While fishing is very good (especially for this early stage of the year), the COVID-19 pandemic has things upside down.
We Are Open For Business Daily 8-5pm, Sunday 8-4 serving bait, tackle, and essential gear for the local commercial fisherman (gloves, boots, water proof apparel, knives and much more). HOWEVER Curbside Pick Up & Web/Mail Order ONLY. No Public Access To Retail Store!For sales and service inquiries Call Us 6094945739
There’s no better way to practice social distancing and put food on the table than fishing! Follow these great tips (from the NYDEC)
Be Safe – 6’+! If you can touch someone fishing beside you with your rod you should spread out. Forget your fishing buddies, Fish Solo.
Fish Local – Stay close to home to keep trips short and eliminate travel time.
Be Adaptive – Choose alternate locations and/or times if an area is inhabited. Avoid groups!
Curfew – Know the rules and follow them! Don’t ruin the little bit of freedom we still have.
We greatly appreciate your business over the years and especially in these tough times. We hope that you and your families are healthy and safe. ~ Team Fish Heads
With all of the Covid-19 Virus talk consuming our live, news, social media and daily conversation hopefully you will find this a happy change of tide. Here’s the Fishing LBI “End Of March Fishing Report” Update for Saturday March 28, 2020.
Fishermans Headquarters is open daily however no public access. Curbside pick up and web/mail orders only. Call Us ( 6094945739 ) for sales and service inquiries.
The Current Situation
Looking at the entire picture, the two major rivers (the Delaware and the Hudson) as well as their respective bays (Delaware Bay and Raritan Bay) have fish and lots of them. The Raritan Bay has been cranking for a couple weeks now and more recently has broken wide open! These prespawn striped bass are making moves.
More locally, the rivers (Mullica and Toms River) as well as their respective bays (Barnegat Bay and Great Bay) have an abundance of striped bass. Most are resident schoolies but there’s lots of them making it fun light tackle fishing. There’s a few better size ones in the herd.
Long story short is this season is off to an epic start with good fishing all around the state. We put out a recent poll on our social. The results showed out of almost 500 voters, two thirds are fishing and one third are not.
If you are fishing or planning to fish please do your part and give the utmost respect to others. Fishing is a great way to practice social distancing and put food on the table! Be Safe – If you can touch someone fishing beside you with your rod you should spread out. Forget your fishing buddies. This is the time to fish solo. Fish Local – Stay close to home to keep trips short and eliminate travel time. Be Flexible & Adaptive – Choose alternate locations and/or times if an area is inhabited. Avoid groups! Curfew – Know the rules and follow them! If everyone can follow these simple rules there’s a good chance the little bit of freedom we still have will continue. Don’t ruin it for everyone!
LBI Fishing Report
The local waters of Long Beach Island have four primary species; striped bass, winter flounder, black drum and white perch. The first two are prime and the later two are slowly progressing and we anticipate both will be good for the whole month of April.
Stripers are on the move crusing the sod banks as well as mud flats and they are active at the docks and lights in the evening. The most common question is, What catching best?
Early Season Spring Baits
For the bait guys clams and worms are by far the best early season baits. Bloodworm is our first suggestion unless you are looking for a drum. Then clam is the call. Wait on bunker a week or two.
The surf is slowly warming up but no striped bass reported in. We have only hear of dogfish from anglers trying. With that said when there’s dogfish there’s commonly striped bass. We expect to see some surfside striped bass soon. The LBI surf temp is in the mid to high 40’s.
Free Surfcaster Journal Issue
While talking surf fishing we want to share some info and free content. Check out Issue 60 at the Surfcaster’s Journal. The SJ team decided to make this entire 150-page issue free and accessible to all surfcasters. Check it out now!
Dave Moores is still catching in the bay. This time around he reports, “All little winter flounder. It is tough with all the small bass. The super dinks wouldn’t leave us alone.” Side note… The blueclaw crabs are getting active!
Striped bass love to sniff around the shallow mud flats and sod bank sin spring looking for worms.
Carl Hartman enjoyed the perfect weather on Friday catching a couple bass. He said it was an awesome day. Carl also wants to share that the Century Rods & American Angler LBI Casting Demo is still tentatively set for 1pm May 3rd at Bay View Park in Brant Beach. Other local news… This week we saw the coast guard out on the bay setting out the seasonal aids to navigation.
Jim Kuhl reported, “It’s been good. Some awesome topwater feeds. Friday afternoon was non top with fish ripping across the surface chasing bunker. We were truly blessed to have days like these!”
Nick Honachefsky reported, “We crushed them today! Saturday monring was stripers galore on shads! It was really good the past couple of days and this morning.”
Todd Avery reports, “No slobs yet but it’s great to be out fishing.”
Recent Trip To The Pacific
We love to see our customer gear up and then report back with stoke. Jay Sawczak stopped in to prep for some fishing while on a sailing trip in Tahiti. The team helped him out setting up some reels with line and leaders. He said, “Willie was a perfectionist and it paid off. Thank you guys for helping me catch some fish on my trip!”
It’s hard to find anything positive to say or even escape the 24 -7 deluge of bad news of this global pandemic. With such uncertainty, suffering and worry weaved into every hour of the day I wasn’t sure [ and still not] if sending a fishing report out was a good idea but if it helps in anyway as maybe a distraction even for a few people than maybe it’s okay?
The beginning of every new fishing season has always been so exciting to get back out on the water. This season I cherish even more than ever before for obvious reasons. Although living at the shore and it’s salty air, nothing compares to actually taking deep cleansing breaths while on the water.
Presently the back bay striped bass fishing has really been very rewarding with stripers ranging in sizes 14″ – 27″ with more bigger fish joining the ranks almost daily. We are utilizing light spinning tackle while employing various artificial presentations.
Wishing everyone health and safety until we get through this.
Captain Steve Purul Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters Call: 609-290-1217
Being somewhat sheltered in place, I started going through my computer to clean things up. In doing so, I found some fishing videos that I never uploaded to YouTube. This one here is from day two of an epic bass bite that lasted almost a week in the fall of 2015. Subcribe to my YouTube channel if you like my videos.
Spring is officially here! Yesterday, March 19 marked the first day of spring. The earliest spring since 1896 to be exact! Not only does the calendar say it’s spring but so does the weather and fishing.
There’s lots of fish around and on the chew. Solid fishing reports continue on striped bass, winter flounder and perch. Soon other species like black drum will be here and chewing. Speaking of Black Drum…
Drum Fishing With Kirsten Holloway
Spring time is the right time to target classy black drum in the bays and coastal waters of the Central and South Jersey Coast. Get ready to clam it down! Tomorrow Saturday March 21, at 7 am tune into 97.3 FM for Rack & Fin Radio on ESPN. Host Tom P will talk drum with Kirsten Holloway a local angler who knows her stuff. Here’s Kirsten with a big Great Bay black drum.
Barnegat Bay Winter Flounder Fishing Report
David Moores is in on the action flounder fishing hard this year. “Been catching good! And some nice ones too. Today Mike Moores got his first fatty flatty.” Get live bloods, anchor up and start chumming.
George Miller has been out and reports, “Flounder fishing in good.”
“I love my new fishing rod and reel setup! In about an hours time last night, I caught six bass on the old school classic, Lunker City Fin-S.” ~Jim Crane
Jamie Gramley reported, “Got another one fishing the back bay!” Dan Piazza (@backattack) tagged us in a photo this morning (below top). Got ’em on the Kettle Creek Paddle Tails. Grey Colston is always dialed in and right now is no different (below, bottom right). He’s catching on the Ship Bottom bayside. Sloanne Endick is catching nighttime linesiders (below, bottom center). Anthony Gagliardi shared a photo of a super dink he recently caught (below, bottom left).
Great Bay Striped Bass Fishing Report
Anglers are worming and catching good numbers of small striped bass. Ken Chew reported, “Fishing live bloodworms and low tide produced on the sand banks. We caught nine stripers Thursday. Eric Spinner got his first bass!”
Ken Maxwell fished with his kids and caught some striped bass.
The short mild winter gave us early buds and blooms. The dogwoods and forsythia show the tell tale signs that the spring fishing season is upon us! Here’s the LBI Fishing Report for Sunday March 15th.
BUT First A Huge THANKS to everyone who came out to the Saltwater Soiree! It was an awesome time. All of the feedback received so far is positive. While it was our first, we are already planning on another.
Barnegat Bay Fishing Report
Every spring the backwaters start first. The rivers, shallow mud flats and especially lighted areas (docks and bridges).
The past few nights were lights out fishing for a lot of the Fish Heads crew. Seems like their MVP is Kettle Creek Shads rigged on a lead head. If you aren’t sure where to go, stop in and get talking with the boyz. Here’s a recent photo sent in from local angler Jared Grady.
Simon and friend stopped in for some live bloods on Saturday morning. A few hours later they reported back, “Great action early in the day with small bass fishing worms.” Long time Fish Head regular Jamie Gramley was out on Saturday and shared, “Not a bad day fishing Barnegat Bay. I caught a couple bass up to 25″ today.”
Gary Adiar enjoyed his Saturday morning fishing a popular early season sod bank. He said the fishing was good, “Little man laid the wood to ’em and caught over 20 bass up to 25 inches.”
John Bellingeri stopped in on Saturday to check out the Saltwater Soiree. While enjoying the event he picked up some Kettle Creek Shads and then put them to use on the bayside. He tagged us in a photo and said, “It’s on! Don’t read the reports. Be the reports!
Winter flounder reports were few and far between until this weekend. Kyle Majka reported, “We managed a two man limit today in three hours. Biggest flounder was 1.62#. Start chumming and keep chumming.” Another winter flounder report came in from Dave Moores. He been putting in the time and catching them in Northern Barnegat Bay. Dave reported on his Facebook page, “Get out and fish! Catch some flounder and then enjoy a great dinner.” Dave is also releasing bass on light tackle.
*Winter Flounder NJ Recreation Fishing Regulations Are Two Fish Bag Limit At 12 inch Minimum Size
LBI Surf Fishing
St. Patricks Day is the holiday which, for the Jersey Shore, marks a time when surf anglers opportinues start. Usually catching a bass off the surf before St.Patty’s Day requires a legit ton of luck. Even though this year is ahead of schedule we have yet to learn of a surf side striped bass on the beach of LBI.
We expect it’s any day. Why? The waters have already began their creep up from the winter’s low and there’s lots of life. A quick look will show abundance of sea ducks and lots of gannets. For some Saturday mid island LBI gannet diving video check out our instagram story, sent in by John Bellingeri. Both herring and bunker are present in the LBI surf.
Captain Mike Kelly aboard the “On Point” is still down in Ocean City, MD catching tog. He reported a slow yet steady grind on Saturday. He said the crew worked hard for them and managed 19 keepers up to 6 pounds.
NJ’s Tog Season Is Quickly Approaching. It Opens April 1st with a Four Fish Bag Limit at a 15″ Minimum Size.
Join us this Saturday (March 14th) from 11am-3pm at Fisherman’s Headquarters on Long Beach Island. The Saltwater Soirée will be small laid back gathering with saltwater fishing conversation and some music to boot!
Get in on the “SHOW” specials… 15% Off Shop Wide! *Sorry some exclusions apply. There will also be select deeper discounts on “Sidewalk Sale” closeout items… rods, reels, line, lures and apparel.
Meet with some top tackle reps from Nomad, Dexter, Stormr, Magictail, Reel Innovation Outrodders, Bomber Eyewear and Rhodan Marine Trolling Motors.
The day will include interactive saltwater fishing technique talk with top anglers and captains. These Fish Head Ambassadors will be on site for most of the day. If you have questions come prepared! Why ask Facebook and get 30 answers that will spin you in circles when you can ask a top rate source?
Short Seminar Schedule…
11:30 – Fluke Fishing Tactics with Matt “Swagmattic” Sorrentino
11:45 – Fluke Panel Q&A w/ Matt & Garrett
12:30 – Swordfishing with Capt. Jeff “Sword Lord” Warford
12:45 – Big Game Panel Q&A w/ Jeff, Pat “Forever Two Worlds”
1:30 – Rigging Up Right For Tuna On “Light Tackle” with Captain Adam Sherer
1:45 – Tuna Q&A w/ Adam
**Special Guest Garrett Weir, the 2019 Fisherman Dream Boat Challenge Winner & 2018 Dream Boat Challenge Runner Up. This top multi-species angler will be answering questions.
It’s not a Soirée without some music… so we have Benton and friends who will be jamming some live reggae tunes!
Come out and enjoy a great Saturday at the Fish Heads Saltwater Soirée!!!
For those that can’t make it to the shop this weekend but would still like to take advantage of the “show” specials… We have a limited time web promo code 15OFF that is live. Shop Now!
Here’s the LBI Fishing Report for the week ending Sunday March 8, 2020.
A good presence of striped bass showed this week. The abundance at night was impressive and some quality ones hinted at good fishing ahead. Now with daylight saving we are on the fast track to spring fishing!
The night shift is the best times to work the shadow lines with small jigs and plastics. The Kettle Creek Paddle Tails are a standout choice! A few days back store staffers Jordan and Dan both had productive outings. They fished separate areas at different times and both has a blast reporting numerous striped bass.
A shop regular stop in Wednesday purchasing a new pair of waders for spring fishing. While in he show a photo but wouldn’t allow us to share. It was a picture from a recent fishing trip and the biggest bass we saw to date this year… A nice high teen, possibly hitting the 20 pound mark bass.
Saturday midday Hunter Dargay stopped in and got some live bloodworms. Within minutes he tagged us in this photo… They are chewing!
NJ Saltwater Expo
The NJ Saltwater Expo is almost here! There’s a terrific line-up of seminars presented by top-names in the areas fishing front. Also take advantage of special offers and promotions the crew at Fish Heads will have on display. Stop by Booth 445 and say hi!
Save The Dates: March 13, 14, 15 at the NJ Convention & Expo Center in (97 Sunfield Ave, Edison, NJ 08837) the saltwater.sportshows.com/
Long Beach Island Party Boat Fishing News
Fishing The Miss Barnegat Light
The Miss Barnegat Light posted an update… Here’s our 2020 schedule!
We start Memorial Day weekend with fluke and sea bass, sailing Friday, Saturday and Sunday. June 19th we’ll start sailing daily. Canyon overnight trips start September 19th fishing every weekend through October. Starting November 6th we’ll be fishing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for striped bass.
Fishing The Carolyn Ann III
The Carolyn Ann III posted an update. They are preparing for the season and will start fishing mid-May for sea bass. “We’ll be sailing everyday; however, no blackfish this spring.” Stay tuned for a new schedule set for the upcoming summer. The boat will be sailing one five hour trip (8am to 1pm) daily.
This time of year when we are all itching to bend a rod, you can do that if you go hit some local ponds. Remember to get your NJ FW Fishing Licence before you go. Most of the tax money collected by NJ gets put into the “general fund”, however, the money from freshwater license purchase goes directly to operations of Fish & Wildlife which includes the operation of two fish hatcheries and associated stocking programs, a pheasant farm, enforcement of fish and wildlife regulations, habitat protection, fish and wildlife research, wildlife management area maintenance and improvement, education and other programs and activities.
To see my video click here Pond Pickerel Remember to subcribe if you like my videos.