The calendar tells us it’s fall but the recent temps sure do not feel like it. Soon the hot and humid weather will break and fall will fill in and have an extended stay. Historically the mullet run slows down towards the end of September but it really never got to a substantial run. There were a few days with bait on the move but we all are looking for more. The persistent swell (what I believe to be one of NJ’s longest run of waves) has had the bait stretched out and on the back side of the bar.
Fish Love Bucktails & White Water
On the surf the swell keeps pumping! Last week it was Jose. This week it’s Maria and it looks to continue through this week, fading out this weekend. Anglers putting in time on the surf are blessed with beautiful long period rolling white water; however for those trying to bait and wait fish lots of extra lead is needed.
One customer in today was gearing up in preparation for the fall fishing season. He purchased a new Daiwa Saltist Spinning Reel for plugging due to its awesome, light, smooth, powerful performance. His buddy has the same reel with nothing but a great review. Just days ago he caught a 11 pound striped off the LBI surf. He was fishing an white Andrus Jetty Caster bucktail in the white water.
Store staffer Kelly was on the beach recently and talked to a anglers who later stopped in to report he got a high teen, possibly a 20 pound bass. He too was fishing a bucktail working a pocket of water with lots of rolling waves.
Some lure trends come and go, but one thing has proven successful year after year. BUCKTAILS! White water and bucktails go together like peanut butter and jelly. Do yourself a solid! Fish bucktails and learn how to work different effectively in all conditions. You’ll improve your angling skills and increase your catch rates.
Local Fishing Report Update
Mullet and peanut bunker are pushing around. Yesterday in the bay, I spotted the first school of jumbo “corn cob” mullet. Weakfish, Bass and Blues are here. The tog fishing has been good. It’s time to gear up for fall!
Local grom 6 year old Mathew Welsh stopped in today for some tackle. He reported the blues and fluke are chewing in the bay. Yesterday Matt caught some spearing and minnows then went to town on the game fish having a blast catching and releasing fish.
The tog situation is good at the Barnegat Light State Park. The Inlet Jetty is producing good numbers of blackfish. Finding a keeper is tough but they are there. The majority of the fish are in the 8-14″ range. Grab green crabs and get in on the tog snapping fun. Got to give it your best shot to find a 15″+ keeper. Also present in the inlet; sheepshead, triggerfish, weakfish, striped bass and bluefish.
At sunset, sunset and night the resident bass seem to come alive especially when they come across bait. Store staffer Kelly got a bass the other morning on a Red Fin Lure. Store staffer Dan has been having fun fishing the night shift.
The Island’s south end bayside has produced for anglers targeting striped bass, weakfish and bluefish. Fish are biting small poppers like Stillwater Smack-It Jrs & Storm Chug Bugs. Another option is bucktails and soft plastics rigged on a jig. Small bass at sunset are hanging around the sod banks and at night they are in the lights.
One surf angler picking up some tackle today shared this surf fishing story… “I was catching some blues off the surf using fresh mullet I got from Fish Heads. I was rigged up with a hi-lo rig and consistently into small blues. Eventually the rod went down and it was a good fish! After slow playing into the beach, it turns out to be a keeper size fluke on the low hook and and a bluefish on the high. Felt like a 10 pound DOORMAT especially in the raging surf.”
A customer in the shop today said, “I’m fishing the bay and the Inlet looking what ever wants to bite. There’s some weakfish, blues and the fluke are everywhere! A tight line is always fun! You can’t keep them off the hook. Even though the season is closed, it’s great catch and release fishing.”
Offshore: The weather doesn’t look to allow anyone out in the near future, but there were some positive reports from the last weather window. One solid report came from Captain Deane aboard the Canyon Runner. They boated 8 yellowfin, 12 longfin and mahi. Other guys out fishing the Hudson canyon got into fish too.