Fishing Transitions into Summer

As the spring season winds down and we transition into summer new fishing opportunities arise… Read On!

Crabbing has been on fire all spring and it continues! We are looking forward to an awesome summer of crabbing. Here’s a photo of Richie Southwick with one of many nice blue claw crab hauls. Richie is doing great with the feisty blue crabs.

This is the last push for Black Sea Bass! The NJ Black Sea Bass Fishing Season closes Sunday June 18th. It will reopen on July 1st with a bag limit of two fish at 12.5″

The Carolyn Ann III reports, “The last two days of fishing were pretty good. Still a lot of shorts to weed through but the keepers are there! This Sunday is the last day for us to go Sea Bassing as the season closes. Starting Monday we will be targeting everyone’s favorite flat fish, the summer flounder aka fluke. Come aboard!”

Austin Pounds shared this yesterday,”Fluke are in the wash! Toss out a 1/2oz bucktail topped with a Gulp white swim mullet and they are all over it.” Austin has been targeting and catching fluke off the surf all season. He has some really nice sized fish to show too. This surf based fishery traditionally is great all summer long. Just a heads up there’s a possibility that we’ll get some upwelling. Depending on how drastic the temp swing is with the event, it could effect things. A quick cold snap in the water temperature due to upwelling shocks fish and can lock jaw a bite like a flip of the switch.

Another report came from Austin on the beach shark fishing. “And so it begins! They are here so gear up and soak some whole bunker. We got our season’s first sand tiger off the surf yesterday.”

Another surf sharking report came from ApexAnglers… “The 2017 NJ surf shark season begins with a bang! Two personal bests. Dan’s largest sand tiger to date measuring 8’2″. Seconds after Dan’s fish a 6’2″ sandbar shark takes the 9/0 with an eel. Then towards the end of the night a massive  7’7″ sand bar shark. The largest we’ve seen and possibly the largest caught off the surf in NJ. What a super successful early season trip. The action will only heat up from here.” Check out Apex Anglers for more details on NJ’s premier land based shark fishing guide service.

Sharking inshore/offshore has been good. We’ve heard reports of a couple large makos. Numerous customers reporting blue sharks out the wazzoo making for frustration but action non the less. In the past week we got some positive news on threshers 3-6 miles off the beach.

Like always, Joe Shute Lures are pulling tuna! These lures are about as consistent as they come. Don’t leave the dock without ’em! Store staffer Dan DiPasquale got offshore recently and has this report to share… “Our first offshore trip of the year resulted in our first bigeye. The good water we were after unfortunately pushed off making it all very difficult. Fished three different canyons with a water temp of 59-60 degrees. Took a couple hours but we finally got the right bite. It went for red headed Joe Shute. Nice way to kick off the year on the boat, still very early. There is a very good bluefin bite and yellowfin bite to the south of us right now, hopefully we get another good push of water soon!”

The striped bass bite off northern NJ as been very good this week. Lots of anglers out of the northern ports reported an awesome bite. Many local anglers headed up that way to get in on the action and had a blast. Both Waterman Charters and Shore Catch Guide Service has been dialed in on the bite. Here’s one report from Captain Gene from Shore Catch, “Last night was one for the record books! Epic cast and blast on topwater poppers. Kept one for the table and released over 20 all over 40 pounds.” Now that’s some great fishing. Below is Captain Gene boat side releasing a quality striped bass that fell for a pencil popper.


Pete Utschig wanted to share this post. The photo below is a beautiful striped bass that Pete caught one morning earlier this month. He had three nice bass that morning.

Moments like this, shared with friends, family, and even strangers is what makes it all worth while! It’s been a tough spring up and down the east coast. Besides some very spotty big fish bites the bass have been almost non existent. We need to WAKE UP!!! No more excuses or pointing fingers. We need to educate our friends and neighbors to stop killing breeder bass. We need to protect our precious resource and pastime. Until regulations change we can’t stop the endless charter boat slaughter, but if you have friends going on a fishing trips take five minutes to tell them about your love of fishing. Explain why instead of fishing in their local bay or inlet they have to steam 3 miles out to find the only body of fish we have left. Try and convince them to keep one fish per group not five fifty pound fish. We all love fishing for different reasons. I love it for the smile on a kids face when you hand him your pole on the beach and let him reel in his first fish. I love the 4am excited call from a buddy that you helped teach how to fish after he gets in on his first reel big fish bite. I love meeting guys just like me who just want to travel, laugh, (drink a couple cold ones) and catch fish. I just love fishing for the fun of it! Let’s protect our resource before we lose it forever!

With a sad and heavy heart I share the news on the recent passing of John Sweet. I had the pleasure of knowing the kind, generous man who did so much for others. He’ll be greatly missed in our community. Here is John’s obituary from Maxwell Funeral Home.

John F. “Tiderunner” Sweet, 78, of Ship Bottom, NJ passed away June 14, 2017 at his home. Born in Camden, NJ, son of Helen and John Sweet.  He moved to Cherry Hill and married Lois Zuzga Sweet who passed away too soon.  Together they had three children, Susan Lucas, Amy Smalfus, and Jane Faiola. He is survived by 9 grandchildren: Zachary and Melissa Johnson, Alexander, Nicholas and Gabriella Faiola and Rachael and Amanda Smalfus and Alexander and Victoria Duffy. He is survived by his loving wife, Joan Duffy Sweet, of 31 years, and her children, Christopher and Kathryn, who have been a great blessing to him.

He lived Medford, NJ with Joan for 18 years just prior to Ship Bottom where he resided for the last 14 years. His passion for fishing was well know, and he served as President and Treasurer of the Long Beach Island Fishing Club.  John initiated a fishing program for the LBIFC for wives, children and significant others called the Powder Puff Derby.   He was an active member of the LBIFC for over thirty years and served in many other capacities: teaching fishing at the Surf City Library, teaching casting and fishing at the Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs and participated in numerous fishing tournaments throughout his life.  He has many “winning plaques” because of his knowledge of the surf and the correct fishing gears to use.  He leaves a huge emptiness in the countless lives he has touched.  He was an active member of the Ship Bottom Fire House, and served as a Fire Police.  John volunteered at Southern Ocean County Medical Center for 8 years where he helped out in the Same Day Surgery Department.  In addition, he was an active member of the Kiwanis and participate in their many events.  John was active in St. Francis of Assisi Church serving as a Eucharist Minister as well as assisting the Secular Franciscans in their activities.  John was loved and respected by all and he deeply changed many lives for the better.  He always wanted to be remembered “as doing his best for everyone.”

A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Francis Church, 4700 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach Twp., NJ 08008 on Thursday, June 22, 2017, 11AM.  Relatives and friends may greet the family from 10AM to 11AM in the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Francis Food Panty at the same address as the Church.

 

 

 

 

Feels Like Fall

With the chilly westerly breeze, it really feels like a fall day here on LBI. The Island’s beaches have a fading south east swell leftover rolling across the sandbars. Over night the water cleaned up (lost some of that chocolate tint) and fish are cruising the white water. We are dropping into low tide (on the surf) at 12:39PM. High tide is this evening at 6:52PM.

Scott Shirey from Carlisle PA just weighed in a 41″ 26.30 lbs striped bass at 11am. Scott caught the linesider off of the Ship Bottom surf on FishHead’s Bunker at about 10am.

 

Store staffer Dan was out on the water yesterday (Sunday) searching. He fished the three mile line off Island Beach State Park. Dan said, “Trolling was slow, with little to no bait. We did come across a deep pack or two of bunker (photo below).  This time last year we found some good fish. We’ll get ’em soon.” Water temp was 52 degrees. We heard through the grapevine there were a couple fish pulled this weekend. This is the start!

 

Here a photo of the surf and rainbow 🌈 from last night off the Surf City beach. Thanks to Melanie Cassie Photography for the photo

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.

Bass:
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.

Flounder:
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!

Tog:
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. 

Picinic at the Point

It’s Thursday and since we don’t have fishing information to share… Let’s throw it back to the early days on LBI with a picinic at the Point. Here is a photo of a family enjoying the beaches of Long Beach Island taking a lunch break while fishing Holgate. Check out that vintage Ford Model A Roadster (’28/’29) with the ballon tires and all. It must have owned the beach! LBI offers offordable family so come on down and live the SaltLife” surf fishing.  

c1952 Photo: Lindy Clements