Fishing Report Update – March 25, 2018

What a great weekend! So many of us have waited for the dewinterization process to begin! Turning on the water and opening seasonal homes as well as pulling the shrink wrap or boat cover, the Island was lively and the shop was buzzing. After a snowy, cold, windy winter, it was great to see all the familiar faces.

Some anglers got out and fished. A couple guys hit the surf, but no report rebound. One can only assume, no report is bad news. For the most part local fishing is still concentrated to the winter hold over locations. Soon the early season hot spots will kick into gear.

In terms of one hold over location, Oyster Creek, there’s been lots of action but with that comes lots of fishing pressure. The traffic can be tough but fun fishing is there to be had.

Striped bass and winter flounder are the two main target species. Some small blues(hold overs or new arrivals?) were recently caught and bunker have been in there too. Guys catching bass are fishing with small bucktails, jigs and soft plastics. Baits like live blood worms and clam are also getting bites for the crew posted up on the bridge. Winter flounder are also chewing live bloods there too.

One customer reported, “Caught a handful of fishing today (Saturday). Yesterday was was much better!” Another report came from Finn Krokus of Little Egg. He fished this weekend and caught both bass and winter flounder. Here’s a photo of one winter flounder.

Here’s Finn Krokus with a winter flounder that he caught on March 24th fishing Oyster Creek.

Just a heads up… For the time being we are still on winter hours (7am to 6pm). Soon we’ll extend. It all dependent on the weather, fishing and in store traffic.

Upcoming Fishing Tournaments

  —  Save The Dates   —  

The 15th Annual 2018 Berkeley Striper Club Spring Striped Bass Catch & Release Tournament starts May 24th. For More Info

The 17th Annual LBI Spring Surf Fishing Tournament starts April 21st. This year a bluefish division was added. For More Info

NJ Fisheries Reg News Update – Blackfish, Porgy, Fluke, Sea Bass

On March 18, 2018 the NJ Marine Fisheries Council met in Manahawkin. Here’s some great information provided by Paul Haertel at the Jersey Coast Anglers Association. Anyone looking to join and/or support a great group should take a look at the JCAA.

The Jersey Coast Anglers Association is a non-profit charitable 501(3)c organization that works on behalf of the saltwater recreational fishermen of New Jersey. Since 1981 the JCAA protects the rights of New Jersey’s recreational fishermen by seeking fair and equitable fisheries management.

More info at www.JCAA.org

NJ Fisheries Regulatory News Update – Blackfish, Porgy, Fluke, Sea Bass

By Paul Haertel, JCAA Board Member/Past President

At the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council (NJMFC) meeting on 3/15/18, regulations for blackfish and porgies were set. For blackfish, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) required our state to reduce our harvest by 2%. Our council accomplished this by shortening our one day season by two weeks and reducing our bag limit from six fish to five fish for our late fall/early winter season. The adopted regulations set the minimum size at 15”, with a four fish bag limit from 1/1 – 2/28 and from 4/1-4/30. There will be a one fish bag limit from 8/1-11/15 and then a five fish bag limit from 11/16-12/31. Some people questioned why we did not just eliminate the one day season but the reason is the NJFMC wanted to keep it open for divers and shore based fishermen at a time when the water is warm and the fish are still inshore.

There was better news on porgies as the ASMFC allowed us to increase our harvest by 59%. This will result in New Jersey having a year-round season. Previously our season was closed from March 1st to June 30th. The bag and size limits will remain the same, 50 fish at 9”. The council voted in favor of this new regulation but it will not become effective until DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe signs off on it.

The regulations for fluke and sea bass will not be set until a special council meeting on 4/5 that will be held at 5PM at the Bay Avenue Community Center located at 775 E. Bay Av. in Manahawkin. The delay is due to decisions made at the recent Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) meeting regarding Addendum XXX for sea bass. Several positive changes in the way sea bass are managed were made at that meeting. One is that New Jersey will be its own region. Another is that a smoothing over approach can be used to adjust MRIP numbers that appear to be way out of line. For example, the MRIP numbers for Wave 3 (May-June) in 2017 showed that New Jersey harvested an extraordinarily high number of sea bass. We will now be able to smooth over that number based on what was harvested during that period in prior years. This is a good thing as it should allow us to significantly liberalize our regulations this year. Our Bureau of Marine Fisheries worked diligently on this issue but must first have their methodology approved by the ASMFC management board when it meets via conference call on Tuesday, March 20th at 11 AM. The board will consider approving the proposals of all three regions at that time. The three management regions are: (1) Massachusetts through New York, (2) New Jersey, and (3) Delaware through North Carolina. The public is welcome to listen to the discussion by phone (866.214.0726, followed by pass code: 993961) and view the webinar using the following link register.gotowebinar.com/regist…/6931931919817605123. The meeting agenda can be found at www.asmfc.org/…/SFlounderScupBSB_BoardAgenda_3_20_18…; meeting materials will be available March 15 at www.asmfc.org/home/meeting-archive. Time permitting; there will be a limited opportunity for the public to provide comments. The Board Chair will outline the procedures for accepting public comment at the beginning of the conference call. The public and other nonparticipating attendees are requested to mute their phones in order to minimize distractions to the Board’s deliberations. For more information, please contact Caitlin Starks, FMP Coordinator, at cstarks@asmfc.org or 703.842.0740.

Regarding fluke, our council is seeking to close or eliminate the gap from when fluke season closes until when sea bass season opens so they have elected to wait until the special meeting in April to set the regulations for both species. The options for fluke are expected to all have an 18” size limit and a bag limit of 3 fish. The seasons could either be from 5/15-9/16, 5/22-9/20 or 5/25-9/22. It is possible that these options could be tweaked a little or other new ones developed but that is unlikely. (The special regulations of 3 fish at 17” for Delaware Bay and 2 fish at 16” for Island Beach are expected to remain the same)

JCAA will keep you posted as to specific options as they become available via our newsletter and on our Facebook page.  Please “like” our page when you visit it.

2018 LBI Spring Surf Fishing Tournament

We are excited to announce Simply Bassing is now the Spring Derby!
For 16 years “Simply Bassing” the LBI Spring Surf Fishing Tournament was a great competitive way for anglers to enjoy surf fishing the beaches of Long Beach Island. With the awesome spring bluefish action lots of anglers asked (many demanded) a bluefish division. Finally it’s added!

Now more than ever, the Long Beach Island Spring Surf Fishing Tournament continues to offer Jersey Shore anglers the State’s best surf fishing tournament. Sticking to its roots, it’s a family fun surf fishing tournament with a simple format. Most importantly it’s a low kill contest that awards only the top fish/anglers by weight. Daily, weekly or segment prizes do not exist. If your fish can not beat the three top leaders, please release your fish to swim another day or responsibly harvest for a delicious dinner.

The LBI Spring Derby will start on April 21st and end on June 24, 2018.
It’s $20 to register for the 9 week striped bass and bluefish surf fishing tournament. Top Three Striped Bass and Top Three Bluefish Win Cash! Based on 100 registered anglers: First Place Bass and First Place Bluefish get $500 each (25% Payout), Second Place Bass and Second Place Bluefish get $300 each (15% Payout), Third Place Bass and Third Place Bluefish get $200 each (10% Payout).

With spring surf fishing right around the corner, it’s time to Save The Dates Now! Registration will begin in the near future (about a week or so). Sign Up Soon and get ready to fish your favorite LBI beach!

For more details… www.LBIFT.com

Reel Reaction Charters – Fishing Report

The season is getting closer, and I’m pretty close to being back in the water.  We will start targeting backwater, light-tackle Striped Bass until the Bluefish arrive in April.  If it’s anything like the last few years, then it should be another EPIC bite on topwaters and poppers.

I saw a bunch of anglers at last week’s Atlantic City Boat show and it was nice to talk fishing. A big thanks to the Recreational Fishing Alliance for booking me to give another Fluke seminar!!  After this weather moves out, I will be finishing the seasonal prep for the Jenny Lynn and splashing in 2 weeks after maintenance from South Harbor. Looking forward to light-tackle Striped Bass!

I have starting booking trips for 2018 season.  If your vacationing on Long Beach Island and have your week, then call (609-290-7709) or book through the reelreactioncharters.com to get the best optimal tidal day.

As always, we use the highest quality gear and is included: gear, tackle, fish-cleaning, and ICE!  It’s “no worries” fishing.  Just come aboard and FISH!!

 

 

Reel Reaction Charters – Fishing Report

 

It’s been sometime, but we closed out the season towards the beginning of December.  December was a busy month with doing all of the normal end of season maintenance, in addition to organizing and running the Barnegat HS Fishing Club’s Fisherman’s Fleamarket during the second week of December.

I can’t believe it’s almost 2018, but I have already made some major upgrades for the 2018 season including: installing a new Lowrance HDS Carbon GPS & Structure scan/CHIRP sonar, adding 8 new Penn 4500 SSV Reels and 8 new G.Loomis rods to our charter arsenal.  I was asked and have joined the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association for the 2018 season (www.bhcfa.net) and will be helping out with their Junior Mate program.

This past week I dropped off our 2017 NJ Striped Bass Bonus Permit fishing logs to the Nacote Creek Research Station and was assured by NJ DEP staff that the program will run again for 2018.  This is great news as it still allows a slot fish for the 2018 charters (September thru December).

2018 Fishing Show and Seminar News:  I was asked by On The Water magazine to work the OTW booth for the Garden State Sports Show at the NJ Convention & Exposition Center in Edison, NJ on January 13th, 2018.  If you go, please stop by!

I was asked again by the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) to present at the Atlantic City Boat show and I will be doing an 45min to 1hr seminar on Bay, Inlet, and Ocean Fluke fishing on March 1st (Time TBD, 4pm?).  I will also be at the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Assoc. booth during the AC Boat show.

We have already started booking for backbay Striped Bass (March) and topwater Bluefish (April), and the charters will start in late March 2018.  If interested in booking a charter, book through the website (reelreactioncharters.com) or call/text 609-290-7709.  As always, we use the highest quality gear and is included: gear, tackle, fish-cleaning, and ICE!  It’s “no worries” fishing.  Just come aboard and FISH.

Capt. Brett Taylor ~ www.reelreactioncharters.com ~ Call or Text: 609-290-7709

Reel Reaction Charters – Fishing Report LBI & Barnegat Bay – Striped Bass

The fishing windows have been very narrow, especially when the work-charter schedule is only limited to weekends and a couple weekdays when I’m off from school.  It seems as if every weekend has had blowing winds from the wrong direction – we need some cold air and NW winds.  There are some fish to be had in the ocean (mostly troll bite) and in bay/inlet on both artificials and live bait.  Once we get some good “Striper” weather, it’s going to break wide open!!

This past week I did have a chance to fish a few hours after work for Striped Bass with co-worker Tom Duralek of Manahawkin.  We picked a 29.5 inch Striped Bass on the first drift and thought it was going to be non-stop as the next few drifts produced a couple of run-offs and a big Bluefish.  But the bite slowed to a halt and we moved to a bunch of different areas to only produce a few bumps.

Saturday’s trips (Morning and Afternoon) were rescheduled due to rough ocean conditions, but we were able to fish on Sunday.  I had return client Dave Kaschak of Hazelton, PA along with his 9yr old son Chase, and Jaime Scatton with his 9yr old son Max on a 5hr Striped Bass charter. With rough conditions in the ocean and inlet, they were willing to work the backwaters.  We worked a variety of spots with mostly live and fresh bait. Chase and Max did a great job catching 7 Striped Bass with two fish that were keepers. The Striped Bass ranged from 19.5 inches to 28.5 inches. It was a great day in relatively tough conditions.

Availability:  We have everyday booked the rest of this week (11-6 thru 11/10) weather providing, but I do have Friday 11/10 available for afternoon charter (12pm to Dusk/Dark).  There are a few weekend afternoons available through November and these generally run from 12pm to dusk/dark.  In addition, I do have Thanksgiving morning available, but this will be a shortened trip 630 to 1030am for (1-3 people) $425 which includes 5-7 “live Spot” per person.

If interested in booking a charter, book through the website (reelreactioncharters.com) or call/text 609-290-7709.  Live Spot are included on all of our Fall Striped Bass trips.  As always, we use the highest quality gear and is included: gear, tackle, fish-cleaning, and ICE!  It’s “no worries” fishing.  Just come aboard and FISH.

Capt. Brett Taylor ~ www.reelreactioncharters.com 

Call or Text: 609-290-7709

Reel Reaction Sportfishing Fishing Report

It’s been a little while, but the fishing is starting to heat up as long as the water temperatures keep dropping.  On the charter front, the transitional time is starting to pass and I’m seeing more Striped Bass starting to cooperate although it’s early morning or late evening.  I have been kayaking during the late night hours and have been hooking up regularly on Striped Bass, we just need them to start biting during the daylight hours which will occur as the water temps. drop.  We will start targeting Striped Bass/Bluefish in the next few weeks and through the rest of the season.  On our mid-October, November, and December Striped Bass charters,  we provide “live spot” on every charter which are included at no charge.  Just a reminder, I picked up my allotted 50 Striped Bass Bonus Tags from the state of NJ for the season and we be using them from September through December.  With school in session, I’m running weekends and weekday afternoons starting at 230pm.

This past Friday afternoon I had Jutta Locker and her daughter Jessica from Utica, NY on a 4hr Bay & Inlet trip.  We started working a channel close to the inlet drifting live Peanut Bunker and working soft plastics.  With no takers, we moved to the inlet which was fishable.  We drifted live and fresh baits, and both clients hooked into Blues 7 to 10 pounds.  The bite only lasted about a 1/2 hour, and quickly died as the brown water moved in.  We continued to work different areas getting only subtle bites which were most likely snapper Blues.  The Coast Guard graced us in the last 10 minutes of the charter to perform a routine safety check.  We PASSED!  Nice job by both clients on a rather tough day!

We will start targeting Striped Bass in the next few weeks through the rest of the season.  On our mid-October, November, and December Striped Bass charters,  we provide “live spot” on every charter which are included at no charge.  Just a reminder, We have our allotted 50 Striped Bass Bonus Tags from the state of NJ for the season and we be using them from September through December.  With school in session, I’m running weekends and weekday afternoons starting at 230pm.

 

 

 

If interested in booking a charter, book through the website (www.reelreactioncharters.com) or call/text 609-290-7709. As always, we use the highest quality gear and everything is included: gear, tackle, fish-cleaning, and ICE!  It’s “no worries” fishing.  Just come aboard and FISH.

Capt. Brett Taylor ~ www.reelreactioncharters.com ~ Call or Text: 609-290-7709