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.
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.
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.”
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.
Black drum are an option in the bay and they are also cruising the surf.