I was able to fish just about every day this past week and had a ton of fun doing it. Thanks to all those who jumped aboard and got in on the action with me. For more on the day to day reports scroll down.
It was interesting to see the mass of trophy fish slid in, move around and then down and out. My feelings… after November’s new moon, the year’s largest fish have pushed on; however, the mother load of bass are just arriving. This new class of smaller fish will offer lots of fun fishing as we transition into colder water temperatures and the holiday season.
The previous week was very good but this week trumped it. Monday kicked off the week with a full on rain day chew which continued through the week. Big bass from 20-40+ pounds on the feed. The Central Jersey Coasts best fall class of fish were present and feeding, falling for live bunker and lures. As the week progressed, fishing continued but soon an influx of the smaller 8-20 pound fish was evident. Friday and Saturday we saw the first strong wave of bluefish (6-16#) and SANDEELS!!!
The troll bite has been sensational with anglers are pulling spoons, mojos, plugs and umbrellas. Both bass and blues are piling on. Fishing from Manasquan to Barnegat Inlet there are areas of water that greatly differ in temperatures. Yesterday we found water as cold as 46 and as warm as 54. The larger bass for us were caught in the 51-54 and the small bass as well as a ton of bluefish were in the colder. Finally good reports of bass from boats fishing along the stretch of Long Beach Island. There was talk of bait off of Harvey Cedars as well as the south end. Some boats got into good fishing trolling off of Beach Haven’s Red Tower.
The 8th Annual Stafford PBA Striped Bass Fishing Tournament this weekend for the most part had good weather and great fishing. Friday started things off with a flawless super clam night that latest right into sunrise. The wind didn’t pick up until late morning but then got cranking at about noon time with a dreaded gusty south. For those that fished it out until they end, the ride back was a gnarly one.
The level of fishing in this year’s PBA was great to see! It blew the socks off all of the earlier tournaments this fall. The striped bass had a strong showing with most boats reporting great fishing. The bluefish really added to the action too. As far as the results, the majority of the bass were in the 15-30 pound range with some larger fish owning the leader board. The bluefish were plentiful in the 12-14 pound range with a good number of 14-16 pounders, lead by an 18.3 pound.
Just about everyone who participated reported great fishing from the Pier in Seaside all the way down to southern LBI. Most boats fishing from BI to the Seaside Pier with a large fleet focus around the waters 3-7 miles north of BI in tight to the beach out to 60′. Bather’s Beach was one area that held fish for most of the day. A great report of classy fish came from an angler trolling off of Beach Haven’s Red Tower.
Congrats to the crew aboard War Dance! They took top honors with a 43 pound bass! Also great work by lady angler Jess Rinck and Captain Mike Villanova aboard the No Limits for taking the Women’s Division with a 25.5 striped bass and the Bluefish Division with a 18.30 monster gator.
1st Place: 43.05 War Dance
2nd Place: 38.50 Marine Max
3rd Place: 37.70 Holy Cannoli
4th Place: 35.15 Donuts
5th Place: 33.75 Son Of A Fish / Pottsea (TIE)
Youth Division: 20.12 Jacob Reed
Women Division: 25.50 No Limits
Bluefish Division: 18.30 No Limits
This great community event raised approximately $25,000 for youth programs and scholarships.
Today (Sunday) Captain Lenny on the Miss Barnegat Light had a crew on the water and they found fish off southern IBSP. One customer in the shop was on the trip and said it was good fishing with heavy jigs, “The gannets were all over and we pulled on some nice fish! The heavy jigs were key to get down because it was rough and the drift was fast due to the wind. I was on the boat Saturday too and today was much better.”
Captain Mike Villanova of No Limits Sportfishing shared his report from yesterday, “We trolled up fish all day working off IBSP. We released about twenty fish and kept three that managed to place and put us in the running for the PBA Tournament. We won the bluefish division and the women’s bass. It was a good day!”
Jimmy Nacion fished the PBA striper tournament aboard the Pottsea. They got into good fishing on the troll. Their biggest was 33.75 (photo below), large enough for a 5th/6th place tie.
Ryan Dellane helped out with the tournament but still found time to get out and fish. He reported, “Great morning of striper fishing! Two fish on snag and drop and one on troll. Wind kicked up as called for and it got really snotty.”
Ryan Curtis was out fishing yesterday morning and reported, “Doesn’t get any better than it was today. Limited out by 7:15am.”
Dan Piazza “Excellent day of fishing today! Limited out early and then it was all catch and release fishing with Jacob Bowles.”
Whales have been actively feeding every day. Kevin Fresno got this photo of a feeding whale while fishing aboard Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters with Captain Steve Purul. This whale was active and happened to pop up right beside the boat.
Solid reports from the inshore wrecks. Tog fishing is very good and anglers are also catching sea bass and pories. It must be noted that the land based tog fishing is still very very good! With the NJ recreational tog limit at 6 fish, now is go time!
LBI Surf Reports
The Long Beach Island surf is producing fish. Most are in the 8-10lb range with some teen size linesiders around. Occasionally a 20 pound class bass is caught. A large body of fish that was parked about 10-15 miles north of Barnegat Inlet has moved south. These fish were stretched out over the weekend and there’s a really good change they are crusing the Island’s beaches this week. With talk about sandeels from the boat guys, keep an eye out to see if they stage up and hit the beach!
Ryan O’Connell took the lead in the LBI Surf Fishing Classic’s Youth Division with a 24.36 pound bass on Saturday. He was fishing the night shift off the north end surf with his father Greg. The bass went for a bunker chunk.
For up to date info on the LBI Surf Fishing Classic be sure to check out the live results page. For anyone fishing the surf you should seriously consider joining the tournament. There’s still a couple weeks left with lots of prizes up for grabs. A $100 daily prize is just one of them.
Here’s the Special Prizes for the 7th Week…
Monday November 22nd – $50.00 Gift Certificate To Surfcity Bait & Tackle In Memory Of Harold Ferrari. This Will Be Awarded To The Juvenile Angler ( 17 Yrs Old & Younger) With The Largest Striper During The 3 Rd Segment. If None Entered It Will Be A Random Draw. 2 Pappy’s Pride Plugs To The First Fish Entered Caught On Artificial Today
Tuesday Novmeber 21st – OTW Aluminum Sandspike With Attached Clip And Rag Goes to The 2nd Largest Bass Weighed In Today
Wednesday November 22nd – Fisherman Magazine Subscription –random Draw From All Anglers Weighing In A Fish Today
Thursday November 23rd – Thanksgiving – $250.00 Cash Award For Largest Striped Bass In Honor Of Bruce Hoagland
Friday November 24th – 9′ Viper Rod To Smallest Striper Entered Today Donated By Ep Sales
Saturday November 25th – $100.00 Gift Certificate To Fisherman Headquarters For Heaviest Bass. 9′ Shakespeare Alpa Combo For Biggest Striper Entered By A Juvenile Angler Donated By Ep Sales.
Sunday November 26th – $100.00 Gift Certificate To Fisherman Headquarters For Heaviest Bass. Subscription To Fisherman Magazine To The 1 St Fish Entered By A Youth Angler Today.
A Long Beach Island native with life long experience fishing and navigating the local waters, Greg is a distinguished Master Captain (the highest qualified operator license), holding a US Coast Guard Masters 50T Near Coastal License with Towing Endorsement. Raised in and now managing his family's bait and tackle business, Fishermans Headquarters (Since 1962, The Saltwater Fishing Bait & Tackle Experts) Greg is daily immersed in fishing. He is the Chief Contributor of FishingLBI.com (Long Beach Island's best fishing report blog) as well as the Admin for the shop's social media pages (on Instagram and Facebook). Be sure to follow! View all posts by FishHead.Greg