LBI Fishing Report 5/30/24

There’s beautiful weather in the neighborhood and a lot of different opportunities for saltwater anglers fishing the waters of LBI from the beach or boat. There really isn’t one stand out; however, there is a great variety. Here’s the Fishing LBI Fishing Report Update for Thursday May 30, 2024. Directly below is my latest video report. Enjoy!

On tap near shore and from shore, bluefish, striped bass, fluke, drum, weakfish, with some more kingfish, blowfish and spot showing up. Bottom fishing the offshore wrecks producing sea bass, ling and hake. Further offshore the tuna bite has been slow but tile fishing has been great with good size golden and blueline.

Bluefish Fishing Report

Right now in terms of catching the best bet is blues. We have bluefish ranging from 1-3#, up to and over 10#. They are around and making their presence known offering some strong drag pulling fun and others frustration re-rigging. The blues are biting off lures and rigs of anglers bass and drum fishing the surf with clam as well as jig and rigs of anglers fishing for fluke in the surf/inlet/bay.

Here’s father and son Brian Pollock (L) and Hudson (R) with a pair amongst MANY bluefish they caught fishing aboard Fish Head Charters Wednesday May 29. The team also caught five striped bass up to 32″ on Rapala X-Rap lures.

Fluke Fishing Report

So far it seems the best fluke fishing for both catch consistency and size has been off the surf and inlet. The month of May hasn’t offered up a banner fluke fishing season kick off. But there are some good catches by anglers putting in the time and working for it. We recently had a 6# fluke weighed in from Alex who was fishing the surf, photo below right. Randy Edwards reported good fluke action a few days back, photo below left. We also have heard a couple good size fluke were caught by anglers fishing live spot for striped bass and a few nice ones speared.


But based on a conversations with a commercial fisherman friend, “There is a body of fluke moving.” He said they are a little late this year so my fingers are crossed things pick up soon.

Striped Bass Fishing Report

Off the surf right now the striped bass action is slower than it was but there are still plenty of fish present. Based on previous years trends we expect action for the first half of June and possibly into July. That all depends on water temperature and bait. Here’s recent catch photo of Greg Davis who caught this bass plugging off the surf. Greg’s report is just one of many from customers the past few days.

How’s this for a catch!!!???!!! Sloane Endick caught this monster striped bass while fishing the surf for fluke with pink shine Gulp!

Black Drum Report

The epic black drum bite has dwindled off the May full moon. There was a one to two week stretch in mid April (leading up to the full moon 4/23) when in the Barnegat Bay in rhythm with black drum. Then we saw another really good 7 day stretch with lots of black drum on the LBI surf waxing into May full moon 5/23. Both of these periods offered the area some historic black drum action! The hot bite dropped off after the moons in both occasions and since only a couple here and there were caught. If you are looking for a big black drum it’s safe to say, “you should of been here yesterday” but there’s no harm in trying. All of June and even occasionally in the summer months (July and August) a few drum are caught off the surf on clam. Only time will tell.

Striped Bass Out Front

We’ve finally had some nice easy west winds set up the past few days. We were hoping the bunker schools would FINALLY stage up but so far that hasn’t happen. My fingers are crossed hoping a large body of bunker move in and pod up to give a taste of the good ol’ days spring bassin’ in the boat. Until then trolling along IBSP and LBI is slow put there’s a few bass picking to be had.

There was a post on the Barnegat Bay Fishing Report Facebook page, “(Is the) spring striped bass ocean run a thing of the past for us in Barnegat? (It) seems (the) spring (is) becoming more and more unpredictable out front. This year (the) water is still plenty cold but (there’s) little bait. (The) fall run is later and later. Thoughts?”

My take on things and what I posted as a reply…

Here at Fishermans Headquarters we have had a very good spring with positive catches coming in from customers. It has been a phenomenal spring run along the SURF here on LBI. Not so much “out front” in the boat. I don’t want to speak for IBSP [Grumpy’s Tackle – Ray’s reply to me “The fishing this spring in the IBSP are has been excellent. Since April we’ve had consistently good bass fishing with clams. The drum bite has been phenomenal and we have also seen a good number of medium to large bluefish. Overall I’m very pleased with how this spring has turned out so far. The drum bite in the bay was a bonus two weeks!] or Brigintine [Riptide Bait & Tackle – Andy’s reply to me “The last three to four years has been crazy good fishing for us here in Brigantine from the surf. Big bass, big drum and monster blues. But in the fall it hasn’t offered as much fun. Not much out front for the boaters but the boat anglers fishing in the bay are hitting big blues and stripers as well as big drum. Who knows why and how long it will last but we are enjoying responsibly while it is happening! On the bait side we have had little bunker and only a couple deliveries of small ones but 95% of the action has been on clams. Salted, frozen or in the shell it hans’t mattered.] but maybe they do?

For LBI, one of the best in a decade. [Take one look at the LBI Spring Surf Fishing Tournament live results and be sure to look at the catch and release devision too.] The bass have been in tight to the beach and anglers have caught most of April and all of May. A great size range too from trophies to slots and shorts. While management and scientists say bunker is abundant and wintering off NJ in large strong numbers our anecdotal reports do not agree. [Us NJ anglers have known for years that bunker winter off NJ] I would point to the lack of adult bunker as the main reason why we don’t have a strong boat fishery [right now] along LBI and IBSP like previous years. I would point to the fact that we have had little to no west wind (bunker filter feed and swim into the wind) until recent, the past couple days. There’s times we would have a week or more of west winds, bunker pods on the beach and bass feeding with boats, live bait or lure fishing and others trolling, all catching.

I’m not saying there are no bunker in the region, however there is little bunker near shore. Little in terms of both size and abundance. The local bait guys are having one of their worst year ever. Struggling to say the least. Maybe some are doing good but my two long time sources are not. Also don’t overlook management and data shows a decline in the striped bass stock. For those who don’t attend meetings and follow the fisheries data updates, their on the water fishing experience gauges how good or poor the fishery is. When management says there is a problem or a potential looming, many don’t agreed based on their great anecdotal catch “data”. That doesn’t account for recruitment, shrinking spawning stock biomass, spawning area water quality issues, invasive species, migratory path changes and the list goes on and on. While I don’t want to say the sky is falling, there are significant problems with the striped bass fishery. Unfortunately some of these issues are a bit too complex to dive into here with text. It would could and should be a book. But hopefully this explains a little bit of my take on it.

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!

Leave a Reply