Anglers aboard the Reel Fantasea continue to enjoy fast out of the gate action minutes away from throwing the lines off the dock, mixing it up between a host of usual suspects with a heavy dose of drag burning denizens such as big double digit slammer blues, and fluke and even welcomed stripers rounding out the catches for August for our instructed anglers.
Some say strike while the iron is hot. Well, looks like the Debbie M’s iron is hot. Thursday I had Tom Foote along with four kids Thursday for some fluke fishing. It started off slow and I had to make few moves to find the bite. Before the fluke turned on they did get to battle a southern sting ray that was about the size of a Civic’s hood. Boat side knowing it would never fit into my net I tried. After seeing the tail on this beast and remembering Steve Irwin I put enough tension on the line to break it free. No way did I want to be near its business end if it meant business. Once on the fluke, the kids had steady action landing over twenty shorts and some small blues and sea bass. With the kids slowing down it was time for Tom to fish. Well even though he got one fish it was a quality flatty coming in at 7.9 pounds. It was until Friday’s trip with friends from Oregon, Kurt and Alison Albrecht, and Brian Farmer from Florida. All three are seasoned fishermen and fisherwoman. In the last few years, Allison has really dialed in the saltwater fishing off Oregon’s rocky coast. Over the years Brian has fished with countless times when back in NJ. Around the jetty, we did not find the blues cooperating even after seeing them surfing cresting waves. They are still here but since the ocean got into the mid-70s have not been feeding all day long. We did manage some blues and a schoolie bass for Alison. Switching over to fluke we went big looking to target keeper. Brian and I each got a fish a little over 20’” but it was Alison fish that had the hot iron striking. Using a ultralight St Croix, the best rods on Earth, spooled with 6-pound mono the doubled over rod and screaming drag was all we needed to know the fish of a lifetime was on. Alison fought it like a pro, letting the fish take drag when it wanted to and pumping the rod and reeling keeping the pressure constant all the time. During the fight, the fish went under the boat against the current and managed to tangle two other lines. Brian worked on freeing the lines calmly while I just wanted them cut so we did not lose the fish. Tired from the fight the beast came to the surface sideways. Lucky I am all practiced up with my getting skill’s 😉 Alison’s fish pulled the scale down at Bobbie’s Boats to 10.1 pounds. A true doormat and the second one for Lighthouse Sportfishing in the last eight days. Also, don’t let it overshadow Tom’s 7.9 pounder which is also a quality fluke. Oh, and Alison got a Barnegat Bay slam. Was supposed to run an off the beach shark trip today but canceled based on the forecast.
Have some dates open for the next two weeks. Remember all trips are customized. Still some time for fluke and if are looking for a big fish I am dialed in right now. No positive word on weakfish in the bay. Spikes should be congregating off the beaches by now. Hoping the ridge open up this week. I will let you know and if it does will offer those trips as well.
Screaming drags, Capt. Alex 609-548-2511
The beaches of Long Beach Island have a lot to offer. Beautiful soft white sand, clean soothing warm saltwater, relaxing sound of the waves on shore and FISHING!!! We all know the LBI surf has some of New Jersey’s (and the eastern seaboard’s) best surf fishing. Come down to the shore and enjoy the best before summer ends.
The Beach Boyz, Austin Pounds and friends are making the most out of the summertime surf fishing on Long Beach Island. “Limit of fluke by day and sharks all night.” Austin said, “No boat needed! Just put your feet in the sand.” Recently the Boyz caught their fluke limit with fish up to 24″ and by far their best night of the year with big sand tiger sharks! “Epic night! Six sharks, two giants. One taped out at 90″ and the largest one stretched 97″.”
Antonio Vitelli also reported releasing a large sand tiger a couple nights ago.
While fluke and shark dominate the surf all summer other species like kingfish, bluefish and striped bass are here. Grey Coleston said his last trip out on the surf produced a couple kingfish.” Bluefish are still in the suds too with an occasional striped bass.
We posted a report about the flare up of striped bass activity on the recent full moon and a reader Louise Warren DeMichele sent in this confirmation, “They are out there! We caught this one off the Ship Bottom surf.” Others that set out to target bass on lures produced fishing the Inlet rocks at night on the incoming tide.
Fish in the bay are having a field day (and night) with all of the bait that’s around. Both peanut bunker and spearing are thick in the Island’s backwaters. The other night anchored up sharking massive piles of bait pushed past with the tide. Achers of bait lit up with breaking fish in the moon light is an awesome sight to see but probably the most frustrating thing when the boat is outfitted with all compact lever drag reels on short medium class stand up rods. Not a lure on the boat and even if we found one in the bilge nothing to cast it more than 10′. Never again!!!
While some are still hammering out really nice fish in the bay and Inlet, now is a great time to fish the reefs and wrecks.
Captain Mark of Laura Sportfishing reports good fluke fishing especially late week and into the weekend. “Gulp baits are the ticket! The bigger the better. The 5 and 6″ minnow and grubs are what they want.” We suggest fishing them on Spro Bucktails (some bucktails fail to have the proper balance, flash on head and hair but most importantly the proper hook and bait keeper ) with a stinger Gamakatsu assist hook. You’ll put an end to missing short strikes
“I’ve been on the water everyday and right now I’m totally dialed in. Certain areas have been fished hard and picked. If you know where to look there is an abundance of some really nice ones at that. In the past week the boat had 40 keepers. We are mowing through Gulp but you got to give them what they want! Fish the reefs and wrecks and you’ll score!”
James Sonday and Katie Marshall reported a great day on the water recently. They caught fluke up to 25″ managing seven keepers.
Pat DiPasquale fished with Howard Clark and they got on the meat! They pounded out their limit.
Fish Head’s alumni Rob Reale got a nice 26″ fluke recently. As you can see in the photo his dad Rocco was pumped!
Captain Lou aboard the Miss Barnegat Light reports fishing continues with waves of action. “We’ve had some high points but also some lows. Lots of action with short fluke, sea bass and mackerel with a handful of keeper fluke each trip. The fluke that are keepers are all nice fish in the 3-5 pound range. Sometimes the kids show the adults how it’s done! Here’s one youth angler showing off two nice fluke.
Amongst fish, one guy caught a nice quality rod and reel setup off the bottom. It must have just went overboard because it was in great condition. You never know what you are going to catch! Jump aboard for some fun bottom fishing or join us on a sunset cruise!
Offshore Fishing Report:
The offshore report as of late has been up and down. One day the bite goes off then the next… “You should of been here yesterday.” On the midshore bluefin grounds anglers have been pounding Lemkes and the waters around the Edward Cole. Recently the light tackle chunk at Lemkes has produced fish. The ones catching are scaling down to 30/40# flourocarbon leader. The Cole, a spot which produced very well for many seems to have dried up but that may change. Let’s hope it turns back on. Recently we got a solid report of fish at the Star and the Fingers. There anglers caught on the jig and troll. It is anyone’s guess how long they will stick around. Maybe they’ll push up the line and hang on the west side of the Chicken. They could be already making a nice heading for boats out of Barnegat Light. One report of fish at the Little Italy so that area is worth a look.
Out at the edge reports back from a couple boats had a skunk theme both on the troll and chunk. One captain reported, “We smashed them on the moon. Fishing was bonkers!” Sometimes coming off a moon fishing can slow up and that’s what seems to be happening now. The Hudson reports slowed. A couple large 60-80# yellowbirds were taken out of the Toms. There’s boats catching just not a ton. You gotta persevere and take the good with the bad. Keep on keeping on. This season has been great and there’s a lot more season ahead of us!
Colette Tallent stopped in and geared up for an offshore trip with the kids. The kids first trip offshore was an awesome experience. This smile explains it all!
Fluke still remains “on-fire” with the Ocean producing much better action as compared to the bay. For example, we had a 3 man limit of 9 keeper Fluke to 25.5 inches in just 2 hours and 20 minutes!! Epic Fishing to say the least!! I understand some get sea-sick and have to stay in the bay, but I highly recommend running to the Ocean as there tends to be more quality fish and less short fish. The bay bite is still good for the young ones in terms of action with most trips producing a steady 30 to 40 fish, but only 2 to 5 keepers. Although we haven’t been targeting them, the jetties are still producing Bluefish, Striped Bass, and even some small Weakfish further off. Reminder: We continue to run 7 days a week until September and we are now starting to book our Fall Striped Bass trips.
I had return clients Eric Haase, his wife Mary, and their friends Craig Fordyce and his girlfriend Caitlyn Torres on a 4hr Bay/Inlet trip. We had very tough conditions with higher than predicted winds, and wind-against tide situations at quite a few spots. But the charter stuck with it and with repeated drifts the crew caught over 30 Fluke with 5 keepers to 22.5 inches on bucktails. Awesome job for a challenging day!
I had return client Tom Dillon Jr and his cousin Mike Kelly of North Jersey on a 4hr Bay/Inlet charter. Tom’s dad was supposed to go, but got caught up with work so Tommy’s cousin jumped on. We worked some of the same areas as last week’s trip and had steady activity at most of the spots. The two released over 25 Fluke with very close to 18 inches, but they were able to box 3 keepers at 18, 19, 19.5 inches. Nice Job!! I look forward to seeing them for our fall Striped Bass fishery.
I had return client Tim Murphy and his son Kevin of Jamison, PA out on a 4hr Bay/Inlet trip. With a brief discussion prior to the trip, the father-son team opted for the ocean. Great choice, as we limited out on 9 keeper Fluke to 25.5 inches in 2 hours and 20 minutes. Tim was the high hook catching the most and two biggest fish at 25.5 and 24.5 inches. All fish were caught on bucktails and were quality sized (18, 18.5, 19, 19, 20, 20.5, 23, 25.5, 24.5). Great job by the guys and look forward to seeing them in November for Striped Bass.
In the afternoon, I had return client Erik Lundbeck, his son Axel, nephew Arthur and Arthur’s girlfriend Ana Paden on a 4hr Bay/Inlet trip. We started working the inlet area, but had strong tidal current and winds which made it challenging to say the least. With success in the morning, we ran to the same Ocean area but could only muster 2 keeper Fluke (19, 21 inches) among shorts. We had much quicker drifting conditions and many more Brown sharks in the area. We did see one small, what appeared to be a 2.5-3ft Blacktip shark in the area. 10yr old Axel did end up hooking up with a 4-5 foot Brown shark that ended up hitting his short fluke on the way up. Tougher conditions, but still pretty good action for the crew!
And to close out the week, I had new client Steven Hartley, his wife Debbie Edmiston, and her son Tristan of Philadelphia, Pa on a 4hr Bay/Inlet trip. We started working some of the same bay areas as the day prior and had to weed through the shorts to find keepable fish. After some moving around, they trio found 2 keepers at 19 and 20 inches. Good job for their first time bucktailing!
If interested in booking a charter, book through the website (www.reelreactioncharters.com) or call/text 609-290-7709. As always, we use the highest quality gear and everything is included: gear, tackle, fish-cleaning, and ICE! It’s “no worries” fishing. Just come aboard and FISH.
Beach Haven Charter Fishing Report
by Jim Hutchinson Sr.
The 2017 summer flounder season will be ending in a few weeks on September 5. Meanwhile, the current fluke action off Beach Haven is red hot and at its peak, especially on the inshore wrecks and artificial reefs. The boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association have been returning to the dock with satisfied anglers and in many cases with limit catches of big fish.
Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” reports the fishing has been “very good.” He has had multiple trips with limits on fluke and some nice black sea bass and blackfish for good measure. He has seen some big fish come over the rails up to 26-inchers. He has been fishing the Garden State South Reef and some of his wreck numbers.
Captain Ray Lopez of the “Miss Liane” has also been putting in some varied catches. One recent trip had good action on bottom fish early in the morning and finishing up with some bluefish on the troll. He did his fishing off Barnegat Inlet.
Captain Larry Rosica had a group of five anglers fishing on the “Rascal” last weekend off Barnegat Light. The group found all the fluke they wanted as the entire group managed to limit out. John Banach boated the largest fish, a nice 24.5 inch flattie.
Captain John Lewis of the “Insatiable” reports double digit catches of fluke with a keeper ratio some days approaching 2 to 1. Captain John joined Captain Ray Lopez and Captain Jimmy Zavacky on the “Reel Determined” to take the boy scouts from Troop 112 of Jobstown on a group fishing trip. All had fun with plenty of fluke and sea bass to take home. The boys outfished their adult chaperones. Captain John also reports that the offshore yellowfin catches are coming on strong both trolling and chunking during the day time so the night chunk bite should turn on soon.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association and its boats can be found at www.BHCFA.net.
Summertime Striped Bass On LBI
Summertime striped bass on LBI show their stripes and hint that fall fishing is right around the corning. These resident bass are around all year but we have a recent uptick in linesider actively with the full moon. Here’s some reports from the surf, inlet and the bay…
Frequent FishingLBI blog readers Will Kocher and his father of Camp Hill geared up at the shop this weekend. They got a pair of new Tsunami Airwave Elite surf fishing rods and put them to work quickly. They stopped in Sunday night and shared their success. “We headed up to the beach in front of our mid-island rental house and had some fun. Caught fish on both bait and lures.” They caught three short fluke caught, a shark and a skate. Will also got a summertime striped bass at sunset swimming a plug by the jetty.
A report came in from a kayak angler who shared while picking up Tactical Angler Clips and Seaguar Flourocarbon leader line. He said, “Launched off the Dike in High Bar Harbor Dike then worked the sod banks and some skinny water. Found fish chasing bait. Caught a pair of bass among a number of small blues fishing poppers and metal jig.” Other reports of bass in the bay came from anglers fishing the docks at night. These summertime striped bass are feasting on spearing and baby bunker.
Here’s Aimee Wool with a nice Barnegat Inlet resident striped bass. She caught some stripers this past weekend aboard the Reel Fantasea with Captain Steve Purul. With all of the fluke and bluefish around now is the time to get your Barnegat Bay Slam!!! There’s weakfish in our waters too, so a grand slam isn’t out of the question! Test your home run swing and take on the challenge.
Sharking continues off the Long Beach Island surf. Both brown sharks and sand tigers are caught and released. Soak a large piece of meat (mackerel, bunker, bluefish, skate, etc) and get ready to hold on!
Here’s an article from Jim Hutchinson, Jr. at The Fisherman on the results of the 23 Annual JCAA Fluke Tournament… “For the second year in a row the top fish across the board in the statewide tournament was weighed in at Liberty Landing in Jersey City, with one of the very youngest competitors in JCAA history nabbing top honors in 2017 as 10-year old Dylan Cole of Andover, NJ brought a monster 9.69-pound fluke to the scales. All awards will be presented on Thursday, August 10 at the Clarion Hotel on Route 37 East in Toms River.
Jack McLaughlin, Tommy “The Hook”, Jumbo and Joe fished Barnegat Light’s 14th Annual Mercy Home Foundation fluke tournament this past weekend with Captain Greg Carr of LBI Charters. The crew reported a slow bite but the boyz bounced away! They boxed five keepers with Jack getting the largest at 5.56 pounds. It was good enough to take first place in the great charity event. Nice work, Jack congrats!
This past weekend, store staffer Willie weighed in a couple of fish his buddies brought by. Taylor and Nick fished the Garden State South and put together a good catch. Here’s a photo of the largest fluke and a keeper seabass. The classic minnow and squid combo was hot!
Here’s a short update on the local fishing, more specifically an update on the fluke fishing in the ocean. But first…
Public Service Announcement from Captain Brian Williams – Through education we can prevent ghost fishing and stop trashing the reefs! When snagged up, don’t cut above the water line. Break off! A straight pull will eliminate blowing up your rod. If using spinning tackle make sure the spool is down in its lowest oscillation position. This way the spool shaft doesn’t bend from excessive pressure. It’s best to have a dowel onboard for breaking off purposes. A couple quick wraps and it’s an easy pull to break off the proper way. Most of the time you’ll straighten the hook or break knot on the mono leader. This allows to gather and remove the length of braided line from the water.
Before work on Sunday Blake, Kelley and I put a couple hours in on the water. Since it was a quick trip we chose to focus on the BL reef. The site has been active with great fluke fishing the past week. We arrived, had a great drift and were instantly into bites. On our first drift Kelley got a thick 23″ fluke. For the next hour or so all of us were carefully releasing undersize fish and fighting to get through the piles of sea robins, sea bass and skates. Absolutely mowing through Gulp and natural baits! A number of the undersized were good healthy thick ones with fat bellies. About 5 five were right at the 18″ mark but went back to grow up. It would have been nice to have a full day trip on the grounds but it just wasn’t in the cards because we had to be back at the shop. Finished the day with only one true keeper fluke as well as one 15.5″ black sea bass.
Sonny Shepanski was on the water too. He started off in the same area and picked away. He said, “There’s tons of sea robins and skates but we managed to get five keepers in the low 20″ range. We had a strong showing of shorts. The Gulp nuclear chicken grub was the top killer. Also the classic meat strip and squid/minnow sandwich did well.”
The past week, the Carolyn Ann III has been on the meat! Were you there? You should have been! All joking aside that’s a serious spread of fluke! August is a great month for fluke fishing. Jump aboard and enjoy your day on the water.
Chris Siegert sent in this photo… “Great day on the water fluke fishing with Manic Sportfishing! 20+ fish this size… Thanks for setting us up Fish Heads!”
Grey Colsten reports, “Tons of small blues in the surf. They took over the suds so targeting kings is difficult. I’m only catching one or two kingfish each trip. The snapper blues are so aggressive, I can’t keep a bait set. There’s some big blues around too! Chunking bunker in search of a ray or shark… ended up getting a gator! There’s some guys fluke fishing the surf but the area I’m fishing doesn’t have a ton. Head up to the north end if you want to fluke fish the surf.”
Can you really catch stripers in August? Yes, YOU can ! Because I know how! Keepers? Of course are another question all together. Anglers seeking a coveted Barnegat Bay Grand Slam continue to jump aboard the Reel Fantasea because we “ARE” “THE” inshore light tackle specialists! We won’t take the “easy day” of endless drifts for fluke because we teach and coach as we go, this is “all hand’s on fishing” with you and yours until trips end.