Memorial Weekend Is Finally Here! We are all happy for this holiday weekend. Let’s enjoy the good weather and great fishing with family and friends. But let’s not forget what it’s all about! Remember and honor all of those past and present who have sacrificed the most and served in the Armed Forces. Thank You!
Right now is prime time fishing on the waters of Long Beach Island. The opportunity is there for a variety of species inshore, offshore and from shore.
It’s On Fluke Season
Gary Adair, Kirsten Holloway and Dante from Magictails got out today for opening day fluke and found fish. Dante reported, “The morning was slow. Late morning I picked up Gary and went back out for another look. The wind picked up and the tide started coming in. It got good from 11 am to 2pm.” The crew limited out catching 9 keeper fluke. Gary said, “The 1oz Magictail Hoochies tipped with chart or nuclear chicken Gulp was the ticket.” Dante shared, “First trip of the year was a beat down with 20-30kt NW winds but we limited out in a couple hours. The water was dirty and white was not producing like it usually does.”
LBI Surf Fishing Report
It’s all about striped bass and bluefish fishing the beaches of Long Beach Island Bass. Reports are plentiful from both bait anglers and those casting lures. Reports of blues up to 15 pound class and striped bass up to high 20# (however there are much bigger fish). Now’s the time to get in on the action.
Wes Darcy sent in a report yesterday, “I stopped in this morning and got some really nice baits. The bunker was fresh! Found bluefish everywhere 8-12 pounders. I looked all over but couldn’t find a bass.”
Kristi Cooper reported yesterday, “About 11am we found ourselves in the midst of a bluefish feeding frenzy in Beach Haven. We had two rods going and just kept getting hooked up. It was insane. Couldn’t keep up. It was a great day to remember!”
Inshore Fishing Report
The inshore waters are lit up with black sea bass. The majority of reports from the inshore wrecks and reefs are positive.
The striped bass grounds offer a spotty pick of striped bass on the troll. Some days are good and other days are frustrating with consistent marks of lock jaw linesiders.
Big Game Fishing
Tuna!!! The early season tuna action has been red hot. Boats fishing the mid-shore waters of the 30+ fathom line line are hooking up with quality beasts. The main canyons and also waters inside are producing.
Coming down off May’s full moon the inshore, offshore and from shore fishing is great.The inshore waters is all bass! Striped bbass and black sea bass offer anglers lots of fun.
Striped Bass Fishing
Solid weekend of striped bass fishing with anglers catching really big fish in the boats. The troll bite is good along LBI and IBSP beaches. The number of fish caught from the mid 30’s to UPPER 50’s is spectacular. Some of the fish checked into the weekend’s Waretown Fire Company Fishing Tournament were impressive. Jim Brady and crew took the cake with a 59, 53, 43. That’s a series three pack.
Here’s a photo sent in from Colin Fitzpatrick of his friend Katie Barron with a health striped bass she caught and released out of BI this Sunday.
Just a heads up there’s some squid around the near shore waters. Here’s John Fay with a big squid that was snagged while trolling a mojo with Scott Lapsley north of BI.
Black Sea Bass Fishing
Black Sea Bass season is cranking with the majority of the reports being very strong.
Swagmattic and the South Jersey Saltwater Anglers fished Sunday aboard the Mary M. out of Barnegat Light reports fishing was absolute phenomenal. “It was drop and reel from the beginning to end. All the sea bass and ling you could catch as well as a couple tog, mackerel, bluefish and cod. It was a really good trip!”
The Carolyn Ann III reported yesterday (Sunday), “A nice day fishing today. The bite was Sea Bass fishing is strong. A few limits and everyone caught fish. One nice cod about 7-lbs and quite a few ling were caught.”
Bluefish Crusing The Local Waters
Blues are still around in force. The size ranges from small cocktails in the one to two pound range all the way up to ten plus pounds. Anglers in the bay, inlet and surf are catching.
Bill from Village Harbour Fishing Club weighed in a 7 pound bluefish today from Great Bay. He reported catching multiple bluefish.
Anglers in the inlet are having fun. Some days are better than others. One thing is for sure you gotta be there to get in on ’em.
The NJ Summer Flounder aka Fluke Fishing season kicks off this Friday. Early season you’ll want to look towards the inlet and bay for the best early season action. Anglers fishing the shallow waters will catch best.
The boys on the Reel Innovation reported staying inside the canyons to hunt for biggins. They hooked up with the right one but after a solid battle pulled the hook. They worked hard and put together a catch. Got a 50lb bluefin and a couple big barrel fish.
Dylan Fisher aboard the Reel Fishers made their first trip of the season offshore this weekend. He reported, “No giants but caught our limit and had a great time.”
Rick Bragg was out with some friends and reported lots of big albies as well as three bluefin tuna up to 60lbs.
The great fishing continues… If you can get out and go now is the time!!!
Here’s the On The Water Striper Migration Map updated yesterday May 17th. Right now Long Beach Island is the epicenter of the run.
Big bass are roaming the inshore waters and the Long Beach Island surf. Surfcaster Lee Hales checked in a 44″ 34.5 pound striped bass. He got this on the mid-island surf.
Anglers fishing spoons and mojos are finding large fish. Here’s a photo of Paul Solon with a 42lbs bass he got this morning.
Some nice blues in the bays. Here’s a photo of a ten pound toothy one that was caught by Dave Werner’s daughter.
BHCFA Weekly Report
by Jim Hutchinson Sr.
The fishing scene in the Beach Haven, NJ, area is starting to break open. This is the time of the year when the bite for spring fish is going strong while the summer fish are already arriving. This makes for a wonderful combination, and the boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are taking advantage of it.
The run of big migrating striped bass is within easy reach for trolling along with a range of varying bluefish sizes. Black seabass season has just officially opened, and the inshore structures are loaded with limit catches. Boaters who have ventured further offshore have found hungry bluefin tuna. It is just one week until the long-awaited summer flounder season opens for the icing on the cake.
BHCFA Captain Larry Rosica of the “Dreamliner” went on a short prospecting trip this week just north of Barnegat Inlet and found a nice pair of bass. One was taken while trolling a white bunker spoon and the other on a plug.
Some of the BHCFA Junior Mates ventured out recently with Tucker Blanchard, Jon Kelly, and Raymond Stack finding some good action on bluefin tuna. Another day Maxwell Goldman and Tucker Blanchard had a great day bottom fishing with close to 25 keeper sized black sea bass to 3-pounds.
Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing recently had Rich Sanborn and family out looking for bass despite some strong winds against the tide conditions. The group worked through the conditions with the Minn Kota trolling motor setup helping produce good drifts. They managed a dozen short bass to 25-inches along with a 26-inchblue. A large bass was on for a while near the end of the trip but could not be brought to the boat.
In other news the BHCFA presented their plans to the Beach Haven Borough Council regarding the reef re-nourishment project started by the Junior Mates Program. Also addressing the Council was Junior Mate Liane Lopez who described the deterioration of the current reefs and the need to maintain them.
The evening went well as the Council issued a proclamation supporting the project which will be sent to the other towns on Long Beach Island urging their support for the program.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.net
So here we are smack dab in the middle of May enjoying rock solid fishing. This spring started off early and ramped up quick. Hope y’all are enjoying the ride (actively fishing and having a blast or following along here). Anyone who’s in on the action must concur… Fishing Is Phenomenal!
Anglers on Long Beach Island are catching morning, noon and night. Now’s the time to take advantage of great action in the bay, in the inlet and in the surf as well as the inshore and offshore waters. Read on…
Inshore Striped Bass Fishing
The inshore striped bass troll bite along Long Beach Island and Island Beach State Park is going off. There’s very big fish are here! The past couple of days were the real deal. Lots of fishermen catching 30# and 40# class. There were a surprising number of 50’s too!!! If you aren’t out hunting you are missing out on a chance to battle trophies.
Yesterday store staffer Max caught his personal best bass, 55 pound striped bass trolling a MagicTail Mojo.
Dan Rosetto got a hog.
Trevor Jones got a 49″ biggin’ on a Magictail Mojo.
Randy Townsend has been on the bite since it started. Recently fishing solo he had all 4 of his rods go off at once trolling spoons and mojos. Nice work landing all 4 fish Randy! That isn’t an easy challenge.
Fish Head Charters
I was stoked to put return client Brian from Bergan Country on his personal best striped bass today (Friday). We had some fun action with a smaller class of bass early and then went out on the hunt for large. This is the biggest bass for us fishing the local waters (was up in Raritan Bay for three weeks cheating) this spring. Thursday I had an awesome morning trip with Greg and Dom. We had fun with bass and blues. I then had JP on for an evening session. It stared slow but the second half was really good. Both bass and blues.
Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Report
Here on Long Beach Island the surf has a steady pick of striped bass and bluefish on fresh bunker chunks. Anglers have found fish on the entire stretch of LBI’s 18 miles of beach front from the north end to the south end and everywhere in between. Take a look back at some of our recent report posts for photos and specifics.
It looks Chris Masino’s good fortune from the Fall Derby has carried over to the spring! On Wednesday Chris landed a 32-lb 3-oz striped bass off the south end surf to take the lead in the LBI Spring Surf Fishing Derby. Chris gave us heads up, he is also been into bluefish regularly.
We heard of another really nice fish off the south end surf from Sean (@spsherwin). He got his first bass and really made it count checking in just under 30 pounds.
Shop local Chris Bender is hitting it hard!! He reports, “Many fish on the chunk and smaller fish on SP Minnows. I got a 36 pounder on a bucktail.”
Store Steve-o lost a nice bass in the surf last night on a bunker chunk and he will be returning tonight for redemption!!!
Barnegat Inlet Fishing Report
The Inlet is chock full of blues and bass. Anglers are having a blast working fish on lures of all sorts. Store staffer Pat was up on the Jetty this morning before work. He had one bluefish about 8 pounds and all the rest were cocktails, all on SP Minnows. Recently the bluefish size was on the smaller side however there’s a good chance some bigger ones will move through.
Speaking of bigger ones…
LBI’s Bayside Action
Chris O’Neil gave us heads up down his way (South End Of LBI & Great Bay) the bay is full of blues, “I was catching one after the other. Got about 30 of them. Most went back except for a few that will be shark bait.” Here’s a gator he got today.
The bay also offers good fun for anlgers targeting striped bass along the sod banks, flats and docks. Some quality black drum fishing is going down too.
The night haunts offer really good variety with bass and blues on bucktails and soft plastics.
Store staffer Blake is into blues on the bayside. He said, “I’m catching blues in the 2-5 pounds on poppers. Lots of fun”
Store Staffer Frezza has been fishing the local bay areas catching schoolie bass and cocktail blues!
Sea Bass Fishing
Black Sea Bass Opened On May 15th and anglers are out there catching.
Rob Vallone headed to the Sea Bass grounds this morning aboard the Carolyn Ann III. He reported, “Baseball bat ling, along with many nice knot head sea bass. The pool winner was 4lbs.”
Store Staffer Kelley and his Dad took the maiden voyage on there new boat and got into some awesome fishing on Thursday!! Many other boats report catching their limits of sea bass.
Bob Long was in the shop today gearing up for another sea bass trip. He’s looking forward to fishing aboard the Mary M with Captain Sam. Bob Shared, “I was out opening day aboard the Carolyn Ann III. It was an awesome trip.” The boar reported, “Best Sea Bass Fishing We’ve seen in a while. Lots of limits with nice size fish.”
Offshore Big Game Fishing
It’s time! The offshore big game fishing is popping off. Reports of giants were confirmed. There’s beautiful water out there so it’s time to get in the game. Just a heads up the midshore grounds could be a good place to look for small(er) boats looking for big fish. We had a couple reports of quality fish just outside the 30 line!
This morning anglers did very well fishing the waters of Long Beach Island. Lots of anglers through the shop shared positive reports.
“Hooked up, bit up and now going home to cook up!” Reported Ronald from Philly. Ron stopped in and started the day fishing the bay side of Ship Bottom.”We found some small blues. Ended up making a move to the Inlet Rocks where we got into the tail end of the morning’s bite.”
Petey “Whiteshades” Figueroa was on the LBI beach this morning. He stopped in stoked and reported, “I’m outta the slump. Got into good fishing chunking today with five bass up to – in to the 30 pound class.” Take a look on our Instagram story for a short video.
Steve McKee from Lancaster, PA weighed in a 15# bass that he caught off the mid island surf on bunker. He said lots of small blues were present.
Yesterday off the surf Jason Golderer and Ryan Mollicone reported, ” The blues are here. Fishing on the beach for blues was crazy. Managed to get gators in Surf City.”
Tom Wittig sent in a photo with thanks, “Thanks for the bait we caught a bunch of blues on the beach in rough surf. Well worth the drive from Philly.”
Opening Day Sea Bass
Today was opening day for Black Sea Bass in New Jersey. Just a heads up the current regulations are 10 fish at 12.5″ May 15 to June 22. This is the corrected possession limit. Please note the one printed in the NJ Marine Digest is incorrect.
The Village Harbour Fishing Club Carmine Tocci from Beach Haven West was out today fishing the inshore wrecks/reefs on the hunt for sea bass. He weighed in his biggest, a 2.6 pounder and said there was a 4/5 to 1 keeper ratio.
Fish Head Charters
Finally got the maintenance (oil change and such) done and back into the water Tuesday. Ended up taking a short evening session with Brandon from Fathom Lure Company. He was in town doing his spring rounds and timed it up just right. We got out to the flats and were shocked with very chilly water. What was 58-62 degrees before the blow was now in the low 50’s. We caught a couple bluefish and then the sky unleashed a full on monsoon. I’m looking forward to getting back out there the next few days.
So the weekend was a bit gnarly weather wise on Sunday but Saturday offered great fishing. Now that things settled down, anglers are back on them! It’s prime time spring fishing for stripers and bluefish on Long Beach Island. Get in the game!
Anglers fishing the Barnegat Bay report striped bass and blues. They are catching casting and retrieving lures and also trolling.
Sunday was a wash out blowing a gale. Monday wasn’t much better but things started to clear up. Late in the night Monday store staffer Kelley and Swag got out and enjoyed catching bass and blues on the bayside.
Today (Tuesday) is off to a great start. Gio from Philly stopped in late morning for some tackle. He reported the blues were snapping. “It was go good they ripped the hooks off. The Shimano Coltsniper is the Bee’s Knees!” We re-rigged his MVP with some heavy duty VMC trembles so it’s ready for round two.
On the surf there’s bass and blues. Todd Luyber stopped in the shop about 11am and got some fresh bunker. He hit the surf and quickly reported, “Got one on my first cast.” About an hour later he followed up, “Got three so far!” Todd has been hitting the surf consistently and had kept a pretty good run of fish going.
We got word from Brian and crew who got out on the boat this morning and found some bass locally in the ocean. Here’s a photo he sent us.
There’s a good stretch of weather ahead… let’s go fishing!
Happy Mother’s Day! This day like all holidays are milestones which help gauge the season’s progress. Over the years Mother’s Day is a mark when a larger class of fish show in the local Long Beach Island waters. This year they are right on time possibly a little bit early.
Right now striped bass and bluefish are here and anglers are enjoying good fishing on the surf, bay and inlet. If you have the time get out and FISH!!!
Jacob Bowles reports, “Fishing is lights out right now! These bluefish are all over plugs and the striped bass just keep demolishing soft plastics. I has a lot more keepers in the mix this weekend too!”
The Barnegat Inlet was on fire yesterday with bluefish.. Store staffers Pat and Frezza were in on the action. Pat said, “It was good from 4:30 to 7:30 with just about non-stop bite on anything from bucktails to SP minnows. Most of the fish were about five pounds, though I saw a couple 10-12+ pounders caught. There were also striped bass in with the blues.” Frezza shared, “Everyone on the jetty was catching but they were mostly smaller size fish. My biggest was only about six pounds but it was a good time for sure.”
Yesterday evening, store staffer Max got into a roast session with gators fishing the flats.
Out front anglers are catching both bass and blues in the boats. We heard of boats catching along Island Beach State Park and along Long Beach Island. Some solid reports from Beach Haven to Harvey Cedars. One angler reported catching a large bass (possibly 50#) trolling a green bunker spoon.
Dan Rosetto is stoked on his new Sea Hunt Gamefish boat. “Fueled up Friday night and had eyes set on a good section of water moving in. But the weather was marginal. Decided to stay in and fish for bass along the beach, IBSP. Ended up getting out late but found fish right away. Stopped the boat in 40′ of water and marked fish right away. Dropped the gear and got a bite on a mojo. Shortly after a bite on a bunker spoon. Then the bite went dead. I head of a other fish caught. My buddy had a 40# class bass. They are here!”
Offshore Fishing Report
Look what’s swimming around in the local waters! Captain RJ on the Jersey Nuts made it out yesterday putting three fish in the boat, the biggest was a 70″ bluefin! Let the games begin!!
LBI Surf Fishing Report
Lots of action! The Long Beach Island surf is producing striped bass and bluefish.
John Parzych stopped in the shop yesterday (Saturday) afternoon and geared up before hitting the beach. He reported having a great time on the beach. “I did good last night fishing until 12:30am. Couldn’t keep bait in the water. I actually had to switch to one rod because I was running back and forth. Two bass one short and one 25# (photo below) that I released, about a dozen blues also sand sharks. All on bunker, mid-island surf.”
Fred Soper weighed in a 17 pound striped bass that he caught this morning off the surf on bunker.
Ken Perry took the three hour drive down from his home in the Pocono Mountains this weekend to fish Long Beach Island. He reported, “Thank you all at Headquarters for all the help and support over the years. I am 61 years old and have been fishing almost my entire life. This was my very first “keeper” striped bass! Many schoolies including two, over the years, that measured in at 27.5″. It’s a long drive, so I only get a few opportunities a year.” On Saturday Ken weighed in a 38″ 22.12 pound bass. It was caught off the mid-island surf not far from the shop on Fish Heads Bunker. Ken said, “The tide was incoming, about three hours in. Also got a 30″ bluefish about a half hour earlier.”
TGIF – The weekend is finally here and so are the fish. Now fully into May fishing on Long Beach Island is in full swing. See our previous report posts (May 7th Report, May 6th Report) for more details on what went down this week. Here’s some updates…
The LBI ocean temps in the surf is right at the 50 degree mark and with it comes an increase in size class. Recently the season’s largest striped bass were caught. We expect the next couple of weeks to offer the spring season’s best surf fishing quality. Take one look at today’s Striper Migration May from On The Water and it’s clear… It’s game time!
The Barnegat Bay water temps are in the mid to high 50’s and these waters are holding both striped bass and bluefish. The striped bass info shouldn’t be a surprise since they’ve been chewing for weeks on end. However, a new influx of bluefish is news to talk about!
This week saw a good push of bluefish in the bay. Some were also caught in the Inlet however nothing like what end down on the bay. Angler are into a lot of fun fishing the shallow water.
Time to start hunting the blue water! This week we received our monster delivery of premium offshore baits from Baitmasters. These ballyhoo are premium quality. We are fully stocked up and ready to go! It’s time to push off on the next weather window. So far we’ve heard about good sections of water that have produced.
On Thursday I made my first local trip. I was spoiled being up in the Raritan Bay for the past three weeks but I’m back and ready for the run here on LBI. I went out on the hunt for found found. Both bass (schoolies) and blues (5-10# class). It was epic fishing but a ton of fun on light tackle. All the action was in 4-8′ of water on minnow style swimming plugs (Rapala X-Rap and YoZuri Mag Minnow).
I’m currently out of the water for maintenance (already have to do an oil change among a couple other things) but will be back in any day. I’m looking forward to the great fishing ahead.
The fishing musician Rick Wieland had a successful first cast of the tour (season). Rick reported, “Late this morning at the top of the tide about 10 I got one. First cast out baited up with bunker got a 27″ striped bass. The mid-island surf has fish cruising through.”
“A big thank-you to all the Fish Head staff for their courteous and helpful assistance while I was down fishing this past weekend. Great to finally meet Fish Head Greg, and along with the rest of the staff. A great stop before fishing the waters around LBI! Anyone searching for the best bait and tackle shop on the Island, need not travel beyond the Headquarters of Fisherman, other than to begin your journey in the Brine n suds! Missed several strikes and had some break offs, but managed to land this Blue.” ~Robert Gernert (Previously Reported May 6th)
LBI Spring Surf Fishing Tournament
The LBI Spring Surf Fishing Tournament is in full swing. Here’s the leader board as of Day 11…
Top Striped Bass 1) 29.86# Ryan Jones 2) 23.54# Gary Grippaldi 3) 20.18# Jason Wilt
We had a fun morning aboard the Fish Head today. I got out on the water with store staffer Frezza for my final Raritan Bay trip of the 2019 spring. We got out early and found the fish in the same area we’ve been working for a few days. They were not stacked but plentiful none the less. In a short time we caught and released five striped bass. What an awesome three weeks up there but it’s time to get back on my local waters and enjoy fishing close to home. I’m looking forward to working the backwaters of Barnegat Bay and soon the inshore waters. I got word from a friend who got a quality striped bass today (photo looked to be a 30# class fish) not all that far from Barnegat Inlet.