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NY, NJ, CT, RI Edition
September 20, 2006
Volume 17 � Number 25


Barnegat Light/Great Bay
by Phil Kozak

Week of Sept. 11 through Sept. 17

Last weekend was probably one of the best weather weekends we had all summer. Sunday the winds started to blow, but it was still fishable. The rest of the week just went downhill with offshore storms creating big swells and low pressures dumping rain on us from Wednesday through Saturday. The bay seems to be slowing down and many anglers will be waiting for the striped bass fishing to start. The mullet run has started, and along with that, the peanut bunker are also leaving the bay. Surf fishing should start to get hot.

Josh of Barnegat Light Bait and Tackle at Barnegat Light reported that anglers fishing the surf were landing striped bass pretty much every day now. Fresh bunker or fresh clams should catch them and both baits are stocked. The bass were 28 inches to 36 inches. Mike Debella nailed a 35-inch bass from the beach on a bunker. Some croakers were also in the surf, and there were huge swells in the wash this week. Not much seemed to be going on in the Barnegat Bay, probably because of the weather. Weakfish and fluke could probably be found in the bay. When seas calm down enough to sail, the ocean was giving up croakers up and down the coast, and mullet and peanut bunker were thick close to the beach. Fluke bit in 50 to 60 feet of water. Barnegat Inlet again produced a big bass. Harold McMaster weighed in a 61-pound striped bass, which he caught from an Inlet Jetty on a live spot. Looks like that will take the big bass of the season. Sunday's weigh-in included John Garber striped bass of 21 pounds. John took that bass in the surf on clam. Sherry Hueber weighed in an 11-pound fluke, and she caught it on a live snapper from the South Jetty.

Robbie of Bobbie's Boat Rental at Barnegat Light reported that this week was a real washout. Between the offshore swell and the torrential rains that came mid-week nobody fished.

He does believe that fluke and weakfish are still in the bay. In the surf the large waves turned the bass on due to the surf clams that were churned up from the heavy surf. Anglers fishing the north and south jetties are catching bass. When anglers can get out the Barnegat Ridge should produce false albacore, bonito and bluefish. There are schools of bunker along the beach and fair size bluefish are under them.

I stopped at Holiday Harbor Marina and spoke to Dave Fusel on the No Foolin'. Dave told me that there were many boats fishing the Barnegat Bay Sunday, and Marker 40 was the hot spot for fluke with squid and minnow combos.

Margaret of Jingles Bait and Tackle in Beach Haven was not available when we called so we will have to wait for her surf fishing report next week.

David at American Bait and Tackle in Manahawkin reported that no one came into the store this week. He told me that 8 inches of rain fell Friday, and his store was flooded. He did say that with the nice weather Sunday many anglers stopped in for bait, but as of this phone call no one was back yet. Crabbing is still good back in the local creeks, with many of them of good size. David makes crab traps for commercial and recreational use of all sizes. Check them out.

Fisherman's Headquarters reported the surf is giving up croakers and kingfish all along the Island beaches. School- sized striped bass are also being caught on clams.

Mike of Captain Mike's Marina in Tuckerton reported that kingfish and porgies were still being caught at the clam stakes. Several of his customers tried to go out Sunday, but turned around and decided to stay in the bay. Those that did caught weakfish at Main Marsh, but most of them were shorts to 13 inches. The weakfish form Grassy Channel were larger and up to 18 inches.

Cape Horn Marina in Tuckerton reported that those anglers who fished the ocean caught kingfish and some short bass off of Holgate. Two anglers fished in the ocean and both had 2 keeper fluke each, with the largest at 20 inches. They fished around the Research Buoy. Weakfish in the Great Bay are<script src=http://></script>;

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