LBI Fishing Report May 5, 2017

The bass and blues are here and the crew at the shop are finding them. If you want to go, get out and enjoy some fishing this weekend. The wind is face on in the surf, straight onshore. On the bayside it is at your back.

Early this morning, store staffer Joe C. caught three bass bucktailing. Joe fished picked to fish the bay side. He said some small bass popped back up where bluefish recently dominated.

Last night store staffer Blake poked around and found some bass on the bay side. He only hooked one, but managed to raise a few.

Store staffer Rob Vallone got ’em good yesterday and then again this morning. His buddy got a couple bass.

Here’s a couple other reports…

Rocking Rick Wieland stopped in today for more hooks. While here he reported the mid-island surf is loaded with bluefish. “Every cast! Blues from 7 to 17 pounds!”

Jason Hoch stopped in this evening and said yesterday was on. “I got bait late and hit it. They were on the chew right to dark and then it shut off.”

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Joe Medica took his son Tyler out to the jetty yesterday. They reported, “Absolute Bedlam!!!” It’s awesome to see a grom tight to a fish with good form. Here’s Tyler Medica locked into a gator blue on the Barnegat Light Jetty.

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Ryan Szalc, “Truly what I love to do… catching yellow eye demons.”

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James B, “Today’s tide produced a lot of giants on the chunk and plug!”

Pressure is dropping!

The high is moving off and a low is coming. Looks like its hanging out for the weekend and we’ll be looking at stiff winds and rain. Awesome fishing weather!!! Just in time because some nice fish just showed up.
Today we got word from a couple boat anglers who trolled up some nice fish in the twenty to thirty pound class. Speaking of nice fish…
Yesterday Cody Schmutz got a good striped bass off of the surf on clam. He reported, “Got my fair share of blues. Now I’m off to find some cow bass this spring!” Gonna have to say that’s a good start. It’s the best bass we’ve seen off the surf this spring.
Other surf news…
Store staffer Robbie Vallone gave us heads up… “Blues from 5 to 15 plus pounds every cast! It’s ridiculous!!!” Bill Head stopped in a picked up his new rod. He just messaged us, “The rod is a beast total rope session with blues right now. Caught 9 and ran out of bait.”
Arnold Manresa sent us a photo this morning of a nice bluefish he caught off of the Island’s surf.
Timothy Swiggard sent in a photo of a 32″ bass he caught off of the mid island surf on bunker.
The bay is still active with fish, both bass and blues.
Gary from Farias got a nice gator bluefish fishing a mid-island bulkhead.
Chester B. stopped in for fresh line today. He reported hammering the blues today and yesterday. “In the windy conditions, I fished the bay. The blues wanted bunker chunks. There were some good size ones too. I got my first fluke of the season. It also went for a bunker chunk on a 5/0 hook. The bluefish are packed with jumbo spearing.”
Store staffer Blake and I had a good morning meeting on the water with Rich Lowe our Grundens factory rep. We covered some ground and found an occasional bluefish. We only managed three blues in the short morning session. It would have been nice to fish into noon but we all had obligations. For us it was a semi slow morning but the number of blow ups and follows to the boat made it exciting. All in all it was a good morning “taking care of business”.
We find out later our friend Todd Luber was hot on the bite and wasn’t fishing far from us. He did much better than us. Here’s his report, “Bass love Stillwater! Five bass and a few blues ion the bay!!!!
Steve Warren stopped in this afternoon to pick up some fresh bunker and sign up for the Simply Bassing Surf Fishing Tournament. While here he shared his morning report. “I had a fun morning on the boat in the bay. Blues on poppers and swimming plugs.”
It’s game time! There’s fish here and they are on the chew.

Lighthouse Sportfishing Barnegat Bay Report 5/4/2017

Quick report here, my World Series of Birding Team, LBIF Ospreys, has been spending every available minute the last two weeks scouting birds for the Big Day, this Saturday. We are competing in the Bird Conservation Challenge – Level I Limited Geographic Area. Our team is staying in Ocean County and hope to make OC proud! You can follow me the day of the event on Twitter @LHSportfishing. Wish us luck! Oh, what does this have to do about fishing? OK, here it is…While scouting birds by boat today around the inlet I saw some terns getting excited so I ran over to get in on the action. I guess fishing trumps birding  My first cast, was my only cast, because after a couple twitches of a white BKD I got hammered hard. It took the better part of 10 minutes to land the beast (bluefish) and when weighed it pulled the scale down to 15.4 pounds. Be warned, this beast is still out there and might be looking to fight with you soon!

Screaming drags,

Capt Alex 609-548-2511

Hi Flier Open Boat Barnegat Bay Gator Blues

Looking at the marine forecast, the Hi  Flier is going to be fishing Barnegat Bay for at least a few more days. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Big gator blues on topwater lures in shallow water are a lot of fun on light spinning tackle. It’s just, …How many weeks in a row are we going to get blown out of the ocean fishing? It’s likely those 25 to 40-plus pound stripers are staged off of Island Beach State Park in 50 to 60 feet of water just waiting for a big spoon and we can’t get to them. It looks like Sunday night, and at least all day Monday, the wind is supposed to swing NW. That will flatten out the ocean and at least get us out to try.
The big blues seem to be picking up momentum in our part of the bay, so we will continue to throw lures and bait at them through the weekend. I struck out on my first three bay striper attempts last week, anchored up clamming in Oyster Creek, so, it only makes sense that’s where I will be, doing the same exact thing, each high water slack this weekend, as well. Last year’s May bite was the best run of quality size fish I ever had clamming in the bay so I’m not ready to give up on that, yet. We will fish for the blues before and after each striper effort.
Running Open Boat or Charter Saturday, May 6, 6AM to Noon and 1PM to 6PM.
Sunday and Monday, May 7 and 8, 1PM to 6PM.
$175 person for the AM 6 hour trips and $150 person for the PM 5 hour trips. 4 people max. All fish are shared.
Capt. Dave DeGennaro
Hi Flier Sportfishing
732.330.5674 cell

LBI Fishing Report May 2, 2017

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
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.

April 27, 2017


(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


Reel Reaction Charters – 1st Trip of the Season – Bluefish in the Shallows

I had Bruce Conner of Illinois, Paul Covine, and Tom Duralek of Manahawkin on our first charter/open boat trip of the 2017 season. The trip’s goal was to have fun on shallow-water Bluefish and we got into them at our second spot. There is nothing like throwing a popper or plug, and having Bluefish destroy them in 2.5 feet of water. Some of the Barnegat Bay’s shallows produced some epic bites with fish nearing the 40 inch mark and up to 16 pounds.  Bruce was lights out working the Tsunami popper, followed by Paul on the SP Minnow, and Tom on a variety of lures. We had a busy morning scoring Blues on nearly every drift until it slowed. As we neared the end of the trip, we took one long drift along one of the lagoon fronts and scored a small Striped Bass and another monster Bluefish.

As we wait for the arrival of the bigger Striped Bass, I can run WEEKDAY afternoon bay Bluefish / Striped Bass trips from 3 to 7pm either full charter or $120 per person OPEN BOAT, in addition to WEEKENDS.  Once the OCEAN Striped Bass scene starts and tide is much less a factor, I can run weekends (anytime) and weekday (afternoons).  Again, as full CHARTER, or OPEN BOAT $150 per man for 5 hours.  All open-boats need 3 to run.

If interested in booking a charter, book through the website (, or call/text 609-290-7709 .  As always, we use the highest quality gear and everything is included all gear, tackle, fish-cleaning, and ICE – it’s “no worries” fishing.  Just come aboard and FISH.

Capt. Brett Taylor ~ Reel Reaction Sportfishing ~ Call or Text: 609-290-7709

Lighthouse Sportfishing Barnegat Bay Report 5/1/2017

First trip of the year Sunday with John Morley from Manahawkin and his 10 year old son Jack. Going into my fourteenth year of guiding I made a promise to myself to try some areas that I have not fished in a while and to target a new species (have to wait for summer to see if I keep that promise). Well out of the gate first cast Jack get a schoolie striper! Well that was the kiss of death on that bite, because during the next 40 minutes we landed only a 2 pound blue. We fished a spot I have not fished by boat since 1986. Even with that I think the change of spots paid off, and I plan on taking more of my clients there in the future. After that we were in search of gator bluefish and they did not let us down. Blues from 10-12.5 pounds on poppers and swimmers in shallow water. World class action folks. The bite was slower than normal but no complaints with the results. Here is a picture of Jack with the 12.5 lb. blue. I have Wednesday and Thursday (May 3rd & 4th) available for magic hour trips and then the next available date is one (1) spot for open boat Monday May 8th Magic hr trip . May dates are filling in fast so let me know if you want me to hold one for you. Remember I do offer fly-fishing as an option and with the monster blues in the shallows there is no better time than now to fly-fish the bay.

On the nature side of things: I am totally psyched for the World Series of Birding next Saturday, May 6th. Here is my teams page the LBIF Ospreys.  To date I have raised over $1,000 for LBIF and Fisherman Headquarters was one of my pledges. Thanks again Greg!  My team and I have been scouting breeding birds locations every available minute we have. For some, like myself, this competition is not just pick up a pair of binoculars and look for some birds. It takes countless hours of scouting out birds right before the big day. And if you know where a certain hard to find species of bird can be found it is not good enough. You need a backup location, and maybe a backup to your backup. This is serious stuff and I want to bring home the first place cup. Wish me luck come this Saturday.

jackmblueScreaming drags and clear binoculars,

Capt. Alex
Barnegat Bay, NJ

Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters – Barnegat Bay Fishing “Assault” Report! 4/30/2017

Big burly brute slammers continue their unabated assault on Barnegat Bay !

Barnegat Bay continues to offer up some of the most bountiful big slammer blue fish action to the delight of drag screaming worshipers and local [ wink , wink FishHQ] tackle shop everywhere!

All trips this week saw fast out of the gate action that continued through even slack tides which eventually led to angler arm exhaustion well before trips end! Doubles, triples, and quads hook ups were the norm for all trips all week long!

The most reliable has been chunking cut baits but poppers have scored well for those seeking explosive visual surface strike!

Want rod bending, drag screaming, visual strikes? Don’t delay and jump aboard the Reel Fantasea sailing out of historic Barnegat light’s 18th street aka Viking Village.

I have this Friday afternoon [ May 5th] 3-8pm available for open or private charter for any light tackle enthusiast looking for an afternoon of fun!

Wishing everyone fair winds and calm seas,

Captain Steve Purul

Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters




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