The fishing is not spectacular but anglers are getting wet and having fun. Here’s the Fisherman’s Headquarters fishing report update for Monday May 7, 2018.
Mike Green of Luckey Stripes Charters weighed in a 42″ 35 pound striped bass on Sunday for the On The Water Striper Cup. Every year Mike is dialed in with the big bass. Mike wouldn’t share the location where he caught it but he did say the fish went for a live bunker. We guess the fish came from the State’s northern waters where these large fish are much more common.
With the local fishing not “warmed up” and the action just a short drive north on fire, local anglers are making the trek and getting into really good fishing. For four weeks now fishing has been great in Raritan bay.
One customer John Larue sent in this photo and report, “Had a solid day on the water up north jigging… lost count. All nice fish!” Some of the guys from the shop got into phenomenal fishing up there too. Sometimes when the fish don’t come to you, you have to go to them!
Due to recent upwelling, the local inshore water temperatures are chilly. A friend out yesterday afternoon (Sunday) had icy 46-47 degree water in the Inlet. Only a few days earlier it was in the mid to low 50’s. This temperature should settle out with the onshore winds of today and tomorrow. Once it does we expect the inshore striped bass to chew. Trolling spoons, mojos and plugs will do the trick first. Soon after the live lining bait will follow.
A couple anglers recently got on the troll and worked the inshore waters along IBSP and LBI. The few hunting that we heard back from all did not catch. One customer purchasing new American Fishing Wire Soft Monel Wireline for his one bunker spoon outfit reported, “Most of the bait is focused around the Inlet. Ran up the beach and couldn’t find a scratch. Trolled for an hour and gave up. Snagged and fished the inlet for a little bit. Notta.”
We heard rumor of the season’s first thresher caught out of Little Egg Inlet. They can be a lot of fun to target, just make sure you are up on the new regulations!!!
Locally small bass is the name of the game with an early season light tackle approach. Small swimming plugs like Daiwa SP Minnow, bucktails and swimbaits (like the Tsunami 4 & 5″ Swim Shads and the Kettle Creek Paddle Tail) are the go to for most anglers. These are also the hot lure for weakfish.
Perch fishing is really good right now. Jacob Bowles reported, “Perch fishing was on fire last night. Making bait netting grass shrimp at the bulkheads was easy and the perch were hungry. I easily had 70+ fish!”
The LBI Fishing Tournament Spring Derby is currently underway, on day 17. There are two bass on the board… First Place Greg Legacki 12.56 pound bass, Second Place Christopher Kelly 8.2 pound bass. This year the bluefish division was added. To date no blues were entered. Greg caught his 32.5″ bass on a plug fishing the night shift.
As far as other surf fishing reports black drum and small bass are around. Some larger size keepers are showing. Expect more to arrive as the spring run reaches LBI.
More reports of quality fluke in the inlet and the back bay. Today, an angler fishing bucktails looking for weakfish along the sod banks got two nice fat fluke. He said, “It hurts having to throw back 20 inchers.”
Bluefish have been few and far between. Just a couple showed here and there. Ryan Dellane was out on the bay this afternoon searching for bluefish, “No luck.”
Chet Kosarek sent in this report, “I fished Barnegat Inlet Friday… no one around caught anything. Threw metals and SP Minnows. Nothing. Saturday same. Nobody had any luck. Went to the Barnegat Light Boat Ramp Saturday and spoke to the ramp attendant. He saw nothing coming in. Looks like the water is still too cold.”
Summertime store staffer who’s down in Florida soaking in the last of the summertime semester in Florida sent in this report… “Just got done fishing a bridge with my buddy. Here one of two we got today.” Nice cobia!!!