SHIP BOTTOM, NJ – Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom reports that surf fishing in the mid-island region has been decent for bass and blues.  Peg Bucci of Manahawkin stopped by just before closing one day with a big bass from that area.  She reported, “I set up my first rod and was quickly bit off by a bluefish. I re-rigged and shortly after I hooked up with a good fish. After a 20-minute fight I landed it.” She was very appreciative to the staff there for their help.

Another angler, Todd Luyber, also stopped in and shared his report. He had a steady bite fishing some heavy water as he walked with the current. He had several bluefish of various sizes up to around 12 pounds along with two short bass. He said he had a fish on with practically every bait he threw out and fished the last half of the outgoing until he ran out of bait.

Captain Steve Purul of Reel Fantasea Sportfishing tells me he is continuing to offer up light tackle action on schoolie striped bass while employing artificial presentations. He has been also finding bluefish of varying sizes on both those artificials and fresh chunk baits.  

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Andy Tonnesen of Tony’s Bait and Tackle tells me those bluefish ranging between 2-4 pounds are “abundant” for anglers trolling ponytails or casting surface lures in Barnegat Bay. Around the LBI Causeway he knows of anglers catching 2-4 pounders using bunker or butterfish baits.

Surf City Bait and Tackle reports the action on the beach for bass and big bluefish keeps getting better and better. They weighed in a 23.94pound bass for Tim Stumpf that puts him in second place on the LBI Surf Fishing Tournament’s Spring Derby. Leading the pack as I write this is Ryan Jones with a fish weighing in at 29.86 pounds. There has been a total of 14 bass weighed in so far.

Five bluefish have been checked in with Kevin Laverty leading the pack with a fish topping the scales at 16.34 pounds.

Getting back to Sue at Surf City Bait and Tackle, she reports the Hettler brothers put some hours in on the beach in the dark where they beached 4 short bass on both bunker and clam. Joseph picked up a 13-pound bluefish. Recent strong undertows have made it difficult holding bottom for bait fishermen, but once that slows down, the fish should pick up.

The Junior Mates of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association will be on hand Monday night, May 13, at the Beach Haven Borough Council meeting to discuss their new program to improve the local artificial fishing reefs. They are looking for support from local governments and area residents in their efforts. The meeting begins at 7pm.

Information on both the Junior Mates and their reef efforts can be obtained by going to the BHCFA website at www.BHCFA.org A “Go Fund Me” page has been set up to help raise funds for the project.

Questions on local fishing and fishing reports for future articles can be directed to jamesghutch1@aol.com.