Weekend LBI Fishing Report – July 22, 2017

The warm temperatures and free time of the summer months provide great opportunities for families to get outdoors and spend valuable time together on the water. In an effort to motivate parents and guardians to engage in fun fishing activities with their children and keep them away from drugs, the Partnership for a Drug-Free NJ is holding the 3rd Annual Don’t Get Hooked on Drugs Online NJ Family Fishing Tournament. This year it is from August 4-13th. For more info to participate check out their website www.drugfreenj.org/

The Ship Bottom surf temp today is 68 degrees. The warm waters are a comfy home to fluke and kingfish. They are in the suds. Both today (Saturday) and yesterday (Friday) customers purchasing live bloodworms gave the nod yes when asked if they are finding kings. The big blues that are around offer lots of fun too! The epicenter is the Inlet but some feisty yellow eyes are cruising the surf. Gary W. caught this 13 lbs. bluefish off of the Beach Haven surf a couple days ago. Gary got it on fresh Fish Head’s fresh bunker.

Gary W. caught this bluefish off of the surf on bunker.

Beach sharking continues to dominate the surf report.  Both brown sharks and sand tigers give anglers a run for their money and test their tackle. Long Beach Island’s summertime beach shark fishing is the ultimate land based big game fishing experience. It’s a ton of fun but please know these species are federally protected! Due to the restrictions both brown sharks and sand tigers have made a major come back. Know the rules! Both of these shark species (among some others) are prohibited to be possessed. They can not be killed! They can not be landed! It’s grey but simply put landing equals possession even if there is intent to release. Fish must remain in the water. That means do not drag them up the beach for a photo. Dry sand photos are a major no no. This will ruin it for everyone.

Sharking is prime time right now, through July and all of August. This fishing is best during low light and dark hours, making it a great way to spend a few hours at night. Store staffer Willie D shares this report, “Sharking off the beach is hot right now. Keys to success? Rig up right. No weak links. Bait up with mackerel, bunker or anything meaty with some stink. Be ready for a good bite and a solid fight. Stop in the shop if you need assistance getting geared up!”

I personally prefer to enjoy the summertime sharking via boat. Over the years (15+) I’ve had a blast with friend enjoying the summer nights on the bay this way. Now that I’m a licensed captain I’m running 1-3 man bay sharking charters. If interested in going, call the shop 609-494-5739 and ask for me, Greg. If not available leave your name and phone number.

Earlier in the week I was out a couple times and we had toothy ones both trips. One trip we had a consistent bite that lasted couple hours, right into slack low tide. Everyone got their turn to battle a brown or two. At one point we had a double header. We blew through hook baits, rigs and the super warm bay ate the chum quick. The next night a stiff southerly wind maked for poor wind against tide conditions. We battled through the challenge, managed to release one and missed a couple opportunities. More recently store alumni Joni was out with friend. They released three brownies.

Shop alumni Kenny U reported good tog fishing at the Inlet rocks. He mentioned the tiggers are plentiful too! For a number of weeks now, the area has big blues holding. Anglers are having a blast hooking them on lures from bucktails to poppers. The inlet also offers great fluke fishing as the flounder slide out of the bay and take on the near shore lumps and reefs.

Bluefish offer lots of fun for all age groups but especially for kids.

Fluke fishing is solid! Anglers bucktailing the bay’s channel edges are still catching and some occasional nice fish at that. As the season progresses other areas are heating up! New reports from the inlets and ocean are strong. The consistent warm ocean temps mean one thing for late July fluke fishing… it’s on!

Howard Clark was out on the water yesterday. His caught five fish 21-23″ and dropped an even bigger fluke boatside. Howard reported quality size fluke were on the chew and everyone was stacked with squid. It’s a great sign!

The Carolyn Ann III recently reported, “Nice improvement with an upswing in the fishing. We are seeing a good catch of sea bass along with keeper fluke coming over the rail! Hopefully this upward trend continues!!! Here’s a report from Jacob Bowles who was recently fishing aboard the CA3. “We got out to the fluke grounds,had a good drift and started off picking. Got an 18″ and worked through some sea robins. Landed a 23″ 4 pound fluke which took the pool.” When asked Jacob said he was catching fish on both Gulp and bait, “Both keepers were on bait.” Sometimes you have to give them some meat!

Jacob Bowles with his pool winning 23″ 4 pound fluke.

We tend to get 90% of our reports from anglers fishing Barnegat Bay and the north end of the Island however recently some positive reports came from the southend waters. Store staffer Willie said, “Fluke fishing on the south end of the Island is pretty good. Been a better mix of keeper size fish for anglers fishing the Gulp 4” Shrimp. Those have been the go to baits for some sharpies.

Sometimes you hear about the epic fishing and just have to pack up and go. Montauk is well known for quality striped bass and fluke fishing. The reports out of Montauk have been stellar to say the least! Zach Michot took a road trip to the East End and it was well worth it! Zach reported, “Jigged up 13 nice fluke and five jumbo sea bass. All on MagicTail Jigs. It was a great day on the water aboard the Miss Montauk.”

Clamming and crabbing are a great way to enjoy LBI’s beauty and beat the heat. Here’s a photo of Archie Coen clamming away.

Achie Coen is enjoying LBI’s salt life clamming Barnegat Bay.

For a large group of passionate anglers, bluewater fishing is a release from the summertime land life full off hustle, bustle, traffic and noise. Those hours on the high seas are where some of life’s best memories are made. Today the crew from Jenny Lee Sportfishing weighed in a monster mako at Hoffman’s Marina. It’s possibly a pending new state record, unofficial weight at 926 pounds.

Bluewater fishing has been strong! Stop in for premium Baitmaster Ballyhoo, super popular Joe Shute Lures and top quality spreader bars! We have all the essentials and more to get you geared up and into the bite. The mid-shore and offshore action continues. Anglers fishing 30-50 miles  off are into bluefin tuna on a routine basis. Some heavy weeds recently moved into a fishy area that was very productive. This makes for frustrating fishing but you never know what’s underneath. Most of the time these weedy areas have bait as well as mahi and whites. Some cobia were pulled.

Store staffer Willie Davis has a nice bluefin tuna he caught trolling the mid-shore tuna grounds

Lots of local boats are catching on the mid-shore grounds trolling bars as well as bally/shutes. It seems the larger class of bluefin that were around the past month or two might have push up out of out area. It seems a smaller class of fish are now present. Hopefully some nicer ones keep picking. Spreaderbars have been hot for these smaller class bluefin. Joe Shue trolling lures rigged up with a large or select ballyhoo is also a deadly trolling combo that tuna can not resist. Most run them on the long rigger, but some prefer them in the shotgun, way back. On the other hand there’s boats that stack the spread and run them in both positions. It seems like the bigger fish like to fall for the stealth way.

While we just got a skunk report sent in from an angler who fished the Hudson we also got an awesome report out of the same Canyon. Since it is a very large area they must have been fishing different sections. We were not told where in the Hud but we saw some solid photos of yellowfin tuna from the area.

Our current bait situation… We have fresh bunker, salted clam, live bloods, live eels and live minnow. We are low on green crab but expected on Monday. Baitmaster ballyhoo is in stock with all of the sizes from dink/peewee, small, medium, med/large, select and horse. We also have spanish mackerel, premium swordfish squid (5pk) and professionally pre-rigged ballyhoo.

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