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New Jersey & Delaware Bay
Northern New Jersey & Hudson River

Fisherman's Den

No report submitted this week.


Previous Reports

  • January 1, 2018 Open or Close

    Bob Matthews over at the Fisherman's Den said the 2017 season had its ups and downs, but will mostly go down as one of the better ones. "There are areas that were exceptional and others mediocre," he said, calling fluke fishing "fair at best in our area," while referring to the bluefishing as "poor except for a few hot spots in the spring for very large fish." The porgy and sea bass fishing was good but Bob said regulations kept it from meeting its potential, while winter flounder fishing was good, though again regulations kept participation down. "Two fish limit is a little tough to swallow considering the price of bait etc.," he said. "The striped bass fishing was good at times for trophy fish but only from boats, surf fishermen had and are still having a bang up fall for bass but you could get 40+ fish some days without one coming close to 28-inch," Bob summarized over the holiday weekend. As far right now, he called the blackfish season "a work in progress" while reporting on the 22-pounder aboard the Fish Monger on Christmas Eve, as well as a 17-pound, 6-ounce fish for Randy Rosenberger of Telford, PA aboard the Ocean Explorer which had several other fish on that recent trip in the 9- to 12-pound class.

  • December 25, 2017 Open or Close

    Bob Matthews over at the Fisherman's Den said flounder fishing was still holding up with the store weighing in a 3-34-pound flattie caught by Ronald Byrnes of Manchester a few days before Christmas. Marty Westerfield of Wall limited out with flatties to 18 inches the same day. Large numbers of short bass are hitting anything that moves in the wash on local beaches. Blackfishing has had its ups and downs this fall, most would agree it hasn't been the best season overall, but every week the shop has been weighing in a fish or two of trophy size. Scott Crilly of Toms River hit the scale with a 12-pound whitechin the Friday before Christmas. Bob added that he believes we could see the small stripers here all winter barring a large snow to make the water too cold. So keep the light tackle handy.

  • December 18, 2017 Open or Close

    Bob Matthews at the Fisherman's Den reported the snow bass are here and feeding like it's their last meal, putting on some fat for the winter. Bob said that the reports he gets from customers and shop regulars point to a coast wide invasion of small fish. When you hit a pocket of fish the numbers you can catch are extremely high, adding, one angler reported he had more than 10 double headers along with many singles. Bob went on to say that the surf and inlet areas have produced big numbers along with an occasional 30+ inch fish. Bob shares with us a tip stating "these fish can be caught on an assortment of lures, but keep it small with single hooks to avoid damage to the fish and yourself. A hook in the hand is no fun." Bob also said that the winter flounder are still biting, but the season closes December 31, so he advises us not to wait if you want to put some filets away for the winter.

  • December 11, 2017 Open or Close

    Bob Matthews at the Fisherman's Den said "Well we got a dusting of snow and some frigid air, just how this will affect the fishing or the angler participation is the question of the day." Bob went on to say that this week he has seen a tremendous number of small school bass in the surf and rivers, adding, the fish are from 10 to 22 inches on average. Bob said the anglers coming in report they can get a fish or a hit on every cast, adding, this is all along the Jersey shoreline. Bob tells us that the best bite seems to be in the afternoon and evening, but fish are caught all day and well into the night. Bob said he would caution you to use lures with single hooks such as small bucktails or Tsunami rubber eels with a single hook and a teaser that will minimize damage to these small fish for a safe and healthy release. In wrapping up his report this week, Bob urges everyone to "get out, have fun, keep safe and enjoy this abundance of small fish and remember to make a quick and healthy release these fish as they are our future striper population." Bob also said all the head boats switched over to blackfish.

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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