Summertime Big Game Fishing Off LBI

As July slides into August offshore big game fishing is front and center for Long Beach Island fishing fanatics.

There have been reports of tuna and even billfish catches up to now, but it is really the August days into fall when the offshore fishing really starts to rock. Some savvy captains have found schools of bluefin tuna and yellowfin cruising close to the shoreline, but the true big game fishing happens offshore around the canyons.

Big game fishing has a colorful history in the Long Beach Island community. This includes the 54th annual running of one of the eastern coast’s most notable fishing tournaments, the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club’s annual White Marlin Invitational Tournament. This year’s event will run from August 16-19 with over $500,000 thousands of dollars in prizes at stake.

At the 2022 53rd Annual BHMTC’s White Marlin Invitational Tournament, the big money winner was Crisdel. Their 194.3-pound heaviest tuna earned them $117,876.

Besides the sport and satisfaction of boating the fish of a lifetime, few fish meals top that of dining on just caught tuna sushi or fresh grilled mahi-mahi fillet.

Catching fish often pushing the 100-pound mark and larger is not for everyone. In addition to being physically challenging, it takes knowledgeable captains with capable boats to navigate the long distances into the Atlantic.

The question then arises, if an angler does not own a boat capable of traveling far off the coast or is not friends with someone who has one, how do you get out to catch one of these trophies?

On Long Beach Island there is more than one answer to this question. There are charter captains based on LBI who offer charters to places such as the Hudson and Baltimore Canyons seeking these big fish.

With the distance to reach the fishing grounds, these are not short trips. One version leaves the dock in the middle of the night to reach the fish grounds by daybreak. The boat trolls the area hoping to entice fish into the bait spread. These trips return to the dock late in the afternoon with tired but hopefully
happy anglers.

Another popular trip can take as long as 24 hours. The boat leaves early in the afternoon to reach the fishing grounds before dark. After a couple of hours of trolling, it sets up for a night of fishing, usually chumming fish to the boat.

Once morning arrives, the group may do a little more trolling before leaving the fishing grounds and arriving back to Long Beach Island in the afternoon, one day after departing.

There are alternatives to chartering a boat for the trip that are less expensive. Some captains offer “open boat” trips. Anglers pay individually to fish with others they do not know.

There are also head boats which take a larger number of anglers out on overnight trips offshore. Anglers pay individually to fish with a large group.
This offshore tuna fishing will run into the fall until storms and a declining bite end the fishing for the year. But timing is the key here. Just as the offshore fishery concludes, a new one pops up on Long Beach Island, the annual arrival of striped bass.

In addition to a strong boat fishery for stripers in the fall, the striped bass arrival also means outstanding fishing for shore-based action. The eighteen miles of beach on Long Beach Island offer striped bass opportunities every fall.

Helping to make this striped bass action extra exciting, this fall marks the 69 th annual edition of the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic. The 2023 version will run from October 7 through December 10. There is a $30 registration fee for adults and one of $15 for youngsters for the opportunity to vie for a wide
variety of prizes. For more info,

Hi Flier Open Boat Tuna and Shrimping Weakies

Spent Sat and Tues at the 20 mile tuna spot. Struck out on Sat but Tues was a little better. We hooked and boated a 45″, 30 lb Cobia at 8AM. Here is Matt Dlugosz doing battle with him:

We jigged a livewell full of live bait and had some shark and king mackerel bite offs but at Noon we hooked up on a bluefin. We fought this fish for two hours, the last hour he was 50 feet from the boat. Honestly, the rod was not capable of moving him. I like to use these lighter 30 class combos because most of the tuna we hook are in the 40 to 100 lb range and these rods have always been more than adequate. I use them to enjoy 99 percent of the fish we hook up with. This fish was one of the one percenters. He finally broke us off after 2 hours. If I had to guess, he was in that 150 to 200 lb class. I am now inclined to put the 50 class gold reels out now. The good news is this place is still fishy. lots of bait and a good amount of bluefin with king mackerel and more in the mix. I am going to continue fishing this area just for the quality of the size fish there.

Open Boat Tuna: Sun July 30 and Mon July 31 4AM to 2PM, $350 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared. Everything is provided.

These any other dates are always available for your private charter, as well, for bay, inshore, or offshore fishing. We are catching blues at the inlet jetty, fluke in the bay, and small Atlantic Sharpnose sharks 4 milkes offshore. For the first time this season we are offering Live Grass Shrimp trips targeting weakfish and the assortment of species that find our shrimp slick. We scale down to the ultralite 6 pound outfits for this fishery and the goal is to catch as many different species as we can.

Pics: Matt Dlugosz with the Cobia Eric Dlugosz with the bent rod battling our lost bluefin Eric and his son Matt are from Berkley Heights, NJ

Dave DeGennaro
Hi Flier Sportfishing
732.330.5674 cell

LBI Fishing Report 7/27/23 – Beat The Heat Fishing

The late July time frame LBI offers a variety of on the water activities to enjoy. From crabbing, clamming and fishing there’s something for everyone of all ages. Looking for guidance and help? Stop by and see us 7 days a week!

There’s no better way to best enjoy the hot “Dog Days of Summer” than on the water! Anglers from shore, inshore and offshore are beating the heat and catching many different species right now fishing LBI. Here’s the Long Beach Island Fishing Report Update for July 28, 2023.

The Surf & Jetty – Fluke & Blues +

Anglers fishing both bait and lures on the surf continue to report good action on cocktail (1-3, 2-4# class) blues. For lures, fish small metals. For bait, fish small strips or chunks of bunker or mullet.

Fluke fishing has been good with lots of anglers reporting consistent action. There is and has been an abundance of short fluke in the suds. Anglers are catching slots (17-18″) as well as the occasional over 18″ and we have even heard of some really impressive now to mid 20″ range fluke. There’s no better way to approach the surf then with Gulp and light tackle.

Steve at Night Strikes Guide Service caught this fluke recently on the surf. He has been catching fluke on the beaches all summer. If you are looking for a surf guide reach out to Steve today 609-276-6983. Rocking my “new favorite summer shirt” our fresh new Fish Heads Fluke performance hooded sun shirt. These sold out fast but don’t sweat, we anticipate a the restocking to be here soon (hopefully next week, Early August).

Other options for surf angling is soaking some meaty baits for the bigger critters (sharks or rays). Know the laws!

The Barnegat Inlet has blues, flukes, a few striped bass, sheepshead and triggerfish. Some locations in the back bay have sheeps too. John weighed in this 5# sheepshead earlier this week.

Fishing Is Water Temp Dependent

Fishing activity in the surf and at the jetty is water temperature dependent. Fluctuations due to localized winds are important to consider and important to your success. The hot summer sun warms the surface waters to a tropical temp but a hard south wind pulls the surface away from the beach and the cold bottom waters fill in. This phenomenon is called upwelling. The mix of these two, the pushes and pull can have a profound effect on the fishing, the type of fish and the activity of those said fish. To read more about upwelling events on LBI check out this detailed post… Upwelling Events On Long Beach Island

LBI Surf Temperatures
Wednesday: Cedars 75º, Ship Bottom 70º
Thursday: Cedars 72º, Ship Bottom 65º

In The Boat

Late August fishing in the bay is mainly focused around fluke and blowfish however the blow toads have been few and far between. Those trying have reported catching spot (photo below Petey E. with a jumbo spot), fluke, burrfish (a spiny puffer) and weakfish. In the bay there’s also snapper and cocktail blues as well as sheepshead. Wanna catch a doormat fluke? Drop down a small live spot! Fishing for fluke and getting frustrated with bait stealers? Some of those might be super small blowfish but the majority are most likely spot. Best way to beat them is fish live bait, Live Minnow and Live Spot!

Todd Luyber and his father Joe were out Wednesday and fluke fished the ocean not far from Barnegat Inlet. They reported a bite on fluke, catching shorts as well as their two overs, one 18.5 and one 19″. Joe also pulled this monster! It’s the biggest bluefish we have seen or heard about in some time. Way to go Joe!

Ocean fluke fishing has been good with anglers catching on the wrecks, reef sites as well as open bottom areas. The next month and right to the end of the season should be good in these areas. Here Jaime Grant with a nice 23″ fluke (her new personal best) she caught a couple days ago. Way to go Jaime!

Offshore – Tuna & Tiles

Offshore anglers have had a great run of weather (until recently with the southerly blow) allowing for fair seas and good fishing… yellowfin, bluefin, bigeye, marlin and tilefish. There’s still some bluefin popping in the inshore waters as well as mid-shore grounds as well as yellowfin mid-shore 50-70NM. Store staffer Tyler got out with some friends and filled the boxes with yellowfin tuna. Tyler reported catching two on poppers and more fish on the troll. Also reports coming from anglers jigging and chunking. Their one fish got hit by the tax man. Yup, there’s plenty of sharks in the mid-shore and inshore waters too.

The local canyons are producing groceries too. Scott Sari reports, “When the tuna don’t bite, drop to the bottom!” Here’s one of many monster golden tilefish he caught on a recent trip offshore.

Hi Flier Open Boat Tuna Tues and Wed

We have two people signed on for our Open Boat Tuna trip tomorrow, Tues July 25, there is still room for two more. Call right up until “go time”.

It looks like the nice weather is going to extend through Wed July 26 now so we are adding that date, as well.

These are 20 to 30 mile trips. Drifting with bait and possibly some trolling. We have been catching our own live bait right at the fishing grounds.

4AM to 2PM each day. $350 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared.

We are also available for charter for bay, inshore, or offshore fishing. We are currently catching bluefish and fluke in the inlet and in the bay.

Dave DeGennaro
Hi Flier Sportfishing
732.330.5674 cell

Hi Flier Open Boat Tuna and King Mackerel

There are bluefin tuna and king mackerel in the 20 to 30 mile range right now. Both high speed trolling and drifting with bait are producing. We can do a little of each but I always prefer bait fishing.

The weather and sea condition looks great for the next few days. Sailing Open Boat or charter Mon July 24 and Tues July 25. 5AM to 3PM. $350 person. 4 people max. All fish are shared.

These dates or any dates are also available for your private charter. Inshore or offshore. We are catching blues and fluke in the bay and at the inlet jetty. It is possible to mix in some light tackle sharking only 4 miles from the inlet on these trips.

Call to reserve a spot.

Dave DeGennaro
Hi Flier Sportfishing
732.330.5674 cell

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Report 7/22/23

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Fishing Report
by Jim Hutchinson Sr.

As the summer of 2023 progresses, the water temperature is increasing and having a profound effect on the summer flounder fishery around Long Beach Island. The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are right on top of this.

The flounder which have been spending time in the bay waters are now making their annual migration into ocean waters. This means the fish are going to be found around the inlets and the inshore structure in the ocean, especially the artificial reef sites.

Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” reports he has experienced some tough bay fishing but finding multiple boat limits in the ocean. His scheduled bay trips are producing keepers, but it depends on tide and temperature. However, his ocean trips are seeing multiple angler limits of fluke along with black sea bass. Also in the ocean, his anglers have seen a large cobia and some dusky sharks right next to the boat.

Captain John Lewis had the Scalzo family out on the “Insatiable” for a decent catch of fish with three keeper fluke and over fifty assorted other fish. Captain John reports the bite this year is improved over last year, and he has some dates available for charter.

The headboat, “Miss Beach Haven,” has been finding hot fishing with keeper black sea bass and fluke. One 21-inch fluke that weighed over 5-pounds. They report openings on their trips, but the spots fill up quickly.

Conor Smilon “FishHawk” Charters had a busy day recently starting with a 4-hour morning trip followed by an afternoon charter. The morning produced two fluke in the box, but the afternoon trip finished with four keeper fluke, some small blues, and many throwback fluke.

Now is the time to select a boat for fishing and book a charter specially designed for your desires. Addition information on the Association can be found at   

LBI Fishing Report 7/21/23

Reports of cocktail blues yesterday afternoon/evening and today on the LBI surf add spice to the already good surf side fluke fishing! Also during this time some areas have had weedy conditions.

A morning report in from Carl from American Anglers, “Three casts, three blues! Great way to start off the morning.”

Todd Luyber shared a report today from the surf not far from the shop, “Cocktail blues on every cast! The sea weed is terrible but fishing is good. Also wanted to share something big is feeding off the beach too. Not dolphin. Big shark or tuna. Most likely a thresher. I’ve never seen anything like this aggression before this close.” That’s saying something because Todd has fished the beaches here as well as OBX for many years and caught some very big fish.

Yesterday evening Chris Moffitt, “Tons of cocktails on the north end surf. I’m catching on metals. These little guys tail chopped several Gulp before I gave up on the fluke and switched over.”

Steve George from Night Strikes Guide Service is into fluke and blues on the surf. If looking for a surf fishing guide to help you with learning the finer parts of fishing get in contact with him today via email or call/text 609-276-6983. He has been in the game for a long time and knows the ropes. There’s no better way to jump start a rookie surf caster to novice.

Store staffer Frezza was fishing the bay down in his area of Tuckerton. He said, “I snagged a small croaker. Dropped it down and BANG! Got a 25.5″ fluke. I wasn’t expecting anything to eat it because it was a big bait. Managed five keepers on the trip. I’ve been working the same area for the past two weeks and fishing has been great.”

Here’s a report video I took yesterday after my morning charter.

Hi Flier Open Boat Tuna

Do you know why I have not posted any tuna pics this season? Because I suck. I am 0 for 4. It’s what is known in fishing as not being able to catch your ass with your hands. Phew! That feels better. As a baseball fan, I know that slumps are a real thing and most get past it. I think I could get past it. 

With that said, I know a place that is holding some 60 to 80 pound bluefin. It is in the 25 mile range. No trolling, we will be drifting with bait, really good bait that we will catch ourselves on the fishing grounds. You want to fish with me right now. I’m so hungry for a tuna and bait fishing is my best game. Also, the weather and sea conditions are looking really good. 

Thurs July 20 and Fri July 21 4AM to 2PM. $350 person. 4 people max. All fish are shared. Everything is provided, just bring whatever you like to eat and drink, I have the rest.

These dates and any dates are always available for your private charter to fish the bay, inshore, or offshore. We are booked already for Sat and Sun July 22 and 23.

Call right up until “go time”, sometimes there is a spot open.

Hope to see you on board.

Dave DeGennaro
Hi Flier Sportfishing
732.330.5674 cell

LBI Fishing Report 7/16/23

Fluke Fishing Continues Despite A Minor Upwelling & A New Swell Arrives That Will Linger

Today Sunday July 16th was a wash out for the majority of the day with heavy rains in the afternoon. But the weekend for the most part was fishy for anglers fishing the beaches of LBI as well as the bay. Fluke (summer flounder) are the mainstay, offering good action in the surf. Many of the pockets and sloughs up and down LBI have fluke. Finding fish should not be too hard if geared up right, but finding keeper size fish might be more challenging. That said there has been beautiful size fluke taken in recent days. Reports from the south end, mid-island and north end are all promising. Don’t overlook the pools in tight to the beach. Fish those right up to the lip of the beach! Areas in the bay continue to produce too, from the wide open bay to the main thoroughfares. In the area we also have great clamming and crabbing to spice up a family day with fun in the sun. Stop by Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom if looking for more information and we’ll help you enjoy the best of Long Beach Island.

We start off the new week with 3-4′ swell that will linger 2-4′ all week long and possibly longer. Be in the know with Don (storm) out there and other activity in the central Atlantic ocean. Watch the tides, especially if transiting the inlets. Monday in the time frame of 12-4pm could be hairy with the max ebb tide at 1:45pm. Also the New Moon will make for more extreme tidal flow. Outgoing tide and a powerful swell make for a washing machine.

Barnegat Inlet Max Ebb Tides:

Monday – 1:45 PM
Tuesday – 2:30 PM
Wednesday – 3:00 PM
Thursday – 3:45 PM

LBI Fishing Report 6/12/23

Anglers fishing inshore, offshore and from shore are catching a variety of species in and around Long Beach Island. Here’s the Fishing LBI report update for Wednesday 12, 2023 with fishing information on bluefish, striped bass and fluke as well as an inshore bluefin tuna fishing report, wreck fishing, cobia, mahi and more. For a more detailed text report check out the last report posted on Monday July 10th.

At 8 minutes in, Greg shares details on a few lures that he like and fishes commonly. Here’s some links to them