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New Jersey & Delaware Bay
Central New Jersey

The Reel Seat

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Previous Reports

  • June 4, 2018 Open or Close

    Alex at the Reel Seat said the striped bass fishing is still hot, from the Asbury Park area to Sandy Hook, with a lot of big fish being caught. He said it was the most 50-pounders caught in a two-week period he's ever seen. Sea bass fishing has been equally good. "Guys are just crushing them," he said, with limit catches being the rule, and anglers coming away with a mixed bag that includes cod and ling, too. He hasn't heard a lot about fluke fishing because most of the anglers he's talked to are focused on the stripers and sea bass. However, there is a slow pick of fluke on the Sea Girt and Axel Carlson reefs; the water is still pretty cold in the ocean, he said. Fluke fishing in the Manasquan River is better because the water in the river is about 10 degrees warmer. The river is producing 2- to 6-pound bluefish and they'll hit whatever you throw. Small stripers are hitting at night, too, with shads and soft plastics working for them.

  • May 28, 2018 Open or Close

    "Fishing was pretty darn good," Eric at the Reel Seat said, with stripers, fluke and bluefish keeping people busy. Most of the striper fishing is to the north, from Asbury Park to Long Branch. Boats trolling along the three-mile line are picking up decent fish, and in the afternoon the fish have been moving into 50- to 60-foot depths taking pencil poppers, metal-lipped swimmers and livelined bunker. The fish are averaging 35 to 45 pounds and he has heard of at least five that have been over 50 pounds. Eric said there are a handful of stripers caught off Lavallette but it's not as consistent as the fishing to the north. Bluefishing has been fantastic in the Manasquan River from the inlet to the Route 70 Bridge, he said. Fluke are still thick in the river, and there are a number of nice keepers to 26 and 27 inches being picked up there along with limit catches. The ocean fluking has been good as well; John from the shop was out on the Gambler and limited out quickly on the morning trip, and Vinnie fished on the Angler in Raritan Bay and had the boat's first limit of the season by 8:45 a.m. Short bass and bluefish remain a consistent presence for surf anglers.

  • May 14, 2018 Open or Close

    At the Reel Seat, Eric said Raritan Bay striper fishing has slowed down. Folks fishing at the Triangle are catching a few more fish, either bass going up the river to spawn or ones that have made their way back down. Trolling mojos is working well there. Chunking for bass in the evening is working as well, but it's just not as hot as the fishing had been. The fish are mostly in the in upper teens with some 30s thrown in, he said. Along the coast the bass fishing continues to be a challenge. Guys are seeing marks on their fishfinders at the Shrewsbury Rocks and some of the other usual haunts but the fish aren't cooperating so far. Bluefish are around, but Eric said your best shot at them seems to be by boat in the Manasquan River, anywhere from Treasure Island to the Route 70 bridge. There's a handful of small blues and a handful of stripers. The most promising is the amount of fluke being seen right now, he said. "They are all over the river," and fluke season opens in less than two weeks. He said bottom fishing reports were quiet.

  • May 7, 2018 Open or Close

    At the Reel Seat, Eric said the striper fishing in the Raritan Bay has tapered off as the fish have started to move up the rivers. The bluefish, meanwhile, have not arrived in earnest. There have been some off Barnegat Inlet, he said, and some caught off Island Beach State Park and Seaside but it hasn't been a substantial amount of fish. "We had a little shot of fish in the back of the river by the 70 bridge," Eric said, and while they were big, "it wasn't zillions." Weakfish have shown up, however, with the fish in the 4- to 5-pound class. They are hitting pink Fin-S, pink Kettle Creek shads and some are taing the SP minnows behind the old Point Pleasant Hospital (it's condos now, for those who don't remember the hospital). There are small bass all over the place in the Manasquan River, from the bridges in the back all the way to the inlet rocks. There are a handful of stripers being caught at the 3-mile line, but he said it's a slow pick. He's had a few customers take a ride to the Shark River Reef to jig cod. Eric said if you've been waiting to try the slo-pitch jigging method, this is a great place to try it out as it is far outproducing other techniques for the cod. "Clams getting dropped down are just getting shredded by bergalls," he said. One of their customers reported catching a dozen keeper cod with the slow-pitch method.

The Reel Seat
707 Union Avenue , Rte 71
Brielle, NJ 08730
phone: 732-223-5353 | fax: 732-223-4440


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