1000's of NJ Saltwater Fishing Reports, Dozens of Sources, Maps, Wrecks, Historical Search

Captain's Focus

While winter sports enthusiasts may differ, anglers are enjoying a really Merry Christmas with 70-degree air temperatures. That's a dramatic change from the last two winters of brutal cold and snow, though the very unusual early December bluefishing seems to have dissipated even though water temperatures remain in the low fifties. The mass of jumbo blues plus stripers off Sandy Hook appeared to depart Sunday, and the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands ended their season after a day of not getting a bite. The Sea Hunter from that port has suspended trips until there's a return of bird action to provide some hope, as did the Golden Eagle from Belmar which ended up with only one blue and one sea bass on Sunday. They resume sailing after Christmas, and will seek mackerel if there are no stripers left. Jay Amberg reported from Sea Girt that the surf has been clear and fishable, but there has been little action in the surf which should have benefitted from the west winds and mild waters. There's been no sign of the sea herring that had had been showing earlier, and we're still waiting for the sand eels we need to attract and hold surf stripers. Vinny D'Anton of Shark River Hills reported that a friend caught a 20-inch striper on a SP Minnow at Bradley Beach on Wednesday. The Seaside Park tackle shops haven't been seeing many anglers despite the mild weather, and there have been no reports or weigh-ins. During normal winters, I can usually catch a few small stripers in the surf into early January. My final bass last winter was released on the Saturday after Christmas as water temperatures were decreasing rapidly. Until this week I expected to be fishing well into the New Year – and with the mild waters it still could happen. Bottom fishing has remained very good, though time is running out on sea bass fishing as that season ends on Dec. 31. At Brielle, the Jamaica has been recording many jumbo sea bass limits along with porgies, bluefish and some cod. Sunday night's far offshore wreck trip produced a sea bass limit for Jack Aydelotte of Harrisburg, Pa. plus 10 porgies, seven blues, and a pool-winning 10-pound pollock. Matt August from Montvale had 13 sea bass up to 6 pounds, four porgies, and three blues. There are openings on some trips after Christmas. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations. The Jamaica II was into lots of jumbo porgies during Wednesday's bottom fishing trip, along with some sea bass and a few cod. Mark Kao of Princeton not only bagged 55 porgies, but added five sea bass and took the pool money with a 29-pound cod. Though there was some light afternoon rain, it was a calm day. No reservations are needed for 5 a.m. trips coming up on Dec. 27 and 29 – or on Saturday's 3 a.m. departure. Call ahead for the limited cod trip on Dec. 28 at 2 a.m. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, says ocean blackfishing has been very good, with more 10-pounders than normal. Blackfish are still biting in Shark River Inlet, but the catch of two cod up to 24 inches there was very unusual. Winter flounder fishing from the docks remains good, with two-fish limits up to 4 pounds being common, but that season closes on Dec. 31. The real challenge is trying to find a parking spot among all the construction equipment. Capt. Stan Zagleski was still blackfishing with his Elaine B II from Bahrs in Highlands in 53-degree waters on Tuesday as several regulars managed limits up to 7 pounds. Whitelegger crabs have been most effective. Don Parr has come up with a smaller Canyon spinning reel. The Backwater 2000 weighs only 7.5 ounces, but will take 170 yards of 10-pound – making it ideal for bay and freshwater fishing. The gear ratio is 5.2:1, and it features an aluminum body, nine stainless steel ball bearings plus a roller bearing, and a stainless steel main shaft and main gear shift. The drag system is sealed, and has a carbon drag washer in a double anodized, machined aluminum spool. There's a lifetime limited warranty on the frame, and since Canyon Reels are assembled in Brick, it's easy to get a quick repair. My daily blog at nj.com/shore/blogs/fishing lost in a recent computer crash, and some e-mails may have disappeared during the transition to a new computer. If you didn't receive a reply to your e-mail, please resend to cristori@aol.com. Matt Slobodjian sent his final report of the year from Jim's Tackle in Cape May as that shop closed on Tuesday. He noted that there was a great striper trolling bite early in the previous week as some boats caught over 100 until the wind went to the southeast that Thursday. Blackfishing remains good. Marty Hapnell from Waldwick fished a wreck 15 miles offshore that produced tog of 7.65, 8.99 and 11.73 pounds.

Report Conditions


Ocean Temps

Moon and Sun

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Web Analytics