Since local fishing action is dead, at least until ice fishing begins, you may want to take a ride to North New Jersey shore points for some big fish action be it from the surf or charter boats. Here are the latest reports from On the Water Magazine for that area of the Jersey shore:
Rick Hebert, at Tackle World in Rochelle Park, said stripers were still biting in Raritan Bay on Ava’s and on the troll. Black fishing has been a struggle with good fishing one day, then tough going for the next two or three. He’s been getting better reports from the southern spots. Offshore sea bass trips are seeing more porgies than sea bass, he added.
Capt. Phil Sciortino, at the Tackle Box, said the boats continue to do well with bass in the bay with some fish on the beach at Sandy Hook. He also reported some bigger fish, up to 50 pounds, caught farther to the east. He’s getting better tog fishing reports.
Mike Pinto, at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright, said it’s been quiet there but he did hear of bass on the beach at Sandy Hook.
Mike Gleason, at Tak Waterman in Long Branch, said anglers are still getting bass in the surf there. Short bass are hitting sand eel imitations and there are peanut bunker mixed in with the sand eels. There were small bass chasing peanut bunker in the Bradley Beach surf last week and were hitting 4-inch Storm Shad lures.
Bob Matthews, at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, said it was a good week for surf fishing in Monmouth and Ocean counties. Any sand eel imitation with a teaser was working, with most of the fish in the 24-28-inch range with a few smaller ones mixed in. Tsunami sand eels are a shop favorite. Matthews reported better winter flounder fishing in the Shark River over the past few days. One angler had eight fish to 3 pounds, keeping only two.
Capt. Pete Sykes, of Parker Pete’s Sportfishing out of Belmar, reported excellent striper fishing on Monday and Tuesday of last week on jigs and on the troll. He believes bass will be around after the storm. Black fishing, however, has been hit-or-miss. The dogfish have been a problem and if they’re around, the tog are not.
Max Kristiansen, at the Reel Seat in Brielle, said bass in the surf is the best game in town right now with the better fishing south of the Manasquan Inlet. Black fishing has been pretty inconsistent as some days are better than others.
Jason Szabo, at Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach, said the Manasquan River is still giving up a lot of small bass. Shad bodies at the bridges are working for them. He added that the surf has been good for shorts and keepers on jigs, but rigs were working as well.
Capt. Kenny Namowitz, on the Mimi VI out of Point Pleasant Beach, was on the tog grounds on Monday and reported it was hard but productive fishing as several anglers got their limits.
Frank Giacalone, at Gabriel Tackle Co. in Brick, reported the blackfish bite has been decent out in the ocean, and is holding up in the Point Pleasant Canal. Striper fishing off the beach remains good with Ava’s and teasers. There’s also lots of peanut bunker in the wash.
Pete Kupper, at Charlie’s Bait and Tackle in Normandy Beach, said stripers were biting on the beach there right up until the wind started blowing. Bill Hurley Sand Eels have been the most popular bait. There are also some winter flounder in the bay by the Mantoloking Bridge.
Scott, at Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park, said the bass fishing was red hot last Tuesday morning with loads of fish caught off the beach. Surf fishing was also good over the weekend. The bite was mainly on sand eel imitations but Mag Darters, SP Minnows and gliders also caught fish. Most of the fish were shorts, but there were some 30-inch stripers in the mix.
John Bushell, at Betty and Nick’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park, said stripers are still in the surf and hitting sand eels.
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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.