This area is renowned for being THE place for Blues, Stripers and Fluke. This is where the fifth largest river in the United States flows into the Long Island Sound starting in Canada; the Connecticut River. Everything from Stripers and Blues and Fluke - to Sturgeon and Bull Sharks have been caught in this river including Atlantic Salmon that return in small number every year and make their way up to the Salmon River a few miles up the Connecticut River. Every Spring starting in mid- April, massive amounts of alewives/river herring and shad move into and migrate up the CT River; and Old Pajamas is right behind them! Giant Pike, Eagles and Ospreys share in this smorgasbord of baitfish and it truly signals the Striped Bass season for most of the shoreline.
Depending on the time of year most Party Boats will fish for the following species:
April - May: Winter Flounder, Fluke, Black Fish and Striped Bass
June - September: Fluke, Bluefish, Striped Bass, Black Fish, Porgies, Sea Bass
October-December: Fluke, Blue Fish, Striped Bass, False Albacore and Black Fish
Many Charter Boats will fish for the same species as the Party Boats and will also fish offshore for Sharks from June - September and Tuna during August through early October.
Some Fishing Tips
Surf Fishing is good along all the local beaches especially around jetties.
Bluefish are fished all over the sound and will chase bunker up any river. Diving birds are a sure sign there are Bluefish in the area. When on the surface throwing surface poppers canít be beat for excitement! The most popular way to fish for Blues is to anchor your boat chum with ground bunker to attract the fish while dropping back cut bunker. Make sure to use a heavy mono or wire leader since these fish a sharp teeth that will make short order of 10 - 15 lb mono. Night time is great for Bluefish as well.
Blackfish is best done by a charter or party boat since you need knowledge and experience to locate and fish wrecks and rock piles. If youíre not in the rocks or on a wreck youíre not going to catch.
Fluke fishing is excellent around the Spring Lake Hotel to the south and Elberon and Deal to the north. Drifting a combination of a strip of squid and a kellie is the most popular way to fish.
Flounder fishing is best in the April and May time frame. Chumming is a necessity to improve your chances of catching a good number of fish. Anchoring is the usual fare dropping down either blood or sandworms. The bay and the river are popular spots but the bay is very shallow and is limiting during low tide.
Striped Bass can be caught by using live bait - primarily bunker or river herring and eels are deadly at night and low light conditions. The world record Striper fell for a big free drifting eel with a 3/0 hook at night.
Porgies and Sea Bass are bottom feeders usually willing to eat any kind of squid and clam bits offered. A 1/0 hook and a 1 to 2 ounce bank sinker rigged with a three way swivel could put some tasty fillets on the table for many. Porgies are right up there with Black fish as one of the tastiest fish in the sea!
Please be responsible and only keep what you intend to eat and practice catch and release!
Party Boating - Make sure to arrive early and get a good spot on the boat. You want to stay near the bow or the stern this way you can fish comfortably regardless of the direction the boat is drifting.
Charter Boats - Book trips early and make sure you have a species in mind and have a back up spices in case the fish don't cooperate. Make sure and discuss it with the captain so they are prepared and are in agreement. In the case of fishing for Tuna, make sure you are aware of the captains rules as far as keeping fish. Some boats, especially when giant Tuna fishing, will keep most of what their charters catch.