Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Monday, July 19, 2021: As I mentioned in a Facebook post, I went out on the hopper-dredger Murden ... overload of pics ...

Monday, July 19, 2021: As I mentioned in a Facebook post, I went out onthe hopper-dredger Murden. Also onboard were Harvey Cedars officials, a SandPaper reporter/photographer team two Corps reps, including the man in charge of the LBI beach replenishment project, Keith Watson.  

While the run of sand from Barnegat Inlet to just off south HC, was slow a slow go, the three-hour trip blew by, thanks to the very friendly captain and crew. Considering I revert to being a reporter very quickly, I reeled off a slew of questions the captain answered as quickly as I threw them out, though his southern drawl kept my typical rapid-fire questioning somewhat in line.

The information offered up about both the vessel and its mission was fascinating. The Army Corps folks also added their take on the experiment. I’ve mentioned in the past that Keith is a longtime buddy of mine. I get to chat with him wherever we hook up for volleyball near his BL house.

SandPaper writer Gina Scala will be offering more exacting details on out visit to the Murden.

From an eco-angle, I was greatly relieved to see there was next to no impact on marine life as the dredge sucks up bottom material through two arms suction units. Although plenty of gulls were around for any tidbits, the most they got was an occasional spearing or crab. Even the captain remarked how few living things get sucked in, most likely due to the vessels barely moving progression when taking in sand.

I’ve written in here about the theory behind this sandbar enhancement experiment. One thing is sure, it’s going to take the entire 40 days of enhancing to make a major impact. Being ultra-trite, the ocean is a big place, even when right up near shore. While each offload, maybe 10 visits a day, is a drop in the proverbial bucket, there were signs of shallowing water. That showing will hit the brakes for three days as the Murden has to break away to deepen a channel for … wait for it … a big game fishing tournament down south. Hey those game fishing guys have clout.

Sorry but I have to share a super slew of pics from my three-hour cruise. Yes, many Gilligan’s Island references were made where we first heard from the Corps that it was a “three-hour cruise – to the point that some folks busted out with the show’s theme song.

One of the two suction devices being lowered to the inlet bottom. There's one on each side.

The empty hold ... followed by just water until the sand kicks in ... 

Here's a nozzle spraying in the bottom sand which the captain says is some of the best sand anywhere -- and he's been around. 

About to head toward Cedars ... 

The water was gorgeous. 

Pushing in very close to open trap doors and drop the load ... 

Emptying quickly:

Almost out of sand ... The captain knows where there's plenty more. 

The mate behind the offloading ... and a fine explainer. 

Acrobatic swoopers ... 

And one gawker ... 

LOCAL STUFF: Driving the Boulevard around Eighth Street in Ship Bottom you'll see a battalion of safety cones where there had been concrete islands to separate traffic lanes accessing the outgoing Causeway. They have been thoroughly removed, living proof that the Boulevard will soon have two-way traffic for the first time since the original full circle days of before-my-time times.

Gone will be any need for southbound motorists to use that crazy little westbound lane on the south side of Oscar Huber, aiming to scoot across lanes of traffic to go southbound on Central toward Wawa. The Boulevard's new southbound lanes will accommodate all southbound traffic. If you have your heart set on getting to Wawa when southbound on the Boulevard, you will have to go south and turn at Tenth Street.

Important: There will be no left turns off Central on Eight of Ninth streets -- even with two-way traffic. That is going to take some serious getting used to.

Even though I'm steadily writing up the upcoming traffic changes -- and The SandPaper has been constantly covering the matter -- the minute it's in full effect, folks will go gonzo, swearing they were never told.  

I guess it goes without saying -- but I will anyway -- there is not squat that can be done at this point to change the decades-old game plan. However, NJDOT foils have told me that it is always possible that some after-the-fact tweaks can by implemented. 

RUNDOWN: Puffer people arise. Your day in the bay sun has come, as blowfish, fully spawned out, have begun making another stellar showing this year. Some tail-meat seekers have exceeded 50 fish per outing … per angler!

The prime take zone is inside Barnegat Inlet, which covers some serious bay acreage. There’s no need offering exact locales, primarily because the fish themselves are covering quite some serious “creek” territory, as they fatten prior to a long journey south.

It’s uncertain how far our summer blowfish migrate southward. Florida is overloaded with them, since nobody eats them – short of when I visit there. But I’ll venture a guess those Sunshine State puffers are a whole different biomass from ours. Could local puffers do an out-to-sea move for the colder months? Further research will tell.  

A new angle on puffer prowling in the bay is the use of so-named “rainbow clams,” which I can only assume are red clams rebranded. This is hook bait to accompany chum logs.  

Checking out this bait, it is very tough, leathery, and apparently quite appealing to mouths down below. I’m not sure if the clam is simply salted or if a couple squirts of formaldehyde are used to firm it up.

This variation of clam baits could be a boon to striper fishing, mainly when crabs are in play.

Thinking in eeling terms, this bait might also be an ideal night fishing draw, again thwarting crab play.

There are still some skinny smaller blues showing, being taken from boat, jetty and even in the surf. In fact, this is one of the better cocktail blue showings in recent summers past. It is possibly a sign of a slowly returning biomass, waxing optimistically. Downwardly, I’m still not seeing any small-end young-of-year snapper blues, which would be a far surer sign of bluefish bouncing back.

No sense thinking in terms of fall choppers at this midsummer point, though I still do.

Summers are not the easiest time for me to wet a line, though when fish are out there begging to be caught, I can’t resist. This leads me to what I’ll now call an unprecedented showing of fluke in the suds. That’s not just my thinking. Far savvier surfcasters have reported landing a dozen of more flatties in short order.

Steady suds fluke all along LBI are newsworthy, though there is no glossing over the fact that virtually all these fluke are under the 18-inch minimum size limit.

Short of some very spike weakfish, sparklers remain a somber no-show. Their young-of-year are falling prey to babied stripers and fluke.



This week’s fishing report for the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association. If you have any questions, my cell phone number is 609-290-5942 and my e-mail address is jamesghutch1@aol.com

The hot temperatures of July are warming the ocean and bay waters in the Beach Haven area. As a result of this, the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are finding some fishy visitors from the south on their lines.

Recently the crew of the “StarFish” trolled the Barnegat Ridge to see what they could turn up. They managed to boat four big king mackerel, keeping three for the dinner table. King mackerel are native to the south Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

Captain John Lewis of the “Insatiable” reports he has been catching mostly black sea bass on inshore structure with some nice sized keepers. One trip was a surprise with no sea bass, but 26 fluke came across the rails up to 4-pounds. Captain John remarked that you never know what will happen on a day’s fishing.

Captain Brett Taylor of Real Reaction Sport Fishing has been running charters practically every day of the week, even twice a day at times. After several days of hard fishing, Captain Brett reported he took a much-needed day of rest on Sunday. Recently he had the Bob Reim charter out for a 4-hour bay trip. Despite some tough tide conditions and very warm water, he was able to find a couple of cooler spots which produced over 25 shorts and 5 solid keepers for the table. He also had Matt Bailey out on his second trip of the week. They hit the Atlantic to box 10 keeper black sea bass. In addition to the sea bass, they had good action on sea robins and short fluke while managing to keep two fluke to 24-inches.

The BHCFA Junior Mates classes are in full swing with a complement of youngsters learning the details of becoming a mate. Last week’s class dealt with “man overboard” drills and boating safety.

Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.bhcfa.org.

Below: Equal parts of water & Pine Sol w/ 2 packets of sugar makes a yummy recipe to kill Lantern Flies

Ohhhhh baby!!!! Lunker Pb fpr timmmmaayyyy Timothy Wittig


Bayside DaveAmerican Angler

I hit the beach this morning with Craig Perucki fishing the incoming tide. The water was clean with calm waves rolling in. We were hitting short fluke early working different spots. I caught a few bigger ones in the 16" range and finally picked up a keeper at 18 1/2". I was using a high low rig with 6/0 baitholder hooks and a 1oz sinker. I had a 5" white Gulp swimming mullet on the top hook and a 5" pink shine grub on the bottom. Fish were hitting both baits with my keeper hitting the mullet. Of course I was using my Century Rods Weapon Jr which handles both casting and fighting fish very well.


Summer Concerts & Upcoming July Events

We LOVE the free summer concerts on Long Beach Island all summer long! Check out the list below for a town-by-town list of summer concerts and upcoming July events!


Barnegat Light

Upcoming July Events (Click Event For Details)

July 8th & 22nd: Sand Sculpting Contests

July 11th: Viking Village Art & Craft Show



Location: Bay Breeze Park in Barnegat Light • Time: 7pm

July 5th: Tequila Rose

July 12th: Impulsives

July 19th: Kootz

July 26th: Shorty Long and The Jersey Horns

August 2nd: Bullzeye

August 9th: Eleven Eleven

August 16th: Triple Rail Turn

August 23rd: Tequila Rose

August 30th: Impulsives


Beach Haven

Upcoming July Events (Click Event For Details)

July 3rd-18th: “Annie” at the Surflight Theatre

July 20th-August 8th: “A Chorus Line” at Surflight Theatre



Location: Beach Haven Veterans Memorial Park • Time: 6:45pm

July 7th: Jimmy & The Parrots (Beach Party)

July 14th: McLean Ave Band (Irish)

July 21th: Carnaby Street Band (Classic Rock)

July 28th: Diablo Sandwich Band (Classic Rock)

August 4th: The Kootz (Classic Rock)

August 11th: Lehigh Valley Italian American Band (Big Band)

August 18th: The Rave-Ons (Pop/Soul)

August 25th: Tequila Rose (Country)


Harvey Cedars

Upcoming July Events (Click Event For Details)

July 18th: Harvey Cedars Arts Festival



Location: Sunset Park in Harvey Cedars • Time: 7pm

July 14: Jimmy Brogan Band

July 21: Dead Reckoning

July 28: Asbury Fever

August 4: Verdict

August 11: Slow Hands

August 18: Facedown


Long Beach Township

Upcoming July Events (Click Event For Details)

July 6th & 20th: Family Movie Night

July 10th: LBI Foundation Annual Fine Arts Festival

July 22nd: Kite Making Workshop with Lisa Willoughby

July 24th: St. Francis Summer Craft Show

July 25th: Coquina Jam


Friday Concerts

Location: 68th Street in Long Beach Township • When: 7pm-9pm

July 2: 3AM Tokyo

July 9: LaStella Band

July 16: The Best of the Eagles

July 23: TBA

July 30: Jimmy and the Parrots

August 6: Soul Cruisers

August 13: Sneak Attack

August 20: The Verdict

August 27: The Suyat Band

September 3: Sneak Attack


Sunday Concerts

Location: 68th Street in Long Beach Township • When: 1pm-3pm

July 4: The Pickles

July 11: The Black Ties

July 18: Bryan Hansen Band

July 25: Coquina Jam

August 1: Sneak Attack

August 8: Accousticrats

August 15: Jimmy Merchant Trio

August 22: Chris Fritz and the Impulsives

August 29: Jimmy Brogan

Sept 5: The Pickles


Ship Bottom

Upcoming July Events (Click Event For Details)

Every Tuesday: Critter Round-Up

July 8th: Kiwanis Flea Market



Location: Waterfront Park (Boat Ramp) • Time: 7pm

July 8th: Bullzeye

July 15th: The Impulsives

July 22nd: Jimmy & The Parrots

July 29th: Verdict

August 5th: The Tequila Rose Band

August 12th: Weird Science

August 19th: Eleven:Eleven

August 26th: Shorty Long & the Jersey Horns


Surf City

July 14th: Mini Golf Tournament

July 14th: Borough of Surf City Council Meeting

Surf City does not host a summer concert series.


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