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New Jersey & Delaware Bay
Central New Jersey

The Reel Seat

November 20, 2017:
Alex at the Reel Seat said the striped bass fishing was phenomenal from Long Branch all the way to Seaside last week, with fish from schoolie-size to 50-pounders. He said his friend Travis Tomensky had a a 52.4-pounder. Blackfishing seemed to be a bit slow, he said. There were some tautog being caught jigging with light spinning rods. Those still chasing sea bass did well, and there were big porgies in the mix, hitting clams. Head to the Triple Wrecks and other 20- to 30-mile wreck spots to get those.

Previous Reports

  • November 13, 2017 Open or Close

    "The bass are finally here," Alex at the Reel Seat said. The striper fishing finally busted wide open over the weekend and he said the reports were simply insane from the Manasquan Inlet to the Shrewsbury Rocks and all the spots in between. He said some anglers are catching them on bunker spoons, with white and chartreuse being the most effective colors, but the majority of the action has been snagging and dropping. "There's a ton of bait around," Alex said. Those fishing for sea bass are going farther offshore and doing well in those spots; the inshore wrecks have been hammered pretty hard. Going 15 miles or so out is producing limit catches and nice sized porgies in the mix. Clams have been most effective, though some are being caught on small diamond jigs, he said. Blackfish are around but with the bass fishing, there have been far fewer reports.

  • November 6, 2017 Open or Close

    At the Reel Seat, Alex said the weather was kinda tough and limited the reports. Those who are fishing for sea bass are doing better if they hit up the offshore wrecks, he said. "The inshore spots are just getting pounded," Alex said. At the offshore wrecks, they're using diamond jigs and bait and pulling up not only nicer sea bass but good-sized porgies and their one blackfish as well, so they're getting a nice mixed bag. Striper fishing was kind of slow in the immediate area. There were some bass trolled off Asbury Park in about 60 feet of water on bunker spoons, but the hot bite in the Raritan Bay has guys hopeful that it continues as those fish find their way south. "Those fish are eating anything and everything," he said, from bait to shads to poppers and more. "If you put it in the water, it's gonna get eaten." That's a bit of a run for those fishing out of Manasquan Inlet, but it may just be a matter of days before those fish, which are from schoolie size to 40 pounds, are closer to home. There have been scattered reports of bluefin tuna at the Shark River Reef and in closer but no reported catches. Still, guys who didn't get their tuna offshore are abuzz with the possibilities.

  • October 30, 2017 Open or Close

    At the Reel Seat, Dave said porgy fishing continues to be very good. Folks heading out are doing really well at the Mud Buoy and the local wrecks and reefs. There are sea bass, but inshore it's mostly throwbacks. The keepers have moved farther off, he said. There are still triggerfish around and blackfishing has been good when the conditions cooperate. It won't be long before the limit increases from the current one blackfish per person per day. False albacore are still keeping folks busy as well, with very good fishing for the albies up and down the beach, he said. Along the beach he's getting reports of a lot of hickory shad and 12-inch snapper bluefish, so there is bait around. Blackfishing at the Manasquan Inlet continues to be okay.

  • October 23, 2017 Open or Close

    "Everybody and their mother went out sea bass fishing today," Bob at the Reel Seat said when I checked in. But while the reopening of the season was a welcome event, Bob said there have been plenty of other fish around as well. Striped bass fishing has been picking up, with schoolie bass up and down the beach and some bigger fish in the mix. Bob said there was a 46-pound striper weighed at Hoffman's over the weekend, and he's heard reports of some nice-sized fish being caught south of the Manasquan Inlet area as well. False albacore are all over the place and have been providing a substantial amount of action for surf fishermen in Sea Girt and Manasquan. Blackfishing has been very good.

The Reel Seat

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

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