It’s settling down and the sun is out. The Barnegat Light Buoy is fading and the trend will continue to ease.
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!
As the spring season winds down and we transition into summer new fishing opportunities arise… Read On!
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″
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.
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!”
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.
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
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!
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.
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.