With schools and colleges out for the summer, families are heading to New Jersey shore points. And when they do, saltwater fishing can be the thing to do.
Our saltwater fishing reporters from On the Water Magazine offers these promising places to try your luck for some bigger-than-trout fish.
*Tackle World in Rochelle Park reports the striper bite in the back of Raritan Bay is hot using chunk. Rick Hebert from Tackle World, said his brother and crew caught and released close to 80 stripers last week.
*Giglio’s Bait & Tackle in Sea Bright reports fluke are being caught in the surf with mostly shorts but a few keepers mixed in. Best bet for them is Gulp baits and bucktails. There are also some small bluefish scattered along the beaches with short bass in the surf as well. Giglio’s says fluking has been decent in the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers, however shorts outnumber keepers.
*Tak Waterman B&T in Long Branch, said a new body of bluefin tuna moved in with fish in the 30 to 40- pound range. They’re being taken on the troll with jigs and popping plugs. Mike Gleason at Tak’s said the tuna were feeding on a mix of sand eels and squid and they fell for 60-80-gram streaker jigs. He added that there’s still a good striper bite to the north on Spooks and other top water plugs with fish in the 20-pound range. Fluking is picking up in both rivers and in the surf where striper action keeps getting better in the Ocean Grove/Bradley Beach surf area for anglers using sand crabs, small plugs and epoxy lures.
*Fisherman’s Den, Belmar, NJ, says the offshore seas bass bite has been good while fluke fishing has been productive in the rivers. Bob Matthews at the Den, said the surf bite for striped bass has been good on clams and sand bugs. Linesiders are hitting good at night in the rivers on shads and live eels. Finally, he offers that the offshore folks are enjoying a renewed tuna bite.
*Side Job Charters’ Capt. Jay Richardella, based in Belmar, has been getting into bluefins as he and crew placed second in the Manasquan River Marlin and Tuna Club Bluefin Open last week. They weighed a 47 pounder and managed to go 12 for 13 on bluefins.
*Gabriel Tackle Co. in Brick, reported the overall offshore bite is picking up with excellent reports of shark fishing on the reefs. (If you’ve never eaten shark, the Paddock Restaurant off Walbert Avenue in Allentown occasional offers “shark bites” appetizers when shark is in season). Frank Gabriel at Gabriel’s, said the bluefin bite is improving daily while the surf is yielding stripers and blues on bait and there are plenty of both in the Manasquan River.
*Charlie’s Bait & Tackle in Normandy Beach, reports stripers and blues are being caught in Barnegat Bay by the Mantoloking Bridge on plastics, plugs and metal. On the beach, Bill at Charlie’s said Kettle Creeks and small plugs have been working for stripers and bluefish right at the lip in the wash. He hinted that teasers improve your chances.
While on the subject of stripers, there have been several Facebook postings of huge stripers coming out of Pike County’s Lake Wallenpaupack at night.
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.