Sand Eel Bite

Ahhh, here we are, few years later and none-the-wiser. We seem to collectively forgot what it was like then. ..when I say then I mean few years ago


Waiting on the beach because you’ve heard fish were hitting tins few miles east yesterday. And you expect them to be at your beach today. Tomorrow the latest…

But they did not show up. Three days later they are still few miles east of your spot. Then you get a major cold front, and you say” This will do it”

So you are again at “your” spot waiting for these fish to slide west but they don’t. You hear that they had a banner day today at same place but you don’t have a beach permit for those spots and besides, it’s a long drive.

Any day now

They you get a major wind event. Southwest winds up to 50 miles an hour. Gale warnings for boaters posted everywhere. Well if nothing did it so far, this will. So yet again, you brave insane winds and toss your plugs in crazy white water at “your spot” and Glory to God in the Highest, you get few small bass! Yes, it’s finally happening. Tomorrow the cold front passes by, the water flattens out and you again are left with a thumb up your !@#%

And yet again, you hear that fish are still east of you, hot and heavy. But you don’t want to spend $ to buy a permit this late in the year. After all, they will be at your beach soon.

When will they finally start migration?

I hope I don’t eat my words. On the second thought, I hope I do because I could really use a ride to the beach where I at least feel I have a SHOT at the fish that takes less than an hour drive. I don’t need to tell you were the fish are. You’ve heard the reports for the past weeks, if not a month

When will these fish move? Including those in deep water that party boats have been hammering now for weeks?

Unlike all other migrating baitfish, mullet, bunker, peanut bunker, herring, anchovies, you name it, sand eels are different. How? All other baitfish migrate along the beach southward. Usually they will be tailed by migrating bass and bluefish. So yeah, if you had fish at XWZ beach yesterday a beach few miles west is usually a good shot today.

But sand eels move from deep water to shallow.. Are there sand eels on your local beach? I can almost guarantee it. Why are the fish not on them ?

Probably two reasons although keep in mind I am probably talking out of my ass. One, since we decimated the bass pretty good, population in the schools of fish are smaller, more condensed. They don’t spread out trough the whole region like they used to. And resident fish are few and far between.

The second reason, the beaches that have had consistent action probably have more bait and there is no reason for fish to move. And temps are not dropping fast, so that won’t get them to move either. So in all probability, you are looking at these fish disappearing one day and reappearing in South Jersey or Delaware. I doubt they will pass by your beach. Or my beach

The whole point of this post, you got to go where sand eel bite is  at. They are probably not going to come to you. Fortunately , within the last week the fish has
spread out a bit westward.

Btw..the way, there are some BIG fish around. Not sure if they will be this big but the man can dream 🙂


The winner of Super Strike Halloween Bunk O’Lanterns lure set giveaway is have 5 days to email us at info@ with your shipping address

SS 2013 Halloween


11 comments on “Sand Eel Bite

  1. Chris A

    And to add. When you do find the sand eels the bass might be to your left or right of you but in small consecrations. Not even spreed across the whole beach like the sand eels

  2. Joe2143

    A surf rat is diligent, dedicated, obsessed and above all-Patient!!
    I stood on the beach at Island Beach State Park with a friend and we watched boats “hammering bass” about 1/2 mile off the beach. I remember him stating that we needed a boat; my reply to his comment was simply to wait for the outgoing tide. I expected the schools of blues and bass to push the bunker pods up over the sand bars and corral them against the beach at low tide. That’s exactly what happened that day. We actually got tired of catching bass and bluefish that afternoon.
    I haven’t wet a line in NJ this year at all. But today I prepped my tackle for a hot Thanksgiving weekend bite. Remember, I said “obsession and patience”!!

  3. John T

    Great blog entry Z. It seems to make perfect sense. I will be calling in dead at least twice in the coming weeks plus burning a lot of gas on the next couple weekends – not gonna wait!

      1. John T

        Thanks Z. I have the day off tomorrow, doing the pre-dawn raid “around here” 😉 – then running & gunning the rest of the day.

  4. Steve S

    Wow that is the fish I will dream about tonight.

    Nothing that big today, but a lot of quality fish on the sand eel bite today. The bass would come in waves – 15 mins w/o a fish and then 3 in row. I guess there are packs of bass roaming up and down the beach feasting on the sand reels?

  5. sioca

    Congrats Mark S!

    Q: Is Super Strike going to keep producing this “Halloween” scheme?

    Sure like to get me some!!!

    Can wait for the “X-mas” scheme…

  6. Rob k.

    congrats on the plug win! I gave up reading the noreast reports along time ago, but I read them this morning and I must say a lot of guys are releasing there fish! I am happy to read that. hope it is true. now of course some guys kept there allowed catch but not most. at least it seems some surfcasters get it! hope they are S/J readers 🙂

  7. CTMatt

    I know this is an old post but I have to say the Tsunami sand eel saved my skink last night and put quite a few fish on the shore when nothing else did.


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