May has treated us well with good fishing! Waxing out of Friday’s New Moon, we would expect the spring’s best action to fire up now or in the coming days. Usually late May and early June offer the best of spring fishing for the area. However this year got off to a very early start and has been very good. It’s hard for me to imagine an uptick from here but anything is possible. Whatever case plays out, I have no doubt that the next couple weeks will offer fun fishing here on and around Long Beach Island. Here’s the Long Beach Island Fishing Report Update for Sunday May 21, 2023.
Bluefish and striped bass here are biting regularly in the bay, inlet and surf. The surf side consistency is something we have not seen in years, making this spring’s beach bite one to remember with slot and over slot striped bass day and night. These fish are holding in cuts, rips, and holes from Barnegat Light to Beach Haven. Most of this action is on bait with clam and bunker; however there are lure anglers plugging up good catches. Productive plugs on the surf include, Daiwa SP Minnows, Super Strikes, Gibbs Metal Lip Swimmer, Yo-Zuri Hydro Minnow, Tsunami Shad and jigs live an AVA (diamond jig) or bucktails.
Jamie Gramley is dialed in, having himself one hell of a spring! This morning he struck into a couple more striped bass fishing clam on the surf, “45” released and a 33″ for dinner.”
Rob Murray reported his best nigh fishing LBI in many years, “What a great night tonight (Friday Night). Fished mid-island surf on the incoming tide. Four striped bass up to 40″ and eight bluefish up to 30″. All four striped bass were on bunker heads and all the bluefish we on chunks. Tried salted clam when I ran out of bunker bit nothing touched it.”
Chris sent in the report, “CJ reeled in his first striped bass Saturday morning fishing the Beach Haven surf.” Huge congrats CJ!
LBI Surf temperature is in the mid-fifties (54-57º), the Barnegat Bay ranges from 60º to almost 70º in areas all depending on the distance from the inlet, the tide and the time of day.
Bluefish in a wide size range from cocktails to gators are here and pushing through the bay, inlet and in the surf. A good number were reported this weekend. SP minnows, hydro minnows, pencil poppers, smack-it poppers and AVA jigs are standard lures for the yellow eyed demons. Sunrise and sunset are the best for the topwater action.
Fluke fishing has been ok with Barnegat Bay and Inlet producing. Store Staffer Grey and his friend Ryan had a double limit of fluke up at the rocks on Friday. Pink Shine grubs in 4” and 5” were producing best, also the 3” New Penny Shrimp did damage as well. At times the main thoroughfares (Double Creek and Oyster Creek Channels) have had good fishing. Down on the south end and Great Bay area store staffer Frez has been picked keeper fluke fishing 5” Gulp swimming mullets and jerk shads. He said, “Shallow water in the 4-9’ range has been most productive.”