Labor Day Fishing Report

I can’t believe Labor Day is official here. Summer flew by. Looking back it was one hell of a summer full of great fishing and for the most part very good weather. From near shore to offshore and from shore fishing was consistently good all summer for a variety of species.

With 15 days left in the official summer season (Sept 22) and 13 days left in NJ’s summer flounder fishing season (Sept 19), anglers should be looking forward to great late summer fishing with less traffic on the road, the beach and the water. Strike now while the iron is hot!

September offers the season’s best variety with all of the traditional coastal gamefish like fluke, striped bass, bluefish, kingfish, blowfish, weakfish, sea bass, tog, drum, sheepshead, triggerfish, porgy as well as albies, cobia and Spanish mackerel. In recent days the mid-shore tuna bite has simmered down but mahi madness filled the void as well as some big wahoo.

Erin from Hawaii caught this ribbon fish aka cutlassfish fluke fishing about five miles outside BI this weekend. It just goes to show that fishing the waters of LBI in September you never know what you might catch!

LBI Surf Fishing Report

Today’s LBI surf temperature from Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol is 72º.

September is a great time of year to enjoy fishing the beaches of LBI. Right now there’s fluke fluke, kingfish, spot, small bluefish and weakfish on the beaches. For the kings and spot rig up with a Classic Small Hook Kingfish Rig and bait with live bloodworms and/or FishBites Bag Of Worms.

Kevin Schuler sent in this photo Sunday morning. He reported, “The fishing was nice before the wind picked up. I caught two keepers quick and about 6 short.”

For fluke it’s hard to beat a bucktail jig tipped with Gulp with a teaser hook above with a Gulp. We’ve got teaser rigs in stock. Need help making up your own custom teaser rig?

As reported previously some mullet are moving and creeping out of their summer hiding areas. I saw a school of mullet in the surf last weekend. Yesterday we heard of a few netting off of the local surf. The mullet will be running any day. Now is the time to fish mullet on a classic mullet rig.

Steve George from Night Strike Guide Service caught this weakfish off of the LBI surf fishing Gulp this weekend.

Barnegat Bay Fishing Report

The Barnegat Bay has a lot on tap right now. Blowfish are the far the best target species for quantity and table fare. Please harvest responsibly. Weakfish, small blues as well as resident striped bass are present AND there’s still a good number of fluke in the bay too.

Fish Head’s alumni Dan D was on the water this weekend with his girlfriend Liz and together they caught 11 striped bass on top water lures. Dan reported, “The Stillwater Smack It Poppers were raising and hooking them.”

Crabbing and clamming are two great ways to enjoy time on the water. They are both especially great times to take advantage of a windy day or when the ocean is rough.

A Tidbit On Weather

This weekend’s break from the heat was welcomed and very comfortable. Low dew point, low humidity and at times chilly but GREAT!!! Fall is in the air.

If you didn’t get word yet… as of today’s 11am update Hurricane Larry is a major storm moving north west at 10mph with cranking 120mph winds.

Right now all models show that Larry will stay away from the Eastern seaboard and only send long period swell our way. How much and how big will depend on its track and how it’s affected by the frontal system moving through our area on Wednesday night.

The first signs of Larry will show up on LBI’s beaches on Tuesday with forerunners arriving. Wednesday we’ll see more long period south east swell in the 2-4′ possibly five foot range but lully, smaller in the AM, larger in the PM. Thursday the beaches will be pumping 4-6’+ and favorable north west winds will have LBI’s beaches lit up with HOPEFULLY world class surf! The swell should peak later Thursday or Friday. Friday could be another great day too. Saturday Larry’s swell drops fast as the system exits our swell wind.

Why does this matter to the anglers of LBI?

Well… For sure surf anglers should expect the beaches to be packed with surfers on Thursday. Also the swell and long shore drift will force anglers to fish heavier weighs if trying to hold bottom. Boat anglers should know that Thursday powerful long period swell energy. It should be a nice day to fish however shoals and inlets could be hazardous at time.

LBI Surf Fishing Classic

Registration for the 2021 67th Annual Surf Fishing Classic is on! It kicked off today. We are looking forwards to a great event starting October 9th. SAVE THE DATE! Over the years the early part of the event was slow unless medium size blues (minimum size is 28″) showed up. Last year kingfish were added and it turned out to be a very successful and welcomed addition. They are here to stay! We look forward to the first 1-3 weeks full of kingfish action as things transition right into the bass and blues.

Rock The Dock!

The NJ Fishing Club’s Rock The Dock fluke tournament went down on Saturday September 4th with flawless weather and phenomenal fluke fishing. It was arguably the best day of fluke fishing all summer! The majority of the 24 boats fished the ocean waters; open bottom, wrecks and reef sites. The largest fish was in the six pound range and the top three fish stringer was in the fifteen pound range. We’ll have the specifics posted as soon as they are available.

I had a blast fishing the tournament with Captain Jeff Warford and fellow team Fish Heads member Mike Frezza. Jeff put us on the fish right from the start and the fishing was great all morning. The tide was cranking but the Rhodan Trolling Motor helped keep up in position where the fluke were chewing. We finished the day with 26 keeper size fish. We were releasing healthy keeper after keeper, hunting for larger fish but they never came. Out of our 9 fish limit kept the largest was 4.88#.

We caught a lot of fish! It was one of the best fluke fishing trips I can recall in years. For us it was all Magictail Jig and Gulp. I tried XL minnows and live spot but it didn’t do the trick for us.

Keep an eye out for the NJ Fishing Club’s Blackfish Tournament later this fall!


Author: FishHead.Greg

A Long Beach Island native with life long experience fishing and navigating the local waters, Greg is a distinguished Master Captain (the highest qualified operator license), holding a US Coast Guard Masters 50T Near Coastal License with Towing Endorsement. Raised in and now managing his family's bait and tackle business, Fishermans Headquarters (Since 1962, The Saltwater Fishing Bait & Tackle Experts) Greg is daily immersed in fishing. He is the Chief Contributor of (Long Beach Island's best fishing report blog) as well as the Admin for the shop's social media pages (on Instagram and Facebook). Be sure to follow!

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