Upwelling Events On Long Beach Island

After a string of upwelling events this summer, some that could rank towards the top of historic records, everyone from anglers to surfers and bathers are asking, “Why’s the surf so cold?”

Attaching a thermometer to the back of a casting lure is a great way to monitor the water temperature when fishing.

Growing up on LBI, I’ve experienced our changing waters both fishing and surfing since a young age. Then in Oceanography Classes at Stockton College I learned more about our unique Cold Pool and the intricacies of our coastal dynamics. I’ve talked about it numerous times on my fishing report videos but never laid out a full blog post to comprehensively share information on the topic of upwelling on Long Beach Island. Here it goes!

Photo: Casting Lure and Thermometer, Steve George, Night Strikes Guide Service

The Cold Pool

What is the source of the cold water?

The waters of the New York – New Jersey Bight (Cape May, NJ to Montauk, NY) are unique. It is arctic in the winter with water temps in the 30’s and it is tropical in the summer with water at times reaching the 80’s. These are some of the largest ranging ocean temperatures in the world.

The waters change over the season…

WINTER: During the coldest months of the calendar (December–March) the water is well-mixed.

SPRING: April and May are the spring transitional months when the days get longer and the weather patterns calm. During this time the ocean’s surface temperature warms and stratification occurs creating a two layer summer ocean.

SUMMER: All summer, June/July/August/September the surface layer remains warm, but the bottom layer remains cold. This cold bottom water is known as The Bight’s Cold Pool.

This cold dense blanket is a vital part of our ecosystem supporting the diverse fisheries. Anglers can catch warm water species (mahi, marlin, wahoo, cobia, tuna, etc.) on the surface or upper water column and at that same exact location bottom fishing for cold water species (flounder, ling, cod, black sea bass, etc.)

FALL: The fall transitional months (October and November) the days get shorter, the surface cools and more frequent storms mix the ocean. The stratification breaks down.

The seasonality of ocean temperatures and the detailing of spring/summer stratification.

Looking at the graphic, the seasonality of ocean temperatures, take note of the stratification in June – August! It’s the time with the most radical temperature range and that is when the upwelling events pack the biggest cold punch!

Upwelling Events As A Result Of Ekman Transport

Let’s dive into the work of Vagn Ekman, a Swedish oceanographer who in the early 1900’s observed icebergs did not drift in the same direction as the wind. Through his study of fluid dynamics and commitment to physics he published his theory, The Ekman Spiral, which detailed the Coriolis Effect [due to planetary rotation objects in motion in the Northern hemisphere deflect clockwise, opposite in the southern hemisphere] in the ocean.

Part of his theory, Ekman Transport details the wind’s influence on driving and dragging surface waters at 90º from the direction of the wind due to the Coriolis force. Water displaced is replenished. Diverging waters due to Ekman transport create a void which in turn acts like a suction, upwelling deep sea water. In the exact opposite way downwelling occurs. Both of which have significant impacts on the world’s oceans.

Depending on the wind’s direction, duration, speed and area, these downwelling or upwelling events can range from none existent or minor to major.

The causes of upwelling graphic by the NWS.

Late July’s & Early August Upwelling Events – The Cold Water Event Recipe

Storm fronts and coastal storms largely drive the Mid-Atlantic weather. However in the summer it’s common for those patterns to break down and the “Bermuda High” takes over. Long Beach Island then gets its daily southerly sea breezes that at times can be very strong. These winds cause the surface waters to be pushed offshore making cold bottom waters upwell.

Due to persistent and prolonged southerly – southwesterly winds from high pressure in control of the Western Atlantic (around about Bermuda) and a lingering inland trough, a round of significant upwelling events took place in mid to late July 2022.

The lack of frontal system activity held the pattern and upwelling continued. There were numerous upwelling events one after another with a climactic ending, a much stronger event late in the month. The ice cold waters bounced back but it didn’t last long. Another upwelling event took place August 7-10th which is shown in the chart below. Temperatures were recorded by local anglers even colder, mid to low 50’s.

Barnegat Light water temperatures 8/4-8/10.

Central NJ Water Data

More local monitoring and a better buoy network would be nice but we must be happy and utilize what we have.

Barnegat Light USGS Station 01409125 – This tide and temperature station is uniquely located at Barnegat Inlet where it records the Barnegat Bay waters on the outgoing – ebb tide and ocean waters on the incoming – flood tide.

*Note the recorded data at this gauge/site can be influenced especially during low tide, it’s common to see LBI surf temperatures 2-4 degrees colder then recorded here. It is a great resource so long as you read it properly! The warmest (highest high) was at the end of the ebb current, August 9th at 3:37PM and the coldest (lowest low) was at the end of the flood current, August 9th at 9:49PM. The dropping lower lows from 8/6-8/10 is the upwelling event in the ocean taking place and progressing.

NOAA Waverider Buoy 44091 – The 44091 buoy is 15nm offshore of Barnegat Light, so it does not record the nearshore coastal upwelling data. It does however give a great read into the ocean surface temperatures. These waters will get pushed in with north and north east winds creating a downwelling event.

Atlantic City Steel Pier’s Station 8534720 – The Atlantic City Steel Pier data is what’s most commonly shows on the news. It’s an accurate surf temperature for general purposed. However, it’s not always a great read for the LBI surf. AC has a much more southerly facing beach and also Absecon Inlet. A persistent south wind can pile up the Absecon Bay’s outgoing waters against the beaches in close proximity and therefore read slightly warmer.

Better Your Catching When Summertime Fishing

Anglers who know about the upwelling phenomenon and the reasons why it occurs better understand the local area’s dynamics. Furthermore anglers who are mindful of and use water temperature to their advantage more effectively plan, alter and abort fishing trips.

Upwelling events are common for Long Beach Island. We all love that they offer a break from the hot and humid mainland. The surf and the sea breeze is the lure of the shore! Make the most of it and enjoy fishing!

Fishing Report Update – April 29, 2018

Here is the Long Beach Island, report update for Sunday April 29, 2018

The weekend’s beautiful weather got the Island moving and offered great opportunity to wet a line.

Chris Kelly stopped in and signed up for the Spring Surf Fishing Tournament. He hit the surf and got a keeper bass. He currently has the only fish on the board at 8.2 pounds. The

More reports of small – baby bass off the surf and in the bay. Anglers are catching using bait and lures. If going the bait route be sure to rig up with smaller hooks (4/0) and use bloodworms, clam or bunker. Anglers fishing jigs (bucktails as well as softbaits like Fin-S, Slugos and the super popular just restocked in four colors, Kettle Creek Paddle Tail Swim Baits) and metals (1/2-1oz Kastmaster on the surf) are doing very good too.

Small striped bass caught by youth angler off the LBI surf.
Here’s a super stoked youth anglers that took part in this weekend’s surf fishing tournament. All of the sharpies said this kid is going to be the real deal. He is already turning heads as high hook!

As Bob MacMaster (one of Southern Regional Fishing Club’s Coaches said, “Tackle boxes are way better than Xboxes!”

This weekend Tyler Medica got his first largemouth bass of the season! Really nice bucket mouth for a local fishing lake.

It was a perfect late April beach day for the ASAC sanctioned Nicole Born Surf Fishing Tournament yesterday. As per our previous report, only three legal fish were entered; two drum, one bass. Fish have to be “legal size” to be scored so the abundance of short bass didn’t add up to anything. Fifteen year old JT Hille with the Southern Regional High School Fishing Team got the only qualifying striped bass, 28.5″ linesider that took piece of bunker.

Here’s JT with his winning striped bass that was a clean sweep; First, Second and Third Place Junior as well as Second Place Team. He took home two trophies!

Here’s Reggi Vasta of the Women’s Surf Fishing Club who caught the largest fish of the day. about to score her winning black drum

Here’s Reggi Vasta about to score her winning black drum.

Ken Wheeler enjoyed the day fishing the tournament. He got one of the more notable catches, photo below. The May 25th Opening Day NJ Fluke can’t get here soon enough!

Ken Wheeler caught this 18″ fluke off of the LBI surf. This is most likely the first fluke caught off of the surf this season. Way to go Ken!

With offshore season right around the corner things are starting to look interesting out there.

On May 12th at 6pm The Forked River Tuna Club is having their “Get Ready For The Season Seminar” with Tom Novack, Joseph Mitchell and Mark Finelli. Free Admission, Cash Bar, Seminars Start at 6:30pm. The Forked River Tuna Club is located at 18 Bay Ave, Forked River, NJ

2018 LBI Spring Surf Fishing Tournament

We are excited to announce Simply Bassing is now the Spring Derby!
For 16 years “Simply Bassing” the LBI Spring Surf Fishing Tournament was a great competitive way for anglers to enjoy surf fishing the beaches of Long Beach Island. With the awesome spring bluefish action lots of anglers asked (many demanded) a bluefish division. Finally it’s added!

Now more than ever, the Long Beach Island Spring Surf Fishing Tournament continues to offer Jersey Shore anglers the State’s best surf fishing tournament. Sticking to its roots, it’s a family fun surf fishing tournament with a simple format. Most importantly it’s a low kill contest that awards only the top fish/anglers by weight. Daily, weekly or segment prizes do not exist. If your fish can not beat the three top leaders, please release your fish to swim another day or responsibly harvest for a delicious dinner.

The LBI Spring Derby will start on April 21st and end on June 24, 2018.
It’s $20 to register for the 9 week striped bass and bluefish surf fishing tournament. Top Three Striped Bass and Top Three Bluefish Win Cash! Based on 100 registered anglers: First Place Bass and First Place Bluefish get $500 each (25% Payout), Second Place Bass and Second Place Bluefish get $300 each (15% Payout), Third Place Bass and Third Place Bluefish get $200 each (10% Payout).

With spring surf fishing right around the corner, it’s time to Save The Dates Now! Registration will begin in the near future (about a week or so). Sign Up Soon and get ready to fish your favorite LBI beach!

For more details… www.LBIFT.com

LBI Fishing Report Update 12/22/17

As of yesterday, winter is officially here! But let’s look at it in the bright side… the days are only getting longer from here!

With the year coming to a close, I fished out 2017 getting in as much as possible. Today I pulled the boat for the year. Kinda bummed but looking back it was an awesome run. This fall was fun fishing with so many different people. It’s great to experience time on the water with people stoked on fishing.

With good mild weather recently I enjoyed my final days on the boat this year. Yesterday (Thursday) we got a couple small bass on the troll working Magic Tail Mojos off of IBSP in 35-50′ of water. Wednesday we found piles of bait but no bites. After putting in a couple hours we called it off, only later finding out it was happening elsewhere. Where? Find out in the next paragraph below. Tuesday, it took a little while to find them but we got into good but short lived fishing off mid-Island (Ship Bottom to Harvey Cedars). We worked 35-50′ for a couple hour period and could not keep the lines in the water. It was mayhem with  with doubled and triple headers all to ourselves.

Wednesday afternoon Brian Coen got into a great bite fishing off of IBSP. The birds and bass were going wild! He reported, “We probably had 50 fish on top crushing lures. The fish ranged from 20” up to 18 pounds.

Jeff Davis from Let It Fly Charters sent in a quick email report, “Another epic day!”

Here’s a happy fly anglers aboard the Let It Fly with Captain Jeff Davis.

The surf fishing along the beach of LBI are still producing. Local angler Chris Masino caught today. Below is a photo of one.

Late December striped bass cruise the beach looking for small baits and lures. Try your cast and get a tug!

Solid tog fishing continues with the Magic Tail Tog Jigs being the best way to hook a hoss. Matt Sorrentino is dialed in togging with Magictail Jigs. He recently took the pool fishing aboard the Osprey out of Atlantic City. Must have been the lucky Fish Head Hat!!! Get your own today. All joking aside, it’s awesome to see these Magic Tail Tog Jigs out fishing on a consistent basis.

Here’s Matt with his pool winner!

We got word in today from a couple anglers who were out, “Lotta small tog on the local reefs.”

Dylan Fisher was on the December 21st offshore black sea bass fishing trip aboard the Voyager. He reported, “The weather was good and the fishing was great catching jumbo sea bass and porgy. I topped off the freezer for the winter. Now I’m ready for hibernation.”

Here’s Dylan with a jumbo sea bass.

Epic End Of Year Sale!!!

Close out 2017 right with our year’s best pricing…  For a limited time we’ve got an Online Store Wide Flash Sale! Use Cart Promo Code FLASH17 at checkout.

LBI Fishing Report Update 11/6/17

Some positive reports from the Island’s back waters. The sod banks and channels are holding fish. Poppers and small plugs are getting attention!

Jarrett Hillman got into some bass late afternoon yesterday in the bay. He was catching light tackle plugging.

Jacob Bowles sent in a report yesterday, I got a 28″ bass as well as two shorts in the dark this morning.”

There’s also talk of small linesiders in the suds. “Finally broken in my new 12′ StCroix Mojo Surf Rod that’s matched up with the Star 8000 Surf Reel.” Alex from Lighthouse Sportfishing sent in this photo below, “Although small it’s a start. This rod and reel set up is going to be great for the surf.”

Dennis Gallagher got a 8 pounder off the surf today on bunker.

LBI Surf Fishing Classic

The LBI Surf Fishing Classic Tournament is right around the corner. Today registration began! Fishing starts October 7th and the stage is set for the best year yet!

For 2017, the 63rd Annual LBI Surf Fishing Classic has some new flare. This is in addition to the special prizes (see below).

Check out this list of changes:

  • It’s now 9 weeks with three segments $500 each
  • $2000 Striped Bass Grand Prize
  • 66 Daily $100 Prizes
  • Minimum size for bass and blue is now 28″

If the extra week and increased prizes aren’t good enough. How about a free tournament hat and t-shirt… But you have to register early!

This photo shows the 2017 LBI Surf Fishing Classic Tournament Hat and T-shirt. Register now while supplies last.
Here’s the 2017 LBI Surf Fishing Classic Tournament Hat and T-shirt. Register now while supplies last.

The first 300 registrants signed up before October 6th get a FREE LBI Surf Fishing Classic Tournament T-shirt and Hat. After the tournament starts on October 7th, the t-shirt will be $20. *While Supplies Last

LBI Surf Fishing Classic Reg. Fee

$30 – General (Adults 18+)
$15 – Junior (17 & Younger)
$10 – Side-Bet Shop Exclusive

Fisherman’s Headquarters Fall Side Bet

Fisherman’s Headquarters Fall Derby Side Bet is an annual calcutta administered by Fisherman’s Headquarters. It is an additional $10 to join and must be done at time of tournament registration. The largest striped bass weighed in at Fisherman’s Headquarters win the cash pot. Top three fish win…

1st – 100% “Cash Pot” Pay Out
2nd – $100 FHQ Store Gift Certificate
3rd  – $50 FHQ Store Gift Certificate

Are you interested in the Side-Bet? Ask to join when signing up for the Classic.

LBI Surf Fishing Classic Special Prizes

Oct 8 – $500 cash for the largest striped bass
Oct 12 – $250 cash for the largest striped bass
Oct 19 – $250 cash for the largest striped bass
Oct 31 – $500 cash to the largest striped bass
Nov 5 – $500 cash to the largest striped bass
Nov 16 – $500 cash to the largest striped bass
Nov 23 – $250 cash to the largest striped bass

For more details on the LBI Surf Fishing Classic check out the tournament website.

LBI Fishing Report July 30th

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.”

David cuahgt this 28" fluke fishing the BL Inlet
David Ho caught this 28″ fluke off the rocks today.

Rich Beverley also reported fluke on the rocks. Here’s a photo of a 19.5″ flattie he got bucktailing.

Barnegat Inlet Fluke Fishing
Rich got this keepers bucktailing the inlet.

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.

LBI surf fishing for bluefish
Still some bluefish cruising the surf.

And a couple bass! Dave Hershberger posted this photo of a resident schoolie. “Lagoon striper!”

Kids love striped bass fishing.
Fishing is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.

Reminder, the JCAA Fluke Tournament is next weekend.
Here’s some recent photos from the Miss Barnegat Light!

Fluke & Blues In The Surf, Sea Bass On Wrecks

Fluke and blues are in the surf and sea bass are on the inshore wrecks.

Store staffer Dan D reported, “Nice first day fluking on the sand with Greg DeMello.” The two caught well over 30 fluke with the biggest going 21″. Dan said, “The fluke were practically beaching themselves! We caught a lot shorts and then capped it off with bluefish out the wazoo.”

Here’s a couple other fluke reports…

Austin Pounds has been on the fluke surf side. Here is a recent photo.

Les Spickler Jr stopped in the shop and reported putting together a good catch. He fished the bay in the rain and got four nice keepers.

The blues are racing the suds. Numerous reports recently

Chris Masino caught this one.

Dan Parker got this one.Posted got this guy off the surf on the south end.



Sea bass fishing is good right now. Get in the game before it closes on June 18th! Captain Jeff Warford hit a local wreck yesterday and had a fun trip. “Cold, windy and rainy but a good way to kill some time.” Jeff said, “A little inshore fun while waiting for the next weather window to get offshore. Will this wind ever stop?”


Above is Captain Jeff and below is Kyle Kosiba both showing off a fun way to burn a rainy day.


LBI Fishing Report May 27th

Fishing Long Beach Island NJ is a great way to enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend. The local waters have variety of opportunities from the beach or boat; summer flounder – fluke, striped bass, Bluefish, sea bass among others!!!

With the LBI Cup Tournament and Holiday weekend combo, lots of boats were on the water today searching for classy striped bass. Unfortunately the reports were dismal. Anglers fishing out of Barnegat Inlet who ran as far north as Manasquan and as far south as Atlantic City had nothing to show for their efforts. We heard of a couple nice bass trolled off of LBI and IBSP but nothing to get excited about. There were a handful of bass, some in the 50 pound class which took the cake in the tournament. We’ll post the results as soon as we get them.


So far this spring’s local snag and drop as well as troll bite is nothing like what we’ve seen in prior years. Could it be the reduction fleet pounding the bait in our area the past month???  It’s very possible. When the local gill netters are struggling to find schools of bait, there’s something up. Some have written it off but like many our fingers are crossed. Maybe it will turn on to close out May with a bang. Historically early and mid June offer great striped bass fishing so we have some time. Things might happen. 


There’s nice bass here cruising the waters of Long Beach Island, just not as active or in the number we all wish for. Expect the activity to turn on as we creep out of this new moon phase.  As always the case around the late May moon, recently some really nice fish were caught by surf anglers. Obviously the largest was Art Eromenok’s trophy 57.4 pound striped bass (on 5/23). We believe this to be the largest striped bass we’ve weighed in from a land based “surf” angler. A close second was Ray Sullivans’s 56.7 pound surf tournament winning bass in 2010. Then Jim Haines’ 55-3 from the mid nineties which is mounted and on display above the bunker cooler. Somewhere in the shop’s top ten falls John Kelly’s 55 pound from 1964 which is known to be the shop’s first surf bass in the Fish Head’s Fifty Pound Club. Over the years we’ve had a number of fish beautiful striped bass, a handful over 60 but only from the boat. None from the surf that we are aware of. Not sure if the LBI surf ever offered up a 60 pound surf bass. Anyone know of one???


Mike Burn weighed in this 28.46 pound bass earlier today. He caught it on the mid-island surf last night chunking bunker.



Gary from Farias sent in this photo of his father in law, Rich Hall. He got this bass of the surf recently fishing bunker.

Armando from Manahawkin stopped by the shop this afternoon with a fat 21″ fluke. He reported fishing off of the mid-island bayside, “I caught the fluke on a bunker chunk as well as some blues. There were other blues and fluke caught too.” Here’s a photo of Amanda from Hopewell Junction, NY with a nice summer flounder she caught fishing near Armando. Amanda shifted gears and put some time in on the surf and got this bluefish today too.

John Delsordo got a nice 24″ fluke fishing the bay today.



“Insane fishing with Captain Mark of Laura Sportfishing!” Matt Polito reported, “The sea bass fishing was great today. We started out slamming the blues in the Inlet. Every cast they were hammering lures. We tried to find some stripers but no luck. We then headed out to the sea bass grounds and got into them good! In less than an hour we had our boat limit.”


Blake and I headed out for a late morning search. We wanted to find some bass but the intel wasn’t promising. We decided to stay in the inlet and made for a quick fun session. We found gators on the feed absolutely crushing plugs. Here’s one of many yellow eyed monsters!


Fishing Evolved! No one on the planet pursues the art and science of catching fish like Berkley. From offering the world’s best braided and monofilament fishing lines to the revolutionary Gulp! baits, Berkley Fishing is at the top of their game. This is a must see behind the scene video from their Spirit Lake Iowa facility.



Pressure is dropping!

The high is moving off and a low is coming. Looks like its hanging out for the weekend and we’ll be looking at stiff winds and rain. Awesome fishing weather!!! Just in time because some nice fish just showed up.
Today we got word from a couple boat anglers who trolled up some nice fish in the twenty to thirty pound class. Speaking of nice fish…
Yesterday Cody Schmutz got a good striped bass off of the surf on clam. He reported, “Got my fair share of blues. Now I’m off to find some cow bass this spring!” Gonna have to say that’s a good start. It’s the best bass we’ve seen off the surf this spring.
Other surf news…
Store staffer Robbie Vallone gave us heads up… “Blues from 5 to 15 plus pounds every cast! It’s ridiculous!!!” Bill Head stopped in a picked up his new rod. He just messaged us, “The rod is a beast total rope session with blues right now. Caught 9 and ran out of bait.”
Arnold Manresa sent us a photo this morning of a nice bluefish he caught off of the Island’s surf.
Timothy Swiggard sent in a photo of a 32″ bass he caught off of the mid island surf on bunker.
The bay is still active with fish, both bass and blues.
Gary from Farias got a nice gator bluefish fishing a mid-island bulkhead.
Chester B. stopped in for fresh line today. He reported hammering the blues today and yesterday. “In the windy conditions, I fished the bay. The blues wanted bunker chunks. There were some good size ones too. I got my first fluke of the season. It also went for a bunker chunk on a 5/0 hook. The bluefish are packed with jumbo spearing.”
Store staffer Blake and I had a good morning meeting on the water with Rich Lowe our Grundens factory rep. We covered some ground and found an occasional bluefish. We only managed three blues in the short morning session. It would have been nice to fish into noon but we all had obligations. For us it was a semi slow morning but the number of blow ups and follows to the boat made it exciting. All in all it was a good morning “taking care of business”.
We find out later our friend Todd Luber was hot on the bite and wasn’t fishing far from us. He did much better than us. Here’s his report, “Bass love Stillwater! Five bass and a few blues ion the bay!!!!
Steve Warren stopped in this afternoon to pick up some fresh bunker and sign up for the Simply Bassing Surf Fishing Tournament. While here he shared his morning report. “I had a fun morning on the boat in the bay. Blues on poppers and swimming plugs.”
It’s game time! There’s fish here and they are on the chew.