End of March Fishing LBI Fishing Report

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.

Fishermans Headquarters is open daily however no public access. Curbside pick up and web/mail orders only. Call Us ( 6094945739 ) for sales and service inquiries.

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.

Striper Migration Map Dated March 27, 2020 (Thanks to On The Water) – Big striped bass are making their way to their spawning grounds in lower and middle Chesapeake Bay tributaries as well as the Raritan Bay.

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

Barnegat Bay

Tim Covart is having fun fishing top water poppers working LBI’s bayside. Here’s a photo he just sent in of a health striped bass.

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.

Rick Bragg was out in the boat fishing for bass recently. He reported, “We caught some bass in the mid-Island bay fishing for an hour one evening. Two at 19″ and one at 21” on small jigs.

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.

Here’s a striped bass that was recently caught by the Fishermans Magazine’s Jim Hutchinson Jr. Bloodworms on the sod banks is like peanut butter and jelly. They just go together so good.

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.

Raritan Bay

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!”

Here’s Billy Hayess with one of many beautiful striped bass from the recent days.

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.”

Delaware River

Todd Avery reports, “No slobs yet but it’s great to be out fishing.”

Todd is always stoked on 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!”


Author: FishHead.Greg

A Long Beach Island native with life long experience fishing and navigating the local waters, Greg is a distinguished Master Captain (the highest qualified operator license), holding a US Coast Guard Masters 50T Near Coastal License with Towing Endorsement. Raised in and now managing his family's bait and tackle business, Fishermans Headquarters (Since 1962, The Saltwater Fishing Bait & Tackle Experts) Greg is daily immersed in fishing. He is the Chief Contributor of FishingLBI.com (Long Beach Island's best fishing report blog) as well as the Admin for the shop's social media pages (on Instagram and Facebook). Be sure to follow!

3 thoughts on “End of March Fishing LBI Fishing Report”

  1. It would be nice if we could fish on the surf. All I have heard is all of the NJ beaches are closed. Is that true?

    1. The beaches of LBI are open however no gathering. All must practice social distancing! You can walk the beach. You can fish the beach. You can surf. You can even sit and watch the water. HOWEVER, the police are cruising the beach and will break up any gatherings. These small groups are disbanded and might ruin the last bit of freedom we have.

      1. There is a sign on 72 just before the LBI bridge that says Beaches Closed. The LBITP posted that it was false and will be changed. All LBI beaches are open.

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