Fishing LBI Report April 6, 2020

Hope everyone is safe, healthy and sane! Fishing remains a great way to practice social distancing. Get out and enjoy the sunshine and salt air! Here’s the Fishing LBI Report Monday April 6, 2020.

Fish Heads News

We continue on open with no public access. Curbside Bait & Tackle, Sales Service & Much More. If you needs something give us a call, 609.494.5739 Daily 8am-7pm. Shop Online 24-7 at www.FishermansHeadquarters.com

Beach Access?

Just today news broke that some towns on LBI have closed the beaches to non residents. Still unsure how this will play out. FYI The gates at the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park are closed however all are welcome and passive recreation is permitted. Examples of PR: fishing, walking, wildlife viewing, photography, among other but do not include active recreation such as soccer or basketball. Park access is allowed but all must practice social distancing. No gatherings. People need to keep their distance. Be Smart! Be Safe! Just a reminder pets are prohibited on the jetty and the beach (to protect nesting birds) April 1 to September 15. Facilities are closed to the public, no restrooms.

The recent swell event upwelled the nearshore ocean water temperatures. What was in the high 40’s is now in the mid 40’s. Sunday it was 45 degrees along the beach. On the next rebound we expect a bump in the local ocean action. It’s bound to kick off. Wet a line and you might catch one of the spring’s first surfside striped bass! On the boat, it usually it starts with some bird plays (we already have lots of them) and scattered fish so trolling can be the most effective method. Bunker spoon lures are traditionally a very good spring time lures as well as Magictail Mojos. But when the fish are schooled up and feeding the light tackle lure approach can outfish.

Fishing LBI Report On Tog

Blackfishing opened up for April and it kicked off strong with land base anglers getting all of the love. That was until Sunday/Monday when the boats were able to get out. Recent reports were strong from both boat and land based anglers. It’s great to see everyone is catching good numbers of quality blackfish.

On The Jetty

“The jetty was on fire today. Everyone was catching on both jigs and rigs!” Jared Grady reported catching with his buddy Torr. Sloane Endick was also in on the fun. She posted a photo from her trip and tagged us, below. Shop regular Tom also reported he caught tog today too. @FishSeanLBI recently posted, “First trip out fishing and got one for the dinner table. It was nice to get out and feel a little normal today.”

On The Boat

Fish Head Ambassador Swagmattic is back in the saddle! He and crew picked up right where they left off at the end of last season. He was out today getting toggy and reported… “I had an 8 pound fish on the first bait I dropped down. We had a boat limit by noon and then played catch and release for a few hours before heading home. Both crabs and salted clams caught. Mike Cline got the biggest at 14lbs, below We also had a bonus fish a keeper cod!”

Mike Cline got this 14lbs tog fishing an inshore wreck with live crab. Also known as blackfish these game fish are challenging to catch and are very good to eat.
Mike Cline got this 14lbs tog fishing an inshore wreck with live crab. Also known as blackfish these game fish are challenging to catch and are very good to eat.

Rhodan Changes The Game

After talking at the Saltwater Soiree, local angler Barry Baxter purchased a Rhodan GPS Anchor from us. He decided on the Rhodan 36v 120# thrust 84″ Shaft and we got it to him fast. He’s already rigged up and fishing. He gave us a quick review that he is very happy with the unit. His first day out was Sunday and even in the big 4-6′ long period swell the unit performed great. “Absolute game changer. We tog fished yesterday and crushed ’em. I couldn’t be happier with the 84″ Rhodan. Thank You!”

We are stoked to see another happy Rhodan customer on the water hanging their game! From experience I’ve learned the long period swell is ok because the boat rides up and down the waves easily and clean. However the short period tight together chop is a much different story. When the conditions make the vessel excessively pitch and heave the units can not perform due to cavitation. Want to learn more about Rhodan GPS Anchors? Give us a call!

Striped Bass Fishing Report

Striped bass is strong locally and at the state’s early season hot spots. Get out there and have some fun. Right now there’s some nice bass moving into the bays and rivers to spawn and they are making their presence known.

Store staffer Willie was in on the action today. Here's one of many striped bass that he caught and released.
Store staffer Willie was in on the action today. Here’s one of many.

Michael Sibilia sent in a thanks with a photo, “Line and rod are holding up great Thanks Again!”

No other fishing reel offers better performance and durability in the saltwater fishing ring than Van Staal. Get one today and go to battle!
No other fishing reel offers better performance and durability in the saltwater fishing ring than Van Staal. Get one today and go to battle!

The bite continues on locally here in the Barnegat Bay too with lots of small striped bass! Ryan Curtis was out on his skiff fishing and reported, “Lots of schoolie bass in the back bay around the sod banks and islands. I caught them all on soft plastics!”

Here is a photo of store staffer Max with a recent striped bass that went for a Kettle Creek Paddletail.  There is something about these soft baits that striped bass can’t resist.  It’s got something to do with their ribbed profile and paddle tail as well as their secret scent. They are deadly!

Another lure that is deadly year in and year out… the Rapala X-Rap! Jerry Zumpetta just reported, “I caught well over 20 fish on the outgoing tide tonight (Sunday) with X-Raps. I even snagged an adult bunker.”

Freshwater Fishing Report

While we aren’t a freshwater shop we got some good reported in from customers so wanted to share them. The state authorities are encouraging anglers to not travel and focus on fishing locally so this report should be helpful to some.

By now everyone should know NJ Trout fishing is open. Degennaro and son (Dan Chris and Son Ryan) had a good time fishing this weekend. Chris reported, “We made two stops today. First stop was torture… seeing fish break, watching fish swim at our feet, no nibbles. Second top was non stop action including a donkey. All catch and release. Not too bad for rookies.”

Ryan Degennaro caught this big trout while fishing with his dad Chris this weekend. What a great way to Keep America Fishing especially during the pandemic.
Ryan Degennaro caught this big trout this weekend while fishing with his dad Chris. What a great way to Keep America Fishing especially during the pandemic.

Another freshwater fishing report came in from Pete E. He was out with the family this weekend at a local lake. He reported they enjoyed the beautiful spring weather outdoors catching fish. “We caught and released 15 pickerel and one yellow perch.”

Fish Head Charters

The phone calls don’t stop and I love it BUT I’m forced to turn everyone away. With the birth of my son in September I already had a set plan that I was not going to run any/many charters for Spring 2020. Then came the pandemic. Anyone looking to get out and fish aboard Fish Head Charters please touch base for fishing dates in late summer and fall. I’m saving dates however no deposits at this time.

Sunday I put the boat in for a sea trial. It was great to be on the water again. The boat ran great so I punched out the Inlet and took a look around. I was happy to see gannets and lots of them in a huge flock. At times they were dive bombing hard. I marked a large bunker school close by but didn;t see the tell tale boomerangs that are a sure mark of game fish. I only had a surfboard but should of had a rod. I think there were some fish with ’em. I’ll be back out on the hunt soon enough.

Added April 7, 2020 3PM

A blog comment came in so I wanted to share the comment and reply publicly in hopes it brings value to all readers.

After reading a blog post fishinglbi.com/2020/03/18/an-update-at-fish-heads/ John posted the following comment 4/7/20 at 1:30PM, “The beaches are closed…..you had no bunker this morning and the tide chart was wrong. 58 miles one way for nada.”

Here’s my reply to him. What I feel will bring value to all readers is the info on LBI Beach Access (can change by the day) as well as the topic of tide and current.

Hi John – So sorry to see and read your comment. I apologize for the mix up in information and your inconvenience. Unfortunately the information is your reply is not all accurate. I wish you would have seen and read our post which was sent live yesterday April 6th. The post which you commented on is from March 18th post. It was tagged as sticky so it would stay at the top and not be lost in all of the other posts so viewers can see we are open doing curbside pickup.

Yes some beaches are closed however not all. The gates at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park are closed however access to fishing is open. See the post for info on the action. It’s good right now. As far as the town beaches each municipality is unique and most have different rules in place. As far as I know (as of yesterday) the Ship Bottom beach is close and all of Long Beach Township beaches are restricted access, must have a “disaster-rentery pass” (residents and property owners). Surf City, Barnegat Light and Beach Haven were open. It’s best to monitor the individual town’s Facebook pages for news updates.

As far as the bait situation, we update the bait report frequently and have the disclaimer right below the update date and time “Call To Confirm”. Bait comes and goes fast. We sold out after the first couple customers this morning but we have more which should be delivered at 2:30pm today.

As far as the tide app widget on the sidebar of the blog page… it is powered by Tide Graph Pro, arguably one of the best tide apps available. It is very accurate so long as you are looking at the right location and date. Tide (vertical water movement up and down) and current (horizontal water movement left to right) are different. Just cause the water is flowing in does not always mean the the tide is coming in. In reality the time high or low tide (top and bottom of tide) are not slack water. Depending on many variables slack water can be 1/2-2+ hours different. With all of that said today is the full moon and what is called a perigean spring tide aka super moon. Due to the moon’s close proximity to the earth today is one of the year’s largest tide events. The high tide is significantly higher than normal. The morning’s minor high was +5.4′ and the evenings major high is +5.66′. Those are some high tides!

Hope this all makes sense. Again I apologize for the mix up and your inconvenience. Your bunker are on me next trip down. Stay safe and healthy my friend, Greg


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!

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