“Dialed in”. That is a term us fisherman use when we are out most days and know what fish to target and what tide to fish for them. Having been on Barnegat Bay and Inlet for over 40 years now, and in my 18th year as a professional saltwater guide, man am I getting old, LOL, I’m dialed in to the seasons, tides, how water temperature effects the seasonal bite and the daily bite from being on the water more days than not. On the fishing scene, Blowfishing will not disappoint. If you want to take some home for diner you have to weed through lots of small ones, but worth the effort. Bay fluke are starting to fatten up getting ready for their fall migration offshore to spawn. The channels in the inlet and the back during the end of incoming and the beginning of outgoing have been best. Don’t even think about fishing Gulp in the bay right now. The blowfish and other small fish will chew away at your bank account right now. Live bait is the way to go, if you know what, I’m saying. In the ocean it’s another story. Gulp is fine at the reefs and snags, but still you can’t beat live peanut bunker. Around the inlet, Spanish Mackerel and False Albacore are there for the taking. Nothing fights better than a Fat Albert, hey , hey, hey. The issues here is the floating eelgrass is sure to camouflage your high speed trolled lures at times. At da Ridge the False Albacore are HUGE and in good numbers. Also king mackerel are there for the taking if you troll Clark spoons behind drails or use high speed trolling plugs. I have a bunch of dates open this week and there are many species on the menu item to target right now, your choice. I even love to mix things up on trips and target a multiple species. Give me a call and I’ll hook you up!
On the nature side of things: One of my favorite quotes came out of the mouth of Einstein who said “if you look deeply into nature, you will understanding everything”. No words are truer than when you look at laughing gulls right now or listen to crickets. The Laughing gulls are losing their breeding plumage black heads now which is a sign that September is upon us. And when you start hearing field crickets, it is a sure sign that the mullet are staging in the back waters and will be pushing out of the inlets any day now. Game on!
And we are back and better than ever! By all accounts fishing is very strong after the past weekend’s heavy rain flooded and washed out the area. Henri came up and didn’t lash us with winds but dumped buckets of rain and put some strong groundswell on the beaches. What does this have to do with fishing? Well… water temperature, water clarity and water salinity are all very important variables in the equation we call fishing! Fortunately things bounced back fast and great fishing has settled back in. Here’s the Long Beach Island Fishing Report Update for Wednesday August 25, 2021.
Baits! Baits! And More Baits!
The abundance of bait fish in the local Long Beach Island waters is really really great to see. Spearing, bay anchovies, peanut bunker, mullet, mini bluefish, juvie weakfish and even some odd ball, warm water baits up from their southern territory. Sardines aka pilchards aka whitebait… Not the usually small baits us Yankees call whitebait. Goggle eyes, Scad aka Cigar minnows, thread-fin herring aka green back aka greenies! All of these were caught and reported by anglers making bait with cast nets right here on LBI.
Yes mullet! I mentioned in one of my recent reports I saw a small school of mullet. I couldn’t miss the v-wave. Took a double take and for sure saw it. Then thinking I was crazy shared with others… ya who see’s mullet racing the white waters in August? I never have until this past weekend. I’m happy to say it was then confirmed by angler/friend who saw them too. A commenter the the YouTube post too “saw a school of mullet out of BI.” While mullet in the bay is standard issue for this point in the season the ocean IMO is wayyy too early but I’m not complaining.
LBI Surf & Jetty Fishing
Fluke fishing must own the limelight with 25 days left in the season! Summer flounder fishing is productive for beach and boat anglers and will be right into the end of the season on Sept 19th. The Long Beach Island surf and jetties are great areas to fish, especially for flounder in the later summer.
The Barnegat Inlet Jetty is a great area to fish for a variety of species right now. From fluke, blues, striped bass, and blowfish to tog, sea bass, sheepshead and triggerfish there’s something for everyone.
Kingfish activity has been good on the surf. I’ve found they don’t like swell but sometimes when thick they will feed right through it. Case and point was this past weekend. Anglers fishing live bloods reported catching kingfish while the Fishbites were getting slower action. Now that the swell is gone and surf temperatures have stabilized at 70 degrees (official surf – ocean water temp by the Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol 8/25) the artificial bite should get back going again.
Weakfish are somewhat of a common catch the past couple of weeks for anglers fishing the north end surf as well as the inlet and bayside areas. Nick Brewer reported catching one as well as a fluke on his new Tsunami Trophy II 8’6″ combo.
Near Shore Fishing Report
This section titled “Near Shore Fishing Report” could help both beach or boat anglers and should really catch the attention of light tackle enthusiasts. There was already mention of bait abundance but not much said about what’s cashing them. Well!!! Today was kind of the first solid day our local near shore area has been a good false albacore bite. This morning a handful of albie reports came in. One came in from Jim Potter, “Little solo mission.” Another came in from a local angler Dan who caught over a dozen, “It was good fishing early fishing all by myself.” Another angler Luke caught one too. There’s also Spanish mackerel feeding and a million, maybe a billion or trillion 1-2# blues feeding too.
Barnegat Bay Fishing Report
Barnegat Bay blowfishing is really good. Honestly it doesn’t get much better than what we’ve had going for the past couple of weeks. Consistent drop and reel fishing in many different areas; open heart of the Barnegat Bay to the west side as well as the holes littered around the bay and reports have been strong from spots near the inlets too. There’s a very dominate showing of blowfish from very small to good table size. There’s no state regulation/limit… Please fish responsibly.
Fluke fishing is very good out front on the wrecks and reef site but there’s still great flounder fishing in the bay too. On Tuesday Sam Weisenski reported, “We stayed inside and caught 46 fluke this morning with five keepers. A lot of blowfish too. Done by 10/11am because it’s just too hot!”
Big Game Fishing
The reported of bluefin very close to the beach continue. Some reported and catching footballs and others 70″+ round ones. The reports from the edge have been lack luster the past day or two. Few epic reports as of late but maybe that will change soon. BUT! Look on the bight side… the reports from the mid-shore grounds are solid. Today we heard of some boats getting a couple and top boats into double digit fish. This action has been hot all summer and it keeps on keeping on!
Today we heard of anglers picking a couple fish on the troll which also drummed up albies and for those pulling at speed… WAHOO! Those that put the work in and jigged hard pulled on some and also the chunkers raised some nice ones. We also heard of mahi on the pots with one customer catching 12, mostly smaller ones but two nice fish were in the bunch.
In case you were wondering where I’ve been, no I have not been on a Space X Rocket heading towards Mars, although that would be way cool. I’ve been on the water most days the last few weeks. It is just that sometimes life gets in the way of well, life. Enough of that, now onto a fishing report. Blowfish, did someone say blowfish? I swear you could walk on them because they are so thick and puffed up at times. You have to weed through a lot of little ones to get to the ones that deserve an invitation to dinner. Same with fluke, lots of shorts to be had, but enough keepers making into the cooler. Live bait is the ticket for the flatties. I recently was on ESPN’s Rack and Fin Radio with Tom P talking about Blowfishing. You can listen to it here Around the inlet blackfish, some triggerfish and occasional holy grail of fish for me, sheepshead. Although I have not personally targeted weakfish on my trips, the word is there are enough around if you want to target them. Schoolie striped bass are in the mix if you know how to put in the work for them.
On the Nature Side of Things: Barn swallows, those fork–tailed birds that live under docks and fly like a F15s fighter jets on a mission. They arrive here in April, build nests made of mud and stuff, and then migrate to their wintering grounds of Central and South America come September. Isn’t that crazy? They are our friends since they love to eat things like greenheads while on the wing, literally.
I have this Wednesday and upcoming Saturday and Sunday open if you want to book a trip to fish, ecotour, or do both.
Great summertime fishing rolls on with anglers catching a variety of species from the beach and boat. Hopefully you are getting in on the summer fun! Be on the lookout for powerful long periods of swell this weekend from Henri. Here’s the fishing report update for Thursday August 20th, 2021.
Barnegat Bay Fishing
Blowfish, Weakfish, Fluke, Blues and even cobia! The waters of Barnegat Bay have so much to offer right now in mid-August. Hopefully you are getting in on the summer fun. Fluke fishing is still strong but finding keepers is hard. Blowfish invaded a couple weeks ago and their presence is well know. If targeting them they are quick easy catches. If not targeting them you know they are present by their distinctive small curved bites. The weakfish are here in good numbers to in the 12-16″ range with some larger fish being caught.
Long Beach Island Surf & Jetty Fishing
The surf and jetty of LBI has offered good fishing all summer. By far the best fishing off of the surf is kingfish. Fluke fishing is also and it would be proper to expect surf side fluke to be strong right to the end of the season.
Barnegat Inlet offers great variety with fluke, blues, blackfish, weakfish, sheepshead, triggerfish. Be on the lookout for powerful long periods of swell this weekend from Henri. Venturing out on the rocks could be and will be hazardous.
NJ Offshore Reports
The great tuna fishing rolls on and seems to only get better. With Henri coming, be on the lookout for powerful long periods of swell. I was out fishing the 40miles range lumps on Wednesday and got into a great yellowfin bite. It started out with store staffer Max getting a top water hook up on his second cast of the morning. He then switched to the jig and got his second hook up on his third drop. Saying he started the day with a hot hand is an understatement. From there the rest of the crew started hooking up too. We finished the day with an awesome 1-2 hour top water foaming session. For me it was my best trip of the season. When time allows I’ll post some photos and videos from the day.
The latest models have Hurricane Henri passing by NJ this weekend about 200 miles offshore. Far enough to keep us safe, but close enough to make the ocean too rough for small craft like ours. At least for a couple of days. We have had some good and bad days on the tuna grounds as of late. The inshore bluefin bite that we have been running hard to has been hit and miss for us lately so I switched gears to the longer run for big yellowfin on Monday and we did nothing but observe other boats that were hooked up. I have a pretty good idea of why we came up short and can not wait to return there to make things right as soon as the sea condition allows. We are available Sat Aug 21 and Mon Aug 23 for weakfish charters in the bay. We chum with live grass shrimp
The past week was a scorcher with hot and humid days BUT the fishing on and around LBI was even hotter! The variety of species in the local waters are at the widest offering beach and boat anglers amazing fishing opportunities. Here’s the Long Beach Island Fishing Report Update for Sunday August 15, 2021.
The smorgasbord is served!!!… Fluke, bluefish, sea bass, tog, striped bass, blowfish, weakfish, triggerfish, sheepshead, blackdrum, sharks, mahi, tunas, marlin, swordfish, tilefish… the list goes on!
Midshore Tuna Fishing
The midshore tuna bite so far this summer (well over a month) has been great. There’s a great showing of yellowfin in the 60-80+++ class at the 40 mile range (out of Barnegat Inlet) chewing chunks, jigs and lures on top. Closer in bluefin are holding steady at the “inshore” lumps and ridges. This action is great for boats of all sizes to tangle with big game fun.
Mullet Outdoors Adventures shared, “I had bluefin 7 mile out off Brigantine. Had 1 around 30in and 4 under 27″. Also caught tons of false albacore.”
52nd White Marlin Invitational
Did you know, the oldest white marlin fishing tournament in the world is home to Long Beach Island’s Beach Haven Marlin Tuna Club? This year’s 52nd White Marline Invitational was a banger, better than ever! With 51 boats register there was a good angler turn our and with the addition of Marlin Fest it was a huge community event at Dock Road’s public dock area. Going into the final day Captain Tim Irons and the crew aboard the Smoking Again were in the lead with a 109# yellowfin. With the scales closing at 8:30pm on the last day of fishing the Crazy Tuna came in with a buzzer beater… at 8:20pm a 182# big eye tuna. It was a very exciting story line that made for a suspenseful finish. There were no qualifying marlin just some releases. For more specific details check out the tournament site. Congrats to all of the participants, sponsors, volunteers and most of all the BHMTC!
Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Fishing Report By Jim Hutchinson Sr.
The New Jersey summer flounder action does not get much better than it is right now. The boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are right in the middle of the action.
Captain Dave Kreines has been running his boat “ByteMe” down to the inlet areas for great August fishing. Jeff, Beth, and their two kids were out, and everyone caught fish, with over 30 fluke landed, including 2 keepers over 20-inches. Patrick and Jennifer booked a 4-hour trip without the kids for their first taste of saltwater fishing. They happily took home 21 and 22-inch fluke and were excited to catch a variety of other species, including black sea bass, bluefish, sea robins, and small sharks.
Captain Brett Taylor of Real Reaction Sportfish had Tom Clark and his daughter on a 5-hour ocean charters. The pair caught a full boat limit to 7-pounds. They released close to 25 short fish along with several keepers to 20-inches. The S&S Bigeyes tipped with natural baits were the ticket. Another trip with Captain Brett had Bob Reim and crew on a 5-hour fluke charter with mate Luke. They fished a few spots ending with 10 keepers to 24.5 inches.
Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” has been consistently finding keeper fluke for his parties fishing the waters off the southern tip of Long Beach Island including artificial reefs and other areas.
Several of the BHCFA captains participated in the recent Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club’s annual white marlin tournament. Noticeable were the stalwart efforts of the Association’s junior mates as they were active serving as volunteer helpers for the event.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.org
The “Dog Days” of Summer is upon us and its Hot out there but so is the Fishing. Early morning trips still have been producing a very good bite of both Short and Keeper Size Fluke from 18”-22” giving you plenty of action and a great shot of some fresh caught fish to eat during this past week. With that said it’s time to start paying attention to the tropics for any east coast storm development and rising ocean temperatures that can effect this fishing Immensely. But for time being I’m optimistic that the good bite will continue as we head towards Labor Day. *thats right only a couple more weeks to the big holiday weekend and the unofficial end to summer.
I do have some availability between now and then here on Long Beach Island NJ before shifting gears to points north and the start of the Fall Run so if your interested in getting out to do some late season Fluking on the Beach or Surfcasting Lessons call me at 609-276-6983 or email me at nightstrikes@Comcast.net to get more information and to discuss a possible trip
Steve George/ Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Service LLC 609-276-6983
Captain John Lewis of the “Insatiable” reports he has been catching more and bigger fish on every trip. Catching 30-40 fish per a 4-hour trip is not uncommon. He terms August as usually the best fishing of the summer and is looking forward to the Beach Haven White Marlin Invitational Tournament this week. BHCFA Junior Mates will once again be on hand volunteering their services to help things rolling smoothly.
Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” has been finding top-notch fluke action fishing his usual locations. Everyday has been producing good action topped by the “Earley Boys” who limited out on a total of 12-fluke.
Captain Brett Taylor of Real Reaction Sportfishing has been busy on trips, often two in one day. He had Jesse Blake, wife Melissa, 6-year-old daughter Brianna, and father-in-law Walter on a quick 4-hour bay fluke trip. The family caught close to thirty fluke with two nice keepers at 20 and 22 inches. Brianna ended up catching the biggest of the day.
Captain Alex Majewski announced he has officially retired from working his jobs in science and education and is now “living my childhood dream of being a fulltime professional saltwater fishing guide.” In addition to his bay and ocean fishing trips, he conducts environmental and sightseeing trips in both his boat and kayaks.
BHCFA’s NJ Reef Building Updates
The BHCFA captains and Junior Mates are continuing their efforts to build up the area artificial reefs. Captain John Lewis has announced the state boat that deploys reef balls is available in August and September as well as January and February. Captain John says it might be advisable to buy 30 existing reef balls which could be shipped to NJ in about two weeks and deploy them from the State boat at no cost. The pre-made balls will cost about $11,000 including delivery to the boat in Forked River.
The BHCFA also has plans to make a number of reef balls with volunteer help to greatly reduce the cost. It is estimated that more than 100 balls per year could be added to the four reefs off LBI, the most underdeveloped reefs in New Jersey. Once again, donations of financial help are gratefully accepted for the reef replenishment. Contributions are tax deductible.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.org .
By all accounts this summer’s fishing has been great. From offshore to back bay and everywhere in between anglers are getting out, catching and having a hella good time doing it. If you haven’t found the time to get out and enjoy summertime fishing the waters of LBI here’s a reminder… Let’s go fishing!
Today Friday August 6th the sunrise was at 6am, a tell tale sign that the days are getting shorter by a little bit every day. While I don’t want to think about it yet, I’m already seeing signs of fall… Peanut bunker are stacked up at my dock (it wasn’t that way a few weeks ago). I saw a school of mullet for the first time this summer. This is also the time we need to start tuning into the NHC for tropical developments.
Recent updated and trends I can share…
The local area has seen a big uptick in weakfish and blowfish in the past 7-10 days. I reported a few days back that I was inundated with blowfish during a recent wreck fishing trip and I questioned were these fish leaving or moving in. I think it’s safe to say they have moved in big time. Also the weakfish too!
Collin and Shawn from Surf city were out fishing today with Captain Jeff Warford. They had a blast fishing. Capt Jeff said, “Blowfishing is really, really good right now!” Chumming with clam chum and fishing classic blowfish rigs baited with clam bites is the way to go. Anchor up in Barnegat Bay and in join a summer day catching.
The inshore, midshore and offshore medium game and big game fishing has been stellar. Last year’s yellowfin run was one for the books. This year is very good too, but different in it’s own unique way. The exact spots are changing, more or less rotating every couple days with chunk, jig, cast, troll all producing on their given day. There’s both bluefin and yellowfin in a variety of size classes brining exciting variety to each trip.
On the surf it’s the same solid story just another day… kingfish, fluke, occasional bluefish, rays and sharks. One customer asked, “What’s the best baits to use on the surf that catch the most fish.” My answer…
To catch the most fish quantity wise I would suggest targeting kingfish. For kings you’ll want to rig up with a small hooks baited with live boodworms, DynaBait and/or Fish Bites. If you see small birds (terns) working or roaming the area chances are there’s small bait present and there could be bluefish from snapper size up to 4/5-lbs present. Cast a small jig. I prefer a 7/8 to 1-1/4oz Hog Epoxy Jig but you’ll need a light rod to cast it. A Deadly Dick, AVA diamond jig, Acme Kastmaster or Hopkins are all proven lures in this scenario too.
By now one can assume everyone has heard about Jake Kline’s tarpon. If you have or if you haven’t here’s a great piece put together by Jim Hutchinson Jr at The Fisherman.