LBI Fishing Report 10/24/21

We had a nice weekend on LBI and heard lot of great reports from both land based and boat anglers. Some quality striped bass showed adding some new spice to the already great spread. But the next couple days will be challenging with an active and gnarly weather pattern.

Are you ready for the fall run? If not now’s the time to prepare for the best four weeks of the fall. Every year I say it and will do it again… Halloween to Thanksgiving is the best time to be fishing LBI and the central Jersey Coast for quality striped bass.

Right now the fishing in town goes to tautog. Land based anglers are catching very good numbers but keepers are challenging. Bait up with live green crabs and go! Boat anglers are also doing well with tog on the inshore wrecks too. I had return clients Matt and Joe aboard on Saturday. We caught out four fish limit in the first 15 minutes and had drop and reel fishing for the whole trip.

Howard Clark caught this 10.9 pound tog fishing live green crabs on a wreck outside Barnegat Light.
Here’s Howard with a quality tog!

On Thursday Howard Clark weighed in a big 10.9 pound tog. He caught it fishing an inshore wreck using the Magictail Tog Jigs baited with green crabs.

Striped Bass Fishing

As mentioned in the first paragraph, quality striped bass showed this weekend! Not just one unicorn and no these aren’t Raritan Bay reports. There were a handful a big striped bass caught north of Barnegat Inlet this weekend in the waters of Ocean County!

Fish Head’s alumni Dan D. got a good one trolling.

Another report came in from Illesor Retep, “My buddy and I were in the shop last week. We picked up some bunker spoons and mojos. Your team is extremely knowledgeable, very courtesy and helpful. They were great and deserve credit! I was out Saturday. Bunker was stacked up and at one point a thresher was breaking water. No marks so we trolled to cover ground. Caught and released this big bass (photo below). Another boat fishing nearby picked up a 48″ bass on a green spoon too.”

LBI Surf Fishing Report

On the surf there’s still kings and small blues being caught. Also skates and dog fish are present which the latter tend to show up in full force right around Halloween each year. A couple striped bass were caught so far this fall from the sud but so far they have been few and far between.

Seventeen days into the LBI 67th Annual LBI Surf Fishing Classic surf fishing tournament it is all kingfish on the board. No bass or blues yet. They may change soon.

BHCFA Fishing Report 10/24/21

As the water temperatures continue to drop in the waters of southern Ocean County, the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association look eagerly forward to the arrival of the striped bass migration. In the meantime, the inshore wreck fishing and offshore tuna fishing have really turned on.

Mate Max Goldman reports the boat “Starfish,” captained by Carl Sheppard, had a couple of outstanding wreck trips recently with nonstop action and limit catches of big black sea bass for its anglers. Another trip in calmer bay waters resulted in a good haul of blowfish and small bluefish.

Captain Jimmy Zavacky had a great trip recently to the Hudson Canyon on the “Reel Determined.” Accompanied by his son Patrick and Steve Palmer, along with Sam and Randy, they came home with a 152-pound big eye tuna, 15 yellowfin tuna to 65-pounds, and a large mahi. Most fish were caught chunking.

Coming up this weekend is the annual Sea Shell Beach Club Striped Bass Derby. BHCFA captain John Lewis reports his captains will be well represented this year and urges all local anglers to participate in this worthy event. Last year’s proceeds were donated by the Sea Shell to the
BHCFA for its artificial reef program. Complete information on the event can be found at

Captain Lewis also said the BHCFA will have an information booth set up at the Derby providing information on the reef program.

Additional information on the BHCFA and its reef program can be found at

LBI Surf Fishing Classic – The Kick Off & Early Day Recap

Despite rough surf conditions caused by a nasty northeaster, the 67th annual LBI Surf Fishing Classic opened up on Saturday, October 9, and already has three entries on the board.

The Classic offers cash prizes for striped bass, bluefish, kingfish, and red drum. The first entries of 2021 were all kingfish, taken on fresh bloodworms. Topping the chart at this point is the 1.06-pound kingfish
caught by Austin Campbell, entered in the juvenile division.

Campbell caught his fish on Tuesday, October 12, on the beach in Surf City and weighed it in at Surf City Bait and Tackle. He is fishing as a member of the Southern Regional High School Fishing Club.

The first two entries were caught on opening day, Saturday, October 9. Derek Mason Jr. landed his 1.04-pound king in the Holgate area and weighed the fish in at Jingles Bait and Tackle. Ted Schmid II weighed
catch weighing just under one pound. He caught his fish in Barnegat Light and also checking it at Surf City Bait and Tackle.

Now that the rough seas are calming down, registered anglers are looking forward to this weekend and the upcoming days on the beach. Water temperatures are dropping indicating the arrival of migrating bass is getting closer.

The main question at this point is what should anglers be targeting right now? Connor Smilon from Jingles Bait and Tackle in Beach Haven recommends targeting kingfish with either fresh bloodworms or Fish Bites. He adds other options might be looking for a bluefish with fresh mullet or stripers with lures.

Here’s Emmet from Top Notch Tackle hand tied fishing rigs with a recent surf side catch. Recently small blues and kingfish are active on the beaches of LBI. Soon we’ll see bigger bluefish and striped bass move in. Are you ready?

Emmet Fitzgerald at Surf City Bait and Tackle also suggests aiming for kingfish. “Most definitely,” He replied when asked. In addition to using bloodworms, Fitzgerald lauded the use of chartreuse Fish Bites. “I have been using chartreuse, and they are really working for me,” noted Fitzgerald. He acknowledged the presence of some stripers toward Barnegat Inlet in the 24-26-inch range.

Greg Cudnik from Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom made it three votes for kingfish. Cudnik does suggest fishing with two rods. He likes the idea of fishing one lighter rod with small hooks and bait for kings while fishing another larger rod baited either with clams or mullet on the chance a striper is in the area.

Instagrammer Saltyreelsfishing caught this kingfish off the LBI surf on live bloodworms.

Helping to kick off the contest Saturday was the annual surf fishing seminar conducted by the Long Beach Island Fishing Club. Weather conditions reduced the turnout this year, but the presentations were accompanied by some very productive questions and answer sessions. Cudnik went so far as to say, “This might have been the best we have ever had.”

The seminar is held each year for registrants of the Classic and is geared to provide information for beginners and veteran anglers alike. Besides the information refreshments were provided in the form of doughnuts from the Crust and Crumb Bakery in Beach Haven and coffee from How You Brewin in Surf City.

The Classic will run until December 12. Registration can be handled at any of the bait and tackle shops mentioned above. Complete information on the contest can be found at

Columbus Day LBI Fishing Report

We’ve got unruly conditions on the beaches of LBI today Monday October 11, 2021. It’s very windy (42mph gusts this morning) and the surf is rough. The Station 44091 Barnegat Ocean Buoy was at 10-12 feet today. The coastal flood advisor is still in effect and even though the area has had little rain there’s water in streets. The persistent onshore winds from this long living low pressure system have the waters stacked up. Slowly the system will let loose and pull out. But lingering easterly swell will be in the water this week.

This past weekend anglers fished the sheltered bayside area and caught fish; blowfish, tog, blues, weakfish and striped bass. There were a few that even battled the rough surf and caught a couple fish. Case and point, Ted Schmid’s and Derek Mason’s kingfish weigh-ins for the LBI Surf Fishing Classic (both on bloodworm). Long story short, there’s fishing opportunities to take advantage right now and it’s only getting better as we progress into prime time fall fishing!

Later this week the weather looks beautiful with unseasonably warm temps. Let’s get out, go fishing and enjoy every bit of it!

Lighthouse Sportsfishing 10/10/21 Report

Well, fall fishing is living up to expectations and then some. Right now fishing opportunities abound. The rough spots have seabass, blackfish, and triggerfish. Along the beach, there are literally acres of small weakfish with the occasional bigger variety. Still some sushi-grade bonito around, as well as jumbo Spanish mackerel. False albacore are making the best inshore showing in years. They love rainfish (bay anchovies). If you have never caught one you don’t know what you’re missing. If you have caught them before, I’m sure the scream of the drag echoes in your memories. Pre-storm I was out with my BFF Capt Dan Siegel and we chased down the albies for a while. The attached picture is of me with that was one over 11 lbs. that headed to the smoker. Speaking of 11 lbs., I also landed several blues in that range at the inlet (pic attached). Bass are active at times around the inlet and throughout the bay. Just put in the time, fish the right place at the right time, and you will find the bass. If I can you can, lol. Blowfish are still holding on strong in the bay but some have started existing to find warmer water. Dates are filling in, so contact me if you want to experience some of the best back bay and inshore fishing this area has to offer.

Screaming drags,
Capt. Alex

Fishing Report Update 10/8/21

From tog, triggers, sea bass and sheepshead to bluefish, striped bass, albies, kingfish, blowfish and weakfish there’s a lot of options for angler fishing the waters of Long Beach Island. The unseasonable warm water and air offer a comfortable feel to the great early fall fishing.

Today October 8th, NJ Black Sea Bass fishery opened up to 10 fish at 12.5″ adding another great species to target.

Every day more bass reports from the bay, inlet and surf. He’s one Sloane caught last night aboard Fish Head Charters.

We also heard of a nice striped bass caught off the surf today. Speaking of the surf…

The 67th LBI Surf FIshing Classic kicks off tomorrow morning. Sign up now! It’s kind of late for a notice now but the annual opening day surf fishing seminar is at 9am at the Ship Bottom Firehouse. See you there! Click here for more info on the surf fishing tournament.

Here’s a recent fishing report video I posted yesterday…

Lots of bait around… mullet, bunker, spearing, bay anchovies, butterfish, SQUID and much more! Last night I caught a bucket full with Sloane and Swag. Lots of fun and it will be a great feast tomorrow!

LBI Fishing Report 10/4/21

Updates on the Long Beach Island fishing front…

LBI Surf Fishing Report

Jonathan Czarnecki was fishing the mid-Island surf yesterday evening and caught a nice redfish about an hour before high water. The red took a whole mullet. Jonathan said, “The 32″ red put up a great fun fight!” Each year October is the month that offers anglers on and around Long Beach Island the best shot at targeting and catching redfish. It’s also prime time to target pompano!

The Long Beach Island surf anglers are primarily catching kingfish and bluefish. Some days better than others. For kingfish use live bloods and/or FishBites. For blues use fresh mullet or any type of lure that matches.

Barnegat Inlet Fishing Report

You can’t beat the Barnegat Inlet Jetty this time of year! It offers the best variety of opportunities for angler who want to fish lures or bait. In recent days there has been a variety of species caught from blues, striped bass, weakfish and albies to tog, triggerfish and sheephead.

For the most consistent bites/action target tog with green crab. They are stacked along the entire stretch of the Jetty from the inside on out to the tip. Expect the entire month to offer great fishing fun.

John Bonner with an albie he caught on Saturday morning off the Inlet Jetty.
Here’s John Bonner with an albie he caught on Saturday morning off the Inlet Jetty.

Bayside Dave shared,”I was on the jetty when the albies came by around 8am on Saturday. I was ready with a Hogy Epoxy Jig and managed to land three. Four other guys were there with me and including my three, ten other albies were caught.”

Recently we’ve received a lot of questions and interest in false albacore fishing. Here’s a great blog post Running With Albies by Steve George.

Barnegat Bay Fishing Report

Still the same story line as last reported with little change. Weakfish, blowfish, striped bass and blues.

Missy Fillman shared, “Looking for a fun day with non-stop action? Blowfish are plentiful on the Ship Bottom bayside.”

The striped bass continue to offer early fall light tackle fun in and around the local bays. Here’s JP with one of many from recent trips.

The striped bass continue to offer early fall light tackle fun in and around the local bays. Here's JP with one of many from recent trips.

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Update

The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are eying the cooler evening temperatures and thinking about the arrival of striped bass. Meanwhile, they are finding good inshore wreck fishing, good numbers of blowfish and even some weakfish in the bay, and eying the continued presence of tuna offshore.

Captain Gary Dugan of the Irish Jig had some recent noteworthy trips. He has switched gears and is hunting for the many species of wreck fish. One recent trip yielded a few nice blackfish, sea bass, and monster trigger fish. On Saturday he had a group working some ocean structure. Despite all he could do, they could not locate any blackfish. They did catch some very nice out of season black sea bass which had to be released in addition to plenty of small bluefish and some very nice trigger fish. He has done some bay charters for small stripers and blowfish. He is getting tackle ready for the striped bass run that will be here shortly.

Question & Answer

Tyler Harkins questioned, “Thanks for the great reports. Are there still sharks in the surf at night this time of year?”

Yes there’s currently sharks on the beach. At this point in the season it’s the transition from the summertime warm water sharks to the cooler/cold water sharks. Spinners and black tips really like warm waters in the upper 60’s and 70’s. They are still here but will be leaving soon. Browns also like this warmer water but will tolerate a slightly cooler water. Sand tiger are some of the first to arrive in the spring and tend to hang around the longest in the fall. Threshers (while might not be abundant) will be around in our local coastal waters for the fall. We usually see these sharks on the bunker pods near the beach but rarely caught from the surf. Also dogfish (smooth and spiny) will show up in full force soon. We already saw some show this week. Usually around Halloween they invade. As always know the state and federal laws. Know before you go!

Hello October… Let’s Fish LBI!

It’s finally here! A month that sun tanning beach goers don’t like but anglers rejoice. At this point summer is in the rear view mirror and that means the peak water temperatures are behind us. The bait is moving (peanut bunker, bay anchovies, spearing, mullet) and we are having a blast fishing the waters of Long Beach Island! Here’s the fishign report update for Saturday October 2, 2021.

Here’s the LBI Fishing Report video posted on our YouTube page yesterday Friday October 1.

Right now the weakfish and blowfish bite remains strong in the bay. Schoolie striped bass and small bluefish also offer great light tackle fun. Everyday more reports of striped bass with better fish showing much more commonly now than a few weeks ago when the mullet run first started. The past three days the area saw a great push of mullet. By far it has been the best days of the NJ 2021 Mullet Run so far. Is this the climax?

At the Barnegat Inlet tog fishing has been very good for most anglers. Fishing green crabs is the classic bait to catch them. In the same area there’s blues as well as the occasional striped bass and weakfish. Some day’s tide and conditions are better for these two.

There’s a few albies around. Maybe one of these days it will pop off again! On Friday I found a couple of fast moving and skittish schools of them but couldn’t connect.

Off the surf kingfish are the primary species but there’s small blues and out of season fluke being caught. October is the month that all of LBI’s beaches are back open for 4×4 beach permit holders.

67th Annual LBI Surf Fishing Classic Kicks off Saturday October 9, 2021 – Sign up today!