adams54

January/ February fishing in NJ

Rate this topic

61 posts in this topic

Posted (edited) · Report post

Hey guys...would like to know what type of fish can be caught from the beach, off jetties or in inlets in the winter months of January/February.Theres holdover stripers. I know herring can occasionally run the inlets or show up in the surf. There is togging off the rocks. What else am I missing? Do whiting ever show up or has that ship sailed for good? Mackerel? Winter flounder?  Ling? Anything else? Dont think I'll be able to make it to March/April without getting a line wet.

Edited by adams54

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was wondering about this myself, though I probably won't get out until the spring anyway. But, I'm pretty sure the tog have moved offshore by now. Winter flounder could probably be had, but I've never targeted them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think about this myself. One half of my brain tells me that I catch so many skunkings in hospitable conditions that I’m practically guaranteed to hook a fish in the brutal cold crappy conditions of Jan or Feb. The logical half of my brain thinks that you & I— for actually craving a fishing outing in Jan & Feb—we need a 12 step program designed for our kind of issues.

 

Truth is, with my four little ones, I haven’t had an opportunity to get a line in the water since August. If the opportunity arises, I’ll take whatever kind of fix the dealer can get me. I’m thinking small hooks and clams or bloods would be the only way to catch anything that’s swimming & feeding in water that cold. Worth a try if you have the free time! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Improve your chances and move to freshwater.  Not saying your hookup rate will go up dramatically but fish in a lake do not migrate and still need to eat. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Good tip...seems that's what everyone is doing. Seems like a shame there's not much of a saltwater winter fishery anymore. Used to be a big deal apparently. Ive heard stories from the old timers about catching buckets of whiting off the piers or from the surf. Maybe someone can chime in if there will ever be a comeback or have they been entirely decimated in this region.

Edited by adams54

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, EricDice said:

I think about this myself. One half of my brain tells me that I catch so many skunkings in hospitable conditions that I’m practically guaranteed to hook a fish in the brutal cold crappy conditions of Jan or Feb. The logical half of my brain thinks that you & I— for actually craving a fishing outing in Jan & Feb—we need a 12 step program designed for our kind of issues.

 

Truth is, with my four little ones, I haven’t had an opportunity to get a line in the water since August. If the opportunity arises, I’ll take whatever kind of fix the dealer can get me. I’m thinking small hooks and clams or bloods would be the only way to catch anything that’s swimming & feeding in water that cold. Worth a try if you have the free time! 

Fishers Anonymous meetings.

Water temp in Belmar, this morning, was just over 39 degrees. Not a lot of activity at that temp.

That being said, there was bird action in Ocean Grove and Bradley Beach Tuesday morning. Have no idea what they were picking, but they were active.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 min ago, nam1969 said:

Fishers Anonymous meetings.

Water temp in Belmar, this morning, was just over 39 degrees. Not a lot of activity at that temp.

That being said, there was bird action in Ocean Grove and Bradley Beach Tuesday morning. Have no idea what they were picking, but they were active.  

Been seeing a lot of bird activity out front. Just cant figure out what it is theyre targeting

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 mins ago, adams54 said:

Good tip...seems that's what everyone is doing. Seems like a shame there's not much of a saltwater winter fishery anymore. Used to be a big deal apparently. Ive heard stories from the old timers about catching buckets of whiting off the piers or from the surf. Maybe someone can chime in if there will ever be a comeback or have they been entirely decimated in this region.

Consider it more of a way to pass the time in the winter.  We're already half way thru January so we are on our way to better days. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, adams54 said:

Hey guys...would like to know what type of fish can be caught from the beach, off jetties or in inlets in the winter months of January/February.Theres holdover stripers. I know herring can occasionally run the inlets or show up in the surf. There is togging off the rocks. What else am I missing? Do whiting ever show up or has that ship sailed for good? Mackerel? Winter flounder?  Ling? Anything else? Dont think I'll be able to make it to March/April without getting a line wet.

 

You're really just going to run into small bass on the beach.  The good thing is since they're going to be small schoolies, if you find one it means you've usually found a lot of them.  Any small paddle tails (3-4") worked tight to jetties/bottom will work.  Once you find a hole with a bass just keep fishing it, there will be a bunch there.  Sometimes youll find so many that you'll get bored before the bite dies out, only so many 18" fish you can catch and still be excited.  Remember to size down your gear, I usually bring largemouth gear with a 3-4k reel with 10lb braid.  

 

Funny,  I've found bass dont show much interest in gulp mullets in the warmer months while fishing for fluke...theyll absolutely crush it in Jan/Feb. One day I had forgotten my small shads at home but still had a bucket of gulp in the truck so gave it a whirl.  Ended the day with probably 15-20 double headers with a double gulp rig.  Fish were beaching themselves on the rocks to grab it.  

 

Since theyre the future generation of fish, I try not to beat on schoolies too much anymore.  But from time to time ill get the itch.  I never bother when its really cold, generally just give it a shot on the days when it warms up a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 The cold usually becomes a problem when the hands/gloves get wet. I tried a lot of gloves with different fabrics etc. Too thick..you lose dexterity. Neoprene...nfg. Still haven't found a glove that works for me. Dont think it exists. Not spending over 100 either. The trick that works for me are those latex coated palm work gloves. I keep a spare in the chest pocket of the waders for when my first pair gets wet. Dirt cheap option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, adams54 said:

Hey guys...would like to know what type of fish can be caught from the beach, off jetties or in inlets in the winter months of January/February.Theres holdover stripers. I know herring can occasionally run the inlets or show up in the surf. There is togging off the rocks. What else am I missing? Do whiting ever show up or has that ship sailed for good? Mackerel? Winter flounder?  Ling? Anything else? Dont think I'll be able to make it to March/April without getting a line wet.

There are some big freshwater fish to be had in the winter months. Carp, cats, crappie, perch, Pike, muskie, bass.  The past few years i've fished through the winter with some success. I got a muskie in the 40" range a few weeks ago and lost one last saturday.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 mins ago, fishless said:

Fleece base and layer up.  You'll be cold no more. 

I hate when people say this lol. Even with this, you'll end up cold after a few hours outside. I make it a point to wear a stupid amount of layers when I went out on the tog boat and I still got cold.

 

Bass fishing is tough in winter as well, fish are super lethargic. Biggest bass I caught last year though was in February FWIW. 70 degree day lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.