Best Fishing Bait and Tackle Tips

The best fishing bait and tackle tips for the beginner, intermediate, and expert fisherman can be found in one location. Gaining enough knowledge about the baits to use for specific fish will ensure that you have everything needed to catch the fish you are after. There are a few types of bait that can be used. They vary in color, shape, size, and texture to catch the eye of the fish you are fishing for; some breeds of fish prefer specific bait to another.

Best Fishing Bait and Tackle Tips

Best Fishing Bait and Tackle Tips
Best Fishing Bait and Tackle Tips

The Basics of Fishing Bait

There are a number of substances that can be used as bait. The bait can be placed on the end of a fishing hook or in a fishing trap. You can use artificial fish bait or natural fish bait. There are scents, rubs, and powders that can be added to the bait to give it a more distinct smell to attract fish in the area.

Artificial Baits

The advantages of using artificial bait is that you can use the bait again and again, until the bait is too worn out to use or a fish takes off with it. You also do not need to store it in a specific area or temperature to keep it fresh unlike natural bait. There are also disadvantages to using artificial bait, such as having to trick the fish into thinking it is actually real. There are creams and powders that you can use to allow the bait to smell real although it is not. Artificial baits should be matched with the type of fish you want to catch, certain fish enjoy certain bait.

Natural Baits

Natural bait has some disadvantages, such as trying to keep the bait fresh once you’re done fishing, and you do not want to throw the rest of the bait away. You also will have to spend more money in the end by using natural bait since you will need to replenish your supply every so often. The advantages might weigh out the disadvantages however such as how the fish are more attracted to the natural baits more over the artificial. You still need to choose the right bait for the right fish however.

Best Fishing Bait and Tackle  Tips
Best Fishing Bait and Tackle Tips

Using Fishing Bait

There are a number of fishing bait tips out there depending on what you would like to catch while fishing.

  • Keep the water type in mind when fishing. Different baits are used for salt water compared to fresh water. You will have a better chance catching a fish by using the right bait.
  • Make artificial bait look and smell more natural when fishing with it. If the fish finds out it is not an actual fish that they can eat then they will not touch it.
  • Select the right fishing time. Depending on the fish you’re trying to catch, you want to ensure that you use the right fishing time that their primary source of food comes out to play.
  • Use the correct bait. Whether you use artificial or natural bait, you want to make sure it is the right kind for the fish you’re going after, and there are many kinds to choose from.

For more helpful kayaking with dogs tips as well as kayak tackle, bait, and other fishing equipment, check out Fin-atics. Serving the South NJ area, this fishing tackle store offers quality supplies both in their Ocean City NJ store and online at good prices. Contact them at (609) 398-2248 or visit the website.

South NJ Freshwater Fishing Tips

Union Lake is southern New Jersey’s largest freshwater body of water. It is considered the premier lake in this area south NJ freshwater fishing. It has had a history of providing good fishing for a variety of species.

The lake was constructed in the 1790s, and later in 1868, it was sold to the Millville Manufacturing Company, and a new dam was built downstream of the original, and it significantly increased the size of the lake. Union Lake is located in Millville, New Jersey, right off Route 49, about 45 minutes from the Delaware Memorial Bridge. It is part of the Union Lake Wild life Management area, and is located on the Maurice River Drainage.

South NJ Freshwater Fishing

This prime south NJ freshwater fishing area and it’s surrounding properties were purchased by New Jersey Fish Game and Wildlife in 1982, and the Division reconstructed the dam in 1989, and built a fish ladder in 1990. This enabled anadromous fish to spawn above Union Lake.

Union Lake is 898 acres, with an average depth of 9 feet, with a maximum depth of 27 feet. The water in Union is highly productive due to the high fertility of the soil around the lake. It has a brown, humic color, and is subject to algal blooms in the summer. The lake develops a thermocline in the summer at about ten feet, and there is a lack of dissolved oxygen at about fifteen feet. There is a variety of vegetation, both emergent and submerged, with some lay downs and islands with lily pads throughout the lake.

There have been man made structures added also, such as Christmas tree reefs and tire reefs at various locations throughout the lake. There are two boat launches at Union Lake that are available to the public. The ramp located on the Southeast end of the lake is owned by the city of Millville. The other ramp located on the West shore of the lake has parking available for fifty car and trailer rigs, and is owned by the Division of Fish Game and Wildlife. The parking lot and ramp are fantastic, and are lighted for night time south NJ freshwater fishing also. There is a ten HP maximum on the lake. There are also shoreline angling areas around the lake.

FORAGE FISH

The main forage fish in Union Lake are Alewife and Gizzard Shad, and they are in the lake in good numbers. There are also a good population of panfish, including crappies and bluegill. There are also some Pirate perch, along with some Swamp Darters.

SPECIES AVAILABLE

Fish species found in the lake as well as many other south NJ freshwater fishing spots are largemouth and smallmouth bass, Yellow Perch, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Gizzard Shad, White Perch, Striped Bass, Chain Pickerel, Channel Catfish, and Sunfish of several varieties. The smallmouth bass population in Union was small, so the State has been doing some stocking to increase the population, but they are still greatly outnumbered by the largemouth bass. Recently anglers have been reporting better catches and larger fish up to four pounds. The Stripers that are in Union Lake are contributed to anglers releasing them from the Maurice River population. As you can see, it is a nice place for south NJ freshwater fishing.

BEST LOCATIONS

The best locations for smallmouth bass are around the dam adjacent to the sandy shoreline, across the lake by the Millville ramp, and around the rip-rap, near the stumps and deep water structure. Some of the smallmouth caught in Union Lake were around three pounds, which is a nice size for this area. The largemouth bass will hold on traditional structure in the lower end of the lake, such as the brushy areas along the shore near the Dam, and in the coves on both sides. There are also three artificial structures in this area, and they hold baitfish, Crappies, and subsequently bass.

The best lures for smallmouth bass in south nj freshwater fishing areas include tubes, small hair jigs in brown and black, and small crankbaits in crawfish colors.

Best results in all the south nj freshwater fishing areas have been with a Strike Pro USA crankbait or the Lucky Craft Fat CB.

The largemouth bass here will hit a variety of soft plastics, but the best luck is usually with small worms and Senkos by Gary Yamamoto baits. The four and five inch models have been taking big largemouth bass from these areas. About a third of the way up the lake from the dam, near the state boat ramp, there are two other artificial attractors, made of Christmas trees and tire units. These areas also hold bass. A good tactic is using medium to deep diving crankbaits in this area, and bumping the structure as much as possible. Small straight tail worms and Senko’s also produce when cast to the structure and shoreline cover in this area. In the early mornings, and late afternoon and evenings, largemouth bass have been hitting walking type baits, jerkbaits, and buzzbaits in this area as well.

The next area to try during a south nj freshwater fishing trip here would be near the upper end of the lake on the West shore of the lake. There are marsh reeds and lily pad fields in this area, and they hold a good deal of large bass and Pickerel. The best baits for here would be weedless topwater’s, such as a Top-Prop, and other buzzbaits worked around the edges of the cover. Small worms, in four inch sizes, and Senkos, cast to the edges of the deep weed lines here will produce in the daytime. Also, this year we have had a good deal of bass hit Yamamoto Spider Grubs on a light weight or rigged Texas style casted to the edges of cover. There are a variety of Spider Grubs, but ones by Gary Yamamoto seem to be quite effective. The earth tone colors are easy to match to the forage and water color.

The last place you should try is in the upper end of the lake, on the right hand side, right before it turns into a narrow, winding, swamp like area. There is a Christmas tree reef in this area, mixed with other vegetation, that you should work with five to seven inch jerkbaits, in gold/black colors, and other soft plastics.

The pads on the left side in this area also hold a good deal of bass that go to five or six pounds. Many largemouth bass were caught here by working the pads with a “Tournament Frog” in Black and Brown, and a Terminator spinnerbait in 3/8 ounce, with tandem blades, with a Golden Shiner skirt. Buzzbaits took some largemouth also from this area that exceeded six pounds! Some other good baits to try for south NJ freshwater fishing are lipless crankbaits like a Rattlin’ Rapala, and spoons in the reedy areas for Chain Pickerel and bass.

EQUIPMENT

When it comes to south NJ freshwater fishing in this area, good set ups can be a couple spinning rods, with a good reel, such as a Shimano Sustain, or Daiwa Z series, spooled with 6-8lb test P-Line. These are good for small grubs and the smaller Senkos. I also like to have a couple of good baitcasters, such as a 6 1/2 to 7 foot G.Loomis, or Kistler rod, with a medium, and a medium/Heavy action, with a Shimano Chronarch, spooled with twenty to twenty-five pound test P-Line, and a separate rod for cranking. Commonly used rods are things like a Lews Crankin’ Stick, and a G.Loomis Cranking Stick for this, with a Lews reel, spooled with 10-12 test. These reels are necessary to present the crankbaits properly, and reduce angler fatigue.

Use these tactics at Union Lake or other south NJ freshwater fishing areas this coming year, and you will increase your catch rate and your fun. Union Lake has variety of scenery and wildlife, and can provide a great day out for the whole family.

For more helpful South NJ freshwater fishing tips as well as awesome freshwater and saltwater fishing tackle, bait, and other fishing equipment, check out Fin-atics. Serving the South NJ area, this fishing tackle store offers quality supplies both in their Ocean City NJ store and online at good prices. Contact them at (609) 398-2248 or visit the website.

South NJ Freshwater Fishing Homepage

Black Drum Fishing Tips

The Black Drum is a large inshore fish that can often exceed 70 pounds. They have recently been reported as far north as the Sandy Hook but Delaware Bay is where they are most commonly found in large numbers. Some black drum are caught in the surf each year, but most are caught by boat. There are many charter boats in the Cape May area that specialize in catching black drum. The best months are May and June. Equipment needed to catch them can be purchased at almost any bait and tackle shop.

Bait and Tackle Shop Tips – Catching Black Drum

Ocean City Bait and Tackle Shop | Fin-Atics

Catching Them:
It’s best to fish from an anchored boat. Use a fish finder rig with just enough weight to hold bottom. The most effective baits are whole fresh clams or shedder crabs if you can find them at the bait and tackle shop. It is recommended to use a 3 foot 50-80 pound leader with an 8/0 – 12/0 hook. Cast your line out and let it settle to the bottom. Reel in slack until you come tight to the sinker. Set the pole in a holder in free spool with the line out alarm on. If a fish picks it up give, them a little slack. If you’re fishing a J hook click your reel into gear and set the hook sharply with a upward rod motion. If you are fishing a circle hook simply click the reel in gear and let the fish hook itself. These fish travel in tight schools so if you catch one there are sure to be many more so stay alert. The best place to find them is of the coast of the Cape May area. 
Basic Black Drum Fishing Tips:
  • Use fresh clams rather then frozen if you can get them at the local bait and tackle shop.
  • Shedder crabs work well too, and be purchased at almost any bait and tackle shop
  • You need a fairly heavy set up; 20–50 pound class rod and reels are best.
  • Fish travel in schools and move around a lot. When you get your shot you have to take full advantage so have some pre tied rigs made up so you can get back in the water quickly.

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

Ocean City NJ Bait and Tackle Shop Homepage

 

Saltwater Fishing Tackle & Tips for Blackfish

Cape May County Saltwater Fishing Tackle | Ocean City Fishing SuppliesBlackfish are a popular fish to try and catch in the Jersey Shore area. are usually caught in the early spring and late fall. Green crabs and Filddler crabs from an anchored boat works well. Any rock pile in the bay or ocean will hold fish at one time or another. Locating and catching these fish requires a good bit of knowledge and skill and the proper saltwater fishing tackle. It’s not an easy task. Fishing the ocean is some what tricky since the fishing is done by locating wrecks and rock piles and proper saltwater fishing tackle is recommended. It’s best to fish from a charter or party boat that knows the wrecks and how to fish them. Blackfish are notorious bait stealers. You have to be fast. Some sharpies say you have to set the hook before the fish bite. It’s a great way to cure your fishing itch over the long winter. The Easter holiday usually kicks off the season so make sure you’ve stocked up on your saltwater fishing tackle. Here is some helpful information on catching blackfish.

Blackfish & Saltwater Fishing Tackle Tips

  • Time of Year to Catch: Blackfish usually like cold water so late fall/early winter and the beginning of spring are the best times.
  • How To Catch Them & Saltwater Tackle & Bait to Use: 
  1. Green crabs or fiddler crabs are the best baits fished from a anchored boat. As for your saltwater fishing tackle, a 3 way swivel with a sinker and a 6 to 8 inch leader works well.
  2. You have to be right on the wreck or in the rocks or you won’t catch.
  3. Best fished from a boat or from a rocky shore line.
  • Best Places To Catch Them:
  1. Any natural or artificial reef is a good spot.
  2. Any rock pile in the ocean or bay is likely to hold fish at one time of the year or another.
  • Tips to Conserve Saltwater Fishing Tackle:
  1. Make sure to bring plenty of rigs. You’ll need them since you’ll be fishing in areas full of snags.
  2. Use a pole with a strong tip so you can get a good fast hook set.
  3. Some people like to tie the sinker on with lighter weight mono then the line your fishing with. If the sinker gets snagged it can break free and allow you to save the rest of the rig.

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

Cape May County Saltwater Fishing Tackle Homepage

Fishing Tackle Store Tips – Catching Striped Bass

Are you excited to catch some striped bass this season? This fishing tackle store sure is! Striped bass are on a come back in the Jersey Shore due to conservation from a few decades ago. They are perhaps the most sought after fish in the Jersey Shore area because of their size, close proximity to shore and their long strong drag wrenching strikes. They can be caught along the beaches, bays, and tidal rivers and rarely go more than a few miles from shore. Let’s talk about when they are around and how to get ’em!

Info On Striped Bass – Fishing Tackle Store

Fishing Tackle Store In Ocean City NJ | Jersey Shore Bait and Tackle

Time of Year to Catch:
Striped bass usually arrive in mid to late April and will sometimes hang around until early winter. smaller stripers are usually more plentiful in the spring and the larger ones are usually caught in the fall.
How To Catch Them:
  • This fishing tackle store and any avid angler would recommend drifting live eels or sandworms usually accounts for the most fish.
  • Sandworms in the spring and eels in the fall is a good strategy to go by.
  • Both baits can be worked by tying a rig using a 3-way swivel. Tie the 3-way to the line coming off your pole. On the remaining 2 swivel loops tie a 12-18 inch dropper for your sinker, and a 5-6 foot leader for your hook. A 25 lb. leader is a good happy medium since Stripers don’t have teeth and you want to keep line visibility down to a minimum. Use the lightest sinker that will allow you to hold bottom. Let your sinker hit the bottom and continue to bounce as you drift. Keep your conventional reel in free spool with the clicker on. When a fish hits the clicker will sound. Let the fish run for a few seconds, engage the reel and set the hook with a sharp strong motion. When fishing with an eel it’s a good idea to let the Bass run a little longer to make sure the eels entire length is taken.
  • Chunking from an anchored boat is also an effective method to fish for striped bass. Toss out Bunker chunks to attract fish while dropping back pieces of cut bunker on your hook.
  • Trolling tubes, jigs, bunker spoons, plugs or umbrella rigs work well also. This method is highly effective for locating fish. Some sharpies will troll to locate the fish and then anchor or drift in the area with bait. In order to keep your trolling lures down at the right depth it is usually necessary to troll with heavy drail sinkers or wire line. Wire line trolling is most effective. Some sharpies also use down riggers. Make sure you use at least a 6 ft mono leader when trolling for striped bass because they tend to be line shy. Stripers like a very slow troll, so maintain a very slow speed. If you can’t slow your boat down enough either drag a sea anchor or a 5 gallon bucket.

Any supplies in the info above can be easily purchased at any fishing tackle store.

Best Places To Catch Them:
Jersey Shore party boats charter boats will fish for Striped Bass. Some fish exclusively in the evening. From north to south the most popular party and charter boat areas for Stripers are Leonardo, Atlantic Highlands, Shark River & Belmar, Brielle & Point Pleasant, Barnegat Light and Cape May. If you have your own boat and a good fishing tackle store to go to, here are some popular areas

  • Sandy Hook Area – Sandy Hook Rip and channel, Flynns Knoll, Roamer Shoal, Schrewsbury Rocks.
  • Point Pleasant – Manasquan Inlet jetty and rock jetties along the shore
  • Barnegat Light – Along rock jetties on LBI and Island Beach State Park. Barnegat Inlet jetties
  • Cape May – Cape May rips

Extra Fishing Tackle Store Tips for Striped Bass

  • When chunking be sure not to be too generous or skimpy with the chunks. It’s a good idea to release 4 or 5 chunks every 2-3 minutes to keep a consistent slick to attract and hold fish. Too many chunks and the fish will hang back for the easy meal and not bother to move up into the slick near your hook. Too little chum and your not going to hold or attract fish. Use fresh rather then frozen bunker if you can get it. One bunker is cut into about 4 to 5 chunks. Don’t waste the head it’s good bait since its bony and will stay on the hook longer.
  • When trolling, speed is critical for Bass. Between 2.0 and 2.5 knots is a good speed. When trolling bunker spoons slow it down until you see your pole pulsing in an erratic side to side and bobbing motion.
  • When party boat fishing you usually drift so try and stay in the bow or stern so you can stay on the side where the lines are drifting.
  • When fishing from shore with bait it’s best to use a float rig. It keeps the bait off the bottom and away from crabs. You can purchase one from almost any fishing tackle store. Cut bunker and clams are best after a storm and live eels are optimal at night.
  • If you’re surf casting with lures you need only cast beyond the breaking waves. Striped bass love the suds because of the structure and water motion. If you plan to fish on jetties use jetty spikes since jetties are usually very slippery and can lead to injury or death if you lose your balance.
  • Always look for rips and tears in the water because striped bass are attracted to structure and water motion.

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

Jersey Shore Fishing Tackle Store Homepage

Weakfish Fishing Tips

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:

Catching Weakfish

Ocean City NJ Fishing Tackle | Jersey Shore fishing Gear

                                                                        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.

Jersey Shore Fishing Tackle Homepage

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

Ocean City NJ Fishing Equipment

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.

Jersey Shore Fishing Equipment Homepage

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

Ocean City Fishing Supplies

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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Surf Fishing Tips | Bait and Tackle Store

South Jersey and the Ocean City NJ area has great backwater fishing through its network of bays, creeks and lagoons. The boat fishing in the region is excellent as well. Offshore humps serve as staging areas for migrating stripers and the water exchange at the large inlets form areas where bass stop to feed in the spring and fall. The surf fishing, on the other hand, isn’t so great. The flat, slowly sloping beaches and shallow water would make most surfcasters to opt for LBI and parts north. Despite those factors, large striped bass still move through in the spring and fall, and anglers may be able to intercept them. Today we will talk about the necessary supplies you will need from a local bait and tackle store.

Ocean City Surf Fishing Tips | Cape May County Bait and Tackle Store

Baiting up: Successfully fishing the South Jersey beachfront requires a “bait and wait” approach. Clams are the most used bait. Fresh bunker also works, and will help keep from hooking some of the less desirable fish like dogfish and skates. Fresh or even live mullet is another great choice.

At a bait and tackle store, you will need to pick up more than a 4oz weights to go surf fishing in South Jersey. In fact, if 4 ounces isn’t holding bottom, it’s probably too churned up to hook something. A 3oz pyramid sinker usually can do the perfect job.

The best rig depends on the bait. Mullet and bunker are best fished on a fish-finder rig because the sliding sinker will allow the fish to eat these larger baits without feeling any resistance. Clams will work on either a fish-finder or a high-low rig as stripers inhale these soft baits immediately, allowing an angler to set the hook as soon as he feels a bump.

While few anglers try it, live eels fished off the jetties can be very productive. I’ve landed stripers in excess of 40 pounds on live eels off the tips of the jetties at the north end of Ocean City. The jetties at Great Egg Harbor and Townsend inlets are also great places to fish live eels.

Rods should be 10 or 11 feet long and rated for 2 to 6 ounces. Reels with a bait-feeder feature like the Shimano Baitrunner are always useful. For line, 20-pound-test monofilament or 50-pound-test braided line is just fine. For any supplies that you are lacking, you can easily pick them up from any local bait and tackle store.
Plug Option: While most of the stripers caught in the South Jersey surf fall to bait, there are a number of places where lures work quite well. The best plugging beaches tend to have well-defined structure. Jetties, groynes, and outflow pipes that stretch out from a beach all are good areas to use lures. Close to inlets, the moving water creates rips and current seams that provide ambush points for stripers and great places for fishermen to fish a jig or lure. For lures, leave the big plugs and pencil poppers for your trips up north. Instead, try buying minnow-style swimming plugs, small metal lip plugs, small to medium-sized poppers, 4 to 6-inch swim shads, and 6 to 8-inch soft plastic baits from a local bait and tackle store.
When plugging the surf, casting next to the jetty has usually resulted in more success than casting from the jetty. Bass will often be tight to the rocks waiting to ambush any baitfish or crabs that come out into the open. Walking from jetty to jetty at sunrise, casting a popper on each side is one of the best ways to hook up.
On the tips of the jetties, cast a minnow-style plug up-current and retrieve it slowly so the current swings it around the front of the jetty. There is often a striper or two on the down-current side of the jetty tip waiting to pounce on any baitfish swept past in the current. Some of my biggest stripers were hooked using this technique with a black Bomber after dark. Away from the jetties, sandy areas can be productive for plugging in the fall when mullet and peanut bunker move along the shore, bringing feeding stripers with them.
Lure fishing these beaches and jetties is best accomplished with an 8- to 9-foot rod rated for ½ to 2-ounce lures. Long casts are rarely needed, and longer rods can sometimes be a hindrance when fishing around jetties. Braided line of 30-pound-test with a 30-pound-test fluorocarbon leader is highly recommended.

Fin-atics is a Ocean City NJ based bait and tackle store that offers a huge variety of fishing gear and kayaks both in store and online. They serve the Jersey Shore area in towns such as Ocean City, Lower, Middle, Cape May, Wildwood, Woodbine, Avalon, Upper, Dennis Township, Stone Harbor, West Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, North Wildwood, Cape May Point, West Cape May, Sea Isle City, and many more. Contact them today at 1-866-224-2248 or visit their website.

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Ocean City Saltwater Fishing – Spring Time Tips

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

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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.

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