LONG BEACH ISLAND REGION - As everyone has been suspecting for quite a while now, we will be having some new regulations on striped bass fishing in New Jersey. A new set of rules will take effect in 2020. There is little doubt that these rules will be stricter than current ones due to a population decrease of stripers.

Proposed measures include reduced quotas for commercial fisheries and changes in bag limits, minimum size limits, and slot limits for the recreational sector. Options for the use of circle hooks when fishing with bait to reduce release mortality are also included. Public hearings will be held to get angler input on possible regulations. Final approval of the Draft Addendum is expected at the October Management Board meeting.

Locally, there will be a meeting in Manahawkin on Thursday, September 12, at the Bay Avenue Community Center on Bay Avenue. The hearing will run from 6:00-8:30. Anyone unable to attend the hearings should submit written comments to Max Appelman, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N Arlington, VA 22201 or comments @asmfc.org (Subject line: Draft Addendum VI) 

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The Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association held its annual fishing tournament recently for the youngsters who participated in this year’s Junior Mates Program. Five captains and boats of the Association volunteered their time to reward the junior mates with a day of competitive fishing.

Boats fishing this year’s event included the “Pension Plan,” “Reel Determined,” “Starfish,” “Hot Tuna,” “M & J,” and the “Insatiable.” There were many fish caught altogether with 16 fish kept for the weigh-in. These fish consisted of black sea bass and summer flounder. In third place on “Reel Determined” was first year mate Matt with a 2.68-pound fluke.

Second place was taken with a 2.78-pound fluke caught by Sam M. aboard the “Starfish. Taking first place was a 3.44-pound fluke caught by second year junior mate Owen aboard “Pension Plan.” The pool winner for the day was a 6.24-pound fluke caught by guest Vikki Graham aboard the “Insatiable.” The fish measured over 25-inches.

Andy at Tony’s Bait and Tackle in Manahawkin reports that blowfish are still abundant in Barnegat Bay off the ICW off Waretown and Barnegat and in Double Creek Channel. There are small fluke in the bay and inlet while the larger ones are showing up around the reefs. Andy adds that weakfish and snapper blues are being caught around the Causeway bridges and crabbing is very good right now.

Jingles Bait and Tackle reported the northeast winds continue to churn up the surf but there are kingfish, cocktail bluefish, and fluke in the surf. Bay anglers in the Beach Haven area are finding weakfish and blowfish along with some small stripers.

Captain Dave DeGennaro of Hi-Flier Sportfishing tells me that he has been spending a lot of time on the water. At the Barnegat Ridge he is catching big bonito up to six pounds, Spanish mackerel, and false albacore, everything from midgets to jumbos. At times, he is picking up king mackerel and mahi. It is mostly high-speed trolling, but he does mix in some spinning tackle at times.

If the weather isn't good for going out the inlet, Dave is finding a mixed bag right in the bay with an assortment of fluke, blowfish, weakfish, and sand sharks.

Anyone with questions or fishing reports is welcome to contact me at jamesghutch1@aol.com.