Fishing Report Update – 12/17/17

This weekend offered good fishing to most who got out on the hunt. A couple brave souls went Friday to battle in the snow. Those that went Saturday and Sunday took advantage with light winds and a flat sea.

Blackfish love feeding heavy with calm conditions, especially with minimal swell. This weekend Lake Atlantic produced!

Dante from Magictail Lures was out fishing hard over the weekend putting his products in the mouths of classy tog. Saturday he reported awesome fishing, “Three hour limit all on 1-1/5 Magictail Tog Jigs. Epic fishing with three fish over 10 pounds!” He added, “By the way, striped bass were blowing up on top feasting on herring all day.”

He was again out on Sunday, “Today (Sunday) we ground through a tougher bite with smaller fish, BUT we managed a five man limit with one going 12.5 pounds. Once again the Magictail tog jig were hot! The green/orange was hot!!!” Man Oh Man! You know the fishing is off the charts when a five man limit with fish up to 12.5 pounds is tough fishing. Ha!

Jarrett Hillman and Taylor Corbett got some nice tog this weekend!

Earlier in the weekend Jarrett Hillman and Taylor Corbett were on the water fishing out of Beach Haven and got into the tog on the jig! “We crushed them! Didn’t even have to anchor, catching on jigs and rigs.”

Here’s Dave Iacono with 26″ tog he caught aboard the Mary M. out of Barnegat Light..

Dave Iacono of the South Jersey Saltwater Anglers checked in a nice 26″ 10.5lb tog today. He was fishing aboard the Mary M. at a local inshore reef site. Dave reported good fishing on live green crabs. Swagmattic (Matt S) was also aboard the Mary M today. He reported, “(An) Epic day on the tog grounds!” Catching 9 keepers thanking Magictail for their awesome tog jigs, “These jigs are lights out!”

Swagmattic with a nice haul fishing aboard the Mary M out of Barnegat Light.

Patrick DiPasquale was on the water today fishing some structure off of Barnegat Light out in 90′ of water. He reported fun fishing but the action was slower than what was reported off of LBI and further south. “We managed putting together a catch with a handful of keepers and a bunch of throwbacks.”

Here’s Pat with his catch of tog.

All this Talk of Tog… Stripers Too!

While tog fishing gets the spotlight it should be noted that striped bass are still around in really good numbers! Local bass fishing is FAR FROM OVER!!!

Fishing in the snow!

Chris O’neil was out fishing in the snow Friday and reported, “Good day in the snow fishing outside of Little Egg Inlet! We limited out in a half hour.”

Here’s Melanie with a classy striped bass.

Today I headed out with my wife at about noon time for a mid day peek. We made the short run to the same area I’ve been fishing for a month now and found the fish rolling on top. Striped bass from small to teen to our largest 22 pounds. I was hooking them on the fly rod while my wife roasted ’em on the white Tsunami Swim Shad.

Surf anglers are picking fish along the beaches of LBI. Both bait and lures are getting bit.

LBI Fall Classic Wrap Up

Now that the 63rd Annual LBI Surf Fishing Classic is over (ended 12/10/17) the tournament committee is wrapping things up. The tournament website was just updated and all of the winners are published. View at

Here at Fisherman’s Headquarters we are completing the final prize distribution of our offerings, the Fisherman’s Headquarters Special Prizes and store Striped Bass Calcutta aka Side Bet. All of the Weekend Bonus Prizes ($100 Store Gift Certificate for the heaviest striped bass each Saturday & Sunday) have been mailed. Also the Junior Bonus Prizes that we offer ($200 Store Gift Certificate for the largest overall striped bass and the largest overall bluefish caught by a juvenile angler) were sent out.

Ryan O’Connell won the $200 Junior Division Striped Bass with his 24.36 pound bass. Turns out Ryan caught this fish on Saturday, November 18th so he also got an additional $100 gift card for the weekend bonus prize.

Quinn Rutan won the $200 Junior Division Bluefish with his 12.52 pound bluefish.

These store gift card shopping sprees are a great way to bring cheer to a young angler around the Holidays! They are also a great gift for any and all anglers or those hard to shop for people. Stop by Fisherman’s Headquarters today and get a gift certificate or you can purchase online…

Buy A Fisherman’s Headquarters Gift Certificate

On November 1st at about 1:30pm John Matt hooked and landed his winning 48 pound striped bass fishing bunker in the town of the Surf City. This catch earned John the tournament Grand Prize as well as the Fisherman’s Headquarters Fall Classic Calcutta “Striper Side-Bet”. Just yesterday John stopped by and was awarded the Side-Bet Cash Pot!

Second place went to Anthony Mormile for his 35.52 pound striped bass that he caught on November 11th at about 4:30 pm off of the North Beach surf on bunker. Third place went to Jim Larson for his 23.54 pound bass that he caught on November 9th at about 9:50 pm off the Jetty at the Barnegat Inlet State Park on a Daiwa SP Minnow lure. Both Anthony’s and Jim’s prizes are in the mail.

We got the call from long time tournament angler, supporter and master rod craftsman John Parzych.  For many years John donates two prizes – “Lure Only, No Bait Special Prize”. John offers two custom rods, one to the largest bluefish and one to the largest striped bass, caught on a lure (artificial). John has a stipulation that an angler can only win it once. Since Rob Vallone previously won a rod from John, his 15.16 pound bluefish was not eligible.

The two winners of John Parzych’s custom rods to the Biggest Fish On A Lure” are Jim Larson (23.54 pound bass) and Matteo Delmonico (10.74 pound bluefish). Their contact information has been given to John and you will be contacted soon. Start thinking what you want as a new weapon n your quiver!

Congrats to all of the anglers who participated and won prizes. A special thanks to all of the sponsors. Without your support the “Classic” wouldn’t be the same.

Here’s a small taste of John’s amazing work.

Help Pass The Modern Fish Act

Help Pass The Modern Fish Act To Keep America Fishing

 There’s nothing like the adventure of saltwater fishing. The adrenaline rush of hooking into a billfish, a big striper, or hard-fighting redfish is second to none. That thrill is undoubtedly what attracts over 11 million Americans to the sport.

Unfortunately, the current laws that govern federal saltwater fisheries are out of date and have never taken recreational anglers into account. This has led to shortened or even cancelled seasons, reduced bag limits, and unnecessary restrictions.

The good news is – there’s a new bipartisan bill making its way through Congress that should fix those problems.

The Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act, or Modern Fish Act for short, has been introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives with broad, bipartisan support. Rather than focusing on commercial fishing, the new bill is a comprehensive package specifically aimed at addressing the needs of the nation’s 11 million saltwater recreational anglers.

The Modern Fish Act will improve access to America’s federal waters and promote conservation of our natural marine resources. Simply put, that means more and better fishing.

Please take a moment NOW to tell your representative in congress to support the Modern Fish Act! Keep America Fishing has made it easier than ever to take action. CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION NOW

It’s Cold But Fishing Continues On Fire

It’s cold but fishing continues on fire! Numerous reports flooding in from customers. There’s lots of fish on the beach all over the island and hammering baits. Barring any severe weather these bass will be hanging around for the rest of the year.

Here’s some reports we got today…

Khaled Chapl stopped in to pick up some frozen bunker. He said his last trip out he got a 30″ bass. Heading back up to look for another dinner fish.

Tony Cucinotta stopped in for a Penn Reel part and a pack of white Storm Shads. While here he said the beach is alive with fish. Find a cut and fish!

Most anglers fishing lures are using rubber shads, small bucktails and sand eel imitations like Red Gills or Tsunami Sand eels.

Classic Fish Catching Red Gill Lures – The Original Sandeel Imitation!

Store staffer Willie helped set up Peg who recently moved into Ship Bottom. Welcome To Town Peg! She stopped in today thank him, “Willie was a big help. Yesterday afternoon was my first time striper fishing from the surf. Coming from fresh water fishing… What a fun time it was! I hooked six fish and landed four. Two of them spit the hook rolling in the wash. I was fishing salted clam off the mid island surf.” Peg is heading back up there this afternoon.

Yesterday Captain Alex of Lighthouse Sportfishing stopped in to share a report. He caught a bunch of bass yesterday afternoon off the South End surf. He said the bite was very good.

I had a great day on the water yesterday aboard the Tightlines with Captain Jeff Warford. We headed out and started trolling right where we’ve been fishing for the last three weeks. In minutes the screen was on fire and we were doubled up. The activity continued all morning. Some bird plays came together and we hammered some bass on lures both jigging and top water. With 100’s if not 1000’s of bass this year I was focused on the fly. While the conditions were not prime, I worked at it and managed to get one bass to fall for a large clouser.

Schoolies love the fly!

LBI Surf Fishing Classic

The Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic is over and the final details are wrapping up. Congrats to all those who put in time and fish their butts off! While fishing was not epic there were some good catches.

All special prizes offered by Fisherman’s Headquarters have been issues and mailed. All other prize distribution is in the works and will be done directly by the LBI Fishing Tournament.

Local News

The snowy owls have made their return to LBI. After their long flight south from the Tundra there are relaxing on the dunes of LBI. I was on the hunt shooting (with the camera) this past weekend and found four different ones.

Photo by Melanie Cudnik of Melanie Cassie Photography

JCAA Alert – Fluke and Sea Bass

JCAA Alert – Fluke and Sea Bass

by Paul Haertel, Jersey Coast Anglers Association

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) will have a joint meeting in Annapolis, Maryland from December 11 th to December 14 th to discuss a number of fisheries issues, especially fluke on December 12th and sea bass on December 13 th.

Though JCAA initially considered chartering buses for anglers to attend these meetings, we have now decided not to do so. We had anticipated that the fluke and sea bass meetings would be on the same day but have now learned that there is quite a detailed agenda for these species over a two day period. We do not believe there are enough people willing or able to go to Annapolis for two days to warrant the hiring of a bus. However, JCAA will have representatives there and we are willing to assist in carpooling others who would like to attend.

Regarding fluke we know that the coastwide recreational quota will increase from 3.77 million pounds in 2017 to 4.4 million pounds in 2018. That coupled with the fact that New Jersey as well as the entire coast collectively will have underfished their quota for this year is good news. However, the Council and Commission most likely will act conservatively due to the unreliability of the MRIP numbers. Still, this should result in some liberalization of our regulations for 2018. Modifications to the fluke addendum will be discussed at the joint meeting. The JCAA supports having an option that would allow New Jersey to remain in its own region rather than being forced back into the region with Connecticut and New York. We also support conservation equivalency that would allow the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council (NJMFC) to set regulations independently that would not be tied to what other regions are doing.

The situation pertaining to sea bass is a little more complex. Sea bass will be discussed at length at the joint meeting on 12/13 from 9:00AM until 4:30 PM. Despite the fact that the spawning stock biomass is at 230% of the target, the recreational quota is currently set to be reduced from 4.29 million pounds in 2017 to 3.66 pounds in 2018. The JCAA intends to request a higher quota. Currently, MRIP numbers for this year are projected to be only slightly over the 2018 quota so that could result in status quo regulations for 2018. However, MRIP data for waves 5 and 6 are not yet available so things might have to be revised.

Additionally, the new addendum that is being developed and discussed at this meeting will include options that would change the alignment of the regions. JCAA supports options that would allow New Jersey to become its own region or to be placed in the southern region as opposed to remaining in the region with states to our north. If we are allowed to do so, this could indeed allow us to liberalize our regulations. If in fact the regions are realigned in this fashion, the JCAA supports the quotas being established based on the last ten years or more of the harvest rather than just the past five years. This is due to the fact that in recent years New Jersey’s share of the overall harvest has been reduced significantly due to harsh regulations.

Written comments concerning fluke and sea bass may be submitted by going to the ASMFC/MAFMC on line at . In addition to having a presence at the meeting the JCAA will send detailed comments on fluke and sea bass to the above web link. Briefly, the JCAA recommends the following:
1. The option to have New Jersey be in its own region for fluke.
2. The option to have New Jersey be in its own region or in the southern region for sea bass.
3. The option to have quotas for sea bass based on the last ten years or more of harvest.
Following the December meeting, the draft addendum for sea bass is expected to be released for public comment. Revisions to the fluke addendum may follow sometime thereafter. Additional meetings of the ASMFC, MAFMC and NJMFC will then be scheduled at which time the public will have an opportunity to comment further. The JCAA will send out Action Alerts when the dates and times of these meetings are known.

For those planning on attending the December joint meeting of the ASMFC and the MAFMC, it will be held at the Westin Annapolis, 100 Westgate Circle, Annapolis, Maryland.

LBI Fishing Report Update 12-9-17

I had another awesome day on the water yesterday (Friday)! Evan and his buddy Mark (both from the greater Philadelphia area) were in for a four hour morning session. We got on ’em working the same area that we’ve been pounding for two plus weeks now. What a great time catching bass on bunker spoons, mojos and plugs. We had to head in at 11am, right as the top water bite exploded.

Most of the fish stacked up are schoolies but there are some good ones still around and in the mix. We got a couple beautiful fatties. Here’s one of them that pulled the Boga to 30+ pounds and was respectfully released to grow up some more. We kept a couple teens for the table.

Brendan Craig and Todd Luber were on the water yesterday and got into the action! They reported having a blast with bass on top! Below is Dr. Todd with a linesider that fell for a Super Strike Popper.

Local angler Kemp was also in the bite aboard Captain Jeff Davis’s Let It Fly. Kemp reported, “Lots of fish on the feed today! We got them on plugs right off the local Township beache. All fish were caught up on the surface with over forty boated. Medium size pencil poppers, specifically the fluorescent green/yellow was the MVP getting bit just about every cast.”

Brendan Craig had a blast catching bass on top with lures!

Today I had fun at the Barnegat High School Fishing Flea Market. Despite the weather it was a good time and we were happy to support the HS Fishing Club. While at the show I got the call from Rick Bragg. “The bite is on in the snow! Where are you? Spoons, mojos and plugs… we are doubled up on everything. Great fishing just no overs.”

Another report today came in from from Due Fratelli was also out today. He reported, “It’s snowing and we caught our limit and threw back dozens!!!”

LBI Surf Report

The surf has bass. Seems like the past week as been the most consistent action of the entire fall run. Numerous reports in the shop as well as verbals while talking to anglers at today’s show.

Rob Swift stopped by this evening and shared some positive news from the mid-island surf. He reported fishing mackerel and got a small bass, “Another anglers fishing beside was dialed in on lures, catching fish after fish. All small size bass.”

Today Bill Montrey got a 8.4 pound bass off the Harvey Cedars surf. Yesterday there were a pair of bass checked in for the LBI surf fishing tournament. One was 9.18 pounds by Matthew DiFilippo out of Surf City. The other was out of Loveladies at 8.46 pounds by Donald Tharp.

Just a heads up tomorrow the tournament ends at 6pm.

LBI Fishing Report Update 12/7/17

Fishing continues off the beach and boat…

Chris Masino stopped in the shop this afternoon and reported picking some bass off the south end surf today. He reported there’s bass on the beach but most are undersized. He mentioned another anglers got a nice keeper.

George Sowney I got this beautiful girl last night off the surf. It was 38″ and in the mid 20 pound class.

Chris O’Neil was out on the water yesterday. Here’s his report, “Crazy day of fishing! Three guys and we were limited out in two hours. Three fish were really nice fish in the mid 40” range. All trolling in 50-55′ of water off of LBI. All white spoons and mojos.

Today, I had a fun morning on the troll working the grounds. Got a late start but managed to find fish in the same area I’ve been fishing for the past week plus. Only a handful of other boats and it seemed most were picking fish. Nothing like the red hot bite as of late but lots of fish still around.

Barnegat Fishing Flea Market

This Saturday December 9th (9am to 1pm) is the 9th Annual Fisherman’s Flea Market hosted by the Barnegat High School Fishing Club. Location is the Barnegat High School at 180 Bengal Blvd, Barnegat, NJ 08005. Admission is $4 per person (kids under 12 are free) and all proceeds help supports the High School Fishing Club. There will be tons of deals on all sorts of fishing tackle. A couple of the guys from Fish Head will have a table with some awesome deals. Be sure to stop by and say hi!