Fin-atics Fishing Report 6/30/17 Summer fishing is here

Summer is Here

The water temperatures are rising and the crowds are filling in…it must be July in Ocean City! It’s becoming full on summer here at the Jersey shore and anyone who visits can get into some great fishing. With the recent string of great weather, anglers are having great success from the bay to the offshore canyons.

Fluke are on the move in the intercostal waterways.  Anglers are reporting good numbers of short flounder with a few keeper sized fish mixed in. Hot spots have been the Kennedy Park area, Ships Channel, and Anchorage Point.  Don’t hesitate to fish some of the deeper channels as water temperatures rise. The baits that seem to be producing are Berkley Gulp! baits, mackerel or squid strips and minnows. Boats heading to the reefs aren’t finding large numbers of fluke yet, but are pulling up decent fish in the three to five-pound range. Jon Werley of Ocean City brought in this week’s biggest fluke with a flatty that weighed just over six pounds. Crabbing has been picking up and should only get better as the water warms up.

Brown sharks starting to tease anglers

On the beach side we are hearing of decent sized kingfish in great numbers. Surf anglers are using bloodworms to catch the kings with the artificial bloodworm beginning to work better with rising temperatures. Brown sharks have started ripping up bluefish rigs in the surf and anglers targeting them are hooking up. Use a wire leader and bring a pair of pliers for safety when catching brown sharks from the suds. The offshore action has been incredible over the past few weeks.  We have heard Large numbers of small yellowfin and bluefin tuna in the spencer and Baltimore canyon. Most boats are having more success with the tuna on the troll rather than chunking.

Possible World Record?

Maureen Klause of Ocean City, NJ brought a beautiful one hundred and twenty-six pound Mako shark to the scale earlier this week.  This catch is a pending I.G.F.A world line-class record, she caught it on 6lb test!  It seems this summer will be great for fishing so get out on the water.

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Fin-atics Fishing Report 6/15/2017 Lots of Kingfish

Kingfish have arrived!

With the recent heat wave calming down, it is safe to say that summer arrived.  June has been an awesome month for fishing so far with the action only heating up.  The beach has come to life over the past weekend.  Reports of decent kingfish in really good numbers continue to pour in. Surfcasters are even catching a few nice weakfish mixed in with the kings.  The hot bait has been bloodworms as the water temps hang in the low to mid 60’s.  Look for Fishbites to start producing when the ocean water temps eclipse 65 degrees.  The middle of OC, beaches from 15th to 34th street have been the most consistent for the kingfish.

We are hearing daily reports of great fluke fishing in the bay and even out on the reefs!  I know it’s a little early, but boats prospecting on the reefs for fluke have been pulling limits. Rick Martin from Ocean City was rewarded with a five and a half pound fluke while bouncing a bucktail on the Atlantic City reef last week.  Also, Bob Pelikoski, a regular at the shop, had a banner day in the bay with two fluke taking the scale at three and a half pounds and a third pushing over four pounds. It seems these larger fluke are making a push for the ocean reefs so now is the time to get them while you can in the creeks and channels!  As usual Berkley Gulp! baits, mackerel strips and minnows have produced the most bites.  This year has been far different than the disappointing 2016 season, a lot more keeper fluke.  Now is the time and get out and fish before the water warms up too much and the crowds move in!

Fin-atics June 7th Fishing Report 2017

Fishing Report 6/7/17

Summer has finally arrived in South Jersey and so have the summer flounder! The state has officially settled on the summer flounder regulations.  The season will run until September 5th with an 18 inch minimum length and a limit of three fish per angler. Several anglers are finding keeper sized fish and even their bag limits in the bay behind Ocean City. Productive spots have been Ships Channel, Rainbow Channel and Kennedy Park on the Somers Point side. Anglers are catching fat flatties on Berkley Gulp, squid, minnows and mackerel strips.

It seems that the large, gator blues we had this spring have moved on.  They have been replaced with smaller, cocktail sized bluefish hitting lures and bait in the inlets. Reports are also coming in of nice flounder, small blues and even the occasional striper off the piers on the 9th street causeway. People are using cut baits off the pier such as bunker, mackerel and clam to catch these fish. Decent sized kingfish, striped bass and three to five-pound blues continue to be caught by local surf anglers along the beachfront.  Finger mullet, bunker and bloodworms have been the most productive baits on this front.

Sea bass will be open until June 18th and the action has been great. Boats heading to the wrecks in the fifteen to thirty-mile range are catching tons of fish and having no problem catching their limits of ten fish per angler at twelve and a half inches. With plenty of opportunities to fill the cooler now is the time to get out and fish! The store is stocked with plenty of bait and tackle so make sure to stop by before heading out on the water.

Local Catches

Debra Almeda of Corbin City weighed in the biggest fluke of the season so far at 6.23 pounds last weekend.  There have been plenty of other fish tipping the scale at three to four pounds regularly. Bill Carew came in the shop to weigh a solid five-pound weakfish.  He caught it while jigging a bucktail for fluke behind Margate.

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Fin-atics 3rd Annual Fluke Derby – 2015 Winners

Fin-atics 3rd Annual Fluke Derby – 2015 Winners
 
For the past three years Fin-atics has sponsored a FREE Fluke Derby for our customers to participate in for the summer season.  It is a friendly competition that we encourage everyone to enter.  All we require is to sign up each season and provide us with valid contact information.  All winners are notified via email and below you will find this years results.
 
June Winners:
1st Place – Ken Ruckle (25-1/2″ – 5.34lbs)
2nd Place – Brian Schuler (24″ – 4.95lbs)
3rd Place – Mike Gardner (24-1/2″ – 4.64lbs)
July Winners:
1st Place – Chip Roman (26-1/2″ – 7.57lbs)
2nd Place – Dennis Molette (26″ – 6.02lbs)
3rd Place – Ken Ruckle (24-1/2″ – 5.56lbs)
August Winners:
1st Place – Bob Pelikoski (25-3/4″ – 7.41lbs)
2nd Place – Dennis Molette (26″ – 6.76lbs)
3rd Place – Phil Degliomini (25-3/4″ – 6.11lbs)
Tournament Overall Winners:
1st Place – Chip Roman (26-1/2″ – 7.57lbs)
2nd Place – Bob Pelikoski (25-3/4″ – 7.41lbs)
3rd Place – Dennis Molette (26″ – 6.76lbs)
 
Congratulations to our Fluke Derby winners for 2015, we look forward to next seasons tournament.

Rod & Reel Combo or Separate?

Ocean City NJ Fishing Rod and ReelShould I buy Fishing Rod and Reel Combo or should I buy them Separately?” That is a very common question among many who enjoy fishing. Many professional fishermen will give you a variety answers. To figure out what is best for you, you must narrow down the type of fishing you are going to do.

Jersey Shore Rod & Reel Combos

For fly fishing, buying a combo is usually the best way to go about it because they are specialized. If you fish casually as a hobby, you can usually find packaged deals at tackle shops that will be able to meet all of your fishing needs. If you are an avid fisherman and have a variety of fishing spots and techniques, you may want to buy the rod and reel separately so that you can move your reel to different rods that are more suited for what’s on your fishing agenda. 

While many fishing tackle shops will be honest and try to help you get exactly what you need, some may just be after your money. They may try to pitch something to you that you really don’t need. Do your research, and walk into a shop with an idea of what you want. For non-weighted opinions, go around to your local fishing spots and ask experienced fishermen what they would recommend.

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!

Choosing Your Fishing Reel

Ocean City NJ Fishing ReelsWith all of the different kinds of fishing reels out there, it may seem like choosing the one for you is impossible. Below is some helpful information on types and uses of fishing reels:

Types of fishing reels:

There are two main types of fishing reals. The spin real, also known as a threadline, eggbeater or coffee-grinder reel. An ‘overhead reel’ refers to a collective including several types of reels that might otherwise be known as a conventional, game, trolling, barrel, baitcaster and low-profile reels.

Strength, maximum drag capacity and line capacity were once the determining factors that made overhead reels the choice of ‘serious’ anglers, simply because early spin reel designs couldn’t match the overhead designs. Modern spin reels can now equal—and in some cases exceed—the capabilities of overhead reels. This makes the choice of which reel is better for you less clear, so we’ll take a look at the options relative to the intended purpose:

Bait Fishing:

Either a spin or overhead reel is fine for everyday bait fishing, where you’re casting your baits from shore or a boat, so let your personal preference decide. It is recommended for beginners start with a spin reel because they are simple to use and will do everything you need. As you develop more specific fishing styles that might benefit from an overhead reel, then you can add to your tackle then.

Trolling:

Overhead reels are the best choice for trolling, whether you’re targeting marlin offshore with game reels or seeking barra or cod in rivers using baitcaster reels. This is simply because the shapes and designs better suit being left in rod holders.

Casting:

There are good casting reel options in both spin and overhead reels. Spin reels are easier to cast with. However, casting with an overhead reel can be mastered, it just takes a bit more practice at the start. Spin reels are better at casting lighter weights. An overhead reel generally requires more momentum so heavier weights make in easier to cast. The spin reel’s ‘freer line’ advantage diminishes as the lure or sinker weights increase because with more weight comes more momentum, regardless of which reel type is used.

Bottom fishing and jigging:

Overhead reels are a better option for boat fishing scenarios such as when you’re dropping baits or heavy lures to the bottom and fishing vertically. The immediate line contact and spool control are advantageous when your lure or bait hooks a fish on the drop. Line capacities are usually ample for fishing deep water. More robust parts and fewer small parts are better for longevity in a harsh saltwater environment and bigger gears designed for more torque tend to last longer as well. The line running over the top of the rod is also useful during fights with big fish because it reduces the chance of the line accidentally coming in to contact with the gunwales when a fish has you bending over the side in a rough sea, which could cost you a fish in a moment of distraction.

All that said, strong modern spin reels now hold their own offshore. Some offshore anglers prefer this style because of the extra lure speed they can make when needed, and because a big spin reel offers more versatility should the angler encounter a scenario where a long cast could secure a bonus fish spotted feeding on the surface.

Extra Tips:

If you intend fishing saltwater, check that the reel is suitable for this purpose. Some reels imported into Australia are specialist reels developed for freshwater-centric markets in other countries.If you intend fishing with a heavy drag setting, check the body, reel seat, handle and bail arm assembly for flex by gently squeezing and moving the parts with your hands. Too much flex might cost you a fish and might be an indication the reel is not up to the torture you have planned for it.It’s worth checking that the reel you’re planning to purchase will actually fit into the reel seat fitting on the rod you plan to match it with. It’s only rare that they won’t fit together, but check, just in case. Whichever reel you choose, remember it has a lot of interconnecting moving parts that operate in harsh conditions and at times under extreme pressure. The more you look after it, the better its chance of having a long and reliable life.

Fin-atics carries a wide assortment of fishing reels and any other fishing accessory both in store and online.

Chunking Bunker for Striped Bass

Author with 36" Striped Bass
Author with 36″ Striped Bass

Chunking Bunker for Striped Bass can be a very productive method for catching that trophy linesider. It is a very simple method that will produce bites in a variety of conditions and different areas of the bay or ocean.  Most often this fishing technique is used from an anchored boat but it also can work from areas such as a pier, dock or bridge.  Take a Bunker (Menhaden), cut it up into pieces about 2 inches long and throw a few at time into the water, chunking is just as it sounds.

The trick is not to chunk too many at a time, get the Stripers feeding on them but not enough to satisfy their hunger.  I find that a dozen bunker will last for about 2 hours of slow and steady chunking, of course if the bite is on it will go much faster.  Use a larger piece of Bunker, usually a head or mid-section 4-5 inches wide as a bait with a large 8/0 to 10/0 hook (circle hook or J-hook based on your personal preference) .  Drift or cast the baited hook, using a fish finder style rig out behind the boat or away a bit from the pier.  Use of a Baitrunner or conventional reel with a clicker is important here so you may leave the reel in free-spool, the fish can pick the bait up and not feel the sinker or drag of the reel.

Find a place to anchor or a spot on a pier where your bait will drift into a hole, the edge of a drop off or a nice rip current and fish it a couple hours before or after the change of a tide. The current slows a bit and your chunks won’t be carried away as fast during this time.  I have found that there is no set tide, high or low that will produce all the time, the time of day and season will dictate when they bite.  Striped Bass are the most unpredictable of fish when it comes to their behavior, they may bite on the top of the incoming tide one week and the bottom of the outgoing another.  Put the time in and you will eventually learn their patterns for the area you are fishing at the time of year you choose to fish it.  This will help narrow down the when and where to fish and increase your chances of landing that once in a lifetime Striped Bass.

Choosing Your Hooks for Saltwater Fishing

Ocean City Fishing TackleChoosing a hook for saltwater fishing isn’t always the easiest. When it comes to choosing the size and shape of your hook, there are some important things to know. There are a wide variety of hooks for every fishing style, so it’s likely to be an ongoing learning process as you change your fishing techniques and types of fish.

You can use a small hook to catch a wide variety of fish. For example, a number five size hook can catch fish from a quarter pound to 25 pounds. However, angling and landing that number 25 fish, when using a small number five hook, requires careful and expert angling, or landing with a net.

Choose brand name hooks that are well known and proven to be of great quality. There are also many of other name brand hooks that work even better than Eagle Claw and Mustad. Ask your fellow fishermen what they use. Retailers often push what they either make the most profit from or they are trying to push overstocked items.

Different lengths have different purposes. Short shank hooks are good for their strength and long shank hooks are easier to remove. The short shank hook, by design, is more durable and will not straighten out or break easily. In areas with many coral heads or a drop off, use a strong, short shank hook, heavier lines, and always keep the line taut with the fish on. Instead of forcing the landing of a fish in these conditions, an alternative is to let a big, strong fish tire itself in the deeper water and reel it in in the shallow, line breaking area, after it is no longer putting up a hard fight.

If you are in the Cape May County NJ area and are looking for great quality fishing hooks, bait, or other tackle, come check out Fin-atics in Ocean City NJ! You can also check us out at our website.

How to Choose a Saltwater Fishing Rod

Ocean City City Saltwater Fishing RodsMany people looking to buy a saltwater fishing rod at Fin-Atics in Ocean City, NJ simply show up and pull the first rod that catches their eye off the rack. Others search the Internet for the best deals on rods.  So how does one choose the right saltwater fishing rod?  Besides asking for some of our expert advice on the subject, here are some basic saltwater fishing rod facts that you need to know before purchasing a rod:

Ocean City Inshore Fishing

Inshore fishing means relatively shallow water and relatively small fish – under 20 pounds for the most part. So, you need a rod that can handle a good size fish, but not one that weighs so much you can’t even fish with it.

CastingCasting rods are used with conventional reels and can be used with lures or bait for light bottom fishing. They also accommodate floats and are good for free-lining live bait.

SpinningSpinning rods can usually do the same things that a casting rods does, they simply use a different reel – a spinning reel. Spinning equipment can cast a lighter lure and is not subject to the backlash problems that an inexperienced angler encounters with a casting reel. This is a good choice for a beginning angler.

Bottom Fishing – Either casting or spinning rods can be used for inshore bottom fishing. The water depth, current, and amount of weight required to get a bait to the bottom helps dictate which size rod to use.

Fly Fishing – If you are reading this and you are a beginning fisherman, fly fishing may be the last thing on your mind. But, inshore saltwater fly fishing is extremely popular. If you do plan a first time purchase of a saltwater fly outfit, go with a prepackaged complete outfit in a 6 to 8 weight range. This is a good midrange starting point – heavier weights are for larger fish (Tarpon, big stripers, etc.), lighter weights are usually found in freshwater applications.

Ocean City Offshore Fishing

Trolling – The majority of trolling rods are built for conventional reels. While heavy spinning gear is sometimes used trolling, conventional tackle is by far the most popular. These rods are usually labeled by line class. The IGFA 30, 50, and 80 class reels match up with the appropriate rod. These rods are usually an investment – they can cost that much. It is not unusual to pay over $1000 for a complete outfit. However, there are some good rods that can be combined with good reels that can come in under $200 for the package.

Bottom Fishing – These are the “meat” rods that many anglers have used to catch loads of fish. They are heavier and stiffer than a trolling rod, generally longer than a trolling rod, and are able to stand up to the abuses that a big fish can give them.

Fly Fishing – Fly rods that are used offshore are built for punishment. These are the heavier outfits that have large arbor reels (reels that hold lots of line) and come in weights from 9 to 12. These are very specialized rods for a very specialized type of fishing.

Surf FishingSurf rods are another specialized category. They are made for both spinning and casting reels – the choice is more dependent on angler preference than anything else. These rods are from 9 to 12 or 14 feet in length. They are designed to allow for super long casts that can get a bait out beyond the breakers on the beach. The rod size is also determined by angler preference, and usually means longer, heavier rods when looking for bigger fish.

Pier Fishing-Almost any inshore rod, including surf rods, can be and are used from piers. Once again, angler preference, casting distance, and fish size will dictate the rod type and size.

Over all, under standing  the kind  of saltwater fishing you are interested in doing will determine the kind  fishing rodsto use. At Fin-Atics, we carry the top of the line in saltwater fishing rod gear, from G-Loomis rods to Shimano and others, we have what you are looking for

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