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Weakfish starting on grass shrimp in Barnegat Bay

Capt. Dave DeGennaro gave grass shrimp chumming for weakfish in Barnegat Bay a try on Thursday and was surprised to find a steady stream of 13-17-inch weaks coming aboard his Hi Flier from Barnegat though the reports he had were not good. Dave has openings for inshore or offshore on Sunday, Monday and Friday — but then not until Aug. 25.

Bob Matthews reports as follows from fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marine Basin; “

 are now into August,the summer is coming to an end and the best time of the year for us 

locals is coming fast.

The fishing is very good now with the keeper fluke numbers are up in the Rivers and  the

Party and Charter boats nailing some very good fish.

There are Tuna,Sharks, Mahi Mahi,Cobia and Wahoo for the fleet haunting the offshore grounds.

There are good reports of Triggerfish and Kingfish around the jetties,worms and clam are best 


The Golden Eagle and Miss Belmar have been doing fantastic with Mackerel and Bluefish.

We are hearing of Blackfish in the Inlets and Point Pleasant Canal,the limit is one fish at 15 inches.

We are selling plenty of crabs so the interest is there even with a small bag limit.

Crabbing in some areas of Monmouth and Ocean  counties is very good at this time .

I am seeing lots of bait building up in the our local rivers,Mullet, Spearing and Bunkers,this warms

the heart of us Striper fishermen,it means one thing: our season is coming fast..

Check out our Facebook page where we post some photos of local fish being brought in to be weighed.

Think fall    BOB”

Tomorrow starts well with southwest winds at just 10-15 knots before increasing to15-20 in the afternoon.

Capt. Mark De Blasio had some bad fortune on his Blue Runner from Manasquan Sunday as his party lost a very large bigeye tuna to a pulled hook after a 1 3/4-hour fight — and then another after a 2 1/4-hour battle due to a chafed leader. His luck changed on the next trip with bigeyes of 63 and 67.5 inches plus a 75-incher after a 1 1/2-hour fight.

Chuck Many is wearing himself out in Hilton Head, S.C. with jack crevalle which are one of the toughest fish on light tackle.

This blog is going in early as I’m fishing today with Crazy Alberto Knie in Florida. I might be back tomorrow!


ASMFC is a Commision — not a Council

Last night’s blog identified the ASMFC as a Council, rather than a Commission. I spotted that just as I published, and sure know the difference after having served a three-year term on the original Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and much longer as a recreational fishing advisor on the ASMFC Striped Bass Advisory Panel.

The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant Jigged a boat limit of 1-3-pound bluefish by 9 a.m. and then picked away at sea bass. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported plenty of chub mackerel along with some blues, sea bass and fluke. Their Monday night Exotics trip has been cancelled, so the boat will be bluefishing again on Tuesday.

Capt. Ron Santee made one last stop and fished into overtime for his best fluke bite of the day on the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. Some anglers ended up with three fluke up to a 5-pounder. Santee emphasizes the need to bring ice for your catch — and a rod with enough backbone to handle heavy sinkers.

Saturday starts with just 5-10 knot southwest winds before they increase to 10-15 plus gusts to 20 in the afternoon. There’s a chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Jim Hutchinson Sr. reports for the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association as follows: “Captain Max Goldman of the “Star Fish” reports an improvement in fishing with black sea bass and fluke prevalent at their ocean structure hot spots. In addition, the inlet and bay waters are giving up cocktail sized bluefish among other species. He adds that the scenic trips on the “Star Fish” are resulting in some beautiful sunsets.

Captain Dave Wittenborn of “Captain Dave’s Charters” had a canyon trip recently with the Sullivan group. In addition to a pair of large yellowfin tuna in the 60-70-pound class, they picked up another two long-fin tuna. Captain Dave terms the canyon action as “heating up.”

Captain Gary Dugan had the “Irish Jig” out with Gary Wood and the boys recently. The action was good with three nice fluke going into the fish box until some hungry greenhead flies influenced the group to head in.

As usual, Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” has been fishing almost every day including some days of two and three trips. He reports finding better action on fluke in the bay than the ocean although structure is giving up limits of sea bass, some ling, and a few keeper fluke. He is jigging some very shallow waters where he has found some very hungry fluke. He has been averaging 4-6 keepers per trip along with numerous throwbacks.

The BHCFA is looking forward to the 53rd annual Beach Haven White Marlin Invitational sponsored by the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club. Some BHCFA captains fish while members of the Junior Mates Program volunteer to help the event run smoothly. It is possible one or two of the BHCFA boats might still be available for charter to fish in the tournament.”

Tim Hagemann & Jack Silverstein fished live bunkers with Warden Sportfishing in N.Y. Harbor for good striper action.

NJ DEP Law Enforcement wins ASMFC honor

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council reports that the Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Law Enforcement is recognized for its outstanding efforts to control illegal harvest of Atlantic striped bass from Raritan Bay and its tributaries. New Jersey Conservation Police Officers from both the inland and marine regions throughout the state were involved with the operation across New Jersey’s portion of the watershed. In December 2021, more than 200 summonses were issued and more than 500 illegal striped bass were confiscated. Efforts continued throughout the spring of 2022. From early March to the middle of May 2022, approximately 4,000 inspections were conducted over the course of 650 patrol hours within Raritan Bay, Newark Bay, Arthur Kill, and the Hudson River. These efforts resulted in over 300 summonses being issued for violations including undersized fish, over the limit catch, fishing during the closed season, and interference with the duties of a conservation officer. When possible, some of the seized fish were donated to food banks, while others were submitted to New Jersey Bureau of Marine Fisheries for the collection of biological data. The dedication and commitment of the Bureau’s Conservation Police Officers to the enforcement of sustainable fisheries regulations is truly worthy of recognition.”

Capt. Ron Santee reported a big improvement in drifting conditions and shots of greater volume and fluke on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. Several fares had two or three keepers, and the pool went to a 6-pounder.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar anchored for a hot bite of chub mackerel in the chum slick while adding some limits of blues along with some bonito and sea bass. Sand tiger and blacktip sharks were also present. That boat is chartered on Friday.

Capt. Dave Riback posted the best party boat tuna report I’ve received so far as his Queen Mary from Point Pleasant limited on bluefin tuna up to 44 inches and had yellowfins up to 66 pounds this week. Pete Ziemba was high hook as he jigged all day to catch six bluefins to 42inches plus a yellowfin. There was a pick of bluefins early, and flat line bait fishing was best from 10:30 to 1.

Andreas Toy had to leave the whales and boat traffic on a recent trip to follow rays which produced four yellowfins in the pop and jig mode.

Paul Haertel of the JCAA and his sons ran off
from Barnegat Inlet o catch the sea bass presently allowed before getting into dolphin.
Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park weighed this 2.8-pound triggerfish for Christian who caught it on a white Gulp.

Friday’s forecast is for southwest winds of 5-10 knots with a chance of afternoon showers or thunderstorms.

Spectacular BayShore whale

Kevin Halek took this great shot of a humpback whale dining on bunkers at the NJ BayShore this morning. There were five whales there – the most he’s seen together!

The Golden Eagle from Belmar was swarmed by chub mackerel today while also catching 2-3-pound blues on bait, jigs and poppers. Dropping to bottom produced some sea bass and a couple of fluke. There was no report on Tuesday’s exotics trip.

The weather forecast remains promising with south winds at 5-10 knots in the morning that increase to 10-15 in the afternoon.

Scott Cusick sent this shot of a 73-inch canyon bigeye boated along with four yellowfins and some tilefish while a white marlin was released.

Capt. Jim Freda sent this photo of a yellowfin caught by casting a Madd Mantis Bone popper from Shore Catch

Fluking improves despite lack of drift

Though power drifting was necessary all day, Capt. Ron Santee reported good fluke action on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands that included catches of up to four, several 3-pounders — and a 4 13/16-pound pool fluke.

The Royal Miss Bell reported much improved fluking that was paced by an 11-year-old boy who picked his limit from 18 fluke.

Miss Belmar Princess had a busy day with lots of chub mackerel plus some blues, sea bass and bonito. A couple of big sand tiger sharks were also hooked.

Light winds continue tomorrow with southwest winds at10-15 knots plus a chance of showers or thunderstorms.

John Tiedermann was casting for fluke at Sandy Hook, and thought a doormat had grabbed his jig until he remembered that cownose rays have arrived.

Hot bluefishing

This was one of those days when the often fussy NY/NJ Bight bluefish were turned on and bit all day. The Golden Eagle from Belmar also reported a single bonito among the mostly small choppers that topped out at a 5-pounder. That boat will be on its weekly Exotics trip tomorrow, but back after blues on Wednesday.

Fluke anglers have one last opportunity to enter the JCAA Heavy Hitters Tournament as per Paul Haertel’s post: JCAA HEAVY HITTERS FLUKE TOURNAMENT 8/4-8/7 Last call – For details and to sign up online go to Last minute entries will also be taken via phone. Call Paul at 973-943-8201 or Linda at 609-618-2925. Win 25K for the largest fluke over 12 lbs. caught on Sunday 8/7!

The weather looks good again with southwest winds at 10 knots.

Capt. John McMurry said he never saw so many boats on the tuna grounds, but the jig and popper bites still remained good.

Atlantic mackerel showing in L.I. Sound

The most surprising report I saw on Facebook today was from Ian Scott Devlin who had news of some Atlantic mackerel in Long Island Sound. He had caught some from 12-18 inches last month by jigging a mackerel rig in 60-foot depths and is now catching a few tinkers while fishing for snapper blues.

That species used to be the most abundant during the annual spawning run up the coast from Virginia every spring before the Soviet and other foreign fleets devastated the stocks prior to the 200-mile limit. They did come back until NOAA Fisheries disregarded advice from the Mid-Atlantic Council and scientists by allowing high foreign allocations. However, it’s been decades since we’ve seen any of the huge migrations that sometimes spread into the Sound.

It must be noted that these are not the mackerel being reported by bluefishing boats. Those a smaller warm water chub mackerel.

This L.I. Sound “tinker” is the young of the Atlantic mackerel, and a summer bait which used to attract school bluefin tuna to Mud Hole chumming fleets

The Golden Eagle from Belmar picked at small to medium blues today with most on bait rather than jigs and poppers. Chub mackerel fishing was also slow, possibly because two “giggantic” sharks stayed around the boat at anchor. Some sea bass and fluke were added.

Capt. Ron Santee reported Frank Miller Sr. held onto his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands monthly pool winning fluke of 7.4 pounds though his son outfished him with five “nice” fluke. It didn’t look good for Miller when Grant Dietz hooked up to a big fish — but it turned out to be a 39-inch cobia!

The weather looks good again as it will be east at just 5-10 knots with a chance of showers.

Ken Zwirko did it again!

Blues bit late this morning

The Golden Eagle from Belmer reported reading blues this morning, but only catching a few until the 5–8-pounders came up later in the trip to chase bunkers and also hit Run-Off poppers.The boat added some keeper fluke and sea bass.

Capt. Ron Santee had a charter for the Brian Benevento memorial trip on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. He reported lots of short action along with a nice mix of keeper fluke and sea bass. The pool fluke was 23 inches. Tomorrow’s open trip will be the last shot for anglers to take the monthly pool money.

Vinny D’Anton Said he couldn’t find the Monmouth County surf peanut bunkers yesterday morning, but still caught one small striper on a Chug Bug and saw some adult bunkers further out.

The forecast is for a northeast wind, but at only 5-10 knots.

Greg Prestosh said triggerfish didn’t bite a couple of days ago, but big porgies did.

Blues on top hitting poppers

The off-and-on NY/NJ Bight bluefishing was on this morning when the Golden Eagle from Belmar ran further offshore and found several areas of 6-8-pounders that responded to Run-Off poppers — though some were also boated on jigs. They finished up with some sea bass and fluke.

Capt. Mark DeBlasio of Blue Runner from Point Pleasant had an unusual report as follows: “Anthony and Shane had Dave Duensing and his crew plus Chris Messick out for a trip to the edge .. started off with a good Tilefish bite and a few Mahis .. got on troll looking for Tuna and found a slow bite initially. Eventually they found the Yellowfin and put a 6 man limit in the box .. in the midst of the trip we blew a steering line and with a lot of effort and working together to figure things out, Anthony was able to replace the line with a spare and finish out the trip successfully and safely. I can’t say it enough .. if it’s something you can replace while offshore, carry a spare. Great job team and thanks guys for being patient while we got fixed up and back to a great bite.”

Capt. Dave DeGennaro got word of that tuna bite, and has changed Saturday’s open Barnegat Ridge run with his Hi Flier from Barnegat to offshore yellowfins from 3 a.m. to 4 p.m. – and plans to do the same on Monday. Call him at 732 330-5674.

The marine forecast for Saturday looks great with west winds at 5-10 knots before going northwest after midnight.

Ken Zwirko returned early along with Phil Conner and John J. Frione

The Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands is chartered on Saturday., but will be open on Sunday as anglers have a chance to take the monthly pool from Herb Miller’s 5 13/16-pounder. Friday’s fluking was good as the high hook caught five, and a 6-pound, 5-ouncer was boated along with several from 3 to 5 pounds.

Fishermen reports better fluking

Capt. Ron Santee had a positive report on fluking from his Fishermen out of Atlantic Highlands as action was good on the first couple of drifts — and a new monthly leader was boated. Herb Miller was he previous leader at 5.13 pounds — and he was the one who jumped the lead to 7 1/4 pounds.

Miss Belmar Princess reported a tough day with blues that wouldn’t bite. They filled in with chub mackerel and some sea bass.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar also had a hard time with blues. though some came up on bunker schools in the afternoon and hit Run-Off poppers. That boat is chartered on Friday.

The marine forecast is for west winds at 5-10 knots before going southwest at10-15 in the afternoon.

Today is the deadline for the JCAA Heavy Hitters Fluke Tournament which has been written up in recent blogs.