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New Jersey & Delaware Bay

A MIXED BAG

Posted By Jim Hutchinson, Jr., September 30, 2019
A MIXED BAG
Bluefish and weakfish are being caught on every trip according to Capt. Joe with Dutchess Charters out of Fortescue. In our weekly print edition out this week, each day is different with fish ranging in size from 1 to 4 pounds; some days see a nice bite of black drum on clam baits with fish in the 20-pound range.
“Holy mullet,” is how surfcasting reporter Nick Honachefsky led off his Beach Talk report in this week’s printed edition of The Fisherman Magazine. Nick said it’s been quite a mullet run so far as up, with short stripers and schools of cocktail class bluefish pouncing on the migrating mullet. “Add to that intermittent shots at little tunny, and blackfish and triggerfish off jetty rocks, and a wide show of kingfish and spot in the suds and the fall run is truly getting underway,” Nick added. As for boat action in the region, North Jersey field editor JB Kasper said bluefish were all over Raritan Bay and out front along the ocean last week. “To go along with the 2- to 9-pound slammers, the false albacore, bonito and Spanish mackerel also spiced up the fishing,” JB said, adding that the local porgy bite for the northern party boat fleet has been pretty solid as well. “Striped bass made a decent showing with mixed size bass from shorts to 25 pounds being caught, with some weakfish mixed in,” JB added, a good sign for the coming days with all that mullet around. “The end of September brought on a ton of bluefish,” said Central Jersey reporter Ashley Viola. “Almost everyone I talked to was raving about the numerous blues being caught all over,” Ashley notes this week in our New Jersey, Delaware Bay edition of The Fisherman. “The mullet run has been the best we have seen in 20 years which is helping to drive those bluefish to bite and getting stripers here and hungry as well,” said Ashley, adding “Stripers seem to be hitting plugs, soft plastics, eels, and mullet.” Of course, many local beaches throughout Ocean County have reopened to buggy access for those possessing the town permit. Same can be said for beaches from Brigantine south as well where South Jersey field editor Anthony Califano said fishing was really good this week all throughout the region. “Reef and wreck anglers found plenty of tog and triggerfish willing to bite,” said Anthony, adding “Back bay boaters were kept busy chasing blues and short stripers under the extensive peanut bunker pods that seem to be everywhere.” For those looking to hit the jetties, Anthony noted kingfish, croakers and spot are still plentiful with an occasional weakfish thrown in for good measure. Better action with more sizable weakfish is coming from down along the Delaware where live baits have been snaring bigger trout. At the canyons, offshore reporter Tom Pags, said swordfish are grabbing the top billing now with fish to 500 pounds offshore. “Yellowfin action decent in parts of the Hudson, and mahi remain omnipresent at and in close proximity to the pots and flotsam, and also in the wide open seas,” Pags noted, adding that bluefin showed up again as well. This week’s full report was printed up on Sunday night and is being shipped to New Jersey, Delaware Bay subscribers of The Fisherman via postal service.
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