Gina Lawrenson from the head boat “Carolyn Ann III” out of Barnegat Light reports some quality fish have been coming over the rails along with plenty of shorts. Dennis Haney of Lumberton had a good day with a pair of fluke, one weighing in at 8.73-pounds and the other just under 6. Gina says the action is improving.
Andy Tonnesen at Tony’s Bait and Tackle in Manahawkin tells me that the blowfish are still around in good numbers in Barnegat Bay especially between Buoys BI and BB. He is also touting the inshore small fish troll bite consisting of bonito, Spanish Mackerel, bullet mackerel, frigate mackerel, king mackerel, bluefish, and mahi. He recommends trolling spoons with a small planer with light tackle.
The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association continue to amaze me with the variety of fish available. Captain John Lewis had the Smith party aboard the “Insatiable” and with a multitude of shorts and a 23-inch beauty of a fluke. The Campbell party boated 16 bluefish and a pair of Spanish mackerel besides some fluke and black sea bass. Another group had 25 black sea bass with 5 keepers along with a pair of ling, a bonito, and some other fish for a total of 47 fish for just two anglers
Captain Alex Majewski of the “Debbie M” of Lighthouse Sportfishing reports the warmer ocean water has brought in some interesting catches. One day saw a big mahi just a few miles outside the inlet along with some smaller ones. He noted flying fishing around the Barnegat Ridge and tons of small bonito. In the bay he says blowfishing is still strong along with tons of small fluke. In addition, small blues are still present around the inlet. Captain Alex says the bay waters seem the clearest and cleanest he has seen in quite a few years.
The “Starfish” with Captains Carl Sheppard and Vic Bertotti had the Angelo family out for a day of black sea bass, sea robins, and some fluke. Most of the fluke caught recently have been throwbacks, but there seem to be keepers every trip. Another family trip with Captain Carl started with trolling for bluefish in the inlet where they caught over 100 bluefish. They moved into the bay waters where young Emma and Brendan each caught their own weakfish.
Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing has been doing well bay fishing at the north end of Long Beach Island. Most trips result average 3 keeper fluke out of 30-40 fish brought to the boat. His biggest fish was a 9-pound doormat in Barnegat Bay on an S&S bigeye bucktail tipped with fresh bait. He had Rick Carlucci and sons out releasing over 35 fluke while boxing 7 keepers to 22-inches. He is also catching large numbers of blowfish for clients who want plenty of fish for dinner.
Fisherman’s Headquarters Bait and Tackle reports the fishing from the shores of Long Beach Island has a lot to offer. Kingfish and fluke are the go-to targets on the surf. Both live and artificial bloodworms are catching kingfish. Gulp has been the hands-down most effective bait for fluke. At times weakfish, small blues, and striped bass pop up. The jetty in Barnegat Light has been giving up fluke, triggerfish, and tog. The tog season re-opened August 1 with a one fish daily limit at 15-inches.
Captain Steve Purul of Reel Fantasea Sportfishing is raving about the fishing in all spots from the bay through the inlet right on out to the canyons. He is catching blowfish, snapper flues, fluke and weakfish in the bay. The inlet is giving up stripers, bluefish, triggers, blackfish, and even some mackerel and bonito. Steve calls the big game fishing offshore for tuna, mahi, and billfish some of the best it has been in years.
Anyone with questions or fishing reports is welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.