The back stretch of November and December is traditionally very good to anglers of Long Beach Island. Whether hunting striped bass or tog there’s great opportunities right now for both beach and boat fishing.
Here in the final days of November we must look back on recent days and weeks to give thanks for a November To Remember! BUT also keep focused and keep a wet line as the biomass of striped bass is still here now and feeding on their southerly migration. If you got in on the recent fire fishing, great! We are stoked to hear. If you haven’t, now’s the time to give a go. I don’t see any snow or wintery mix in any of the upcoming weather systems. Below normal temps Thursday night and Friday but likely above normal Saturday and normal temperatures to follow after the weekend so things look promising!
Here’s my most recent video report update which I forgot to post here on the blog in a timely fashion. This is one good reason to subscribe to the Youtube Channel to get notified as soon as they go live! I’ll do my best to get another one up to close out the month or kick off the new month of December. Stay tuned.
For the most part the past two weeks LBI was left out (a touch too far south) of the historic day after day bass blitzes. But anglers fishing the Island have caught some fish (more so since Thanksgiving day), just nothing like the magnitude or day to day consistency like up north. Hungry striped bass ranging from schoolies to overs (and more than occasionally some trophy size fish in the mix) rolling on bait; peanut bunker, scattered adult bunker, butterfish, squid, herring. Some days bass feeding for miles. It’s just an absolute beautiful “Nat Geo” site to see and witness the what seems to me as a really health striped bass stock (despite what data and managers are say, the opposite). Top water, metal lips, gliders, spooks, on the fly, light tackle or trolling umbrellas and mojos… Take Your Pick, Pick Your Poison.
Looking back on November all I can say is it proved to be one of if not the best month for local striped bass fishing out of the year. Fishing comfortably in t-shirt and jeans, just about the whole first half of the month. It was mild until about November 13/14/15, when the cold snap came and temps fell fast.
The Barnegat Inlet water temperatures dropped from 61º to 51º on the 13/14th and it was then that the back bay bass activity, arguably one of the best “bay runs” this area has seen in many many years, shut down. The inlet bite, also one that was phenomenal, came to somewhat of an abrupt stop. The fish didn’t disappear the activity just stopped due to the cold snap. As things settled and fish acclimated, it crept back but not nearly a crumb of the cake we had. What a sweat cake it was! I shared info on the bite as it materialized and cranked on and on, so I hope each and everyone got a piece of it. I know Jason Peak (photo below) amongst many others put in a lot of time and scored numerous great nights of fishing on the bay.
With all of that said, there’s a good showing of bait still in the bay, lagoons and coves. Soon this will exiting and join the party out front. I’m still fishing hard as I know there’s a lot more to come, especially for the Long Beach Island beaches. More on that topic below.
The Barnegat Inlet tog fishing was on fire during this same time period. It too was slowed by the cold but the tog fishing held up significantly better. Eventually, the majority moved off to the many inshore/mid-shore wrecks and reef sites that they will call home for the winter. Sure there’s still some land based tog fishing to enjoy but for the most part that season is setting. The ocean areas are most productive now and will be into the New Year. Fish live green crabs and white leggers on a rig or jig and enjoy the fun! As of today (Monday) we have both greenies and whites in stock available for sale in half bushels (15#) or full bushels (30#). As always we sell greenies by the dozen too.
LBI Surf Fishing Report
The weigh ins for the LBI Surf FIshing Classic (Live Results Page) trickled in, a couple a day, up until the 19th when there were none until the 25th. The 6 day period (19-24)was for the most part dead on LBI while areas north had epic fishing. The good news is, the LBI surf fishing got going on Black Friday 25th and is rolling along, slow and steady. At times some great fishing took place, on the north end one day, the south end the next and a couple flurries in between. Nothing consistent but we hope to see things kick into another gear.
Sunday afternoon Dante from Magictails (and a long time LBI surf rat and sharpie) reported on his first trip out on the beach in weeks, “The exist! I was told there are not fish on LBI! I caught a dozen in the 24-34” range on bucktails and metal lip swimmers. Fishing my new Magictail Rods, 8′ medium one piece rod it was a blast. We smoked the bass on the boat with the rod all fall but today it proved to be perfect for the surf too. It’s exactly what I designed it for, an all around versatile saltwater fishing rod.” There aren’t many one piece 8′ rods in the market place yet there should be since it’s the perfect size for a rod that can do all with tog and striped bass… Fish the surf, Fish the boat, Fish the jetty. Check them out today at the shop. We have them in stock and on display.
Bill Tyson shared this report, “I fished the mid-island south during this afternoon’s outgoing tide and got into a few striped bass in close. Lost one in the wash but was able to land one 26″ fish. Used my bonus tag to score it for dinner. A big shout out to the team at Fisherman’s Headquarters! I caught this fish on my new St.Croix and Penn Slammer combo with a 6″ paddle tail that the team recommended. Paul at the shop helped me and also let me know that the bass were biting on the south end today.”
Pat Ciervo caught a red drum off the LBI surf on bunker Monday. The fish was over the 18-27″ slot so it was safely released.