The Fishing Seasons On LBI
Long Beach Island and the surrounding waters offer great fishing for a variety of game species nine months out of the the year. LBI's The 18 miles of shifting sand bars, inlets and bayside flats, thoroughfares and sod banks offer great light tackle fishing.
April - Mid May
We kick off the fishing season hunting striped bass in their early season haunts, working the back waters. Soon the bluefish invade and these aggressive "Bullies of the Barnegat Bay" push aside the bass. This time of year is also well know over the years to be a prime chance to target large tiderunners. Because these are spawning females this is a strictly catch and release . Sometimes the abundance of blues keep the weakies in hiding. Some of the year's best shallow water fishing is found in the early season (April/May). School size striped bass (15-30") roam the rolling flats and sod banks. Bluefish get crazy viciously feeding on top water lures. This fishing can get crazy with large bluefish 10+ pound class going airborne in hot pursuit.
Mid May - June
Prime Time Spring Striped Bass Fishing! Usually by the second to third week of May classy migratory striped bass flood the local waters of Long Beach Island. If large schools of bunker are present all hell breaks loose!
Spring Pod Hopping - The early morning (and sometimes afternoon) heavy feeds are a sight to see. When large hungry striped bass harass and gorge on large schools (acres) of bunker things get wild. While snag and drop as well as live lining are most popular, Captain Greg prefers to tease up trophy striped bass with extra large lures.
When active schools are not present, the back up is striped bass trolling, only Fish Head style. While not the most sporty or exciting style of fishing it can be very productive and helpful especially on slow days. Jump aboard and see how I pull 'em, trolling the new school way!
July - August
Fluke Fishing - Barnegat Bay's Summertime Favorite! Enjoy a summer day on the bay bucktailing fluke. During these summer months resident striped bass as well as bluefish offer great fun.
Fish Head Charters Specialty - Summer Night Ghetto Fishing: We set out after darks to target bay monsters with small compact yet very powerful tackle. Fishing the BAY we catch and release a variety of line screaming species. During the summer's warmest water temperatures, when the conditions are just right we tangle with beasts (Big Rays & Big Sharks) occasionally battling ones pushing fifty pounds. Our largest to date was a huge fat seven foot plus beast that conservatively pushed one hundred pounds. Possibly larger! This is fun fishing especially for someone who wants to tangle with a good pull. A good night is one or two small to medium size fish; however, there are times when fishing gets hot and it's consistent all tide. Commonly caught and released species sand sharks, sandbar sharks, sand tiger sharks, cow nose rays, butterfly rays and yes striped bass and bluefish. Sand sharks (smooth dog fish) usually keep lines tight when the water temps are on the cooler side.
September - October
This transition from summer to fall is a special to be on the waters of Long Beach Island. We see a variety of fun fishing with no one species stealing the spot light. Resident striped bass are active as well as bluefish and weakfish. Some years (like 2017) the false albacore make a strong appearance. This is one of the best time to reach for a LBI Slam (Striped Bass, Fluke, Bluefish), a LBI Grand Slam (Striped Bass, Fluke, Bluefish, Weakfish) or EVEN the Grand Daddy LBI Slam (Striped Bass, Fluke, Bluefish, Weakfish, False Albacore).
* Fluke Season Closes - The month of September is one of the best times for fluke fishing Long Beach Island; however, depending on the year's NJ State Fisheries Regulations, the summer flounder season usually closes early September. After this time fluke fishing is off limits.
November - December
The Jersey Shore's Fall Run - Game fish chase the mass bait movements and As the temps turn coldThe central Jersey Coast.
Every year is different. But, it's safe to say the striped bass migration is active on Long Beach Island from Halloween to the Winter Solstice. The climax is around Thanksgiving as bait piles up with kamikaze diving birds and spraying game fish crashing! It's Fall Jerzy Blitz Fishing! Usually Late November and early December offer "world class fishing" for light tackle enthusiasists and especially fly anglers. As December progresses the abundance of fish increase but the size class slowly decreases. The cold fronts push through and are followed up by stiff westerlies that really turn on the action along the coast. It can be cold and windy (finding a weather window can be difficult) however, some years the mid-December action is red hot with all day bent rods. Depending on weather this fishing occasionally goes right through the holidays and into the new year.