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!

Striper Blitz in the Raritian


Between a show up in Connecticut and having to work I did not get out fishing or hunting this past week. And with this change of weather I’m going to winterize the boats and stick to hunting and of the good days off.

Saltwater fishing this past week really picked up. Everyone fishing the Raritan Bay and off Sandy Hook just crushed the stripers this past week. Steve fishing close to the shoreline in the Raritan Bay picked up over 50 stripers 20 to 34 inches all on shad bodies. Frank fishing out of one of the rivers on the bay picked up over 100 fish 24 to 31 inches between 4 guys. He caught most of the fish with shad bodies but also did well with 3-ounce metal spoons. Now further out in the bay guys trolling Mojo Rigs, bunker spoons and throw 5 and 7-ounce metal spoons picked up bass 26 to 48 inches. They were also doing allot of snagging and dropping bunker. Out front I had guys picking up stripers 20 to mid 40 pound fish with metal spoon, umbrella rigs and Mojo’s. As you come down the coast in front of Barnegat and Brielle some good numbers of stripers in the 20 to mid 30 inch fish hitting shad bodies, metal spoons and umbrella rigs. All the back bays are also loaded with stripers but most of these fish are in the 20 to 28 inch range hitting shad bodies, poppers, bunker and clams. Fred fishing grassy sounds picked up over 80 fish this past week without a single keeper. Next to the stripers sea bass and black fishing has been extremely good. If your fishing south there is plenty of fish hitting top and bottom rigs with clams, squid and strip mackerel. Most of these guys are talking up 30 fish with 6 to 8 to bring home. Mid section of the state the size and number pick up but not many guys are coming home with limits. Now as you hit north Jersey, New York and Massachusetts plenty of limits of sea bass, black fish 6 to 8 pounds and a cod here and there. Here strip mackerel, squid and clams are working best for rigs with lots of guys fishing diamond jigs for some of the really big fish. These same waters there are still some big porgies hitting also.

The upper river slowed down quite a bit after the rain but still some good numbers of smallies still hitting minnows, grubs, tubes and top water lures. Problem now is the river is just full of leaves so you spend a good part of your day cleaning off your lines. Now no monster fish but lots of 14 to 17 inch bass hitting with a few 17 to 22 inch walleyes mixed in. If you’re looking for big smallies the Susquehanna River is on fire with fish 2 to 6 pounds. These fish are all over minnows but they guys are also doing well with grubs, tubes, salty spiders, Rapala’s and top water lures. Clemson Island down to Duncannon has been where I’m getting most of my reports with these guys catching 25 to 50 fish a trip with lots of 14 to 29 inch bass. Down at Harrisburg I had one fisherman wading with minnows catching 14 bass, 1 walleye and a small musky last weekend. Forgot to mention Kevin at the Water Gap said the smallmouth bass fishing dropping off quick but some decent walleyes and even a 37-inch musky were caught this past week. The walleyes have been hitting bucktails tipped with Gulp minnows and the musky was caught on a live river chub.

Trout in the Pennypack is also dropping off with most guys catching a fish here and there with wax worms, trout magnets, spinners and power baits. I had one fisherman out at the Wissahickon Monday catching 3 mice rainbows all on Phoebe spoons. One hunter up our area fished the Dewberry Creek Sunday catching a couple small trout and a bunch of bluegills and chubs all with mealworms.

Core Creek picked up this past week for perch and largemouth bass. The bass have been hitting in several different spots and are hitting minnows, crankbaits and spinner baits. Jay was there one afternoon picking up several nice bass all with live minnows. Penn Warner slowed up for the back fisherman but the boat guys are doing great on bass, pickerel and pike with minnows, crankbaits, spinners and jigging metal. Nockamixon is picking up for some bigger smallies hitting off and around the dam. These guys are picking up the fish with live minnows and suspended crankbaits. John had a pretty good week for bigger crappies fishing tubes around the docks. One other customer picked up 4 pickerel with live minnows. Jerry said the fishing on Marsh Creek really picked up this past Tuesday. Fishing live minnows he picked up yellow perch up to 13 inches and smallies 14 to 17 inches. Mixed in were 17 pickerel 14 to 18 inches. By days end him and his buddy picked up 71 fish total. Ron headed over to Struble Lake for the first time this year. He said he should have stuck to the Schuylkill were he has been doing so well with bass and bluegills. On Struble he fish over 8 hours only catching a few smaller crappies. The hatchery down the street has still been very good for bluegills fishing earthworms, mealworms and small twister tails. Fishing live minnows several guys have been catching bass 12 to 17 inches. Givens Pond some decent bass and crappies have been hitting minnows, twister tails, Senko worms and crankbaits. FDR Park one fisherman looking for a snakehead had a pretty good day on 10 to 12 inch bass fishing 3 to 4 inch plastic worms. Throwing frogs and top water plugs for the snakeheads he did nothing.

Lower River this past week was great for catfish and smaller stripers. The catfish hitting bunker, shrimp, chicken livers and bagels. Most of these fish have been 1 to 4 pounds. The stripers hitting chicken livers, silver crankbaits and rattle traps. Up in the Schuylkill River plenty of catfish and smaller stripers hitting below the Fairmount Dam on nightcrawlers, chicken livers and shrimp. At the dam the walleye fishing picked up on shad bodies, walleye divers and shallow shad raps. The catfish crew is dropping off fast with only 8 to 10 guys fishing now catching 20 to 30 fish this past week without a flathead. Most of the fish have been channels hitting chunked eels and shrimp.

Well that is all I have for you. If you get out good luck and don’t forget to write with a reports. Bill

I headed out of Wildwood yesterday(Sunday 11/5) about 6AM(my 7yr old daughter was asleep below) got out of the Cape May inlet about was it a rough ride. I started marking lots of bait with fish feeding on them right away.  I put out 3 lines, mojo, umbrella rig and rubber Storm shad. Had trouble keep the boat from getting sideways to the waves while putting out my lines. About 15mins my daughter calls for Dad because she just threw up, thank god she made it to the toilet. Got her up above with me, birds where hitting the water all over the Cape May rips.  With my daughter looking green and she only felt a little better I headed into the DE Bay…much more calm and my daughter quickly felt better and grabbed some breakfast.  We trolled all the way up to the ferry plenty of bait in the water but no hits.  Water still warm but with all the bait in the water won’t be long now until the Stripers arrive. Brian

I fished on Wednesday Nov 1 on Avon’s beach by the inlet. I picked up 4 fluke, 3 of which were shorts. The first one was at first light on a green deadly Dick.  Then, I foul hooked a nice size skate which was a real joy to land.  The next 3(the shorts) all came out of the same hole near a jetty on a pink teaser 18″ above an old Point Jude tin.  All fluke returned to be caught another day.  I was also chunking, but had no success on bait. I went back Friday Nov 3 and walked quite a while with no fish. I hooked up with something by the pipeline in Avon. I didn’t land that fish but it was likely a small fluke. It seems that fluke were all that were hitting on beach. Didn’t hear of any bait in the water, blitzes, or schoolies

Fisherman Magazine Update

Another good dose of bad weather to start the week leads way to NW winds in the forecast throughout the day on Friday; that could be just what we needed to kick start the striped bass action out along our eastern front this Veteran’s Day Weekend. Sunny skies forecast for the weekend ahead, with N/NE winds predicted on Saturday, and if the mid-week action is any indication you can expect the Raritan Bay to be quite crowded this weekend. More boats are getting on the bass out front, and surfcasters especially hope this week’s weather upheaval could put some more good fish at their feet from Monmouth County all the way to Cape May. A few jumbo black sea bass in the mix in the days ahead before New Jersey tautog limits go to six fish on November 16 (it’s a five fish bag limit in Delaware now through the end of the year). Get up and at ‘em early in the coming days, before the fleet arrives; it’s quite possible this overnight cold front will bring more than just high pressure and cold air, but very well could jumpstart the coastwide surge of stripers!

Stripers showing up North Jersey


Anyone interested with our store up for sale this is the web sight with all the information.

Trout will be restocked in the Pennypack Creek on October 10th. Levittown Town Lake was restocked October 24th.

Fishing reports are getting shorter and shorter as the cooler weather comes in. And so far it is only cooler weather with the river temps still in the upper 60’s and the ocean in the lower 60’s. Not good for ice fishing but I could stand this weather to hold till the first week of April and then let spring come in with little rain and wind for a fantastic striper season. Myself I was only able to get out one afternoon hunting and was able to pick up another big doe with the bow. Was thinking of heading up the river the other day but the winds kept me close to home.

With the rain over the weekend the river was up and off color. Now that did not shut the fishing down with some decent smallies caught and plenty of catfish hitting minnows and nightcrawlers. A few guys fishing the Neshaminy Creek have been having mixed reports with fishing hitting one day and then next nothing. The lower river has again not changed with plenty of catfish hitting nightcrawlers, chicken livers, chunked and live eels, bunker, shrimp and bagels. Most of these fish have been 1 to 4 pounds with some 6 to 10 pound fish hitting the live eels.

The Susquehanna River has still been on fire for smallies with quite a few walleyes mixed in. These guys have been doing best with minnows, crayfish, grubs, tubes, salty spiders and top water plugs. Most of these guys are talking up 25 to 50 fish a trip with most fish 2 to 4 pounds.

Trout fishing still pretty good on the Pennypack Creek with fish hitting wax worms, mealworms, power baits and spinners. Now no big numbers but most everyone has picked up 1 to 2 fish each trip. And if your fishing up the creek there are still some smallies, rock bass and bluegills hitting smaller minnows, grubs, spinners and smaller crankbaits. Levittown Lake was great last week with most guys picking up 1 to 5 fish with power baits, wax worms and Kastmasters spoons. And I had one report from Darby Creek with this fisherman catching 2 rainbows with dry flies mixed in with the 20 bluegills he caught last Sunday.

One fisherman on Core Creek picked up a bunch of white perch but also reeled in a 31 inch 20 plus pound catfish. He caught this fish while reeling in a perch. In the spillway plenty of small perch and bluegills hitting mealworms, wax worms and twister tails. Penn Warner has still been very good for both boat and bank fisherman. Chunk and Jay picking up plenty of yellow perch, crappies and pickerel with live minnows along the shoreline. The boat guys have been drifting minnows and jigs picking up bass 2 to 4 pounds with plenty of pickerel and pike mixed in. Jerry had another good day on Marsh Creek catching good size smallies and yellow perch with minnows, grubs and rubber skirted jigs. The one fisherman on Churchville picked up a couple 5 to 6 pound bass and even see a monster musky swim by one afternoon. The bass here have been hitting spinner baits. The hatchery down the street was real good this past week for largemouth bass all caught with live minnows and nightcrawlers. John having boat problems had to result into bank fishing on Nockamixon having a good weekend with smaller bass and crappies fishing off the docks with smaller jigs, tubes and Pins minnows. He did talk to one fisherman catching some bigger smallies in the rocks with live shiners and suspended jerk baits.

Quite a windy week kept lots of the boats close to home down the shore but when they are getting out the fishing has been great. Most of the boats heading out of Barnegat and Brielle have been fishing 3 to 5 miles out catching plenty of sea bass and blackfish. Now here there are lots of throwbacks and they have been catching most of the fish with clams, squid and mackerel strips. Now if you’re off Island State Park up to Block Island lot of bigger sea bass with a few cod mixed in. Here again clams, squid and strip mackerel but they are also doing well with 3 to 8 ounce diamond jigs. And there are boats heading out of Connecticut catching porgies, sea bass and cod close to shore and the off long trips are heading out for bigger cod and tilefish. Black fishing has been good all up and down the coast but the one fish limit is not giving us that many reports. I think this season opens with a better limit sometime the middle of this month. There is quite a striper bite starting off Long Beach Island, Raritan Bay and off New York. These fish are mainly being caught snagging and dropping bunker but I also heard of fish caught trolling Mojo Rigs, Stretch 25’s and 30’s and bunker spoons. Most of these fish have been 20 to mid 40 pound fish.

South jersey is turning on for pickerel, bass, crappies and perch. John had a great weekend caught all the pickerel you wanted on Union Lake with spinners and twister tails. He was looking for bass with frogs and spinner baits with little luck. Jerry still doing great with pickerel, perch and crappies in the lakes along Routes 47 and 55. Minnows, spinners, Senko worms and jigs have been working best. One fisherman around the Sweetwater Casino picked up pickerel 14 to 18 inches with minnows, shiners and 4-inch twister tails. Up at Batso in the coves plenty of pickerel hitting twister tails and minnows. A couple guys crushing bowfins in the quarries around Salem. They are also picking up a snakehead here and there. Minnows have been working best.

Well that is all I have for you this week. Bill

Fisherman Magazine Update

Following a wet and windy start to the week, November kicked off with what appears to be a fresh new body of fish arriving from the east with stripers of various sizes and age classes spread out through Raritan Bay this week. Wheeling and diving birds, small fish busting up top and bigger fish in the 40-inch and over range hugging the bottom gives good sign of the action to come for all during a season already two to three weeks late in kicking off. A 40-plus pound striper was plugged up along the Central coast on Saturday before first light, and while posting this week’s video forecast we learned of a new surf leader hitting the LBI Derby board on Wednesday with a 48-pounder on bunker (look up LBI Surf Fishing Classic on Facebook for details). Before the big blow on Sunday night, we had first-hand reports of bluefish to 23 pounds, while Dream Boat Fishing Challenge contending black sea bass in the 5-pound range have been coming from local wrecks and reefs (though as of last Saturday most boats were heading out to the 10 to 15 mile range to get away from the doggies). W/NW winds Friday expected to give way to E/NE into Saturday could push the bait around down local beaches; it’s been late to start, but there are plenty of options heading into the weekend if you line it up right.