Weakfish or Seatrout are one of the best tasting and most colorful fish in the area. They typically like to reside in bays and rivers instead of open ocean. They can usually be found along or in deep channels and are often found in schools of great numbers. Since they are usually in tight schools you will need to locate them, which isn’t always easy. Luckily, once you have located a school, it’s not uncommon to catch 20 or more weakfish. They will typically weigh just a few pounds but can get as large as 8-10 lbs. Here are some tips on catching weakfish:
- Time of Year to Catch:
- Weakfish will usually get in the area around June or July and will stay until mid September. They are usually one of the first fish to leave the area when the water begins to drop in temperature.
- How To Catch Them:
- Drifting sandworms from a drifting boat is perhaps the most popular and effective ways to catch weakfish. A three way swivel with a sinker and a 3 to 4 ft leader works well.
- Chumming from an anchored boat with Grass Shrimp is also an effective method.
- Jigging with lead headed jigs works as well. Tip your jig off with a sandworm, grass shrimp, or Fins.
- Best Places To Catch Them in NJ:
- Raritan and Sandy Hook bays have had a good amount of these species in recent years. Areas like the Raritan Reach Channel, Princess Bay and the edges of Flynns Knoll are popular.
- Barnegat bay is also a poplar area but only in specific areas.
Weakfish Fishing Tips:
- They bite the most at dusk and into the evening
- Put a fire tail rubber worm as well as a sandworm on your hook.
- Avoid heavy traffic areas because they are easily spooked.
- Once you have located the fish keep drifts in a concentrated area. These fish are usually in a dense school rather then a spread out over a large area.
- The best way to locate fish is to look for a concentration of birds. If you have a fish finder you will usually mark what looks like clouds of bait fish.
- When you chum with grass shrimp, don’t be too generous or skimpy with the shrimp. Release 5-10 shrimp at 2 to 3 minute intervals to keep a consistent slick and hold fish. Too much shrimp in the water and the fish will hang back for the easy meal and not bother to move up into the slick for your baits. Too little and your not going to hold or attract fish.
- A slight change in wind direction or tide can turn these fish on or off.
- When fishing from the shore with bait it’s best to use a float rig. It keeps the bait off the bottom and away from crabs.
For additional helpful New Jersey Shore fishing tips as well as top quality fishing bait, tackle, and other fishing supplies, check out Fin-atics. Serving the Cape May County area, they offer great equipment both in their Ocean City NJ store and online at good prices. Contact them at (609) 398-2248 or visit the website.