LBI Fishing Report Update December 30, 2018

We hope everyone enjoyed their holidays with family and friends. With the year coming to a close we hope everyone had a great 2018. Here is the report update for December 30, 2018.

LBI Surf Fishing Report

Surf fishing continues with a couple solid reports from the Long Beach Island surf came in. We gave our shop “test/prototype” Tsunami Salt X Spinning reel to Dan for a day and he put to the test.

First it was a sand test. Dig a hole drop it in and burry it. Pack it down and then pull it out. No problems. Next it went in the wash. Surf fishing reels live in the wash with saltwater and sand. Again no problems. Then it was time to fish it. Although not big ones, Dan found fish. The reel performed flawless. While the long term durability/longevity of this reel will not be determined until after seasons on seasons and year upon years of use. Our preliminary thoughts are very good. Considering the design, quality and VALUE! It’s a great price point that fits the saltwater market.

Here’s a fishing report from Dan, “The bass fishing on the beach was great the last couple of days. Finally we’ve seen a couple things absent all fall; adult bunker on the beach and massive bird plays with gannets dive bombing all day long. Curious what this storm will do! Friends a little north of me had tons of peanuts at their feet. We snagged about 5 adults with pods scattered along beach. The largest fish we caught over the last two days was around the thirty inch mark.”

John Del Sordo reports, “What a fun post Xmas session. There’s still lots of life out front. With school striped bass.”

Other reports came in from the surf about birds working along the beach.

Tog Fishing Report

The awesome blackfish action continues and Magictail Tog Jigs remain the most valuable player. Take advantage of this great fishery that is firing on all cylinders. Get out there!

The Magictail boys Dante and Zach got out fishing with Paul Haertel aboard the Angler.

Zach Michot reported, “With four double digit fish it was a great trip. My largest was over 12 pounds, a new personal best!”

This Just Happened!

Here’s a report from Greg O’Connell, “This just happened! Prolly a once in a lifetime fish for my son Dylan. Self cast, 8′ rod with a 4000 reel, 1/2oz jig with a plastic… Citation Red Drum 52″ 27″ girth comes out to about 48 pounds by IFGA formula. When it hit and started dumping line we thought it was a brown shark. After fighting twenty minutes I got a glimpse and my heart skipped a beat. My other son Ryan and I let him think it was a shark right up until I tackled it!”

Merry Fishmas!

From the crew at Fish Heads… Merry Christmas! Hope all of our readers have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Just a heads up we are closed today but will be back open on normal hours Wednesday December 26th at 7am.

On the fishing front… Kelley and Matt got out on Christmas Eve morning with Captain Tony Pacitti. They got into good fishing putting together a quick boat limit with quality fish in the mix. This year’s striped bass action faded out much earlier than previous years; however, tog fishing is off the charts.With some of the best black fishing our local waters has produced in a number of years, this December is one to remember!

December 26th Update 3pm

Fresh LBI Surf Fishing Report just in from Todd Luyber live from the beach… “Fishing for an hour, I got two bass. The guy next to me is using a real tiny bucktail 3/8 oz. He caught over 20 bass today. His biggest was 31 inches.”

LBI Fishing Report Update – December 21, 2018

LBI Surf Fishing Report Update – December 21, 2018

Some of the Fish Head crew got out on the water aboard the Osprey yesterday. The guys reported it was a slow day compared to the past few weeks. But there was a pick of quality fish. Matt S (@swagmattic) said, “I struggled as did most of the boat. There was not a ton of life or bites.” Patience and perseverance paid off… Some five and six pound tog were caught.

Kelley got a nice fish about 7 pounds that was good enough to take the calcutta cash, photo above. A 10lb 1oz pool fish was caught by Torr Cohen of Beach Haven. This was his first trip aboard the Osprey and he made the jump from jetty jockey to party boat pool winner like a champ,  photo below.

Another double digit tog was caught on a Magictail Tog Jig. Yesterday Greg Sonday fished aboard Paul Heartel’s The Angler. The crew was one fish short of a four man limit. The photo below is Greg with a good tog that ate a green Magictail Tog Jig. It weighed in at 10 pounds even.

Store staffer Nick DeGennaro is home from college for the holidays. He stopped in and gear up for tog and then got out on the water yesterday. He reported, “Went out on the First Lady out of Belmar. We had fun fishing with 22 fish between 8 guys. The jigs out fished rigs.” Photo below.

Surf Fishing Report

It’s been awhile but finally were heard some news off the beach. Remember all of those peanut bunker that were stacked up all summer long. Where did they go? From what we gathered, one day they just disappeared. Could they have all moved out one night? Possibly slid out deep in the water column and then offshore? If you know please fill us in.

We haven’t talked to one angler who saw peanuts flowing on the beach this fall until now. Well flowing would be an exaggeration but seeing peanuts and catching striped bass on them is good enough! Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking to Shell E. Caris about his time fishing the Tsunami Salt X Spinning Reel this fall. While chatting he shared the info about a few peanut bunker and a few striped bass. Maybe they will head down to our beaches. Maybe they will not.  Time will tell.

LBI Fishing Report Update – December 14, 2018

LBI Fishing Report Update December 14, 2018

Recent mild weather has allowed those with fishing on the brain to get out and enjoy.

The surf fishing reports are becoming few and far between. Today we got word from two anglers. One, Rick mentioned a dead beach. He tried but didn’t find anything. Two, Dan found some fishing this afternoon. He reported at 2:15PM, “Check my story, I’m smoking them on bucktails on the north end surf! There’s tons of whitewater and I’m getting them good.”

The tog fishing continues with solid fishing on the inshore grounds. Today the morning’s conditions were sloppy. Most boats cancelled. Reports from mid and early week were strong.

Dante at Magictail Lures was out and reported the tog bite is on fire! He said, “Now’s the time for that hog we are all looking for. Tog Jigs have become a staple of the fishery over the past couple of years. They’ve helped me land ten double digit tog in the past two fall seasons. If you are heading out stop by Fish Heads and gear up. You will be happy!”

Paul Haertel reported, “None off my friends could go today so I went solo. I had my best day black fishing of the fall. The two biggest were 7.2 and 9.67 pound.”

Keep Warm When Winter Fishing NJ

Keep Warm When Winter Fishing NJ

by Matt Sorrentino, (@swagmattic)

There’s no doubt, it takes a special breed to be eager for fishing in the cold. However, for those that are dedicated to fishing the rewards are often bountiful. Striped bass, Blackfish, Jumbo Sea Bass, Cod and plenty of other species are waiting for courageous anglers in the winter. 

Keeping warm is easy…  Layer up folks! 

Your parents were right! Although your dad still looks goofy in those old white long johns, the old adage remains true… Layer Up! Be sure to lean heavily on that wisdom in the colder months.

Start with a moisture wicking base layers. Ditch the old cotton waffle thermals for performance fabric underwear like the Grundies Long Sleeve Shirt and Grundies Pants. These are a best seller go to choice! Another great option is Guy Cotten’s Denali Pant and Denali Crew Shirt.

Then a mid layer is key to warmth via insulation. The Guy Cotten Polar Pants and the Arctic Hoodie are impossible to beat!

These two layers are worthless without an outer shell that is waterproof and windproof because staying dry is the real challenge. Frigid winds and sea spray can easily turn an epic day of fishing into a horrid nightmare.  Your shell is something that you do not want to cheap out on.  

More than once, I found myself fishing in wind, rain and snow! It was cold, but because I prepared and dressed appropriately I was warm enough to stay at the rail and keep on fishing.

Here’s what I use to keep dry and warm winter fishing in New Jersey.

We’ll start from the feet and work our way up. 

My feet are warm and dry thanks to my Xtratuf Tall Insulated Boots.  Designed for commercial fishing in Alaska, they’re flexible, warm and comfortable for an all day, everyday wear. 

Grundens… Seriously… You do not own a pair of Grundens Bibs?  Eat fish, Wear Grundens.  It’s an actual rule.  There are plenty of bibs options and anyone will make your day much better.  Bib pants (sometimes called waterproof overalls or  slicker plants) block the wind, they are waterproof so stay dry. When you take them off at the end of the day, you are clean and don’t smell. The Grundens Hercules Bib Pants are a  classic choice but I wear the Grundens Neptune Bib Pant. They are durable, lightweight, have a little bit of stretch for comfort and they are only $69.99. The cargo pocket and interior chest pocket are also very helpful. 

I finish my top layer with a Stormr Strykr Series Jacket.  They are heavy but nothing offers the warmth of a Stormr neoprene jacket. It’s a fantastic choice that you’ll appreciate in the early spring and late fall/winter. The company might not be the best at spelling, but they’re experts in keeping you warm and dry! Knowing some are allergic to neoprene another great choice is the Grundens Balder Jacket or the fleece lined Grundens Neptune Thermo Pullover.

When it comes to gloves, it’s more of a different strokes for different folks kind of thing.  There are plenty of gloves that will keep you warm. Some like ultimate warmth and the easy on and easy off of waterproof Atlas Freezer Gloves. These are great when you need to keep your hands dry but they are difficult to fish with. When fishing, I can’t lose “touch” with the line. Maintaining that “feel” is key for me.  So I go with a flip-mitt glove like the Glacier Glove Cold River Flip Mitts. I also like the Glacier Stripper/Fighting Glove fingerless glove but a whole you’ll need a lot of hand warmers in your pockets.

Don’t forget the sunscreen either folks.. that sun can still do some damage in December! I hope this helps you stay warm! Good luck fishing.

LBI Surf Fishing Report Update – December 8, 2018

LBI Surf Fishing Report Update – December 8, 2018

All anglers in the shop report catching on the surf. Small striped bass are tight to the beach offering light tackle fun. Here’s a number of reports from today and yesterday.

Dan D. was on the beach today for an sunset session.  He reported, “Light tackle fun… It was on consistent with a number of guys. Everyone was catching. I had a bunch of shorts and one keeper size fish. Super Strike Needlefish, bucktails and AVA Metals were working great but you gotta have a teaser!

A customer in the shop this evening was fresh off the beach and had a good stick of striped bass. He stopped in to get his rod tip repaired. He reported, “No keepers but a bunch of shorts throwing little light stuff.”

These small bass are also feeding on bait but you have to scale down! One customer reported, “My long rod didn’t get touched but the small chunks in close to the beach were bit.  I released three fish. One was 30″ and would have been a good one for the table.  I should of harvested and taken advantage cause no fish were checked in that day for the tournament.”

Todd Luyber stopped in the shop and picked up some lures yesterday afternoon. He was on the surf and shared this report, “Another good session with Brendan tonight. Steady pick with each of us catching about 6-8. Needles with teaser and the old school Vision Sand Eel got it done.”

Striped Bass Boat Fishing Report

With both fewer fish and much less participation, the striped bass reports from boat anglers have slowed. In the past day we’ve hear about some skunked out trips but did hear some boats found some fish.
Chris O’neil caught one 30″ fish today trolling on a white mojo.
Captain Billy on the Reel Trouble reported, “Good end to a good season with a good crew. Threw back some shorts in 45′ of water. Then moved out to 60′ and picked at a few more fish fish. Managed a few keeper size fish just over 30″. Quit at noon.”

Fish Head Charters

As this fall season creeps to a close I can’t help take a look back on my phone’s fall run photo album. What a ride it’s been!!! While this day was not the best numbers wise, nor size wise… it was special. I had the honor to introduce Matt a young avid angler to his first striped bass. Thanks Mr. Lutz (Chris) for giving me the opportunity to take you guys fishing!

Catching Blackfish With Jigs

Catch Blackfish With Jigs

by Matt Sorrentino (@swagmattic)

Whether you’re new to the game or an old salty dog with decades of experience dropping rigs on wrecks, there’s a lot to learn if you want to catch blackfish with jigs.

Skip ahead to the videos!

Do you attempt to catch blackfish with jigs? You should! At times they out fish rigs and produce really big catches. I must ask… How did anglers target summer flounder 10, 15, 20+ years ago? The majority now target them with jigs. The migration to the jig occurred in the sea bass and tuna game years ago and guess what… The tog game too!

Light tackle jigging for tautog is still a relatively new technique and the concept is simple.  Lighter line, small reels and lighter rods all directly contrast conventional tog fishing wisdom.  Lighter tackle allows the  small jigs to get to the bottom faster, entice more bites and with its stealth approach gives the fish a sense of security so they take the bait. Unlike heavy blackfish rig fishing (typically use 6+ ounce bank sinker) the tog can pickup the smaller jigs and swim away without feeling the tug of the line and weight as they crunch and munch the bait. Light tackle jigging for tog allows anglers the most natural presentation of baits. This directly results in more bites and opportunities to catch. The obvious first step top catch blackfish with jigs is to pick out the jig.

Catching a limit of Blackfish takes skill and the right fishing tackle.  Here, fisherman Matt caught Tautog using Magictail and Tog jigs with crab.
December 6th with a limit+ of blackfish/tautog using a 2oz MagicTail Tog Jig.

Tog Jig Options

There are a variety of tog jigs options on the market. With all of the brand names,  at some point you’ll ask, “What type of Tog Jig should I use?” Or “What is the best Blackfish jig?  In my book, the answer is simple. It’s in the name of the jig…  The Magictail “Game Changer” Tog Jig is the best jig. Whether targeting blackfish from the boat on reefs and wrecks or land based fishing, Magictail Tog Jigs outproduce.

There are 3 basic types of Jigs used for Blackfishing.

The Bean Jig – The bean jig is a flat jig that lies with the hook on it’s side.

The Football Jig– Resembles a football with the hook pointing upright.

The Banana Jig – Similar to the football jig this jig is more slender and the hook point still faces upright.

How do Blackfish feed?

Tautog pick at their food.  They’re typically chewing on mussels, barnacles and other crustaceans clinging to rocks and structure.  When feeding off the bottom they come at the bait from above and pluck at it.  That is why you get those small taps when you first feel the fish.  Setting the hook on a tog is a process that gets refined only with practice and experience. But as common sense would point out, if the fish’s point of attack is from above the jig, you would ideally want the hook pointing in that direction.  When you swing that hook is more likely to land and set in the fish mouth then with a side facing jig. 

Magictail Tautog Jig used to catch Tog.
This photo shows the unique design of the Magictail Tog Jig.

So what sets the MagicTail Game Changer Tog Jig apart from the Football and the Banana Jig? 

It’s all in the intricate design which was advanced from the classic football and banana styles. The Magictail Tog Jigs take the concepts to the next level! The lead head shape ensures the jig always lays flat and doesn’t roll. The long shank, super strong and super sharp Mustad Black Nickel hook has all of the right qualities; shank length to easily bait and accept large pieces of crab while offering the ultimate in strength and point sharpness. The upward facing hook sits with open space between the hook and the bottom structure.  This allows the fish to swim in and take a clean swipe at the whole hook. It makes the elaborately timed hook set process a whole lot easier and increase your hookup percentage.  These are is the Magictail Tog Jig secrets which set them apart for all the others.

Check out the video links below to learn more about the Magictail Game Changer Tog Jigs.