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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 Update (May 28, 2017)

 As forecasted in last week's fishing forecast, Seabass fishing has gotten off to a flying start.  The last time these fish were picked on was many months ago.  That has allowed the wrecks to fill in.  Expect more of the same this week.  Fishing will be outstanding.  One thing to keep in mind is to have a few different wrecks in mind before starting your day.  As the season progresses some wrecks will get picked clean so you have to be able to move on if the catching is not up to expectations.

Fluke fishing got off to a slow start due to the weather.  Not much will change the early part of this week as E/SE wind will keep a lid of this fishery at least until mid-week.  As is typical in early season Fluking, timing will be everything.  Outgoing tide will way out produce incoming tide in the bays.  Avoid ocean Fluking until the water warms up some.

If Stripers are your thing, then it is cow time!  This is not a numbers game at this point but rather a quality game.  Your chance for a personal best is now.  40's, 50's and dare I say 60's are all within a possibility.  Conditions dictate an early start (or late in the day).  Boat traffic will kill any bite so find your own Bunker school and do some snag and drop.  The east wind forecast for early in the week should really put the bass on the feed, though finding the bunker will be easier later in the week as the ocean smoothes.

Last but not least, Bluefish are omnipresent at the moment.  You can get them in the bay, inlet and ocean.  Looking for bird play is key to find schools of maurading Blues.  It has been mentioned before but about as a reliabe a fishery that ever existed is to pluck away at the Bluefish that hang outside of Barnegat Inlet on an outgoing tide.

 

 

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