Tog closed out with a strong performance offering anglers a final weekend of wreck fishing. The inshore reefs were very productive. Read more about the reefs below. (New Reef Site) With tog/blackfish season now closed, the focus is strictly striped bass and bluefish. Both providing anglers fun with the latter stealing the spot light. Now is a great time to get out and take a kid fishing. Lots of anglers returning home from their winter hiatus are raving on the world class light tackle fishing we have in the local waters. Anglers are catching from the beach, bay and boat.
The Inlet is the epicenter of the bluefish bite however the back bay and surf are great too. Yesterday throughout the day there was a good pick. Early in the day, then again later afternoon into sunset was good. Some anglers complained about weeds.
Here’s a recent photo of Denis Betev who got into the blues in the inlet.
South Philly Fred and Fish Finder Frank Foley hit the Inlet yesterday afternoon and caught off the rocks. The yellow eyes were chewing bucktails.
More reports from the surf… Here’s two recent reports from shop regulars, both on bunker, mid-island surf. Andy got two blues then a 34″ bass. Eric got a 28″ bass on his first cast then a couple blues. Matt Krezel got this bluefish on the beach…
Drum fishing is good if you can get through the bluefish.
Crabbing has been very good in the bay.
Simply Bassing has begun! Register now before the classy bass roll into the surf. When signing up ask to joint our shop side-bet (Fisherman’s Headquarters Spring Striper Side-Bet, additional $10). Sorry this spring we are not having the catch and release tournament. There was little to no participation. Only a couple of fish were entered last spring. Not one fish was entered this past fall. Seems there was no interest. Those looking to fish a catch and release tournament should take part in the Berkley Striper Club’s 14th Annual Striped Bass Catch & Release Spring Tournament May 25 – May 29th The Tournament is to benefit the Berkley Striper Club Fisheries Defense Fund. Enter at http://www.BerkeleyStriperClub.org
Inshore structure is hard to come by in this neck of the woods. If it wasn’t for the NJ Artificial Reef Program we wouldn’t have much. These sites offer some of our area’s best bottom fishing for fluke, sea bass and tog among many other species. Can you imagine what fishing life would be like along the NJ coast without the reef sites?
New Reef Site
Since 1984, the Bureau of Marine Fisheries has been involved in an intensive program of artificial reef construction and biological monitoring. The purpose is to create a network of artificial reefs in the ocean waters along the New Jersey coast to provide a hard substrate for fish, shellfish and crustaceans, fishing grounds for anglers, and underwater structures for scuba divers.
Artificial reefs are constructed by intentionally placing dense materials, such as old ships and barges, concrete and steel demolition debris and dredge rock on the sea floor within designated reef sites. At present, the division holds permits for 15 artificial reef sites encompassing a total of 25 square miles of sea floor. The reefs are strategically located along the coast so that 1 site is within easy boat range of 12 New Jersey ocean inlets.
Reefs are now being used extensively by anglers and divers who catch sea bass, blackfish, porgy and lobster.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2017
DEP SECURES ARMY CORPS PERMITS TO BUILD NEW ARTIFICIAL REEFS
SITES TO BE DEVELOPED OFF OCEAN COUNTY’S MANASQUAN INLET AND IN DELAWARE BAY
(17/P36) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection’s artificial reef program has secured a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit to proceed with construction of two new reefs for recreational fishing, Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
A reef to be built off Ocean County’s Manasquan Inlet is part of a compromise the Christie Administration reached between recreational anglers and commercial fishermen over reef access that resulted in restored federal funding for the program. A second, previously planned reef to be developed in Delaware Bay will expand fishing opportunities in that region.
“We are very excited to move forward with this expansion of the state’s network of artificial reefs, which create important habitat for many types of marine life,” Commissioner Martin said. “By enhancing recreational fishing and diving opportunities, these reefs help boost the state’s tourism economy. We are particularly pleased with the opportunity to develop Delaware Bay’s first reef site, which will help bolster tourism in that region.”
Recreational fishing generates $1.5 billion in economic benefits in New Jersey each year, and directly employs some 20,000 people.
Artificial reefs are constructed from a variety of materials, such as rocks, concrete, steel, old ships and barges. These materials provide surfaces for a wide diversity of marine organisms to grow, ultimately providing food and habitat for many species of fish and shellfish.
The DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife resumed deployments of old vessels and other materials last year following a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore funding for the program. This decision was the result of a compromise the DEP reached that allows commercial interests to have continued access to portions of two reefs sites in state waters and calls for the construction of a new reef for recreational fishing in state waters. State waters extend three miles from the shoreline.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had suspended the funding due to concerns that commercial fishing was intruding on and hampering recreational fishing on artificial reefs, which are funded by excise taxes on recreational fishing gear and boat fuel.
The Army Corps permit allows the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife to develop the two new reefs over the next 10 years as materials suitable for deployment become available.
The Manasquan Inlet Reef site is located 1.7 nautical miles southeast of the inlet, which is just north of Ocean County’s Point Pleasant Beach. When fully developed, it will occupy nearly one square mile of sea floor in water from 67 feet to 74 feet deep.
The Delaware Bay Reef site is located 9.2 nautical miles southwest of the mouth of Cumberland County’s Maurice River and will occupy a little more than a square mile of bay floor, at depths ranging from 23 feet to 35 feet.
The Army Corps permit also reauthorized continued operation and development of 15 artificial reef sites – 13 in federal waters and two in state waters.
DEP studies have shown that these materials are colonized quickly with organisms such as algae, barnacles, mussels, sea stars, blue crabs, and sea fans that attract smaller fish which, in turn, attract black sea bass, tautog, summer flounder, scup, lobster and other sought-after species.
For more information on New Jersey’s Artificial Reef Program