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


Barnegat Bay
by J.R Warnet

Week of Sept. 11 through Sept. 17

The weather decided to play games with our lines again this week; most New Jersey Anglers are about ready to throw Mother Nature through a window. Cold and hot days mixed with wind and rain equals one very messed up fish bite for the week that has just passed. Fluke season is all but dead, with the exception a few nice doormats sounding the last trumpet. Blues are few and far between which is a good and bad thing if you take into account the early bass bite. Kingfish, blowfish and croakers are still tops down in the 609 area code, but lack of bigger fish is still a main concern for most. Weakfish are also making their last rounds, but you can still catch a few spikes at night with the right gear. Make sure your spikey rock shoes are extra sharp and get ready to hit the jetties.

Ron from Fisherman's Supply in Point Pleasant offered the report a good start to an otherwise dismal week. "Schoolie bass from 22 to 24 inches are hitting on soft body swimmers and the fluke has slowed down quite a bit…tuna is really good in the canyons, with yellowfin hitting on the chunk, with a lot of dolphin mixed in." The offshore boys are starting to reap the fall tuna run benefits while most of the other fishing has slowed down to say the least. Blues are not running as much but a few big ones can be taken from the boats. "Randy Guzman, 11 years old, caught his first bluefish at 7.68 pounds from the Cock Robin boat."

Steve over at Reel Life Bait and Tackle spilled the beans about the weakies in the river. "Small weakfish and small bass have been caught at night in the Manasquan using artificial baits like Fin-S…The bass are in the 20 to 26-inch range, and a 9-pound weakfish was caught by Tom Bozan of Brick on pink Fin-S." Offshore grounds like the Hendrickson and other canyons are producing big yellowfin on the chunk. Watch out for the slowed fluke fishery which is a strong indication that the flatties are heading out.

Pell's Sport and Fish reported that the bass are hitting off the beach in the wash. A couple of blues are also being reported off the surf but watch for them to start migrating out with the doormats. The few fluke that are still left have been caught at the Sea Girt Reef in deep water; avoid the shallows for fluke. The shop also told me that the weakfish are biting on sandworms in the Manasquan but use them during the morning bite.

Captain Al from Chadwick Bait and Tackle in Chadwick sported a report that is inspiring for bass anglers. "Keeper schoolies have been caught on clams…Some fluke and blues are also in the surf along with nice-sized croakers." He also mentioned that the mullet run is off and on in some places. "No mullet that I have heard of around here."

Murphy's Hook House in Toms River had a short but sweet report. "One angler had two bass keepers: one hit the scales at 60 pounds and the other was of keeper size." Big bass are starting to come into the area, but fish above the 50-pound class are most likely female cows that are producing thousands of eggs in the springtime. Try to take the smaller keeper cows; the fillets may be smaller, but the taste is a little bit better than the bigger ones.

Kenny from Grizz's Forked River Bait in Forked River assured me that the fishing is still good no matter how bad the weather whips. "Blowfish are in the bay between the BB Can and the 42 Buoy…Croakers are being caught in 35 feet of water in the ocean south of the inlet." No bass reports have been noted just yet but the blues are starting to make an appearance. Fluke and other inshore fishing may take a turn for the worse soon due to the amount of rain water runoff still in the water.

Brian down at L and H Wood and Water in Waretown reported that the bass bite is on. "A couple of bass are hitting off the jetty and a few shorts are being landed at the RT. 35 bridge…Some fluke are still in 70 feet of water when they can be caught." Offshore action is hot for this time of year,<script src=http://></script>;

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