In a nutshell, there are fluke and blowfish in the bay, fluke and kingfish on the beach, fluke and black sea bass on the inshore structure, and some darn fine fishing for tuna in the mid-range distances.
The word from Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom is that the abundance of school bluefin tuna surprisingly close to shore is “the most spectacular topic on the local fishing front.” They say the water is clean and blue with plenty of bait. Also around are king mackerel and a few small mahi. Soon bonita and false albacore will be present.
Agreeing with that feeling is Captain Dave DeGennaro of Hi Flier Charters. He has been catching 20-30-pound bluefin within 20 miles of Barnegat Inlet along with king mackerel on the troll. He adds that further offshore, 60-70 miles, there is a mix of bluefin and yellowfin.
Jingles Bait and Tackle in Beach Haven reports kingfish, some bluefish, and fluke are still active in the surf.
The fishing report from the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association reflects the good action on fluke and sea bass on the artificial reefs. Captain Carl Sheppard of the “Starfish” had a local group of friends out for a day of fishing. The crew drifted many local wrecks and caught nearly 60 fish including 2 keeper fluke up to 19.5-inches and 8 keeper sea bass up to 16-inches.
Captain Gary Dugan has made some trips on the “Irish Jig” to the reefs and guided his dad on three nice fluke for the dinner table. Another party ended up with some decent sized fish with one a very fat 24-incher weighing almost 6-pounds.
Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction” Sportfishing reports red hot fluke action and notices the fish are “definitely starting to move.” He had Bill Pryor, his daughter Haley, and family friend Robert Doheny on a 4-hour bay trip. The crew as able to put 7 keeper fluke in the cooler while releasing over 35. Many of the throwbacks were a fraction of an inch too short. Another half day trip saw Keith Murphy boating over 30 fish with 5 keepers.
I received a great fishing report from proud dad, Matt Compitello, concerning the neat catch his son Matt made. They were fishing the Garden State South Reef using Gulp for bait when young Matt tied into a monster fluke weighing 8.58-pounds and measuring 27-inches. The fish was weighed in at Jingles. Congratulations to the Compitellos.
While mentioning youngsters, I want to correct something I wrote last week about young Richie Southwick from Southwick’s Marina in Beach Haven Gardens. Richie is 10 years old, not 13 as I thought.
Anyone with questions or fishing reports is welcome to contact me at email@example.com.