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New Jersey & Delaware Bay


Posted By Jim Hutchinson, Jr., November 25, 2019
A NJ Saltwater Flies sand eel fly from Gabriel Tackle in Brick as a teaser ahead of an Ava 27 with green tail did the trick for The Fisherman’s Jim Hutchinson on the beach in Northern Ocean County over the weekend. Roving schools of mostly undersized striped bass are moving on sand eels (and a few peanuts) in the wash from Sandy Hook to IBSP right now, and hopes from Barnegat to Cape May Point is that these fish will stay tight to the beach through the Thanksgiving Weekend.
While many folks have laid up their boats for the winter, plenty of other folks are out enjoying the late fall run of striped bass down the coast. There were several reports of good fish trolled up and jigged along the South Jersey coast last week, with 20- and 30-pound bass still being taken inside the line in Central and North Jersey as well. Tautog action is still there relatively close to shore, while most of the better sea bass action is occurring in deeper waters as temperatures continue to cool. Best bet for the Thanksgiving week is in along the beach where a tremendous bite has emerged between Sandy Hook and Island Beach State Park (with hopes that these fish stay tight to the beach from Barnegat Light to Lewes, DE as they continue to follow bait slowly south). Fish have been mostly on sand eels, though peanut bunker continue to flow down along the coast prompting a few topwater blitzes here and there. Hit the beaches this week with Ava’s (17’s and 27’s) with green, red and white tails, along with Tsunami sand eels or Super Strikes. Teasers are key and most shops have beautiful sand eel flies on display, typically at the counter as these striper candies are moving fast. Look for working birds, though you may find fish just beyond the bar that aren’t showing themselves to the naked eye. By late afternoon into the dark, SP Minnows and Bombers are getting it done – just don’t forget the teaser! Plenty of boats are headed out for bottomfish and stripers over the Thanksgiving weekend, with more than a few running half-day trips Thursday so you can be back home with fresh fish for the table before anyone even knows you’re gone.
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