf plugging rod to fish bucktail jigs and large surf lures.
  • It’s back and redesigned faster – The 300 (bailless only) weighs 27oz, offers 50” per turn, 42# of drag, holding almost 500yds of 80# braid. This is the reel for anglers needing quick line retrieval. Perfect for fishing the Canal to Cabo! Either big roosters or big bass, the 300 perfectly matches up with a 11’-12’+ rod that will be used for long casts to big fish in fast moving water.
  • Yes the 275 reel is gone.

***Due to their modular design, the rotors on 150 & 200’s can be swapped (to fish either bail-less or bailed). By removing four screws, the rotor can be switched in less than five minutes.

On the full bail models (VSB50 / VSB150 / VSB200) Van Staal improved for a much more positive functioning bail and kept the same great line roller assembly; a double bearing, solid titanium nitri-coated gold line roller. Super hard, super strong and super durable!

Two other new highlights that pass under most radars… For smoothness and also long term durability, titanium rails were added where the traverse guide oscillates on the inside of the body. The classic roll pin found on the main shaft where the spool’s hub would sit was replaced with a solid stainless pin. No more rusty roll pins!

The Van Staal VS X2 Series reels now have the clutch underneath the rotor for ultimate performance.
The Van Staal VS X2 Series reels now have the clutch underneath the rotor for ultimate performance. Also shown in this photo; titanium main shaft, new solid stainless roll pink, updated rotor design and the classic line roller.

Van Staal VS X2 Series Spec Chart

The chart below details the Van Staal VS X2’s specifications and performance particulars. 

Van Staal VS X2 Series Availability

Estimated Availability: 150, 200, 250, 300 reels are all expected at the end of August/September. The VSB50 and VS100 will be in November. 

To celebrate Van Staal’s 30th anniversary, a commemorative Van Staal VS200 GOLD reel will be coming but on an extremely limited basis in November. There are only 499 being made and these commemorative reels will be officially numbered. Fish it or collect it.  Retail $999.99


Van Staal has and always will own the surf with its “No Limitations” ultra durable fishing reels. These tremendous improvements have been in the works for a number of years and were heavily tested and proven. We are excited to finally share the VSX-2 Series to you and welcome the next 30 years of Van Staal!

Fred at Comanche Surfcasting caught this striped bass while field testing the new Van Staal VS X2 Series reels.
This photo was sent in by Fred with the Comanche Surfcasters. He caught this monster striped bass while field testing the new Van Staal VS X2 Series reels.

BHCFA Report Update 7/24/22

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association

After a slow start to the past week, the boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are seeing an increase in fishing activity.

The week began with strong winds and an upwelling of water in the ocean. This resulted in patches of dirty water along with colder water temperatures that slowed fishing. The last few days of hot weather have raised the water temps and increased fish catches.

Captain Dave Kreines of the “Byte Me” has been working hard to land fish for the box but is finding enough action to keep his family charters excited. He had the Vaughn family out, and the 6- and 7-year-old cousins had a fun time with small sharks while Dad lost a big cownose ray at the boat. Another trip with the Stoltz family resulted in small sharks and undersized fluke while fishing in Little Egg Inlet.

Max Goldman reports the “Starfish” has been finding constant action of fluke, black sea bass, and porgies among other species coming over the rails in the ocean. Captain Max adds the fishing is improving with each increase in water temperature.

Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” has been finding a mix of action on the inshore ocean reefs with groups of anglers who have been willing to work hard for their catches. A recent family group returned with fluke of 18-and 22-inches along with an 18-inch black sea bass.

Captain Frank Camarda has been finding decent numbers of fluke and other bottom fish with the head boat “Miss Beach Haven.” One of his top anglers, Daryl, had an especially good day recently with a pair of beauties. The “Miss Beach Haven” is the only head boat at the southern end of Long Beach Island.

Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction” Sportfishing reports good catches of fluke and black sea bass despite some very unfavorable weather conditions. He had Andrew Wilk Sr. and Jr. on a 3-hour trip “all over the bay” before they got into real action. The water was dirty and cold, but the father and son team boxed 2 keeper fluke along with a grill-sized bluefish. Andrew Jr. just got back from pitching in the Junior College World series for Mercer County College. The Bob Dodds group eked out 4 solid keepers to 19.5 inches while catching a total of 28 fish.

Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.org