LBI Fishing Report Update May 3, 2020

It seemed that April’s first half was warmer than its second half, but May kicked off with a strong storm that changed the trend once it cleared through. Yesterday Saturday May 2nd was a flawless day. The beautiful warm sunny weather is just what we need! Here’s the Long Beach Island Fishing Report Updates for Sunday May 3, 2020. But first two common questions. (*Updates On 5/5/20 Included)

What a difference a day makes! On the left, a photo taken by Jack Keating on the Barnegat Inlet Jetty Friday May 1, 2020. There was some strong winds and heavy rains with even some hail. Saturday turned out to be the best day of 2020 so far. We are looking forward to many more of these

Two Frequently Ask Questions

All day long we are questioned on the phone and via messages…

Where Can I Fish On LBI?

It’s hard enough determining where the different towns in LBI start and end let along deciphering the individual closures and restrictions based on towns. As of this post (May 3rd) anglers can fish Barnegat Light and Surf City. Yes as of Saturday May 2nd the Barnegat Light Jetty is open to fishing, but the parking lot and facilities are closed.

With that said proceed at your own risk to other areas. The risk is very very low so one could claim it’s fair game. During the entire period of closures and restrictions WE HAVE NOT HEARD OF ONE incident where someone was asked to show their ID, asked to leave or ticketed. It’s ALMOST safe to say all of the beach are open (as they should be since federal funding is used to replenish and fortify). It seems that restrictions were put in place to deter but the interactions and possible altercations are prevented at all costs.

Simply put… Go Fish & Fish Responsibly!

Governor Murphy says public beaches on Jersey Shore must reopen to everyone, not just residents, “A township cannot actually legally restrict folks from outside of their township.” For more on this read this USA Today article.

Now that tog is closed what should I fish for?

There’s lots of options… Check our the report below. Any of the species listed here in the report offer opportunities.

May Is Finally Here!

This is my favorite month of the year because it’s the best month for quality all around inshore/near shore/from shore fishing the Long Beach Island area. Striped bass, bluefish, black drum, weakfish and later in the month fluke!

We anticipate fishing to continue ramping up. Usually by Mother’s Day there’s really good things happening and by mid to late May it’s popping prime time.

Out Front & On The Surf

The ocean water temps are just now getting to the 50 degree mark, a significant step in the season’s progression. Reports are beginning to be more common and we anticipate this to keep rolling for the next 6 weeks.

It is still early season for the surf but don’t let that stop you! There’s fish. It just isn’t epic blitz fishing. That will hopefully be here soon!

Recent Info From The Surf

Saturday the surf was clean with light winds and a solid groundswell. This combo put beautiful white water on the bars and sloughs. Sunday the swell lingers and was another great day. Some anglers got out and fish and a few were rewarded.

We got word from a couple reports from curbside customers. One picked up bunker yesterday and then came back for more today shared, “Caught four bass last night up to 32″ fishing the swing of high tide chunking.”

Jim Crane was on the beach today and reported, “I lost a bass on the beach fishing a chunk. I wondered away from my rod while plugging and my chunk rod went off. It picked up and pulled a little drag. Then, bye bye. Bad 24 hours (more on this below). I got more bunker from you guys and then went back to my spot on the beach. The place looks money. Big section of water with two bars on each side. But nothing. About a hundred yards south of me I saw someone beach at least two fish. I couldn’t tell exact size.”

Jake Kline reported, “There’s some little bass around. I got a few shorts a couple nights ago casting bucktails on the mid island surf.”

*Update 5/5/20 – Dave from Surf City commented on our Facebook post yesterday and shared, “Plugging the surf early this morning. Hooked up to a couple nice little stripers.”

Recent Info From The Boats

A couple reports from boats anglers working the inshore waters had a similar theme, no luck trolling. Maybe someone has found fish out front but nothing reported to us. Any day the trolling will kick off!

A little bit of news to share that came from our local bunker boat. He was out fishing a few miles off the other day (before Friday’s blow) and “caught some big gator blues among the piles of dogfish (target species).” So far this is the only direct reports of any medium-large bluefish. Cocktails are becoming more common in reports, see below. The past couple years we had bluefish by now. They could show any tide now.

In The Bay

Striped bass continues to offer fun fishing for anglers. A light tackle approach with bucktails and softbaits are catching both day and night.

Jack Keating and Stefen Melekos reported today, "(We had) lots of fun fishing at night." The bass are snapping. "Between the two of us we must have caught and released 30-40 striped bass."
Jack Keating and Stefen Melekos reported today, “(We had) lots of fun fishing at night.” The bass are snapping. “Between the two of us we must have caught and released 30-40 striped bass.”

Denny Miller reported fishing the other night and had fun catching schoolies on the skiff.

*Update 5/5/20 – Got word from a customer who was playing hooky Tuesday, “Went for an afternoon session and drifted the flats. Bass were rolling on my popper. Caught three but had a lot of boils and follows. The fish are here!”

Black Drum Fishing In The Bay

Black drum fishing carries on and should continue for the whole month of May. Craig Hotter sent in a report and a couple photos. One of a bass and one of a drum (below). He shared, “Six drum and two short bass on chowder clams fishing the boat in the bay off of Beach Haven. I’ve never seen drum so thick as this weekend!” Another recent black drum fishing report from Craig was posted on 4/25/20.

Here's Dana with one of six black drum today. Spring time fishing LBI's southern bay with clam is prime for black drum.
Here’s Dana with one of six black drum today. Spring time fishing LBI’s southern bay with clam is prime for black drum.

Yes Some Blues Finally

Also some blues are showing just no big ones that we’ve heard about. One report came in from Captain Adam Sherer of Waterman Charters, “I was out running a boat on a sea trail. I found some small birds playing in the bay on the west side. They were on cocktails blues.” Another bluefish report came in from John Delsordo, photo below. He reported, “Cocktails! But where are the gators?” We all hope they will show their yellow eyes soon.

All eyes are on the yellow eyes! We hope to see a full size range of blues arrive this week. Keep your fingers crossed!
All eyes are on the yellow eyes! We hope to see a full size range of blues arrive this week. Keep your fingers crossed!

More Talk Of Blowfish Among Others

Blowfish reports were shared in a previous post (4/21/20) and here’s another. Grey Colston sent in this photo (below) a couple days ago. “They’re around!” Grey also reported loosing a bluefish when landing it the other night. It was in the mix with a number striped bass that he’s catching regularly.

Yup blowfish are here. In the past week or two numerous reports have come in.
Yup blowfish are here. In the past week or two numerous reports have come in.

*Update 5/5/20 – Another blowfish report came in but this time a solid one! Joe Antiorio posted the photo below. “Got ’em on clam chumming them up. Had to work a bit but found the toads! Some of the largest heads I have ever caught.”

Winter flounder reports fell off a few weeks back. With the abundance of quality fluke here now, opening day May 22nd should be good.

A little chatter through the grapevine… a couple weakfish are around.

All reports of blue claw crabbing are good.

Boat For Sale

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Here’s a review I was asked to do by On The Water & Parker *Please note some photos used in the article were supplied by Parker and were not actually my boat.

For those who are asking, yes I’ve decided to part ways an end a very fishy five year run. An opportunity came up and I couldn’t pass so I’m moving to the Parker 2520. I’m in need of bigger boat to fit my growing family.

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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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