For me, there is nothing better than fishing on a nice, hot sunny summer day in Barnegat Bay.
But for many anglers, fishing season doesn't begin until the weather turns chillier, beach buggies can drive free on the sand, and the stripers are at their hungriest. Now, with the forecast high for Sunday reaching only 55 degrees, it looks like fall – and in turn, striper season – is just about here.
In New Jersey, there is perhaps no place more obssessed with fall striped bass fishing than Long Beach Island. The island-wide LBI Surf Fishing Classic whips anglers into a frenzy every year, promising big prizes as well as a sense of friendly competition on every inch of the island's 18 miles of sand.
As the organizers of the tournament do every year, they'll present a surf fishing seminar in Ship Bottom this Saturday to kick off the tournament. The seminar, which begins at 9 a.m. at the Chamber of Commerce building on Route 72 east (just beyond the Country Corner Market), transitions to the Ship Bottom fire house, then to the 9th St. beach for live fishing demonstrations.
The Surf City Anglers, a local fishing club, will host this year's seminar, which will include tips on surf fishing equipment, casting, bait, driving a 4x4 vehicle on the beach, and more. This year, Century Rods is bringing along their line of fishing rods for "test drives."
The entire seminar is free, though pre-registration is required. For more information, check out the tournament's website.
If you see me there, say hi!
With fluke season now squarely in the rear-view mirror, anglers have been itching to catch anything and everything lately.
On board the Jamaica II party boat, sea bassing has been good, crewmembers said. Sea bass season runs through Oct. 14, at which point it will close for two weeks and reopen Nov. 1.
The Brielle-based party boat also had its customers hooking into porgies and triggerfish on a daily basis.
In the suds, small blues were chomping on metal lures, a report from The Dock Outfitters in Seaside Heights said. Some anglers also hooked bass using clam bait, though there were fewer mullet baitfish around this week, which could hurt the bite just a bit.
Blowfish were reeled in behind the shop at the fishing pier.
Down the road at Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park, the talk of the shop was the empty beaches. But those who did fish did well with the blues, a report on the shop's website said.
Down one island, the LBI contingent was getting excited about the aforementioned tournament.
At Surf City Bait and Tackle, word was that bass were in the suds and being fooled by plugs. A customer also reported bunker spotted near Barnegat Inlet, which was a good sign.
Brendan at the shop said in a report that the bay was still loaded with baitfish, and surmised the forecast cold front could jump start the striper run.