We are finally getting some summer like weather here in southern Ocean County, and the fishing is showing it. That is, when you can get out between some of those nasty weather fronts with strong winds and lightening. Right now we have a nice mix of spring species mixed in with the summer fish.
I have a lot of reports coming in from local fishing guides. Captain Fran Verdi of the “Francesca Marie” reports finding black sea bass in the ocean and some keeper fluke in the bay waters. He had his wife out recently on a quick run, and they picked up three bluefish for dinner.
Captain Dave DeGennaro reports after a slow start this spring he is now catching stripers from 20-inches to 20-pounds on both bait and lures. He is finding some 2-4-pound bluefish mixed in. He notes some bigger bass are being trolled on bunker spoons and Mojos.
Two of the captains from the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association checked in with their reports. Captain Gary Dugan had a party out doing some reef fishing on the “Irish Jig” despite some unfavorable weather conditions. He said the group made a great showing and put a respectable number of keeper sea bass in the fish box.
Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing has been fishing practically every day and scoring on fluke in the bay, striped bass around the inlet waters, and good catches of black sea bass in the ocean. The Critelli family had a bay charter and first picked up a decent number of stripers including three using bonus tags. They then jigged up some 25 fluke, keeping four for the table.
On another trip Denise Theiler along with her daughter Madison and friend Shawn caught over 30 fluke on a half-day trip. They went home with four keepers to 20-inches. Captain Brett said much of the catching was in just 2-feet of water. He stresses good social distancing on all trips and requires facemasks on all charters but allow them to be temporarily removed for pictures.
Captain Steve Purul has been slipping out when he can. He had a short evening charter this week, and his client and family picked up four nice striped bass including two to take come. Captain Steve reports the fish are here.
Tony’s Bait and Tackle in Manahawkin reports small bluefish up to18-inches are being caught at the Ship Bottom Pier on bunker. They note that bird-play is marking similar sized blues just north of the LBI Causeway bridge. Both the Garden State North and South reef sites are producing bag limits on black sea bass and a few cod.
Jingles Bait and Tackle in Beach Haven has been getting some new reports of stripers, bluefish, and kingfish on the beach along with the occasional fluke. Their customers are also doing well on fluke in the bay.
Greg at Fisherman’s Headquarters recommends “hiking the LBI dunes for great striped bass fishing.” He says the past couple of weeks have been good to surf anglers fishing the beaches of LBI. He feels it is one of the better spring runs in the past few years. Anglers chunking bunker, fishing clams, and throwing lures are all catching fish.
Anyone with questions or fishing reports is welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.