LONG BEACH ISLAND REGION — The stripers are coming! The stripers are coming! Up until recently, the best bass fishing has been from Barnegat Inlet up north all the way to Raritan Bay. With ocean temperatures dropping, those fish are making their way south. When a wave of these fish appears, stripers in the 30 to 30-pound class are being trolled up.
Hopefully the linesiders will appear by this weekend for the Italian American Club’s 4th annual Striped Bass Tournament down in Little Egg Harbor. The action kicks off Thursday, November 14 and ends on Sunday, November 17. Applications and information can be obtained at Scott’s Bait and Tackle and Captain Mike’s Marina.
The next weekend is the annual MICA Striper tournament also in Little Egg. For information on this call the club at 609-296-0591. Applications are available at Scott’s, Captain Mike’s, and the club.
In addition to the bass taking bunker spoons and Mojo’s, plentiful schools of bunker and other baitfish have been producing some exciting topwater action on smaller bass. This is a cast and retrieve type of fishing with some jigging also going on.
In the report for the Beach Haven Charter fishing Association, Captain Carl Sheppard of the “Star Fish” got in on some of the action trolling off the beach in the area of Seaside recently when he picked up two nice bass for a party of happy anglers. Captains Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing and Alex Majewski of Lighthouse Sportfishing have had charters fishing the waters of Barnegat Inlet almost every day, sometimes with two trips a day. They reported good action on smaller bass with a few keepers every trip. Captain Brett adds that he has been scoring very well on blackfish.
Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” has been catching some smaller bass in Great Bay waters and up the Mullica River and is awaiting the push of fish from the north. A recent trip had a large thresher shark take one of his spoons and keep the angler busy for quite a while until finally breaking off.
This striper action will be lasting at least until the end of November.
The Long Beach Island Surf fishing Classic has been slow thus far with just 8 stripers weighed in thus far. Leading the pack is a 35.72-pounder caught by Mike Curtin. There have been no entries by women, juniors, and no bluefish up to now. Joseph Hettler leads the senior category with his 11- pound bass.
In other fishing action, Captain Nick Perello had a daytime swordfish trip recent with a 140-bigeye tuna and a 150-pound swordfish to show for his efforts. Captain Nick says he is encouraged by the number of swords he has been seeing and says he plans to run daytime swordfish charters next year.