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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!).
Kingfish love live bloodworms and also love Fish Bites Bag Of Worms too. The classic rigging for them is a small hooked hi-lo rig outfitted with hi-viz pill floats.
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!!!