With cooler nighttime temperatures local fishing should improve, primarily on lakes and ponds. Stream fishing, on the other hand, is slow except for avid fly anglers who have the patience and expertise to coax a leftover trout to hit.
Fall trout stockings are far and few between and as for Lehigh County, the stocking schedule lists the Little Lehigh Creek to be stocked Oct. 15, but it was moved to Oct. 22.
Until then, the best angling action right now is saltwater at the most popular northern New Jersey shore points.
According to On the Water Magazine, a remarkable inshore Bluefin tuna bite is going on. Plus, there’s plenty of action on bonito, false albacore, Spanish mackerel, terrific reports of fluke, even some inshore mahi-mahi. The magazine says there’s a build-up of bait in the bays and river which appears to have the makings of a good fall run.
Tackle World tackle shop in Rochelle Park, reported a solid inshore bite of black tip and spinner sharks as they’re feeding on lots of bunker with the added bonus of a Bluefin tuna or two.
Capt. Phil Sciortino, at the Tackle Box in Hazlet, NJ, says fluking has been really good with a little more than two weeks left in the season. He adds that the rough bottom areas of the Rattlesnake and Scotland Grounds has been yielding big fish and lots of limits. The porgy bite has also been good on the Tin Can Grounds.
Jilian’s Bait & Tackle in Atlantic Highlands, reported good fluking on the hard bottoms of Ambrose and Chapel Hill channels.
Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright, NJ, reported several bluefish blitzes on the beach with blues stretching from Sea Bright to Long Branch, NJ. Blues were gorging on peanut bunker and spearing. Also, good numbers of blues and Spanish mackerel at the Rip on Sandy Hook. As for fluke, the keeper ratio is getting better in the surf, but shorts are still in the majority. Additionally, small stripers are falling for poppers in the Shrewsbury and Naversink rivers.
Mike Gleason, at Tak Waterman in Long Branch, managed to take (after a 30-minute fight) a 69-inch bluefin that swallowed his Madd Mantis popper just 20 feet from the boat. He says the offshore yellowfin tuna bite remains good while surf fishing has been producing blues and short bass with an occasional fluke.
Small blues, he added, blitzed the beach in Ocean Grove last week with plenty of small fluke in the wash.
Over at Grumpy’s Bait & Tackle in Seaside Park, they report fluke and blues continue to bite well in the surf. They’re surprised the blues are in so close. Crabbing too remains good in the bay but it’s recommend hitting the less frequented lagoons.
On the Water’s upcoming forecast, with two weeks remaining in the fluke season, is that fishing should be really good this week. It’s recommended anglers hit the rough bottoms with Gulp and bucktails. The beaches too should produce good action on bass, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and false albacore.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.