LBI Fishing Report Update – Saturday Sept 30, 2018
September draws to a close and the fishing front looks good. We are getting closer to sea bass fishing and the real deal fall run. The NJ Black Sea Bass season opens on October 8th with 10 fish bag limit at 12.5″ minimum size.
October is always a great month for fishing and this is what’s happening right now….
Tog fishing at the Barnegat Inlet Jetty is good. We expect the tog fishing to be good for the next couple weeks, possibly beyond. While the water is cooling there are still some of the warm water species present. We heard of a triggerfish caught Saturday.
On the surf small blues dominate. Other species like kingfish, pompano and fluke are present. Yesterday afternoon Joe and Mike Polladino of Beach Haven West stopped in and asked, “Set us up and send us to the fish.” We gave them some options and they chose to target the small blues in the surf. We shared a nice looking stretch of water on the mid islands surf not far from the shop. An area I surfed the area and witnessed fishy activity; schools of mullet with predators on them. They headed up and gave it a go. A couple hours later they returned with smiles and shared this report…
“Two-four pound blues were there just like you told us. We caught ten blues and then decided to leave even though they were still biting. Lots of fun! There was another angler fishing about 100yds away and didn’t get a bite. You put us in the right spot. Thank you!”
Saturday morning, Dan D. was on the water and found some good action with striped bass and blues. He reported catching on lures early then switching over to live bait. He got a 24″ fluke on a live spot.
Ronald Diorka of Pendleton KY stopped in with a 15.48 pound bluefish that he caught offshore in the boat this weekend. He entered the big yellow eye into The Fisherman Magazine Dream Boat Challenge. Word on the street is there’s some big blues out at the Mud Hole. Let’s home they slide our way and crash the beach!!!
Konrad and Nate (see Saturday’s Fish Head Charters report below) fish the bayside this morning. Fishing the Nomad Chug Norris popper and reported, “We got some follows and even connected with one striped bass. The fish absolutely choked on the thing… fully engulfed! It’s safe to say the Chug Noris works.”
The blowfishing in the Barnegat Bay continues. Some good reports from customers anchoring up and fishing clam and squid. Once angler plugging the sod banks reported catching a monster blowfish on a Rat-L-Trap.
Fish Head Charters
Saturday was another awesome day aboard the Fish Head. Konrad and Nate from the Eastern Shores of Maryland were in for a fun filled dawn patrol four hour trip. Both have experience fly fishing fresh water but never tried saltwater. This was their first. Some how both hooked up on their first cast. You can’t be introduced to saltwater fly fishing for striped bass any better than that! Konrad and Nate caught fish, just about one after the other for the first hour of the trip. Then, things slowed down. We looked around and found a couple big schools of mullet in the waves. We tried out best to get in tight but the long periods swell made it difficult. After wasting too much time we shifted gears and headed into the backwaters where we hunted the flats. Working the shallows we found small bait and had a blow up right away, on one of the first casts. Our expectations went up but it didn’t pan out. There was life but no hungry striped bass willing to commit. Only follows and swirls. Luckily Konrad pulled out some magic and fooled one on a Stillwater Smack-It Popper. It was a great way to end the trip.
Sunday store staffers Blake and Mike were aboard. We went for a quick morning session. The early morning bite was good with striped bass and a few bluefish eating poppers and small swimming plugs. The sun came up the bite went down. Early bird got the worm! We switched and tried out the flats. There was very little bait and once again not many fish. We could only muster up two boils.
With the cool nights the bay waters in Barnegat Light are in the mid 60’s. I expect the fishing in the bay to be productive for the next month plus. I also look forward to the run ahead. The striped bass migration isn’t far away and I’m geared up and ready. Until then I’m daily looking for resident striped bass and bluefish. I’ve also got an eye out for albies but have yet to find them. A commercial friend reported a couple in the gill net this weekend. It’s proof there are a couple around. Hopefully more show up!