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 FishingLBI.com (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!
In 1984 NJ’s Division of Fish & Wildlife officially began the NJ Artificial Reef Program. Currently today there are 17 reef sites where one quarter of all fishing trips in NJ occur.
All would agree that fluke, black sea bass, tautog as well as many other species benefit from the structure and the habitat artificial reefs create. As these sites age they evolve. Some materials collapse, shifting sand covers pieces and some sink into the sand. To keep the state’s network of reef vibrant and prospering new deployments are vital.
Due to funding and staffing, the Reef Program was dormant for a number of years. Then the program started up again. Between 2015-2019 there were 209 deployment with the majority (182) focused on the souther sites (Cape May, Ocean City, Townsends, Wildwood). But the sites local to Long Beach Island have had little to no enhancements in 15 years.
“Teenagers in the Association’s Junior Mates Program learned of the situation and asked what could they do. This humble beginning sparked a grass roots campaign which snowballed into an intensive campaign by the BHCFA. These efforts attracted the attention of concerned individuals and groups on the local and even national levels.” Jim Hutchinson Sr shared and continued.
“The group’s original reef replenishment goal of $100,000 was reached thanks to the efforts of the mates, local community involvement, and matching funds from the Ann E. Clark Foundation and the Sport Fishing Fund. The Sea Shell Resort & Beach Club’s Striped Bass Derby generously donated $50,000.”
Three New Vessels Added To Little Egg Reef
Finally! After two years of hard work from the captains and mates of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association (BHCFA), there’s new materials on the Little Egg Reef.
On Thursday January 14, 2020 Captain Pete Clark (NJDEP Fisheries Biologist & Reef Coordinator) and Captain John Lewis (BHCFA President) oversaw the sinking of three vessels; a 140-foot barge, a tugboat and a push boat.
The tug boat and push boat were towed up from Norfolk, Virginia on the barge. All of which were cleaned twice and cleared by the US Coast Guard prior to sinking.
Now with the new substrate on the Little Egg Reef native species of epifauna and flora will grow. Soon they will be home to crustaceans, mollusks and bait fish. Once established predatory/game species will move in and support recreation anglers for many years to come.
Lewis gave special words of praise to the Junior Mates for the efforts and participation. “Kids today take a beating for various reasons. Our kids have adopted a ‘can-do’ approach and worked their tails off to implement their ideas and dreams.”
This article contains content provided by Jim Hutchinson Sr & Jr, the Fisherman Magazine and the NJ DEP Fish & Wildlife.
This will be the last fishing report of 2020. Thanks to our fishing community for following along all year and sharing reports.
We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and Great Holiday stretch. From the entire team at Fish Heads Happy New Year!
Off The Surf
Some anglers are still trying and a few are catching. No spectacular report but we have heard of some surf side linesiders on tin and teaser as well as bait.
Gary Thorp caught and released a 26″ bass Monday at the beginning of the incoming tide with his five year old son. Gary and son were using bunker on a hi-lo CIRCLE HOOK rig Gary reported, “I think he’s hooked on surf fishing for life!”
Ben Morris reported on Sunday, “No better way to spend a cold late December morning. The surf was calm and clean. I pulled one about 21″ at sunrise. Had a few bumps after that catch but wasn’t able to hook up.” Joe Grey got one off the surf on Sunday too.
A number of skunked out reports came in from anglers fishing all over the LBI beach from Barnegat Light to Holgate.
Dead Whale Washes Up On LBI Surf
If you didn’t hear the news yet… there was a 32′ humpback whale that washed up on the beach in Loveladies on Christmas Eve. The southerly wind and waves moved it up to its final resting place in Barnegat Light on Christmas Day.
Word from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center is that a definitive cause of death could not be determined. Due to the size removal would have been difficult so it was buried on the beach, back away from the water’s edge and covered over with a large mound of sand.
The hardcore bottom anglers are catching fish from tog to sea bass, porgies, ling and cod. Most of the action is taking place at the deep water offshore spots.
The tog fishing has been hit or miss. Some anglers are having a banner day followed up by a dead day. Those putting in the time are finding catches and some are putting quality fish on the deck.
Not sure if you heard yet… Angler Chris Sullivan from Waretown caught a 25.8 pound tog recently, potentially a new New Jersey State Record Black Fish. Chris was fishing out of Cape May with Captain Tom Daffin on the Fishin’ Fever. The story we got was he fished the day before out of Barnegat Light on the Mary M. They had left over live white crabs from Fishermans Headquarters so they brought them down for the next day’s trip. Baited up on a Centruy Pro Togger the bite came and Chris put the screw to ’em. Epic Catch Sully! Congrats!!!
Here at the end of the year it’s time to clean things up and responsibly put them to rest for the winter hibernation. Now’s the time to clean and lube reels, wipe down rods (clean blank guides, grips and seats), warm water wash lures and organize things. I give a quick light spray of CRC656 to my terminal tackle boxes to prevent corrosion. A little maintenance now saves a much larger project in the spring!
We are open daily all winter long with all of the essentials for reel service and repair whether dropping off or DIY. We have parts and lubricants in stock.
Fishermans Headquarters is a Factory Authorize Penn Reels & Van Staal Service Center
Things have settled down from the recent blow. The ocean water today was still a little churned up and dirty but improving. There’s bass on the beach if you are looking to go. We did not hear many reports but we did get a couple. There’s also anglers catching fish in the boats.
Paul Karner caught his first striped bass off of the surf today, three in total. All were caught on his DIY teaser fished with a diamond jig. There’s no better way to target the schoolies off the surf right now that fishing a teaser!
Another report came in from Paul Lindsey. “Finally back on the bass! Bunker was washing up on the beaches down on the south end of the island this morning. There’s still plenty of life here!”
Here’s a photo from Sloane on the LBI surf a few days back.
UPDATED SUNDAY 12/20/20
Paul Michael reported, “Today was a very weak day for me. I worked from Holgate all the way up to Cedars. Only caught tone fish. My buddy Dave got two fishing the mid island surf. Only heard of a couple fish. I’m hoping Monday is better.”
Captain Steve Purul from Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters was out today for the his last trip of the 2020. “Wrapped up the 2020 fishing season with my favorite salty bunch of pirates! It was a slow start but gave way to a busy dec and action packed end to the 2020 season with doubles, triples and quadruples on every drift!”
Paul Haertel reported another great day on the tog grounds with a boat limit plus to 10.39#. Store staffer Grey was aboard and reported having a fund day. Paul shared he is loving his new Rhodan Trolling Motor. He said it’s so good it’s cheating, “They should be illegal!” The Rhodan GPS Anchor/Trolling Motor is a total game changer for so many different fisheries. They really shine for locking up (virtual anchoring) over wrecks.
Black Sea Bass
Sloane stopped in the shop a geared up on Friday for a black sea bass trip. Today she was out fishing the deep water grounds with Capt Nick Perello. They murdered ’em!
Here’s our most recent video report from Wednesday Dec ember 16th…
The surf was churned up yesterday with strong winds and powerful surf. The Barnegat Light Buoy 44091 peaked at 6′ at noon. Then the westerlies took over and then it jacked up to 11′ that the night. It has settled today with lingering 1-2′ swell on the beaches today. We are entering a good stretch of westerlies this work week. With reasonably chilly temps there’s good fishing opportunities here on Long Beach Island.
West is best! Monday is the third day of the west winds. Will it play out again like last week? Gotta go to know! We’ve got good expectations for the week ahead. If you want to get in on the action before the season is over, now is the time to get out and go fishing!
Here’s the Fishing LBI Fishing Report Update For Sunday December 6, 2020.
LBI Surf Fishing Reports
Last few days anglers caught fish off of the surf. Mornings have been best but some after finding fish in the afternoons, and evenings. At times things have come together.
Today (Sunday) Randall Swartley caught a 29″ striped bass on a AVA jig fishing the mid-island surf. Bob Dever of the American Anglers Fishing Club caught a 30″ bass on bunker mid island surf. JP from Beach Haven caught some morning stripes today too.
A number of other reports came in from anglers in the shop. Josh Rosk got a 28″ bass on a Daiwa SP Minnow fishing the mid island surf. Eli Haegele got two bass on the beach fishing an AVA metal.
Declan Wahlers caught a bass and a fluke fishing off the surf. As the photos below show, both species went for the teaser!
Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic
There’s one week left in the 66th Annual LBI Surf Fishing Classic. So far December has been good with a fish entered every day this month. For more details on the leader board… Live Results
The standout is Rich Bergman’s 36″ 17.09# striped bass that he caught and weighed in on 12/3/20. Photo below…
Still some nice striped bass on the bayside too. The sod banks, docks, and bridges all have produced good fishing. Some anglers took advantage of the backside’s protection and found bass.
Here’s a hungry bass that Ryan Mollicone caught fishing a popper on the bayside.
This past weekend was a good one with great weather and good fishing. It was quite possibly the best weekend of the fall run for fishing in the LBI area. Here’s the Long Beach Island Fishing Report Update for November 30, 2020.
LBI Surf Fishing
Good vibes here on the LBI surf with action reported the past few days. Anglers are catching striped bass in all sizes (unders, slots and overs) fishing artificials and natural baits. Spiny Dogfish are still around in huge numbers and are frustrating chunkers BUT fishing through them yield bass bounty. The only way to stay away from them is larger baits or heads. Better yet switch over to lures.
Monday 11/30/20 (Today)
The week started off today windy with churned up surf. It was a rough one but some anglers got out and fish during the earlier part of the day. Lots of surf rats live for stormy surf conditions. A couple that braved the elements were rewarded.
Captain Alex Majewski from Lighthouse Sportfishing was on the surf this morning and shared this report from the beach, “I went one for two on the chunk at dawn. I’m on the move looking around but the weather is going downhill fast.
The adage “Third Day Of The West Wind” held true offering awesome times for a select group of anglers who were in the right spot at the right time!
Paul Lindsey was in on the action and shared this, “EPIC! EPIC! EPIC! Sunrise session this morning on the LBI beach! The bass were steam rolling sand eels. We had doubles on teasers. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Even REDFISH joined the action.” MORE ON REDFISH BELOW
Jack Hanley was in on the action too and reported, “I slammed them! Hit a blitz with tons of birds and non stop bass action for 30-45 mins. Biggest bass was thirty one inch.”
Nate Kirby reported a good morning bite too. Last week Nate was in the shop picking up some essentials for a DIY teaser tying session. He got some hooks, thread, flash and hair. Safe to say the striped bass approve!
Youth anglers Hunter Chervony got a 29″ bass off the mid-Island surf chunking bunker. Kenny Lehmann’s son caught a 22″ bass on bunker fishing mid-island surf.
REDFISH On The LBI Surf
Redfish, a somewhat common catch years ago are making a return? Could this be possible? This November, more specifically the past 5-10 days we saw numerous redfish reports. While not rare or uncommon they are very infrequent.
This weekend we heard of a handful of redfish catch reports. Two were caught by one angler.
Gregory Davis’s catch is the largest we’ve seen. He caught this redfish off the LBI surf in the mix of a bass blitz Sunday. He caught the red fishing a metal with a teaser. Mike (@mwc0420) landed one last week
Where Are The Bluefish!
Behind… When’s high tide? What are your hours? This is the most common question here… Where Are The Bluefish?!?! In the past week or two few were reported. They were caught by anglers trolling for striped bass. This weekend we heard of a couple small ones showing up on the Barnegat Inlet. We shared in a previous report that some blues were reported by anglers fishing the deep water wrecks 30-60 miles out. This weekend many reports came in with a similar theme…. the Barnegat Ridge has bluefish in the 5-10 pound range. Our fingers have been crossed tight all fall. We aren’t loosening up yet. Will they show on the beaches this fall?
Inshore Fall Bluefin Tuna
Some really nice fish were caught recently in the 6-20 mile range. Anglers are catching bluefin on the troll and casting lures.
Inshore Bottom Fishing
It’s prime time tog fishing and the local wrecks and reefs are producing good umber and good size. Get crabs and get out there. We are doing our best ot have live white crabs and green crabs in stock for the rest of the year.
Fish Heads Ambassador Swagmattic was out wreck fishing this past weekend participating in the Forked River Tuna Club’s tog tournament. They put together a nice catch but wasn’t enough for the win. However Swag got a big sheepie!
The fish are here and anglers are catching on the beach and boat. Get in the game!
John Bell stopped in the shop this afternoon to gear up for an afternoon fishing trip on the surf. He sent in a couple photos just a few hours later.
May you and your families have a safe and health Thanksgiving filled with the warmth and happiness.
11/25/20 Wednesday: 6am to 8pm (Normal Hours) 11/26/20 Thursday: 5am to 2pm 11/27/20 Friday: 5am to 9pm 11/28/20 Saturday: 5am to 9pm (Normal Hours) 11/29/20 Sunday: 5am to 7pm (Normal Hours)
Get Reel Bass Fishing Visits LBI
Paulie Spikes from Get Reel Bass Fishing came down and visited the LBI area last week. While here he stopped into the shop before heading out to fish. Here’s a Vlog from trip which includes a trip aboard Fish Head Charters… Check It Out!
This past weekend was a GOOD ONE! Saturday was an awesome day! Great Fishing & Great Weather! It was great to see a crazy number of boats on the water and most were catching fish. There were a crazy number of surf anglers too but unfortunately the bite was not as good for them. BUT some caught fish. This weekend might have been the best three days for surf anglers all fall so far. With the ocean and surf temps in the mid to lower 50’s (52-54 degrees) it’s prime time fishing here on LBI.
If you’ve pulled out and wintered the gear for the year there’s no doubt you are missing out on a ton of great fishing opportunities. Now’s the time to get out and enjoy all the LBI and the surrounding waters have to offer. Let’s Go Fish!
LBI Surf Fishing
The Long Beach Island surf has not offered epic fishing; however, it has produced fun fishing for many anglers. Lots of mixed reports but one thing is for sure… right now is a good time to get out hunt down striped bass.
Since Halloween the invasion of dogfish has made bait fishing the suds challenging. However some of those that weed through and adapt are rewarded with quality striped bass. Some anglers have abandon bait fishing all together and they are scoring fish on lures. This weekend we heard through the grapevine of a 42″ striped bass that was released on the south end of the Islands. We also heard about scattered reports of short striped bass on metal/ teaser combo early in the mornings. Keeper striped bass were also caught. Here’s some details…
Sunday morning Tom Smith enjoyed the beautiful conditions (sunrise, north east winds, low tide) on the North End surf and caught a healthy striped bass for the dinner table. The 33″ striped bass went for a fresh Fish Heads bunker chunk.
Gavin Kowalski got two striped bass on green tube tail AVA Diamond Jigs rigged up with a teaser ahead of it. This is an old and effective trick to get the smallest presentations (little flies/teasers) way out a long distance. Diamond jigs and other metals cast like rocket ships.
Willy B – “Hey thanks for the help this week Had a great day. Lots of fish casting deadly dicks and AVA jigs. All fish were around 27″!”
Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic
It’s Day 44! Today (Sunday November 22, 2020) at 6pm the Second Segment ended and we are currently in the third and final segment of the LBI surf fishing tournament. So far there are 562 anglers participating. no bluefish, 37 kingfish and 16 striped bass. There have been a number of over and under legal slot (28-<38″) fish that were caught and released.
Today Steve Roderick weighed in a really nice fish for the LBI Surf Fishing Tournament… a 22.92# 37 7/8″ striped bass just before the 6pm (5:46pm) cut off. This fish unofficially qualifies as the winner of the second segment. Steve caught the bass fishing bunker on the south end of LBI at about 5pm.
What’s special about the LBI Classic is even though there’s a large fish on the board that will be very hard to beat (due to the new NJ state striped bass fishing regulations) there’s still lots of great fishing and competition ahead.
We’ve got a whole new segment full of great prizes. Get geared up and get out there! For The Live Results Page & More Info www.LBISFC.com
Bayside Striped Bass
Usually striped bass hang around our bays all year long and this year seems so far like that will be the case. Usually we see striped bass active in the back bay waters into December (depending on weather and temperatures). So far we continue to get positive reports from the bay.
Konrad recently picked up some essential fly tying materials at the shop to tie up some flies now and over the winter. He sent in this photo…
Striped Bass Out Of Barnegat Inlet
The striped bass fishing the past couple weeks has been nothing short of phenomenal. Recent days have kept the level very high. Even with the oodles of boats on Saturday the fish chewed. Sunday was rough but some went out and they caught. This week ahead doesn’t look the best but there will be some windows to get out.
Ryan Duffy geared up Friday night at fish heads and shared this report, “Had a productive day with 15 total striped bass keeping one 30″ for the table. Lots of boats were working the 3 mile line, I found a nice stretch of bass at the 1.5 mile area closer to the bottom and they were chewing 9ers shad umbrella rigs and sand eel umbrellas. About 9am we found the birds and had top water boils catching on needle fish lures and SP minnows. For the volume of boats it was a good day. Shout out to Greg Cudnik. and Fish Heads for always putting us on the fish with intel and the right gear!”
Fish Head Charters
All recent trips have been very good! It’s light tackle striped bass fishing at its finest. I’ve been out every single good weather day I possibly can and even some sour days too. The abundance of striped bass is phenomenal. I expect we’ll have a couple weeks of great fall fishing so long as the weather allows.
So far I have not had the need to break out the trolling gear. All action has been on light tackle spinning gear or the fly. Catching striped bass on top water boat side is exhilarating to say the least.
If you want to jump aboard send a text or call as there are a couple dates still available. Reach out to Captain Greg at Fish Head Charters Today 16093899963
LBI Tog Fishing
Tog fishing is good right now and should be right into the end of the year and beyond. The local reefs and wreck sites are producing. For land based anglers the Barnegat Inlet Jetty is still holding tog and anglers are catching with live crabs.
As of November 16 there is a five fish bag limit with a minimum size of 15″ (same all year)
Saturday Store staffer Frezza went out fishing aboard the Gabagool with Fish Head Alumni Dave DeFeo. They got into a great bite and were limited out by 9am.
Zachary Ellwood reported, “I was out fishing the Lighthouse and caught a lot of small stuff and nailed two keepers! It was a beautiful dead with the sun shining and not a lot of wind. I was in my t-shirt for most of the day!”
Paul Lindsey reported, “Probably caught close to 60 fish the last couple of days. All of the fish are fat and fun fighters.”
So here we are… Friday the 13th, approaching the middle of November and the new moon is tomorrow. Looking back at the first half of November it’s easy to say it has been a great month so far. Until recent the weather was unbelievable and so was the fishing. Even now with unstable weather there’s action to be had.
Here’s the Fishing LBI Fishing Report Update For Friday November 13, 2020.
Don’t Wait… Go Fish!
If you are sitting back, waiting for the “fishing to kick off” you are 100% missing out on great fishing opportunities. Anglers have and are catching striped bass on both the beach and boat.
This morning Jay Shayne caught a pair of big bass. He stopped in this afternoon for two new surf reels and shared a great report. “I had a good morning fishing the mid island surf. I stopped by Fish Heads and got some fresh bunker and then hit the beach not far from the shop. First cast, not more than 15 minutes I got 47″ bass. Then shortly after a 44″ second fish.” We would have to say that is about as good as it gets right there!
Here’s some other recent reports from the Long Beach Island Surf…
Today Mike Cucinotta caught and released a 47″ striped bass off of the LBI surf.
Rob Vallone stopped in the shop yesterday. He was up on the beach in the morning and got one striped bass. He said, “Fish the deep troughs in close with a metal and a teaser rig. You’ll find them.” He reported, “My buddies are picking a few too using the same as well as small rubber swim shads, sand eel soft baits and Deadly Dick Metals.” Robbie hit the LBI surf in the afternoon too. He got the skunk but his dad got one small bass and his buddy Andy got two. Biggest was 24″.
Dante from Magictail Lure Company was in the show today. He reported catching two small bass off the surf today on soft baits, Kettle Creek Paddletail Shads on a led head.
Recent LBI Surf & Jetty Catches
In the past 5-7 days land based anglers fishing the beaches of Long Beach Island have found some quality fish. Numerous fish over 40″ were reported. Here’s some photos of a couple.
These big fish aren’t the only catches from the LBI surf. We’ve also got first hand report from others. Anthony Ventriello recently caught this 26.5″ striped bass off of the LBI surf fishing the south end surf with a Deadly Dick Metal Lure.
Thursday morning Pete Evangelist reported the bass were blowing up on bait just out of casting range. Gary Grippaldi shared he is bucktailing schoolies on the surf. He said that he caught a fish off the surf the last few evenings.
Big Bass In The Local Waters
Barry Baxter caught and released a monster fishing the waters of LBI. He reported, “I took my wife Nicole for a boat ride around LBI yesterday. Saw some birds picking a mile off the beach. First cast… personal best 52″ fish. Then three casts later another big fish in the 40# class.”
What a great run of fishing we had before this recent weather. Thursday (5th), Friday (6th), Saturday (7th), Sunday (8th), Monday (9th), Tuesday (10th) was a great stretch of fishing and phenomenal weather. Not sure what was better… Top water bass fishing with striped bass ranging from teen to 40 class or fishing in shorts in early November.
It’s great to see a smorgasbord of bait here; sand eels, micros baits, bunker and squid. Anglers are finding fish using just about every application one could imagine. Those doing the best are matching the hatch.
Mojos are a great way to match squid and bunker. Umbrella rigs with tubes match a sand eel and shad match peanut bunker. Bunker spoons match a herring or bunker to the tee. Get in the game and have fun!
Bottom fishing at the local wrecks and reef sites is goofd with anglers catching quality tog as well as porgies and sea bass at select areas.
Big Game Fishing
Fall Tuna, Swords & Tiles
When the weather allowed reports came in from anglers fishing the deep for swordfish. Big game anglers were also finding big eye, tilefish and bluefin. Fred Soper reported catching a 68″ big eye and going three for three on swords.
Inshore Tuna Fishing
Captain Adam Sherer gets on some bluefin tuna each year as they move through our areas. Just the other day he found them and got one on the deck! “We avoided the striper crowds and did our own thing. It paid off big time. We had a great day chasing pods of bluefin tuna busting all by ourselves. It’s great to see Jersey bluefin tuna within sight of land.”