Right now, the fishing scene in southern Ocean County is caught between summer and fall fisheries. No matter how hard the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association wish for the start of the striped bass migration from the north, the warm water temperatures are delaying their arrival.
Surface water temperatures remain in the low 60’s, a bit too warm for the stripers’ liking. There continues to be an excellent bite on bottom fish around inshore structure, however, to fill the fish boxes.
Captain Carl Sheppard of the “Star Fish” has had several groups out fishing recently taking advantage of the hot bottom fishing. One group with Captain Carl and mate Max Goldman fished several wrecks boating over 75 fish including black sea bass, bluefish, triggers, sea robins, and blowfish. Another trip with a family resulted in over 40 fish caught including sea bass up to 15-inches. A final day with two trips resulted in much the same type of action along with a feisty black-tip shark. The afternoon group had some 80 fish keeping 14 sea bass to 16-inches.
Captain Gary Dugan had two anglers out on the “Irish Jig”, and they experienced drop and reel fishing inshore reefs. They ended the day with a fish box packed with black sea bass, triggerfish, tautog, and some porgies. Captain Gary reports he is keeping a sharp eye out for the arrival of stripers from the north.
Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing had a busy weekend with the Hank Wright group on a striped bass charter. Strong winds made a trip to the ocean a poor choice, so they landed a limit of tautog around the jetty rocks of Barnegat Inlet. They switched to stripers and landed 6, keeping two with bonus tags. Paul Kaufmann and Steve Sharf fished Sunday with their sons on a bottom fish charter. They worked hard and managed to box a limit of sea bass, 4 triggerfish, and one porgy. They ended the day boxing a quick limit of tautog.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.net.
By: Steve George / Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Svc. LLC
When I say “Running” after False Albacore I am not lying. These fish are fast and you have to be faster!
No matter what way you fish during the fall when chasing Albie’s whether it’s by boat, off the beach, or around and on the rocks of the inlets you need to be able to move on the instant. As a surf fishermen you also need a lot of luck to time it perfectly. It’s more about being prepared ahead of time so you are ready for the bite and battle.
It’s October and it is finally feeling like fall with crisp cool predawn hours with smoke on the water. The local rivers, bays, inlets draining into ocean with them still being warm with plenty of baitfish swirling on the surface.
During civil twilight I can see the sparkling of bait down low as I crossed over the last bridge onto LBI. Making the long walk through the dunes I think back about previous encounters with False Albacore. After hooking up for the first time you are hooked for life. It’s so true you come down with a case of “Albie Fever”
I finally reach the water’s edge and immediately see a huge surface explosion then another and another. It’s on! But out of casting range. Maybe they move closer to shore. With the wind at my back I fire my lure as far as I can cast into the unknown. Within about 10 seconds of whipping my presentation across the surface as fast as I can… Slam-O!
The initial take is great and when the drag starts singing. But my favorite part is when they reach the shallow waters of the beach. They spaz out and make another one or two ripping pulls in every direction imaginable. Finally you win the battle and get a chance to look at those vibrant colors and mackerel patterns. They are beautiful under the sun and always a fish to remember. Their release is interesting with no turning back. They shoot out to sea like a rocket.
For Sure A Bucket List Fish!
I didn’t have to be fast on this day but it sure was important to be smart and ready. When hitting the water, knowing the “when” and “where” is very important. BUT! Actually being ready for success starts off with the right equipment.
Choosing The Right Rod & Reel For Albies
When it comes to targeting these speedsters from the surf a well balance light action rod in the 8-9’ range. Matched that up with compact, light, high speed spinning reel (4000 sizes) spooled with quality thin braided line (20-30#). This style outfit makes for a great weapon for land based anglers to effectively fish for albies.
A light action rod that has enough length and a whip allows for long casts with a small lure. A great affordable option is the Tsunami Trophy II Series, TSTIISS862DM. This rod is 8’6″, rated 1/2 to 1-1/2oz and has a special “distance moderate” action which is designed to easily load and launch small lures.
Albies are fast and feed fast! To burn a lure back in super fast (sometimes non-stop) a high speed reel is best. Try to look for a reel with a gear ratio of 6:1 or faster. The Penn Battle III Series is a great choice in either the standard (BTLIII4000, 6.2:1) or the high speed version (BTLIII4000HS, 7:1).
Slick looking spearing or bay anchovy baitfish presentations are key!
Small metal lures and epoxy jigs make for realistic small bait imitations. Anything from small chrome metals (Deadly Dick Lures) to holographic foils of Tsunami’s New Forktail Candy Lures offer a lifelike profile while offering the utmost casting distance. However these lure sink fast.
When the winds are light and conditions call for a lure that matches the hatch, casts great but doesn’t sink like a stone… turn to Epoxy Jigs! These jigs come in a variety of sizes and just about any color in the rainbow.
A few other essentials that are needed to track down your prey are a good pair of sunglasses and small binoculars. The ability to see any surface action and/or baitfish close or out in the distance is paramount
Dress for the weather and stay comfortable. That might mean going in the surf with sandals, a SPF Shirt and Shorts or it could be putting on boots or waders when cool and you don’t want to get wet. If fishing any rocks, jetties or inlets one of the most important pieces of equipment is a good pair of studded cleated boot or sandals with Carbide Spikes. KORKERS! Gotta stay safe!
It’s best to stay light, especially on warm days. You might need to hustle and run after a blitz.
It is a crazy time of year. Mid October will make your head spin with options. We are still a little south of the striper migration but there are plenty of other options while we wait one more week for the bass to be in our range.
We are still catching blowfish in the bay and casting lures at 2 to 6 pound bluefish in the inlet.
The ocean options include big gator blues on jigs, chumming bonita and albacore at Barnegat Ridge, or depending on which way the offshore forecast goes for Sunday and Monday there are still tuna to catch in the 70 to 80 mile range. We could do any of these trips. I am going to leave it to you guys and go with the majority of interest.
Sailing Open Boat or Charter Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, October 17, 18, and 19. Call for info and rates.
Pic: Max DeGennaro with bluefish at the inlet jetty.
I was just recently dropped in and put on a incredible bite of migrating Bass,Blues & Albies that were on a feeding frenzy and also at times just cruising the shallow water without a care in the world just swimming with the school. Just a Amazing Experience & Heading to Jersey Soon , we just need all the bait along the shore line like this ~ Fall Run 2020 call 609-276-6983 Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Service LLC
The Fall sea bass season opener is here and the weather has not been cooperative at all through this past Columbus Day weekend. At the end of fluke season with a couple weeks of down time, we worked on the boat and installed a Rhodan 96” trolling motor with spot lock for wreck fishing. Although the weather has not allowed us to use it as much as we’d like, when we did get to use it, it was a total game changer!
Friday 10/9 was the only wreck fishing trip that we were able to squeeze in this weekend with the weather. We had return clients Mike and Will out for their 7th trip of the season with us. We hit the first wreck and they had no problem boating their limit of sea bass along with a dozen real nice porgies, 3 big trigger fish, as well as a couple bluefish. Towards the end of the trip, we switched gears to target tog much closer to home and they quickly put a limit of tog on the boat while releasing many more before calling it a quits. Great day on the water and an awesome mixed bag of fish to go home with!
We have also been able to get out for some evening striped bass trips when conditions have allowed. There are plenty of local striped bass around that are tons of fun on light tackle poppers and plugs. The Oceanside should also be heating up later in the month with striped bass once the water temps fall a few more degrees as there is plenty of bait around for them to feed on.
We have some weekday dates available in October for wreck fishing as well as limited dates available in November for striped bass and tog, but they are filling quick! If you are interested in getting out please contact us to book your trip. Call or text Captain Mike to get out on the water or send us a message through our website! (609)-709-7264
Another great weekend here on Long Beach Island. The weather cooperated and the island was PACKED with a lot going on. The Annual Kite Festival was the main attraction with 100’s-1000’s of people on the Ship Bottom beaches relaxing on the sand. Also two surf fishing tournaments, the American Angler 500 and the start of the 66th Annual LBI Surf Fishing Classic.
Happy Columbus Day! Too bad it looks to be a gnarly day as the remnants of Delta impact our area with strong winds and potentially heavy rainfall.
We hope you have the fall foul weather gear ready. If not stop by and see us. We’ll get you set up in a new set.
A sour start to the new week but westerlies sweep through Tuesday and clean things up. Looks like another drop in temps into next weekend. Are you ready for the fall run to bust open? I know we are!
Here’s the Long Beach Island Fishing Report Update for Sunday October 11, 2020.
LBI Surf Fishing
The 66th Annual LBI Surf Fishing Classic kicked off this Saturday. Due to the current situation the Opening Day “Kick Off” Seminar was cancelled; however Teddy K (long time LBI surf angler, LBI Fishing Club Member, past tournament winner) and myself would not let the annual event die. We teamed up and put together a two part informative video to help others catch more fish in the surf. We did our best to share info that will bring value to all; rookie, novice and advanced surf anglers.
Surf Fishing 101 Part 1
Surf Fishing 101 Part 2
Fishing started off good for the LBI Surf Fishing Classic with lots of kingfish weigh ins. Kings are a new addition to the 66th annual event. There’s also an abundance of cocktail bluefish on the surf but so far no qualifying bluefish were weighed in yet. There were two striped bass… an 11.12# by Duncan Turner on an SP Minnow Lure and one 29″ 9.12# by Peg Bucci on clam.
Joe Handley Jr reported fishing this weekend was really good, “At times I had bluefish on every cast.” In order to catch something different he had to move. It paid off!. He caught a good size kingfish (1.1#) on a sand crab. King fish was good enough for third place on the leader board…
Neal Belgam reported, “Small blues had the bait pushed up in the surf” This similar topic was reported by many others up and down the beaches this past week. The photos above by Jay Mann show just a quick capture of the abundance of bait and small blues.
There’s other species still around on the surf too. Stephen Pirrello reported, “Only blowfish (photo below), cocktail blues and herring.” We also head of a few spike weakfish. American Angler 500 had lots of anglers and lots of fish made up of a variety of the small species currently here. Craig and Chris Fortino took the win.
Other Land Based Fishing
The blackfish bite has been terrific around structure. When most hear about tog fishing they first thing wreck fishing in the boat. There’s a super fun land based fishery right here on LBI at the Barnegat Inlet.
Togging at the jetty is still on fire. A lot of shorts but also a good number of keeper class fish. They are chewing on crabs… green crabs, Asian crabs, fiddlers, sand fleas… any thing you can get your hands on will work. [Recently green crabs have been in short supply but we are expecting to get a large restocking in mid week Tuesday/Wednesday.] This super fun fishing is a great way to enjoy the day and work on your hook set game.
David Ho @symplexfishing has been in on the action all fall. He shared, “Logging as much time togging, Defiantly one of the tastiest and hardest fighting fish in the area. I hate bait fishing but I’ll make an exception for these fish. The bait is staging and we should see a huge push of our migratory friends very soon.”
More LBI Fishing Information
Black Sea Bass Fishing
Now that Black Sea Bass season is open anglers are getting out and having catching fishing the offshore, inshore and nearshore waters. Usually the sea bass start moving off right about now but the inshore wrecks are producing for those fishing both rigs and jigs. Certain areas have piles of sand eels with black bass on them. Here the jig fishing has been great! It’s a helluva lotta fun light tackle jigging with 60g Nomad Streakers, Tubed 007 & A17 Diamond Jigs and Hogy Sand Eel Jigs.
Store staffer Kelley got out and fished with his day this weekend on some inshore structure. They caught their limit as well as a good number of keeper size tog. Kelley also reported, “There’s lots of small blues and spike weakfish on the bait pods, schools of peanut bunker and bay anchovies.”
Barnegat Bay Bass Fishing
The Barnegat Bay is bearish. The cool nights and shorter days have the water temperatures falling with lower highs (incoming water) and lower lows (outgoing water).
Striped bass are prevalent all around the back bay waters. There’s an abundance of schoolies on the sod banks, bridges, docks and channels. Slowly bass are starting to show on the surf and we soon expect to see a bigger class of striped bass arrive.
Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters
Reel Fantasea Fishing Charter’s Captain Steve Purul reports solid light tackle action with a variety of species. “Striped bass, bluefish, blackfish, blowfish, among others… We are catching on both artificial and live baits. If one species isn’t cooperating a quick gear shift and we’re back into the action. All good fishing in the local Barnegat Light waters minutes from the dock!” Get out on the water and enjoy some saltwater fishing.
Give Captain Steve Purul A Call Today – 16092901217
When the weather allows anglers are getting offshore and catching a variety of fish. There’s albies, bonita, king mackerel and mahi in the midshore waters and tuna, sharks and swordfish further offshore.
Here’s a couple catch photos from the Fisher’s, father and son on a recent trip aboard the Reel Innovation.
There was one good weather day over the weekend, so we headed to the Triple Wrecks on Saturday where the never ending yellowfin tuna bite has been going on. I delayed our departure to 4AM as not to hit the last of the outgoing tide into any residual swell coming in against it. That scenario in the daylight can be ominous enough, I don’t risk it at night. We broke the inlet by 5AM and made it to the grounds by 8AM. The radio was alive with chatter of guys with their fish boxes full already. I wasn’t panicking, I was just going to make some drifts and do our thing. We couldn’t buy a hit. I even dropped to 30 lb fluorocarbon leader just to try and get a bite. Finally at 11AM one of our guys hooks up on a 200 gram Nomad Streaker jig. He fights him for 20 minutes and the hook pulls. I up the leaders to 40 lb and in the next few hours we go 2 for 6 on big yellowfins. Managed to boat a 75 and 80 pounder. Both hit live spots on weighted lines while we drifted the whales. So while we didn’t hold our own, we couldn’t have been happier with the two fish on ice. Both were epic battles on 50 class. Here is a video of Matt Tengi’s 75 pound yellowfin:
It’s a long clip, around 13 minutes, so you might want to do some fast forwarding. I don’t know how to edit them down, yet, and honestly when I started recording, I thought we were at the end of the battle.
Sailing Open Boat to Barnegat Ridge this Friday, October 9, 10AM to 6PM. Bonita and albacore on light tackle. We’re going to anchor up and chum. I am expecting other visitors to our slick but I don’t want to jinx it. $250 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared. Call me on my cell to reserve a spot. You can call right up until “go time”. Pics:
Tim Walton of Abington, PA with dark shirt (Capt Nick DeGennaro in slickers)
Matt Tengi of Pequannock, NJ with white shirt (Capt Nick DeGennaro in slickers)
Sashimi platter made from tuna at Makoto Japanese restaurant in Manahawkin. Wow!
Fall is now in full swing in Beach Haven, New Jersey, and the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are raring to go for some action-packed fall fishing.
Thursday, October 8, marks the return of open fishing for black sea bass in the state with a daily limit of 10 fish per angler. Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” reports he has been fishing inshore structure the past couple of weeks and has been catching quite a few big sea bass while seeking other species. He has been practicing “catch and release” on the fish, but he is looking forward to putting some nice fish in the box when the season opens.
The tautog daily limit is only one fish until November 15, but these fish are currently plentiful, and very often that one keeper fish has been a beauty.
As the water continues to cool, the area striped bass population has been increasing. There are numerous catches of “schoolie” sized bass in the bay waters with occasional keepers of fish 28-inches and larger to be found.
Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Charters” just had a busy weekend with a pair of productive trips. On Saturday he had Max Cavallaro and his 3 buddies on a 4-hour multi-species charter. After working to catch their limit of blackfish, they hit the snapper blues. They worked some feeding birds to box close to 20 along with a few released weakfish. On Sunday he had Robert Kuhn and family out. They hit the inlet area for a quick limit of tog and then played with bluefish to 15 inches for the rest of the trip. Captain Brett’s son Luke worked his first trip as a mate in training for his dad.
There is still good offshore tuna fishing as evidenced by a trip for Captain Dave Wittenborn on the “Benita J.” Captain Dave took his son Luke out on a father and son express trip to the tuna grounds. The lines went in at 6:30AM and were pulled for the day at 9:30. Luke reeled in all three of the fish, and the pair headed in with a great catch of fish on an early day.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.bhcfa.net.
Here in early October we have a great mix of fishing on Long Beach Island. With the water temperatures still warm (surf in the mid to upper 60’s) and some areas of the bay in the mid to low 60’s, fishing still has that “summertime” feel especially on the sunny days.
However soon the transition is going to flip like a switch. The shortening days and cooler nights are trending that way.
Land Based Tog Fishing On LBI
By far the best game in town is the tautog fishing. The Barnegat Inlet Jetty tog fishing has been smoking for a number of weeks and there’s no signs of it slowing down any time soon. It’s great to see so many anglers having a blast. We wish we could share all of the reports that have come in. Check our Instagram Story for some of the catch report/photo (reposts).
We anticipate the next few weeks will be very good and we will be doing our best to be fully stocked with live green crabs throughout the fall fishing season. Unfortunately (at the time of this post) we are sold out of live green crabs. This weekend we sold through everything our suppliers could get us. We expect more Tuesday or latest Wednesday.
For those looking to catch their own sand fleas we have a couple rakes still in stock but they will be sold out soon.
Also present and eating crabs among other baits… sheepshead, triggerfish and black drum.
Surf Fishing LBI
Lots of small blues around and they are increasing in size from what we saw a couple weeks back. Some 2-4 pounders have showed up in the mix of smaller ones. Store staffer Paulie fished the mid-island surf Saturday before sunset and got into a bluefish feeding frenzy. He reported, “Cocktail blues had the white bait pined to the beach and they were feeding. I was catching every cast using a Hogy Epoxy Jig.”
The mullet run has been very slow to date. There were some moving this weekend so we have our fingers crossed that it isn’t over.
Joe Handley Jr reports fishing has been very good on the beach of LBI. A few days ago he reported, “Every cut I fished had kingfish.” Today (Sunday) he enjoyed the day on the south end surf catching fish. Here’s his report. “Perfect day on the beach with great conditions and the fish are chewing! So far today two blowfish and a monster pompano. It weighed in at 3.24 pounds.” Unfortunately pompano aren’t included in the NJ’s saltwater state record fish program or this could be a state record.
FYI: As of October 1st, All Long Beach Township beaches are open to 4×4 Beach Buggy Access with valid permit. Permits are available at the Long Beach Township Police Station.
The past couple of months could be summarized with two nouns… First a place… Triple Wrecks. Second a thing… Yellowfin. This historic bite has been on fire consistently for about three months straight. Still this weekend solid reports from anglers catching chunking and jigging. Reports from the edge (further off) have been on the slow side but this weekend we did hear of some big eye tuna and a few makos. Anglers deep dropping are catching swordfish and tilefish.
Due to change in striped bass fishing regulations, where anglers are allowed one striper in a “slot” (28 to less than 38 inches), the LBI Surf Fishing Classic has adapted the rules and prize structure. There is no more $1000 Striped Bass Grand Prize, BUT there now is three $1,000 segment prizes. To spice up the competition a new species, Kingfish was added with cash prizes for the largest (daily, weekly, segment and grand prize).
Another Upcoming tournament is the LBI Cup… The 2020 LBI Cup Striped Bass Tournament, hosted by the Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club, is on Friday, November 13th – Saturday, November 14th.
Monday, October 5, could be the same as above, or if the forecast stays the same, calling for flat calm conditions, we could head to the canyon first for an extended trip that starts at 11PM Sunday night and returns around 6 PM on Monday. We would mix in some tilefish and canyon troll before heading to the tuna chunking grounds. This extended trip would be $550 person, 4 people max.
All fish are shared on our Open Boat trips. The boat is also available for private charter on these days.