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 www.mafmc.org/public-comment . 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.

Striper Fishing Goes Next Level!! Casting and Jigging Now. Hi Flier Open Boat/Charter

We all knew it had to happen sooner or later. Yesterday (Thurs) afternoon we trolled our limit of 28 to 34 inch fish as well as the slot fish on umbrella rigs and Mojos. Two and a half miles due east of Barnegat Inlet. Later in the trip right after the tide started moving the gannets were hitting the water hard and concentrated. We dropped in some swim shads and retrieved them and the bass instantly responded. These were the biggest fish of the trip, as well, all 15 to 18 pound fish! That we couldn’t keep, but it was a blast to get them on the drift. I heard from a few other captains that today was another epic day. I cancelled tomorrow, (Sat) because the forecast changed to 20 knots of NE with this one day snow storm that’s passing through. Sunday and Monday look great for sea conditions so we are sailing Open Boat or Charter those days, 6AM to 1PM.

Next week we will be sailing Tues thru Thurs, Dec 12-14 9:30AM to 4:30PM and Fri thru Mon, Dec 15-18, 6AM to 1PM.

Get ’em now!

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!


Striper Run Continues Strong! Hi Flier Sailing Open Boat and Charter Every Day

What an incredible Fall run of stripers we are having. 12 to 20 pound fish are common. That is not the norm for this time of year. We do have to troll to catch them. Jigging and casting has not been productive, though, that can change any minute. No real bird play lately but I always have the jigging and casting rods on board for when it’s time. For now, you just troll Mojos and bunker spoons over readings at about 3 to 3.5 knots and the rods go off. We are doing great with big 20 ounce single MagicTail Mojos and #4 Tony Maja bunker spoons. White is working the best on both lures, to the point where I am dragging four white lures in a four rod spread. Wireline on the bunker spoons and braid on the Mojos. We’re using our smaller wireline rods that only have 150 feet of wire on them instead of 300 feet. The rod and reel is a lot smaller, too, so you don’t get worn out by the gear and you enjoy the fight more. That 150 feet of wire is putting the lure right in the hot zone. These short rods with less wire were custom made for a technique we employ this time of year known as jigging or bucktailing. We tie on a 2 or 3 oz. bucktail with a strip of pork rind (yes, we have some) and you hold the rod and sweep it while we slow troll. Very effective on the size class fish we have right now and it is a train wreck of a hit.

The next 5 days look great for this fishery. The air temps are dropping but the predominant wind direction is all W/NW which makes for a really comfortable ocean to fish in.
Sailing Open Boat or available for Charter, tomorrow, Thursday Dec. 7 and Friday, Dec. 8
9:30 AM to 4:30 PM and Sat, Sun, and Mon, Dec 9, 10, and 11, 6 AM to 1 PM. $175 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared. You can call right up until go time for a spot.
Capt. Dave DeGennaro got to jump on the rod for one Monday that hit a white MagicTail Mojo.
Capt. Dave DeGennaro
Hi Flier Sportfishing
732.330.5674 cell



Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters – The Crush Continues!!

The 2017 Fall Striped Bass season continues to reward anglers plying our local waters with sizes that range from “Bonus” [ 24-27.999] to 28″+ and “overs” or aka “Trophy”  with some days favoring one or the other . When the planets align we are mixing it up between all size categories for our anglers aboard the Reel Fantasea.

Techniques have been trolling a mix of mojo’s  [ volume of “smaller” 12lbs – 35lbs bass] and Tony Maja Custom spoons with a heavy leaning toward the spoons for the classier size cows! Live bait and artificials have also scored solid numbers of bass as well!

I have This Friday [ Dec 8th]  morning [ 8am- 12pm] and afternoon [ [1pm-5pm] and Sunday [8am-12pm]  [ Dec 10th] morning available .

Wishing everyone fair winds and calm seas,

Captain Steve Purul

Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters




LBI Fishing Report Update 15/5/17

Boat Fishing Report

Kenny Updegrave out today fishing with his uncle. Get caught five striped bass up to 25 pounds trolling off of northern LBI in 40′ of water. They caught on both Magic Tail Mojos and bunker spoons.

Surf Fishing Report

“The surf has been good this past week. Scale down your hooks and baits to get hooked,” Merle Van Liere was in the shop today and shared he’s finding fish on the beaches of LBI. “I got three yesterday. Another anglers fishing close by caught five.” Merle mentioned both clams and bunker are catching but the bait size is important! They are little fish so you have to rig up appropriately. With that said there are still some high teens and twenty pound class fish around so don’t scale down too light!