August Fishing Around LBI, NJ

Early August Fishing Report Update For The Long Beach Island Area

Sitting right about at the mid point of summer we have great fishing here on Long Beach Island with a variety of light tackle to big game options for beach and boat anglers. This is the time when bait starts balling up; peanut bunker, spearing and sandeels are all here in out local waters. I’ve seen all three in recent days either spit up on my deck by a fish or snagged on one of my lures’ treble hooks. With the recent northerly winds the bait was stacked up in the inlet just like we would see in the fall. Anglers got into some fun on the Jetty. Small blues, striped bass and fluke. It’s a great place to fish for fluke this time of year because all of the fish exiting Barnegat Bay only have one way to leave.

So we kick off August with a full moon and some great weather, sun and low humidity, with a northerly and onshore flow. This bumped up the ocean a little and also pushed the sun warmed surface waters into the beach (downwelling).

Surf Fishing Long Beach Island

With the warm surf temps come good fluke fishing on the surf as well as the local reefs and wrecks. A really nice fluke was pulled from the mid-Island surf on Tuesday by Michael Palumbo fishing the incoming tide. Photo below

Local angler Konrad also reported good fluke fishing off the north end surf, “I caught two keepers in a short after work session!”

The LBI surf fluke fishing is great this summer. The best way to approach it is with a bucktail and teaser rig or a super simple one drop rig. A one drop is exactly what the name spells out, the rig has one dropper loop and then a loop at the bottom for the weigh/sinker. It is basically a low of a high low rig. Either rig you’ll want to bait up with Gulp! in the 4-5-6″ sizes. By far Pink Shine has been the best sell this year and for good reason. The past couple season it has been my best producer and a lot of customers have shared the same theme. I also catch on white, white/glow and fire tiger , which I prefer over chartreuse on the dirty water days which call for a hi-viz color. I have heard good things about the new metallic color which makes sense because every baitfish has shine and that is something most softbaits don’t have until now!

On the beach there are a few kingfish. We expect this to improve throughout this month so long as the waters stay warm. There is a few spot on the surf. Photo below is a recent catch by Karl Chen.

Both spot and kingfish can be caught with a similar set up. Fish a classic “Pompano Surf Rig” which is a hi/lo rig fitted with small hooks. Bait up with Live bloodworms, Dyna Bait Freeze Dried Bloodworms and/or Fish Bites.

At times bluefish offer fun for surf and jetty anglers. These fish are running anywhere from snappers to 2-4# class. The majority are small but larger bluefish have been caught, case and point shared in the last report update.

Blues are best targeted off the surf with an assortment of lures such as a small swimming plug (SP Minnow 13), a metal (Hopkins, Kastmaster, Crippled Herring), spoon (Krocodile) or jig (Diamond Jig – Hogy Epoxy Jig – Hogy Sandeel Jig). Another option is to fish baits but you’ll want to fish strips. Mullet, bunker and mackerel are three good choices.

Barnegat Bay Fishing Report (also good for Manahawkin Bay & Great Bay)

Fluke fishing the bay is mostly made up of feisty and active short size fish however there are still some keepers to be caught just don’t expect a high keeper ratio.

Be prepared for snappers, spot (here in good numbers), blowfish (few and far between) and other small bait stealers. These critters will ransack Gulp baits and steal your curly tails quicker than you can jig. Ya, a shaky jig or staccato jig can keep them off but sometimes nothing can help but one thing… Live Bait! Fishing with large live minnows, peanut bunker and/or small live spot are a great way beat those pesky critters and catch quality fluke in the month of August

There’s some weakfish around. I personally tried on Tuesday to shrimp them up but was unsuccessful. I only managed to shrimp up a fluke in the 16 inch range and a couple snapper blues. I’m expecting this to get better this month.

Try your luck at Sheepshead! They are here and being caught in the bay, but it isn’t easy.

August means that Tautog is open for NJ anglers. One fish at 15″ until November 15th. On November 16th it opens to 5 fish at 15″.

NJ August Cobia

Cobia are lurking the inshore waters and have been for the better part of a month now. Most catches are from tuna anglers fishing bait for tuna however these can and are specifically targeted. I tried but failed so far but I’m not giving up. I was super stoked to see store staffer Tyler caught a 38″ one on this past Sunday. Tyler was out looking for bluefin. He didn’t find them but he hooked and landed a keeper size cobia on a No Live Bait Needed swim bait.

He reported, “A large cobia came up and attacked one of the balloons in our chunk spread. It never came back so we didn’t get a shot at it, but another one, smaller in size came into the spread and I was ready putting a small NLBN right on front of it. Bang! It ate.

Gotta Love The NLBN’s! The last couple years these bait have shined for a variety of species like striped bass and tuna, now cobia!

Near Shore Tuna

The inshore bluefin tuna fishing continues on. We first shared the report on July 11th. Since then there has been a lot of bluefin caught and some good size fish. The best way to get bites right now is fishing live squid. There are also bites coming on live mackerel as well as jigging, popping and trolling.

Store staffer Paul got one on Sunday fishing live bait with Capt Mark Finelli of Laura Sportfishing.

Jonni was in the shop Wednesday afternoon and reported, “Thanks to Tyler helping me gear up right, I caught a cooler full of squid. I also had a tuna bite the squid jig/squid when reeling up. We got another bite and got it in the boat. I’m heading back out tomorrow. Thanks for the lesson of catching squid.”

Those boats that are catching and fishing live bait are producing best. However, there are fish being caught on the jig too. Brian Sabarese was on the water with his son Sawyer about 10 miles out of BI Monday. They were fishing live baits when they had a good tuna mark pop up on the sounder. Sawyer dropped a jig and must have hit the fish on the head because a couple seconds later the line was screaming out. After a fun battle they boated his first tuna.

Mondo King Mackerel Caught

Father and son duo, Capt Don & Mate Joseph Vricella aboard the Crime Scene caught a 67.45# King Mackerel on July 30, 2023. This catch crushed the long standing record Fernando Alfaiate’s 1998 54# catch by over 13#! Here’s the story that Don shared, “Lost an engine while out on the bluefin grounds around 12 o’clock and started limping home. Being on one engine I figured we’d put out a little spread with two wide trackers and two Clark spoons for a Spanish Mack or Bonita. At around 2 o’clock we got a knockdown on a Clark spoon that just about spoiled our Avet MXL twice. Couldn’t back down the boat so we put some heavy drag on him and was able to turn him. I still can’t believe that we landed this fish in under 10 minutes on 30lb leader.”

Mullet Outdoor Adventures left a comment on our recent video report… “I had a wahoo or king mackerel eat my shark float on Monday. The thing launched 10ft in air with my float in its mouth. It sliced off everything clean but I got the float with a big bite out of it. I also lost about an 80# bluefin that took a live spot on the kite.

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 (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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