Wow, what a great Fluke season as we put a ton of keepers across the deck of the Jenny Lynn and I would like to “thank” all of my summer clients for making it possible. The winds and weather have not been so cooperative so far for the month, hopefully it gets better. September is a transitional month offering cooler water temperatures and signaling the start of the migration. There are some Albacore and Bonita within distance and we are available to target these the rest of the month. In October, November, and December, we will be targeting Striped Bass and I provide 20-30 “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. These tags allow us to harvest 24 to 28 inch Striped Bass. With school in session, I’m running weekends and weekday afternoons starting at 230pm.
This past week I had repeat client Bruce Connor of Illinois and his daughter Emma of Washington DC on a 5 hr Bay & Inlet charter, which was supposed to be an inlet/ocean trip. With higher than expected winds of 15 to 20 knots, we stayed in the backbay and were only able to work part of the inlet as the conditions were very tough. We didn’t catch a large quantity due to the conditions, but managed Fluke (released due to regulations), Sea Bass (released due to regulations), Sea Robins, Triggerfish, and a 36-inch Bluefish. Great job by both anglers on a very challenging day!!
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.
Summertime striped bass on LBI show their stripes and hint that fall fishing is right around the corning. These resident bass are around all year but we have a recent uptick in linesider actively with the full moon. Here’s some reports from the surf, inlet and the bay…
Frequent FishingLBI blog readers Will Kocher and his father of Camp Hill geared up at the shop this weekend. They got a pair of new Tsunami Airwave Elite surf fishing rods and put them to work quickly. They stopped in Sunday night and shared their success. “We headed up to the beach in front of our mid-island rental house and had some fun. Caught fish on both bait and lures.” They caught three short fluke caught, a shark and a skate. Will also got a summertime striped bass at sunset swimming a plug by the jetty.
A report came in from a kayak angler who shared while picking up Tactical Angler Clips and Seaguar Flourocarbon leader line. He said, “Launched off the Dike in High Bar Harbor Dike then worked the sod banks and some skinny water. Found fish chasing bait. Caught a pair of bass among a number of small blues fishing poppers and metal jig.” Other reports of bass in the bay came from anglers fishing the docks at night. These summertime striped bass are feasting on spearing and baby bunker.
Here’s Aimee Wool with a nice Barnegat Inlet resident striped bass. She caught some stripers this past weekend aboard the Reel Fantasea with Captain Steve Purul. With all of the fluke and bluefish around now is the time to get your Barnegat Bay Slam!!! There’s weakfish in our waters too, so a grand slam isn’t out of the question! Test your home run swing and take on the challenge.
Sharking continues off the Long Beach Island surf. Both brown sharks and sand tigers are caught and released. Soak a large piece of meat (mackerel, bunker, bluefish, skate, etc) and get ready to hold on!
Here’s an article from Jim Hutchinson, Jr. at The Fisherman on the results of the 23 Annual JCAA Fluke Tournament… “For the second year in a row the top fish across the board in the statewide tournament was weighed in at Liberty Landing in Jersey City, with one of the very youngest competitors in JCAA history nabbing top honors in 2017 as 10-year old Dylan Cole of Andover, NJ brought a monster 9.69-pound fluke to the scales. All awards will be presented on Thursday, August 10 at the Clarion Hotel on Route 37 East in Toms River.
Jack McLaughlin, Tommy “The Hook”, Jumbo and Joe fished Barnegat Light’s 14th Annual Mercy Home Foundation fluke tournament this past weekend with Captain Greg Carr of LBI Charters. The crew reported a slow bite but the boyz bounced away! They boxed five keepers with Jack getting the largest at 5.56 pounds. It was good enough to take first place in the great charity event. Nice work, Jack congrats!
This past weekend, store staffer Willie weighed in a couple of fish his buddies brought by. Taylor and Nick fished the Garden State South and put together a good catch. Here’s a photo of the largest fluke and a keeper seabass. The classic minnow and squid combo was hot!
Here’s a short update on the local fishing, more specifically an update on the fluke fishing in the ocean. But first…
Public Service Announcement from Captain Brian Williams – Through education we can prevent ghost fishing and stop trashing the reefs! When snagged up, don’t cut above the water line. Break off! A straight pull will eliminate blowing up your rod. If using spinning tackle make sure the spool is down in its lowest oscillation position. This way the spool shaft doesn’t bend from excessive pressure. It’s best to have a dowel onboard for breaking off purposes. A couple quick wraps and it’s an easy pull to break off the proper way. Most of the time you’ll straighten the hook or break knot on the mono leader. This allows to gather and remove the length of braided line from the water.
Before work on Sunday Blake, Kelley and I put a couple hours in on the water. Since it was a quick trip we chose to focus on the BL reef. The site has been active with great fluke fishing the past week. We arrived, had a great drift and were instantly into bites. On our first drift Kelley got a thick 23″ fluke. For the next hour or so all of us were carefully releasing undersize fish and fighting to get through the piles of sea robins, sea bass and skates. Absolutely mowing through Gulp and natural baits! A number of the undersized were good healthy thick ones with fat bellies. About 5 five were right at the 18″ mark but went back to grow up. It would have been nice to have a full day trip on the grounds but it just wasn’t in the cards because we had to be back at the shop. Finished the day with only one true keeper fluke as well as one 15.5″ black sea bass.
Sonny Shepanski was on the water too. He started off in the same area and picked away. He said, “There’s tons of sea robins and skates but we managed to get five keepers in the low 20″ range. We had a strong showing of shorts. The Gulp nuclear chicken grub was the top killer. Also the classic meat strip and squid/minnow sandwich did well.”
The past week, the Carolyn Ann III has been on the meat! Were you there? You should have been! All joking aside that’s a serious spread of fluke! August is a great month for fluke fishing. Jump aboard and enjoy your day on the water.
Chris Siegert sent in this photo… “Great day on the water fluke fishing with Manic Sportfishing! 20+ fish this size… Thanks for setting us up Fish Heads!”
Grey Colsten reports, “Tons of small blues in the surf. They took over the suds so targeting kings is difficult. I’m only catching one or two kingfish each trip. The snapper blues are so aggressive, I can’t keep a bait set. There’s some big blues around too! Chunking bunker in search of a ray or shark… ended up getting a gator! There’s some guys fluke fishing the surf but the area I’m fishing doesn’t have a ton. Head up to the north end if you want to fluke fish the surf.”
August starts off with a bang! Good weather conditions have allowed anglers to get out and fish the waters of Long Beach Island. Positive reports are flowing from inshore, offshore and from shore anglers. Here is the update on the August fishing LBI has to offer.
LBI Fluke Fishing Report:
If looking for large fluke, this is the month! In late summer fluke stack up in the Inlets, beach fronts and near shore structures. Bottom fishing the open bottom sandy areas as well as the local reefs and wrecks are producing. Quality fishing right now from the Barnegat Inlet, the local reef sites and the waters from the Bather’s Beach to the Pier.
Captain Alex aboard Lighthouse Sportfishing put his client Michael Petruzziello on this 30” 10 pound 2 ounce doormat. It went for a live snappers in the Inlet. Captain Alex reported, “This is the second true doormat I have put clients on in the last three years. The last fish was a monster weighing in at 11.5 pounds which fell for a live peanut bunker.” Large fluke want big live baits!!!”
Here’s an update from two of Long Beach Island’s local party boats fishing out of Barnegat Light. After reading the recent update from both boats we all will agree now is the time to get out and go fluke fishing.
Here’s the Miss Barnegat Light’s fishing report from Captain Lou… “After the weekend’s northeast blow, the fluke fishing aboard the Miss Barnegat Light rebounded quickly. Even on Sunday, while the ocean was still settling, we had a fair amount of keepers. The last couple of days we have had great action. Some anglers are limiting. There’s a good mix of keepers to throwbacks. Seems like things are progressing nicely as we enter August. The squid and spearing combos as well as bucktails with Gulp of various colors have done the trick. So far this week, the pool winners are ranging 3 to 6 pounds.
The Carolyn Ann III reports, “The bite is on! The fishing is and has been good on recent trips. Some beautiful fish and limits to be had. Get out now while the catching is good!” Here’s a photo of a recent angler on the CA3 with two nice fish!
Zach Michot reported a solid day fishing with Capt Paul Haertel and Bill Browne, “Good day on the fluke grounds. The Magictail bucktail jigs with Gulp was the bomb! We finished the day with our three man limit of fluke and sea bass. Released a handful of keepers to catch another day!
Adrift Sportfishing reported an epic trip, “Seven fluke over six pounds largest was 8.8 pounds!”
The land based duo of David and Alex Ho are dialed in and on the fluke. As reported on the July 30th report, amongst other keepers David got a 28” 9.24 pounder and Alex a 23.25” 5.2 pounder. These are some serious fluke for land based anglers and a great feat for landing on the rocks. Congrats gentlemen!
Fish Finder Frank Foley stopped in recently and shared a report, “We enjoyed the day on the water fishing. The bluefish were snapping in the Inlet. Full on feasting on mini snappers. They were crushing poppers on top. It was crazy watching the voracious cannibals. In the area we did good with tog and fluke too.”
Speaking of bluefish… Grey Colston just got this gator bluefish off the surf! Good size blues are still cruising both the surf as well as the Inlet. Fluke and kingfish are also in the suds. This morning Rob Vallone tried for kingfish but got run over by snappers.
As per our last report resident striped bass are around. The small linesiders are hanging around the lagoons and bayside docks chasing bait. It’s plentiful with both peanut bunker, spearing, mullet and mini snapper blues. Anglers are having fun at night fishing small lures Try a small lead head rigged with a grub or split tail plastic. ¼ oz bucktails and 3” swim shads are also great choices.
LBI Shark Fishing Report:
The local warm summer waters are full of sharks! They are literally everywhere from the inshore waters and surf zone as well as the bay. We suggest not swimming in murky water especially if you have an open wound. It’s said that swimming with jewelry isn’t the best idea either.
While these brown sharks (sand bar shark), sand tigers and black tips are plentiful they are not out hunting humans. They’re just cruising and enjoying the waters of LBI like everyone else. If interested in catch and release fishing the largest game possible from shore or near shore this is the ultimate fun!
Monday night I had father and son team from Montreal out for a bay sharking trip. The session was slow due to wind against tide. We unfortunately missed two bites but adjusted and worked through the difficult conditions. We finally got a bite that took the hook and it put up a nice fight. The 14 year old Canadian enjoyed his time battling the bruiser like a champion right to the end with a successful release.
Tuesday night’s bay shark fishing trip was different. The conditions were prime and it panned out to be a flawless summer night! Not only did we get a number of bites (released four nice size toothy ones)… we caught our largest brown shark to date. We met Momma Bear the bay monster! She put up an epic fight. The trip will go down as one of our best.
Anyone looking to get out and go shark fishing should go asap! Stop in the shop and we can assist gearing up. You can hit the beach or boat and soak some baits! If looking to get in on a Four Hour Night Bay Shark Fishing Charter with Fish Head Guide Service reach out now by calling or texting Captain Greg at 609-713-9299
Midshore & Offshore Fishing:
The relatively calm ocean waters has anglers heading off and most return with meat. Bluewater fishing is solid with a variety of opportunities. Most reports are from anglers pulling fish on the troll however good action has come on the chunk and jig/pop. We heard some boats were heading to the Hudson to fish a promising stretch of water along the west wall. South of there fish were caught at the Toms. The Chicken Canyon and the waters further off around the Baccardi produced. Further south lots of boats are fishing Lemkes and the Cole. We heard one day was smoking hot then the next day was slow.
Store staffer Dan was out on Tuesday and beat on the fish. Dan said the jig bite turned on and some boats were into them casting on top. He shared his story about fighting a good size yellowfin but breaking it off near the boat after an hour battle.
Earlier this week, Tom Bernat and Gil Dilts fished with Captain John Rimmer aboard the Old Grandad. The crew boated two yellowfin and a 50 pound wahoo on the troll fishing the mid-shore on the 30 fathom line.
The crew aboard the Canyon Runner hit the dock yesterday with a solid catch of yellowfin. Captain Phil and Kevin reported, “The fish are all up on top in multiple schools with some yellowbirds up to 70 pounds. Both the chunk and troll are producing.”
Captain Mark from Bluerunner Sportfishing & Waterproof reports, “Fishing is great! We loaded the boat with yellowfin, Bluefin, mahi, tiles and mako. Solid fishing shaping up for late summer and fall.
– Fishing LBI Tournament News –
The JCAA Fluke Tournament is this weekend! August 5th, 2017, the Jersey Coast Anglers Association will hold its 23rd Annual Fluke Tournament.
The Forked River Tuna Club Presents their 60th Annual Fluke Tournament on August 12 to 19th Check out their website for more details.
The LBI Surf Fishing Classic is right around the corner! This year’s event is now 9 weeks running October 7th to December 10th. The one extra week was added and the format was modified slightly to offer larger cash prizes. There’s other great new things offering an awesome value… tournament collectable hat and shirt to early sign ups (first 300 before October 7th). For more details go to LBIFT.com where tournament news will be added. Prizes and special tournament days are still not finalized. Once done the info will be posted.
It’s settling down and the sun is out. The Barnegat Light Buoy is fading and the trend will continue to ease.
I got some fun surf this morning before the lifeguards came out. While walking up the beach one drift I stopped and talked to an anglers soaking a line. He reported a little bit of weed (most was up on the beach), snappers stealing bait and two kingfish. He mentioned that 4oz was rolling with the low tide sweep.
Grey Colston stopped in this morning and shared he was into fish before the blow, “I hope it continues. The inlet was consistent with tog and fluke and the surf had kings.”
David Ho got a good size fluke today. He said, “Fishing was good. The water was chocolate milk but the fluke are on the chew. I got a new personal best, 28″ fluke! Alex (23.5″) and John (20″) both caught too.”
Rich Beverley also reported fluke on the rocks. Here’s a photo of a 19.5″ flattie he got bucktailing.
Still some good blues around… “Not a bad way to end my six week vacation!” Mike Hovan reported. Here’s a bluefish he recently caught off the surf.
And a couple bass! Dave Hershberger posted this photo of a resident schoolie. “Lagoon striper!”
Reminder, the JCAA Fluke Tournament is next weekend.
Here’s some recent photos from the Miss Barnegat Light!
The warm temperatures and free time of the summer months provide great opportunities for families to get outdoors and spend valuable time together on the water. In an effort to motivate parents and guardians to engage in fun fishing activities with their children and keep them away from drugs, the Partnership for a Drug-Free NJ is holding the 3rd Annual Don’t Get Hooked on Drugs Online NJ Family Fishing Tournament. This year it is from August 4-13th. For more info to participate check out their website www.drugfreenj.org/
The Ship Bottom surf temp today is 68 degrees. The warm waters are a comfy home to fluke and kingfish. They are in the suds. Both today (Saturday) and yesterday (Friday) customers purchasing live bloodworms gave the nod yes when asked if they are finding kings. The big blues that are around offer lots of fun too! The epicenter is the Inlet but some feisty yellow eyes are cruising the surf. Gary W. caught this 13 lbs. bluefish off of the Beach Haven surf a couple days ago. Gary got it on fresh Fish Head’s fresh bunker.
Beach sharking continues to dominate the surf report. Both brown sharks and sand tigers give anglers a run for their money and test their tackle. Long Beach Island’s summertime beach shark fishing is the ultimate land based big game fishing experience. It’s a ton of fun but please know these species are federally protected! Due to the restrictions both brown sharks and sand tigers have made a major come back. Know the rules! Both of these shark species (among some others) are prohibited to be possessed. They can not be killed! They can not be landed! It’s grey but simply put landing equals possession even if there is intent to release. Fish must remain in the water. That means do not drag them up the beach for a photo. Dry sand photos are a major no no. This will ruin it for everyone.
Sharking is prime time right now, through July and all of August. This fishing is best during low light and dark hours, making it a great way to spend a few hours at night. Store staffer Willie D shares this report, “Sharking off the beach is hot right now. Keys to success? Rig up right. No weak links. Bait up with mackerel, bunker or anything meaty with some stink. Be ready for a good bite and a solid fight. Stop in the shop if you need assistance getting geared up!”
I personally prefer to enjoy the summertime sharking via boat. Over the years (15+) I’ve had a blast with friend enjoying the summer nights on the bay this way. Now that I’m a licensed captain I’m running 1-3 man bay sharking charters. If interested in going, call the shop 609-494-5739 and ask for me, Greg. If not available leave your name and phone number.
Earlier in the week I was out a couple times and we had toothy ones both trips. One trip we had a consistent bite that lasted couple hours, right into slack low tide. Everyone got their turn to battle a brown or two. At one point we had a double header. We blew through hook baits, rigs and the super warm bay ate the chum quick. The next night a stiff southerly wind maked for poor wind against tide conditions. We battled through the challenge, managed to release one and missed a couple opportunities. More recently store alumni Joni was out with friend. They released three brownies.
Shop alumni Kenny U reported good tog fishing at the Inlet rocks. He mentioned the tiggers are plentiful too! For a number of weeks now, the area has big blues holding. Anglers are having a blast hooking them on lures from bucktails to poppers. The inlet also offers great fluke fishing as the flounder slide out of the bay and take on the near shore lumps and reefs.
Fluke fishing is solid! Anglers bucktailing the bay’s channel edges are still catching and some occasional nice fish at that. As the season progresses other areas are heating up! New reports from the inlets and ocean are strong. The consistent warm ocean temps mean one thing for late July fluke fishing… it’s on!
Howard Clark was out on the water yesterday. His caught five fish 21-23″ and dropped an even bigger fluke boatside. Howard reported quality size fluke were on the chew and everyone was stacked with squid. It’s a great sign!
The Carolyn Ann III recently reported, “Nice improvement with an upswing in the fishing. We are seeing a good catch of sea bass along with keeper fluke coming over the rail! Hopefully this upward trend continues!!! Here’s a report from Jacob Bowles who was recently fishing aboard the CA3. “We got out to the fluke grounds,had a good drift and started off picking. Got an 18″ and worked through some sea robins. Landed a 23″ 4 pound fluke which took the pool.” When asked Jacob said he was catching fish on both Gulp and bait, “Both keepers were on bait.” Sometimes you have to give them some meat!
We tend to get 90% of our reports from anglers fishing Barnegat Bay and the north end of the Island however recently some positive reports came from the southend waters. Store staffer Willie said, “Fluke fishing on the south end of the Island is pretty good. Been a better mix of keeper size fish for anglers fishing the Gulp 4” Shrimp. Those have been the go to baits for some sharpies.
Sometimes you hear about the epic fishing and just have to pack up and go. Montauk is well known for quality striped bass and fluke fishing. The reports out of Montauk have been stellar to say the least! Zach Michot took a road trip to the East End and it was well worth it! Zach reported, “Jigged up 13 nice fluke and five jumbo sea bass. All on MagicTail Jigs. It was a great day on the water aboard the Miss Montauk.”
Clamming and crabbing are a great way to enjoy LBI’s beauty and beat the heat. Here’s a photo of Archie Coen clamming away.
For a large group of passionate anglers, bluewater fishing is a release from the summertime land life full off hustle, bustle, traffic and noise. Those hours on the high seas are where some of life’s best memories are made. Today the crew from Jenny Lee Sportfishing weighed in a monster mako at Hoffman’s Marina. It’s possibly a pending new state record, unofficial weight at 926 pounds.
Bluewater fishing has been strong! Stop in for premium Baitmaster Ballyhoo, super popular Joe Shute Lures and top quality spreader bars! We have all the essentials and more to get you geared up and into the bite. The mid-shore and offshore action continues. Anglers fishing 30-50 miles off are into bluefin tuna on a routine basis. Some heavy weeds recently moved into a fishy area that was very productive. This makes for frustrating fishing but you never know what’s underneath. Most of the time these weedy areas have bait as well as mahi and whites. Some cobia were pulled.
Lots of local boats are catching on the mid-shore grounds trolling bars as well as bally/shutes. It seems the larger class of bluefin that were around the past month or two might have push up out of out area. It seems a smaller class of fish are now present. Hopefully some nicer ones keep picking. Spreaderbars have been hot for these smaller class bluefin. Joe Shue trolling lures rigged up with a large or select ballyhoo is also a deadly trolling combo that tuna can not resist. Most run them on the long rigger, but some prefer them in the shotgun, way back. On the other hand there’s boats that stack the spread and run them in both positions. It seems like the bigger fish like to fall for the stealth way.
While we just got a skunk report sent in from an angler who fished the Hudson we also got an awesome report out of the same Canyon. Since it is a very large area they must have been fishing different sections. We were not told where in the Hud but we saw some solid photos of yellowfin tuna from the area.
Our current bait situation… We have fresh bunker, salted clam, live bloods, live eels and live minnow. We are low on green crab but expected on Monday. Baitmaster ballyhoo is in stock with all of the sizes from dink/peewee, small, medium, med/large, select and horse. We also have spanish mackerel, premium swordfish squid (5pk) and professionally pre-rigged ballyhoo.
July is a great month for fishing on Long Beach Island because there opportunity inshore, offshore and from shore.
Fish Finder Frank Folley was on the water today fishing the bay and Inlet. Frank said, “There’s still lots of bluefish around. Some good size ones too! They were crushing poppers which made for some fun fishing. We got some tog fishing crabs but no keepers. We got a couple keeper fluke bucktailing. Hooked into a monster cow nose which took us for a ride. There’s lots around so watch out!”
Jacob Bowles reported a good catch of fluke and sea bass, “Ocean water is up to 73 degrees. Fishing was great for me. Managed to get a 5 pound sea bass and a 24″ fluke.”
Dave Werner recently fished the Forked River Tuna Club’s Ladies Fishing Tournament. His girls on the boat caught 5 keepers and over 20 shorts.
Tog opened today (July 17th, one fishing at fifteen inches) and Dylan Fisher took the run to search some mid shore wrecks. He reported, “I had a blast with my uncle today wreck fishing about ten miles off. Light tackle black fishing with green crabs. We released 19 fish and kept one along with a nice sea bass. Heading out tomorrow to get back on the tuna!”
Beach Haven Marlin Tuna Club’s War of the Shore was this past weekend. The tournament’s inaugural year had a strong turn out with 70 boats. Over $3000 was raised for charity, the Childhood Leukemia Foundation in name of Parker Nork! Here is a photo of Intermediate angler Luke Wittenborn with a solid yellowfin tuna weigh-in caught aboard the Compass Rose in the tournament. Sorry we don’t have the final results.
One of the local party boats fishing out of Barnegat Light, the Carolyn Ann III reports, “Fishing has been slow all week but recently we put together some better catches. Seems like it is picking up a bit. We are keeping our fingers crossed and plugging away. Jump aboard and lets go fishing!
Numerous cobia reports floating around! We saw Nick Honachefsky’s “Jersey Cobia” post on Instagram as well as a couple others. Store staffer Kelley Lutzgave us this photo of his dad, Brett. Mr. Lutz caught the beast 76 pound cobia.
Good reports of yellowfin and bluefin tuna continue! Solid reports from anglers fishing the mid-shore grounds as well as the edge. With the somewhat calm sea conditions now’s the time to get out on the bluewater!