Some good reports off the Island surf today. Bass and blues…
Store staffer Rob was on the beach and got fish. Todd Luber reported “Decent morning chunking the surf. Got this one and dropped one. The old man got two nice bluefish.”
More fish pulled yesterday! Anglers slow trolling along the beach are catching classy fish.
Just a heads up, the lane in front of the store which was once a shoulder is now a through lane. No idea who at the Dept of Transportation thought it was a good idea but it has proven to be very dangerous. There has already been a couple accidents.
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.
After weeks and weeks of relentless wind, the NW finally let us sneak out the inlet to go troll some spoons. Had friends Johnny O’Kinsky (left) and Brian Ewan (right) on board for a spontaneous (Thanks to Johnny) “Let’s shoot out for a couple of hours” trip. We started off the Bathing Beach (Where else?) and had no luck so I ran north of Lavallette where I had heard of a “guy who knew a guy” sort of report that he caught the day before. Nothing. On the way back, we let them out in 60 feet of water off of Seaside Piers and while I was preparing the deck for the ride home, Brian screams: “There he is….That’s a bass!” referring to the rod that was dumping line. He was right. 34 pounds on the Boga Grip. One hit, one fish, and after another short troll we headed for the dock. Didn’t get that hit until 4PM. He went for a #4 white Tony Maja bunker spoon.
Here’s the YouTube clip: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzckMkpjzRE
Open Boat or Charter trips running tomorrow (Wed) May 10, Thurs May 11, and Fri May 12. Leave at Noon, return around 6PM (probably later). All three days have 5 to 10 knot winds making for a nice ocean, giving us the option to go troll spoons for the big stripers and/or cast light tackle at the blues in the bay. There is a mix of size with the blues now. There are still some gators mixed in but there are a lot of 3 to 5 pound fish now, too. We can do whatever you guys want. Don’t be afraid to check availability right up until “Go time”. A lot of times we will sail with less than a full boat just to go fishing. Best way to communicate with me is on the cell. I’m available from 6AM to 9PM every day. $175 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared. Also available every Sat, Sun, and Mon for morning and afternoon trips. Charter or Open Boat Trips.
With the chilly westerly breeze, it really feels like a fall day here on LBI. The Island’s beaches have a fading south east swell leftover rolling across the sandbars. Over night the water cleaned up (lost some of that chocolate tint) and fish are cruising the white water. We are dropping into low tide (on the surf) at 12:39PM. High tide is this evening at 6:52PM.
Scott Shirey from Carlisle PA just weighed in a 41″ 26.30 lbs striped bass at 11am. Scott caught the linesider off of the Ship Bottom surf on FishHead’s Bunker at about 10am.
Store staffer Dan was out on the water yesterday (Sunday) searching. He fished the three mile line off Island Beach State Park. Dan said, “Trolling was slow, with little to no bait. We did come across a deep pack or two of bunker (photo below). This time last year we found some good fish. We’ll get ’em soon.” Water temp was 52 degrees. We heard through the grapevine there were a couple fish pulled this weekend. This is the start!
Here a photo of the surf and rainbow 🌈 from last night off the Surf City beach. Thanks to Melanie Cassie Photography for the photo
Well my team worked hard and had fun but the hard work paid off as we took 2nd place in the Level 1 Division – Limited Geographic Area of the World Series of Birding. Have one spot open for tomorrow magic hour trip 4:30 to dark for monster bay bluefish and striped. Cost is $135 and this is a special as on this trip you would only be sharing the boat with one other angler.
Capt. Alex 609-548-2511
Another Epic week of Light Tackle action found all in the safe confines of Barnegat Bay continued to entertain anglers aboard the Reel Fantasea this week! Some Trips returned early from just plain old fatigue with sore arms and backs from “The Catchin”!!
Even after torrential rains and high winds that turned the bay into a giant fresh water run off catch basin and stained the clarity muddy brown we found the action right where we left off RED HOT!!
Big Burly blues well into the teens have continued to keep our anglers rods down and tight and drags screaming with little rest between bites. Striped bass have also spiced the catches for some of our savvy anglers as well to keep things interesting.
I’m looking with great anticipation to this week with weather looking a bit more timid with westerlies forecasted and a waxing moon. I think the bass action is going to blow wide open along our coast!!
I have a few Happy Hour Specials available this which are running 530-830pm for either open or private charter . Incoming and outgoing tides have scored heavily including the dreaded slack !
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Wishing everyone fair winds and calm seas,
Captain Steve Purul
Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters
West winds again tomorrow. Should flatten that ocean out to allow us to go try a shot at trolling bunker spoons for big stripers. Not that there’s been any reported but its time. Depending on the sea condition and what you guys want to do, we can also fish the bay for bluefish which has been steady. $175 person, all fish are shared. 6AM to Noon (or later).
Capt. Dave DeGennaro Hi Flier Sportfishing (732)330-5674 www.hiflier.com
Surf’s Up! After the blow we are left with a solid south east swell on the Island’s beaches. No direct reports of fish but they have to be cruising through. The water is on the brown side but hopefully will clear us soon. If heading up both bunker and clams are great choices. Don’t forget alittle extra lead.
The blues are chewing good today on the north end of the island. Boat anglers got into them fishing the waters of the Inlet and Dike. “All the blues you wanted.” Deke Ferrell was on the blues today on the north end, photo below.
We got heads up that the morning was slow off the rocks but we expect that was due to tide. The late morning and afternoon should produce but no reports at time of this report.
Rick Ziegler stopped in yesterday and picked up his prizes from the past Fall Surf Fishing Classic. Rick was the Bluefish Grand Prize Winner. In addition to the $1000 prize, he was awarded a Penn Slammer III Spinning Reel matched with a custom 9′ rod, a plaque and a Fisherman’s Headquarters $200 Gift Certificate.
Rick stopped back today and shared a report, “I love the new setup! Went up on the beach early but it was a little weedy. Made the shifted over to the bay and got ’em. The south end bayside, blues all morning on bunker. Whipped out an SP and got bit. ” Here’s a photo from Betty from PA who was fishing with Rick.
A number of anglers loading up on fresh bunker and chunking the surf. Similar theme from all those who reported back… blues on chunks, occasional bass. It seems today is a little slower than the past couple days but there are fish being caught.
Blue claws crawling and chewing lagoons and bay. Those soaking bunker are catching.