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NJ Saltwater Baitfish

Know Your Bait Catch More Fish
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 (Sept 3)

To start with, greatly apologize to all who have been reading this blog for the lack of forecasts for the past several weeks of what is supposed to be a weekly update.

Work and family health issues have made it extremely difficult to keep the schedule as intended.  Hopefully, that is behind us and the daily forecast will be back in action.

To start this week off, we need to of course focus on Fluke.    And of course the weather gods are just not going to cooperate.  Monday may present a bit of an opportunity to get outside but with the rain and winds we have had just be happy if you catch a keeper.  Tuesday will be a no go due to hard south.

After Fluke closes the question is what to fish for?  Seabass is closed until October 22.  Tog is on a 1 fish limit.  Stripers are still a good month or more away from making their fall presence felt.  So, I think your best best is to break out the trolling gear with some squid spoons and look for them bonito and false albies.  Now is prime time if you know where to find them.  And where is that you ask?  Truth is they can be anywhere from beach front out.  I would tend to start looking around lumps and wrecks especially if you know they are holding sand eels.  

If you hook into some while trolling here is an easy way to tell if you have a bonito or false albacore.  The false albacore almost always swim directly toward the boat.  Not really much fun to catch this way, tbh.  The bonito on the other hand will give you a good fight.

If you find the bonito in a general area you may try throwing a diamond jig will a long thin piece of squid as a tail.  I have absolutlely bailed them this way in the past.

 

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