LBI Fishing Report 9/16/21

Things are happening faster than you might notice! Before we dive into that let’s cover the current weather. Low pressure off of the Carolinas is creeping up and giving us a few days of north-east flowing fall like weather. Moderate north east winds with 3-4′ south east swell will be on the beaches of Long Beach Island Friday and Saturday. At this point it looks like the winds will drop out Saturday afternoon but will be cranking up again Sunday morning 10-15-20mph in a northerly flow. High pressure parks in the Gulf of Maine Monday – Tuesday – Wednesday which will keep the onshore flow going.

Local LBI Water Temperatures

Today’s Ship Bottom surf temperature was 67º. About 7 miles off of the beach at the Garden State North Reef site the ocean water temperature was 72º. Since today was a cloudy overcast day it was a good one for true water temperature readings since most days the surface temperature is effected by solar heating.

Looking at the Barnegat Bay buoy changes are evident. The downward trend started at the beginning of September and will continue.

Barnegat Light water temperature chart.
The large swings in temperature plotted on this chart is due to the buoy’s location very close to Barnegat Inlet. It records bay water on the outgoing tide and ocean water on the incoming tide. Take note of the sharp drop in water temperatures on and around August 20th. That is the recorded upwelling event due to Hurricane Henri.

It’s happening faster than you might notice!

To gauge where we are at… Saturday is the last day with sunset in the 7 o’clock hour. Days are getting shorter. That gets the bait moving and migration into gear. Full moon coming on Monday 20th! Around the moons, the tides are more extreme. That gets baits moving and migration into gear. Summer ends on Wednesday Sept 22nd. Fall is almost here!

Long Beach Island Fishing Report

Late summer fishing on Long Beach Island is a special time where it’s warm, there’s a variety of species and there’s a lot less traffic.

Fluke Fishing The 9th Inning

There’s only a few days left to get the last of this year’s fluke fishing in. Unfortunately the closing weekend isn’t shaping up to be a very friendly one to ocean bottom fishing. Savvy anglers will find opportunities in protected areas and also land based spots.

Fishing On The Surf

The best best right now off the LBI surf is kingfish. For many weeks anglers using Fish Bites have had success. This afternoon Dave Russo from Blanchard, PA stopped in the shop to gear up with some things and deliver a batch of custom flies. He shared this report, “This morning I was into kingfish on the surf up the street from the shop. I caught about ten of them on chartreuse Fish Bites. Remember what Lefty said. If it ain’t chartreuse, It ain’t no use!”

Theo Door posted this photo of his son with a recent kingfish catch.
Theo Door posted this photo of his son with a recent kingfish catch. “Me and my son caught ’em up today on Fish Bites.”

TIP: We’ve found that Fish Bites are very effect however loose their edges in cool/cold water. As the ocean temperatures cool, live bloodworms will slide past and emerge the winner.

Other species present on the LBI surf and ripe to harvest… fluke (while open), blues/snappers, spike weakfish and a couple croakers. With the mullet run picking up steam using them is a great option. Fish whole, chunks or strips for blues, fluke and striped bass.

Fishing In The Bay

The most abundant species in the local backwater is blowfish. Throughout the bay many different areas offer good fishing for them. Also present, weakfish, snapper, fluke and striped bass are on the menu.

The local docks and lagoons are stacked up with baits. We have the classics… peanut bunker, spearing, bay anchovies, and mullet as well as some southern neighbors hanging around for a late season visit spanish sardine, scaled sardine, threadfin herring, butterfish, cigar minnow and scad. RARELY do we see this variety of baits.

Fishing At The Inlet

The Barnegat Inlet State Park, adjacent beaches and bayside bulkheads are all productive fishing areas with easy public access. Right now there’s great opportunities to catch small bluefish with lures. Work the right windows and you might lock into a striped bass or two. Tog, sheepshead and triggerfish are present and are three great targets for all of September. Many other species traverse the Inlet on a daily basis too.

Light tackle bluefish action is fun aboard Fish Head Charters.
Most of the bluefish are running small this year, smaller snappers up to three pound range. But a few larger ones could show at anytime. Case and point, here is a sizable 34″ long, 16.5″ girth bluefish from a recent trip.

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 FishingLBI.com (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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