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Weekly Update (May 21, 2017)

 

Well, Fluke season is now upon us (almost).   Thursday's the day and everyone is amped to get started.  Of course, as fate would have it, looks to be a wet one as steady rain is forecast.   Let's just hope we don't get too much rain so it mucks up the bay waters.  

Early indications are the Fluke are in in the usual early season haunts but early by-catch is not hot and heavy by any means.

 As for catching these early season Fluke take these 2 pieces of advice to the filet table.  

Outgoing tide is key.  The warming waters from the ebb are often like flipping a light switch.  Get set up from the very last of the flood through the first couple ours of ebb and you have your best shot at some Fluke.    

The second piece of advice is to keep baits and jigs small.  Shad darts are deadly on early season Fluke.  Remember, the water is still cool and the Fluke can be lethargic early.  Put a small Spro Bucktail on your bottom hook and a shad dart on top tipped with some Gulp and you are good to go.

Stripering is feast or famine.  Sharpies are getting them but not everyone is.  The fun thing about this time of year is that you can get into some real cows.  Something tells me this week is going to be good.  Bait (bunker) are schooled up so things are going to break open.  Last week's column touched on the same but if you want Bass you really need to be getting up early.  The combination of sun angle and boat traffic makes bassing tougher as we get closer to summer.  Get up early and find your own Bunker school and you can get a personal best.

 

 

Bluefish continue to be the most plentiful of your opportunities.  Expect those bay bound Bluefish to be migrating toward inlets and to become much more hit or miss in the bay in the coming weeks.  Ocean wise the Blues should stay heavy in-close for at least another 3 weeks before heading offshore.  One of the most reliable patterns I have ever seen is that you can catch Bluefish at the mouth of Barnegat Inlet on the outgoing tide early in the season.  Of course, it can get rough especially when a bunch of boats are trying to work the same patch.

BY THE WAY, Seabass also opens this week.  Enjoy it while it lasts.  Expect Seabass fishing to be phenomenal.  The fish have not been picked on for months.   Some good wreck numbers and some clam and limits will come your way.   There is not as much social recogntion of the Seabass regulations as the Fluke regulations but Seabass regulations are absolutely egregious at this point.  The generous bag limit of 10 Seabass gives way to 2 for the Summer season (staring July 2) and 5 for October - December.    To those not in the know, the Seabass migrate and school up on offshore wrecks late in the year and party boats run offshore trips specifically for this.  However, these trips are not cheap.  Not many are going to pay $200 for 5 Seabass.

Tight Lines.

address description owner Nearest Cam
Margate Fish Pier
121 S Exeter Ave,
Margate City NJ
08402
(609) 823-9846
Atlantic Ocean

Pier is open for 2016.
Must be a member of Angler's Club to use the pier.
Angler's club cost $400 one time initiation fee and $425 per year which includes a locker.


The Angler’s Club
Ventnor City Fishing Pier
Cambridge Avenue & the Boardwalk
Ventnor City NJ
08406
609-823-7944
Atlantic Ocean



Ventnor City
Ocean City Fishing Club Pier
14th and Boardwalk
Ocean City NJ
08226
609-398-9800
Atlantic Ocean



Ocean City Fishing Club
Keansburg Fishing Pier
275 Beachway
Keansburg NJ
07734
732-495-8842
Raritan Bay

The Pier is approximately 2000 feet long. You have an amazing panoramic view of New York City, along with awesome sunrises and sunsets.


Private
Lavallette Pier
Magee Avenue
Lavallette NJ
08735

Barnegat Bay


Lavallette
Keyport Fishing Pier
1 American Legion Drive
Keyport NJ
07735
(732) 739-3900
Raritan Bay



Wildwood crest
Sweet Briar Rd. and Park Boulevard.
Wildwood crest NJ
08260

Atlantic Ocean



Mantolooking Bridge Fishing Pier
30 Mantoloking Road
Brick NJ
08723
1-877-OC PARKS
Barnegat Bay

With great views of the Barnegat Bay, this is sure to be one of the best fishing or crabbing spots in all of Ocean County.


Ocean County Parks
Berkley Island County Park
399 Brennan Concourse
Berkeley Township NJ
08721
1-877-627-2757)
Barnegat Bay

Park is Closed for Construction


2016 Opening TBD
The Pier is 285‘ long x 24’ wide. We provide landing nets, a fish cleaning station, picnic area, and toilet facilities. It is well-lit at night, family-friendly, and produces some of the finest catches of Flounder, Striper, Bluefish, Weakfish, Croakers, Kingfish and Blue Claw Crabs!!! Also the occasional Trigger Fish, Sheepshead, Drum Fish, & Almaco Jack. The Crabbing is Excellent!


Ocean Count Department of Parks and Recreation
Grassy Sound Marina Pier
13 Old N Wildwood Blvd
Wildwood NJ
08260
(609) 846-1400
Grassy Sound
The Pier is 285‘ long x 24’ wide. We provide landing nets, a fish cleaning station, picnic area, and toilet facilities. It is well-lit at night, family-friendly, and produces some of the finest catches of Flounder, Striper, Bluefish, Weakfish, Croakers, Kingfish and Blue Claw Crabs!!! Also the occasional Trigger Fish, Sheepshead, Drum Fish, & Almaco Jack. The Crabbing is Excellent!


Grassy Sound Marina
Bayshore Waterfront Park
719 Port Monmouth Road
Port Monmouth NJ
07758
732-787-3033
Sandy Hook Bay

Enjoy the maritime shrublands, tidal creeks, salt marshes, dunes, mile of beach and scenic views across the water. The park offers a fishing pier, access to Raritan Bay, and beautiful views of the NY skyline


Monmouth County Parks
Waterfront Park
Waterfront Fitness Trail
Carteret NJ
07008
732-541-3885
Arthur Kill
Carteret Municipal Government

Pier Fishing Tackle Reccomendations

 

If you are new to Pier fishing, then there are a few things to keep in mind with regards to having the correct tackle. If you are on an Ocean or open bay fishing pier where Bluefish and Striped Bass are known to run, your not going to get by on light tackle. Still, you don't want anything too heavy to slow you down from casting and retrieving is in order.

 

Fishing Rod/Reel Requirements for NJ Pier Fishing

 

  • Fishing Rod Must Be At least 7.5 ft tall

Additional length means better casting and leverage. You want a pole longer than you typically would use on a boat. Don't go too tall though because taller rods are also clunkier to operate so you really want to stay in 7.5 – 9 ft range with your pier fishing rod.  This size rod will allow you to handle almost all types of fishing opportunities that will avail themselves while you are pier fishing.

Rod Must Have Plenty of Backbone

In addition to the possibility of big fish, the ocean is a challenge on your equipment as well. You need something that will handle dropping several ounces of lead as required on occasion.  You do NOT want a light action rod for pier fishing.   A rod with a MH (Medium-Heavy) designation is best to get started with.

 Spinning Variety

It just makes so much more sense to use a spinning rod for pier fishing. They are easier to cast and operate for experienced fishermen and newcomers alike. If you are looking specifically for a rod to fish on piers with, make it a spinning rod.

Quality Matters

It is worth noting that saltwater is really unforgiving. Whatever you can afford, buy the best spinning reel you can. If you take care of a good reel, it can last you for you years. However, some of the lower end models will last you 1 year and you will need to replace it. The quality of the rod is important also, but even the low end rods will last you a while, unlike the low end reels.

Our Best Pier Fishing Combination Value Reccomendation

Penn Pursuit II 6000-2 Piece Spinning Combo, 8-Feet/Medium-Heavy

Penn has been a well known name in saltwater fishing for decades.  This combination is a great starter outfit for pier fishing and can also be used for surf fishing.  And it won't break the bank.  You can get this for less than $75.

 

Additional Tackle You Will Need for Pier Fishing

 

Telescoping Landing Net

You should make sure you have a long handle or telescoping landing net when you are pier fishing. Most fish of any size will be lost as you try to land it on a pier if you don't net the fish.  Telescoping nets make it easier to travel. 

 

 

 

Quality Aluminum Fishing Pliers

No fisherman can go without fishing pliers. It pays to have a decent pair of pliers in your box for your pier fishing adventure. Remember, saltwater is unforgiving so make sure you get a pair of pliers made for saltwater use.

 

Stainless Steel Fishing Hooks

Of course you will need to have a variety of hooks and swivels at your disposal. You can save some money over the course of a fishing season by buying hooks in bulk, but be careful because if they are not Stainless steel they will rust quickly just being exposed to salt air. So, either buy small packs of hooks and leave packs closed until ready to use or buy stainless steel hooks. In either case you will need a a variety of sizes.

Saltwater Leader Spool 40lb Test

You need to have a just a few different sizes of leader spools here. You MAY want to also add some flouo to your mix but it is pricey

 

Berkley Gulp! Alive! Curly Tail Swimming Mullet

If you are a saltwater fisherman, you need Gulp. They make many varieties and most are quite qood. For pier fishing, 2 most haves are Curly tails and Shrimp.

3 Way Swivels

Nothing complicated here, just make sure you have 2 way, 3 way, and snap swivels in a few different sizes. Most pier fishing is done with a very simple set up of a 3 way swivel, a leadered hook with bait and a sinker.

Bank Sinkers

You will need an assortment of lead sinkers with most in the 2-5 oz range. You will save much money by buying in advance online as mark up on sinkers at piers and other tackle shops is high.

 

Diamond Jigs

You need bucktails, diamond jigs, and swimmers. Your set.

Marine Cooler

Much like surf fisherman, many pier fisherman get coolers on wheels. 

Fillet Knife

This is another area where you want to buy the best you can afford. Cheap knives loose there edge quickly, rust and will not give you satisfactory value for your money over the long haul. Handles of something other than wood is preferable as wood never really comes clean and it acts as a germ hangout on your knife.

 

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