FishingLBI Report Update May 18th

Restrictions are easing… Guides, chartered boat services and boat rentals are now open for business. All of the beach on Long Beach Island are open and so are the boat ramps. We aren’t out of the woods yet, so let’s stay safe and Fish Through It! Here’s the Fishing LBI Report Update for May 18, 2020.

Who’s Arthur?

Tropical Storm Arthur is (as of 5pm today) off the Outer Banks of North Carolina moving NE at 16 mph with maximum sustain winds of 50mph. It looks like he will be moving in a curving fashion, clockwise towards the east and then eventually south. During this time it will create a large fetch of wind and waves. This will have the western Atlantic Ocean churned up for most of the workweek. It looks to peak on Wednesday and easy over the rest of the week.

Once things settle down we have high hopes of great fishing for boat anglers. Right now this weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, is looking good and we are looking forward to it.

Right now and into June it’s prime time striped bass fishing on Long Beach Island and the Central Jersey Coast. Here’s what’s being caught from the beach and boat.

Classy Striped Bass

This past week a nice wave of big striped bass moved into the local waters. Lots’ of 30’s, 40’s and 50 pound striped bass were caught. Did you see our last report update, Heaviest LBI Fishing Report Ever?

Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Report

The Long Beach Island surf is producing the occasional striped bass and small bluefish. Blowfish, Kingfish and the pesty dogfish. So far this season we have not seen large bluefish but maybe this storm will changes things ups. Usually when the surfs churned up fish cruising the inshore waters start hunting the surf line where the white water provides prime hunting conditions.

It’s chunking season! Fishing fresh bunker on the surf gives anglers their best opportunity to get sizable striped bass on off the surf. With the new moon on May 22 now is go time!

Inshore Fishing Report

Striped Bass

Striped bass fishing in the boat is good with nice fish caught by boats fishing out of Barnegat Inlet. Most are trolling along IBSP however some are going away from the fleet and fishing the waters off of LBI. Here’s some recent catches.

Rick Bragg caught this striped bass over the weekend trolling a white bunker spoon.
Rick Bragg caught this striped bass over the weekend trolling a white bunker spoon.
Captain Mike Greene aboard Luckey Stripes Charters has the tricks for finding big bass. This is another monster he caught this weekend.
Captain Mike Greene aboard Luckey Stripes Charters has the tricks for finding big bass. This is another monster he caught this weekend.
Blake Scholey caught this striped bass trolling a green bunker spoon with Randy Townsend this weekend.
Blake Scholey caught this striped bass trolling a green bunker spoon with Randy Townsend this weekend.

Sea Bass

After the season opener on Friday, lots of good sea bass reports came in. Shop ambassador Swagmattic was kind enough to post his sea bass report.

Zach Michot is having a blast catching sea bass. The season is open and the fishing is good.
Zach Michot is having a blast catching sea bass. The season is open and the fishing is good.

Another great report came in from Magictail’s Zach Michot. He said, “Awesome day on the water with Paul Hartel and the boys Saturday. Five man limit of knucklehead black sea bass and a mix of ling. Couldn’t have asked for better conditions.” Then Sunday Zach reported another great day with a quick four man limit.

Tuna & Shark Fishing

This is when the the big game fishing turns on! No shark fishing reports (expect them after this blow) yet but we did receive some big time bluefin tuna reports!

For a stretch of time there we has some beautiful clean water inshore and when that and the abundance of bait coincides it’s fireworks! Here’s two great catches by local anglers and Fisherman’s Headquarter customers.

Here's Ryan, Hunter and Damien (Left to Right) with a big Jersey bluefin tune.
Here’s Ryan, Hunter and Damien (Left to Right) with a big Jersey bluefin tune.

Hunter, Damien and Ryan got out and found a big one. On Sunday Hunter Gutwein reported, “A great start to the season.” We would agree!

Here's Dan with a 94" monster Jersey giant bluefin tuna.
Here’s Dan with a 94″ monster Jersey giant bluefin tuna.

Dan Rosetto shared a positive report, “Jumbos two days in a row within sight of land! What an insane weekend it has been. Saturday I got out with some friends and caught a 94″ jumbo Jersey Giant. It dressed out at 410 pounds. Then went back out Sunday, caught and released another mid 90″ jumbo. You can only keep one a year per boat with the trophy tag. Hard work pays off!”

Jarret, Matt and Mike (Left to Right) with a nice bluefin tuna they caught this weekend.
Jarret, Matt and Mike (Left to Right) with a nice bluefin tuna they caught this weekend.

Jarret Hillman reported, “The chandelier wrecks have some Jersey giants!” Mike Ninii, Matt Lopez

Frequently Asked Question

Are the blues in? – The small bluefish here but the larger ones are few and far between. The majority are large snappers to small cocktails. Anglers are catching these most consistently in the bay casting small lures and also trolling the open bay.

Blueclaw crabs are taking to the pots in Barnegat Bay. Photo: Dave Werner
Blueclaw crabs are taking to the pots in Barnegat Bay. Photo: Dave Werner

How’s crabbing? – Blueclaw crabbing is off to a great start. Reports are strong from the lagoons and main bay. We are stocked up with baits and crabbing supplies.

Local LBI News Update

Today Monday May 18th, all of the Island’s traffic lights are turned on. Please drive with extreme caution. Also plan accordingly. Now the trip to your favorite fishing spot is twice as long.

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