Summer has officially arrived, and warm summerlike temperatures are here on schedule. This means water temperatures have gone up, and the summer agenda for fish is here.
Although the black sea bass season has closed for a period in New Jersey, there are plenty of other species to keep anglers happy. Fluke are plentiful in the bay waters and will be massing by the inlets in a matter of weeks to migrate into the ocean. In addition to the flatties, there have been some catches of weakfish, kingfish, and bluefish in the bay.
In the ocean there are bluefish of various sizes, and a few bonito have already appeared close to shore. The tuna fishing continues to be red hot both mid-range and in the canyons.
Andy Tonnesen at Tony’s Bait and tackle in Manahawkin is happy about the current variety of fish in area waters including good numbers of a variety of sharks. His most recent report talks of loads of bluefish ranging from one to four pounds outside Barnegat Inlet with the further you go out, the bigger the blues get.
Jingles Bait and Tackle in Beach Haven reports a good kingfish bite over the weekend with bluefish and keeper fluke being caught on the beaches of Beach Haven and Holgate. They are also taking about good numbers of fluke in the bay and even a few weakfish. They are congratulating Denise Hart who won the Fluke-a-Mania tournament at the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club with a 6.09-pounder.
Surf City Bait and Tackle reports a couple of nice striped bass caught on the beach at night with one of 37-inches and another 43-incher that was caught and released on fresh vacuumed bunker. They are also hearing of small blues on the beach too.
The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association have been getting into the act in a big way.
Captain Ray Lopez got into some of those tuna on a recent trip on the “Miss Liane.” They a crew on an inshore bluefin trip that caught 8 bluefin up to 40-inches. Gary Dugan on the “Irish Jig” concluded the black sea bass season with several good days. He has made the switch to fluke and is finding plenty of keeper fish.
Captain Carl Sheppard had a doubleheader day with parties in both the morning and afternoon. In the morning, a group of friends caught over 40 fish including sea bass, fluke, and sea robins. In the afternoon, the bite continued as nearly 50 fish were caught.
Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing took a few days off with the arrival of his newest crew member. Jakob “Jake” Taylor was born weighing over 7-pounds and measuring 20-inches in length-a definite keeper.
Fisherman’s Headquarters Bait and Tackle in Ship Bottom has some good advice for anglers after fluke. “They can be found in the back bay (mid-Island) and in the areas closer to the inlet. Anglers are doing good fishing Gulp as well as live and natural baits. At times certain areas have weed which makes things difficult. Keep your rigs clean and you’ll find fish.” They note that the best action seems to be on live bait rather than Gulp. In addition, one of their customers, James Walker was fishing with squid in Barnegat Bay and picked up 70 blowfish and 17 kingfish.
Finally, Captain Steve Purul of Reel Fantasea Sportfishing reports that he has been doing very well on bluefish and stripers in the Waters in and around Barnegat Inlet. He says the fish are hungry and feisty. When anglers tire of this action, he takes them into the bay waters for some fluke.
The Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club will be conducting its 51st annual White Marlin Fishing Tournament. This is the longest running white marlin tournament in the United States. The event kicks off with the Captain’s Meeting on Tuesday, July 21. It then runs for the next four days July 22-25. Each boat is permitted to fish on two of those four days.
This tournament has awards for white and blue marlin, tuna, wahoo, and mahi-mahi. In addition, there are cash Calcutta’s available for captains to enter at their discretion. Captains interested in participating are urged to contact Dave Ridley at 908-963-5924 or e-mail at email@example.com. Complete information can be found on the internet at http://thewmit.com/tournament-info/
Anyone with questions or fishing reports is welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.