Labor Day has passed on Long Beach Island, but no one told the fish that summer is over. The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are enjoying some top-notch fishing as long as the tropical storms keep their distance. The current weather forecast calls for Hurricane Lee to pass by the coast well out to sea. The local captains, however, will be watching for large swells to arrive from the storm and put some ocean trips on hold.
Currently the inshore reefs and structure are holding high numbers of fish to make for some active fishing. Although the New Jersey black sea bass season is on hold, there are plenty of these pretty fish around keeping rods bent. Most of the fluke have made their way into the ocean with the larger fish filling fish boxes. There are also triggerfish and blues in the area.
The head boat “Miss Beach Haven” reported “nonstop action” on a recent ocean trip. The number of fluke caught made for some serious work for the mates filleting the fish.
Captain Gary Dugan on the “Irish Jig” reports he too is finding steady action on ocean structure off the southern end of Long Beach Island with his parties returning with fish dinners aboard.
If ocean conditions crimp the outside trips, the bay waters are holding large numbers of panfish with blowfish numbers increasing day by day.
Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” has returned to his job teaching science to high school students. He has still been able to work some successful fishing trips into his schedule. On the first day of school, he had a late afternoon 4-hour bay trip with Doug George and family. The crew boxed 5 keepers to 19.75 inches and a bluefish. He also had a quick 3-hour bay trip after school with Joe and wife Terry of Point Pleasant Beach. Since they love targeting blowfish, they hit a few areas to box 40 blowfish with some nice ones to 12 inches.