Well, it was another up and down week, as parts were great for fishing, and others weren't as great.
We are now into the fall season of blackfish, where bag limits have expanded to five, plus the size of a keeper sea bass has increased to 13 inches, but you can keep 15 fish. Happily, bigger striped bass are slowly moving into our area.
Most are still to the north, but some have been caught locally. You just need to put in your time and be in the right place. Let’s see who caught fish this week.
Cameron, from Boulevard Bait and Tackle, reported a bump in the local striper fishing scene. The best part of the increase was that he had his “first fall weigh-in from the surf." That honor went to Wes, who was visiting for the day.
He stopped in, and grabbed some fresh bunker, headed to the beach, hooked up at some point, then stopped back to show off his 32-inch keeper.
Saturday morning was also a great time for Mike and his son, Braden. They were using bunker and soft plastic baits. They didn’t catch any keepers, but managed to catch five short stripers.
Braden “had a great morning fishing with his dad," and though there weren't keepers, I’m sure the experience of catching the shorts will go a long way towards helping him when a keeper hits his bait.
Cameron also went on to say that he had “good reports” that migratory stripers are finally here. That’s great to hear, because I know anglers are waiting to get out and chase them.
Capt. Chuck, of the Sea Star III, reports that sea bass fishing this week was a slower than in previous weeks. Conversely, he mentioned dogfish “have invaded." Still, sea bass and triggerfish ruled the time that the Sea Star III spent at the local reefs.
Pool-winners this week, all with triggerfish, went to Bill Ash (3 pounds), Brian Keith (2.5 pounds), and Andrew Alvarez, with a 3-pounder. During the week, George Schoell landed two nice triggerfish, while a young angler, Dillon, finished his day with two nice sea bass.
Capt. Chuck will focus on sea bass until blackfish opens Nov. 16. He also is monitoring striped bass and is hopeful that they will show up. They would provide another option to fish for.
The Porgy IV has been faithfully getting out and hitting the wrecks. Capt. Paul reported that Saturday was “nice, with action all day." Everyone aboard had keepers, as some were able to keep more than others.
Sunday saw “a breezy day,” which resulted in some “dogs” being caught. On the positive side, there was keeper sea bass mixed in with the shorts, plus some triggerfish, porgies, and a keeper tog.
On Veterans Day, Nov.11, Carl Davis was the pool-winner, as his biggest sea bass bettered his own “large triggerfish." That sea bass also was bigger than Bob Brett’s 17-inch blackfish. Some anglers managed to depart the boat with double-digit keepers. Capt. Paul is keeping an eye on the weather for more sea bass trips this week, and will begin fishing for blackfish Nov. 16.
Capt. Skip had the skiff, from Stalker Fishing, out in the back on Monday. He ran two trips, and the stripers ruled the day.
They totaled “nearly” 70 fish for the day. They had some bonus fun, as each trip saw a speckled trout caught. Capt. Skip will soon be switching over to the big boat, so they can hit the ocean and chase some bigger stripers, if he hasn't done so already.
Tight Lines B&T had word of a couple of plus-size stripers crossing their scales. One was from a trip that ventured north, then returned with a 43.9-pound fish. The other striper topped out at 37.8 pounds.
They also brought in a “monster perch," which was caught in the Tuckahoe River. No weight was provided, but the picture gave validity to the claim of the fish’s size.
Sea Isle Bait and Tackle had a satisfying time, as they reported on local anglers that were busy with tog and stripers. Vince stopped in with a “nice” 3.5-pound tog that was 18 inches in length.
Also stopping in, with more quality tog, were four members of the Peragine family. They reported a “great day of tog fishing,” that concluded with a 5-pounder being caught.
Stripers were represented by Capt. John, of Reel E Hooked Charters, who worked the back bay. After a successful trip on Veterans Day, he reported they hooked up with 20 fish, three being keeper-size, with the largest being 31 inches.
The hot bait, as others have also had success with, was live spot. Get some, and get to the back waters.
Another outing to note went to Relentless Fishing NJ, with Capt. Joe. Three anglers were pictured with a nice striper for each. The biggest was 47 pounds, and all the fish were caught late in the day on umbrella rigs. Plenty of life was seen, such as birds, whales, and bait, but the late-day seemed to be the trigger that got them started.
The Starfish had a successful day, going for sea bass over Veterans Day Weekend. In addition to the sought after sea bass, one angler landed the first codfish of the season. They, like many others, started fishing for blackfish Nov. 16.
Give them a call at (609) 263-3800 for updates on their trips.
The Miss Avalon also started fishing for blackfish Nov. 16. Call them at (609) 967-7455 to confirm the days that they will be sailing.
Open boat and full day trips, with the crew of the Miss Chris, and Capt. Jim, will be sailing on the 41-foot boat, the Water Lily. They will be targeting striped bass, tog, or sea bass.
They will decide what they’re going for based on the best available information. Trips are limited to six passengers, but they must have at least three, at $90 per angler, and must be booked in advance. Contact the Miss Chris Marina for more information.
Well, there's a lot of great fall fishing available, if the weather cooperates, so contact your favorite boat to see when they’re running. Better yet, check out as many boats as your schedule allows, so you get to fish as much as possible.
Let me know how you did.
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