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New Jersey & Delaware Bay
Northern New Jersey & Hudson River

Fisherman's Den

December 10, 2018:
Bob Matthews at the Fisherman's Den said "I can't believe we are nearing Christmas already." Adding, "as they say time fly's when you're having fun but when you get older it fly's [fun or not] - Now back to what is happening on the fishing scene. Bob reports the small bass are dominating the surf fishing and boaters targeting bass. The blackfishing on the boats is very good, but slowing down on the jetties. The Ocean Explorer had a 14-pounder this past week. The marina's Party Boats are fishing every day – weather permitting. Winter flounder continue to bite with some fish topping the 3-pound mark. Regular sharpies are limiting out every day.

Previous Reports

  • December 3, 2018 Open or Close

    Bob Matthews at the Fisherman's Den said he has a weather report more than a fishing report. Wind and cold weather has been taking its toll on fishing participation, but the hardy souls are being rewarded with lots of smaller to medium size bass. The reports we received put the bass in the Belmar surf to Point Pleasant's surf. The bass are from 20 to 32 inches and are hitting A17 and A27 with green, red or orange tail with a teaser. Also hot are 2- and 3-ounce Deadly Dicks. Tsunami 6-inch rubber eels have also been a good bet. Bob said there is no need to lose sleep, as 7 am is early enough to catch the morning run of surf bass and then again 2 to 5 in the afternoon. Bob believes the bass are showing up later in the year and has been doing so every year now, so it seems. What used to be November as the best month for striped bass is now seemingly December. Now we have to see how the fishing is affected offshore, adding; "we should see the boats getting back out on Monday. Hope you can get out, dress warm you should have some fun.

  • November 26, 2018 Open or Close

    Bob Matthews at the Fisherman's Den hopes you all had a great Thanksgiving. The wind kept the boats at the dock on Thanksgiving Day but they have sailed every day since. The blackfishing has been good but the boats have to work hard to put a day's catch of keepers in the cooler. So many short fish. The smaller bass are dominating the fishery with some bigger fish in the mix. Anglers are utilizing bonus tags to get some meat. Surf fishermen have been getting small bass with keepers hard to come by. The sand eels are the bait the fish are feeding on so any sand eel imitation will get strikes. "We are not getting the better fish we are accustomed to seeing when sand eels are present," Bob said. The Shark River Surf Angler's tournament saw only two keepers caught, one 12-pounder for the Asbury Park Fishing Club and one 9-pound, 4-ounce fish for the host club. All the others failed to score. This shows the amount of 30-inch fish around when five fishing clubs fishing for five days and nights come up with only two fish. These clubs have some of the best bass fishermen with decades of experience. "But you can't catch what isn't there," said Bob. Flounder fishing can be very good when we have a few clear days in a row, but all the rain muddies up the water and the bite drops off. Bob said his best recommendations at this time would be to grab an A17 or A27 with a red or green tail and a teaser and go to the beach and catch some small bass or jump on a boat and get a shot at a keeper fish.

  • November 19, 2018 Open or Close

    The boats coming back on Tuesday had great bass fishing. Most of the bass were in the 20- to 35-pound range were caught trolling and snag and dropping bunker, cited Bob Matthews at the Fisherman's Den. Anglers fishing the surf are being shut out of this fishery for the most part but they are getting plenty of smaller fish, mostly sub legals. However, gold Crocks, gold Ava 47s and 67s took fish from 30 inches to 30 r flounder and tog are bending rods in the river and inlet. Later in the week the cold and windy conditions made fishing for anglers tough and bunker were hard to come by. The Den will be open mornings during the winter till the party boats sail, weather permitting.

  • November 12, 2018 Open or Close

    "We are seeing some super bass fishing for our party and charter boats," cited Bob Matthews at the Fisherman's Den. Most of the fish are in the 35- to 50-pound class and are being caught while trolling bunker spoons and mojos or snagging and dropping bunker. Nicolas Vitolo of Howell (age 13) tipped the scale with a 43-12-pounder. We can't afford too many more of these windy rainy days or the fish will move on by or worse fishermen will loose interest, Bob lamented. Winter flounder is hot in Shark River and Inlet and blackfish are dominating the inshore fishing, along with smaller bass. Party boats sailing for slammers also enjoyed some very good catches.

Fisherman's Den

Fisherman's Den
Belmar Marina
905 Rte. 35
Belmar, NJ 07719
phone: 732-681-5005 | fax: 732-280-1300

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