Author: NightStrikes Surfcasting Guide Service LLC
My Name is Steve George (a.k.a.Nightstrikes) and even though I cut my teeth growing up along the banks of the Schuylkill River and Wissahickon Creek in Pennsylvania fishing as a child I quickly realized my real passion for fishing when I moved to New Jersey. The saltwater got into my veins very quickly and even today after over 40 years of fishing the Surf, Back Bays & Inlets of NJ the passion is still there stronger than ever. I’ve had a very important mentor back then just starting out and I have always vowed to give back to the sport that was given to me from him and others over the years. My journey really got interesting the last 20yrs or so as I started writing/reporting along with helping others during the infant age of the internet and the birth of the fishing websites/message boards like the BassBarn and StripersOnline to name a couple making many great friends over this time and lead me to become a member and officer of the Berkeley Striper Club – Seaside Park NJ.
Currently I have been writing a monthly column for On-The-Water Magazine called “From the Surf” for the last three fishing seasons and it has been a great experience sharing my adventures and providing some tips and techniques to my fellow fishermen.
It’s time to take to the next level of giving back as I would like to offer a variety of guided surfcasting fishing trips and private lessons to surfcasters of all ages and skill levels during the entire fishing season. Trips will be customized to every aspect of surf fishing that I do starting in April and continuing into December. Day and Night Trips will be offered from Sandy Hook NJ to Cape May NJ.
Early spring trips will target resident Striped Bass and the arrival of Big Bluefish invading our waters. These trips will include safe handling Catch & Release practices and tagging these young Striped Bass for research.
Come May will mean searching and catching maybe the fish of a lifetime as we will hunt Big Post Spawn Striped Bass migrating up the coastline fishing with some of today’s most sought after custom fishing lures that these Big Bass can’t resist during their journey. If you don’t have the tackle and equipment to handle and land these fish it will be provided for you.
Once summer rolls around its time to fish for Summer Flounder/Fluke along the beaches daily during the open season. Again if you don’t have the tackle and equipment to catch keeper fluke I will have you covered including my favorite baits and rigs along with access to the best locations I have found over the years.
And finally “The Fall Run” which is a special time that starts off looking for False Albacore in September and then looking for the migration of Striped Bass and Bluefish Blitzing our beaches shortly after during October and November into December.
Again what I really want to do here is to make you a better surfcaster going forward by teaching the techniques, how to read the water, understanding the tides and moon phases and strategies that you can use year after year.
I hope you come along with me on this next journey of my life and maybe someday you can pass on what you have learned to the next generation of fishermen with a passion for Surfcasting the Jersey Shore.
Contact me via Email _ firstname.lastname@example.org to book your dates for the 2020 Fishing Season or Call 609-276-6983
It may be the unofficial end of summer this holiday weekend here on LBI NJ but that doesn’t mean the summer surf fishing is over and in fact it might be getting better. Surf conditions are good with warm clean water and there is plenty of bait around to keep the fish feeding. Over the past week I have seen some of the largest Northern Kingfish being caught on small fresh baits of the summer. And finally some decent size Bluefish in the 2-3lb range have also been caught during the early morning hours.
The Fluke bite continues to be pretty good at this time but there are definitely more smaller or throwbacks in the surf then keepers compared to earlier in the summer hitting bucktails tipped with GULP! baits
The Keeper ratios should increase again as the mullet starts to vacate the back bays this month and work their way down the coastline. Make sure to to use larger baits and hooks to increase your chances to catch some late season table fare before the season closes on September 19th. And don’t be surprised to see some of our resident Striped Bass becoming more aggressive during the cooler nights/mornings
Also at this time I would like to thank everyone that booked a surf fishing trip with me the last three months, it was so much fun fishing with you all – making it another summer to remember here on beautiful LBI
Over the next couple months I will be fishing the northern part of the state up in the Sandy Hook / Monmouth County area targeting False Albacore and Fluke -but will return back to the area when the Striped Bass return during the Fall Migration here sometime in November And December
So if your looking to book any trips during this time in these areas just reach out to me for more information / call 609-276-6983 or email Nightstrikes@comcast.net
Again “Thank You” and have a great and safe holiday Labor Day weekend. Steve George / Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Service LLC 609-276-6983
The “Dog Days” of Summer is upon us and its Hot out there but so is the Fishing. Early morning trips still have been producing a very good bite of both Short and Keeper Size Fluke from 18”-22” giving you plenty of action and a great shot of some fresh caught fish to eat during this past week. With that said it’s time to start paying attention to the tropics for any east coast storm development and rising ocean temperatures that can effect this fishing Immensely. But for time being I’m optimistic that the good bite will continue as we head towards Labor Day. *thats right only a couple more weeks to the big holiday weekend and the unofficial end to summer.
I do have some availability between now and then here on Long Beach Island NJ before shifting gears to points north and the start of the Fall Run so if your interested in getting out to do some late season Fluking on the Beach or Surfcasting Lessons call me at 609-276-6983 or email me at nightstrikes@Comcast.net to get more information and to discuss a possible trip
Steve George/ Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Service LLC 609-276-6983
The Fluke fishing got back on track this week as surf water temps jumped into the 70’s after last week’s drastic cool down that got as low as the upper 50’s. More good news is the fact that the eelgrass invasion earlier in the week has also come to a end and the fish have really been cooperating with still plenty of shorts providing fun action and keeper size fish also in the mix up to 20”.
So if you would like to book a trip with me I still have some great dates / tides available to wrap up the month of July offering Surfcasting lessons to beginners and also for more advance anglers looking to improve their skills targeting Fluke/Summer Flounder off the beach here on LBI N.J.
For more information please email me at Nightstrikes@comcast.net or call me at 609-276-6983.,, thank you. Steve George/ Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Service LLC
First I want to wish everyone a happy and safe Independence Day / 4th of July Weekend
As the summer kicks into gear and heats up so does the fishing with plenty of fish now pretty prevalent everywhere. Oceanside, bayside by boat or from the Beach there is action to be found. Prior to a week of south winds and drastic Surf temperature drop (59°) the past few days the Fluke / Summer Flounder fishing was Hot. It did slow down but things are already improving but you just have to find them and then work it a little harder. Along with summers arrival are the Northern Kingfish which are here and hanging at your favorite Sand Bar. Summer Snapper Bluefish are also creating havoc attacking anything in their site. And it’s that time of the year were you can catch some more exotic or southern fish species as the waters warm again like Spanish Mackerel, Sheepshead maybe a Cobia – you never know what might be on the end of your line.
Right now I’m still locked in Fluke Fishing but am prepared for anything that might cross our paths. I have some prime July dates available with perfect tides to enjoy a morning surfcasting the LBI Beaches.
For more information Or to reserve your trip call me at 609-276-6983 and you can also email me at nightstrikes@Comcast.net Thank You, Have A Great Holiday
Steve George / Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Service LLC
Its the last weekend of Spring 2021 and the Surf Fluke Fishing has been great at times since Opening Day last month.
When Mother Nature cooperates I’ve been finding a consistent bite fishing off the beach using a variety of different GULP! baits with keepers in the 18”-22” range and plenty of just shorts to keep your fishing rod bent in between. Currently I am booking trips for the month of July daily during the best tides and offer both morning and afternoon sessions.
So if you would like to experience some great surf fishing on the beaches of beautiful LBI this summer just contact me via email at Nightstrikes@comcast.net of call me at 609-276-6983 to get more information and discuss a trip. Thank You,
After last nights violent storms along the coastline water conditions held up well and the Surf Fluke bite was on fire this morning. Best bet is to get out this afternoon or early tomorrow before the coastal storm system also visiting this Memorial Day weekend takes shape and with the on-shore flow conditions will deteriorate rapidly and the bite on the beach for them.
That being said it does open up another opportunity this weekend to target the striped bass that are also in the area, they love rough water and should be feeding.
With all the questions surrounding the weather and fishing this weekend there is one thing for sure is that you need to stop in to Fishermens headquarters to get the latest information and any and all bait, tackle gear and accessories that you may need to have a successful holiday weekend fishing here on LBI.
GOOD LUCK everyone and have a safe and happy memorial day weekend 2021 ~ summer is here
If you’re looking to get out this summer call 609-276-6973 or email me at nightstrikes@Comcast.net to reserve your surf fishing trip this summer. Thanks SteveG
First I would like to say I hope everyone had a great winter/off-season and everybody is doing well.
I am now back on beautiful LBI for the summer and the 2021 Surf Fluke/Flounder season and running surf fishing trips/ fishing lessons daily until Labor Day.
I have already been scouting the island and have caught keeper size Fluke/ Summer Flounder in good numbers in multiple places, so the season should be off to a great start on Opening Day this Saturday May 22nd.
I have some open dates the rest of May -5/24, 5/25,5/26.5/27 & 5/28 to kick off the season plus of course dates during June, July & August. I provide all the bait-tackle-gear and beach access to multiple towns (beach badges) on the island and the Hot Spots where the action is happening. Best times are in the morning early after sunrise until around noon but I also do late afternoon Sunset Trips as well.
Call me at 609-276-6983 to discuss a trip or email me at nightstrikes@Comcast.net for rates and additional information. Thank you and look forward to fishing with you all again this summer.
~Steve George / Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Service LLC 609-276-6983
I would like to announce that I have opened up my 2021 dates for Summer Fluke/ Flounder Surf Fishing Guided Trips on Long Beach Island N.J. >> *Daily starting 6/1/21 and running until 9/6/21 The last few seasons the fishing has been great and I expect that to continue this year and I’m really looking forward to hitting the beach again with everyone. I will once again be providing all tackle, bait and gear needed for a fun day fishing on beautiful LBI. *I would suggest if you are interested in joining me to Book as-soon-as-possible as I expect it to be another busy season with prime dates/days going fast. You can contact me for more information via email at Nightstrikes@comcast.net – Cell # 609-276-6983 or Direct Message me on my FaceBook and Instagram pages. Thank You,, Steve George / Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Svc. LLC
By: Steve George / Nightstrikes Surfcasting Guide Svc LLC
Boat’s out of the Water? Go Fish The Beach!
It’s December and the weather outside is delightful here on Long Beach Island NJ. Even though you may have pulled the boat already there’s still plenty of striped bass to be caught.
In late fall we usually see abundant waves of striped bass as they make their way down the New Jersey coastline. When the time is right and the weather cooperates they cross over Barnegat Inlet and into the waters of Long Beach Island. If the conditions are right and bait is present, striped bass stage up on the beaches of LBI. Most years anglers have consistent light tackle fishing on just about any beach right into the New Year.
Well this year is no different. The fish are here right now! We are fortunate to have the sand-eels in the surf zone attracting the interest from striped bass in the 20”-30” range. Just about every morning (the hour or two round sunrise) has been productive for surfcasters.
Go Light For A Better Bite
This time of the year it’s best to bring out lighter surf fishing tackle to have even more fun. Catching late fall striped bass is a lot more fun on light tackle. For me personally I like throwing a 9’ surf rod that’s rated up to 2oz. The rod is matched up with a 4000/5000 spinning reel to balance it out. Filled with a 20-30# braid and the outfit is ready for lots of light tackle surf fishing fun.
Match the Hatch
Sand-eels are long, slender and usually run around 4”-5” in length. It’s important to use a lure presentations that mimics them in order to have the best success. Here’s a couple of my favorites sand eel lures, all of which are proven stand outs over the years.
The Super Strike “Super ‘N Fish” Needlefish has a slender profile, it casts great and catches fish of all sizes in both the day and night. So many anglers are intimidated by needlefish because they don’t know how to fish them. They are simple and effective… The hardest part is choosing the right size/weight for the conditions. [More On This At End] Cast out, catch up your slack and let the lure settle, sink. Slowly retrieve adding a twitch. Sometimes add a double twitch and/or a quick crank or two. As with most lures on the surf, fish them all the way to your feet. Needlefish are very effective in low light and at night with a simple cast and straight slow retrieve. Bumps, pickups, bites on needles are a no-doubt-about-it hits and ones you will remember!
Sand Eel Soft Baits
The rubber weighted Tsunami Sand Eel is a great lure to use when the fish are in tight to the beach. It’s especially productive during calm conditions. While rubber soft baits offer the absolute best realistic imitation look and action they are the least durable. But Tsunami Sand eels hold up good compared to other soft baits possibly due to their inner holographic foil.
No one can fish a sandeel bite without some sort of metal lures! If you do you are missing out. Metals/tins offer the ultimate casting distance to reach out where fish are running and feeding. They are my go to lures because they cast a mile and with either a fast or slow retrieve can be worked off the bottom or just off the sand to drawl strikes. It pays to mix up retrieval speed to dial in how the fish are reacting and feeding on that particular day.
Two of my favorite metals for surfcasting when sandeels are around are…
Deadly Dick Lures – These (nickel plated solid brass) slender metals have a slender thin profile with a unique tweak on the ends. This character gives the lures their action both on the retrieve, jig and fall. The added prism flash tape helps catch the eye of fish too.
AVA Diamond Jigs – These (chrome plated lead) jigs are thin and long just like a sandeels. Their distinctive two-piece construction is made up of a metal body section and a latex tube dressed limerick hook. Fished slow in the sand the body puffs and makes a disturbance while the tubed hook swims with an erratic spin. One of the only lures that resembles a sand eel’s natural borrowing action.
Slender Minnow Swimming Plug
You can never forget a Daiwa SP Minnow! SP’s are a must have in every surf bag. These slender minnow profile lures cast great and have a special knack for triggering strikes in just about any conditions. Especially when sand eels are around, SP’s outproduce most other plugs due to their cast-ability and action. I’ve yet to meet a striped bass who could resist taking a bite when crossing paths with an SP Minnow.
Tease ‘Em To Increase Strikes
Add a teaser/fly above your lure to add extra attraction. I feel you will catch only half as many fish unless you use one. A teaser rig is easy to tie… With some leader material (mono or fluoro) tie a dropper loop. Then loop on the teaser/fly of your choice. Next add a swivel on the top terminal end and a Tactical Angler Clip on the bottom. Just clip on your lure and cast it out.
My favorite teasers are made by BuzFly Custom Flies. When you first see one you will know why. They beautiful and made right on quality hooks. Fish BuzFly teasers to up your success rate with life-like teasers.
So the fish are here! Get out early and watch for birds picking on the water. These birds are feeding on sand eels. Start casting because as the sun comes up the bass will be feeding shortly. Now is the time to get in some late season fishing before winter sets in.
Good Luck Out There!
[More On Needlefish Lures]
Needlefish come in many different sizes and weights made out of many different materials from plastic, wood and epoxy. Super Strike lures are plastic so they are durable and consistent. Currently Super Strike Needles come in three sizes (NF5 5″, NF6 6″, NF7 7″ ) and two weights (W Weighed “Black Eye”, HW Heavy Weighed “Red Eye”). There’s a size/weight combo for every situation. The most common option is the NF6W (6″ standard weighed 2.5oz). Choose the red eye heavy weight versions when fishing rough conditions or when there’s a stiff side wind or sweep.
247 Lures (in stock at Fish Heads but not listed online) offers a great wooden needlefish lure that shines in calm to moderate conditions.