The Sea Crest II (a 34′ Tollycraft Tri-Cabin) came aground about 9/10pm on Sunday July 25. The vessel was in route from Martha’s Vineyard to Florida when it encountered bad weather and mechanical failure. The Captain, Bob Mackey from Kentucky/Florida, reported that after loosing one engine making way in the windy conditions was very difficult. He tried to navigate to a safe harbor but failed to reach Barnegat Light.
While talking with Bob on the dunes overlooking the beached ship he shared the story….
Bob and his wife Ruth were transiting a newly purchased boat for a friend.
“We left Martha’s Vineyard to a very calm, flat ocean but after a few hours it turned. The wind was blowing. It became very rough and the waves were tight together. We lost one engine and in turn lost ability maneuver and stem the sea head on.
Taking blow by blow, it was a boxing match. Everything was coming loose; refrigerator, coffee maker and even the anchor. The anchor was not properly secured and it ripped off the bow. Then, the electronics were knocked out. There wasn’t much I could do other than slowly make way limping 3-5kts, navigating my best off a paper chart of the area. When I got in sight of land it was dark. We heard the surf and saw the beach front lights. I was way too far south of Barnegat Inlet. If I had the anchor I could have sat on the hook overnight but that wasn’t an option. We ended up on the beach.”
While talking it was said the Sea Crest II might have been better off reaching the Harvey Cedars beach than risking the Barnegat Inlet in the dark, with little maneuverability.
In conclusion, after 22 hours aground, the Sea Crest II was re-floated. Both Ruth said, “Thanks to the amazing crew from Lighthouse Marina for the help.”
Coincidental Odd Fun Facts
On this day in 2016 (July 26th) another boat wash ashore on Long Beach Island.
July 26, 2016 – The Mel Rae, a Silverton cruising yacht, mysteriously found its way onto shore at 57th Street in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township on Monday, July 25, confounding beachgoers and local officials.
The bite is on!!! Day tuna chunking is as good as it gets right now. We had bluefin from 30 to 100 pounds and a solid 15 pound bull mahi. All fish were caught in the last 48 hours, less than 30 miles offshore, all on bait, with 30 class outfits. Tons of fun!
We Are Sailing Open Boat Trips… $350 person, 4 People Max, All fish shared
Wednesday July 28 – 4AM to 1PM
Tuesday July 29 – 4AM to 1PM
Captain Dave DeGennaro – Hi Flier Sportfishing Cell: 732.330.5674 – – www.hiflier.com
The inshore, offshore and back bays offer good fishing right now. Long Beach Island and the surrounding waters have a lot going on with the warm and clean tropic waters. Here’s the Fishing LBI Fishing Report Update for Thursday July 22, 2021.
Fluke Fishing LBI NJ
Mid to late July is a phenomenal time to fluke fish the waters of Long Beach Island. Fluke fishing is good off the surf/jetty and at the reef sites, wrecks and even some open bottom areas. Some spots have a lot of sea robins but there’s quality fluke to be had.
Berkley Gulp is one of the tried and true methods to out catch the fleet but it must be fished properly for best results. We’ve found over the years fishing jigs, the lightest possible for the given conditions, is most effective. Rigging up with a teaser above or trailing helps improve catch however some sharpies opt to fish a single jig for two reasons. One, it allows for fishing the absolute lightest weight for the conditions at hand. Two, it reduces the chances of hanging up on snags.
Now is a great time of year to fish the surf and cool off from the summer heat. There’s a few different edible options to catch; fluke, kingfish, blues and Spanish mackerel. There also a very slim chance (but a chance) at catching a striped bass (@mkesinn sent in a photo of a small striped bass he caught off the surf today), weakfish (@daniellistor sent in a photo of a nice weakfish that was caught on a bunker chunk of the LBI surf last night), black drum (recently caught by local angler Andy), bonita, croaker, spot, pomano and some bigger chrondo critters (more on that below). It’s best to set up for your target species and then search down a good looking piece of beach structure. [For more info on reading the beach check out Surf Fishing 101 Part 1 – At 07:00 there’s a section on Finding A Spot To Fish “Reading The Beach”].
Chrondo Critters – Sharks & Rays
The abundance of chrondo critters, rays and shark continue. [Rays, skates and sharks belong to the class Chondrichthyes. In Greek, chrondro means cartilage fish.
We’ve got some really big rays.. rough tail, southern rays, butterfly rays and cow nose rays. There’s also a verity of sharks calling our waters home; sand bar, sand tiger, spinner, black tip among others. All anglers must know the laws! For the specifics always use the proper resource. Page 12/17/18 of the NJ Marine Digest details Sharks.
Recent weather (aside from Wednesday’s afternoon squall) has allowed for a lot of boats to get out and access the tuna grounds. Whether it’s mid-shore or offshore anglers are catching.
The mid-shore grounds (lumps, ridges and wrecks) in the 15-50 mile range has been very good. Bluefin and yellowfin are in range for small boat anglers. Some days have been a parking lot scene so this report should come as breaking news to most.
By far the jig bite has been best using slender pencil style sand eel jigs like the Chatter’s or Nomand’s Streaker jig. A fair amount of boats have focused on chunking with butterfish and sardines to raise quality tuna too.
On a recent trip out we got a small mahi. Other reports of mahi seem to be on the uptrend. Hopefully these beautiful and sometimes finicky fish will be more abundant this summer. Just a heads up bluefish are making their yellow eyes known in some areas. At times they are a nuisance, destroying trolling rigs and breaking off assist hooks and jigs.
Small boat anglers looking to get out on those perfect summer weather days to expand their horizons should take a look at Captain David D’s (from Hi Flier Sport Fishing) blog post from last year, Fishing the Barnegat Ridge.
2021 NJ Cobia Regulations
The NJ recreational cobia regulations for 2021 have changed to one fish per vessel per trip with a minimum size of 37 inches with no seasonal restriction. These changes have been made to comply with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission fishery management plan for Cobia. We first reported the news on March 4th right after the NJ Fisheries Meeting. For more information on other details from the meeting check out the blog post NJ Marine Fisheries Meeting March 4th.
It looks like the weather window is there for Friday to run to the tuna grounds. We have been catching a mix of yellowfin and bluefin tuna from 30 to 50 pounds. The best part is we are not trolling. All of the action has been on jigs and bait. Very exciting way to connect with these amazing fish.
Running Open Boat Tuna Trips: Friday July 23 9AM to 4PM $300 per person 4 people max. All fish are shared.
Pics: Mike Sedor of Norristown PA (Blue shirt and Hi Flier hat) Steve Ondrof of Rockaway NJ (Dock shot)
The summer sun is scorching and the fishing is even hotter! There’s a smorgasbord of opportunities for anglers fishing the waters of Long Beach Island. Beat the heat and get on the water!
Right now in mid July there’s a variety of avenues for an enjoyable time on the bay, surf, near shore and mid-shore/offshore waters.
Barnegat Bay Fishing Report
Crabbing and clamming are two great ways to enjoy the Barnegat Bay and enjoy a tasty harvest. Fluke fishing is good and should be all summer however a large body has moved out. Weakfish are being caught occasionally as bycatch by flukers and those targeting them are catching. Blowfish do not seem to be as abundant as last year but there’s some around. We’ll have to wait and see if it tee’s off again. There reports of spot (in strong numbers) being caught in Delaware… will they show up here this summer? It has been a few years since we’ve seen big waves of them.
Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Report
The LBI surf is warm and with the summertime surf species; fluke, kingfish, weakfish, small blues, sharks, rays. Just this week the cow nose rays have showed in large numbers. There’s also still a couple straggler stripers (in addition to the small residence)…
Here’s a report shared by Joe Handley Jr. a LBI angler and long time friend of Fish Heads… “Fifty years of fishing, I’ve seen and been part of many crazy and almost unbelievable catches. Tonight might have taken the cake. A quick after work session before dark I was targeting large fluke from the LBI surf. Interesting enough I was consistently catching 12-13″ weakfish and also caught a herring. Not long after sunset, I hooked and landed my personal best striped bass. It taped out at 52.75″, roughly 58-lbs crushing my previous 51” 49-lber. It was caught on a Magictail bucktail. Thanks Date at Magictail for making great products. In New Jersey, mid July, 70-ish degree water… Doesn’t get any crazier! There were sand fleas washing up all over. I was thinking I should be pompano fishing or targeting Spanish mackerel since the water was so clean and warm. Low and behold there was a large striped bass, apparently very lost striped bass.
Nearshore & Inshore Fishing LBI
The same species listed above in the bay and surf report section fall under the near shore section here. The primary star of the current inshore fishing is summer flounder. Right now is the time to fish the inlets, near shore open bottoms as well as the wrecks and reef sites. Black sea bass offer fun fishing in the right areas of structure in addition to triggerfish and sheepshead.
Central NJ Midshore & Offshore Fishing Report
This past week NJ’s offshore angers had great fishing from mid shore to offshore and areas in between. We’ve hear great reports all week from the waters 20-50 miles out of Barnegat inlet with anglers catching bluefin and yellowfin tuna on the troll, jig and pop. I was fortunate enough to take advantage of the great forecast/conditions Wednesday and Thursday. I got out there and didn’t necessarily get into epic fishing but was in the mix of good fishing and caught. Further offshore at the edge, there was talk in the shop of a very good bigeye tuna bite.
The Fluke fishing got back on track this week as surf water temps jumped into the 70’s after last week’s drastic cool down that got as low as the upper 50’s. More good news is the fact that the eelgrass invasion earlier in the week has also come to a end and the fish have really been cooperating with still plenty of shorts providing fun action and keeper size fish also in the mix up to 20”.
So if you would like to book a trip with me I still have some great dates / tides available to wrap up the month of July offering Surfcasting lessons to beginners and also for more advance anglers looking to improve their skills targeting Fluke/Summer Flounder off the beach here on LBI N.J.
For more information please email me at Nightstrikes@comcast.net or call me at 609-276-6983.,, thank you. Steve George/ Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Service LLC
The tuna are here and it is very exciting. We have been running 25 to 30 miles for 20 to 40 lb bluefin tuna on jigs and bait. Saturday and Sunday we never had to put the trolling rods out to put tuna in the cooler. We are using 20 and 30 class outfits to keep it sporty. Slicks, chick birds, readings, lots of life. Blue-ish green 71 degree water. Getting quite a few king mackeral bite offs, too. I was tired of getting bit off so I put a few circle hooks on and wound up fighting a 5 foot hammerhead to the boat before cutting him off. If you want to catch tuna but don’t like to make the long trek of 60 to 90 plus miles, this is a unique opportunity. No telling how long it will last. Forever…..I hope!
Pics are: Dave Flood of Mantua NJ (green cargo shorts and visor) Jim Hutchinson, Editor of The Fisherman magazine, Brick NJ (Light blue shirt, blue hat, blue lenses)Fabian Colonna of Matawan NJ (dark shirt, red hat)
Another beautiful day in the neighborhood here on Long Beach Island. Anglers are getting out and catching fish on the beach and boat. From kingfish and fluke on the beaches to tuna and sharks in the mid-shore and offshore waters, there’s a lot of great fishing going down right now! Here’s the Long Beach Island Fishing Report Update for Sunday July 11, 2021.
On the beaches today there was soft lingering surf in the 2’ range. This will be the scene through Tuesday. Finally the water has warmed up. Today the official ocean temperature on the Harvey Cedars surf as per the Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol was 68°. That’s a big improvement from what we’ve seen for the past week.
Warm surf temps means kingfish, small blues, and fluke are active in the suds as well as sharks and rays. If fishing meaty baits be prepared and know the state regulations!
Over the past few days kingfish reports were scattered with catches from Loveladies to Beach Haven. There isn’t one area (that we have heard about) which that is out producing. Traditionally mid-island and south offers better kingfish action. Live bloods, Fish Bites Bag O Worms and DynaBait Freeze Dried Worms are the way to start catching.
Aside from some reports of weedy, eel grass presence in some areas, the recent surf side fluke reports were great. The past couple of days might be responsible for the biggest surf caught fluke of the season so far! Here’s some really good size ones…
In addition to Brendan’s catch/weigh-in we also got word of some big land based fluke from Jimmy Nacion. He caught a pair of quality ones. There is a short clip of them in the video report posted above. Mike Hovan also sent a photo of a nice keeper fluke photo from the LBI surf.
1st Annual Beat The Fleet Fluke Tournament
This weekend was the first Annual “Beat The Fleet” Fluke Fishing Tournament hosted by the NJ Fishing Club. Fishermans Headquarters was one of the central NJ weigh stations and we had about 10 teams/boats check in fish. A common theme reported was slow fishing. Maybe it was because Elsa stirred things up? Who knows? Some teams worked hard, covered ground and pounder productive areas to earn a catch. For detailed results on the tournament and to learn more about the club… www.njfishingclub.com/
FYI: The NJ Fishing Club has a Fish Of The Month Challenge offering a $500 purse!
Mid-July Means The Heat & Meat Of Summer
Approaching middle of July with warming waters means summertime is in full swing. With it come the summertime species… Today Dan D. from Barnegat Light caught a big hound fish working a Yo-zuri 3D Twitch Bait Lure. A clip of the catch is in the fishing report video above. There’s also sheepshead and trigger fish as well as cobia.
Father and son, Mark and Luke Haley caught this unicorn while out on the tuna grounds hunting tuna on the jig. Yup! This monster cobia ate a Nomand Streaker Jig!
Tuna fishing has been and is on fire!!! Boat caught and are catching from as close in as 15nm (maybe closer) on out to the edge. Both bluefin and yellowfin are chewing on the troll, chunk, jig and casting poppers. Everyday is different with many different areas holding fish. It seems the jig bite bas been most consistent and best most days.
Marine Layer Haze Or Smokey Skies?
Did you notice the hazy marine layer in the sky last week? Well this time of year a marine layer is very common however this time it was actually smokey skies, possibly a combination of both. Here’s some info from the National Weather Service, “Have you noticed the smokey skies the past couple of days? Or the red sun rise and sunsets? That’s not smoke from the fireworks. It’s smoke from the wildfires out west.”
Here’s some comments sent in on social media as well as a question…
Nik Mar – “I caught two keeper fluke from the surf this morning (Wednesday). Thanks for doing all of these reports.”
IFeelFishy comment on our last video report post, “I’ve been putting in about 2 hours a day on the front sand of LBI for fluke over the past week. I have NOT been disappointed. I’ve been catching fish every trip. Largest so far has been 22″ (Thank you’s are deserved for the crew at Fish Heads and Magic Tail jigs). Jig em up!!”
Question: Are there fluke in the ocean yet?
Answer: There’s always fluke in the ocean it’s just a matter of location and if they are feeding. Fluke migrate to the outer continental shelf to spawn in the winter. A large portion come into the coastal waters and bays in the spring and early summer. Right now there’s fluke in the bays and inlets as well as on the inshore and offshore wrecks and reef sites. With many areas producing, it’s time to get out and fluke your favorite spots!!!
Reports of fluke are still promising in the bay. Just a few days back there was a 28″ doormat caught in the Barnegat Bay. We’ve also heard about some fat fluke from Barnegat Inlet. The ocean waters are dialing it up too. Fluke were caught on the wrecks and reef sites in June but nothing special. It has improved since then with the warming waters. July and August is the best time for fluke fishing the wrecks and reefs. Recently we’ve received good reports from every local reef site from the Axel down to the Little Egg Reef. Get out there and catch ’em… be prepared for sea bass, triggers and possibly porgies.
Question: Michael Borum asks… Did the bluefish arrive in the back bay?
Answer: The spring bluefish run this year was not all that we hoped for. There were spurts of fun fishing but nothing like the spring runs of the previous five years. However with that said there are and have been small bluefish present this season. Most are in the 1-3# cocktail class. The past couple weeks anglers fishing the waters of LBI have caught them fishing the inlet, bay and occasionally on the surf. In recent days I caught some of the largest (not large by any means) bluefish of my year so far. Some chubby ones pushing to 4-5# range.
Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Weekly Fishing Report By Jim Hutchinson Sr.
The captains and anglers of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association breathed a deep sigh of relief this weekend when Hurricane Elsa skipped by while packing only a small portion of what might have been.
The current emphasis by the captains continues to be bottom fishing in the ocean on inshore structure and drifting for summer flounder in local bays and inlets.
Captain Carl Sheppard had multiple bottom trips out recently on the StarFish. Each trip worked hard to secure dinner, including the Kovalick family which caught their limit of sea bass up to 19-inches, a 20-inch fluke, and a ling.
Captain Gary Dugan and the “Irish Jig” have also been finding success bottom fishing. In addition to much action from just short throwbacks, one group hauled in 3 respectable fluke and a nice sea bass for dinner.
Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing had Bob Dodds, his two grand-daughters including recent Southern Regional graduate Ashley on a 4-hour fishing charter. It started off slow, but the crew had close to 60 fluke with 7 nice keepers to 23.5-inches. All fish were caught on the S&S bigeye tipped with live bait.
Associate member Jim Hutchinson Sr., who handles publicity for the BHCFA, listened to the captains’ reports and got in on the fluke action recently at the Little Egg Reef. Fishing with pal Dave Rinear and Joe Hummel on the “Angler,” the group put three keepers to 20-inches in the fish box while releasing over a dozen short fish.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.org
The tuna are here and the marine forecast looks pretty good through the weekend. We are sailing Open Boat or Charter on Sat July 10 and Mon July12.
Mostly 20 to 30 lb class bluefins, and now there are 50 to 80 lb yellowfins in the mix. Trolling, jigging, and casting are all producing. Running about 35 to 45 miles each way. We will have gear for trolling, jigging, and casting.
Running Open Boat or Charter Sat July 10 and Mon July 12. $450 person. Depart at 4AM, returning at 4PM. 4 people max. All fish are shared.
Pics are from our trip on Monday. 3 for 3 on 25 to 35 lb bluefins for Greg Toufayan with sons Sevan, Artin, and nephew Michael Nargizian, all from Bergen County, NJ.