Happy Memorial Day – Thank you for all that have served and all of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to allow for our freedom and the beauty we call America.
Here’s the Memorial Day Fishing Report For The Long Beach Island Area on Monday May 31, 2021
The weather wasn’t the best this weekend but things are now settled down and the week ahead looks fair. The easterly swell on the beach right now is in the 2-3′ range and it has a light westerly wind grooming it out. The ocean water is tinted but not dirty and in the mid to upper 50 degree range.
I do not have a detailed fishing report to share since the recent days were a washout but I can point out a couple things for an update.
We received one report of a bayside striped bass on the north end yesterday. The only other report came in this morning from Chris Moffitt.
Chris caught a 39″ bluefish off the mid -island surf on bunker.
Flounder will be a good target this week as well as striped bass and bluefish. Striped bass fishing is prime for a couple more weeks and then it will be the summer residences. Bluefish are a good look in the month of June for a feisty drag pull. Weakfish, blowfish and kingfish are also options for lighter tackle fishing. On the big game side of things shark and tuna reports are popping up and that will only get better the next few weeks and months.
LBI Lost & Found
Wes Darcy asked for help… let’s see what we can do! “I fished the Barnegat Light bay side May 23. I dropped my 20 year old Buck knife out of my waders in the parking area. If any one finds it and turns it in I will reward them. Thanks!”
Right now there’s cranking NE wind and the ocean is angry. Things kicked up yesterday and the wind machine will be ON until Monday morning when things taper off. The combination of a slow moving double barrel low with a high pressure over the far north east has set up a tight pressure gradient over a large area. This will produce a solid ENE fetch pumping easterly swell our way.
We would all like fair weather but we have to play the cards you are dealt.
Recent fishing in and around the Long Beach Island area is and has been good. The entire month of May has been good to anglers for that matter. Once the weather clears we hope to be back on track right where we left off. Get out and enjoy spring fishing on Long Beach Island!
Here’s a quick video report from Friday May 28, 2021.
After last nights violent storms along the coastline water conditions held up well and the Surf Fluke bite was on fire this morning. Best bet is to get out this afternoon or early tomorrow before the coastal storm system also visiting this Memorial Day weekend takes shape and with the on-shore flow conditions will deteriorate rapidly and the bite on the beach for them.
That being said it does open up another opportunity this weekend to target the striped bass that are also in the area, they love rough water and should be feeding.
With all the questions surrounding the weather and fishing this weekend there is one thing for sure is that you need to stop in to Fishermens headquarters to get the latest information and any and all bait, tackle gear and accessories that you may need to have a successful holiday weekend fishing here on LBI.
GOOD LUCK everyone and have a safe and happy memorial day weekend 2021 ~ summer is here
If you’re looking to get out this summer call 609-276-6973 or email me at nightstrikes@Comcast.net to reserve your surf fishing trip this summer. Thanks SteveG
Fluke season opened on a banner weekend. The flawless weather had everyone out fishing. Some good reports came in as well as some not so good reports. It seems like those that got out early and beat the traffic scored. Getting out late meant fishing the bottom of the tide and for most areas that means the warmest and weediest parts of the tide.
Kevin Laverty caught this fluke off the LBI surf on a bucktail on opening day.
The surf side fluke seems to have slowed from what was happening before the opener. But we did hear of one monster off the surf by Kevin Laverty of the Long Beach Island Fishing Club. Possibly the bite slowed up due to the powerful ground swell upwelling, cooling and slowing the bite. Maybe Monday’s stiff onshore wind has pushed the surface waters back up on the beaches and down-welled the cooler water back to the cold pool.
LBI Striped Bass Fishing Report
Striped bass fishing this weekend was good off of the Long Beach Island surf. Reports of striped bass from 25″ to 25# are reported daily and occasionally classy fish much larger bass. So far this spring there hasn’t been one hot spot. Great surf fishing reports have come in from the north end, mid-island and the south end.
Here’s Shawn Moore with a 35″ striped bass that was caught and safely released off the Long Beach Island surf this weekend.
Brian H of Mystic Islands stopped in the shop and said, “Where should I go fish? It has been 6 years and I’m heading out right now.” We gave him a suggestion and he second guess it but then headed out and fished a few blocks away from the shop. He stops back about an hour , possibly less later and said, “You set me up and I pointed me in the right direction. First piece of bait went down. This particular 37.5 bass was a long time coming!”
The fishing musician Rick stopped in and reported catching a couple. “I fished the north end a few days ago and it was great to get out and catch some fish on the surf. I got two short bass on clam fishing the outgoing tide. The water was crystal clear and there was a lot of mole crabs (sand fleas) at the water’s edge.”
When most think sand fleas they thing tog fishing however striped bass LOVE THEM! Don’t believe it? This photo from Jim Zazenski will prove otherwise. He caught this striped bass off the mid-Island surf on Thursday. As shown in the photo, the fish’s gut had a couple bunker heads in it but it was mostly full of sand crabs.
It seem that clam is still working really well. Recently we’ve seen more and more reports of bass hitting on bunker surf side. Soon we hope some bunker pods will school up to jolt our picturesque beaches into another phase of spring. So far things have been really good. It’s hard to think it could get better.
Anglers are finding some good size striped bass fish in the boats just not many of them. If heading out this time of year there’s two primary best attacks… live bait fishing and trolling. If trolling look around with bunker spoons, mojos and/or deep diving plugs. The striped bass have not really schooled up this spring. It seems they are being caught onesie-twosie and they are not keyed in on bunker schools…. YET! Fishing the bay and inlet area adjacent waters would also be a great shot with lures or baits (clam, eels, spot).
Captain Mike Greenie Lucky Stripes Fishing Charters, “Been a slow pick of bass but at least they are quality fish. Got one 49#!!! There’s lots of thresher sharks around too. I’m praying there’s another wave or two of bass to fill in this week or I’ll be switching to bay fishing and bluefin sooner than later.”
What’s Up With The Bluefish?
This past week more bluefish have showed in the local waters. The majority are on the smaller size ranging from snappers to cocktail size. However there are some gators racing around. The abundance of 10-15# class blues are not here now/yet. We are hoping they show!
Thomas Boyce reported trolling the Barnegat bay over the weekend and caught some medium size bluefish.
I had one monster roll and miss a top water spook on Saturday morning. It was a bummer it didn’t get the hooks. A couple good reports came in from Paul Lindsey, Eli Haegele and Nate Kirby (surf). Nate got a double header fishing a metal with a teaser.
Barnegat Bay Fishing Report
It’s time to fluke fish but let’s not overlook the other great fisheries right now. There’s plenty of striped bass in the bay and also weakfish. Weakies made a great showing in the past week or so. We had one big one weighed in which was gut hooked while fluke fishing this weekend. Store staffer Grey reported weakfish while he was fluke fishing on the south end of LBI. The same kind of report came in from the north end by Kurt R.
Dylan Dinapoli caught this weakfish off the LBI surf on a lure.
Black drum are an option in the bay and they are also cruising the surf.
Mid-May is a great time for fishing Long Beach Island and the local central NJ waters. Whether inshore, offshore or from shore right now offers arguably the year’s best fishing opportunities. Below is a morning fishing report video from yesterday May 17 and then it’s followed up by a quick fishing report below. To All… Good Luck Fishing!
It’s prime time spring bassin’ on LBI. This year the bass fish showed up a little earlier and surf anglers have scored. I’ll go out there and say it… so far this spring on LBI has been one of the better if not the best run we’ve seen in a handful of years. As more post spawn striped bass migrate into and through our waters the already lit stage will pop off!
Tucker Blanchard got a bag of live surf clams and hit the LBI surf Saturday. He stopped back in not long after and re-upped with more clams and shared this photo of a 48″ bucket mouth.
Expect solid fishing from here through June’s new moon (6/9/21) and then things will taper off fast especially if the water stays warm. Some years we get upwelling events that keep the big bass until 4th of July. Once that wave moves through it’s all about the residence bass population which are a special treat to us on LBI! They really showed early this season in a strong way.
So far the blues haven’t showed in the number that everyone would have liked but there have been some yellow eye flurries. A couple gators were caught in the Barnegat Bay. Many more however smaller blues in the cocktail size (1-2#) are frequenting the Barnegat Inlet.
Eli Haegele reported two days in a row catching some small toothy ones fishing the rocks on the north end. Here’s three he kept of the 20 he caught.
Black Drum were caught in recent days in the bay and surf but boat and land based anglers.
Dan Fredirico caught this black drum and a striped bass fishing the LBI surf with clam this past weekend.Brian Leary caught this black drum fishing the bay with clam.
They are here. Hopefully is matches up to last years run which was a big improvement from what we have seen over the past five or so years.
Tony Spimna reported, “Here’s a couple of fish my son caught on fishing the bay.”
Very good showing of fluke pre-season! Their abundance in the surf, inlet and bay is telling that opening day May 22 and the beginning stretch will be strong!
Here Fish Heads Team member Jared with a beautiful fluke he caught and released this weekend.
Black Sea Bass
Bottom fishing – Wreck fishing for black sea bass is a fun especially jigging. Lots of boats have been out since opening day May 15th with good catch reports to share. Get out there while the weather and fishing is good!
I’ve found that the slender sand eel jigs have been best for me in terms of the jig game. I went out Sunday and we jigged up a bunch. We opted to leave the clam and home and it paid off.
Here’s 9 year old Quinn with one of many black bass he caught jigging aboard Fish Head Charters with Captain Greg. Quinn also caught a nice striped bass on a bucktail.
If you are looking for clams we are doing our best to keep a stock in all spring for black bass, rock bass and drum.
First I would like to say I hope everyone had a great winter/off-season and everybody is doing well.
I am now back on beautiful LBI for the summer and the 2021 Surf Fluke/Flounder season and running surf fishing trips/ fishing lessons daily until Labor Day.
I have already been scouting the island and have caught keeper size Fluke/ Summer Flounder in good numbers in multiple places, so the season should be off to a great start on Opening Day this Saturday May 22nd.
I have some open dates the rest of May -5/24, 5/25,5/26.5/27 & 5/28 to kick off the season plus of course dates during June, July & August. I provide all the bait-tackle-gear and beach access to multiple towns (beach badges) on the island and the Hot Spots where the action is happening. Best times are in the morning early after sunrise until around noon but I also do late afternoon Sunset Trips as well.
23” Fluke / April 2021Summer 2020 Old Barney Fluke
Call me at 609-276-6983 to discuss a trip or email me at nightstrikes@Comcast.net for rates and additional information. Thank you and look forward to fishing with you all again this summer.
~Steve George / Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Service LLC 609-276-6983
Here’s the Fish Head Friday Fishing Report Update for May 14, 2021. The Long Beach Island area has offered great fishing this past week and the weekend is looking like a good one. Quality striped bass are being caught on the beach and boat. Get out there and enjoy the great spring fishing!
Angler in the title page thumbnail above is Paul Sowney with an awesome striped bass he caught off of the LBI surf on a lure Thursday (5/13/21) evening.
We will be running Open Boat this Thursday afternoon, May 13, Noon to 6 PM, for Stripers and Blues. The plan is to fish the bay and/or the ocean depending on conditions and what’s happening. If it’s nice outside the inlet, we could go look for bunker pods along the beach or put the trolling rods out depending on what you guys want to do. We could cast lures at the inlet jetty. I will have a pail of shucked and salted surf clams to try anchoring up in my favorite spot of Oyster Creek Channel. We could try casting the channel edges for schoolie stripers in the bay. There are a lot of options and we can try any combination of them. 4 people max, $175 person, all fish are shared.
Pic: Dave Thompson and his son Baxter with Baxter’s 26 inch striper he took on a topwater in the bay Saturday.
May is off to a great start and it’s only getting better. There’s bass, blues and bluefin as well as much more. Here’s the LBI Fishing Report Update on Mother’s Day May 9, 2021.
Happy Mother’s Day! Thanks you to all the great mothers in the world.
Striped Bass On The Move
This week a new showing of striped bass was welcomed by beach and boat anglers. Number reports of bass over 40″ tells without a doubt the first wave of migrating fish is in our area now!
Early this week the surf had a slow but steady pick of bass but as the weekend arrived so did a nice wave of striped bass. Anglers are fishing a variety of baits but it seems those fishing clams are most successful. We expect this to soon switch over to the spring time favorite, BUNKER! This is only the start so hopefully it’s just a hint at what the spring’s surf fishing on LBI will be all about!
Store Staffer Paulie, fishing the Northern LBI Surf was able to pick up this 42” bass (photo above) on Fish Head’s Clams on Friday. As of yesterday we had many more reports of keeper fish. Customer Paul Lindsey reported many keeper fish yesterday but kept his one 29.5 inch fish for the table. It seems that if you want in on the action now is the time to get down here and make it happen.
Danny Federico sent in this catch photo from this weekend on the LBI surf!
Also on the surf… Reports of blues, fluke and kingfish.
Boating Big Bass
The cows came hone today and showed their stripes and bucket mouths! Randy Townsend and Evan Toal fished outside Barnegat Inlet this morning and were quickly covered up on the troll. Evan’s first ever bass wasn’t one but two, a double header on a Magictail Mojo tandem rig while the other rod was hooked up too. They caught and released four bass, all overs.
Black Drum Fishing
To make this week even more interesting some good size Black Drum showed their faces. Store Staffer Frezza smoked a nice one on clams fishing the prime tide in the bay (LBI’s south end).
We heard a handful of other black drum reports too from both in the bay and on the surf. One black drum report from this weekend came from Wei Phin Tan. he stopped in the shop and got some fresh clams on his way to the surf. He reported back, “Got a nice 30″ drum on the surf!”
Bluefin Big Game
For big game crews, if you didn’t get the word… there’s big tuna here right now and they aren’t too far away! Gear up and get out on the hunt. We just got our Baitmaster’s Ballyhoo delivery this past week so we are fully stocked up on premium offshore baits.
Nick Deg is now working aboard the Mushin Sportfishing as a mate. He shared this report as well as a chunk of fresh bluefin tuna. “Yesterday’s Mushin crew trip with Capt Alan, Darryl, Jon and I was a good one! We got the right bite and it took about 45 mins on the Shimano Tiagra 130 Fish was 102″ and weighed in at 582#”