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
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.
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.
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
Flounder are where you find them, but there are specific types of locations where they will be more likely to be found:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Now that is is finally spring in the Ocean City NJ area, that warmer weather and warmer water welcomes new life to the Jersey Shore waters. Shrimp, crabs and finfish have released this year’s batch of offspring. When this happens, nearby predators will shift their focus from large, hard to catch adults to the young hatchlings that make as a much easier meal. Below are some tips for Ocean City saltwater fishing.
Ocean City Saltwater Fishing Tips
Spring marks the start of a three month run of hatchlings in the Ocean City NJ waters. To up their odds for success during this time period, anglers should downsize lures, baits and flies. Anglers should also shift their focus to areas where predator fish are most likely to be able to ambush or attack the hatchlings.
Predator fish will be found where the food is. During spring and early summer, the majority of the food is located near where it was hatched. For shrimp, crabs and different baitfish, this typically means marshes and back lakes. When spring tides push extra water into these nursery areas, redfish and speckled trout will ride the tide into these areas. Anglers should follow the water into these flooded areas as well.
When tides die down, predators will usually swim back into channels that lead into these backwaters. But, if there is enough water to allow them to stay in the back lakes and marshes to feed, they will remain there.
As the weather continues to warm and the hatchlings continue to grow in the Ocean City NJ area, they will eventually start making their way out of the backwaters and into the open bay. At this point, anglers can often find groups of them getting ready for departure at the openings of drains, channels and bayous that connect with back lakes and marshes.
Once they get to the main bay, the younglings will rarely head right for open water. Instead, they typically reside along shorelines. When fishing shorelines, anglers should look for points or other features that will cause schools of bait to interrupt their course. These are natural ambush areas that predators will take full advantage of, so you should too.
Ocean City saltwater fishing in the Spring is a great time to catch some fish in the Jersey Shore area. Fin-atics offers a wide assortment of fishing rods, fishing reels, fishing line, and anything else you may need both in store and online. Come check out this awesome Jersey Shore bait and tackle shop.
Jetty fishing can be a very fun and effective way to fish in the Jersey Shore area. The only problem is that it can be very dangerous, and even deadly, if you are not VERY careful. Below are some tips on making your jetty fishing experience fun and safe.
Ocean City NJ Jetty Fishing Tips
- It is HIGHLY recommended to use spiked shoes or to buy spike attachments for your shoes. Jetty rocks can be extremely slippery so this way your shoes will have a safer grip. Even with spikes, a worn down jetty can still be dangerously slippery.
- If you have never fished on a jetty before, it is not recommended to do it at night. Like any other fishing spot, you have to learn all the elements of a jetty to make it productive and safe. Master your jetty during the day and especially at low tide when you can see all of the submerged rocks and holes. That way you can be successful at night.
- Fish along the whole jetty. Although the fronts have generally the deepest waters, that doesn’t mean that deep water is only at that section. There are plenty of holes and troughs on the sides and back as well.
- Have a fishing buddy. Jetty fishing is dangerous, especially for beginners. It’s a good idea, no matter how safe a jetty looks or how experienced you are with jetty fishing, to fish with another person so that you can look out for each other.
With proper precautions and practice, jetty fishing can be an awesome experience in the Ocean City NJ area. Fin-atics offers a wide assortment of fishing rods, fishing reels, fishing line, and anything else you may need both in store and online. Come check out this awesome Jersey Shore bait and tackle shop.
It may be in the middle of winter in the Ocean City NJ area, it’s never too early to prepare for the spring fishing season. You wouldn’t want to be unprepared in the event of an early spring, would you? Here are some things to do to prepare for the Ocean City, NJ spring fishing season:
Ocean City NJ Fishing Tips
- Sharpen or Replace Your Hooks
Sharp hooks mean more consistent hook sets when a fish bites your lure or bait. This is something that many fishermen don’t do or never even think to do in the first place. A dull hook can begin to affect your fishing success, so it is important. Hook sharpeners can be bought in most local Ocean City NJ bait and tackle shops. Spending a couple hours this winter will be worth your while once spring comes along. If hooks are too out of shape, just replace them.
- Replace Your Line
Replacing line sometimes becomes one of those things that fishermen keep putting off during the winter. Having fresh line spooled on your reels is very important because older line becomes brittle and can sometimes easily break when fighting a fish.
- Organize Your Gear
An organized tackle box and gear bag can save a lot of time and trouble once the Ocean City NJ spring fishing season hits. Take the time to neatly put everything where it belongs to avoid wasting time looking for something you need or pricking your finger with a hook!
- Look for New Fishing Spots
New fishing spots are always great to find. I know every fisherman has their own handful of favorite spots, but discovering something new is always fun and exciting. You never know what you’re going to find in a new spot.
Being prepared is always helpful with anything you do. Make sure you are ready for this spring to have a fun and successful fishing season. Fin-atics offers a wide assortment of fishing rods, fishing reels, fishing line, and anything else you may need both in store and online. Come check out this awesome Jersey Shore bait and tackle shop.
Winter flounder tend to migrate during the winter to shallower water. They are flat and both eyes are located on one side of their head. This fish’s color depends on the type of bottom where it lives. Large winter flounder’s skin usually includes shades of a muddy or reddish brown, dark slate and olive green. Below are some tips for catching winter flounder:
- Search in muddy or sandy flats at high tide, in patches of eel grass, in river channels, in deep holes at low tide and in protective coves with soft bottoms. Mud bottoms near shellfish beds are also areas where where they tend to hang out.
- Use baits such as sand worms and blood worms. Worm sections that are 2 or 3 inches long are recommended. You can also use muscle tissue of clams and mussels, clam necks, grass shrimp and sea worms.
- Use chum to attract the fish. Chum is made with a mixture of live baits. Either throw it overboard or lower it in a weighted mesh bag or chum pot.
- Use light to medium tackle, with a 10-15lb. test fishing line. A 6.5-foot medium action spinning rod is recommended for the best outcome.
Fin-atics offers a wide assortment of fishing rods, fishing reels, fishing line, and any other fishing accessory you may need both in store and online. Come check out the best Jersey Shore bait and tackle shop in Ocean City, NJ.
Looking for top quality Cape May County fishing accessories? Fin-Atics is your one stop shop for all the essential Cape May County fishing accessories you need. We offer all the best brands at the best prices available right here at the Jersey Shore! Here is a brief overview of the fishing accessory products we offer. For a complete list of products, visit our online store.
Cape May County Fishing Accessories – Crabbing Supplies
With quality crabbing supplies brands such as Atlantis and Berkley, we want to ensure that you have everything you need when you head out for a day of crabbing. From weighted crab throw line to crab tongs and shedder oil, all your crabbing needs will be met at Fin-Atics. To see all of our crabbing products, you can visit our online store or come visit us in person. Happy crabbing!
Cape May County Fishing Accessories – Vehicle Rod Racks
Vehicle rod racks to help get your rods from point A to point B and every spot in between. These racks mount easily to the outside of your car to free up space inside for other important things. These are the perfect solution for transporting many fishing rods at one time, and they make heading out to your favorite fishing spot more enjoyable!
To view our entire line of fishing supplies, Click here.