While local freshwater fishing is fair, most of the good fishing action is happening in saltwater.
On Sunday, July 9, Leaser Lake was being loved to death. Kayaks, canoes, inflatables, tube fishermen even two anglers with large Skeeter bass boats crowded the small lake. Parking was at a premium since SUVs and trucks with boat trailers took up two parking spots each. And the anglers we interviewed weren’t doing much. No trout, merely small muskies, bass and one angler claimed he caught a small smallmouth bass. Throughout the interviews many anglers were surprised the PFBC put in muskies this early as the consensus was that they eat the trout, small bass, perch and sunnies. But those lucking into a toothy Muskie loved the action.
From Bill Brinkman at Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle in Philly, comes this fishing report:
“The upper Delaware river has been a different story. From the Trenton ramp up to Stockton the striper fishing has been great. Most guys fishing in bridges with live eels, white perch and plugs have been catching 20 to 34-inch stripers in decent numbers. Washington’s Crossing up to Lambertville, guys has been doing well with live eels, 6-inch twister tails, shad bodies and poppers. And if you’re not into the stripers, the smallmouth bass fishing has been great all up and down the river. Kevin has been doing great up at the Water Gap fishing live minnows, grubs, spinners and Senko worms. He said most days you could land 25-40 fish. JR down in the Lambertville section of the river, has been boating 30-50 fish each trip out. Minnows and grubs have been working best for him. Larry, fishing below the New Hope wing dam, picked up 15 decent bass wading the rocks. Further up-river, one customer fishing around Hankins’s caught 9 smallmouth bass, 2 walleyes and 16 river chubs. He was fishing Rebel crayfish, Rooster Tails and 3-inch pumpkinseed power grubs."
"Saltwater action was quite a mixed bag. Heavy winds last week kept most of the boats close to home. Anthony was down fishing the Cape May reefs catching 4 keeper fish on the boat. Frank fishing the old grounds, boated 11 keepers all with bucktails and Gulp grubs. Beach fishing from Cape May up to Margate has been awesome for kingfish. Dick, out of Brigantine, picked up 50 keeper kingfish all with bloodworms and Fish Bites. In this same water the brown shark fishing has been great with kingfish heads, chunk bunker, mackerel and live eels. One customer with a dozen eels fishing North Wildwood picked up a 4, 4, 6 and one bigger brown shark. The bigger fish they lost in the wash. When you get up to Brielle and further north the flounder fishing has been great, but lots of throwbacks. Some guys I talked to were catching 12 to one. Again bucktails and gulp mullet and grubs working best. Still some great numbers of giant porgies and sea bass being caught in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Clams, strip mackerel and bloodworms working best.”
From the Fisherman Magazine comes this saltwater report:
“After a heated week of Jersey Shore politics, state parks are once again open throughout the Garden State, with surfcasters back on the two-fluke, 16-inch limit at Island Beach State Park. A few stripers are still in the mix as are kingfish and fluke inshore, while sharks are taking up a position in the night surf. Meanwhile boats hitting some of the deeper reefs and wrecks are finding gangbuster action with jumbo ling and giant winter flounder while also picking away at the cod and enjoying the two-fish sea bass pickups along the way. A few bigger fluke are coming by way of the Old Grounds and inshore reef sites, while Raritan Bay doormat action is on the uptick as well. Offshore, reports have more yellowfin moving into the Lindenkohl, along with bigeye, for what’s being called a “mid-range bluefin bonanza.” This has big game hunters looking to the Chicken Canyon and Triple Wrecks for quick limits.”
From Capt. Howard Bogan’s 125’ New Jersey Jamaica charter, he reports “Fishing was very good. We’ve been catching some bluefish, lots of mackerel, and some sea bass. Everyone on the last trip caught plenty of fish. We read fish on the scope 40-50 feet thick at times and saw loads of fish swimming around the boat. We caught them on jigs and bait.
If big fish is what you’re after, head to the shore.
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.