Store staffer Matt was aboard Fish Head Charters this morning for a light tackle session. We started off tossing plugs with both blues and bass on the chew for the first hour. But as the cold ocean water moved in the 64 degree water dropped to 56 in a matter of 15 minutes. Then by 54 the bite was dead. We headed to the flats and we picked up right where we left on yesterday. Small bass splashing top water eating poppers as well as streamers. The fly fishing has been great drifting the rolling shallows of the bay.
One to five pound pound bluefish are in the bay and inlet. The past few days there was an influx of these yellow eyes. Anglers fishing bait for fluke are having trouble with them.
Surf fishing today was on the slow side. We got numerous reports from anglers that reported grass. Chet Kosarek reported seeing a nice 20 plus pounds striped bass caught off the north end surf on Sunday, “There’s some nice fluke in the same area.”
Mike Ambrosio sent in a message and a photo, “Thanks Fish Heads for the fresh bunker that landed me this beauty!” He caught this 20 pound 39″ bass off the surf.
Fluke Fishing LBI
Fluke fishing is good. The waters of Barnegat Bay as well as the main thoroughfares (Double Creek & Oyster Creek) are producing. Anglers are doing best when they stay away from the cold water which floods on the incoming tide. The chilly water slows the bite.
Store staffer Mike Freeza was on the water this morning fluke fishing the South End of the Island. He got into some fluke… his biggest was 22″ which went for a small bucktail with tipped with Gulp.
The fishing musician Rick stopped in the shop for a pack of Gulp. He headed out and then shortly returned with a fat flattie. Six pounder to be exact! He got it fishing the south end bayside.
Ocean Striped Bass Fishing
The ocean striped bass bite has been inconsistent with fish stretched out along IBSP-Pier. Anglers out of BL are taking the ride and fishing even further north. The best fishing recently has been found about 25-30 miles north of BL. While not a run everyone wants to make it can be well worth.
Some anglers pounding the local grounds hard are pulling fishing. Bunker spoons and mojos would be the tactics unless you can find bunker podded up. So far this spring the bunker have been spread out and only is disorganized small schools.
What a difference a day makes! Yesterday (Monday) I got the skunk… Today (Tuesday) was off the charts! I had Bob Bruns from Binghamton, New York aboard Fish Head Charters this morning for a fly fishing dawn patrol session. With the ocean striped bass fishing hit or miss, we decided to stay inside. Right off the bat, Bob connected on one of his first casts. A nice feisty gator bluefish gave him the wake up call. From there it was slow. We made moves and looked all around. After trying a number of different spots and striking out, we found some life in an early season spot.
When in search for the warmest water, I usually fish the flats in the early spring. Bass and blues can be found on the rolling bottom, roaming around and chasing bait. It turns out they are stacked in there now. THICK! While most of the fish were small jabbies, Bob did pull a couple better fish (about keeper size.) All on the fly. At times we were doubled up and hooking on consecutive casts. Whole lotta fun! Here’s a short clip of bass breaking on bait in 2-5′ of water while Bob lays a cast out and gets bit almost right away. As this shows it was on!
This weather is the worst. We caught a 36 pound bass Friday afternoon on a Tony Maja #4 white bunker spoon and then took it on the chin for the 11 mile ride back to the inlet in 3 to 4’s and a cranking SSE wind. The marine forecast was for a heavy SSW wind Saturday morning so I cancelled, and it turned out to be not bad at all. I kept my Sunday people coming this morning (Sunday) in spite of the forecasted storms and this time they were right, so once again I am on land. You ever been zigging when you should be zagging? Then you know what I mean. That brings us to tomorrow, Monday, Memorial Day, the last day of the holiday weekend to make things right. Once again, the forecast is on the edge, right now Buoyweather has it as: NE 11 to 15 knots subsiding to 5 to 7 knots. I’m going to take a shot at it. Leaving at 6AM returning at 1PM. If the ocean or inlet looks bad, we will fish the bay. This is a call I will make. It has nothing to do with the big stripers that are waiting for us out there. It is only about whether we can come and go through the inlet safely and not look over our shoulder for the next cresting wave while we are fishing. The crew that jumps on this trip has to be OK with Plan B which would be casting topwaters or trolling plugs for the back bay blues, drift jigging for fluke, and at 10:30 AM, anchoring up in my favorite Oyster Creek Channel spot for stripers. I don’t have any first hand or even second hand reports from that fishing but it’s the right time, water temperature, and tide to be there. Usually 10 to 15 pound fish if we could get them going. I have a bucket of beautiful shucked and salted big surf clams to feed them. My highest priority is to get out and hunt those big bass but I just want anyone to know what our Plan B is if I don’t like the way the inlet/ocean looks. For those of you who haven’t fished with me before, I make very conservative decisions when it comes to weather and sea conditions.
Here’s our latest video clip of Bill Clark’s 36 pounder we trolled on Friday afternoon: youtu.be/WAfVQ0EwNXM
Sailing Open Boat or Charter tomorrow, Monday, Memorial Day, May 28, 6AM to 1PM.
Wed, Thurs, and Fri, May 30, 31, and June 1, Noon to 7PM.
$175 person, 4 people max or $700 to charter the boat. Everything is provided. You can call right up until “go time” to see if there’s room.
Anglers aboard the Reel Fantasea continue to score both striped bass and blues whether plying the calm back waters of our bays and inlets or taking to the more open expanses of the Atlantic ocean to target much larger trophy size striped bass!
The bay and inlet has provided solid action with striped bass on light spinning tackle while employing various artificial presentations with bluefish and fluke spicing the catches as well.
Albeit Friday afternoon’s robust SSW winds created a frigid cold water upwelling inshore that saw incoming tide temps dip as low as 46 degrees putting the fish off the bite around the flood tidal stage but with predicted NE winds on their way this should rectify with in a few tide changes.
With schools of bunker being a bit scattered for the snag and drop technique , employing the most reliable trolling time tested Tony Maja Spoons #4 and Magic Mojo tandem rigs have produced our bigger striped bass in the deeper local waters. White and chartreuse spoons and mojos have been our most productive colors with some bass approaching 40lbs!
I do have a few “Happy Hour” [ 5pm-8pm] specials available this week targeting striped bass and blues locally. We have been catching regularly within minutes of the dock!
Our spring has been slow due to weather cancellations and some family obligations, but we are back in the swing. The trophy bass bite has been sporadic at best, with some anglers hooking into decent bass though putting in a lot of time. Some anglers have been running to Manasquan inlet and further to find bass. Fluke opened and the bite was pretty solid especially in the backwaters on the western side of Barnegat Bay. This past week I managed to get on the water a few times:
I had return client Art Diebel and his son Bruce from Allentown, NJ on a afternoon Bay/Inlet Striped Bass charter. We started some areas in the back for Bluefish, but could only raise and hook a lone 3-4 pounder. We headed to the inlet and worked some areas to boat 6 Striped Bass with 1 keeper at 28 inches. We additionally caught another Bluefish on fresh bait. Even though it wasn’t a keeper, 7th grade Bruce caught his 1st ever Striped Bass which was a solid 26-incher. Great afternoon on the water!
Next, I had return client Alison Mack, her brother Jon Mack, and her two 10yr old boys Eoghan and Rogan on a afternoon Opening Day Fluke charter. The crew did a great job for their second time bucktailing, boating over 30 Fluke with 3 keepers. The crew missed a few more keepers, which swam away to live another day. But they did a great job and continued to learn and get better at bucktailing!! Rogan caught his 1st Barnegat Bay short Striped Bass which was promptly returned.
I had return client Mike Pollino, Mary Broerman, and her son-in-law John Krause on a bay Fluke charter. We hit the inlet for Striped Bass, but could only manage Blackfish (released) and Dogfish as the incoming was 49 degrees. We headed to the backwaters and started working some of the same areas as yesterday’s trip. It was a little tougher on the bite today, but the crew managed over 25 Fluke with 2 keepers (19, 21inches) on bucktails.
I will be running weekday charters (3pm to 7/8pm) until school gets done on June 21st, then we are 7 days a week (morning/afternoon). If interested in booking a charter, book our site (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.
Thank you to all of the men and women in uniform, past, present and future, for your sacrifices and our freedom. God Bless You. God Bless America!
Quality striped bass fishing continued for Memorial Day Weekend with both beach and boat anglers catching.
Striped Bass On The Troll
For Saturday’s LBI Cup angler live bait fished and trolled to catch some really nice striped bass. Andres the tournament director reported, “It was a great tournament. The weather man called for sour conditions but it was a nice morning out there… far better than forecasted.”
The tournament was won by Fin Chasers Boat 2 with a 52 pound bass. It ate a bunker spoon trolled near the three mile up off the Pier/Ortley/Lavallette area. Here’s the results…
Final Results: 1st Place – 52 lbs Fin Chaser II, 2nd Place – 46.8 lbs Donuts, 3rd Place – 46.3 lbs Sailor Mae
Striped Bass On The Beach
The surf is and has been churned up and fishy this weekend! Cranking north east winds have the striped bass loving it. This is prime time striped bass surf fishing conditions.
Dante Soriente from Magic Tail Lure Company posted, “That was some of the best surf fishing I’ve ever had in the spring. Last week leading into the full moon yielded shots at big fish every single night. If I only could have landed a few more of them it would’ve been epic.”
Paul Bandini was in the shop yesterday and informed us he is catching, “There’s some big fish on the surf. I got a nice one Sunday and a good one Saturday. There are moving in on the morning high tide.” Both of Paul’s bass were released.
Another customer in the shop reported releasing some nice fish the past couple of days. “I’m catching smooth dogs on almost every cast on bunker. You gotta weed through them and when you do there’s big bass. The first light bite is on!”
Mark Donnelly weighed in a 47″ 37 pound striped bass over the weekend. He caught it off of the mid island surf on bunker.
Rick Ziegler weighed in a 33″ 15.3 pound striped bass Saturday. He caught it off of the south end surf on bunker at about 7am.
Father and son duo checked in a ten pound bluefish off the surf today.
Aaron Allison got a nice one in Surf City Saturday night. He reported, “Thanks for the pointers at the shop!”
Some kingfish showing up. We first reported (on our last report) about an angler who got one as well as a drum and a bass. Sunday we got a report from Carl Hartmann, “Kingfish are everywhere on LBI. Kingfish galore, fillets are going on the grill tonight and the heads are going on a hook tomorrow.”
Still some nice weakfish around as well as bluefish roaming around. Some blues in the surf zone as well as a few in the inlet.
Grey Coleston stopped in Sunday and shared a report, “Bunker chunking on the bayside… got a FLUKE as well as a couple bluefish. Also big gator broke me off.”
Grab your clamming license and get out on the flats. Clamming is very good. Ryan Warford was out this weekend and loaded up. He and his crew limited out! Great day clamming with family and friends, 600 clams came home and at least that many went back.
This morning I had Rich Beverley and Doug Moore aboard Fish Head Charters for dawn patrol. The first light bite was really good with bass from 5-15 pounds. These actively feeding fish were hammering small swimming plugs for Doug and streamers on Rich’s long rod. At one point they were rolling and slurping on top. Numerous double ups and consecutive bites… it was on fire. The wind, current and tide all worked together for a magic session. Doug’s hot lure was a white Daiwa SP Minnow while Rich fished strictly his two handed spey rod. Both anglers did an awesome job working together.
After getting their fill we decided to head up the beach to see if we could find a trophy. The troll bite has been slow but the inconsistent bites are good ones. Starting in the same area I’ve fished for the past 10 days, we went to work trolling. It looked promising with great marks and scattered bait but our solid effort pounding the grounds came up empty.
Even though other friends fishing in the vicinity manage to pull a fish or two later in the morning, I’ll chalk it up to morning lock jaw due to upwelling. We fishing surprisingly cold 52-53 degree water today. Yesterday the same area had 56-57-58 degree water. That’s a big drop in less than 24 hours.
On the way in we made a pit stop at the sod banks and got into some more fun fishing on light tackle. A couple small bass and a couple small blues were . All in all we had a beautiful day enjoying Memorial Day Weekend fishing the local waters of Long Beach Island.
FISHING Is How You Do Memorial Day Weekend On LBI!!!
Redman retorted catching a pair of nice bass today on the troll.
Mark Borsellino stopped in the shop today to get some goods. While here he shared a positive report from the South End Bay fishing shallow water. “We caught our limit and were then tossing back keeper fish. Bucktail and Gulp!”
John Parzych was on the surf today taking advantage of the beautiful Saturday morning. He reported his first outing of the year was strong, “Fluke fishing was good! First cast I caught a 20.5″ fluke. Ended up catching 8 fluke, two keepers. The action was on Bucktails rigged with Gulp Chart Swimming Mullet as well as the Gulp New Penny Shrimp.”
Sullivan’s Painting Service (@sully_paints) from Croydon, PA tagged us in a post. “Little surf slam for us last night in LBI. 28″ striped bass, 24″ black drum and a 14″ kingfish! What a smorgasbord!!!”
Inshore Black Sea Bass Has Been Good
Bob Dodds reported a great day sea bass fishing, “Three generations of the “DODDS” family went sea bass fishing on Friday May 25th with Captain Greg Carr on the Kev’N Ash II docked in Barnegat Light. Bob (aka Pop Pop of the Village Harbor Fishing Club) son, Shawn and 15 year old granddaughter Ashley had a great day of fishing the ocean outside of Barnegat Light.
Using fresh clams, we had our boat limit of nice big blue sea bass with the biggest being over 17″ and 2 pounds plus. Other catches also included over 10 nice sized tog, put back to fight another day, a cod, a couple of ling and of course some nasty doggies. Ashley ended up as the top angler (only because she’s a great learner from Pop Pop and Dad). We’ll get even Ashley, just wait for the next time!”
Jeremy Gers aboard the East Coast Hooked reported fishing with Jim MacHenry and Joe Sernicola, “A good first trip out on the ECH. Eight different species of fish. We even landed three barrel fish. A first for us!”
Opening day of fluke is finally here! Lots of anglers out on the hunt. So far numerous reports but all have a similar theme… lots of shorts but some reports were very positive. Store staffer Dave and Frezza were searching the waters down on the south end of the Island, “Lots of fish on bucktails but all small.”
Dave Werner was out on the kayak and put together a nice catch. He reported, “Great start to the fluke season! Limited out before work!
Al Stella and wife fished today and got four keepers up to 27″!!! The one was a really nice fish, “The top lure was the Tom Scibek Floating Jig Head. Pink was the hot color.”
Trophy Striped Bass
If you haven’t caught wind yet… trophy striped bass are in our waters and on the feed. The past week plus has been awesome and the action continues.
For some boats, it was another nice day striped bass fishing along the front beaches. I had Kelley out aboard Fish Head Charters today for a four hour charter. We ran up the beach to the area where we’ve been pounding all week. Bait was very scare but with scattered fish marks we deployed the trolling gear. Things looked promising and before long a couple friends fishing in other boats hooked up close by. We worked the area but did not get a bite. To shake the skunk we plugged some small bass in the bay before hitting the dock. We’ll be out again in the morning looking for revenge.
Dan D was out trolling with his buddy Trevor today and got this one.
Redman was in the shop a couple days ago getting prepped. He was out pre-fishing the LBI Cup today and got a pair of quality bass trolling late morning. He’s dialed in! “Released big bass up to 48″ today.” Look at this Clydesdale!
Wayne Smith stopped in this afternoon. He fished the sunrise session and got loaded with dog fish and got one bluefish.
The Ponte’s Charter aboard the Canyon Runner had a good trip. They returned to the dock with a 375 pound bluefin and they also caught three mako sharks. One was 84″ that met the new regulation. It went 225 pounds.
Beach Haven Charter Association Fishing Report
by Jim Hutchinson Sr.
The long awaited Memorial Day weekend is arriving in Beach Haven, and the captains of the Beach Haven Charter fishing Association are welcoming it with open arms. After a spring featuring unseasonable weather, spring weather is starting to take hold. As the air temperatures warm, the water temperatures also rise, and the fish are getting active.
The big news is the opening of the New Jersey summer flounder season on Friday, May 25. Early fluke action is usually centered in the inshore waters, and early indications point to that situation this year. Anglers after other species have caught an unusually high number of big fluke meaning the season should start off with a bang.
The black sea bass season has been in full swing for a couple of weeks now, and the inshore reefs and wrecks have been giving up decent catches of sea bass along with some cod and hake.
Small striped bass have been around for a few weeks, but larger fish started arriving in the last week. Boats trolling spoons and Mojo’s have been catching fish along with some reports of drop and snag action on bunker pods. Big bluefish have been making their presence known along the beach, in the inlets, and even in the bay waters. Some of these big choppers are weighing in at over 10-pounds.
The current fishing action in Beach Haven promises variety along with good action. The captains of the BHCFA are poised and ready to take advantage of the fishing.
The association has announced that it is dropping its minimum age from 13 to 12 for youngsters in the popular Junior Mates Training Program. Complete information on the Junior Mates along with the BHCFA can be found at www.BHCFA.net
Now is prime time striped bass beach and boat fishing! Gear up and fish! The season’s biggest fish have been around this week and are still hanging around. How long they stay is anyone’s guess.
Had a great morning on the water today aboard Fish Head Charters. We had good bass fishing during grey light plugging. A couple better size fish as well as blues in the mix. We headed up the beach at sunrise and started working the area where we’ve been fishing just about everyday this week. Once again they were there! Good size ones and surprisingly very few boats fishing. We had two quality bass, both 40 pounders (one at 39 and one at 42 pounds on the boga grip) that were released to swim another day. Anyone looking to fish EARLY tomorrow morning (4:30-9:30) should call/text asap 609-713-9299. We’ll be back to the dock at 10am. $150 per angler max 2 anglers.
Ryan Horton was in the shop today and gave us heads up he got a slob today!!! “I’m glad I took off work today! Got this 51 pound monster!”
Store staffer Kelley was out fishing aboard the Reel Innovation with Captain Jeff Warford and mate Dan D. They took the boat out for a shake down and get the boats first fish in the boat. Here’s a beauty!
Randy Townsend is out on the grounds trolling bass with super grom Seamus Carey and dad. They are pulling on some nice fish!!! Here’s a pair of nice ones. Blake S was trolling last night with Randy and got this one at sunset.