Breaking News On Local Fishing

Striped Bass! Perch! Winter Flounder! Drum! Weakfish! Fluke! Blue Claw Crabs!

While the first three are old news the second half is music to our ears! The striped bass fishing is strong. Both early season spots are lit up and activity has spread out elsewhere in the bay too. Softbaits and bucktails are doing the trick as well as natural baits like clam and worm. White perch fishing has been good. Today we got a report that it was on fire mid week with some quality fish size in the mix. We also heard herring were boiling too. Store staffer Steve-o reports there are winter flounder in the mid-island bay. He got a couple fishing yesterday.

Word broke a couple days ago on the season’s first black drum, weakfish and fluke. Only waiting on the yellow eye demons and we’ll have a full house. A customer was in the shop earlier Friday buying clams. While here he reported catching a quality black drum Thirsday but didn’t want to share where. Captain Steve of Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters recently put his clients on the season’s first weakfish and first fluke! See his report which is a separate post.

Yesterday we had a customer buy a bucket full of frozen bunker. He stopped back today with a positive report. “Two dozen blue clabs!”  They are out of the mud or they skipped burrowing into hibernation.

With a good stretch of weather laid out we are optimistic on local fishing. So far we’ve had a great weekend.  We currently have a small amount of live surf clam left as well as live green crabs and salted clam. We sold out of live bloods. If you can’t find worms we have DynaBait Freeze dried blood and sand worms in stock. Try them they work! If you want to wet a line stop in and we’ll hook you up.


Here’s some news from Van Staal… The super popular Van Staal VR Series family of fishing reels is getting a baby brother soon. Craig at Van Staal stopped by the shop a couple weeks ago and showed us the prototype. We were impressed with it style and feel. Nothing innovative, just a rock solid all metal spinning reel made for fishing by fisherman. What’s so complicated with that? Anglers have been asking for something like this for years.

Here’s a recent photo of Craig putting the VR50 to the test! Stay tuned for its release. We expect it will be shown at ICAST this July.


Here’s some news on the LEI Dredging…

Little Egg Inlet Dredging Expected to Begin in Early July
Apr 05, 2017
A project to clear dangerous shoals from Little Egg Inlet is projected to start mid-summer, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP’s Division of Coastal Engineering is expediting dredging of the inlet, which is a major thoroughfare for boat traffic between southern Long Beach Island and Brigantine to the south.

“We’re hoping to advertise the request for proposals this month,” said DEP press officer Lawrence Hajna. “Allowing for the procurement process and fish-migration timing restrictions, we would expect work to begin in early July.”

The project will focus on shoaling of sand on the oceanside of the inlet. Currently, in many places the channel has become less than 6 feet below mean sea level, making navigation very difficult, especially when contending with waves. An estimated 1 to 1.5 million cubic yards of sand will be dredged to create a channel 25 feet below mean sea level.

“This situation has become critical so we are moving forward, using state money, to dredge the channel and make it safe again for everyone who needs this vital access for fishing and recreation,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said last month. “We need to take action to get this channel dredged for the safety and enjoyment of the public this summer season.”

According to the DEP, “The project, which will require U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits, will be designed to have negligible to no impact on the nearby (Edwin B.) Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge or migrations of fish.”

Steve Rochette, spokesman for the Army Corps, said the Corps’ regulatory office received the permit application last week, and is conducting an initial review now.
As Hajna noted, “It’s hard to say at this stage how long the project will take. This will depend a lot on the amount of sand that actually has to be dredged and, of course, weather.”

The dredged sand will be used to replenish beaches on portions of southern LBI.

— Juliet Kaszas-Hoch, The SandPaper

Barnegat Bay Fishing Report 4/9/2017

Finally got to invite a couple of fish, white perch, to diner.  Hit a local tidal lagoon Saturday at dusk and went 2 for about 6.  I was using a shad dart tip with a piece of bloodworm.  Others around me got a few and some were skunked.  Tide was starting to flood but still not a lot of water were is was. Small bass continue to bends rods in the usual super early locals but are being seeing more through the bay at place they usually hang out. Based on the ease at which Ospreys have been coming back to nesting platforms with big bunker you know there are toms of bunker schools out there.  Hear of a few fluke caught already. Fluke move into the back bays a lot earlier than most think, it is just they may chew well until the waters warm.  These fluke will get hungry because they just got done spawning on the shelf waters and swam several dozen of miles west to put some weight back on.

On the nature side of things: white perch’s scientific name is Morone Americana.  Striped bass have the scientific name of Morone saxatilis. Both fish are placed in the family of temperate basses which is Moronidae. Remember taxonomic classification you learned in school?  There are 6 known species of temperate bass worldwide.  Sharing the same genius, Morone, indicates that these two fish are very closely related.  They are so closely related in that when the eggs of one of them is mixed with the sperm of the other species offspring arise.  These offspring is what we hybrid bass.  They are a true hybrid in that as adult they cannot produce fertile off spring. The ability of an organism to produce fertile offspring with what makes is a species.  Fish farmers started breeding hybrid bass in the others and they are noted for a fast rate or growth, good table fare and hard fighters.

wperchSprings dates are filling in fast so if you are thinking about going out with me contact me soon. I don’t like leaving people at the dock.

Screaming drags, Capt. Alex 609-548-2511

Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters – 71 stripers today!! and our first weakfish of the 2017 season!! Barnegat Bay Fishing Report 4/7/2017

After yesterday’s torrential down pours and wicked winds I wasn’t sure what if any effect it would have on our fishery for the next couple days , well it didn’t take too long to have that questioned answered!

Today [ Friday April 7th] anglers aboard the Reel Fantasea continued to produce it’s phenomenal catch and release numbers [ 71 bass ] of stripers but we also landed our first weakfish of the season as well!
With landing our first fluke just the other day and now our first weakfish along with the abundant schoolie striped bass population on hand we are only a bluefish away from scoring the first Barnegat Bay Grand Slam of the season!!
The fishery presently in place continues to be a light tackle enthusiast dream with fish responding to a variety of artificial and natural presentations on light spinning tackle.
I have both Sunday morning 6:30am-11:30am and 1pm -6pm for either private [5hrs private charter up to 4 anglers = $450.00 or or open boat charters $125.00pp] All rods, tackle,lures, bait and fun included !
Wishing everyone fair winds and calm seas,
Capt. Steve Purul
Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters
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Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters – Striped bass, Fluke, Laughing Gulls!!

Barnegat Bay continues to provide solid light tackle striped bass action with fish from 10 -27 inches but I expect that we will be boxing our first keepers of the season any day now!IMG_2581
To further mark the season’s progression the first laughing gulls have made the Northerly Sojourn in to our area with their welcoming laughing call. I found over the years that these gulls will show up 10-14 days ahead of newly arriving stripers and blues into our area.Catch and release Fluke
FullSizeRender (23)have also started to show up as well to add yet another indicator of the season’s progression.
I have a few spots open for Friday April 7th 2pm-6pm , Sunday’s weather looks fantastic and I have both the morning and afternoon runs available for private or open charters.
Wishing everyone fair winds and calm seas,
Capt. Steve Purul
Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters
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Early Spring Fishing Around LBI

A low pressure in the NW Atlantic sent quality ENE groundswell this past weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday were on with good conditions! Once again (even more this week) I enjoyed the waves with lots of roaming gannets. The fish finding black tipped wings were cruising at just about every beach I checked and surfed from the south end to mid island to the north end. While they were not dialed in on a kamikaze mission, they were on the search. My memory flipping back to the epic early April sessions of 2012. I recall like it was yesterday! April 4th, 2012 was full of herring boiling with gannets all over them. Bass from 10-20+ pounds chewing on everything we could cast. I know this day is etched with all who were aboard; Eddy, Steve-o and South Philly Fred.

My consistent gannet sightings as of late have me chomping at the bit to break the inlet and go on the search. Sunday’s sun had my head spinning on fishing the flats. I would have liked to be in the game earlier; however sometimes work and life’s priorities take control. We all know how that goes. After shaking the saltwater out of my eyes, ears, nose and hair from the epic weekend of surf, I finally cut the shrink wrap. Soon my boat is hitting the brine. The long range forecast looks great. I’m stoked to get out and fish!

Now time for the actual fishing report…

Reports of good early spring fishing continue. Let’s get in the game and take advantage! Soon other species like drum, weakfish and bluefish will pop up but until then there’s three three options (bass, flounder, perch) in the backwaters. While the early season spots are producing, the open bay has fish cruising too. Check out your past productive areas as well as the Island’s west side haunts. In the ocean it’s bottom fishing for tog and cod on the inshore wrecks and reefs.

After work on Sunday, store staffer Willie headed out and fished dusk. He caught this striper among others. Willie said, “Had an epic little rope mesh until I snapped my G.Loomis rod.”

Store staffer Max got his boat in the water recently and found some action. Max said he’s targeting linesiders bass drifting the bay casting artificials, “The first trip out we had about 20 plus bass, all small but good fun.”

Sunday’s reports from Graveling Point were poor. One customer said, “Lots of anglers were trying but no fish were caught while I was there. Put some hours in and others fished a lot longer. No luck.” This area is one of the best and most productive spots in the spring. It will turn back on any day if not already! Keep an eye out as the area is well known for getting the area’s first bluefish, black drum and weakfish.

Nick Honachefsky tagged us in this photo, double fisting pig winter flounder. Nick found them over the weekend. Here’s his report, “Cold, windy, but we claimed out limit Jersey style!” It’s prime time winter flounder so you best get in on the black back snowshoes now if you want a piece of the action!

NJ’s Tog fishing season opened Saturday, April 1. It is 4 fish at 15″ until April 30th. Hopefully you didn’t fall for our April Fools post on Saturday. The social media buzz got going much more than we expected. Surprisingly no one call our bluff! Guess it was totally possible and believable because those that went out and fished did good. See yesterday’s report for more details.

While not “local” fishing info there’s a lot of anglers in our area that love to fish and don’t mind traveling to get into good fishing.The Delaware river continues to improve. Recently some more quality striped bass were caught by anglers worming the banks. The Rarity Bay is starting up with small fish and reports of plentiful bait. Once the water temp ticks up a degree or two more it’s going to break open!

On the bait front… This past weekend was our first with fresh and live bait for 2017. Sorry for the delay! We had technical difficulties firing up our bait refrigerator. After 30+ years it did its job and was retired. We got a new unit running and currently have salted clam, live bloods and live green crabs. As always we’ve got all of the frozen fixings too. Speaking of bait… We got a call from one of our bunker boat captains. He was out recently and came across a couple “good pods of bait (bunker)”. We usually start stocking the fresh fat backs in late April.

Check out our Instagram page ( @FishermansHeadquarters ) for the current photo caption contest which is ending April 6, 2017. Caption now for a chance to win a $25 Fisherman’s Headquarters store gift card.

Here is a short clip of one wave from Sunday. Just want share a taste!



Fishing The Carolyn Ann III 4/2/17

Here’s today’s report from the Carolyn Ann III…

Well our first day is in the books and it was a good start to the season! Beautiful weather and great fishing with blackfish up to 8lbs (pool winner was Wayne Smith) and some nice cod.

Richie Weisz and his brother were bottom fishing aboard and reported, “Almost non stop action today!” They took advantage of the open season (NJ Tog Fishing Opened April 1st) and the CA3’s first trip finishing the day with 6 keeper tog and two cod. 

The Crew of the Carolyn Ann III said they’re looking forward to a great fishing season currently sailing Saturdays and Sundays all April. Go to their website and/or Facebook page for updates and more information. 

Just a heads up don’t fret when pulling into the 18th street dock parking lot when you look and the boat is not at it’s old slip!!! The CA3 has moved two slips to the right/north into what was previously the home of the Doris Mae. 

Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters – Barnegat Bay Light Tackle Striped bass!!

Barnegat Bay light tackle striped bass action continues to offer good to excellent action for all aboard the Reel Fantasea . Catch counts were a little less than last week but likely due to Fridays heavy rains and cold temps. By Sunday we were back “On ‘Em” with some nicer fish joining the mix providing some “Reel” drag burning excitement with fish approaching the 28″ keeper sizes.

Warming weather trends will also continue stoke the fires of newly arriving migrating stripers and blues as we progress into April,
I have April 7th Friday afternoon 2pm-6pm available for open or private charter and Sunday April 9th morning 6am -10am for those light tackle striper enthusiast.
Wishing everyone fair winds and calm seas,
Captain Steve Purul
Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters