Just when you think it can’t get any better, it explodes! Today Sunday November 26th was another great one with acres of striped bass in close proximity to Barnegat Inlet. The conditions were sloppy but the fishing was savage! How long will this play on? Gotta go to know! Get out and fish the beach or boat to get some action before the year is over.
From all of us here, we wish you an awesome day filled with friends, family and great fishing as well as the best feast ever! We are thankful and appreciate our loyal customer, great vendors and the blessings of fish filled days. Thank you!
Happy Thanksgiving From The Crew At Fish Heads!
We couldn’t make a post without some updated fishing info… Today Wednesday November 22, 2023 was a day that started out with flooded roads on LBI and monster swell on the beaches. The winds were on the lighter side for most of the day and the temperatures were mild. We got a few reports and one was a great one! Jim Holmes reported a great day fishing the mid-island surf, “This was a new personal best 47″ striped bass.” See his photo below. It’s prime time fishing here on LBI for the rest of the month. It’s great to see there are still quality striped bass around. This is commonly the part of the season where the size class comes down but the abundance increases in the suds. Let’s get after it and enjoy some great late fall fishing!
It’s prime time mid-November and great fishing went down this past week. It was the best week of fall striped bass fishing by a long shot. Some anglers are reporting epic, legendary, prolific and even biblical! Some days were better than others but all were very good. It’s great to see this large biomass of striped bass in the area heavily feeding day in and day out. There’s a lot more left in the tank this month so get in on the action and enjoy!
Striped bass, tog and inshore bluefin tuna fishing continues in the area. Whether a beach or boat angler, there’s lots of options right now. Consistent tog fishing at the BI rock jetty and bulkheads. Inshore wrecks and reefs have tog on tap too. Bassin’ in the boat has been nothing short of phenomenal and there are bass on the beaches of LBI. Migrating bluefin tuna are also hanging around the inshore waters making for some great big game fishing. Here’s the Fishing LBI Report Update for Sunday November 19, 2023.
Striped Bass Fishing
The striped bass migration has flooded the central Jersey Coast and a lot of them have decided on an extended stay. There’s striped bass staged along IBSP and LBI with fish being caught daily. While here they are feeding and fattening up on all the bait; adult bunker, peanut bunker, sand eels, butter fish, etc. Earlier in the week it seemed the big bass were on adult bunker schools and live lining or fishing XL lures (7-12″) to match the hatch was best. However as the week progressed large schools of peanut bunker schooled up and the striped bass keyed in on them making smaller 4-7″ presentations far superior; metal lips, spooks, swim baits, etc. Then this weekend the sand eels really made their presence known. Slender lures prevailed; needlefish, AVA Diamond Jigs, soft plastics, Deadly Dick Lures, slender pencil poppers, etc. Some days where crazy boat traffic dampers a bite or swell has bait spread out in a broad areas with scattered fish trolling is an effective approach producing with umbrella rigs (9er’s), mojos, spoons and plugs.
Joe Handley Jr caught this striped bass off the LBI surf this weekend on a yellow/white Super Strike Popper. He reported, “I got into small blitzes of larger bass on the north end. Landed a 37, a 36″ and lost a much bigger bass that shook the hooks. Certainly a nice class of fat fish this year!” Joe alos got a nice redfish off the LBI surf on a recent outting.
Handley Jr has been getting into fish.. Nice red fish he caught off the LBI surf… He also got a nice striped bass on a super strike popper.
Some big blues are showing so be on the look out! Colin McHugh caught this yellow eye gator as well as a couple striped bass this past weekend.
The NJ Tautog Fall/Winter Season opened up to 5 fish on 11/16/23. The local wrecks and reef sites have fish and great fishing is expected throughout this year and into the new year. This weekend Swag jumped aboard the Osprey out of AC and won the pool two days in a row. He said it was a great time but despite winning the pools fishing was not great, “I didn’t catch alot of fish. I ended up waiting all day for the right bite and fortunately got ’em both days.” Here’s a photo of Matt Sorrentino “Swag” with a 13.6# tog.
For more details and info on the New Jersey saltwater fishing laws and regulations, seasons, bag limits and minimum sizes be sure to check out this blog post which includes a link to a PDF which should be saved on your phone for quick access or printed out for reference.
The past couple of weeks we have seen, bluefin tuna hanging around the inshore waters. I reported earlier this month I had them blowing up while fishing bunker pods in along the beach in 25′ of water. Well I wasn’t the only one. Some anglers reported hooking up and getting spooled bass fishing with live bunker, casting lures and trolling. No striped bass tackle will stand up to these brutes! Those heading out with the appropriate gear are having a field day with them. Store staffer Frezza got a good one this weekend. Dante from Magictail reported going four for four on the troll, pulling Magictail Hoo Magic trolling lures, “Took a day off of striper fishing the LBI surf and went out chasing tuna with Brandon Kape. We set up on the troll and first three fish we caught we large stripers. I was starting to think I couldn’t get away from them. Then the wind came up hard and so did the tuna. We went 4-4 with a triple hookup and a single bite. Fish were 60-95 inches. Three hoos on HooMagics and the jumbo ate the RonZ tail. The Hoomagics are just about cheating and our rods 80-130# rods worked perfectly code.
Recent days have been good to anglers fishing LBI and the areas a little north (IBSP) and a little south (Brigantine). LBI surf anglers are catching striped bass on lures as well as bait with a great size ranging from bonus slot, slot and overs. It seems like after the new moon a new wave of smaller striped bass arrived but there are still big classy fish in the mix and at time dominating. There’s bunker stretched out along the island with striped bass feeding as well as occasion whales and bluefin tuna. I suggest to surf anglers who want to fish lures… blast pencil poppers (Guides Secret, Gibbs, NorthBar Flying Pencil, Cordell among many other chjoices) and trash them to raise stripers. Also Yo-zuri Twitch Bait and LC Minnow are two other studs. Here’s a video report update from yesterday afternoon.
Here’s a quick update to supplement yesterday’s report.
This morning started off like many other recent trips with a good bite of big bass live lining early. Commonly my early morning feeds have been phenomenal until broken up with boat traffic. While that did happen today it was a blessing we had stiff northerly winds which made for less boats, more challenging sighting of bait and much faster drifts. All of which were bonuses in my book!
I started the same area I fished Saturday (5-10 miles north of BI). In the dark I found the bait and in grey light had an active whale breaching. It put on a show but I’m not sure if it bet yesterday morning’s three boat side bluefin leaps through bunker. Just a moment after the whale’s third breach big striped bass came up on top crashing bait and we were hooked up with a couple good ones. The whale, bunker and bass were pushing south, down wind so I worked the same way. It wasn’t easy given it was against the grain (morning traffic along IBSP pushes north up the beach). About an hour or two later working and catching along the way, we ended up all the way back near the inlet where a crazy good bunker / bass feed came alive and pushed right into the north jetty and east. We caught a couple more in that, but the boat traffic got crazy so I spun around and ran back up the beach again. And I’m very thankful I did!
That is when things fired up and really crazy. A large, I’ll call it massive body of striped bass (IMO a new wave of fish moving down the coast) were stacked up and gorging from top to bottom on peanut bunker, adults and BUTTERFISH! It was a very broad area, stretched out for a few miles and from 30-60′ of water. Top water lures were working but due to windy / sloppy conditions and fast drift jigs and subsurface – sinking lures were superior, hooking up every drop. This was as close as it gets to striped bass jumping in the boat. Large jigging spoons and 6-9” swim baits were money! Metal lips were getting lots of follows and bites too but they are tough to fish when windy if not proficient in casting, stopping the line to turn the lure and swimming them with the right speed/action. Not easy to teach an 8 year old during a hot bite. I’m sure anyone who dropped trolling gear were tight in the matter of a minute.
Christmas trees of striped bass on the sounder (really wish I took some photos of the screen) and they were popping up on the surface chasing bait with the birds picking too. The best part was the spastic run and guns were absent which made for a gentleman drifts. It was the first day I fished in awhile the fleet wasn’t playing jump rope (jump boat) all day. Nice long active fish filled drifts!
Looks like this fall just keeps getting better. I’m looking forward to more of this great fishing and hope you all are enjoying it too. If not now is the time to go!
LBI Surf Report
The LBI surf has not contended with the action from the northern reaches of the state; however there are striped bass being caught and a whole lot less anglers. Today store staffer Paul got a nice striped bass off the LBI surf today after work! He reported, “I had to weed through the hickory shad and a couple sea trout to find the bass on an AVA Diamond Jig.”
Another recent LBI surf catch photo came in from Gary Cochran, photo below. Also a short update on the LBI Surf Fishing Classic… Chris Masino holds the lead with his 11.1# striped bass he caught 11/9. Duncan Turner’s recent 9.98# striped bass catch puts him into fourth place. There’s some big fish on the board in the Surf Master Devision (Catch, Photo, Release) and more submissions came in this weekend. Those will be scored and posted soon. For more info see www.LBISFC.com
This week is set up to be a good one! Quality striped bass have moved into the Long Beach Island area in much larger numbers this weekend and today. There are pods of bait and hungry striped here! Now’s the time to chunk bunker or work the suds with plugs. Get after it!
The 7th Annual Striped Bass Bash hosted by the Maximilian Foundation is this weekend! The weather and fishing looks awesome. Join in on the fun!
The captains meeting starts at 7pm tonight, Friday November 3, 2023 at the Manahawkin Elks Lodge #2340. The Elks Lodge is located at 520 Hilliard Blvd in Manahawkin. The tournament is a one day fishing tournament event taking place tomorrow Saturday November 4, 2023.
Lines In: 12AM
Lines Out: 2PM
Weigh In: 1-5PM
Family Fish Fry: 2-6PM
The Maximilian Foundation is dedicated and committed to supporting bona fide programs that work with Children and Adolescents’ insecurities through Counseling, Substance Abuse Awareness and Education. The Foundation’s focus, efforts and mission are to help support those programs designed to strengthen individuals and build character and confidence, thus allowing Children and Adolescents to better handle life’s challenges, develop strong life skills, and learn to believe in themselves.