Fall is now in full swing in Beach Haven, New Jersey, and the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are raring to go for some action-packed fall fishing.
Thursday, October 8, marks the return of open fishing for black sea bass in the state with a daily limit of 10 fish per angler. Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” reports he has been fishing inshore structure the past couple of weeks and has been catching quite a few big sea bass while seeking other species. He has been practicing “catch and release” on the fish, but he is looking forward to putting some nice fish in the box when the season opens.
The tautog daily limit is only one fish until November 15, but these fish are currently plentiful, and very often that one keeper fish has been a beauty.
As the water continues to cool, the area striped bass population has been increasing. There are numerous catches of “schoolie” sized bass in the bay waters with occasional keepers of fish 28-inches and larger to be found.
Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Charters” just had a busy weekend with a pair of productive trips. On Saturday he had Max Cavallaro and his 3 buddies on a 4-hour multi-species charter. After working to catch their limit of blackfish, they hit the snapper blues. They worked some feeding birds to box close to 20 along with a few released weakfish. On Sunday he had Robert Kuhn and family out. They hit the inlet area for a quick limit of tog and then played with bluefish to 15 inches for the rest of the trip. Captain Brett’s son Luke worked his first trip as a mate in training for his dad.
There is still good offshore tuna fishing as evidenced by a trip for Captain Dave Wittenborn on the “Benita J.” Captain Dave took his son Luke out on a father and son express trip to the tuna grounds. The lines went in at 6:30AM and were pulled for the day at 9:30. Luke reeled in all three of the fish, and the pair headed in with a great catch of fish on an early day.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.bhcfa.net.
Here in early October we have a great mix of fishing on Long Beach Island. With the water temperatures still warm (surf in the mid to upper 60’s) and some areas of the bay in the mid to low 60’s, fishing still has that “summertime” feel especially on the sunny days.
However soon the transition is going to flip like a switch. The shortening days and cooler nights are trending that way.
Land Based Tog Fishing On LBI
By far the best game in town is the tautog fishing. The Barnegat Inlet Jetty tog fishing has been smoking for a number of weeks and there’s no signs of it slowing down any time soon. It’s great to see so many anglers having a blast. We wish we could share all of the reports that have come in. Check our Instagram Story for some of the catch report/photo (reposts).
We anticipate the next few weeks will be very good and we will be doing our best to be fully stocked with live green crabs throughout the fall fishing season. Unfortunately (at the time of this post) we are sold out of live green crabs. This weekend we sold through everything our suppliers could get us. We expect more Tuesday or latest Wednesday.
For those looking to catch their own sand fleas we have a couple rakes still in stock but they will be sold out soon.
Also present and eating crabs among other baits… sheepshead, triggerfish and black drum.
Surf Fishing LBI
Lots of small blues around and they are increasing in size from what we saw a couple weeks back. Some 2-4 pounders have showed up in the mix of smaller ones. Store staffer Paulie fished the mid-island surf Saturday before sunset and got into a bluefish feeding frenzy. He reported, “Cocktail blues had the white bait pined to the beach and they were feeding. I was catching every cast using a Hogy Epoxy Jig.”
The mullet run has been very slow to date. There were some moving this weekend so we have our fingers crossed that it isn’t over.
Joe Handley Jr reports fishing has been very good on the beach of LBI. A few days ago he reported, “Every cut I fished had kingfish.” Today (Sunday) he enjoyed the day on the south end surf catching fish. Here’s his report. “Perfect day on the beach with great conditions and the fish are chewing! So far today two blowfish and a monster pompano. It weighed in at 3.24 pounds.” Unfortunately pompano aren’t included in the NJ’s saltwater state record fish program or this could be a state record.
FYI: As of October 1st, All Long Beach Township beaches are open to 4×4 Beach Buggy Access with valid permit. Permits are available at the Long Beach Township Police Station.
The past couple of months could be summarized with two nouns… First a place… Triple Wrecks. Second a thing… Yellowfin. This historic bite has been on fire consistently for about three months straight. Still this weekend solid reports from anglers catching chunking and jigging. Reports from the edge (further off) have been on the slow side but this weekend we did hear of some big eye tuna and a few makos. Anglers deep dropping are catching swordfish and tilefish.
Due to change in striped bass fishing regulations, where anglers are allowed one striper in a “slot” (28 to less than 38 inches), the LBI Surf Fishing Classic has adapted the rules and prize structure. There is no more $1000 Striped Bass Grand Prize, BUT there now is three $1,000 segment prizes. To spice up the competition a new species, Kingfish was added with cash prizes for the largest (daily, weekly, segment and grand prize).
Another Upcoming tournament is the LBI Cup… The 2020 LBI Cup Striped Bass Tournament, hosted by the Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club, is on Friday, November 13th – Saturday, November 14th.
Monday, October 5, could be the same as above, or if the forecast stays the same, calling for flat calm conditions, we could head to the canyon first for an extended trip that starts at 11PM Sunday night and returns around 6 PM on Monday. We would mix in some tilefish and canyon troll before heading to the tuna chunking grounds. This extended trip would be $550 person, 4 people max.
All fish are shared on our Open Boat trips. The boat is also available for private charter on these days.