• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On November 14, 2017
  • Comments
  •  5

Sea bass season reopened in New Jersey on October 22 and catches have been fast and furious.

Most sea biscuits are hanging inshore right now in 75 to 100 feet of water, and its high time to hit them before they migrate offshore to their wintering grounds at the continental shelf. You don’t need any real heavy duty gear to tackle sea bass that will generally be in the 1 to 4-pound class, in fact, lighter set ups are preferred when jigging. Without a doubt, the best way to score a bite is by dunking baits, and fresh clams are heads and shoulders the finest temptations to use, but unfortunately in the Garden State, fresh clams have been hard to come by.
That means switching up to other baits like Berkley Gulp 3-inch Swimmin Minnows in chartreuse or pink, Gulp! Shrimp in New Penny or white, squid strips, sand eels and strips of mackerel or bluefish.

Bait up on a hi-lo rig consisting of a 100-lb Spro Barrel Swivel, a 40-inch piece of 40-pound Triplefish leader with two dropper loops tied 18 inches apart and an overhand knot tied on the end for a bank sinker of 6 to 16 ounces. Loop on size 3/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hooks or size #1/0 Mustad Baitholder hooks. Jigging can be done with light 1-ounce Andrus round head bucktails, tipped with a 5-inch strip bait or long slender sand eel. Always tie a dropper loop about 18 inches above the bucktail, and lance on a size 1/0 O’Shaughnessy bucktail hair hook in white or pink.

Easy to use jigging set ups would include a Shimano 7 foot Terramar TMSE70MH, matched with a Quantum Iron 50 reel, spooled with 30-pound Power Pro braid line. The light set up allows to work bucktails easily on the sea floor. Sea bass will oftentimes “haystack” up in the water column above structure, so don’t overlook reeling up a few cranks with the bucktail or bait rig and keep it steady 20 to 30 feet up in the water column where sea bass will attack it in the open ocean.

Suggested Gear

St. Croix

MIS70MF Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod

The St Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rods deliver exceptional performance and durability at easily affordable prices. Built from St. Croix’s premium-quality SCII graphite and wrapped with Batson Forecast hard aluminum-oxide guides with 316 stainless steel frames.



Stealth Blue Camo

SpiderWire Stealth Blue Camo Braid designed with Dyneema, which is the world’s strongest fiber out there. Each size is constructed to provide the ultimate strength with the thinnest diameter for smooth and quiet performance.



Fluorocarbon Leader Material 25yds

Incredible impact and abrasion resistance. Fast sinking. Superior tensile and knot strength. The original FC (Blue Lable) Seaguar 100% fluorocarbon leader material allows you to use a smaller test leader than comparable nylons or fluorocarbons.



SSW Hooks with Super Needle Point

Great value for the price. Compare prices with other quality hooks. Ideal for baiting up nightcrawlers and minnows for walleye and panfish, and for rigging crabs, shrimp and blood worms for surf and bay fishing.



Leave Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *