Fishing is heating up. There have been 20 to 30 lb bluefin tuna within 20 miles of Barnegat Inlet. We are also catching king mackerel in the mix. All on the troll, so far. Side tracker bars are accounting for most of the hookups but cedar plugs are starting to get bit, too. Further offshore, 60 to 70 miles, there is a mix of bluefin and yellowfin. They are hitting on the troll as well as drifting with jigs and bait fishing, my personal favorite. There is nothing like when a tuna eats your bait and you are holding the rod to feel that acceleration. It is also possible to mix in some 2 to 3 ft pelagic sharks on spinning tackle when we fish the 20 mile grounds. Open Boat or Charter: Sunday, July 26 Mid Range Tuna, 60 to 70 miles, 3AM to 5PM $450 person
Monday, July 27 Barnegat Ridge, 15 to 20 miles, 7AM to 3PM $225 person
Saturday, August 1 Barnegat Ridge, 15 to 20 miles, 6AM to 1PM $200 person
4 people max on all Open Boat trips, all fish are shared.
Pic: Jon and Ray Vernon of Butler, NJ with two of their three bluefin tuna trolled at Barnegat Ridge on Saturday.
Right now is a great time to be fishing the waters of Long Beach Island. Whether fishing from shore, inshore or offshore, there’s a lot on offer. Here’s the Long Beach Island Fishing Report Update for Wednesday July 22, 2020.
Inshore – Midshore Bluewater
By far the most spectacular topic on the local fishing front is the abundance of school bluefin tuna (in the 27 to <47″ range) surprisingly close to port. These fish are and have been hanging around the 10-15-20 fathom inshore/midshore lumps and ridges. Some of these areas have good water (beautiful clean blue water) with bait (sand eels and squid) and that’s the receipt for good fishing. It’s not only bluefin! There’s king mackerel (southern kingfish) and a few small mahi. Soon the bonita and albies will join the party too. Here’s some recent reports from anglers fishing out of Barnegat Light the past couple of days.
Matt Thomas shared, “After hearing some reports that tuna fish were close we tossed together a last minute trip to get my son Dexter his first tuna. We got out there and got one. He did awesome and would not quit! Needless to say he is a very happy kid and I’m a very proud father!”
Frequent customer Joe Franckowiak has been out fishing every chance he gets and his catch count shows. He was reporting tuna near shore for some time now. Tuesday he had another good day (previous report included on the July 14th post) going four for seven on bluefin.
Fun Trip Aboard The Pal’O Mine
I got the call from Paul D’Aloia (friend and owner of the Pal’O Mine) on Monday, “Let’s go fish!” Tuesday morning we (Paul, Max, Matt, I) pushed off and headed east about 15 miles. We quickly found positive sings (tuna chicks and slicks) and got our trolling spread in the water. First a few good bait marks showed up on the sounder. Then tuna marks and shortly after we were tight on our first fish of the morning. We kept working the area and stayed with it for most of the morning going five for five on school bluefin tuna. Almost all of our bites came on spreader bars from splash bars from Chatter and Tormenter.
There were not that many boats out there, so we did the right thing and shared some intel to help others get blood on the deck. We were happy to get feedback! Richard Applegate said, “Heard you on the radio. Thank you. You helped us get tight on one.” Another thanks came from Mike Pritsch, “You called us in on the bite today. Thank you!!!”
With piles of sandeels and squid, school size bluefin tuna are hanging well within reach for small boat anglers. Gear up and be ready for the right days to get out thee and enjoy this great fishing!
LBI’s Near Shore Fishing Report
Solid fluke fishing reports continue from the ocean’s near shore waters, open bottom, wrecks and reefs. The game is good at certain areas and certain times. Having the right tackle and a skilled hand is paramount! Some of the snags have good sea bass fishing too.
One angler with the right tackle and a good hand is store staffer Jared Grady. He was out on the Carolyn Ann Tuesday and took the pool with a health one!
Today (Wednesday) Robbie Gagliardi had a great day aboard the Miss Barnegat Light. He caught five keepers. Since others fishing near him were struggling he was a nice guy and shared.
Another great ocean fluke report came in from Tyler Leary. His crew limited out at an undisclosed reef site.
The reports from the two local party boats (Miss Barnegat Light and the Carolyn Ann) are positive the past cope of days. It’s great to see some limited as well as some quality fluke and also knuckle head black sea bass. They are sailing everyday from 8am to1pm. Get out there!
Fishing the Long Beach Island Bays
The fluke fishing in the bay continues strong with an abundance of shorts but still a great number of quality keepers. You just need to work for them. Blowfish and weakfish continue too.
Here’s a nice weakfish from Chris Wright, safely release. “Wind against tide made easy with my Rhodan Trolling Motor!
Fishing the Long Beach Island Surf & Inlet
Right now there’s fun land based fishing opportunities on LBI. Kingfish (northern kingfish) and fluke (summer flounder) are both possibly at the best stage of the season. Anglers fishing the beaches and the Barnegat Inlet State Park are catching fluke, kingfish, small bluefish, Spanish mackerel, weakfish, an occasional striped bass and the sharpies are picking sheepshead too. Be careful of the cow nose rays!. They can be a time consuming handful.
Fishing with worms for kingfish, Gulp fluke, small meaty bait (bunker, mullet) for blues/bass. Fiddler crabs would be the ticket to target sheepshead.
Yes there’s some spike weakfish in the surf. Matt Listor shared a photo and gave us heads up. He got three from the LBI surf. A number of spike weakfish were reported this past week from the surf and bay. It’s great to see they are here. Let’s hope this stick around all summer!
Yes there’s Spanish mackerel being caught off of the Long Beach Island surf. Here is a photo sent in from Greg O’Connell from the Merchantville Fishing Team. He reported, “Landed three off of the north end surf and lost two others.” Some of the best producing lures for these as well as bonita and false albacore are the Hogy Epoxy Jigs and Tsunami Fork Tail Candy among some other small slender metals.
Summer land based Fluke Fishing is on Fire 🔥 Fish are looking for cooler water and there is no better place personally to cool off then by the waters edge. I have a few *Open Dates this coming week if you would like to get out and get in on the action on LBI NJ. Just *Contact Me If your interested. Thanks Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Service LLC Call 609-276-6983
The marine forecast looks really good for offshore this Sunday. Light and variable winds, just the way we like it. We are available for charter or you can sign on as an individual on our Open Boat trips for this Sunday, July 19. Departing at 3AM, returning around 4PM. Could be yellowfin or bluefin. $450 person, 4 people max.
Call me on my cell, that’s the best way to reserve a spot or get more information.
During the week we will be running bay trips and Barnegat Ridge trips in search of bonita and albacore. We have also been doing really well with our inshore sharking trips. Atlantic sharpnose, spinners, and an occasional dusky shark make up most of the catch. Mostly 2 to 4 foot sharks. They are great sport on the spinning tackle we use, all within sight of land. Dave DeGennaro 732.330.5674 cell hiflier.com
*Striped Bass Tagging Update > A healthy 2019 Surf Caught 23” Striper I tagged and released on November 20th 2019 on LBI was just re-caught recently over the 4th of July weekend approx 300+ miles up off of Chatham Massachusetts at 25” – Still Swimming 😉 Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Service LLC- Call 609-276-6983
Sorry the FishingLBI.com site was down for a couple of days. We had technical difficulties but got things it updated. Thanks for your patience!
After Tropical Storm Fay gave us a wet and windy couple of days this past weekend, things settled down. Monday was a beautiful day with light winds and residual ground swell in the 3′ range. Tuesday was another day of the same. Two perfect days to get out and enjoy fishing Long Beach Island! Did you get out? Let us know how you made out.
Fishing The LBI Surf
Anglers fishing the LBI surf should be primarily focused on fluke and kingfish. Both are present in good numbers offering fun summertime fishing on the beach of LBI.
It’s best to target FLUKE with a cast and retrieve (slow) using natural (squid, spearing, sandeels, minnows) or artificial baits (GULP!).
Also on the surf right now… STRIPED BASS and BLACK DRUM! Not saying these two species are blitzing the beaches but recent catch reports prove they are present.
STRIPED BASS hang around the Long Beach Island waters just about all year long. In the dead of winter they can be found in the bay and surf and in the summer they are there too. Usually once the surf temperatures peak above 70 degrees for summer they are few and far between however they can’t resist a summer work out in the suds. Case and point – Sunday we were surprisingly happy to hear received four separate striped bass reports. Two of the reported bass were small. One was in the low 30″ range and other was 40″. We’ll chalk it up to…
The presence of small bait (spearing and sand eels) and crabs (calico and sand flea)
TS Fay churning up the surf offering oxygen rich water.
TS Fay’s southerly winds cooled off the surf temp by a few degrees making the striped bass feel more comfortable hunting.
BLACK DRUM call the waters of Long Beach Island home in the spring, summer and fall. They are not one of the most popular species however they are fun to catch and can grow to a surprisingly large size. Black drum are definitely an underrated game fish for surf casters on the Jersey Shore.
Fishing The Bayside Waters Of LBI
In the bay fluke and blowfish are plentiful. Anglers drifting the channels are putting good catches together. More recently the feedback from customers is positively trending to a lower keeper to short ratio. Fishing small jigs (like the Magictail Tear Drop Hoochie 1/2-3/4-1oz) tipped with Gulp and/or natural bait (Dead: Spearing, Squid – Live: Minnows, Baby Bunker, Spot) is doing it right!
Blowfish are plentiful this year. They started early and been on offer in waves this entire season so far. It’s best to anchor up and chum while fishing small hooked rigs baited with clam or squid. When fishign Gulp for fluke save your the pieces after bite offs. These can be cut up and to be a very effective way to catch puffers and use up Gulp baits rather than waste them. Anglers chumming up blowfish are also attracting some “summertime pan fish” like kingfish, croakers, spot, snapper blues and…
Also showing in good numbers… weakfish. Some spikes and mediums appeared this past week and more reports continue. Store staffer Grey shared, “At night some spots are loaded with bait and the weakies are popping! A couple nights ago I caught them good fishing small plastics on a light jig head.” If looking for more details stop in and talk to Grey. If approached the right way, he just might share some of the finer details.
Fishing The Inshore Waters Of LBI
Fishing the inshore waters of Long Beach Island and the central Jersey coast is great in July for it’s abundance of variety. The open bottom areas and wrecks/reefs are producing everything from fluke and sea bass to porgies, tog, triggerfish and sheephead. These latter two also offer a challenge for all of the jetty jockeys. Targeting them with small shore crabs (fiddlers, Asians, sand fleas) on a specialty jig like the Bottom Sweepers or Magictail Bay Bay Series is the way to go!
Sloane Endick was out fishing the inshore waters today and caught a solid haul. She managed to cross two species off her list… triggerfish and porgies. In the mix were some sea bass too.
Also in the mid-shore/inshore waters are bonita, Spanish mackerel, and king mackerel. Here’s Joe with his first king mackerel of the season. Joe also mentioned there’s bluefin tuna in close!!!
Today, Friday, July 10, the Beach Haven area is being buffeted by tropical storm Fay. All the boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are safely in port. However, the weather report for the upcoming days is a good one, and the captains will be back on the good fishing bite.
The fluke action continues steady even as the fish begin their summer migration into the ocean. This means the inshore reefs and structure will be receiving the best action. Also on these reefs, are a goodly number of black sea bass, many of them above average in size. The offshore bite on tuna and other pelagic species is ongoing, and there has been a sudden influx of warm water fish such as Spanish mackerel and cobia in the past few days.
Captain Dave Wittenborn fished the inshore tuna grounds this week on the “Benita J’ from Captain Dave’s Charters in an area called the “Lobster Claw.” The ride out was beautiful, and he had lines in the water at 5am. There were dolphins and whales feeding on the surface with tuna underneath. After three hours of steady fishing, they boated five 50-pound class yellowfin tuna and released a white marlin. With the anglers soon tiring they headed home by 9:30am.
Captain Gary Dugan has been fishing charters steadily and catching fish on the “Irish jig” with some days having two half-day bookings. As an example, one group had multiple throwback fluke while managing to put 4 keepers to 24-inches into the cooler.
Captain Carl Sheppard has had the “StarFish” booked practically every day and is finding very productive action on his inshore trips. Mate Max Goldman reports black sea bass and fluke are around, and action has been constant. Many short fluke have been biting, along with 16-inch sea bass. On many recent trips they have had upwards of 8 keeper sea bass.
Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing reports the bite in the bay waters is still good with his charters averaging 6-7 keepers per 4-hour trip. He will be targeting the ocean fluke soon in his Parker Sport Cabin. Recent trips included the Bob Reim charter who boxed 14 keeper fluke to 5 pounds and the Ralph Rodio group with 6 keepers. The Jerry Fanelli crew caught their 9 fish limit in just under 4 hours one morning, and the afternoon trip was similar with John Wittlieb and his wife Jenna bringing home 8 keepers – one shy of another 3-man limit.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.net.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks fishing on the Hi Flier. Inshore we connected with bluefish, weakfish (only one), fluke, and spinner sharks. The weakie hit a jig tipped with shedder crab, it was only a 20 minute try so I am optimistic about going on the hunt for them again. There are 3 to 5 pound blues all around the inlet. The spinner sharks are terrorizing the bunker pods just a few miles outside our inlet, we caught them on the snag and drop. They were 40 lb class, maybe 4 footers.
Offshore we ran to the mid range grounds (50-70 miles) for bluefin and connected on the troll, 5 for 9 on 20 to 50 pound fish. We ran two trips to the southern canyons, 4 for 4 on the first with 30 to 50 lb yellowfins and then yesterday we went 2 for 2, a 50 and 80 lb yellowfin, all trolling Chatter Side Tracker bars. We also jumped off a white marlin. We are also trolling albacore with a few bonita mixed in at Barnegat Ridge. Thurs, July 9 is available for charter to fish inshore or the bay for any number of species. Sat, Sun, and Monday, July 11, 12, 13 are also available for charter or we will run Open Boat for Barnegat Ridge or Mid Range Tuna. Things are really heating up with both of these fisheries.
The bite in the backwaters has been exceptionally good this year with our charters averaging 6-7 keepers per 4 hour trip. We will start targeting the ocean fluke soon in our Parker Sport Cabin, but as for now we are staying in the bay with the bite going on. Our new 20 foot skiff coupled with the MinnKota trolling motor has been amazing on the fluke bite!
We were out Friday July 3rd and the Bob Reim charter boxed 14 keeper Fluke to 5 pounds. The bite slowed a tad for July 4th with the Ralph Rodio charter boxing 6 keepers, but rebounded for July 5th. With the Don McCoy charter hammering 8 keeper Fluke to 6 pounds. On most trips, we are releasing close or over 50 fish.
Yesterday’s action was an EPIC bite with Jerry Fanelli crew boxing their 9 fish limit in just under 4 hours and the afternoon trip was similar with John Wittlieb and his wife Jenna bringing home 8 keepers – one shy of another 3-man limit. Jenna lost a nice one, but they will be out again with me next week.
We have very limited dates left for July, but August has a much better mix of dates available. August is generally a prime month for the ocean fluke bite. If interested in booking a charter, book through our site (reelreactioncharters.com) or call/text 609-290-7709. As always, we use the highest quality gear and everything is included: gear, bait, tackle, fish-cleaning, and ICE! It’s “no worries” fishing. Just come aboard and FISH. Capt. Brett Taylor ~ www.reelreactioncharters.com ~ Call or Text: 609-290-7709
We hope everyone had a great Fourth of July weekend!
Last week we had new clients Ed, Matt, and Brendan from Harvey Cedars out for a 4hr bay charter. Ed was the high bidder who won our charter that we donated to the Memphis Rank fundraiser. The bite was good with constant action on every drift. They caught 25 shorts and boxed 2 respectable keepers at 21” and 20”.
Friday 7/3, we took a trip to the mid shore grounds for our annual 4th of July tuna trip. This year we were able to bring our clients Mike and Will out there for their first time. We were able to get Will his first tuna! Mike’s tuna fell to a mako before we had a chance to boat it. It was a tough trip as we went 2/6 on yellowfin. The tax man was around and the 4 fish that we lost were from makos getting to them before we could get them to the boat. Great day on the water and everyone went home with some nice steaks!
Sunday 7/5, we had new client Mark out with his son Andre along with his friend Alex and his son Oliver who were visiting from Chicago. This was our first ocean fluke trip of the year and the life was very promising! We scouted out several areas and caught fish on every single drift. The full moon tide plus hard southwest wind definitely did not make conditions favorable, but we found fish everywhere. The guys ended the trip catching 20 fluke which were almost all between 17-17.99”. They were able to box 2 keepers at 20” and 18” along with 2 nice sea bass.
Dates are booking quick but we still have a few available throughout July and August, so BOOK NOW before it’s too late! If you are interested in getting out please contact us to book your trip. Call or text Captain Mike to get out on the water or send us a message through our website! (609)-709-7264