LBI Fishing Report 12/9/23

The first full week of December was good to us here on Long Beach Island as well as the great Central Jersey region. Striped bass activity continues and we have seen a few more striped bass on the Island’s beaches. This is the last weekend of the 69th Annual LBI Surf Fishing Classic which ends on Sunday December 10th at 6pm. Here’s the Long Beach Island Fishing Report Update for Saturday December 9, 2023 as well as my latest fishing report update video from December 7th.

LBI Surf Fishing Report

The Long Beach Island surf fishing has not been epic blitz fishing; however there are anglers putting in time and picking fish. At times there have been highlights, we’ll call them flurries of good fishing but none sustained through numerous tides or days. That was until this weekend. Both Friday and Saturday were two good days for surf anglers on LBI.

Yesterday Friday December 8th offered good fishing for anglers fishing the afternoon incoming tide. As per our post on LBI Area Fishing Reports page on Facebook, “Heard a few good reports today (Friday) Loveladies, Cedars, North Beach… striped bass, adult bunker and whales.” We had a number of reports in the afternoon and more after sunset.

Joe Handley Jr (photo above) weighed in a 8.3# striped bass yesterday and shared a solid report with us. Turns out the 8.3# was his first keeper catch of the day at 29-1/8″ then a little later he got a really fat one just a hair under 31″… might have been the tournament winner but it went back in since he already harvested one. He shared, “It was good action for four of us. Bass were pushing adult bunker right up on the beach. Got a couple freshies for chunking tomorrow. In total, I had 8 total bass from 26-34”. Emmit from Top Notch Tackle was fishing and he had a bunch as well. Big metal lips produced best for me. I got one on a super strike popper and two on Super Strike Needlefish and rest on metal lips. Bunker, whales, striped bass and a couple big tunas busting.”

Again today’s afternoon flood tide had good action. A repeat, possibly better with reports coming in from a lot of anglers in many different towns. Today December 9th was the most active weigh in date for the Derby. Too bad tomorrow’s the last day.

Joe Handley was back out again and he reported 10-11 bass, “Five in the daylight and five or six in the dark. Bigger lures worked better today.”

Here’s a few more reports from today…

  • Tommy McCann got this one chunking today. (Saturday, photo above)
  • Chris Painter reported, “We had an insane fishing day. I caught seven and my daughter caught two. All released.”
  • Joel from Rustic Drift got into the afternoon action of the surf and managed not only striped bass but a cutlassfish! (photo below)
  • Todd Luyber, “Finally a solid evening session on the LBI surf, right up the street from the shop with a few fish over 30″ right in the wash. Let’s hope this blow doesn’t ruin everything.”

There’s sand eels and bunker present now. To match the forage fish diamond jigs (with or without a teaser – there’s no better Sand Eel Teaser than the Buz Fly Sand Eel with hackle and herl), slender soft plastics (Tsunami Sandeel, Red Gill), needlefish (Guides Secret Needle Stick, Super Strike Needlefish) for sand eel imitation or to present a bunker profile from 4-7″+; metal lip swimmers (many choices but a staple is the Gibbs Danny Surface Swimmer), paddle tail swimbait (Tsunami Swim Shads or No Live Bait Needed) or a top water (Popper, Pencil) to best match the hatch.

Boating Bass Fishing

Boat bassing really doesn’t need any more boasting as it’s a broken record. It has been as good as it gets for many weeks, but it is nice to share the near shore fishing off LBI has really turned up a level. And as the days pass there’s more and more boats pull out for the year leaving the feeds uncrowded. Something that is sort of new is a smaller class of of fish with a new showing of adult bunker which were absent for a week or two. It’s hilarious watching smaller stripers feed on adult bunkers. They look like drunken sailors trying to gulp them down.

Tyler Wilk of E-Fish-Ent custom rods put a beat on the stripers Friday off LBI and captured some great video. Be sure to check out the striper who tried to eat a go pro.

Inshore Bluefin Tuna Fishing

This fall has been one for the memory books with a phenomenal showing of bluefin tuna inshore. It has went on for two months now and they have been spread out over a lot of different areas.

Still today fishing is still going strong and there is no sign of them letting up. It could rock right into the new year. Anglers are catching both casting and trolling. Trolling does seem to be more productive with Hoo Magic, Joe Shute and Wolfpack trolling lures are what you’re gonna want in your spread. Dante from Magictail has been putting a hurting on them, he went 9/13 on Thursday with Captain Nick Perello. Select and Horse size Ballyhoo are what he’s been putting behind his trolling heads. We’ve got beautiful Baitmaster Ballyhoo in stock!

Blackfishing The Wrecks

Late fall and early winter is a great time to target blackfish!

The local wrecks and reef sites are heating up with great blackfishing. Recent reports have had talk of tog over 10lbs and loads of quality keeper fish. Store staffer Jared went out a few days ago with his buddy Torr and got into some great fishing. They boxed up their limit and played catch-and-release for the rest of the day. 1.5-2 oz Magictail Tog jigs tipped with white crab were the ticket. We’re loaded up on live crabs… both GEM White Leggers and Green crabs… Get ’em now and head out to your favorite snag when the weather allows!

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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