With vacation being foremost for many families this month, perhaps a trip to the shore is in the offing. If so, it may be a good time to take in some saltwater angling as the New Jersey shore points are reporting good action for a variety of species.
Our fishing contacts from On the Water Magazine report the following from the popular northern New Jersey coast.
*Rick Hebert, at Tackle World in Rochelle Park, said fluke are getting the most attention however swings in water temperature had an impact on the bite. There were some decent catches in Raritan Bay and the Verrazano Bridge
*Capt. Phil Sciortino, at the Tackle Box in Hazlet, reports numbers of blues and fluke are being hooked at the Rip on Sandy Hook. Blues are also showing up along the Sandy Hook beaches. Anglers fishing with killies are getting fluke at Keansburg Pier while porgies are being caught at the Tin Can Grounds and Rockaways.
*Mike Pinto, at Giglio’s Bait & Tackle in Sea Bright, said blue fishing is going strong in the Shrewsbury River with fish in the 2-10 pound range being hooked early in the morning on topwater plugs. Sand bugs are still picking up stripers in the wash and there are fluke in there as well. Fluke in the surf are just so-so. Crabbing, which is great for kids to do, is picking up in the Shrewsbury and Naversink Rivers.
*Mike Gleason, at TAK Waterman in Long Beach, said fluking in the surf has been steady while it’s been a bit inconsistent for boat anglers. Water temps have been fluctuating and that’s been affecting the bite. But there’s plenty of triggerfish on the jetties and inshore pieces. As for tuna, Gleason says it’s been a tricky season so far as there are bluefin and yellowfin offshore but fishing for them is hit or miss. Stripers, he reports, are hitting plugs at first light off the beach. Stripers continue to hit sand crabs in the Ocean Grove surf and fluke are also in the wash and hitting sand crabs and Gulp baits.
*Bob Matthews, at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, said fluke are active in Shark River with party boat anglers latching onto fish up to 9 pounds. Stripers, blues and triggerfish were being taken at Shark River Inlet. Anglers fishing the surf are hooking fluke, kingfish, blues and stripers with the top bait for stripers being sand crabs while Gulp and bucktails are luring fluke to hook.
*Pete Kupper, at Charlie’s Bait & Tackle in Normandy Beach, reports the summer routine is in progress with fluke, blues, stripers and crabs the main bites. He goes on to say fluke are in the wash and eating sand crabs and Gulp, while bass prefer clams and sand crabs. Blues on the other hand are chasing mullet and metal. He added that crabbing in the back bay is improving.
Trout action has been a surprise at Leaser. Yes, you read right, trout. Guess the muskies didn’t eat all of them as a friend managed to land a plump 20-inch rainbow last week on an ice jig as he was fishing for crappie. At first he thought he hooked a musky as the trout fought hard.
If you hit Leaser on the weekend, prepare for lots of company with kayaks, canoe’s and paddleboards being plentiful all over the lake.
Turkey hunters will be glad to hear about the opening of a shotgun patterning range on State Game Lands on SGL 205 in Lehigh County.
Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Southeast Region Director, Peter Sussenbach, announced the opening of two newly constructed archery ranges and a new shotgun patterning range on state game lands in Lancaster and Lehigh Counties.
A newly constructed archery range is located on State Game Lands 046 in Lancaster County, at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, at the Willow Point parking area, off Hopeland/Kleinfeltersville Road, in Clay Township. A new shotgun patterning range and a new archery range are both open for use on State Game Lands 205 in Lehigh County, off Warden Road, in Lowhill Township.
“With the growing popularity of archery hunting, especially in the Southeast Region, we are pleased to be able to provide these two new archery ranges to bowhunters and recreational archers. The new ranges will enable archers to hone their skills and, in turn, become more proficient and ethical hunters.
Also, just in time for Fall Gobbler Season, a new shotgun patterning range was opened at the range complex on State Game Lands 205, in Lehigh County. We’ve also made substantial improvements to the existing Rifle Range there. All three ranges meet ADA specifications to accommodate shooters with limited mobility,” said Sussenbach.
The newly constructed archery ranges provide shooting distances of 10, 20, 30, 40 & 50 yards. Each distance has two, 4-foot by 4-foot commercial quality targets designed for field point or broadhead use.
The new shotgun patterning range on State Game Lands 205 consists of two shooting stations with shot collection structures designed to secure paper targets (not provided) at 25- yard and 35-yard distances.
The construction of, and the upgrades to state game lands ranges are funded through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, most often referred to as the Pittman–Robertson Act. Pittman and Robertson Act funding is derived from the federal excise tax on the sale of firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment.
Future range enhancements are planned for the State Game Lands 205 range complex with the addition of a Pistol Range slated for 2023.
More specific information about state game lands shooting ranges, including range regulations, and driving directions, can be found at State Game Lands Ranges (pa.gov).
To use the ranges, sportsmen need to possess a valid hunting or trapping license. or a range permit for $31.97.
ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES SOON TO GO ON SALE
Deer hunters are reminded that for residents, antlerless deer hunting licenses will go on sale July 11, and July 18 for nonresidents. Then on Aug.1, the first round of unsold licenses will go on sale followed by the second round of unsold on Aug. 15. Then on Sept. 12, licenses can be purchased over the counter for WMU’s where licenses remain.
FREE FISHING DAY JULY 4
From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 4, the Pennsylvania Fish Commission is hosting a Fish for Free Day when no fishing license is needed to fish commonwealth waters. It's a great time for those who have been considering fishing but were reluctant to buy a fishing license if they didn't like it. It's also a day when those who fished but gave up the sport to try it again.
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.