Bluefish Fishing Tips

Bluefish are a very popular and abundant fish that can be caught all over the Jersey Shore. Wire leaders are a essential to successfully catching these fish, their razor sharp teeth are capable of cutting even 80lb Fluorocarbon leaders. Anglers use a variety of plugs, sand eel type jigs, squid or mackerel like lures when casting or trolling. Bunker, mackerel or eels are the preferred live baits. When these are not available, many types of cut bait also work.

Tips on Catching Bluefish

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When and where:

In New Jersey, the bluefish show up in the spring around early May, and they stay all summer long and into October. Another good thing about bluefish is that you can often catch them during the day; even in the summer. However, early morning and at dusk are the best times to catch bluefish. They can be caught right off the coast and out in the water. Fishing for them can be easily be done from a boat or on shore. The bluefish bite is at its best at dawn or dusk and any other time when there are low light conditions. The bluefish are much more aggressive than most fish and can often be found blitzing bait even under the midday sun. When they are not blitzing bait, they school up in staging areas and can be easily convinced to bite. Bluefish can be found in any depth and in almost any location where there is bait in the vicinity. They will frequently shadow a school of bait for a period of time and then suddenly make their attack. The resulting commotion will get the attention of every seagull within sight or earshot. A good moving tide can certainly improve the bite, but it is not unusual to see the fish feed right through the slack or flood.

Watch the birds:

The birds are very helpful when bluefish fishing. The birds can either be high flying, bee lining, screaming, wet roosting, or dry roosting. The angler needs to understand the implications of each of these behaviors. High flying birds typically circle repeatedly above a rather large patch of water. This is a sign that baitfish are concentrated beneath the surface of the water and out of their reach. They can easily cover a large area from well above the surface and they are waiting for predators to drive the bait to the top. It is very import for the angler to not have tunnel vision when working an area. Many times the fisherman’s concentration is on a small patch of water that the fish recently occupied, when just over their shoulder a full scale blitz is going on. Watch for birds flying relatively low over the water in a straight line. Several birds all heading in the same direction are probably making a bee line towards some obvious surface activity. When there are lots of birds over relatively wide area, the best thing to do is to listen for their screams. When bait appears on the top, they cannot contain their excitement and immediately give away the location. Large numbers of birds sitting on the water in an area is a sign that some significant feeding activity recently took place. The bait has probably gone deep and may be directly beneath them. The bass and blues may be nearby and simply taking a breather. A big flock on the water bears watching for a least a few minutes. A large number of birds roosting on rocks or docks suggest that there is probably a very large bait source in the area, but nothing has happened for quite some time. This may be worth revisiting later in the tide.

Use light Fishing Equipment:

Light spinning or bait casting tackle will provide the most sport and enjoyment. A good 6’6’’ to 7’ medium weight, fast action is enough to handle nearly anything. Braided and gel spun lines are perfect for this type of fishing. The thin diameter and slippery surfaces allow for long casts even with some of the smallest lures. The lack of stretch transmits every twitch of the rod directly to the lure and the angler can create some very enticing retrieves. Most pros prefer 20lb test as it has enough strength to handle some of the biggest fish and larger plugs, yet a thin enough diameter so that there is adequate line capacity in most suitable reels. A top quality reel with a good drag is a must.

Using Big lures:

Matching the size of the small baits being pursued is very difficult and unnecessary. These fish are attacking out of impulse and are drawn by the noise and commotion. A noisy 5-7 inch surface plug is most effective. Smaller plugs limit casting distance and make much less commotion. The fish are not intimidated by the larger plug size. Even the smallest blues do not hesitate to attack a plug which is only half their size. All plugs should be tied to a 2-3ft length of 30-50lb Fluorocarbon leader attached to the main line a small Mustad Rolling Swivel. The leader will aid the angler when handling the fish at boat side. Never handle the braided line, the thin diameter and unyielding edge can easily cut you. Popping plugs such as surface cruisers and pencils are usually the most productive. However, these lures take a certain degree of skill and practice to achieve a good presentation. Sometimes it is better to work a flat and angling face popper with a perfect presentation, rather than a surface cruiser in a mediocre presentation. The advantage of the cruiser and pencils is that they have a lot of action with very little forward momentum. This means that the plug stays in front of fish for a longer period of time and really gives the fish a chance to hone in on it.

Patience:

Like any fishing, this is one of the most important tips. When bluefish fishing the angler must resist the temptation to strike back at the fish until it is certain that it has the plug. Many times a fish will strike at a plug repeatedly and not get hooked. Simply maintain the same retrieve that got the fish’s interest in the first place, or stop the retrieve just for a moment to make the lure appear like a stunned or wounded baitfish. Start the retrieve again with just a slight twitch and the fish will usually strike again. If there are no takers during the course of a long retrieve, vary the speed to see if the fish are interested in a slightly different presentation. Slow retrieves are usually more effective as the fish have a much better chance to find the plug. Once the fish does have the plug, a short hook set is usually enough to ensure that it will make it to the side of your boat.

For more helpful Jersey Shore fishing tips as well as top of the line fishing bait and tackle, check out Fin-atics. Serving the Cape May County area, they offer quality equipment both in their Ocean City NJ store and online at good prices. Contact them at (609) 398-2248 or visit the website.

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Summer Flounder Tips

Now that Summer is around the corner, flounder will become pretty predictable to find. They have returned from their offshore winter areas and are now making their homes in the estuary systems up and down the Atlantic coast. In the fall flounder migrate out the inlets to offshore locations. In the spring they migrate back. Now the warmer months have them on places that they can be found on a pretty regular basis. Today, we are going to give some tips on where to look.

Where to Look For Summer Flounder

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Flounder are where you find them, but there are specific types of locations where they will be more likely to be found:

  1. Creek Mouths – One of the best places to look for flounder is at the mouth of an estuary creek. The number of these creeks in any given area of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) is crazy. It’s good to ease up to a creek mouth on an incoming tide using a trolling motor. Sometimes you can even just pole up to the mouth. Either way it’s best to be as quiet as possible. Flounder will position themselves at the mouth of the creek, most often facing the incoming tide. As baitfish are pushed into the creek by the tide, they have a perfect place to feed. On the last part of the outgoing tide, this same location could hold a fish or two. They simply turn around and face the outgoing current as the tide pushes the baitfish by them.
  2. Oyster Bars – Oysters live in water where the depth allows them to be out of the water at low tide. The ones that stick up out of the water at low tide are the ones that are ideal to fish. They may be along the edge of the ICW or they may be back up in an estuary creek or river. Flounder can be found along the edges of these bars. They don’t eat the oysters, but they do they feed on the baitfish and small crustaceans that live on and around the oysters. Oyster bars are actually sort of a little eco-system all to themselves. You can fish oyster bars on almost any tide. If you know where the edge of the bar is on a high tide, you can work your bait along that edge without hanging on the oysters. On a low tide edge can see the edge and fish it accordingly.
  3. Marsh Edges – Up and down the ICW there are salt marshes on both sides. Some of these marshes extend back for a half mile or more. Many times a creek runs through them, but more often, they are just large areas of marsh grass. Flounder have a habit of moving along the edges of these salt marshes in shallow water. They will flap themselves down under the mud and wait for baitfish to come by. Baitfish along the marshes will run with the tide along the edge of the grass, dipping in and out where a little runoff exists where water from the marsh can run off into the ICW. Flounder wait and ambush them.

Checking out these areas for flounder won’t guarantee you catch some, but can definitely increase your chances if done correctly. For your flounder fishing equipment, Fin-atics offers a wide assortment of fishing rods, fishing reels, fishing line, and anything else you may need both in store and online at affordable prices. Come check out this awesome Jersey Shore bait and tackle shop today!

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Hobie Kayak Fishing Accessories Ideas

NJ Hobie Kayak DealerHobie Kayaks are some the most popular kayaks Fin-Atics.com sells or rents. Hobie actually manufactures several kayaks for fishing, but improvements always can be made for a custom fit. The Hobie fishing kayaks have built-in rod holders and cargo storage, and the kayaks use a pedal-drive system for control. Customization beyond the factory features is not necessary for basic fishing applications but will make the kayak more friendly for your specific fishing purposes. Custom features should serve a specific purpose and must never compromise your safety in the water.

Many Hobie fishing kayaks have rod holders molded in the kayak. The holders are placed behind the seat and are ideal for trolling. The holders will not interfere with the paddling stroke, and the line will be directly behind the kayak. The location of the line also will prevent tangles with the anchor rope. Additional rod holders can be placed in front of the seat. The extra holders are ideal for casting lures and flies. The holders should be placed far enough forward to clear the paddle stroke and far enough back to be within easy reach. The additional holders allow you to carry trolling rods behind the seat and casting rods in front of the seat.

Additional Kayak Ad-On Features

Hobie fishing kayaks are designed to attach an anchor at the rear of the kayak. The anchor is sold separately and is well worth the investment. The anchor will save you energy on windy days and will allow you to stop and work on a group of fish before moving. The anchor on the back works well, but fisherman who plan on using the anchor system regularly should place another anchor on the front of the kayak. This will give a stable platform and prevent the kayak from swinging in the wind.

Outriggers are a great feature for kayak fishing. The outriggers give a stable fishing craft and make standing a possibility. Fishing from a standing position is valuable for sight fishing and fly-fishing. The outriggers will not slow down the Hobie kayaks because the pedal-drive system can be combined with paddling for extra speed when traveling.
Fish Finder

The fish finder is a valuable fishing tool and can be installed on a Hobie fishing kayak. Place the fish finder in the front of the cockpit where it is visible but does not obstruct your fishing space or the pedal drive. The smaller pedal-drive kayaks do not have space in cockpit for a fish finder, but the device can be mounted on the front or side of the kayak.

Choosing the right kayak, along with all the add-on accessories, can be difficult work. Here at Fin-Atics, we have the to help Contact us today, and we’ll be glad to help

Choosing the Right Fishing Kayaks

Kayak fishing is a sport that is a popular form of recreation that all types of people enjoy. A fishing kayak is relatively inexpensive and easy to use. It allows people to reach spots that normal boats cannot to catch some rare fish. Investing in a fishing kayak is a fine idea for people who truly love this sport. Finding the right one can be a bit overwhelming, so here are some tips from experts:

How to Choose the Best Fishing Kayaks

  • Choose the Right Type of Fishing Kayak – There are many different types of fishing kayaks on the market, and first time buyers can have a hard time picking the right one. The best way to start is by learning about the different types of fishing kayaks so they can make the right decision. There are two main types of fishing kayaks: sit-on-top and sit-in kayaks. Buyers can choose from either a sit-on-top kayak, also called SOTs, or sit-in kayaks, also known as SIKs. SOTs have a seat molded right on top of the main kayak structure, instead of the more traditional kayak model where the person is actually sitting inside a hollow tube. SOTs are easier to get in and out of, customizable, and more comfortable since the person can move around and adjust his or her position easily. SOTs do have certain disadvantages. They have a higher center of gravity, which makes them less stable, and these types of kayaks are often slow and heavy. SIKs, on the other hand, feature the more familiar kayak design wherein the person sits in the hollow of the boat. This makes for a more stable ride and these kayaks are lighter and faster than SOTs, not to mention provide additional protection from cold and wet conditions. However, users can become uncomfortable over a long period of time, and getting in and off the kayak is a challenge.
  • Consider Propulsion Systems – Aside from configuration, buyers can also choose from paddle, pedal, and motorized fishing kayaks. One advantage of kayak fishing is the ability to get to fishing spots that most boats cannot access. Kayak fisherman need to power their boats somehow so they can get to and from their desired locations. The most common and inexpensive option is the paddle. Paddle kayaks are relatively cheap and do not rely on batteries or fuel to run. The downside is that paddling can be very tiring, especially for those who want to go far. After paddling, the person may be too tired to even begin fishing. A good option would be amotorized kayak. These kayaks have their own trolling motors so the user does not have to bother with paddles, allowing him or her to concentrate on fishing. These kayaks tend to be more expensive and heavier, not to mention require more setup and preparation to ensure the motor runs perfectly. A good alternative to either type of propulsion system would be the pedal fishing kayak. These kayaks have flippers, which the user powers by pedals located by the feet. These free up the user’s hands while still allowing him or her to go long distances without becoming too tired.
  • Know Where You Will Be Fishing – Where the person plans to fish is another important consideration. There is a huge difference between freshwater lakes and oceans. Open bodies of water tend to have choppy waves and a light kayak may not be appropriate for some conditions. On the other hand, a small kayak allows for more and easier maneuverability in streams, swamps, and small rivers. Another reason why buyers should think about location is that they need to figure out a way to transport and launch the kayak. Not many people have a dock in their backyard and most kayak fishermen must transport their gear from their home to the water. A small kayak can fit on top of an SUV, but users must pull larger kayaks with a trailer. Water access is another problem, as not all places allow people to drive their car to the edge of the water and launch directly. A large kayak is a problem for those who have to park their car in a separate location and carry their gear to the water.
  • Choose Comfortable Seating – Kayak fishing can take hours, so comfort is definitely a big something to take into consideration. A basic fishing kayak most likely has a hole or a plastic seat included, though some do have padded canoe seats. The buyer should have enough space to stretch. Those who want to buy a more comfortable kayak seat separately should buy a kayak with enough space to fit the seat and the person.
  • Check Out the Storage Space – A kayak fisherman requires more storage space than regular kayakers do. They need space for fishing rods and bait, and maybe even a cooler to keep any fish. A fishing kayak should have enough space to haul all these things, plus any other personal items. A kayak tackle bag, for example, is one accessory any fishing enthusiast should have, so there should be enough space inside to hold it and prevent it from falling overboard.

Fin-atics has a great selection of fishing kayaks, other kayaks, and fishing supplies at affordable prices. They serve towns in Cape May County and other Jersey shore areas such as Ocean City, Wildwood, Middle Township, Upper Township, Woodbine, Barnegat, Cape May, and many more. Contact today at 1-866-224-2248 or visit the website.

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NJ Saltwater Fishing 101

Ocean City NJ Saltwater FishingWhen we use the phrase “saltwater fishing”, we are referring to any method of fishing in the ocean. If you are saltwater fishing in the Ocean City area of the Jersey Shore, it can be enjoyed on shore (surf fishing), on a boat or on a pier. Live bait and artificial bait are used by saltwater anglers, which varies based on the type of fish folks are attempting to catch. Some of the greatest fighting fish are saltwater fish, such as the tuna or marlin. Saltwater fishing at the Jersey Shore provides some of most fun fishing experiences an angler can ever have.

Jersey Shore Saltwater Fishing

Some of the common types of saltwater fish sought out by anglers are bluefish, bonefish, cobia, cod, flounder, grouper, halibut, jewfish, kingfish, mackerel, marlin, pacific yellowtail, redfish, sailfish, sea trout, sharks, snapper, snook, striped bass, tarpon and tuna. The type of fishing tackle used can vary based on the species of fish the angler is trying to catch.

Over all, if you’re new to saltwater fishing in 2015, come out to our  bait and tackle store here in Ocean City, and one of our professional staff will offer you help in getting you started in the right directions.