Positive vibes are in the air (along with heavy amounts of pollen)! The fishing on LBI is ramping up into the prime spring season.
Classy bass arrived in our local waters and will be here for the next few weeks. Mid May and June is an awesome time to target trophy striped bass on and around Long Beach Island.
Reports off the boats today were good from the waters off LBI and IBSP. Captain David D. of Hi Flier Sportfishing got a good one, mid-thirty pound class. See his report posted separately. Mike Messler of DocksideDiner also got into some good fish trolling too. Mike was fishing off of LBI with Reed Johnson yesterday. Reed recently geared up at the shop and yesterday he put the tackle to work with some really nice fish. This has been the best first hand report we’ve got this spring. It’s time to get in the game! Three nice fish on the troll; 35lb, 34lb and 20lb. Mike reported, “Some bait balls deep, nothing on surface. We roped ’em on a White #4 Tony Maja Bunker Spoon from Fisherman’s Headquarters!”
Chris Degennaro got a couple nice bass on the troll yesterday. Here’s a pair he pulled.
There was talk in the shop about a nice fish that was caught late afternoon off the surf. An customer buying bunker reported an angler near by caught a good size bass.
Anglers continue to pick bass and blues off the surf. Today shop regular Sam checked in a nice linesiders off the surf. Arnold Manresa recently reported bunker has been working in the suds. Got another two fish as well as skates and sharks. Hooked up on something else but after a three minute fight the hook came out. All of my action has been before work on the morning tide (5-7AM). Another report came in from Aaron Ho, photo below. He caught and released his first keeper sized striped bass of the year off the LBI surf recently. Simply Bassing, Long Beach Island’s Spring Surf Bass Tournament is on and currently led by Jeff Crabtree at 18.86 pounds.
Still some nice perch in the tidal creeks and lagoons. Store staffer Willie got a couple nice ones last night off his dock.
I fished yesterday morning on the bay with Blake. We got into some blues. The wind was light so I had to pull out the fly. It was a blast getting them on the white gamechanger.
A couple solid reports from the south end of the Island bayside. Word is it’s hot with with large and aggressive blues. One gental man stoked on the awesome fishing stopped in the shop to gear up. “I gotta get em on the fly. I have so much fun fly roding steel head, I’m gonna turn on the blues.” We out fitted him with a phenomenal saltwater setup that will be very universal for bass and blues among other species too. The unit was made up of the G.Loomis Cross Current one piece 8’10” rod and a Hatch 7 Plus Finatic fly reel. After spooling up, he was off to flag down the angry ol’ yellow eyes with the fly.
There was a time when the local demand disappeared; however, there’s a resurgent in the area. So for this year, after a long intermission we brought back a small selection of premium fly fishing gear.
For me, the past fall was off the hook and this spring has been a great start. I’m looking forward to catching a bunch more fish on the fly this year and I’m especially looking forward to gearing up others to get in on the fun. For those that live for fooling fish on artificials this is the ultimate. While not the easiest is isn’t rocket science and it is so rewarding!
Any one looking to gear up and smash them on the fly stop in and see us. We have a selection of premium made in the USA fly reels by Hatch, rods by G.Loomis and line by Cortland. We are also a St. Croix rod dealer so special ordering a St.Croix fly rods is a quick turnaround.
Dave Spendiff of the Village Harbour Fishing Club found some monster blues in the bay. Yesterday he weighed in a 18.84 pound gorilla! Shown below
Jacob Bowles got five to 15 pounds recently bunker chunking the bayside.
Chris O’Neill sent in this photo and this short report, “34 inch gator caught in Great Bay yesterday on bunker.”
Here is a report from Gianni Marano, dated May 8, 2017: My father and I were fishing in Barnegat Inlet Sunday around 12pm from our boat. We were working the outgoing tide with swim shads. On my third cast a 34″ 9 pound bluefish slammed on and I was hooked up on lite tackle. Unbelievable fight! We also saw people reeling in blues from the IBSP rocks and other boats drifting next to us.
It looks like we have a developing low pressure with increasing wind and swell this weekend… so now is the time to poke out and fish! If you can’t swing it, the long range looks promising. Next weeks looks to be an awesome stretch of weather. Lets hope it pans out.