Winter Is Coming


Three weeks to go for the Brinkman family. Please don’t forget us for your Christmas shopping. And again any gift certificates sold will be good with the new owner taking over the 5th of January. Our doors will be open on the 2nd and 3rd but will be cash only and no licenses. Again if you going to fish in the early part of January please get you licenses before the end of the year. THEY ARE ON SALE NOW!! Also a great Christmas present.

Decent week up the mountains this past week. Weather was great and the hunting over all was pretty good. Myself I got a 201 black bear. Our club we had 5 bucks and 1 doe. Not the best week but the great weather made up for everything.

When the winds are not keeping the boats docked up the striper fishing down the shore has been on fire. Most of the best fishing is from LBI up to Sandy Hook and in the Raritan Bay. Most of these bass have been hitting Mojo Rigs, Big shad bodies, 5 and 7 ounce Gator spoons, diamond jigs, umbrella rigs, bunker spoons and snagging and dropping bunker. Limits of 20 to 40 pound fish were caught all week long. Now the guys fishing the beach things have not been as good. Here guys throwing shad bodies, deadly dicks, diamond jigs and crankbaits have been catching some 20 to 30 inch fish. As you come down the coast the stripers fishing gets slower. I talked to Fred down at Wildwood and he said other than the smaller fish in the back bay and a few fish in the rips it has been dead down there. And a few guys out of Atlantic City are catching a bass here and there but nothing to write home about. But if you are fishing south off shore sea bass fishing has been pretty good. Lots of small fish but a few decent 3-pound fish mixed in. And off the jetties plenty of smaller sea bass and blackfish have been hitting crabs and clams. For bigger sea bass Barnegat north has been the best with limits of fish 3 to 6 pounds, blackfish 3 to 8 pounds and some nice cod mixed in. And for the best fishing off New York and Massachusetts some monster sea bass, cod and porgies are still hitting in great numbers. Keith fishing off Delaware coast said there are tons of smaller stripers hitting smaller spoons, bucktails and Gulp mullet. He picked up over 100 fish in the past week all 18 to 22 inches. Up in the Delaware Bay George picked up 1-keeper stripers drifting bunker heads just below Money Island. He also had several good run offs without hooking up.

Nockamixon had a pretty good week with muskies 21 to 30 inches. Bigger spinners, jerk baits and Whopper Ploppers were working best. John again fishing off the docks picked up a good amount of crappies fishing tubes and shiners. Couple guys had some decent bass fishing the upper end of Core Creek with power worms, rattle traps and chatter baits. One picture was of a fish 20 inches a bit over 5 pounds. In the main lake plenty of perch and bluegills hitting wax worms, mealworms and smaller jigs. In the spillway one fisherman picked up a couple smaller largemouth bass with live minnows. The landscaper picked up a bunch of smaller bass, bluegills and catfish fishing the shopping center lake with minnows and nightcrawlers. Giving’s Pond a couple guys did pretty good on bass 1 to 3 pounds fishing Ned rigs, smaller spinner baits, plastic worms and Senko worms. They are also catching a few decent crappies on this same lake with live minnows. Penn Warner has been a mixed bag with plenty of perch and pickerel hitting live minnows along the shoreline. Not the boat guys have been doing very well with largemouth bass 2 to 4 pounds with crankbaits, spinner baits, plastic worms and blade baits.

Only one report from the Pennypack with this customer picking up 5 trout in a couple mornings with mealworms, power bait and trout magnets. A few bluegills mixed in. A couple guys fishing Haunted Lane doing well with catfish fishing chunked eels and nightcrawlers. Further up the creek below the Boulevard one fisherman picked up a couple 8 to 12 pound carp fishing Uncle Josh carp bait. In the Skippack one fisherman had a pretty good weekend catching rock bass and bluegills with bead head nymphs looking for a trout. Charlie fished the Tohickon catching a few bluegills looking for some bass.

The upper river has really picked up for walleyes fishing minnows, shiners and jigs from Point Pleasant down to New Hope. One fisherman picked up 11 fish last Tuesday with 3 fish over 20 inches. Jimmy off the New Hope wing dam picked up 2 walleyes and 1 smallmouth bass last weekend fishing minnows in the slack water. And I talked to one person who told me how good he did this past summer for flathead catfish fishing the upper river from the Water Gap down to Trenton. He picked up over 150 fish this past summer some with live bluegills but also had fish with white perch and live eels. His one buddy fishing down around the airport who picked up flathead up to 40 pounds this past summer all with live bluegills.

Now the lower river has not changed with a bunch of catfish still hitting nightcrawlers, bunker, chunked eels and shrimp. Most of these fish have been 1 to 4 pounds. Back in Dredge Harbor the bass, yellow perch and crappies picked up fishing jigs tipped with live minnows around the rocks and pilings. Same in the Neshaminy Marina I have a few guys fishing off the backs of their boats catching some good size yellow perch with live minnows and nightcrawlers.

Schuylkill reports really dropped off this past week. Ron is still catching a few smallmouth bass all with live minnows up around Norristown. Joe said quite a few smaller catfish and white perch hitting nightcrawlers, shrimp and bagels below the dam. At Gladwyne the catfish crew is now down to a couple fisherman catching 20 catfish this past week all on worms and chunked eels. And a report I read online about one fisherman picking up a few bigger catfish up in the Reading area on live bluegills so they would have to be flatheads.

Jersey lakes and river really picked up in the past couple weeks. Larry fishing out of Crowley’s Landing picked up all kinds of fish. Fishing minnows and twister tails caught a bunch of pickerel in the coves. Then fishing further down river with white and bunker shad he picked up 50 stripers 15 to 22 inches. Jerry in his lakes has been crushing pickerel, bass, perch and crappies with minnows, spinners and twister tails. Richie said plenty of pickerel in Lake Lenape with some decent perch and pickerel in the river. Again his buddies have been fishing Colin’s Cove crushing smaller stripers with shad bodies, twister tails, spoons and crankbaits. Nothing over 24 inches. Tom picked up a 41 inch musky this past week with plenty of pickerel and smallies up to 5 pounds on Lake Hapatcong. Jerk baits and surface buzzers working best. Dennisville Lake has been very good for pickerel fishing live minnows around the shorelines. I even had one fisherman on the Pequest catch a few smaller rainbows with spinners.

Well looks like the weather is changing for the worse. Lets hope this winter holds and the fishing stays good. Bill


Fisherman Magazine Update

While crowds have lightened up heading into the second weekend of December, we’re still hearing of quite a few “personal best” fish being registered on both the striped bass and blackfish grounds throughout the region. The largest of the stripers were being trolled off South Jersey and into Delaware before the wind and rain this week, from a mile off the beach out to the three-mile line. Plugs, spoons and mojos have done well for trollers, though hot bunker schools are still popping up all over and yielding fishing. Still stripers in the Central and Northern range too, and Jersey Shore surfcasters continue to score on bunker as well as plugs and tins (with teasers). Wreck reports this week have blackfish on the chew in 35 to 50 feet of water off the Central Coast, while Delaware sites 10 and 11 are still giving up some good fish. While many party boats are looking to the snags for tautog this weekend, the black sea bass run continues through December as well. If you’re boat’s in dry storage and you’re looking for a final inning striper, best bet this week is turn to the South Jersey for-hire fleet as they run and gun on the 30- and 40-pound bass on their southern run.

While officially entering the 2017 holiday season, South Jersey and Delaware anglers are beginning to see glad tidings with jumbo stripers on several tides. Fish have been trolled up, jigged and livelined from Wreck Inlet down to the famed Rips of Cape May, with a 50-plus incher registered this week out of Brigantine. While there are still pockets of good-sized fish throughout the reporting area, much of the surf bite has been about micro bass which are there in great numbers one day, “on the sly” the next. While there remains a chance or ten to score a monster on the chunk or plug, scaling down now with tins and teasers on lighter tackle can produce quantity over quality when conditions are right. Bass hunters are anxiously awaiting signs of herring and sand eels this week, while the wrecks continue to produce double-digit size blackfish, sea bass and porgies for bottom fishermen looking to score big.

Happy Thanksgiving!!


I will be heading up state for buck season so there won’t be a report next week. And with the heavy winds all week long there is not too much to report this past week.

The shore has still been the hot ticket for stripers, sea bass and blackfish when the weather allows it. The Raritan Bay has been one of the hot spots for stripers mid 20 inch fish up to mid 40 pound fish. The most popular way of fishing has been snagging and dropping live bunker. But they are also doing great with big metal spoon, diamond jigs, bunker spoons, Mojo rigs and Umbrella rigs with tubes or shads. Frank was up Tuesday catching 17 bass with 4 fish limit all over 25 pounds. He did best with trolling Mojo rigs. Paul was also up on Tuesday catching 4 fish with one 52 inch 43 pounds jigging a 9-ounce Krock spoon. Off the beach at Sandy Hook Pete and his crew had a great weekend catching 8 bass up to 18 pounds, 7 bluefish up to 9 pounds and a bunch of junk fish. Bunker, mullet and diamond jigs were working best. Down off Barnegat plenty of bass and blue were caught with all these same baits. Here smaller fish up to mid 20 pound fish were also caught. A few guys off Atlantic City also had a few stripers 28 to 30 inches with Deadly Dicks fished on a teaser rig. Here also off the jetties plenty of smaller sea bass and blackfish with crab, jigs and strip clams. The best sea bass fishing is in North Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. In these waters sea bass up to 6 pounds are being caught with clams, squid, strip mackerel and chartreuse and white Gulp mullet. And the further north you go the better chance you have on cod and tilefish.

Several good reports on the upper Delaware River for smallies and walleyes. These few guys crushed bass and walleyes from Stockton up to Bull’s Island with live minnows, bucktails, Zoom Grubs and Rapala crankbaits. Now the numbers on smallies are dropping off but the fish that were caught were running 14 to 19 inches. Now fishing along the shoreline across from Bryan ramp Larry picked up 27 smallies and a 19-inch walleye fishing Monday evening. All the bass were 10 to 13 inches and all caught with minnows. Off the New Hope wing dam still some decent numbers of smallies hitting minnows, nightcrawlers and grubs.

The lower river has not changed much with plenty of catfish hitting bunker, chunked eels, chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Most of these fish have been running 1 to 4 pounds. Now there were a few bass picked up back in Dredge Harbor with live minnows, Senko worms and Zoom lizards.

Just talked to one fisherman that had a great week on carp on the Schuylkill River in the Gray’s Ferry section. Different boilies pop up and home made carp bait brought in fish up to 20 pounds. Same water Joe said the catfish and yellow perch are hitting nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Up above the dam the catfish crew said fishing dropped off big time this past week with the cold nights. Over the entire week 8 to 15 guys ended up with 17 catfish 1 to 7 pounds.

Only on report from the Pennypack with this fisherman catching 1 trout, 4 bluegills and a 6-pound carp fishing Roosevelt Boulevard. Corn and mealworms were his bait of choice. The fish hatchery was pretty good for 1 to 2 pound bass fishing live minnows for a few different guys. Core Creek still been very good for bass fishing the upper end with spinner baits, Senko worms and mid range crankbaits. Nockamixon bass fishing really picked up with 4 different reports. One fisherman off the dam picked up smallies up to 6 pounds with live minnows. His buddy fished up the lake a bit catching largemouth bass up to 4 pounds all with rubber skirted jigs tipped with brush hogs. Third report came from John who is still doing well off the docks with 12 to14 inch crappies fishing small tubes, twister tails and marabou jigs. Now the last guy did nothing on bass but drifting live minnows he picked up 11 pickerel up to 18 inches.

Jerry still doing well on his Jersey lakes with crappies, yellow perch, bass and pickerel fishing live minnows and twister tails on the different lakes off Routes 55 and 47. Richie picked up a couple 3 pound bass with 7-inch power worms on Lake Lenape with a bunch of pickerel. His buddies down the river are crushing stripers 18 to 26 inches with shad bodies and metal spoons. Batso Lake one fisherman did very well with pickerel, bass and perch fishing minnows, shiners and yellow twister tails. He talked to a fisherman that picked up pickerel up to 20 inches in some of the cut offs on the Mullica River with bigger CP Swings and Rooster Tails. Tom started back out for Muskies fishing the entire week on Lake Hapatcong fishing big spoons, jerk baits, big Rapala’s and bigger Whopper Ploppers. Six days of fishing he landed 6 fish 24, 27, 27, 30,31 and the big fish were 39 inches. He also picked up over 20 pickerel and 2 good size smallies.

I know it is a short report but that is all I heard. Lets hope this wind lays down to allow the boats to get off shore more often. Good luck, Bill


Fished the Cape May reef early in the week throwing all kinds of white and bunker shad bodies, 3 to 5 ounce metal spoons and even fished a dozen live eels. After 8 hours we caught 25 stripers without one keeper. The only keeper I seen caught was trolled up with a large deep crankbait and this fish was not much over 30 inches. Bob C.

Fisherman Magazine Update

The 2016 Thanksgiving holiday at the Jersey Shore was marked by epic bass on bunker blitzes at the Jersey Shore; with northwest winds in the forecast for Thursday and more westerlies on Friday, the conditions for 2017 are shaping up for a possible surfside sequel. Inshore boaters are turning to live bunker, while trollers are working Majas, mojos & plugs along the fence in hopes of a big score; surfcasters are tossing swim shads, topwaters, and swimmers, while also dunking a few bunker chunks along the way. A few bass are also taking live spot or eels in the backwaters of South Jersey. New Jersey and Delaware party and charter boats alike are on the hunt for black sea bass and tautog this weekend, with several double-digit whitechins reported throughout the region in recent days. This week we celebrate a uniquely American holiday with the family while giving thanks for nature’s bounty – with a little luck, perhaps we’re also celebrating with a bountiful little bite, by beach and by boat!

Stripers, Sea Bass and Blackfish!!


Another week out hunting myself with nothing to show for it. Winterizing the boat next week so my fishing will be done till next spring. Buck season will be here soon and with bear open the same week maybe here I will come home with something.

Sent out that little newsletter to put everyone minds at ease that that Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle will be around for many years to come. Thanks for the entire letter and replies on Face Book for our years of service. Once the change takes place I hope people will come in and introduce themselves and give the new guy insurance that he made a great purchase.

Less and less to report with the cooler and windy weather we had this past week. But the shore has been the hot spot with the Raritan Bay just full of stripers, bluefish and bunker. Now these bass have been ranging from 24 inches up to mid 40 pound fish. And they are being caught in so many different ways. Snagging and dropping bunker has been one of the most popular ways but jigging 5 to 9 ounce Krock spoons, jigging 3 to 6 ounce diamond jigs and trolling umbrella rigs, Mojo rigs, bunker spoons or Mann’s stretch 25 and 30 are working well also. Frank fishing in the Haitian picked up 17 stripers up to 32 pounds and 15 bluefish up to 12 pounds all with Mojo Rigs Sunday afternoon. Rich had a good day on Monday with 9 bass up to 37 pounds and lost count of bluefish up to 10 pounds with Krock spoons and diamond jigs. For everyone interested I received some gold diamond jigs in with 8/0 tubes. I had so many requests I special ordered. Now out front in the ocean striper bite has been just as good with some bigger fish. Here I saw a couple pictures of bass mid 30 pounds up to and over 50 pounds. These fish are mostly hitting Mojo Rigs and metal spoon.   Further down the coast the striper fishing slows up a bit with smaller fish. Now this does not mean there are no fish. Off Brigantine one fisherman picked up 4 bass on the north point with bunker and Deadly Dicks. Russ at Brick picked up 2 keeper bass both with Deadly Dick with an eel teaser rig. He said there were fish being caught here and there all day long. Down at Atlantic City one fisherman picked up several smaller bass in the back bay with SP Minnows and poppers. Cape May only one report of a 26-inch bass caught under the bridge with a 5 in Fin-S fish. Now off the beaches of New York and Connecticut tons of stripers and blues hitting metal, crankbaits, poppers and chunked bunker. I have had a few reports of 5 to 25 fish per man both off the shore and in boats. Now the sea bass fishing has been the next best thing and with black fishing opening again this week guys should be coming in with great reports. North Jersey all the way up to Massachusetts limits of 3 to 5 pound sea bass, blackfish 3 to 8 pound and even some cod are being caught on these trips.

Freshwater reports are lacking this past week. Penn Warner still hot for perch, pickerel and bass. Chuck and Jay still picking up a few perch with one nice walleye this past week all with minnows along the shoreline. Now a couple of the boat guys have been catching bass up to 4 pounds and plenty of pickerel 17 to 20 inches with minnows, crankbaits, spinner baits and jigs. Core Creek has also been very good for bass fishing live minnows and crankbaits. Jay had several days in double digits on largemouth bass fishing live minnows. Geri fished the upper end with Spro Little Johns catching a 3 ½ and 4 ½ pound bass early in the week. Jerry still doing well with smallies, pickerel and yellow perch fishing minnows in Marsh Creek.   He had one buddy fish Struble Lake Sunday all day only catching a few smaller crappies. Al and his son fished Green Lane Reservoir Sunday evening doing great on bigger crappies along the roadways. Minnows and smaller grubs working best.

Only one good report from the Pennypack with this fisherman catching 1 rainbow and a bunch of bluegills fishing mealworms and power baits above the Boulevard. One other report from the lower part of the creek with this fisherman catching a couple carp with corn and carp baits. He had 4 fish 9 to 14 pounds. Charlie took advantage of the nice weather on Tuesday and fished the Tohickon catching several smallies, rock bass and bluegills all with woven body nymphs. Charlie said by days end he had about 25 fish.

Several great reports from the Susquehanna from Duncannon down to Harrisburg. Sam drifting from Clemson Island down to Duncannon Monday picked up 75 bass and 3 walleyes all with minnows and twister tails. He said some fish were 4 pounds and better. Steve fishing the ledges at Duncannon with minnows, bucktails and salty spiders picked up over 200 fish this past week. Each day he caught 3to to 50 fish with minnows, Zoom grubs and top water plugs. Another fisherman down around the Statue of Liberty has been crushing fish with blade baits with smallies up to 19 inches.

Our upper river slowed down quite a bit with only a few guys doing well on smallies along the wall across from Byran. Drifting minnows and throwing grubs has brought these guys 25 fish a boat with most fish 12 to 15 inches. Down the river at the Stockton Bridge some good smallies and walleyes hitting minnows in the fast water above the bridge. And off the New Hope wing dam several nice bass are still being caught with live minnows. The lower river this past week was pretty much a catfish bite with guys picking up 2 to 5 pound catfish with bunker, shrimp, bagels and chicken livers.

Some great reports on carp in the Schuylkill River. These guys have been catching as many as 1 to 5 carp a day with fish 15 to 28 pounds. Boilies and different home made carp baits are working best for these guys. The catfish crew still catching plenty of 2 to 5 pound catfish with shrimp, chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Again no flatheads from these guys. Further down the river Joe said catfish, yellow and white perch and smaller stripers with nightcrawlers, chicken livers and bagels.

Jersey Lakes and rivers are really picking up for bass, pickerel, perch and crappies. Jerry fishing his bunch of lakes with minnows has been crushing perch, crappies and pickerel. Richie said still plenty of pickerel hitting in Lake Lenape with minnows, shiners, twister tails and spinners. Below the dam in the Egg Harbor River some decent yellow perch hitting grubs, shiners and grass shrimp. At the Sweetwater Casino one fisherman picked up 20 pickerel all with live minnows. These fish were 15 to 21 inches. Mixed in were a few smaller bass and crappies. John wrapped up on Union but could not pass up the good weather this past week so he headed back down. If 4 hours he picked up 11 pickerel and 2 bass all with twister tails, spinner baits and weedless frogs.

Well that is all I have for you this week. Good luck and get those reports in. Bill

Fisherman Magazine Update

Another couple of 50-pound class bass have been registered along the Northern and Central Jersey coast in the past week, as boaters continue to score on hot schools of bunker busting stripers. Filling the live well with bait has been the best bet for hitting up pods of harassed baits; surface plugs, swim shads and trolled offerings continue to score big catches as well. Surfcasters are running the coastal roads from Sandy Hook to IBSP chasing schools of fish with topwaters, while from Barnegat to Cape May and beyond it’s been primarily a bunker chunk or clam “stick and wait” game. In our November 8th video forecast we said “NW winds in the forecast throughout the day on Friday” could be “just what we needed to kick start the striped bass action” along the coast; our weather forecast for November 15th shows yet another round of gusting NW winds is expected through this Friday as well, which could put more fish on the move along their southerly migration. While it’s been a pick for many striper fishermen throughout the region, signs are there for a good dose of heavy-duty action in our forecast area this weekend. New Jersey tautog limits have gone up to six fish this week; in Delaware it’s a four-fish bag. Expect a few hogs in the reports as charter and party boats hit wrecks untouched in recent months.

Brinkman’s Still Open!!

I would like to ask a big favor of all our customers to help us get the word out that Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle is still open for business and will continue to be so.

We have sold the business to Mike who will continue to keep the Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle name and website. Mike has been running an online bucktail, jig, and rig business and wanted to make the transition into the brick and mortar part of the business.

Bruce, Helen, and myself will continue to run the business until December 31 and Mike will take over on January 5th. Those 4 days we will be closed for the transition. Bruce and Helen will be retiring but I will be hanging around for a while to help Mike get up and running.

Fishing licenses will go on sale in the middle of December and we will continue to carry them until the end of the month. If you will be fishing in January please come in early to get your license as it may take a week or so to get the new system up and running in January. Please try to not buy online, even if you have to go to another local license dealer.

Any existing gift certificates, deposits and credits will be forward to Mike to keep the Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle name and reputation up and running. Anyone that is looking for gift certificates for Christmas will be good for next year’s sales.

On behalf of the entire Brinkman family, we want to thank you for your years of service and hope that it continues for many more years to come. Help us get the word out that Brinkman’s is still open for business!