With all of the Covid-19 Virus talk consuming our live, news, social media and daily conversation hopefully you will find this a happy change of tide. Here’s the Fishing LBI “End Of March Fishing Report” Update for Saturday March 28, 2020.
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The Current Situation
Looking at the entire picture, the two major rivers (the Delaware and the Hudson) as well as their respective bays (Delaware Bay and Raritan Bay) have fish and lots of them. The Raritan Bay has been cranking for a couple weeks now and more recently has broken wide open! These prespawn striped bass are making moves.
More locally, the rivers (Mullica and Toms River) as well as their respective bays (Barnegat Bay and Great Bay) have an abundance of striped bass. Most are resident schoolies but there’s lots of them making it fun light tackle fishing. There’s a few better size ones in the herd.
Long story short is this season is off to an epic start with good fishing all around the state. We put out a recent poll on our social. The results showed out of almost 500 voters, two thirds are fishing and one third are not.
If you are fishing or planning to fish please do your part and give the utmost respect to others. Fishing is a great way to practice social distancing and put food on the table! Be Safe – If you can touch someone fishing beside you with your rod you should spread out. Forget your fishing buddies. This is the time to fish solo. Fish Local – Stay close to home to keep trips short and eliminate travel time. Be Flexible & Adaptive – Choose alternate locations and/or times if an area is inhabited. Avoid groups! Curfew – Know the rules and follow them! If everyone can follow these simple rules there’s a good chance the little bit of freedom we still have will continue. Don’t ruin it for everyone!
LBI Fishing Report
The local waters of Long Beach Island have four primary species; striped bass, winter flounder, black drum and white perch. The first two are prime and the later two are slowly progressing and we anticipate both will be good for the whole month of April.
Stripers are on the move crusing the sod banks as well as mud flats and they are active at the docks and lights in the evening. The most common question is, What catching best?
Early Season Spring Baits
For the bait guys clams and worms are by far the best early season baits. Bloodworm is our first suggestion unless you are looking for a drum. Then clam is the call. Wait on bunker a week or two.
Early Season Spring Lures
For the lure guys keep it simple. Soft baits are always an early season killer. Our top picks are the Kettle Creek Shad (paddle tail), Lunker City Fin Z (fork tail) as well as Ron-Zs (tapered tail). Rig them on a leadhead (depending on location and current 1/4 – 3/4oz) like a Kalins Swimbait Jig Head or a Kalins Bullet Jig Head and you are in the game. Small plugs from Rapala, Yo-zuri and Stillwater are also top choices! Leave the bigger presentations for another couple of weeks.
LBI Surf Fishing
The surf is slowly warming up but no striped bass reported in. We have only hear of dogfish from anglers trying. With that said when there’s dogfish there’s commonly striped bass. We expect to see some surfside striped bass soon. The LBI surf temp is in the mid to high 40’s.
Free Surfcaster Journal Issue
While talking surf fishing we want to share some info and free content. Check out Issue 60 at the Surfcaster’s Journal. The SJ team decided to make this entire 150-page issue free and accessible to all surfcasters. Check it out now!
Now To Individual Reports
Jim Crane fished Friday and got two bass up to 22″ in a short 45 minute session. He said Lunker City Fin-s softbaits were working.
Dave Moores is still catching in the bay. This time around he reports, “All little winter flounder. It is tough with all the small bass. The super dinks wouldn’t leave us alone.” Side note… The blueclaw crabs are getting active!
Striped bass love to sniff around the shallow mud flats and sod bank sin spring looking for worms.
Carl Hartman enjoyed the perfect weather on Friday catching a couple bass. He said it was an awesome day. Carl also wants to share that the Century Rods & American Angler LBI Casting Demo is still tentatively set for 1pm May 3rd at Bay View Park in Brant Beach. Other local news… This week we saw the coast guard out on the bay setting out the seasonal aids to navigation.
Jim Kuhl reported, “It’s been good. Some awesome topwater feeds. Friday afternoon was non top with fish ripping across the surface chasing bunker. We were truly blessed to have days like these!”
Nick Honachefsky reported, “We crushed them today! Saturday monring was stripers galore on shads! It was really good the past couple of days and this morning.”
Todd Avery reports, “No slobs yet but it’s great to be out fishing.”
Recent Trip To The Pacific
We love to see our customer gear up and then report back with stoke. Jay Sawczak stopped in to prep for some fishing while on a sailing trip in Tahiti. The team helped him out setting up some reels with line and leaders. He said, “Willie was a perfectionist and it paid off. Thank you guys for helping me catch some fish on my trip!”