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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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!
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.
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.
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.
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)
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)
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.
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!
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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.
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Knowing when to fish saltwater is important if you want to have a successful fishing trip. There are things to know such as when the fish are going to be most active and hungry. Pay close attention to factors like saltwater tides, weather, time of day, water temperature, and the migration patterns of your target fish to determine the best time to catch them.
Ocean City NJ Saltwater Fishing Tips
Saltwater tides are very important in determining when to fish saltwater areas.
A slack tide means that the water is not moving much. Fishing during times of slack tide should be avoided. Instead, try when the tidal movement is more apparent.
Water movement means that baitfish and crustaceans will also be moving and active. That means there will be predator fish present as well.
Strong incoming tides are usually the best time to fish since the current will be pulling baitfish and gamefish towards land.
To keep track of the tidal schedule, you can check most local Ocean City NJ bait and tackle shops for tidal charts.
Moon phases can affect when to fish saltwater areas in a few different ways. A full or new moon sheds more light on the water at night, which can alter the feeding pattern of fish. Also, during a full or new moon, the saltwater tides are stronger which mean more active baitfish and other prey making for optimal fishing tide times.
The arrival of a front that brings either cooler or warmer air temperatures will affect fishing. A good time to saltwater fish is just before a front arrives, during a decrease barometric pressure, and when there is some cloud cover. Fish won’t be feeding as actively right after a front.
Time of Day:
The best times of day to fish are dawn and dusk because the weather and tidal movements are favorable. Make sure to always check tidal charts when you are planning a fishing trip. The tides have many factors contributing to fish activity.
Saltwater fishing is very popular 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.
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Surf fishing is a technique where you cast into the surf from the beach. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, it’s not so simple. There are some things you can do to help your Jersey Shore adventure become more successful. Look at the surf and you will see two or three sets of breakers moving shoreward, with green water separating them. The places where the waves are breaking are sandbars, and the green water represents channels, or “guts” between them. Fish use the guts to get up and down the beach. The guts and bars get progressively deeper as you move offshore, and fishing deeper water increases your chances of catching larger fish. Usually you can wade the first gut, stand on the first sandbar, and cast into the second gut. Weather, wind, and tide are all factors to how you go about this. Here are some things to do to help you have a successful trip.
Look for Good Water
Look for deep guts, characterized by smooth water and a deeper green color. Look for breaks in the surf line. These signify deeper water at the sand bar where the tidal currents can move in and out. Both baitfish and gamefish will use these breaks in the sandbar to travel between the guts, so they are good places to find fish.
Spotting Baitfish Activity
When a school of hungry gamefish tears into a school of baitfish, the intended prey often cause quite a commotion in their attempt to escape. Watch the water for signs of baitfish flashing in the water or breaking the surface.
Look for Bird Activity
Birds are always looking for food, and will take advantage of the opportunity to snatch injured baitfish from the surface. If you see a group of gulls hovering over part of the surf, chances are good that there are baitfish in the area which means gamefish as well.
Surf fishing is a fun and effective way to catch some great fish 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.
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During the winter in the Jersey Shore area, cold weather and cold water can keep anglers indoors until the next season. Winter is actually still a great time to catch some great fish. Below are some tips on fishing during the winter time:
Ocean City NJ Winter Fishing
- Slow it down a bit. Fish are cold blooded animals, so in colder water their body temperature drops causing them to not be as active and feed less. They will bite less aggressively and instead patiently wait to ambush their prey, many times near the bottom of the body of water. If you are fishing an artificial bait, a small, slow crankbait or a jig fished on or close to the bottom is in order. You must be more patient as well to catch the fish.
- Look for deeper water. Many times, deeper water will mean slightly warmer water. Fish know to migrate to areas of warmer water. Deeper holes in creeks, channel cuts, and anywhere else where the water is deeper is where you are more likely to find fish.
- Locate shallow flats. On sunlit days, shallow water will tend to warm up from the sun as it reaches higher into the sky. Baitfish tend to migrate to this warmer water, causing the predator fish to come too. Days where high tide is 2-3pm are the best for the water to be warm and high enough for fish to move to.
Although more time and patience are needed when fishing in Ocean City NJ winter weather, there are plenty of fish out there just waiting to be caught. 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.
Striped Bass fishing often comes down to catching fish while trolling. Trolling for Striped Bass in New Jersey can be a very effective method to catch Striped Bass when they are not schooled up in large numbers. Often you will find a run of fish that are in broken up schools and are feeding on bunker, sand eels or herring. The trick is to mimic the size of baitfish that the Stripers are foraging on; sometimes it may be small 4-5in bait while other times it can be an 11-12in size.
The waters off New Jersey have a variety of baitfish in them depending on the time of year. We often see Sand Eels, Spearing, Anchovies, Butterfish, Herring, Mackerel or Bunker in near shore and off shore waters. Imitating the baitfish is the key to success while trolling our waters and there are many different lures available that will accomplish this goal. The first and foremost rule to trolling for Striped Bass is your speed, the SLOWER THE BETTER! Once you remember this important rule the more productive your fishing experience will be. The second rule is that a good fish finder is a must for this type of fishing. If you can’t find the bait you won’t find many Stripers.
The easiest method to imitate a small school of bait fish is the use of an umbrella rig. The last few years we have seen great production with 9ers Lures, a New England based manufacturer of umbrella rigs. What makes them unique is that they are tangle free, in comparison to traditional styled umbrella rigs. Their 6-way bar has baits directly attached at a raked back angle, making it a tangle-free fishing experience. Choose either a rig with tubes to imitate small baitfish or one with shads to imitate the larger baitfish. Troll these lures on the “flat” lines directly behind the boat; trolling them from outriggers is very impractical. You will need to use a trolling weight or downrigger to get these lures to the depth of water the Stripers are feeding in.
Another good lure that has produced consistently over the years is the Mann’s Stretch 25+ and Stretch 30+. These lures are designed with a large lip and as their name implies, will swim up to 25+ feet and 30+ feet deep respectively. You will be amazed at how quickly these lures dive to depth when you troll them. These lures should also be trolled on a “flat” line because of the pressure they put on a rod while they are trolled. I often find that the Stretch 30+ will produce more strikes than the 25+ when Bunker is the large adult size because of the profile they present.
Choose a stout rod and reel to troll these types of lures, because they apply a lot of pressure while trolled. Today’s braided super lines are a great choice for this type of trolling as they have far less drag in the water than monofilament. However, you should still use a monofilament or fluorocarbon leader to attach the lure so when reaching for the leader you don’t cut up your hands on the braid. Common sizes for the braid are from 30-50lb and leaders should be from 50-80lb.