Yesterday was a good day and today is continuing on the right track!
Bass and blues reported on the morning’s outgoing tide and still fish here mid day. Mostly of the reports were from the mid-island surf. Reports from Ship Bottom through Harvey Cedars. As these fish migrate up the coast and move into our area we expect them to be stretched out along the entire island’s beaches.
Store Staffer Davey Wavey & our newest Staffer Jordan both got into blues fish off the surf this morning! Dave Werner hit the surf early today and got three bluefish on Daiwa SP minnow lures. He reported another guy fishing south of him was also into some fish!
Robbie Vallone called in this report, “Excellent action right to the bottom of the tide.” These big headed racer blues want to eat. Feed them bunker and get’em fat!
One report from the south end… Jay D. got a pair of big blues off the south end beach on bunker. He also got one short striped bass.
Store staffer Steve and Robbie got into good fishing last night. They roamed some bayside haunts and found fish at every stop. Soft plastics were getting chewed!
Here’s the Long Beach Island Fishing Report Update for Tuesday evening May 8, 2018.
Some nice bluefish hit the suds today with focus on the mid island towns of Ship Bottom and Surf City. Numerous reports with some catching double digit yellow eyes, most in the 7-14 pound range.
We got an awesome report called in from local metal detector master Jack Bean of Little Egg Harbor, “I did the fish dance. Then, at about 1pm stopped off at Fish Heads for a couple fresh bunker. Shortly after I hit the mid-island surf and set up. I didn’t expect much but it was a beautiful day with good powerful white water and an easterly wind. Turns out the bluefish came in and beat me up. In my two hour session I caught 8 blues. Two of them were gators. Out of bait and rigs I was done. Never did I expect the fishing to be this good. It must have been the dance!”
Chris Masino called in a report, “Good fishing this afternoon. From 5pm to sunset blues were on the chew. I was bunker chunking getting fish almost every cast. Toss a chunk and you’ll hook up!”
Store staffer Dave was in on the bite this afternoon too. He reported, “I found some yellow eyes that were hot on lures. Big water and big bluefish! Got an 8 pounder on an SP and a 13 pounder on a pencil popper. Got the blood pumping with bluefish in tight to the beach!”
South Philly Fred was in town and it turns out he came on the right afternoon. He said, “You never know if you don’t go!” After stopping by the shop he went on the hunt. “I took a look up a random street. It looked good so I started casting. All of a sudden the air was fishy. Bing! Bang! Boom! The blues moved in. I got two on an SP Minnow lure. Other blues were hounding the hooked fish right to the beach. Then, POOF! They were gone.”
It’s not all blues! There’s bass here feeding on the surf. Sean Maffei sent in this photo and report from yesterday, “Brandon Johnson got his first keeper bass off the surf. He caught this 29″ bass yesterday fishing the mid-island surf at about 5:15PM.”
Another good perch fishing report came in today. Rob Vallone shared that his friends did very good fishing in the local lagoons. They bought Fisher’s Choice Mini Canned Shrimp at the shop and smoke the fish. They caught some fat ones too! Perch fishing is red hot!!!
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!!!
This week seemed like the action was primed and ready to exploded with weather warm enough to melt icebergs and even though the bass action did have it’s high with one anglers scoring bass on just about every cast for a total of just under 30 stripers [ solo] it had it’s share of lows with a season low of 3 bass for 3 anglers .
With ocean temps still quite brisk and Friday’s robust SW winds not helping our cause getting a rhythm going was limited to small tidal windows that provided the warmest water temps we could find through the bay. Bird plays continued to help narrow the vast expanses of our bays but not every bird play had bass.
Bluefish continue to unbelievably elusive/evasive or flat out unavailable as we have yet to score with these toothed bruisers. Is this week our week? I truly hope so.
Fluke however did show promise as encounters became more and more abundant without even targeting them. The season opener hopefully should be very rewarding if we can somehow climb out [ and stay out] of this colder than normal weather pattern.
I will be continuing to run Happy Hour trips during the weeknights 5pm -8pm and presently have Friday May 11 both a.m. 6am- 11am and p.m. 1pm – 6pm and also Sunday May 13 6am – 11am available as well.
Saturday turned out to be a really nice day on Long Beach Island. Anglers fishing the surf enjoyed great conditions with two to three foot southerly wind swell breaking on the bars. This energy from the recent southerly winds offered beautiful whitewater. The surf is right at the brink of 50.
Anglers fishing the LBI surf today caught bass and black drum. We had two reports. One angler fishing the mid-island surf caught two small bass on live bloodworms. Another report came in from the south end of the island…
Victoria and Matt Pratt geared up with bait and tackle before hitting the beach. They check back in later in the day getting more bait as well as some ice for with catch. Matt caught a 13.06 pound black drum fishing with clam and worm on the south end of the island. They are going to try their luck again on the beach tomorrow.
More report of bass, drum, weakfish and fluke but little to no bluefish action. Anglers trolling the bay looking for bluefish caught FLUKE! Mostly bass and fluke line the Jetty. A customer in the shop mid-day reported seeing an angler walk off the Jetty today with a bluefish but he had little luck, “I fished for three hours. Not a touch.”
Dan D was out on the hunt this afternoon and reported, “Lots of bait! Last night and today I found bunker stacked at different locations. Again I had hungry fluke. I’m sharpening my skills with catch and release practice for the season. There were small bass snapping too.” Dan also shared, “The bayside bass bite is still good. Some nice fish around back… my buddy had a 30″ off his dock.” That’s a really nice fish considering recent showings.
A boat angler was in getting geared up for the run. While in he reported taking a ride around the inshore waters this morning. “I saw westerly winds so I took a look to see if any bait was stretched out on the beach. Found little to none. All of the bunker was in the Inlet again. Trolled for an hour and called it off. The ocean water temperature was 47-48 degrees.” It got colder due to the recent southerly wind and swell upwelling.
Local angler Todd Luyber took a trip down to the Outer Bank of North Carolina. He sent in this report yesterday, “Slow but steady pick of drum. Fished hard from 2-8 without a fish. Then got two on consecutive casts to end the session. One last night night and two tonight!”
We will be starting to run trips this weekend. The Hi Flier was just repowered with a pair of brand new 150 Suzuki Four stroke outboards. It cost us a little later start than usual but it will be well worth it to run with new power.
Sailing Open Boat or Charter Sat, Sun, and Mon, May 5, 6, and 7
for stripers and blues. We will be trying to get outside to troll bunker spoons for the big bass if the ocean is nice. If the ocean is too rough, we will anchor up with clams in the bay for the stripers and go on the hunt for the bluefish with spinning rods and surface lures. Leaving at 6AM each day. 6 hour bay trips are $600, or $150 person for Open Boat. If we get outside the inlet, the 7 hour Ocean Trip or Ocean/Bay Combo is $700, or $175 person for Open Boat. It is possible to combine the bay blues with the ocean troll if everyone wants.
The forecast is for very mild air temps and this stretch of warm weather is going to ignite all of these fisheries.
Can’t wait to start the new season and see everyone on board.
Here’s the Fishing Long Beach Island Report Update for Friday May 4, 2018… Great step forward this week with both fishing and weather. The beautiful sun and temperatures has warmed the bay to the mid to high 50’s in most areas. The LBI surf temperature is in the high 40’s to right at the 50 degree mark. The Inlet and surrounding waters are a mix depending on tide.
Get out and enjoy spring! Good fishing awaits in all waters of LBI with a target species such as striped bass, bluefish, black drum, weakfish and perch on the chew. Sorry haven’t heard anything on winter flounder. With the recent warm up these more than likely guys jumped on the train outta here but other flounder showed up… FLUKE! These guys will be waiting and ready to chew come opening day May 25.
On The Water Magazine From The Surf article by local angler Steve George is out. He shared this post on Thursday, “Just perfect timing with this months column as the yellow eyed demons are just now invading the surf, inlet and back bays. I can again tell you these are world class type bluefish- as yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) I had the pleasure to do battle with the 3 foot long 15 pound plus blue on a very light tackle set up geared for schoolie stripers. What blast that was in shallow/ clear water – the visuals were incredible. So have fun – stay safe and check out the latest edition of On-the-Water Magazine in between tides.”
Yesterday (Thursday) Brian Petitt of Medford stopped by to share a report. Brian weighed in a 9.7 pound bluefish that he caught while fishing the Barnegat Light State Park Jetty. The racer went for a 4oz Acme Kastmaster Metal “tin” Lure. Blues love metal especially diamonds, tins and slab spoons. Also don’t forget heavy hooked bucktails from MagicTail and Andrus in the 1-3oz range. Now’s the time to gear up and take some casts to be there and ready when they pop up.
Yesterday morning (Thursday) I had store staffers Kelley and Jordan were on board Fish Head Charters. Right out of the gates Kelley hooked a nice keeper size striped bass on a bone Daiwa SP Minnow lure. Soon Jordan followed it up with another bass that ate his white swim bait. These two went back and forth all morning both sticking to their individual go-to’s productively catching. At certain points it was one after the other with numerous double ups. Dozens on dozens. These fish ranged from keeper size to minis. Seemed like the fish were really keen on white today and also they didn’t want it on top. I can say this after stubbornly fishing top water for far too long. A quick switch over to a swimming plug and BANG! Hooked up. Lots of fun on light tackle! The hot lure for Kelley he was the Bone Daiwa SP (DSPM13). Jordan was dialed in with the white Kettle Creek Paddle tail rigged on a 3/4oz jig head.
Again the bunker were stacked in the Inlet thick as thieves. While we did not catch a bluefish we did some caught by anglers fishing close by. We also got to see a large school finning on top that numerous times would not touch a lure placed a head and in front of their eyes.
Late in the day yesterday, fresh bunker arrived. Stock is holding up but may sell out before our next anticipated refill (late today). No bloodworms but are expecting some today. Live surf clam in stock with more arriving today. We hope to have live eels in the next week or two and then shortly after live minnows.
Lots of calls, emails and customer inquiries in the shop, “What’s the word with the blues?” So far the bluefish have been few and far between. They are popping up for a quick frenzy but disappearing quickly. Finally today there was a good wave of them. We expect to see a better run of them in the coming days.
I hit the boat this morning and went on the hunt for some fins. Started out looking at the Inlet and we found lots of bunker pushing in. Marked the hell out of them as well as lots of game fish (see photo below). Could only mange to get one bass on a plug. Didn’t see any of the other four boats hook up. After packing it in and rolling into work at 11am, a call came in.
“I’m heading up to the inlet to take a look.” Shortly after our conversation he was into fish! The blues made a showing and some anglers hooked up. Dan said, “Some racers ripped through. The bite fizzled but kept fishing. Ended up picking a bass and a fluke.” Congrats Dan on the SLAM!!! Catching the trio from land is no small task.
A number of other bass and blues were also caught.
More breaking news on blues… Joe Antonio from Manahawkin, fished the mid-island bay this morning. He caught a number of nice size blues.
The weather is looking good. Now’s the time to get out and fish.
Bait Update: This evening we got a fresh delivery of premium bunker. Tomorrow (Wednesday) we expect live bloodworms as well as live surf clams.
The beautiful weather continues and the long range looks great temperature wise. Things are literally heating up! Today there were bunker stacked up on the beach. Two reports came in from the south end of the Island. Unfortunately no fish on them.
Fishing was red hot! Too bad it closed yesterday. The tog season does not reopen until August 1st (8/1-11/15) when it’s one fish 15 inches.
Report Update 5pm
Just had some solid reports from two customers in the shop. One was just up at the Inlet. He said, “A school of blues came through the Inlet towards the bottom of the tide. Some anglers hooked up and then they were gone. I’m heading up to the surf to try the incoming tide.” Another report came in from an angler fishing the bayside sod banks. He reported, “I’m catching all sorts of fish. Bass, drum, perch, weakfish and a couple big eels. Got three to four drum. Biggest one was 41″. Managed a nice mid twenty inch weakfish too.”
Last week fishing wasn’t what I had expected or hoped for but we did continue to catch both stripers and weakfish. Strangely bluefish continue to be mysteriously more like a phantom with only rare and random catches being reported.
Although we did find schools of hungry schoolie stripers feeding under sizeable bird plays through out the bay making for more light tackle fun when located.
The new design run of Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters apparel [ Inshore series] will be available sometime in June for anyone interested in getting the latest Reel Fantasea swag for themselves, friends and or family.