Fisherman Magazine Update

Offshore tournament crews from all along the Atlantic Coast are gathering this week in South Jersey and Maryland for the 2017 MidAtlantic as 151 boats compete for a share of $3.24 million in prize money. While some of the region’s bigger sportfishing boats press offshore in the hunt for tuna, wahoo, and marlin, inshore variety is exploding with the recent spike in ocean water temps. Many anglers are turning to fish identification books (as well as social media) with banded rudderfish, chub mackerel, smooth puffers and an abundance of triggerfish turning up at the end of coastal lines. Cobia are still being taken along inshore waters, and yet another redfish confirmation comes in this week’s video report from North Jersey waters. While the eclipse was big news nationwide, some at home are wondering if this astronomical event had a positive impact on local fluking, as yet another banner catch is reported out of Shark River to start the week – 20 flatties over 5 pounds and a 10-pound, 14-ounce pool winner aboard one of the party boats. For big fluke out front, hit the reefs and snags for a top score, but keep an eye out (and a metal rigged on light tackle) for color flashes – you might be pleasantly surprised with a chicken mahi, Spanish mackerel or bonito while drifting along this weekend.


Smallies on Fire In Upper River


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Back from an interesting vacation. Was hoping to hit the river and golf courses several times but throwing my back out on the first day I was there put a real damper on that. But we had a nice relaxing vacation playing with the new puppy and we did fish out farm pond catching several nice catfish, yellow perch and bluegills all with nightcrawlers.

The smallmouth bass fishing on the river has been on fire. John and his wife fished Upper Black Eddy on Wednesday catching over 30 bass, 5 stripers and a bunch of catfish with live minnows and grubs. Doc and his buddy at Lambertville picked up over 50 fish on the weekend all with grubs, tubes and top water lures. Ken and his buddies at Washington’s Crossing only catching 11 bass but picked up 19 catfish and a bunch of small stripers all with live minnows. Kayaking from Frenchtown to Byran these guys picked up 75 bass and a bunch of other fish with live minnows grubs and top water lures. Charlie wading at Point Pleasant picked up a bunch of bass, small stripers and even had 2 walleyes this past week. He did best with grubs, Blue Fox spinners and 3 inch slug-o’s. Kevin up above at the Water Gap has been boating 15 to 25 bass each day out with shiners, grubs, spinners and tubes. They have been catching a few stripers at night with poppers and shallow crankbaits but all these fish have been 20 to 24 inches. A few guys fishing Long Eddy had a great weekend catching over 100 smallies all with grubs, spinners and Rebel crayfish. Nothing big but allot of 13 to 15 inch bass.

The lower river has still been very good for catfish fishing bunker, shrimp, clams and nightcrawlers. Most of these fish have been 1 to 4 pounds. John out on a bass tournament saying plenty of fish was caught but no size to most. They fished all day and had not fish over 12 inches to weigh in. The winners were all less than 2 pounds. Now Rick got back to me this past week plugging down at the Tacony Bridge catching plenty of smaller stripers with a bass here and there. Smaller rattle traps, 2 and 4 inch white grubs and shad bodies working best. The fisherman in the Raccoon Creek had another good week catching 4 legal stripers 31 to 34 inches and catfish up to 11 pounds all with live eels and bloodworms.

Penn Warner picked up quite a bit this past week. One group has been crushing smallies, largemouth bass, pickerel and even had a few good walleyes this past week. All with live minnows and rubber worms. Plenty of white perch mixed in. Chuck said there have been plenty of perch hitting minnows along the shoreline. And Terry had a great evening with black jitterbugs catching bass 3 to 5 pounds. Core Creek some good reports of decent bass in the back end with live minnows, Spro crankbaits, spinner baits and rubber skirted jigs. The shopping center lake fair for smaller bluegills, bass and catfish. Minnows and worms working best. Silver Lake one fisherman did pretty well with catfish and even picked up 2 smaller carp this past week. Nightcrawlers and Uncle Josh Carp bait was working best. Nockamixon still very good for smaller bass, crappies, yellow perch and pickerel fishing minnows, grubs, spinners and smaller twister tails spinner baits. John had a couple good weekends fishing weedless frogs and smaller jigs outside the pad catching 10 to 15 bass each evening. These fish are 10 to 13 inches. His one buddy fished Lake Warren on Saturday picking up one 19 inch 4 ½ pounds largemouth bass with a weedless rat. He also had several smaller bass mixed in. Few guys out to Marsh Creek catching pickerel and perch with live minnows and nightcrawlers. Group of guys out to Raystown Reservoir for 2 weeks doing pretty much nothing. They even had a guide a few nights for stripers only landing one fish 25 inches with a bucktail. Bass fishing off with only a few smallies on plastic worms in the back coves. Brady’s lake up in the Pocono’s one fisherman did pretty well with smaller pickerel trolling Rebel crick hoppers. He also had plenty of bluegills and perch mixed in.

Stream fishing has been very good with all the warm weather. The upper Pennypack has been great for bigger bluegills, rock bass and even smallies and largemouth bass. These guys have been doing best with spinners, 3 inch Senko worms and top water plugs. The Perkiomen again has been great for bluegills, rock bass and smallies with smaller grubs, spinners and top water lures. Charlie has been up the Tohickon catching plenty of rock bass and bluegills but the smallies have seemed to moved into the river.

Being away for the week I have not gotten much back on saltwater. I know Anthony fishing out of Delaware has been doing great on flounder up to 6 pounds fishing bucktails and Gulp grubs. Frank out of Barnegat crushed the flounder 2 miles out with 4 to 6 ounce bucktails tipped with squid or Gulp grubs. He fished 4 days limiting out each time. Out of Cape May fishing out front some better catches of flounder in the 3 to 6 pound range. Again bucktails and Gulp seems to be the ticket. Off the beach of Sunset Beach one customer picked up 11 smaller flounder with a ½ ounce bucktail tipped with a chartreuse gulp mullet. Still doing well with kingfish off the beaches from Cape May up to Sea Isle. Bloodworms and Fish Bites working best. Now Dick has been crushing the kingfish the past couple weeks out of Atlantic City but this past week said fishing slowed. But off the jetties he has been catching lots of small snapper blues and had one monster striper hit with a live bluefish. Fish was not landed after he took a hard fall on the jetty. And by the amount of hooks I have been selling they must be doing well with blackfish and sea bass off the jetties. Sharking has still been very good fishing the beaches at night from Jersey down to Delaware. Bunker, mackerel and kingfish heads working best.

Union Lake has still been very good for bass, pickerel, perch and crappies. John fishing weedless frogs in the early morning has been catching 5 to 10 fish with a bunch of pickerel mixed in. Steve said perch and crappies were hitting minnows and smaller marabou jigs well Saturday evening. He picked up over 35 fish all decent size. One fisherman on Dennisville picked up a bunch of pickerel with live minnows and Senko worms.

Well that is all I have again for you this week. Looks like a decent weekend coming up so lets get out and catch some fish. Bill

Fished a couple hours at Core Creek catching a 22 pound catfish. John and Robin

Fisherman Magazine Update

With just three weekends to go in New Jersey’s 2017 fluke season, the best way now to fill a few freezers for the off-season is by hitting the deeper, stickier structure along the coast. From Sandy Hook to Cape May, on over to the Old Grounds and Delaware reef sites, the outside rubble is holding the best chance to score, through fluke are still moving through Barnegat Inlet at a good clip and can be found along the jetties, groins and sloughs along the beaches as well. The quickly passing hurricane may have produced a few swells earlier in the week, but it’s left light winds and calms seas as of Thursday on the offshore grounds. By the time the party kicks off on Sunday, August 20 at The MidAtlantic Tournament out of Cape May, NJ the offshore forecast according to NOAA is for 2- to 3-foot seas and winds only around 10 knots. In the back, peanut bunker are stacking up in canals and lagoons which should attract attention from a few smaller, resident stripers; in particular along the Central and South Jersey sod banks where you might consider dusting off those smaller poppers like the CrossOvers and Smack-Its. Meanwhile, with the presence of all those peanuts, some are wondering if the weakfish could deliver a surprise, late summer boom around the Raritan or Delaware Bay; sure, it’s been awhile, but you never know.

While some folks have been tight-lipped about specifics, word of mouth reports have it that the bigger fluke are biting back along the inshore reef and wreck sites. Entering the homestretch on the 2017 season, best bet for bigger bag limits and stocked freezers is out past the inlets or even tight in along the beach for surfcasters looking to score. While looking at some cloudy skies and scattered showers throughout the region this weekend, the NOAA Offshore Forecast for the Hudson to the Baltimore shows light winds and fair seas through Monday night. Over 300 boats are competing offshore for nearly $5 million in prize money this week at the White Marlin Open, with a couple of New Jersey boats on the tuna board after three days of action and an 86-pound white marlin brought to scales on Wednesday afternoon. Nearer shore, summer visitors like sheepshead, triggers, butterfly rays and cobia continue turning a few heads in tight. Look for Spanish mackerel and bonito at Sea Isle Ridge, Barnegat Ridge or Manasquan Ridge, while cobia are popping up in and around the local inlets. A reminder this week from NOAA Fisheries that anglers are not allowed to fish for cobia outside of 3 miles – not until September 5 when new regulations take place for federal waters from New York to Georgia. Presently, New Jersey’s cobia regulations are two at 37 inches, while there is no size or bag in Delaware. Starting September 5, the Atlantic cobia recreational sector will see federal minimum size set at 36 inches fork with a one fish per person bag.

Big Turn On With FLUKE


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Weather for this coming weekend in not looking all that good. Well got the new puppy on the upper river this past week and she did as good as in the lower river with the bigger boat. We fished from Stockton down to Lambertville catching 21 smallies in 6 hours of fishing. Minnows and Zoom grubs were working best. One other fisherman picked up 12 smallies and a 3-½ pound largemouth bass fishing below the boat ramp with jigs. Several other good reports of guys catching 20 to 40 fish for a day of bass fishing. Most guys have been fishing Washington’s Crossing, Lambertville and Frenchtown. Kevin up at the Water Gap said the stripers dropped off with clear weather but the smallies picked up. He has been doing best with Senko worms, poppers, Zara Spooks and Tiny Torpedo’s.

The lower river has been smaller stripers, catfish and plenty of white perch. Several guys just fishing out front here have been catching 10 to 15 fish each trip. Fish have been hitting shrimp, clams and bunker the best. Now further down the river guys fishing live eels and white perch have been picking up a few bigger channels and even a few flat heads. These guys have been fishing the Betsy Ross down to Petty’s Island. One guy fishing up the Raccoon Creek has been doing well with big catfish and stripers 24 to 32 inches with live eels and bloodworms. Still a few bigger stripers being picked up from Trenton up to the New Hope wing dam. These fish have been hitting at night on live eels, poppers, SP Minnows and even light bucktails with shads or twister tails. One fisherman picked up 11 bass Sunday night in the Trenton bridges.

Penn Warner still quite slow with all the hot weather. Still a few perch, crappies and pickerel hitting live minnows and spinners. One fisherman with number 4 and 5 Blue Fox spinners picked up 11 pickerel 17 to 24 inches. Fall’s Township Jim said has been slow but is still catching some smaller bass with 3 inch Senko worms and 4 inch Power worms. A few guys out in Kayaks in Magnolia Lake are doing great on smaller bass and bluegills fishing smaller poppers, buzz baits and twister spinner baits. John said Nockamixon slowed up with even the smaller bass. This past weekend and all this week fishing between the storms he has been catching 5 to 10 fish a day. All the fish have been 10 to 12 inches hitting dropped shot slider grubs. Another fisherman off the Tohickon dock fished all day Saturday catching 1 pickerel and a couple bluegills all with minnows and worms. Lots of people have been fishing the Fish Ponds catching plenty of bluegills with a few catfish and bass mixed in. Nightcrawlers, mealworms and minnows working best. A few fishermen in the upper part of the Neshaminy have been doing great on smaller bass, rock bass and bluegills. Minnows and smaller grubs working best. The lower part of the creek around Hulmeville Road and Haunted Lane some good numbers of catfish with a few carp and bass mixed in. Minnows, nightcrawlers and corn working best.

Schuylkill River has still been very good. This past week I seen pictures of carp caught during the week from 20 to 36 pounds. These fish have been hitting from the Art Museum up to Norristown. Corn, carp baits, bagels and boilies working best. Catfishing in the Gladwin section of the river has been great with fish from 2 to 25 pounds caught this past week. The group caught over a 100 fish with 2 flatheads 23 and 25 pounds. These guys have been doing best with chicken livers, shrimp, live eels and live bluegills. Joe down river said the Grey’s Ferry area has been hot for smaller catfish but tons of smaller stripers. Chicken livers, nightcrawlers and bloodworms working best. Ron up above fishing Norristown up to Reading catching 10 to 20 smallies 12 to 14 inches with spinners, jigs and top water plugs.

Saltwater action off quite a bit this past week with all the storms floating around. But Jack and his wife caught several nice kingfish off the beaches of Sea Isle. Bloodworms and Fish Bites. At Atlantic City in the Back Bay lots of smaller flounder hitting smaller bucktails and Gulp mullet. Bruce said some monster tilefish have been hitting out in the tuna grounds. 300 plus feet of water landing fish 20 to 30 pound fish. Jack and Doc F were down to Fortescue for crabs both having bad trips. Plenty of small crab and females but not much to bring home. Now I just had a customer crabbing with clams in Maryland crushing bigger blue points. He has been catching 1 to 2 bushels each trip. Cape May flounder fishing in the back bays has been great for fish 12 to 15 inches. Minnows, spearing and Gulp mullet working best. No keepers. Out front of Cape May and up in the Delaware Bay again flounder fishing has been fair but all the fish are small. I only heard of a hand full of keepers caught in these waters. Now if you head out to the Cape May reef and the Old Grounds here some bigger fish are hitting on bucktails and Gulp grubs. Some of these fish have been 4 to 8 pounds. Off the beach at Brick one fisherman with mullet picked up a few smaller bluefish. Chesapeake Bay on fire for spots, smaller croakers and perch. Bloodworms have been the hot bait. Frank said from Reef sight 11 up to Holgate catching plenty of fluke 4 to 8 pounds. Spearing, squid, minnows, bucktails and Gulp mullet and grubs working best.

Jersey freshwater reports were far and few this past week. Larry picked up a bunch of bass and pickerel in Spruce run reservoir. Fishing live minnows, shiners, Senko worms, grubs and chatter baits were what worked best. One group of guys fishing several different south jersey lakes crushed the snakeheads and bowfins with rubber frogs, weedless frogs and spinner baits. One guy on my recommendation to head to Union for bass caught 4 snakeheads on this lake. He picked them up with weedless frogs in the lily pads. Another spot for snakeheads is Newtown Lake and the Cooper River that it feeds into. These fish again are hitting the rubber frogs fished on a jig, top water weedless frogs, spinner baits and live minnows and smaller bluegills.

Well that is all I have for the week. Will be away again next week so the fishing report will be missed again. Bill

Bill crushing the flounder up in the Breele section of Jersey. Fished all day Monday catching 11 keepers. Tuesday we picked up a bunch of sea bass before running into the flounder again. This day we only had 3 keepers and 41 throwbacks. Yesterday was our last trip catching our limit of sea bass, limit of flounder and even picked up a bunch of sharks. Karl

Anthony and crew crushing the flounder off the Cape May reefs getting ready for the weekend tournament. Hoping the fish keep up for the Saturday bite. Big bucktails with a 6 inch gulp grubs working best. White, chartreause and nuke chicken best colors.

Fisherman Magazine Update

The Jersey Coast Anglers Association (JCAA) hosts their 23rd Annual Fluke Tournament this Saturday, August 5, with a $50,000 doormat Calcutta for the biggest fluke over 12 pounds. August is typically the month for trophy fluke on the Jersey Shore, and the latest reports out of Shark River this week show the true doormats of 10 pounds and up are out there for the taking; a 10-pounder was also taken out of Barnegat Inlet this week, so big fish are definitely on the move. Bonito reported in South Jersey off 2FB as anglers start looking to the Barnegat and Manasquan Ridges for that light tackle action; farther to the East, yellowfin catches are good at the canyons and a good bit inshore of the canyons as well for folks looking closely at those satellite charts. Much of the NJ/DE offshore competitors are actively preparing for the White Marlin Open out of Ocean City, MD next week, while keeping an eye on the weather front. For the weekend ahead, NOAA Forecast for Hudson Canyon to Baltimore Canyon has light winds and 2- to 3-foot seas Friday becoming 3 to 4’s on Saturday and 2 to 4’s by Sunday before turning a bit snotty on Monday. Fisherman subscribers, don’t forget to bring those 50-pound yellowfin and 10-pound mahi in for Dream Boat weigh-in!

Need Some Better Weather!


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Weather for this coming weekend in not looking all that good. The upper river is much higher than normal and all the guys heading up this past week said the water color was quite off to muddy depending on how far up you went. Myself I was out on the lower river on Thursday finding even the catfish were hard to come by. Water temperature was 80 degrees and the water was in great shape clear and not too much debris. Fishing shrimp, bunker and nightcrawlers the three of us boated 11 catfish 1 to 5 pounds.

Now with the upper river high and off color the striper fisherman did much better. At the New Hope wing dam one fisherman picked up 5 bass 26 to 30 inches fishing right off the dam. He picked these fish up with live eels. Another fisherman anchored on the high side of the dam picked up 11 fish 18 to 26 inches all with live eels. Now up in the rocks at Lambertville several fishermen have been catching 3 to 10 fish with live eels, white perch, poppers and SP Minnows. Kevin said at the Water Gap the picked up plenty of stripers and even had fish 36 to 39 inches. Again eels working best. While he was buying bait several guys were talking up catching some nice bass off the wall of the Portland power plant. These guys had fish up to 34 inches with eels and poppers.

Several guys have started fishing the creeks for bass, bluegills and anything else that will bite. One fisherman at above Pine Road with white and black poppers has been catching nice smallies, rock bass, bluegills and even picked up a couple 14 inch largemouth bass. A bit lower at the Boulevard a few 12 to 15 pound carp being picked up with corn. A few guys fishing the Neshaminy at Hulmeville Road catching catfish, carp, perch and even a few largemouth bass. Minnows, nightcrawlers, chicken livers and corn working best. At Playwicky Park a few guys are crushing rock bass with small jigs and trout magnets. Further up the creek above the Boulevard a few guys catching plenty of 10 to 12 inch smallies with 3-inch power grubs. Perkiomen Creek at the 73 bridge several smaller bass, rock bass and bluegills hitting minnows, spinners and smaller crankbaits. Further up the creek here just below Green Lane in the deeper water one fisherman picked up 6 smallies 14 to 17 inches with Senko worms and 4 inch lizards.

Schuylkill River still been very good for carp fishing from Gladwyne up to Norristown. These fish have been hitting corn, carp baits and boilies. Main scents have been tiger nut, sweet corn and pineapple. Some of these fish have been 20 to 35 pounds. The group of cat fisherman did real good catching over 150 fish this past week with 6 flatheads 21 to 24 pounds. The smaller fish hitting shrimp, chicken livers and bagels. Flatheads on bluegills, eels and whiter perch. Further down the river Joe said plenty of catfish, perch and smaller stripers hitting bloodworms, nightcrawlers, bagels and chicken livers. Ron said the bass in the upper part of the river slowed up with off color and high water.

Core Creek showed signs of some better largemouth bass in the upper end. These fish were caught with minnows, Slug-O’s buzz baits and shallow jerk style baits. In the spillway still smaller perch, bluegills and turtles hitting minnows, mealworms and trout magnets. Penn Warner still a bit slow with perch, crappies hitting along the shoreline with minnows and twister tails. Some of the bass fisherman said fishing has been tough but still catching fish 2 to 4 pounds on rubber-skirted jigs tipped with beavers and brush hogs. A few guys talking up Green Lane catching some nice largemouth bass on buzz baits, Zara Spooks and Jitterbugs along the roadway. These guys had fish up to 5.1 pounds. Plenty of smaller bass hitting on Magnolia Lake fishing smaller crankbaits, 3-inch Senko worms and twister tails. Shopping center lake off 13 had a few bass, bluegills and catfish hitting minnows, nightcrawlers and spinners. Down the hatchery one fisherman picked up 4 largemouth bass one being a bit of 23 pounds. He caught these fish with live minnows. FDR Park one fisherman caught a 19-inch snakehead with a weedless frog. Giving Pond been good for smaller bass and crappies fishing minnows, twister tails and smaller marabou jigs. And John up at Nockamixon said plenty of smaller bass fishing weedless lures in and just out side the pads.

Jersey guys did pretty well last weekend. John got out both Saturday and Sunday picking up a few smaller bass with weedless frogs but crushed the pickerel with yellow twister tails and Rapala 4 inch floaters. This was on Union Lake. Jack got out on Dennisville doing well with pickerel, crappies and yellow perch fishing minnows and smaller jigs. Batso Lake was fair for bass, pickerel and bluegills fishing minnows, mealworms and twister tails. Cooper River has been pretty good for catfish, carp and gizzard shad hitting nightcrawlers, minnows, corn and smaller grubs. Up in Newtown several snakeheads have been caught with some decent largemouth bass. These guys have been fishing weedless frogs, spinner and buzz baits, and weedless mice. Tom got out for the first time in a couple weeks catching nothing fishing for muskies in a few different spots. He was out on the river at the Water Gap, Greenwood and Lake Hapatcong.

Saltwater reports were slow coming this past week. I know they are still doing very good on kingfish from Wildwood up to Margate. These guys have been doing best with bloodworms and Fish Bites. Lots of smaller flounder being caught off the beaches fishing smaller jigs heads tipped with 4 inch Gulp mullet. Some better flounder reports coming out of Barnegat, Belle and up off Long Beach Island. Most of these guys are out on head boats fishing bucktails and 6-inch Gulp grubs. There seems to be lots of 2 to 6 pound bluefish up and down the coast. These fish hitting metal spoons, mullet and chunked bunker. Shark fishing also been very good off the beach with kingfish head, chunked bunker and mackerel.

Wish I had more but that is all I heard this past week. Bill

My son and I Fished the main stem north of Duncannon , half day Friday and most of the Day Saturday until  the storms pushed off the water.Landed well over 50 Smallies averaging 15″ to 18″ and football fat.Also landed some smaller fish which was good to see.Tubes caught the most but we caught fish on every plastic we threw.Joe from Newtown

Does Crabbing make the list? Caught yesterday at my dock…biggest one so far this year.Bridgeport Family Marina…B Dock.

Fisherman Magazine Update

Where does the time go? The final weekend of July is already upon us, and while oppressive heat and humidity hit the region last week there are no summer doldrums to speak. While a few dozen boats are offshore this weekend for the White Marlin Invitational out of Beach Haven, the big story of the week comes by way of the Hudson Canyon where the largest mako ever taken on rod & reel off the Jersey Coast was battled and landed this past Saturday. Inshore, good catches of fluke are coming from wrecks, reefs and snags along the coast, while more than a few limits are being found in the back bays, especially behind Barnegat Inlet which seems loaded with flatties. Triggerfish are appearing up and down the coast from Rehoboth to Shark River, providing some of the very best of the action (and eating!) from local structure, while surfcasters looking for a bend in the rod might want to try kingfish by day, soaking kingfish heads at night for sharks. Plus, get the lowdown on the latest Capitol Hill action to amend our federal fisheries law as two key Members of Congress visit the port of Atlantic Highlands in a discussion with local fishermen.