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NJ Saltwater Baitfish

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Bunker Bunker typically start showing in NJ around mid to April and arrive en masse in May. Peanut bunker leave the bay in the fall and can lead to a bait fish bonanza along the NJ beaches. April - June, September - November
Herring Herring are a cold water fish and as such are not as important on the NJ bait scene as some as the others. Still Striped Bass LOVE Herring. November - February
Mullet Look for the Mullet to leave the bay mid-September. Typically, any Mullet run is before the Peanut Bunker leave the bay. September - October
Rainfish Rainfish or Bay Anchovies on first inspection closely resemble spearing. September - October
Sandeel Sandeels are like the candy of the Sea. When they are around it seems to light something in the local Gamefish's DNA because they tend to gorge themselves on these. Read more on how to take advantage. May - June, October - November
Spearing Spearing are the most prevalent fish in New Jersey's bay and estuarine system. Very similar in appearance to rainfish. It has a much smaller mouth than rainfish. April - November

 Weekly Fishing Forecast - May 14

The deluge of rain on Saturday, May 13 combined with gusty winds for the first part of the week make this prediction easy.  Things are going to be slow until at least mid-week. The ocean looks pretty much off limits until at least Tuesday unless you have a really big boat and like getting your teeth chattered.  Later in the week, sw wind will prevail into an almost summer like pattern, light wind in the AM to darn near honking after noon when the sun is highest.

Our best advice is to work the inlets until the water cleans and calms a bit.  The water exchange will have fish lurking.  Plan B would be to set up on anchor (in the bay) and chum for Bluefish.  The visibilty will be low hence the need for chum to bring them in.

By late week it should be game on again for trolling Striped Bass and Bluefish in the ocean.  Just be forewarned, the bite will become earlier and earlier in the day and each day the sun is getting higher and higher in the sky and the fish (especially Striped Bass) hate that.  Low and slow.

Of course, we would be remiss in not mentioning the start of Fluke season on Saturday (maybe - see our page on the Fluke regulations status for more information).  To date some Fluke have been caught but not hot and heavy and overall water temps remain colder than normal so expect a very slow start.

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