Southern New Jersey Fishing Report- August 24, 2023

Ocean fluking produces big keepers for the cooler, sheepshead and weakfish bite around the back bay bridges, and the canyons host good fishing for yellowfin and bigeye tuna.

Crevalle jacks, barracuda, spotted sea trout and some tarpon being caught, speared or spotted by fisherman and snorklers over the past week. Sounds like Florida, but that’s just some of the fish present in our southern New Jersey waters. With the warmer water, you just never know what you may come across when fishing the bays or oceans this time of year. Anglers working more traditional species have been finding decent success at the ocean reef sites with summer flounder being landed close to 12 pounds. Tog fishing has been exceptional from the jetties, bridges and rockpiles for short action, but a little challenging for keepers. The bluefin tuna bite was still on-fire from Seaside to Little Egg out 10 to 20 miles.

Here is this week’s rundown:
Hook House Bait & Tackle in Toms River recently reported good numbers of bluefish hitting on the incoming tides from the Barnegat inlet back to the “research buoy”. The blowfish and kingfish bite has really taken off this week with good numbers of both species being reported. The beaches of Island Beach State Park continued to be consistent on short fluke with a few keepers and lots of cocktail bluefish.

Creekside Outfitters in Waretown had an interesting week with a decent barracuda weighed in at the shop which was caught by angler Matt Stankiewicz while jigging for squid off the Seaside Lump.  Tuna and squid have been from Seaside to the Tolten wreck.  Inshore fishing has been hit or miss for anglers working the reef sites with Garden State North doing the best.  Bayside action continues along the main channels and also in the stretch from the BI to BB on fluke and blowfish.

Reel Reaction Sportfishing out of Waretown had another busy week running two and three charters daily to put anglers on limits of fluke to 28 inches.  The skipper has been preferring the ocean bite, but bay trips have been boxing 5 to 6 keepers per 4 hours.  The crew has openings for after-school weekday fluke trips starting at 3pm, so give them a ring for the month of September.

Fluke fishing has been great for Reel Reaction Sportfishing this week, with keepers (shown) measuring 26, 25 and 23 inches. On this day, they were throwing back 19- to 22-inch fish.

The Super Chic out of Barnegat Light continued working bottom structure during the week to put his private charters on fluke to 6 pounds.  The bite has been decent at most stops and some days it’s been an open bottom bite. 

Tony’s Bait & Tackle in Manahawkin reported another solid week for bluefin tuna fisherman working the nearshore ridges.  Live-lining squid and jigging tuna flutter jigs has been the hot ticket from 90 to 150 feet of water.  The reef sites have been steady over the past week, although the weather has made it tough for anglers the last few days.  Barnegat inlet was very good on tog over the past week and green crabs tipped on jigheads has been working.  Fluking around the old CG station and inlet on the southern end of Long Beach Island has also been producing some fish. 

Tackle Direct in Egg Harbor City reported solid fluke action at the Ocean City and Wildwood reef sites over the past week.  The current was a little strong, so 4- to 6-ounce jigheads tipped with 6-inch Gulp were needed.  Anglers working some of the reef balls have been doing better than the other snags.  The canyons continue to be alive with yellowfin, mahi, and some bigeyes.  Some of the nearshore lumps are holding wahoo and small bluefin.  Bay action was fair on fluke, but better on bluefish and sheepshead along the area bridges. 

Tight Lines Bait & Tackle in Somers Point said it was all fluke action this past weekend and week with nice ones being landed to almost 11 pounds.  The shop weighed in quite a few in the short stretch and most anglers said there were caught at the reef sites or the inlets.  Bluefish and some weakfish have been around the bridges during the incoming tides, in addition to a good number of sheepshead and tautog.  Offshore action was solid at the canyons over the past week for yellowfin and the pots are loaded with mahi. 

Badfish Charters in Ocean City reported a busy week for his charters with the skipper putting clients on weakfish, striped bass, and some solid fluke action.  The skipper caught a few striped bass on topwater and sub-surface soft plastics over the past few trips.  Currently, they are booking topwater striped bass trips for the month of September. 

The Cape May area had lots of croakers, kingfish and weakfish over the past week from the beaches and along parts of the Delaware Bay.  The Cape May ferry terminal had a few small flounder and bluefish being caught.  Most of the summer flounder action has been hot along the 90 to 130 foot depths with anglers running 15 to 20 miles out.  The beaches are producing short flounder on Gulp and strips of squid, but some keepers caught from Sunset and Higbee’s beach.  The other hot bite has been sheepshead on fiddlers and shedder crabs from most of the bridges and rock-lined jetties.  Crabbing continued to be excellent with the western parts of the ICW producing the best action. 

South Jersey Fishing Forecast

The best bet for the weekend will be to hit surf or jetties on Saturday for tautog, fluke, and sheepshead as the ocean may still be laying down from Fridays blowSimple one-hook setups with cut green-crab are the easiest to use for tautog and sheepsheadTog jigs will also work and other crabs such as fiddlers, Asian shore crabs, and mud crabs will work for both speciesSmall jigs or bucktails tipped with minnows or Gulp worked along the rocks or bridges is the best way to produce fluke, especially keepersThe second day of the weekend looks like the better day to hit the ocean for fluke, tuna, or squid. Good luck, be safe, and tight lines!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *