Mid August is full of different species and styles of fishing. From fishing the surf, jetty and bay to inshore, mid-shore and offshore there’s something for everyone. Ocean fluke fishing (when the weather allows) is good and there are still fluke in the backwaters. Bluefish ranging from snappers up to cocktails offer great light tackle fun in the surf, inlet and bay. There are a few blowfish and a few kingfish around. Sheepshead and triggerfish offer some fun fishing as well as tog. Bluefin and yellowfin tuna reports continue on strong too! There’s cobia and mahi being caught too. Let’s get out and enjoy good fun summertime fishing now!
6:00 – Watch a blue marlin take off screaming on a topwater popper!
It’s been an interesting few days of fishing. We started out with live grass shrimping trips in the bay on Fri and Sat. Friday had a mix of species including 5 weakfish for the Rick Masters charter. They had the usual assortment of species that visit our shrimp slick: weakfish, juvenile sea bass, little blues, blowfish, fluke, sand sharks, spots, and sea robins. Non stop action. On Saturday I had Mike and Karen Romance out for an Inshore Shark/Live Grass Shrimp Combo. We got bit off by a few bigger sharks that were not invited to this particular party but Karen did get the best of an Atlantic Sharpnose Shark, the targeted species before we decided to head into the bay. I anchored in the exact same spot as the day before but it was S L O W……..and then S L O W E R. Just doesn’t make sense sometimes, same spot, same tide, but my other spot was infested with silver perch, so we stayed put. We finally hook up and Mike is fighting what I tell him is going to be a big weakfish. The 6 lb ultralite rod is bent, the reel is singing, and as the fish finally gets close enough to land, we see it’s a cobia. Twenty incher. Not legal to keep, but great sport on that tackle. They then proceed to deck two keeper weakies, a 13 and 19 1/2 incher to wrap things up and put a little fillet in the Ziplock.
Now, Sunday (yesterday), the weather is nice enough to head offshore looking for tuna with the Jim Padilla party. I knew the fleet on the inshore tuna grounds up North has grown to 100 plus boats on a weekday and with a bluebird Saturday, that would surely almost double. I stayed south and after trolling for an hour we had only managed one false albacore and heard of one bonita among the few boats that were there with us. We reeled in and started to run further offshore. After a while, we stumbled on some fresh slicks with a good amount of chick birds picking at them. The machine showed a carpet of bait readings that looked like the squid that have been so prominent on the tuna grounds this season, so we dropped in some squid jigs and started swinging jumbos over the rail. We put them out for bait and proceeded to hook up with shark after shark. Mostly 150 to 200 pound brown sharks but one 12 foot hammerhead that fooled me into thinking it was a tuna run off. He hit and ran so hard. At 1:00 PM we get another good run off on the balloon that was set at 60 feet, and no one is enthused about doing battle with another shark. So I left it in the holder, rod bent, and giving out a good amount of line. I figured, let him bite the hook off. Jim finally said, begrudgingly, “I”ll take him”. He fought him for a while and then his son Greg took over for a while before I realized this fish was deep and starting to spiral. I yelled to Dave Flood, our deckhand for this trip, to get a gaff ready and then we saw color on a good size bluefin. Decked him after a good fight. 51 inches, about 90 pounds. Everyone was ecstatic and we headed for the barn right on schedule. Here is the final five minutes of that tuna: youtu.be/6-0-EjBKoVg
I only have tomorrow, Tuesday Aug 8 available for a Live Grass Shrimp charter in the bay and Thurs Aug 10 for the same or an Open Boat Tuna 9AM to 5PM, we are only running 16 miles from the inlet to the fishing grounds. Thursday looks like the marine forecast is good enough to get to where we need to go. If we go Open Boat Tuna on Thurs, 9AM to 5PM, $300 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared.
After these dates, my next availability is not until Thurs Aug 17 and Mon Aug 21 for inshore or offshore.
Dave DeGennaro Hi Flier Sportfishing 732.330.5674 cell hiflier.com
We will be running an Open Boat Bluefin Tuna trip this Monday Aug 7, 6AM to 4PM. $350 person. 4 people max. All fish are shared.
The word is out. There are 75 to 200 plus pound bluefin tuna less than 20 miles from our Barnegat Inlet. There are huge schools of big squid there that we will be catching for our live bait. Drifting with bait is how we will be fishing, no trolling. Very exciting when you hook up on these big fish.
This and any other dates are always available for your private charter, as well, for bay, inshore, or offshore fishing. We only have Tues Aug 8 and Thurs Aug 10 left as available dates left to book for any kind of fishing. After that, our next available date is Thurs Aug 17.
We are catching blues at the inlet jetty, fluke in the bay, and small Atlantic Sharpnose sharks 4 miles offshore. We are offering Live Grass Shrimp trips targeting weakfish and the assortment of species that find our shrimp slick. We scale down to the ultralite 6 pound outfits for this fishery and the goal is to catch as many different species as we can.
Dave DeGennaro Hi Flier Sportfishing 732.330.5674 cell hiflier.com
Early August Fishing Report Update For The Long Beach Island Area
Sitting right about at the mid point of summer we have great fishing here on Long Beach Island with a variety of light tackle to big game options for beach and boat anglers. This is the time when bait starts balling up; peanut bunker, spearing and sandeels are all here in out local waters. I’ve seen all three in recent days either spit up on my deck by a fish or snagged on one of my lures’ treble hooks. With the recent northerly winds the bait was stacked up in the inlet just like we would see in the fall. Anglers got into some fun on the Jetty. Small blues, striped bass and fluke. It’s a great place to fish for fluke this time of year because all of the fish exiting Barnegat Bay only have one way to leave.
So we kick off August with a full moon and some great weather, sun and low humidity, with a northerly and onshore flow. This bumped up the ocean a little and also pushed the sun warmed surface waters into the beach (downwelling).
Surf Fishing Long Beach Island
With the warm surf temps come good fluke fishing on the surf as well as the local reefs and wrecks. A really nice fluke was pulled from the mid-Island surf on Tuesday by Michael Palumbo fishing the incoming tide. Photo below
Local angler Konrad also reported good fluke fishing off the north end surf, “I caught two keepers in a short after work session!”
The LBI surf fluke fishing is great this summer. The best way to approach it is with a bucktail and teaser rig or a super simple one drop rig. A one drop is exactly what the name spells out, the rig has one dropper loop and then a loop at the bottom for the weigh/sinker. It is basically a low of a high low rig. Either rig you’ll want to bait up with Gulp! in the 4-5-6″ sizes. By far Pink Shine has been the best sell this year and for good reason. The past couple season it has been my best producer and a lot of customers have shared the same theme. I also catch on white, white/glow and fire tiger , which I prefer over chartreuse on the dirty water days which call for a hi-viz color. I have heard good things about the new metallic color which makes sense because every baitfish has shine and that is something most softbaits don’t have until now!
On the beach there are a few kingfish. We expect this to improve throughout this month so long as the waters stay warm. There is a few spot on the surf. Photo below is a recent catch by Karl Chen.
Both spot and kingfish can be caught with a similar set up. Fish a classic “Pompano Surf Rig” which is a hi/lo rig fitted with small hooks. Bait up with Live bloodworms, Dyna Bait Freeze Dried Bloodworms and/or Fish Bites.
Blues are best targeted off the surf with an assortment of lures such as a small swimming plug (SP Minnow 13), a metal (Hopkins, Kastmaster, Crippled Herring), spoon (Krocodile) or jig (Diamond Jig – Hogy Epoxy Jig – Hogy Sandeel Jig). Another option is to fish baits but you’ll want to fish strips. Mullet, bunker and mackerel are three good choices.
Barnegat Bay Fishing Report (also good for Manahawkin Bay & Great Bay)
Fluke fishing the bay is mostly made up of feisty and active short size fish however there are still some keepers to be caught just don’t expect a high keeper ratio.
Be prepared for snappers, spot (here in good numbers), blowfish (few and far between) and other small bait stealers. These critters will ransack Gulp baits and steal your curly tails quicker than you can jig. Ya, a shaky jig or staccato jig can keep them off but sometimes nothing can help but one thing… Live Bait! Fishing with large live minnows, peanut bunker and/or small live spot are a great way beat those pesky critters and catch quality fluke in the month of August
There’s some weakfish around. I personally tried on Tuesday to shrimp them up but was unsuccessful. I only managed to shrimp up a fluke in the 16 inch range and a couple snapper blues. I’m expecting this to get better this month.
Try your luck at Sheepshead! They are here and being caught in the bay, but it isn’t easy.
August means that Tautog is open for NJ anglers. One fish at 15″ until November 15th. On November 16th it opens to 5 fish at 15″.
NJ August Cobia
Cobia are lurking the inshore waters and have been for the better part of a month now. Most catches are from tuna anglers fishing bait for tuna however these can and are specifically targeted. I tried but failed so far but I’m not giving up. I was super stoked to see store staffer Tyler caught a 38″ one on this past Sunday. Tyler was out looking for bluefin. He didn’t find them but he hooked and landed a keeper size cobia on a No Live Bait Needed swim bait.
He reported, “A large cobia came up and attacked one of the balloons in our chunk spread. It never came back so we didn’t get a shot at it, but another one, smaller in size came into the spread and I was ready putting a small NLBN right on front of it. Bang! It ate.
Gotta Love The NLBN’s! The last couple years these bait have shined for a variety of species like striped bass and tuna, now cobia!
Near Shore Tuna
The inshore bluefin tuna fishing continues on. We first shared the report on July 11th. Since then there has been a lot of bluefin caught and some good size fish. The best way to get bites right now is fishing live squid. There are also bites coming on live mackerel as well as jigging, popping and trolling.
Store staffer Paul got one on Sunday fishing live bait with Capt Mark Finelli of Laura Sportfishing.
Jonni was in the shop Wednesday afternoon and reported, “Thanks to Tyler helping me gear up right, I caught a cooler full of squid. I also had a tuna bite the squid jig/squid when reeling up. We got another bite and got it in the boat. I’m heading back out tomorrow. Thanks for the lesson of catching squid.”
Those boats that are catching and fishing live bait are producing best. However, there are fish being caught on the jig too. Brian Sabarese was on the water with his son Sawyer about 10 miles out of BI Monday. They were fishing live baits when they had a good tuna mark pop up on the sounder. Sawyer dropped a jig and must have hit the fish on the head because a couple seconds later the line was screaming out. After a fun battle they boated his first tuna.
Mondo King Mackerel Caught
Father and son duo, Capt Don & Mate Joseph Vricella aboard the Crime Scene caught a 67.45# King Mackerel on July 30, 2023. This catch crushed the long standing record Fernando Alfaiate’s 1998 54# catch by over 13#! Here’s the story that Don shared, “Lost an engine while out on the bluefin grounds around 12 o’clock and started limping home. Being on one engine I figured we’d put out a little spread with two wide trackers and two Clark spoons for a Spanish Mack or Bonita. At around 2 o’clock we got a knockdown on a Clark spoon that just about spoiled our Avet MXL twice. Couldn’t back down the boat so we put some heavy drag on him and was able to turn him. I still can’t believe that we landed this fish in under 10 minutes on 30lb leader.”
Mullet Outdoor Adventures left a comment on our recent video report… “I had a wahoo or king mackerel eat my shark float on Monday. The thing launched 10ft in air with my float in its mouth. It sliced off everything clean but I got the float with a big bite out of it. I also lost about an 80# bluefin that took a live spot on the kite.
Recent hot temperatures show it is mid-summer in Beach Haven, making a fishing trip on the water aboard one of the boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association a cooling activity.
Add in the excitement of fishing and the chance to bring home a fresh fish dinner, it becomes a winning situation all the way around. Summer flounder fishing continues to dominate the inshore fishing scene with more yellowfin tuna showing up in the canyons.
The party boat “Miss Beach Haven” has been scoring well on both fluke and black sea bass with the best action at the Little Egg Reef. Although most trips have seen crowds, they advise there are seats available for future trips.
Captain Gary Dugan on the “Irish Jig” reported tough fishing on a recent trip but his hard-working group managed black sea bass, a 21-inch fluke, and a big cownose ray caught by Derrick along with numerous released fish.
Captain Connor Smilon of “FishHawk Charters” had a 2-hour afternoon trip with returning clients Krystal and Rob that turned into a 3-hour trip due to constant action. They finished with over twenty short fish and two keeper fluke to 21-inches.
Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” Stephen Cypes sons Peyton and Hudson on an ocean trip. (photo below) The trio boxed nine keeper fluke to 23-inches along with their limit of sea bass to 17-inches. First mate Luke Taylor managed the action well. They saw a few rays, a small cobia, and some surface bluefin tuna around.
Captain Dave Wittenborn had the “Benita J” on a solid trip for the Sullivan party. They put together seven yellowfins up to 60-pounds. Captain Dave termed it a “beautiful night in the Hudson Canyon.”
For information on fishing the boats above or any of the boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association, go to www.BHCFA.org
There are 70 to 100 plus pound Bluefin Tuna within 20 miles of our Barnegat Inlet. So much fun. Most of the time we are jigging for squid while we are drifting for the tuna. As soon as we catch the squid, we put them on as live bait. It’s so much fun catching bait that sometimes we forget we are there for a higher purpose…..TUNA!!
We ran to the spot I left them at last week and fished all morning without a bite. There was a sizable fleet to our west, but I would always rather be off on our own. A friend gave me some coordinates where they caught one in the morning within that fleet and being that it was 12:30 in the afternoon and we had not had any bites, I figured let’s go see. We entered the fleet and there was some radio chatter about a boat that was hooked up, good sign. Immediately the depth recorder was lit up with massive schools of squid. On our second drift the 30 International in the bow holder was screaming and we were no doubt hooked up to a bluefin. Thirty minutes later, my son, Max decked a 49″ Bluefin. Here’s the end game: youtu.be/TSSzeYW1_F0 Dave Flood on the gaff.
Something to know about Dave Flood, even though he isn’t in many of the pics, none of this happens without Dave. He gets to the boat an hour before anyone, dries all the seats, brings all the lunch and drinks, packs the coolers, gets the boat turn key ready and then never stops contributing during the day. Catching bait, jigging for tuna, getting new hookbaits, letting the lines out, constantly cleaning, giving the angler that’s hooked up water, and then when the rod goes off, his rod mind you, he steps aside to let someone catch the fish. Then he is there to gaff it and when we hit the dock he is the butcher. Every crew needs a Dave Flood.
Sailing Open Boat Tuna tomorrow, Wed Aug 2 and Sat Aug 5. 4AM to 2PM. $350 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared. We will be within 20 miles of the inlet, so a little over an hour each way from the marina to the fishing grounds. No trolling, we will be drifting and bait fishing. There are always jigging rods ready if you want to do that. And, of course, bait rods to catch live bait. Everything is provided, just bring whatever you like to eat and drink for the time we are out.
These and any other dates are always available for your private charter, as well, for bay, inshore, or offshore fishing. We are catching blues at the inlet jetty, fluke in the bay, and small Atlantic Sharpnose sharks 4 miles offshore. We are offering Live Grass Shrimp trips targeting weakfish and the assortment of species that find our shrimp slick. We scale down to the ultralite 6 pound outfits for this fishery and the goal is to catch as many different species as we can.
Dave DeGennaro Hi Flier Sportfishing 732.330.5674 cell hiflier.com
As July slides into August offshore big game fishing is front and center for Long Beach Island fishing fanatics.
There have been reports of tuna and even billfish catches up to now, but it is really the August days into fall when the offshore fishing really starts to rock. Some savvy captains have found schools of bluefin tuna and yellowfin cruising close to the shoreline, but the true big game fishing happens offshore around the canyons.
Big game fishing has a colorful history in the Long Beach Island community. This includes the 54th annual running of one of the eastern coast’s most notable fishing tournaments, the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club’s annual White Marlin Invitational Tournament. This year’s event will run from August 16-19 with over $500,000 thousands of dollars in prizes at stake.
At the 2022 53rd Annual BHMTC’s White Marlin Invitational Tournament, the big money winner was Crisdel. Their 194.3-pound heaviest tuna earned them $117,876.
Besides the sport and satisfaction of boating the fish of a lifetime, few fish meals top that of dining on just caught tuna sushi or fresh grilled mahi-mahi fillet.
Catching fish often pushing the 100-pound mark and larger is not for everyone. In addition to being physically challenging, it takes knowledgeable captains with capable boats to navigate the long distances into the Atlantic.
The question then arises, if an angler does not own a boat capable of traveling far off the coast or is not friends with someone who has one, how do you get out to catch one of these trophies?
On Long Beach Island there is more than one answer to this question. There are charter captains based on LBI who offer charters to places such as the Hudson and Baltimore Canyons seeking these big fish.
With the distance to reach the fishing grounds, these are not short trips. One version leaves the dock in the middle of the night to reach the fish grounds by daybreak. The boat trolls the area hoping to entice fish into the bait spread. These trips return to the dock late in the afternoon with tired but hopefully happy anglers.
Another popular trip can take as long as 24 hours. The boat leaves early in the afternoon to reach the fishing grounds before dark. After a couple of hours of trolling, it sets up for a night of fishing, usually chumming fish to the boat.
Once morning arrives, the group may do a little more trolling before leaving the fishing grounds and arriving back to Long Beach Island in the afternoon, one day after departing.
There are alternatives to chartering a boat for the trip that are less expensive. Some captains offer “open boat” trips. Anglers pay individually to fish with others they do not know.
There are also head boats which take a larger number of anglers out on overnight trips offshore. Anglers pay individually to fish with a large group. This offshore tuna fishing will run into the fall until storms and a declining bite end the fishing for the year. But timing is the key here. Just as the offshore fishery concludes, a new one pops up on Long Beach Island, the annual arrival of striped bass.
In addition to a strong boat fishery for stripers in the fall, the striped bass arrival also means outstanding fishing for shore-based action. The eighteen miles of beach on Long Beach Island offer striped bass opportunities every fall.
Helping to make this striped bass action extra exciting, this fall marks the 69 th annual edition of the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic. The 2023 version will run from October 7 through December 10. There is a $30 registration fee for adults and one of $15 for youngsters for the opportunity to vie for a wide variety of prizes. For more info, www.LBISFC.com
Spent Sat and Tues at the 20 mile tuna spot. Struck out on Sat but Tues was a little better. We hooked and boated a 45″, 30 lb Cobia at 8AM. Here is Matt Dlugosz doing battle with him: youtube.com/watch?v=OaFOmgXZIhY&feature=share
We jigged a livewell full of live bait and had some shark and king mackerel bite offs but at Noon we hooked up on a bluefin. We fought this fish for two hours, the last hour he was 50 feet from the boat. Honestly, the rod was not capable of moving him. I like to use these lighter 30 class combos because most of the tuna we hook are in the 40 to 100 lb range and these rods have always been more than adequate. I use them to enjoy 99 percent of the fish we hook up with. This fish was one of the one percenters. He finally broke us off after 2 hours. If I had to guess, he was in that 150 to 200 lb class. I am now inclined to put the 50 class gold reels out now. The good news is this place is still fishy. lots of bait and a good amount of bluefin with king mackerel and more in the mix. I am going to continue fishing this area just for the quality of the size fish there.
Open Boat Tuna: Sun July 30 and Mon July 31 4AM to 2PM, $350 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared. Everything is provided.
These any other dates are always available for your private charter, as well, for bay, inshore, or offshore fishing. We are catching blues at the inlet jetty, fluke in the bay, and small Atlantic Sharpnose sharks 4 milkes offshore. For the first time this season we are offering Live Grass Shrimp trips targeting weakfish and the assortment of species that find our shrimp slick. We scale down to the ultralite 6 pound outfits for this fishery and the goal is to catch as many different species as we can.
Pics: Matt Dlugosz with the Cobia Eric Dlugosz with the bent rod battling our lost bluefin Eric and his son Matt are from Berkley Heights, NJ
Dave DeGennaro Hi Flier Sportfishing 732.330.5674 cell hiflier.com
The late July time frame LBI offers a variety of on the water activities to enjoy. From crabbing, clamming and fishing there’s something for everyone of all ages. Looking for guidance and help? Stop by and see us 7 days a week!
There’s no better way to best enjoy the hot “Dog Days of Summer” than on the water! Anglers from shore, inshore and offshore are beating the heat and catching many different species right now fishing LBI. Here’s the Long Beach Island Fishing Report Update for July 28, 2023.
The Surf & Jetty – Fluke & Blues +
Anglers fishing both bait and lures on the surf continue to report good action on cocktail (1-3, 2-4# class) blues. For lures, fish small metals. For bait, fish small strips or chunks of bunker or mullet.
Fluke fishing has been good with lots of anglers reporting consistent action. There is and has been an abundance of short fluke in the suds. Anglers are catching slots (17-18″) as well as the occasional over 18″ and we have even heard of some really impressive now to mid 20″ range fluke. There’s no better way to approach the surf then with Gulp and light tackle.
Steve at Night Strikes Guide Service caught this fluke recently on the surf. He has been catching fluke on the beaches all summer. If you are looking for a surf guide reach out to Steve today 609-276-6983. Rocking my “new favorite summer shirt” our fresh new Fish Heads Fluke performance hooded sun shirt. These sold out fast but don’t sweat, we anticipate a the restocking to be here soon (hopefully next week, Early August).
Other options for surf angling is soaking some meaty baits for the bigger critters (sharks or rays). Know the laws!
The Barnegat Inlet has blues, flukes, a few striped bass, sheepshead and triggerfish. Some locations in the back bay have sheeps too. John weighed in this 5# sheepshead earlier this week.
Fishing Is Water Temp Dependent
Fishing activity in the surf and at the jetty is water temperature dependent. Fluctuations due to localized winds are important to consider and important to your success. The hot summer sun warms the surface waters to a tropical temp but a hard south wind pulls the surface away from the beach and the cold bottom waters fill in. This phenomenon is called upwelling. The mix of these two, the pushes and pull can have a profound effect on the fishing, the type of fish and the activity of those said fish. To read more about upwelling events on LBI check out this detailed post… Upwelling Events On Long Beach Island
Late August fishing in the bay is mainly focused around fluke and blowfish however the blow toads have been few and far between. Those trying have reported catching spot (photo below Petey E. with a jumbo spot), fluke, burrfish (a spiny puffer) and weakfish. In the bay there’s also snapper and cocktail blues as well as sheepshead. Wanna catch a doormat fluke? Drop down a small live spot! Fishing for fluke and getting frustrated with bait stealers? Some of those might be super small blowfish but the majority are most likely spot. Best way to beat them is fish live bait, Live Minnow and Live Spot!
Todd Luyber and his father Joe were out Wednesday and fluke fished the ocean not far from Barnegat Inlet. They reported a bite on fluke, catching shorts as well as their two overs, one 18.5 and one 19″. Joe also pulled this monster! It’s the biggest bluefish we have seen or heard about in some time. Way to go Joe!
Ocean fluke fishing has been good with anglers catching on the wrecks, reef sites as well as open bottom areas. The next month and right to the end of the season should be good in these areas. Here Jaime Grant with a nice 23″ fluke (her new personal best) she caught a couple days ago. Way to go Jaime!
Offshore – Tuna & Tiles
Offshore anglers have had a great run of weather (until recently with the southerly blow) allowing for fair seas and good fishing… yellowfin, bluefin, bigeye, marlin and tilefish. There’s still some bluefin popping in the inshore waters as well as mid-shore grounds as well as yellowfin mid-shore 50-70NM. Store staffer Tyler got out with some friends and filled the boxes with yellowfin tuna. Tyler reported catching two on poppers and more fish on the troll. Also reports coming from anglers jigging and chunking. Their one fish got hit by the tax man. Yup, there’s plenty of sharks in the mid-shore and inshore waters too.
The local canyons are producing groceries too. Scott Sari reports, “When the tuna don’t bite, drop to the bottom!” Here’s one of many monster golden tilefish he caught on a recent trip offshore.