Fishing Report Update April 8th

Good early spring fishing continues for anglers hunting the waters of Long Beach Island. Striped bass, perch, tog, winter flounder, black drum and kingfish are all on tap. Here’s an update on the fishing front here on Long Beach Island.

Local Striped Bass Fishing

The Causeway Bridges are getting better and better as well as other mid-island areas. Catch reports from the north and south end’s bayside areas are also becoming more frequent from anglers fishing live bloodworms and artificial lures. The Barnegat Bay’s westside sod banks, points and tributaries are fishy right now and soon the flats will turn on. The Great Bay and Mullica River continue to produce.

Some surprisingly good healthy bass cruising the bay.

Craig Harkness reported, “Perfect day today. Started off fishing the bridges with artificials (softbats) in the morning. Got two bass and then hit Fish Heads for live bloodworms. Then set up on the sod banks fishing 3/0 circle hook hi/lo rigs. Got three striped bass.”

The LBI Surf

The Long Beach Island beaches usually starts up with slow fishing in April and then rev up in May. If blues show this year, they would be a front running catalyst.

The Spring Surf Fishing Derby kicks off!!! Click here for more info.

Tautog Fishing Report

April is the one month spring tog season. Each year it offers some of the best fishing of the year. The best part is it’s good for for both land based and boat anglers.

Jeff Crabtree is one angler who puts a ton of time in and it shows with his consistent catches season in and season out. Yesterday he struck again! Jeff caught and weighed in a solid 8-LB tog. This was one epic fish for land based togging.

Boats fishing the wrecks put together good catches this week. One recent report came in from Capt. Jeff Warford. He has been out a couple time in recent days taking advantage of the great weather. He shared, “I’m loving the new Rhodan GPS Anchor. It’s a Game Changer! I’m loving the Rhodan Life.” Jeff and crew were recently locked in over some good structure and they pulled a nice catch together. Here’s Captain Jeff with one of the biggest of the day.

Kingfish… What the heck!

It is not a common catch for early April but it proves there are a few here this early in the year. Yup a northern kingfish! Paul Lindsey caught this king today on his new rod and reel. He stopped in and set up a new ODM DNA surf rod matched up with a Penn Battle DX. Couldn’t dream of a more perfect weapon for the local area fishing. It’s a great pair with a balance of performance and quality at the reasonable price.

Raritan Bay Bass Fishing

Raritan Bay has been good and it’s just the start of a great spring run. Lots of anglers with nice fish coming on top water spooks and metal lips.  Some big fish are in the mix too. Lots of great fishing still to come!

Here’s Fish Heads Alumni Dan D. with a serious one that committed to a top water spook. Dan was fishing a Doc Spook aboard Shore Catch.

Winter Flounder Fishing

Dave Moores made his first winter flounder fishing trip a few days ago. He managed two flounder. The next couple weeks are the time

Linda Lee Sportfishing Report

Saturday I was able to get the boat up to Keyport and get settled into the slip for the early spring striper run. I had my Mate Dan Rosetto and Mike Brazaitiis with me for first trip and it was lights out fishing first thing in the morning until we packed it in around noon. Guys were trolling 9er rigs and doing very well. We were focusing on jigging and that produced for us as well using SP Minnows, Nicholas Lures Magnum Spoons, and Tony Maja Shad jigs. I still have some dates available if you looking to get in on the early season fishing. Call / text Capt. Ryan Horton for availability 609-276-8032. Price is $150 pp up to 6 anglers.

BHFCA April 5th Update

Spring has officially sprung in the Beach Haven area despite some lingering winter-like temperatures. The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing have begun preparing for their spring and summer fishing adventures.

One welcome sign is the Association’s announcement that their much-acclaimed Junior Mates Program will be resuming this year after being suspended in 2020 due to the Corona Virus.

Association President Captain John Lewis announced all classes this year will be held outside at the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club. Mask usage and physical distancing will be utilized to maximize safety standards. The first class will be held on Thursday, June 24, at 7pm.

The Junior Mates Program is designed to provide youngsters with a variety of expert teaching and hands-on experiences to educate them about fishing and provide them with the background necessary to become a mate on a fishing boat. Complete information on the Junior Mates and paperwork can be found on the BHCFA website at www.bhcfa.net/junior-mate-program.

Meanwhile, Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” has splashed his boat and already brought some fish aboard in a shakedown cruise. Some short striped bass provided nice first of the year action for Captain Gary.

Captain Alex Majewski of “Lighthouse Sportfishing” kept occupied over the winter hitting small ponds in the Pine Barrens. He had productive days with catches of pickerel and largemouth bass. Perhaps getting ready for the new regulations on striped bass, he tried circle hooks with live minnows for pickerel with some “excellent” results. His boat, the “Debbie M” has been upgraded with a Rhodan trolling motor, allowing him to stay positioned over wrecks.

Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing took time this winter for some long-awaited projects including a new house and a new garage. He did construct an electric hoist for his spare Minn-Kota trolling motors. He says he is now ready to start fishing.

Captain John Lewis of the “Insatiable” is now ready to resume making boat deliveries to mark time while he is not fishing. Captain John has been making deliveries for both dealers and private owners for many years and makes many yearly trips back and forth from New Jersey to Florida for boat owners.

Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.net

Easter Sunday – NJ Fishing Report

A lot of progress was made this week coming down off the Worm Moon (Sunday 3/28/21) and entering into April. More anglers are getting out on the water and more fish are being caught. Best of all, bigger fish are showing up. Here’s the Easter Sunday Fishing Report from the crew at Fisherman’s Headquarters. Happy Easter!

Fish Head store staffer Max is holding up a healthy striped bass that went for a metal lip plug on Saturday afternoon.
Fish Head store staffer Max is holding up a healthy striped bass that went for a metal lip plug on Saturday afternoon. For more on the report see below.

Attentional Recreational Anglers: Please be conservation minded all year but especially during this month of April. A lot of the striped bass that are being caught right now are pre-spawn. The recruitment of our stock depends on their survival. If you weren’t aware, Circle hooks are required when fishing for striped bass with bait. Bait is defined as any marine or aquatic organism live or dead, whole or parts thereof. This does not apply to any artificial lure with bait attached.

Striped Bass Fishing

The local fishing in the Long Beach Island has turned up a few notches. Other areas, rivers and bays are full on!

Paul Lindsey was in the shop again today gearing up with things. He reported, “Fishing today was slow for me. I hit the low tide and fished all morning. Had to make a couple moves to find action. When I did it was all micros on paddle tails. Some anglers fishing bait near me were picking at fish too. Thursday and Friday was much better fishing even though the wind was kicking. There was a nice size range for our local area with most fish between 25-28″. This is up from last week. On Friday I managed another keeper size fish that I sent back to grow up. Thursday and Friday it was all on juicy live bloodworms. Your (Fish Heads) bloods have been really nice!” Paul mentioned that on Thursday, an angler fishing clam right next to him caught two black drum. We shared the post that day on our social media. This was the first black drum report we heard.

Here's Paul with one of many striped bass he has caught in the past few days.
Here’s Paul with one of many striped bass he has caught in the past few days.

Funny how we mentioned, “Recently some flies showed so it’s safe to say the spring’s first black drum will be caught any day, if not already. With the full moon here it’s time!” on the last fishing report update post and then BANG!

The first black from we've heard and see are these two which were caught down in Great Bay. The report came in from Paul Lindsey who was fishing next to the anglers who caught them
The first black from we’ve heard and see are these two which were caught down in Great Bay. The report came in from Paul Lindsey who was fishing next to the anglers who caught them.

Hunter Dargay has been putting in a lot of time fishing the local waters of LBI’s bayside and it is paying off for him. Friday he stopped in and got two dozen bloodworms. He then stopped back an hour or so later and got another two dozen worms. Later he shared a solid report, “I lost count at 37, might have caught 40. All were in the 22-25″ range and were released. The wind was cranking and they were on the chew. It was a day of fishing I’ll always remember.”

Hunter caught a bunch of striped bass worming the LBI bayside this weekend.
Hunter caught a bunch of striped bass worming the LBI bayside this weekend.

Anglers fishing the various spots of the Causeway Bridges have been catching good with bait and lures. 

Tog Fishing

Fish Heads Store Staffer Jared was out on the Barnegat Jetty today on the hunt for tog. he reported a decent day but a slow bite, “I really had to work for them. They were hitting clam much better than crab. The water was right at 45 degrees. Once that warms up a few more degrees things should start getting really good.” 50 degrees is the magic number!

Anthony Gagliardi and buddy fished the jetty too. They found some shorts but no keepers.

Tony Butch fished out on some snags in the boat. He reported, “Headed out late and fished the afternoon. We fished fished deep and then shallower. Had bites all day with lots of shorts. The last stop on the way in was lights out!” Here’s five for the table.

Here's a blackfish catch photo from Tony Butch.
Here’s a blackfish catch photo from Tony Butch.

Paul Haertel was out today and reported, “Nothing big but we did manage to catch our boat limit.”

Raritan Bay

The Bay offers great fishing every spring. You just can’t miss out on it. A few nights during the past work week, Fish Heads Alumni Dan got into good fishing. These were some of the first reports we heard of quality fish and then photos of some monsters from the kayak crew. More recently this weekend boat anglers go into the action.

Fish Head store staffer Max and Swag had good fishing today. They said both shads and swimming plugs were getting smoked. Max reported, “Most fish weren’t up top but there was a good buddy of striped bass. Anglers trolling were picking at fish pretty good. We drifted and casted which producing a good catch count.”

Neal Hafner caught this 39.5" striped bass fishing the fly in Raritan bay on Saturday evening.
Neal Hafner caught this 39.5″ striped bass fishing the fly in Raritan bay on Saturday evening.

Fish Heads Alumni Nick Deg was on the water today with his buddy Neal. They reported a great day, “Fish were active in the shallows and eating the fly. Neal managed a 39.5″ bass on the fly. Watching the eat was awesome! I got a 43″ bass too on top water.”

Here's Nick DeGennaro with a 43' striped bass he caught on a top water lure.
Here’s Nick DeGennaro with a 43′ striped bass he caught on a top water lure.

White Perch

Store staffer Frezza and Tate fish the local waters for white perch and they caught 15 fish in a short session and reported, “Non stop action!”