LBI Surf Fishing Tournament Opening Day

The 63rd Annual Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic begins this Saturday. The nine week surf fishing tournament is set and ready for a great fall fishing season. This year more than even offers surfcasters the opportunity to compete and win thousands of dollars in prizes.

Enjoy Opening Day Morning on the beach then make sure to stop by the Ship Bottom Firehall for the Kick Off Seminar at 10 am.

For more information check out the tournament website at

Week 1 Special Prizes


LBI Fishing Report – 10/4/17

Who else loves this time of year? Awesome weather… 4×4 beach cruising… BLINKING Traffic Lights!!! It’s so nice to travel up and down the Island in a reasonable time frame with no congestion.

Now on to fishing… It sounds like a broken record, but it’s worth stating… The tog fishing at the Barnegat Inlet State Park continues. Load up with live crabs and get in the game! The white chins are snapping.

On the bait front, the area has lots in a panicky state of mind. Piles of peanut bunker are staged up and mullet has made moves the past few days. Smaller white baits (spearing and bay anchovies) are also in the local waters. Yesterday (and Monday) the false albacore jumped on them.

Dave from “Dave’s Out Fishing” sent in a photo (see our Instagram feed on the rightside bar of this page) and a report from yesterday. He said, “False albacore were blitzing for hours. It was an awesome afternoon day.” Another report came in yesterday from our bunker man… “The albies were off of mid-island about 3 miles out. As the day went on, they moved in and were about a half mile off the beach at sunset.” Now’s the time for surfcaster’s to try their luck at these speedsters.

Dante from MagicTail Bucktails and Magic Man Guide Service posted a photo of a nice weakfish on a dock at night. His caption, “Lots of nice weakfish around! It’s great to see them coming back in good numbers. Captain Alex of Lighthouse Sportfishing is into the weakfish too. He stopped in the shop today with a solid report. He’s catching them land based on the night shift using softbaits.

A customer by the name of Mark stopped in today for some clams and chum. He reported catching a couple dozen blowfish as well as a trigger fish on his last trip out. Mark mentioned he is fishing the bay on the south end of the island and added, “small resident bass are exploding on poppers!” Anglers fishing mid-island and also up on the north end are getting into the fun too.

One local angler purchasing some plugs said, “There’s plenty of healthy fish around. Most are small but I got one in the upper 30″ range.”

REMINDER: The LBI Surf Fishing Classic kicks off this Saturday October 7th. Sign up and don’t miss out on the annual opening day surf fishing seminar. The free event is Saturday morning at 10am. Location: Ship Bottom Fire Hall.

LBI Fishing Report – 10/1/17

What’s being talked about in the surfing circle as “The September To Remember” will go down in fishing log books as a month full of hindrances… swell on top of swell. Fortunately for anglers, September’s chain smoking tropic systems have extinguished.

Some local boats headed offshore on Friday night to take a look at the edge and discover what the beautiful temperature break is holding. The weather window turned out to shut down much sooner than forecasts called. Some boats got into tuna at the Hudson and the Lindenkohl chunking and trolling. Reports from boats fishing the same areas also were dismal. Here’s a photo from Dan D. who ran into some crazy weather. They put some fishing time in but called it off early due to weather.

Here’s a Hudson Canyon waterspout captured by Dan D.

Tog fishing at the Barnegat Inlet Jetty continues to offer really fun fishing. Shop regular Armondo has been in on the action. He reports, “There’s lots of fish but most are shorts. We are having a blast catching and releasing.” All repeat customers getting live green crabs say they are catching. Some are picking sea bass, triggerfish and sheepshead too. When asked about keepers tog… “few and far between.” One angler today said, “Zero for 80, but heading back to try some more.”

Public Service Announcement: Be sure to properly measure your fish! If lucky enough to get a nice fish, lay it out and make sure it makes and exceeds the 15″ mark. The “L-Style” measuring board is a must have. If using a tape, it is very important to get a straight line measurement with the mouth closed. Fish and Game Officers were checking this weekend and warnings were issued. Sounds like some are keeping undersized fish and some over their bag limit. When fishing keep an eye out and if you witness a violation, report it to NJ’s Operation Game Thief (24/7) 1-855-OGT-TIPS. It’s confidential.

One angler in the shop said he measured one tog at 15.25″ and put it in the pale. Turns out he got checked and the officer measured it to be just a hair short. The angler used a tape and the officer (as always) used a L-Style board. He could have been fined, but was given a warning. Lesson learned.

Fishing The Backwaters Of LBI

Weakfish continue to offer action in the bay. Anglers targeting the tiderunners are having trouble with bluefish. Anglers are catching using live peanut bunker as well as softbaits like the classic Fin-s and Storm Shads. Anglers on the bay have reported a strong showing of resident bass schooled up on the flats and sod banks. With the abundance of bait in the back these linesiders are eating good! Word is Storm Chug Bug Poppers and Stillwater Smack-In Jr Poppers are top producing lures.

Surf Fishing On LBI

Finally true to season… cool, crisp fall like weather. This beautifully dry, no/low humidity air breaths surf fishing weather. The surf fishing has been on the slow side with little reports due to the large swells. Those looking to enjoy a day on the beach fishing should look to target small to medium sized blues and the occasional kingfish. Fish mullet, cut bunker or if looking for the latter live bloodworms, DyanBait freeze dried bloodworms or FishBites.

Here’s some information from last weekend’s 71st Annual World Series of Surf Fishing Tournament. These details help other surf anglers gauge what’s cruising the local sandbars. 43 teams fishing as well as 16 individual anglers catching a total of 99 total fish. 53 bluefish, 25 kingfish, 21 fish which fell into the other category.


1st Place Team – Merchantville Fishing Club “A” (80.25 Points)
1st Place Team – New Jersey Beach Buggy Association (80.25 Points)
3rd Place Team – South Jersey Surfcasters (73.50 Points)
Largest Fish Male – Kevin Eichman (19.50” Bluefish)
Largest Fish Male – Dave S (19.50” Bluefish)
Most Fish Male – Mike Vishoric Sr (37.0 Points)
Largest Fish Female on a Team – Rita Bennett (16.50 Point)
Most Fish Female on a Team – Pat Searby (28.25 Point)
Largest Fish Youth – Ryan O’Connell (16” Bluefish)
Most Points Youth – Ryan O’Connell (32 Points)

Long Beach Island Fishing Tournament

The LBI Surf Fishing Classic kicks off next Saturday October 7th. Sign up now while the free hat supplies last. The annual opening day surf fishing seminar is Saturday morning at 10am. Location: Ship Bottom Fire Hall.

News On Barnegat Bay Dredge Project

It’s been a long time coming… Finally pipe is staged and work is in motion. Here’s some information we got from the state’s press release…

Barnegat Bay Inlet area dredging begins in October. The work is part of an $8.7 million dollar project to dredge State channels in Forked River and Barnegat Bay. This portion of the project will include the following channels: Double Creek Mainland, Double Creek Inlet, High Bar Harbor and Barnegat Light Stake. Double Creek Inlet Channel has been closed, and commercial, sailboat and general recreational traffic had been severely limited in some locations since Superstorm Sandy. This project will ensure renewed safe navigation, and maintain these Barnegat Bay Channels in a state of good repair.

Channel use may be limited where the dredge is in operation and where the pipeline is carrying dredged material to its placement locations. Channel closures are not expected, although this is subject to change.

Mariners should be advised that State Aids to Navigation (ATON) will be removed as necessary for the duration of the project. Updates to the Local Notice to Mariners should be expected as the project progresses.

The public is advised to be aware of and stay alert to the pipeline, buoys, dredge and other equipment during this time. NJDOT asks that no one approach the pipeline, dredge or any related project equipment under any circumstances, whether or not active dredging operations are observed.

Pipelines can often be difficult to see on the water, and boaters should proceed through dredging maintenance and construction zones with the utmost caution. No wake speed should be observed in active work zones throughout the project duration.

Here’s a link to the state’s press release:

Here’s some additional info from Kimberly at the Barnegat Light Taxpaters’ Association…

Due to environmental restrictions, (to safeguard young flounder and submerged aquatic vegetation) work was set for after summer. Dredging is going to take place from October through December

The four channels to be dredged are: Double Creek Mainland Channel starting at East Bay Avenue, Barnegat; Double Creek Inlet; High Bar Harbor Channel; and Barnegat Light Stake Channel, located off the municipal boat ramp in Barnegat Light.

BHCFA Weekly Report 9/29/17

BHCFA Weekly Report 9/29/17

by Jim Hutchinson Sr.

Hurricanes Jose and Maria have spared the Beach Haven area with any type of direct hit. However, some stiff winds and very high seas from those storms have put the damper on any type of consistent fishing action for the boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association.

Despite the closure of summer flounder and black sea bass seasons, the artificial reefs and other inshore structure have produced some strong fishing when the boats have been able to get out. There are good numbers of blackfish (tautog), porgies, triggerfish, and small bluefish there to supply some good fish dinners.

Captain Carl Sheppard managed to slip in an excellent day of fishing offshore with a bachelor party hosted by Joe Gratten of Fairless Hills, Pa. Captain Carl spent a full day trolling down the 20-Fathon line off Beach Haven where he managed to find a good number of mahi-mahi, little
tunny, and bonito to liven up the party atmosphere. Not only did the celebrating anglers have a great time, they returned to the dock with an abundant supply of fish fillets.

A prediction of an approaching cold front has the captains starting to think about the arrival of striped bass. A goodly number of bass, mostly shorts, have been caught in the local bay waters by anglers plugging the sodbanks. With the abundance of bait around, bass action may be opening up very soon.

Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association website.

LBI Fishing Report – Sept 26, 2017

The calendar tells us it’s fall but the recent temps sure do not feel like it. Soon the hot and humid weather will break and fall will fill in and have an extended stay. Historically the mullet run slows down towards the end of September but it really never got to a substantial run. There were a few days with bait on the move but we all are looking for more. The persistent swell (what I believe to be one of NJ’s longest run of waves) has had the bait stretched out and on the back side of the bar.

Fish Love Bucktails & White Water

On the surf the swell keeps pumping! Last week it was Jose. This week it’s Maria and it looks to continue through this week, fading out this weekend. Anglers putting in time on the surf are blessed with beautiful long period rolling white water; however for those trying to bait and wait fish lots of extra lead is needed.

One customer in today was gearing up in preparation for the fall fishing season. He purchased a new Daiwa Saltist Spinning Reel for plugging due to its awesome, light, smooth, powerful performance. His buddy has the same reel with nothing but a great review. Just days ago he caught a 11 pound striped off the LBI surf. He was fishing an white Andrus Jetty Caster bucktail in the white water.

Store staffer Kelly was on the beach recently and talked to a anglers who later stopped in to report he got a high teen, possibly a 20 pound bass. He too was fishing a bucktail working a pocket of water with lots of rolling waves.

Some lure trends come and go, but one thing has proven successful year after year. BUCKTAILS! White water and bucktails go together like peanut butter and jelly. Do yourself a solid! Fish bucktails and learn how to work different effectively in all conditions. You’ll improve your angling skills and increase your catch rates.

Local Fishing Report Update

Mullet and peanut bunker are pushing around. Yesterday in the bay, I spotted the first school of jumbo “corn cob” mullet. Weakfish, Bass and Blues are here. The tog fishing has been good. It’s time to gear up for fall!

Local grom 6 year old Mathew Welsh stopped in today for some tackle. He reported the blues and fluke are chewing in the bay. Yesterday Matt caught some spearing and minnows then went to town on the game fish having a blast catching and releasing fish.

The tog situation is good at the Barnegat Light State Park. The Inlet Jetty is producing good numbers of blackfish. Finding a keeper is tough but they are there. The majority of the fish are in the 8-14″ range. Grab green crabs and get in on the tog snapping fun. Got to give it your best shot to find a 15″+ keeper. Also present in the inlet; sheepshead, triggerfish, weakfish, striped bass and bluefish.

At sunset, sunset and night the resident bass seem to come alive especially when they come across bait. Store staffer Kelly got a bass the other morning on a Red Fin Lure. Store staffer Dan has been having fun fishing the night shift.

The Island’s south end bayside has produced for anglers targeting striped bass, weakfish and bluefish. Fish are biting small poppers like Stillwater Smack-It Jrs & Storm Chug Bugs. Another option is bucktails and soft plastics rigged on a jig. Small bass at sunset are hanging around the sod banks and at night they are in the lights.

One surf angler picking up some tackle today shared this surf fishing story… “I was catching some blues off the surf using fresh mullet I got from Fish Heads. I was rigged up with a hi-lo rig and consistently into small blues. Eventually the rod went down and it was a good fish! After slow playing into the beach, it turns out to be a keeper size fluke on the low hook and and a bluefish on the high. Felt like a 10 pound DOORMAT especially in the raging surf.”

A customer in the shop today said, “I’m fishing the bay and the Inlet looking what ever wants to bite. There’s some weakfish, blues and the fluke are everywhere! A tight line is always fun! You can’t keep them off the hook. Even though the season is closed, it’s great catch and release fishing.”

Offshore: The weather doesn’t look to allow anyone out in the near future, but there were some positive reports from the last weather window. One solid report came from Captain Deane aboard the Canyon Runner. They boated 8 yellowfin, 12 longfin and mahi. Other guys out fishing the Hudson canyon got into fish too.

LBI Fishing Report – Sept 23, 2017

LBI Fishing Report Update For September 23, 2017

We welcome FALL with open arms and high hopes. As of 4pm yesterday (Friday) it’s officially fall, which means on thing for anglers… It’s fishing season!!!

It’s crazy how long Jose has meandered in the western Atlantic. It continues to linger south east of Montauk. We have a unique weather situation as Maria slides up. The prolong northeast flow seems to hold on and as days past there might be an unusual interaction between the two systems. It’s possible we see the rare Fujiwhara effect if Jose and Maria morph into one. While rare, it has occurred a few times in the Atlantic. Last time this occurred was 2005 Alpha was absorbed by Wilma. Before that in 1995 when Hurricane Iris and Hurricane Humberto interacted.

On the fishing front… Lots of bait in our waters! Peanut bunker, spearing and mullet. Anglers are finding fish some night busting on top. Sometimes they are finicky so be ready to pull out the specialty tricks.

Both bass and blues are being caught by anglers fishing the bay, inlet and surf. Store staffer Dan D reports college and fishing have been great. 40″+ blues , 30″+ bass and endless surf… Hello Fall!

Fish-Heads alumni Bill Bassant recently got a nice size one plugging the surf. Check out our Instagram Page for the photo. Congrats to Bill & Megan… They tie the knot today!

Lots of small blues with some kingfish on the surf. If the swell ever settles down the croakers that were off the beach might stage up.

The inlet has plenty of tog and the triggerfish and sheepshead are present too. Brian Craig weighed in a 7.42 pound sheepshead.


EDIT: 9/23/2017 at 8PM

Today was ASAC’s World Series of Surf Fishing on LBI which is hosted by the Long Beach Island Fishing Club in Harvey Cedars. Those that were not aware the tournament knew something was up, because the beaches were packed with beach buggies and anglers. Heard there was around 100 scoring fish caught by 45-ish registered teams.

We got word from Greg O’Connell who fished, “Pretty even mix of blues and kings. A lot of non scoring snapper blues and out of season fluke.”

Two teams tied for first; Merchantville Fishing Club and NJ Beach Buggy Association. Third place went to South Jersey Surf Casters. Biggest fish was caught by Kevin Eichman’s (Merchantville FC) 19.5″ bluefish. Most and biggest fish youth division went to Ryan O’Connell (Merchantville FC).

Another delivery of fresh local finger mullet arrived this afternoon as well as a batch of fresh bunker.


Kids Wishing To Go Fishing Event

On Saturday 9/30 from 10am to 2pm the Jersey Coast Anglers Association in conjunction with Cardinal Enterprises and New Jersey Shore Chapter 12 of the Vietnam Veterans of America will host “Kids Wishing To Go Fishing”. This free fishing event for special needs children ages 6-16 will be held at Lake Juilanna located at Ponderosa Estates Farm in Millstone Township, NJ.

This is a catch and release event using barbless hooks. The lake that is well stocked with largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappies, yellow perch, channel catfish and sunfish. Refreshments will be served and there will be plenty of door prizes free bait and rigs along with loaner rods and reels. Adults will be on hand to help the kids and best of all the event is FREE. All interested in attending (an individual or group) must register in advance by calling 732-747-7846.

Miss Barnegat Light Canyon Fishing Report 9/18/17

Here’s the Miss Barnegat Light Canyon Fishing Report for September 18, 2017.

Captain Louis Van Bergen from the Miss Barnegat Light reports…

Left Saturday morning and headed south to fish the pots for mahi. Some pots had some others had none. Picked a few every other pot.

Headed off to just outside the 1000 fathom line and set up on the drift. Had our first one on quickly after the sun set. Turned out to be a small swordfish we had to release after a quick picture. Had another bite there that just hit and kept going never slowing down. Imagine it was a large model swordfish. Did jig some large deep purple squid that we had never seen before. So cool seeing something new.

Around midnight we headed back up on the bank and anchored up for the rest of the trip. We had well over 50 dolphin chasing squid and baitfish around the boat till just before sunrise when we had another small sword and another beast that we never got the chance to see. Around sunrise we had four fish on within minutes of each other. We landed 3, two on bait and one on a jig. No more bites for us and we headed home at 9am.

With Hurricane Jose headed through the offshore waters this week we are hoping things offshore get mixed up for the better. We have trips every Friday and Saturday till the end of October. We leave in the afternoon and returning the next day around 1pm. Trips are limited to 25 anglers, cost is $400 and rental rods are available for $25. Call the office to make your required reservation at 609-494-2094.

Fishing LBI Report – Sept 17, 2017

Here’s the Fishing LBI fishing report update for Sunday September 17, 2017.

Offshore reports came in from boats that fished the Hudson, Bacardi and Lindy. Some better than others but here’s the theme we can conclude. Tile fishing is good on the soft bottom in the Hudson. The Lindy seems like the stand out spot over the weekend. It offered a couple of days of good yellowfin tuna fishing. And nice size yellowbirds! Most pushing the 50 pound mark. Some going much larger. Way down south wahooooo were on the chew in the Baltimore. We heard one boat had 18 bites.

Bret Morgan just got back from the edge this afternoon. He fished aboard the Big Dog with Captain Craig. He shared, “We got three big yellowfin on the troll. Mine was the smallest at 62.8 pounds. Last night chunking was slow but we did get one good bite. It came on a large squid down about 100 feet. We almost got spooled but the leader chaffed and broke off. More than likely it was a swordfish.”

This weekend, store staffer Dan fished aboard the Reel Innovations with Captain Jeff Warford. Dan reported, “There were fish but nothing great. The past couple of days the Lindy was producing. For us the chunk was dead. Fortunately a quick grey light bite saved our trip. We got one yellow fin and one white marlin. There was lots of swell out there. The fleet was disappearing when the sets rolled through.” Dan gave us heads up, “Jeff was making bait before pushing offshore. Tossing a cast net, Jeff got a spot in with the peanut bunker.”

This is the second report of spot this weekend. One customer in the shop was targeting blowfish and got a couple spot.

Greg Sonday was on the water this weekend. He reported great clamming and good fishing in the bay. “The blowfish are around but not thick. We had got a handful with a couple good size ones. Most are small. Another guy at the dock caught a dozen and had some large ones.”

John Garzio from Ewing has been fishing LBI all week. He said the mid-island surf has lots of action with small fish. “I’m into fish everyday. Got one large kingfish and a nice keeper fluke on mullet. The small blues are hitting and we also got into some bigger size ones.”

Store staffer Steve-o fished yesterday afternoon drifting live minnows in the bay. He caught and released some good size fluke and sea bass. Another anglers fishing close by was also into the fish. It would be nice if the season was open and these fish could hit the table.

Weakfish reports continue from anglers fishing the bay. The classic shad dart, small bucktail, Lunk City’s Fin-s and shrimp are all doing the trick. If using soft bait watch out for the toothy yellow eyes!

The blues offer fun in the bay, inlet and surf. Daily they are chasing bait around. In the surf, the yellow eyes are north, south and beaches in between. Cast a metal or popper. If bait is preferred, soak meat like mullet or bunker. Good reports from anglers fishing the jetty casting bucktails tipped with Jig Strips trailer. A larger class of blues came through in the afternoon yesterday. Bass are occasionally showing their stripes too.

Regularly anglers on the rocks are catching tog. Gear up with live crabs and get in on the fun!

LBI Surf Fishing Classic

Sign up now for the LBI Surf Fishing Classic. Fishing starts in just 20 days. Be sure to check out the new revised rule changes for 2017. Also save the date for the annual Surf Fishing Seminar. It’s from 10 AM to 1 PM on Saturday, October 7th at the Ship Bottom Firehall.

Now’s the time to sign up for the LBI Surf Derby and also get your LBI 4×4 Beach Permits.

Working south up: Holgate has been open all of September. Beach Haven opened up this weekend. The Township beaches open October 1st. Ship Bottom is at the end of the month(9/30). Surf City opens next Sunday (9/24). Harvey Cedars opens October 1st. It’s best to act now because some townships only sell a limited number of permits.

Countdown To Fall – 5 Days

Here’s a weekend update for Saturday September 16, 2017. So stoked for fall we are counting down! Hope you are too. Some beautiful bait around!!! Piles of spearing, lots of snappers, schools of juvy bunker and the mullet are starting to move.

Countdown to fall begins… 5 More Days!!!

Bruce Conner from Illinois stopped in and thanks us for this fishing report page. He wanted to give back and contribute. Bruce reported, “Our vacation has been great! Fished the other day with Captain Brett Taylor and got a triggerfish as well as a large bluefish. Today (Friday) I was up on the jetty in Barnegat Light. We were targeting tog, trying my best but couldn’t muster up a keeper. Lots of black fish up to 14 inches. There’s lots of tog up there. Finding a keeper isn’t easy. Bluefish were busting on top and anglers casting lures were catching. One guy caught a Spanish mackerel! It was not an albie!”
This morning I enjoyed a great surf session thanks to Jose pulsing in some long period ground swell. The next couple of days it looks to only grow in size. Should be interesting to see what pans out wit the storm. While in the water I observed lots of bait pushing around. At times bluefish were busting them up. I spotted two albies sky out. Not sure who was throwing more spray out there. Me or the fish.

LBI Fishing Report – Sept 14, 2017

Here’s the Fishing LBI report update for Thursday September 14, 2017.

It’s great to see the weakfish show late this summer. Now is the time to get in on the light tackle fun. The back side waters of LBI is offering some great fishing.

Fishing musician Rick W. stopped in and reported catching a few weakfish on the bayside. Another report came from Richie Southwick. Here’s a photo of his first weakfish catch!

Richie Southwick with his first weakfish!
Richie Southwick showing his first weakfish!
Chris from Glenside stopped in this morning with a friend. While here we got talking and they shared a report… “Got one tiderunner on a shad dart.” He gave us heads up that another angler fishing close by get three live lining peanut bunker.

So what else is going on? The mullet run is on and we expect more bait to pour out of the bay each and everyday. Hopefully they hug the beach. While talking about bait we can not forget to mention the abundance of spearing hanging around. Massive pod present in the wash and along the outside bar.

This photo above supplements yesterday’s post from Vincent Pena who shared a report on triggerfish in the bay.

Anglers on the surf are catching the occasional kingfish using live bloodworms and/or artificial baits like FishBites. Anglers fishing clams looking for croakers are not having success (from what we have heard.) The blues and offering the most consistent action.

Anglers fishing the Barnegat Inlet rocks are catching tog on crabs. You’ll need to weed through lots of short fish to find a 15″ keeper. Some anglers are finding them while others are struggling. Looks around and try different areas. Some reported the bluefish are chasing up and chomping on the short tog.

Speaking of bluefish… the action continues with a size ranging from small snappers to large gators. These yellow eyes are being caught off the surf as well as the inlet and bay.

Todd Luber gave us heads up he is gearing up for Montauk and almost ready to heading up. While talking he said this dad caught some big blues recently fishing lures in the boat. Trying but no bass.

Anglers getting out in the ocean are getting into some good fishing. Recently Paul Haertel bottom fished fished offshore with Bill Browne. The two put together a good catch of cod. One mahi topped off their bag! Further offshore the tuna bite has been on! Numerous reports with a positive theme are going around. Yellowfin, longfin tuna, mako, mahi… get out there! Inshore fishing has offered up bonita and albies for anglers trolling small gear spreads made up of feathers and spoons.

Here's Pat Butera with a quality tuna caught aboard the Five Seas!
Here’s Pat Butera with a quality tuna caught aboard the Five Seas!