If you thought New Jersey striped bass fishing was good three weeks ago as we reported, well it was phenomenal last week says On the Water Magazine’s fishing reports.
On the Water says Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park, NJ reported striper fishing in the surf was just phenomenal as bass were packed in the surf and chowing down on loads of peanut bunker. The fish, they said, ranged in size from schoolies to 43 inches. There was also big bluefish mixed in with the bass. There were blitzes up and down the coast from Sandy Hook down to Island Beach State Park. And there’s no reason to believe the fall run is over. Grumpy’s suggests bringing shads, swimmers, poppers and bucktails for stripes.
The boats fishing for stripers also did well in Raritan Bay and just off the beaches of Monmouth and Ocean counties throwing shads, flutter spoons and by trolling.
Reported too was that the blackfish bite showed some good action on local reefs and bluefin tuna have reappeared offshore.
Capt. Phil Sciortino, at the Tackle Box in Hazlet, continues to be astounded by the incredible striper fishing. “People are catching them everywhere on just about anything,” he said. It’s the best striper fishing he has ever seen.
Rick Hebert, at Tackle World in Rochelle Park, reported excellent bass bites along the coast. He fished off Sandy Hook and on the Hyper Striper boat and quickly got his limits of stripers on shads, diamond jigs, flutter spoons and topwater plugs. Then he moved to his tog grounds for blackfishing and stripers were there as well.
Mike Gleason, at Tak Waterman in Long Branch, reported bass action on the beach was dynamite over the weekend. Stripers have been falling for the gamut of peanut bunker and shads, bucktails, swimmers and poppers. Gleason went on to say the night bite on the beach has also been pretty good and bluefin tuna are back in mid-shore waters where Madd Mantis poppers were taking fish in the 50-plus pound range.
Linesiders have made appearances in Asbury Park, Ocean Grove and Bradley Beach surf over the weekend with shads and swimmers luring them to hook.
Bob Matthews, at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, reported to On the Water that the striper bite is still hot on the party boats with the Golden Eagle and Miss Belmar returning to the dock last Wednesday with a mix of keepers and bonus fish. The boats sailed south to fish off Seaside and Island Beach State Park with some big blues among the bass. Matthews opined that at this time of year timing is everything. “If you’re on the beach at the right time, it’s the best fishing you’ll ever see.” Barring any winter storms, he thinks the good fishing should hold up for a while.
FRESH WATER ANGLING
Local action has been slow to non-existent. But a few avid anglers are braving the cold and wind and catching trout according to Willie from Willie’s Bait and Tackle in Cementon. Willie reports a couple customers were fishing Trout Creek in Slatington that was stocked by volunteers from nearby Spring Side Trout Nursery. One customer creeled an 18-inch tiger trout and recounted that he lost a sizable rainbow trout that spit the hook of his chartreuse Rapala. Another customer, using a Spinning Minnie, also managed some nice trout from there. One angler was seen with a pair of palomino’s in his creel from the same area.
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.