LBI Fishing Report Update 12/30/20

This will be the last fishing report of 2020. Thanks to our fishing community for following along all year and sharing reports.

We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and Great Holiday stretch. From the entire team at Fish Heads Happy New Year!

Off The Surf

Some anglers are still trying and a few are catching. No spectacular report but we have heard of some surf side linesiders on tin and teaser as well as bait.

Gary Thorp caught and released a 26″ bass Monday at the beginning of the incoming tide with his five year old son. Gary and son were using bunker on a hi-lo CIRCLE HOOK rig Gary reported, “I think he’s hooked on surf fishing for life!”

Camrin Ruffin sent in this photo from a recent fishing session on the surf.

Ben Morris reported on Sunday, “No better way to spend a cold late December morning. The surf was calm and clean. I pulled one about 21″ at sunrise. Had a few bumps after that catch but wasn’t able to hook up.” Joe Grey got one off the surf on Sunday too.

A number of skunked out reports came in from anglers fishing all over the LBI beach from Barnegat Light to Holgate.

Dead Whale Washes Up On LBI Surf

If you didn’t hear the news yet… there was a 32′ humpback whale that washed up on the beach in Loveladies on Christmas Eve. The southerly wind and waves moved it up to its final resting place in Barnegat Light on Christmas Day.

Photo by Melanie Cassie Photography

Word from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center is that a definitive cause of death could not be determined. Due to the size removal would have been difficult so it was buried on the beach, back away from the water’s edge and covered over with a large mound of sand.

Bottom Fishing

The hardcore bottom anglers are catching fish from tog to sea bass, porgies, ling and cod. Most of the action is taking place at the deep water offshore spots.

The tog fishing has been hit or miss. Some anglers are having a banner day followed up by a dead day. Those putting in the time are finding catches and some are putting quality fish on the deck.

Not sure if you heard yet… Angler Chris Sullivan from Waretown caught a 25.8 pound tog recently, potentially a new New Jersey State Record Black Fish. Chris was fishing out of Cape May with Captain Tom Daffin on the Fishin’ Fever. The story we got was he fished the day before out of Barnegat Light on the Mary M. They had left over live white crabs from Fishermans Headquarters so they brought them down for the next day’s trip. Baited up on a Centruy Pro Togger the bite came and Chris put the screw to ’em. Epic Catch Sully! Congrats!!!

Maintenance Matters

Here at the end of the year it’s time to clean things up and responsibly put them to rest for the winter hibernation. Now’s the time to clean and lube reels, wipe down rods (clean blank guides, grips and seats), warm water wash lures and organize things. I give a quick light spray of CRC656 to my terminal tackle boxes to prevent corrosion. A little maintenance now saves a much larger project in the spring!

We are open daily all winter long with all of the essentials for reel service and repair whether dropping off or DIY. We have parts and lubricants in stock.

Fishermans Headquarters is a Factory Authorize Penn Reels & Van Staal Service Center

LBI Fishing Report 12/19/20

Things have settled down from the recent blow. The ocean water today was still a little churned up and dirty but improving. There’s bass on the beach if you are looking to go. We did not hear many reports but we did get a couple. There’s also anglers catching fish in the boats.

Paul Karner caught his first striped bass off of the surf today, three in total. All were caught on his DIY teaser fished with a diamond jig. There’s no better way to target the schoolies off the surf right now that fishing a teaser!

Here’s Pual K with one of three striped bass he caught today off the Long Beach Island surf.

Another report came in from Paul Lindsey. “Finally back on the bass! Bunker was washing up on the beaches down on the south end of the island this morning. There’s still plenty of life here!”

Here’s a striepd bass that was caught and released by Paul L. today.

Here’s a photo from Sloane on the LBI surf a few days back.

Sloane Endick caught this LBI surf side striper a few days back, before the most recent storm.


Paul Michael reported, “Today was a very weak day for me. I worked from Holgate all the way up to Cedars. Only caught tone fish. My buddy Dave got two fishing the mid island surf. Only heard of a couple fish. I’m hoping Monday is better.”

Captain Steve Purul from Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters was out today for the his last trip of the 2020. “Wrapped up the 2020 fishing season with my favorite salty bunch of pirates! It was a slow start but gave way to a busy dec and action packed end to the 2020 season with doubles, triples and quadruples on every drift!”

Black Fishing

Paul Haertel reported another great day on the tog grounds with a boat limit plus to 10.39#. Store staffer Grey was aboard and reported having a fund day. Paul shared he is loving his new Rhodan Trolling Motor. He said it’s so good it’s cheating, “They should be illegal!” The Rhodan GPS Anchor/Trolling Motor is a total game changer for so many different fisheries. They really shine for locking up (virtual anchoring) over wrecks.

Here’s Grey with a pair of good ones!

Black Sea Bass

Sloane stopped in the shop a geared up on Friday for a black sea bass trip. Today she was out fishing the deep water grounds with Capt Nick Perello. They murdered ’em!

Here’s our most recent video report from Wednesday Dec ember 16th…

Let It Fly Fishing Report Update

Let It Fly Fishing Charters is staying warm with hot fishing recently.

Saturday repeat client Drew Fialko was aboard for a fun day of fly fishing. We fished the near shore waters of Long Beach Island. At daybreak the birds and bass were active and fishing was strong for the early morning.

Drew caught ten striped bass on the fly. Three were slots and seven shorts. Also missed a few bites and caught two big herring. We tagged and released seven of the ten fish

Warm temps, no traffic, calm seas & willing fish.

Others are hanging it up but we are still fishing. With unseasonably warm temperatures so far this month and much less traffic in recent trips we will be fishing it out… calm seas and fish willing.

Are you looking to get into late fall light tackle fishing? Give Let It Fly Charters a call 16093771299

Late Season Surfcasting LBI

By: Steve George / Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Svc LLC

Boat’s out of the Water? Go Fish The Beach!

It’s December and the weather outside is delightful here on Long Beach Island NJ. Even though you may have pulled the boat already there’s still plenty of striped bass to be caught.

In late fall we usually see abundant waves of striped bass as they make their way down the New Jersey coastline. When the time is right and the weather cooperates they cross over Barnegat Inlet and into the waters of Long Beach Island. If the conditions are right and bait is present, striped bass stage up on the beaches of LBI. Most years anglers have consistent light tackle fishing on just about any beach right into the New Year.

Birds and bass getting active at sunrise. Photo: Paul Boardman

Well this year is no different. The fish are here right now! We are fortunate to have the sand-eels in the surf zone attracting the interest from striped bass in the 20”-30” range. Just about every morning (the hour or two round sunrise) has been productive for surfcasters.

Go Light For A Better Bite

This time of the year it’s best to bring out lighter surf fishing tackle to have even more fun. Catching late fall striped bass is a lot more fun on light tackle. For me personally I like throwing a 9’ surf rod that’s rated up to 2oz. The rod is matched up with a 4000/5000 spinning reel to balance it out. Filled with a 20-30# braid and the outfit is ready for lots of light tackle surf fishing fun.

Match the Hatch

Sand-eels are long, slender and usually run around 4”-5” in length. It’s important to use a lure presentations that mimics them in order to have the best success. Here’s a couple of my favorites sand eel lures, all of which are proven stand outs over the years.

Needlefish Lures

The Super Strike “Super ‘N Fish” Needlefish has a slender profile, it casts great and catches fish of all sizes in both the day and night. So many anglers are intimidated by needlefish because they don’t know how to fish them. They are simple and effective… The hardest part is choosing the right size/weight for the conditions. [More On This At End] Cast out, catch up your slack and let the lure settle, sink. Slowly retrieve adding a twitch. Sometimes add a double twitch and/or a quick crank or two. As with most lures on the surf, fish them all the way to your feet. Needlefish are very effective in low light and at night with a simple cast and straight slow retrieve. Bumps, pickups, bites on needles are a no-doubt-about-it hits and ones you will remember!

Sand Eel Soft Baits

The rubber weighted Tsunami Sand Eel is a great lure to use when the fish are in tight to the beach. It’s especially productive during calm conditions. While rubber soft baits offer the absolute best realistic imitation look and action they are the least durable. But Tsunami Sand eels hold up good compared to other soft baits possibly due to their inner holographic foil.

This late fall striped bass fell for a Tsunami Sand Eel soft bait lure. Photo: Jim Hutchinson Jr


No one can fish a sandeel bite without some sort of metal lures! If you do you are missing out. Metals/tins offer the ultimate casting distance to reach out where fish are running and feeding. They are my go to lures because they cast a mile and with either a fast or slow retrieve can be worked off the bottom or just off the sand to drawl strikes. It pays to mix up retrieval speed to dial in how the fish are reacting and feeding on that particular day.

Two of my favorite metals for surfcasting when sandeels are around are…

Deadly Dick Lures – These (nickel plated solid brass) slender metals have a slender thin profile with a unique tweak on the ends. This character gives the lures their action both on the retrieve, jig and fall. The added prism flash tape helps catch the eye of fish too.

Striped bass love AVA Diamond Jigs Photo: Jack Keating

AVA Diamond Jigs – These (chrome plated lead) jigs are thin and long just like a sandeels. Their distinctive two-piece construction is made up of a metal body section and a latex tube dressed limerick hook. Fished slow in the sand the body puffs and makes a disturbance while the tubed hook swims with an erratic spin. One of the only lures that resembles a sand eel’s natural borrowing action.

Slender Minnow Swimming Plug

You can never forget a Daiwa SP Minnow! SP’s are a must have in every surf bag. These slender minnow profile lures cast great and have a special knack for triggering strikes in just about any conditions. Especially when sand eels are around, SP’s outproduce most other plugs due to their cast-ability and action. I’ve yet to meet a striped bass who could resist taking a bite when crossing paths with an SP Minnow.

Tease ‘Em To Increase Strikes

Add a teaser/fly above your lure to add extra attraction. I feel you will catch only half as many fish unless you use one. A teaser rig is easy to tie… With some leader material (mono or fluoro) tie a dropper loop. Then loop on the teaser/fly of your choice. Next add a swivel on the top terminal end and a
Tactical Angler Clip on the bottom. Just clip on your lure and cast it out.

My favorite teasers are made by BuzFly Custom Flies. When you first see one you will know why. They beautiful and made right on quality hooks. Fish BuzFly teasers to up your success rate with life-like teasers.

Striped bass on the teaser!

So the fish are here! Get out early and watch for birds picking on the water. These birds are feeding on sand eels. Start casting because as the sun comes up the bass will be feeding shortly. Now is the time to get in some late season fishing before winter sets in.

Good Luck Out There!

[More On Needlefish Lures]

Needlefish come in many different sizes and weights made out of many different materials from plastic, wood and epoxy. Super Strike lures are plastic so they are durable and consistent. Currently Super Strike Needles come in three sizes (NF5 5″, NF6 6″, NF7 7″ ) and two weights (W Weighed “Black Eye”, HW Heavy Weighed “Red Eye”). There’s a size/weight combo for every situation. The most common option is the NF6W (6″ standard weighed 2.5oz). Choose the red eye heavy weight versions when fishing rough conditions or when there’s a stiff side wind or sweep.

247 Lures (in stock at Fish Heads but not listed online) offers a great wooden needlefish lure that shines in calm to moderate conditions.

Hi Flier Stripers, Inside and Out

Friday Dec 11, Sat Dec 12, Sun Dec 13, and Mon Dec 14. This might be the last dates we offer for 2020. It will be a wait and see for next weekend. 

Tomorrow, Friday Dec 11, we are on a 10AM to 3PM schedule fishing live bait in the inlet. This is a mix of stripers from 23 to 30 inches. We have bonus tags to keep the 24 to 28 inch slot fish. A lot of action right now. We were out Tuesday and had constant action. Multiple hookups on every drift. We could do a few hours of that and if the ocean looks nice we could sneak outside to try and troll some bigger fish for the cooler….or not!

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday we will be sailing 7AM to 3PM if we are ocean bound or inlet/ocean combo.If we are going to just fish live bait in the inlet, we can customize our trip hours around the tide and weather. 

5 hour Inlet Trip $700 for Private Charter, includes live bait.
8 hour Ocean or Inlet/Ocean Trip $900 for Private Charter or Open Boat $225 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared.

Pic: Capt Nick DeGennaro with one of our livelined bass in the inlet Tuesday.

Dave DeGennaro

Hi Flier Sportfishing

732.330.5674 cell

LBI Fishing Report Update 12/6/20

The surf was churned up yesterday with strong winds and powerful surf. The Barnegat Light Buoy 44091 peaked at 6′ at noon. Then the westerlies took over and then it jacked up to 11′ that the night. It has settled today with lingering 1-2′ swell on the beaches today. We are entering a good stretch of westerlies this work week. With reasonably chilly temps there’s good fishing opportunities here on Long Beach Island.

West is best! Monday is the third day of the west winds. Will it play out again like last week? Gotta go to know! We’ve got good expectations for the week ahead. If you want to get in on the action before the season is over, now is the time to get out and go fishing!

Here’s the Fishing LBI Fishing Report Update For Sunday December 6, 2020.

LBI Surf Fishing Reports

Last few days anglers caught fish off of the surf. Mornings have been best but some after finding fish in the afternoons, and evenings. At times things have come together.

Some days this has been the sunrise scene for the dawn patrol anglers. This early December sunrise was captured by Paul Boardman of Barnegat Light.

Today (Sunday) Randall Swartley caught a 29″ striped bass on a AVA jig fishing the mid-island surf. Bob Dever of the American Anglers Fishing Club caught a 30″ bass on bunker mid island surf. JP from Beach Haven caught some morning stripes today too.

Here’s JP with a morning schoolie that he caught fishing a Deadly Dick rigged up with a leading teaser. This is a great way to target striped bass in the late fall off the surf.

A number of other reports came in from anglers in the shop. Josh Rosk got a 28″ bass on a Daiwa SP Minnow fishing the mid island surf. Eli Haegele got two bass on the beach fishing an AVA metal.

David Ho from Symplex Fishing has been putting his time in and finding bass on the beach. He reported, “Decent fishing pre-blow. Hope the sand eels stick around a bit longer.”

Declan Wahlers caught a bass and a fluke fishing off the surf. As the photos below show, both species went for the teaser!

Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic

There’s one week left in the 66th Annual LBI Surf Fishing Classic. So far December has been good with a fish entered every day this month. For more details on the leader board… Live Results

The standout is Rich Bergman’s 36″ 17.09# striped bass that he caught and weighed in on 12/3/20. Photo below…

Backside Bass

Still some nice striped bass on the bayside too. The sod banks, docks, and bridges all have produced good fishing. Some anglers took advantage of the backside’s protection and found bass.

This is one striped bass that Nick DeGennaro caught fishing light tackle working his night time haunts on the Island’s bayside. Even though it’s late fall don’t over look the potential of the bayside!

Here’s a hungry bass that Ryan Mollicone caught fishing a popper on the bayside.

Hi Flier Stripers Sun thru Wed…..Bluefin Too!

Forget what’s going on outside your window Friday and Saturday. It’s going to be very wet and windy. Southerly, then northeast. Then, Saturday afternoon, it swings to NW……..the best wind for fishing and sea conditions. And it’s staying NW forever! Ok, maybe not forever but it’s forecasted through Wednesday at least. 
Striper fishing is excellent right now. We have been connecting with 10 to 30 lb fish on the troll and most recently casting soft plastics. Sandeel imitations are doing the best. You do have to endure quite a few dogfish but there is just as many bass. Also, a few very fat, gorged bluefish in the mix.

We are going to be sailing Open Boat and Charter Sunday, December 6
through Wednesday, December 9.

6AM to 2PM each day. $225 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared.

It’s also possible to run for the near shore bluefin, 15 to 20 mile range. Three man charters at $1,200 for the boat. 6AM to 4PM. It is possible to combine striper fishing with this trip, as well. If you haven’t tried this fall tuna fishing before, it’s a lot of work. A lot of casting for maybe only a few or no hook ups. I’m not trying to tell you not to try it, hooking a tuna on a surface lure is one of the coolest things you will ever see. Throw in some whales, porpoise, and 50 to 100 pound bluefin crashing bait right in front of you and that alone is worth the price of admission. I just want to be candid about your chances of hooking up. 

See you on board!

All of these pics were taken last Sat and Sun of Thanksgiving weekend and all were caught casting soft plastics with light spinning gear.
Jake and Zach Milone of Wall, NJ (Zach in orange with black knees, Jake with black/white striped hat)Dave Flood of Mantua, NJ (Grey jacket, Carhart hat)Mike Viviano of Galloway, NJ (Green jacket)Herman Diaz of Waretown, NJ (Brown pants, grey jacket)


Dave DeGennaro
Hi Flier Sportfishing
732.330.5674 cell

LBI Fishing Report 11/30

This past weekend was a good one with great weather and good fishing. It was quite possibly the best weekend of the fall run for fishing in the LBI area. Here’s the Long Beach Island Fishing Report Update for November 30, 2020.

LBI Surf Fishing

Good vibes here on the LBI surf with action reported the past few days. Anglers are catching striped bass in all sizes (unders, slots and overs) fishing artificials and natural baits. Spiny Dogfish are still around in huge numbers and are frustrating chunkers BUT fishing through them yield bass bounty. The only way to stay away from them is larger baits or heads. Better yet switch over to lures.

Monday 11/30/20 (Today)

The week started off today windy with churned up surf. It was a rough one but some anglers got out and fish during the earlier part of the day. Lots of surf rats live for stormy surf conditions. A couple that braved the elements were rewarded.

This striped bass was caught by Alex M. off of the LBI surf on Monday morning.

Captain Alex Majewski from Lighthouse Sportfishing was on the surf this morning and shared this report from the beach, “I went one for two on the chunk at dawn. I’m on the move looking around but the weather is going downhill fast.

Jack Keating caught this striped bass on Monday in the wash fishing LBI.

Sunday 11/29/20

The adage “Third Day Of The West Wind” held true offering awesome times for a select group of anglers who were in the right spot at the right time!

Paul Lindsey was in on the action and shared this, “EPIC! EPIC! EPIC! Sunrise session this morning on the LBI beach! The bass were steam rolling sand eels. We had doubles on teasers. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Even REDFISH joined the action.” MORE ON REDFISH BELOW

Jack Hanley with a sunrise striper on the LBI surf.

Jack Hanley was in on the action too and reported, “I slammed them! Hit a blitz with tons of birds and non stop bass action for 30-45 mins. Biggest bass was thirty one inch.”

Nate Kirby of Barnegat Light caught this striped bass on a DIY teaser.

Nate Kirby reported a good morning bite too. Last week Nate was in the shop picking up some essentials for a DIY teaser tying session. He got some hooks, thread, flash and hair. Safe to say the striped bass approve!

Saturday 11/28/20

Dennis Biernacki from Little Egg Harbor caught and released this 41″ striped bass fishing the mid island surf with bunker.

Lou Monteagudo said he saw a report post and it motivated him to hit the beach. He caught this (above) 37.5″ striped bass on an 8″ Tsunami Sand Eel Soft Bait.

Matt Bray caught this striped bass chunking off the mid-Island surf with bunker on Saturday. He sent in the photo and said, “Thanks for always having primo bunker!”

Youth anglers Hunter Chervony got a 29″ bass off the mid-Island surf chunking bunker. Kenny Lehmann’s son caught a 22″ bass on bunker fishing mid-island surf.

Another youth angler (and past Fish Head Team Member) JT Hille released this 45″ striped bass off the LBI surf this weekend.


Redfish, a somewhat common catch years ago are making a return? Could this be possible? This November, more specifically the past 5-10 days we saw numerous redfish reports. While not rare or uncommon they are very infrequent.

This weekend we heard of a handful of redfish catch reports. Two were caught by one angler.

Gregory Davis’s catch is the largest we’ve seen. He caught this redfish off the LBI surf in the mix of a bass blitz Sunday. He caught the red fishing a metal with a teaser. Mike (@mwc0420) landed one last week

Where Are The Bluefish!

Behind… When’s high tide? What are your hours? This is the most common question here… Where Are The Bluefish?!?! In the past week or two few were reported. They were caught by anglers trolling for striped bass. This weekend we heard of a couple small ones showing up on the Barnegat Inlet. We shared in a previous report that some blues were reported by anglers fishing the deep water wrecks 30-60 miles out. This weekend many reports came in with a similar theme…. the Barnegat Ridge has bluefish in the 5-10 pound range. Our fingers have been crossed tight all fall. We aren’t loosening up yet. Will they show on the beaches this fall?

Inshore Fall Bluefin Tuna

Some really nice fish were caught recently in the 6-20 mile range. Anglers are catching bluefin on the troll and casting lures.

Inshore Bottom Fishing

It’s prime time tog fishing and the local wrecks and reefs are producing good umber and good size. Get crabs and get out there. We are doing our best ot have live white crabs and green crabs in stock for the rest of the year.

Sheepshead Surpries

Fish Heads Ambassador Swagmattic was out wreck fishing this past weekend participating in the Forked River Tuna Club’s tog tournament. They put together a nice catch but wasn’t enough for the win. However Swag got a big sheepie!