Ten keeper fluke to a 23-inch 4-1/2-pounder and lots of throwbacks were swung aboard from the bay on Jason Winger’s trip with four anglers on Tuesday with <b>Papa’s Angels Charters</b>, Capt. Joe said. Five keepers to 20 inches were hung from the bay on Joe Belot’s trip with five anglers 4 to 9 p.m. Monday. They also released throwbacks, and the trips fished with squid and live peanut bunker. Space is available on open-boat trips for fluke 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Open trips for fluke are available during those hours daily when no charter is booked. Call to reserve.
New engines were installed, and sea trials and a Coast Guard inspection should come by the end of the week, said Capt. Ron from the party boat <b>Fishermen</b> in a report on the vessel’s Web site. If all goes well, the vessel should begin fluke fishing again by the middle of next week. Ron will post the exact date on the site when he knows. When trips resume, they’ll fish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Fluke fishing was inconsistent in past days, like usual, and the fishing improved on Tuesday morning’s trip, said Capt. Tom from the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>. But that couldn’t be repeated. Jack McMillan, Piscataway, waxed a 7-pound 3-ounce fluke on one of the trips. Fluking was off to a good start, picking some fish, on this morning’s trip, Tom said at 9:30 in a phone call aboard, when he gave this report. Anglers had already swung in keepers, “a couple of handfuls,” he said. He thought one bagged two, and some bagged one. He would see whether the fishing would hold up. Trips fished from Flynn’s Knoll and off Sandy Hook Point to Raritan Bay. Trips were lucky to get a breeze most of the time. The weather wasn’t as hot as on land. The Atlantic Star is fishing for fluke twice daily 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. <b>***Update, Friday, 7/6:***</b> After Thursday morning’s trip’s fluke fishing was a bit of an improvement with short action and a few more keepers than usual, the afternoon’s trips wasn’t as good, Tom said. Spros and bucktails caught best on both trips. Fluking wasn’t good on this morning’s trip. “We didn’t put it together,” Tom said. But more shorts than usual bit. On this afternoon’s trip so far, Tom said in a phone call at 4 p.m. on the outing, more keepers were already landed than this morning, and short action was some of the best of the season. Bait caught better than Spros or bucktails this time. A simple rig worked best, and most anglers fished Gulps with killies or spearing on the rigs.
Fishing for fluke was good, said Jimmy from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Striped bass were probably managed at night, but little was heard about them. Lots of sea bass and ling were pounded from the ocean. Nobody mentioned porgies, but porgy season opened Sunday. Cocktail blues swam the rivers, and crabs scurried around the rivers. Catches like the cocktails were usually mugged in mornings and evenings, now that waters and weather were warm. All baits are stocked.
An 11-pound 29-inch fluke was weighed in Saturday at <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, an e-mail from the marina said. Paul Konieczka hauled the fish from Raritan Bay. On the charter boat Hyper Striper, sailing from the marina, Nicole Wagner and cousins Amanda and Chris boated fluke 3 ½ pounds, 6 pounds and 4 pounds, respectively, at Flynn’s Knoll on Saturday on squid. Jeff Lawrence, his sister Kathy and her two sons bucktailed fluke to 5 ½ pounds and clammed sea bass at Scotland on Tuesday. The full-service marina features boat slips and rack storage, ship-store supplies, a full line of bait for inshore and offshore, tackle and a fuel dock, and is located on Shrewsbury River. No bridges before the bay. Convenient, fast access to fishing.
<b>***Update, Friday, 7/6:***</b> Capts. Ralph and Harry from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> “finally got the starboard engine back together,” Ralph said in an e-mail. One of the engines on one of his two boats had been down. After many hours in the engine room, installing a new exhaust manifold and head, and updating or cleaning all the external add-ons, the boat is tested and running great. Now that both vessels are running, here’s the individual-reservation trip schedule: fluke, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Tuesday, next openings on July 17, “thank you for your support,” Ralph said; sea bass, ling and blackfish at the wrecks 15 to 25 miles from shore, 6 a.m. every Sunday starting July 15 (one blackfish can be kept starting July 17); offshore cod, pollock and ling, 2 a.m. July 15, two spots left, maximum six people; and striped bass, 12 midnight to 6 a.m. Thursday, July 19, fishing with bait, six-person max. “(Stripers) are still there,” Ralph said. Also, tuna could be trolled in a one-day charter at the canyons, leaving at 12 midnight. “Catch them now,” Ralph said. “They are here.” Bluefin tuna could be caught inshore. The bag limit is one bluefin 27 to 47 inches and another 47 to 73 inches. If charters are okay with the limit, “I’m ready to go,” Ralph said. The trips could always drop on a wreck for cod afterward.
On the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b> fluke fishing was super, very good, Capt. Chris said. Trips fished the ocean rough bottom, and lots of anglers limited out on Wednesday’s trip. A 9-1/2-pound fluke was the pool winner. Many fluke were creamed in the last days, and a bunch weighed 6 and 7 pounds. Anglers mostly fished with Gulps on jigs. The Big Mohawk is fluke fishing 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Evening trips for striped bass are finished for the season.
With <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> fluke fishing was excellent on the ocean for anglers who could bucktail well, when conditions created a good drift for the boat and the weather cooperated, Capt. Pete said. Many keepers were 4 to 8 pounds, and throwbacks served up lots of action. Sea bass and ling were sometimes mixed in. If anglers wanted a wreck-fishing charter for sea bass, they could do that. But charters usually focused on fluke. Fluke tournaments are coming up that charters booked, and fluke tournaments are available for charters. Charters for sharks and bluefin tuna are also on tap. Parker Pete’s fishes for any species available. Charters and open-boat trips are running. For availability on open trips, see <a href="http://parkerpetefishing.com/belmar-fishing-trips/open-boat-trips" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s open-boat page</a> online, and sign up for the e-mailed newsletter on the site. Dates are announced in both places. Cruises are available to watch fireworks on the ocean off Asbury Park every Wednesday, and see the boat’s Web site for times.
Good catches of blues, small ones, were bombed from the ocean on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, Capt. Alan said. Most were jigged on both daytime and nighttime jigs, and a few were baited. Big blues bit until about a week ago. On the party boat <b>Tropical Adventure</b>, Alan’s other vessel, fishing for fluke and sea bass was good on the ocean. An 8-1/2-pound fluke and an 8-pounder were drilled on a couple of days in a row. Fluke 4 and 5 pounds were pummeled. A 5-pound 4-ounce sea bass was slugged in the past week. The Miss Belmar Princess is sailing for bluefish 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily. The Tropical Adventure is fishing for fluke and sea bass 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon and 3:30 to 6 p.m. daily.
The Fourth of July was a hot one, but lots of big fluke were clobbered on the party boats on the ocean, said Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> in an e-mail. Most customers who fluke fished on Shark River were novices on the holiday. “Some only wanted to joy ride,” Bob said. So catches were slow for them. Snapper blues and blueclaw crabs began to appear in the river. The shop’s rental boats are available to fish or crab on the river.
<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>
Boaters picked yellowfin tuna a few nights at waters to the south that the <b>Canyon Runner</b> had been fishing the last few weeks, a report on Canyon Runner’s Web site said. But then a trip with Canyon Runner this week went 13 for 15 on yellowfins at night on bait. Tons of butterfish and sardines were brought on the trip, and as soon as the first bait was dropped in the waters, tuna swam the slick. On an overnight trip, apparently previously, from Sunday to Monday, with Canyon Runner, in the same waters, after only one yellowfin was caught, the captain, an hour after the lines were pulled in, read “the right ones,” the report said. The big fish swam deep at 8 a.m. in 900 feet of waters. Soon three bigeye tuna were trolled. Two were 200 pounds, and one was 190. They smacked a Canyon Runner Rainbow Green Machine Spreader Bar, a ballyhoo behind a Joe Shute and a jet. That made 11 bigeyes caught with Canyon Runner this year in 18 trips. Three-hundred-seventy-five yellowfins were caught in the 18 trips. That’s the best-ever for Canyon Runner by this time of year or July 4. A couple of spots remain on rare open-boat trips for tuna on Canyon Runner’s 60-foot Ritchie Howell this Monday to Tuesday and, during the following week, Wednesday to Thursday, July 18 to 19. Only three dates for charters remain on the Ritchie to August 15. Book a charter on the boat today, and get $500 off, an e-mail from Canyon Runner said. Open-boat dates are available on the 48-foot Viking in the next weeks.
For anglers on the party boat <b>Norma K III</b>, fluke fishing was hit or miss the past couple of days, a report on the vessel’s Web site said. Plenty of the fish were around, “but the conditions have to be right,” the report said. In mornings the boat didn’t drift much, and in afternoon’s the vessel drifted fast. Pool-winning fluke weighed 3 to 5 pounds, and Gulps on bucktails were the ticket. On nighttime trips, fishing was good for small bluefish. Tuesday night’s trip looked for bigger blues offshore, and a few 6- to 10-pounders and 1- to 2-pounders bit. The fishing was mostly slow, “but now we have an area to shoot for and look for the bigger ones,” the report said. The Norma-K III is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and for blues 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
Manasquan River’s fluke fishing was improving, and more keepers seemed caught than before, said Chuck from <b>Gates Bait & Tackle</b>. Hickory shad were going crazy in the river, and the shop’s hickory shad rig did a job on them. Blues 2 to 4 pounds ran the river, and the shad and blues could pop up any time, when boat traffic wasn’t heavy. On the ocean fluke fishing was best to the north. Little was heard about striped bass fishing on the ocean anymore, and news about surf fishing was quiet. Waters were warm. Nobody was really seen surf fishing during daytime, but sometimes surf casters were seen at night. All the baits including killies, worms and the full selection of frozen baits are stocked. <b>***THIS TACKLE SHOP IS FOR SALE! CALL: 732-899-5760.***</b>
Sea bass, ling and a few cod and fluke were scooped aboard the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, Capt. Butch said. Trips targeted sea bass and ling, and the fishing was very good, serving up 20 to 40 fish per angler. On some days more sea bass than ling were taken. Otherwise more ling were looted. The cod ranged from just-keepers to 12-pounders. Trips fished for sea bass in the 60- to 80-foot shallows and for ling and cod in 120 to 180 feet. Waters were mostly 71 to 73 degrees but were as warm as 77. On nighttime bluefish trips, catches were okay. Small blues ½ pound to 2 pounds were caught, and big blues will bite again, will be “right back,” Butch said, when finished spawning. The Dauntless is bottom fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily and bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.
<b>***Update, Friday, 7/6:***</b> Barnegat Bay’s better fluke fishing was snatched from Double Creek Channel or toward Barnegat Inlet, because of cooler waters, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. Incoming tides were also better, because of cooler waters. Killies or spearing with squid worked well for bait there, and some anglers dunked the new Uncle Josh Meat baits. But a few fluke came from the bay from the 40 to the BB. One-pound blues were trolled there, and an occasional weakfish was hooked there. Blowfish were plucked at the BI. Kids played with small black drum, croakers and spots on Toms River at Island Heights from the bulkhead on bits of clam or nightcrawler on a bottom rig. They also grabbed them along the Route 37 Bridge, and small snapper blues were nipped at both places. The surf mostly tossed up 1- or 1-1/2-pound blues. Sometimes fluke were banked while anglers fished from the Barnegat Inlet jetty. Triggerfish were landed along the jetty rocks, and out-of-season blackfish were caught and released along the rocks. Crabbing was good but slowed because of the full moon. Almost none of the blueclaws showed up in Dennis’s couple of pots.
The full moon caused crabbing to drop off, but customers today talked about catches starting to improve, said John from <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>. Spots and blowfish were sometimes angled from the docks, and small snapper blues began to bite there. Barnegat Bay’s fluke, like at the BI marker, were small. But party boats from Point Pleasant Beach reportedly put customers on good fluke catches on the ocean, and the shop’s customers kayaked fluke at Manasquan Inlet. In the surf, brown sharks were caught and released at night, and 1- to 3-pound blues were beached during daytime. Metal caught the blues, but anglers could fish cut bait for them. The shop rents different types of boats for fishing, crabbing and cruising, rents water skis, and features the full supply of bait and tackle, a free pier for fishing and crabbing, and more.
Barnegat Bay boaters bagged fluke at Oyster Creek and Double Creek channels and north and south of the BI marker, said Grizz from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. Weakfish began to show up in the bay. Tim Cooper weighed in a 3-pounder, and a few other weaks caught were heard about. Blowfish remained in the bay. On the ocean fluke and sea bass were boxed at the Tire Reef and Garden State Reef North. Little was heard about bluefish from anywhere. Crabbing was good on the bay.
Bluefishing was a bit picky Wednesday on the party boat <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, a report on the vessel’s Web site said. The fish couldn’t be found in the morning, but some were caught in the afternoon. They remained small like recently. Fishing for them was good on Monday and Tuesday aboard. It was fantastic on Sunday’s trip, covered in the last report here. The Miss Barnegat Light is bluefishing 8 a.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
At <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b> customers docked fluke, pretty good catches, from Double and Oyster Creek channels and High Bar Harbor on Barnegat Bay, Vince Sr. said. Blowfishing turned back on, after declining, at the bay’s 42 buoy and the BI marker. Lots of small bluefish swam the bay. The full moon affected crabbing on the bay, but the blueclaws were caught better otherwise. Clamming was very good on the bay. On the ocean, lots of sea bass and some fluke were copped. Customers steamed for tuna at Wilmington Canyon. Bobbie’s rents boats and kayaks, is known for bait selection, and features a tackle shop and a fuel dock.
<b>***Update, Friday, 7/6:***</b> From an e-mail from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “It’s on!” he said. He especially seemed to be talking about Barnegat Bay’s weakfishing, and more on that in a moment. “The past two days produced awesome fishing,” Dave said. “On Wednesday I had Fred Baker on board for great light-tackle action with stripers and blackfish, using live grass shrimp at the Barnegat Inlet jetty. We went 3 for 4 on 25- to 26-inch stripers (and caught) some 13- to 15-inch tog. On Thursday I had Nate Stein out at the same spot, where he found a keeper (striper) that just made it in the cooler at 28 ¼ inches. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhMPoDtnj38" target="_blank">Here’s the video</a>. These fish are here all summer. Later in the trip, Nate hooked a 30-inch houndfish, a tropical needlefish on steroids, that went for his jighead and Gulp, in the new cut-through channel from the Dike to the inlet. I dropped those guys off and picked up two high school friends at the dock. We only had a 2-hour window to fish before land obligations took precedent. I had a bunch of leftover live grass shrimp and a rumor of weakfish. So, why not? I set the anchor in one of our old weakfish haunts (sorry, can't say where yet), and before I could throw the second handful of chum, Steve Ondrof, Garwood, had a bent rod and a screaming reel. An hour and a half of non-stop battle with 2- to 3-pound weakies that were visually eating our shrimp chum alongside the boat. We went from baited hooks to artificials in a hurry. Shad darts and Clouser flies were producing violent strikes. Sure, you can only keep one per man, but is that why we do it? For the fillet? Wouldn't it be infinitely cheaper to just buy all the fillet, lobster and shrimp you could eat for the money we spend to boat and fish? Sure, the regs are unfair. But I'm not going to stop fishing for these magnificent fish that fill the bill in every way. Gorgeous colors, awesome fighters, and more often than not, blitz conditions. I had a full boat to leave this morning for bluefin tuna, but I called everyone at 9 PM yesterday to cancel. All the captains I talked to last night said the water at the tuna grounds (Atlantic Princess, Glory Hole) turned green, and the bite was off. I didn't want to take everyone for a 50-mile boat ride if there wasn't good water. I don't mind hearing the bite was slow. But I'm not trekking 50 miles to fish green water and bluefish. It hurts to lose the trip, but this practice has served me well in terms of people coming back. I will be running open-boat trips 4 AM to11 AM Saturday and 4:30 AM to 11:30 AM Sunday. Also, 1 PM to 6PM Sunday. Limited to three people. The boat is also available to charter for these time slots, and the head count is a little more flexible. I only limit to three on the open boats or when we sail offshore. It's going to be a ShrimpFest! All live grass shrimping on 6- and 10-pound spinning tackle. The early morning we will anchor up for the weakies for the first half of the trip. Then it will be time to catch the tide for the stripers at the inlet jetty. I’ll be packing heavy with gallons of live shrimp to throw. The Sunday afternoon trip will be just weakies, and then we can mix in some fluke to try to put a Ziplock together for you folks. If you've ever done the grass shrimping with me or anyone, you know that the fluke respond to that bait very well. Some of the nicer fluke we catch are at anchor on the shrimp, when the tide starts to slow, and the chum drops straight down to them. Please call me, don't e-mail, if you would like to reserve a spot. I’m not logged on to the computer very often when I’m fishing. See you on board.”
<b>***Update, Friday, 7/6:***</b> Fishing was improving, said Sue from <b>Surf City Bait & Tackle</b>. Fluke were sometimes beached from the surf, and lots of small blues ran the surf and bay. Party boaters also caught the blues. Kingfish started to appear in the surf, and so did weakfish. Plenty of skates hung along the surf. Crabbing was good. Fresh clams are stocked, and fresh bunker ran out. Bunker started swimming deep, becoming difficult for the netter to boat. Minnows are on hand, and bloodworms are expected to arrive. All the frozen baits, including mullet and vacuum-packed bunker, are carried. Keep up with the news in <a href="http://www.surfcitybaitandtackle.com/" target="_blank">Surf City Bait & Tackle’s fishing reports</a> on the shop’s Web site. Or keep in touch on <a href=" http://www.facebook.com/pages/Surf-City-Bait-and-Tackle/207533229268619
" target="_blank">Surf City Bait & Tackle’s Facebook page</a>.
A steady pick of summer flounder was axed from the ocean with <b>Legal Limit Charters</b>, Capt. T.J. said. The fishing was “nothing miraculous,” he said, but good catches were scored on some days. Sea bass fishing was similar aboard. A shark trip is slated to fish offshore Saturday on T.J.’s other boat that sails from Cape May. Trips are also tuna fishing, and yellowfin tuna catches were spotty at the canyons the last T.J. heard on Monday. Some boats totaled one or two, and others clocked five or six. Not much was heard about bluefin tuna closer to shore. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips are set to sail for flounder and tuna. See <a href=" http://www.legallimitcharters.com/open-boat.php" target="_blank">Legal Limit’s open-boat page</a> online.
“It’s hot,” said Scott from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Summer flounder were boated from the bay near the 126 marker. Trips took short drifts, passing across bars from shallow to deep waters. That’s where the fish gathered, maybe because of a thermocline. Grassy Channel seemed not to turn out fish, and Little Egg Inlet was full of skates. No bluefish seemed to swim the bay, and nothing was heard about weakfish. Nobody mentioned fishing for sharks that usually give up a fight on the bay from dusk to dark in summer. The small fish or kingfish, blues, sea bass and porgies were yet to show up that create a bay fishery in summer. Flounder fishing on the ocean “turned on a little,” Scott said, at places like 45- to 50-foot depths around the Rutgers Buoys and Little Egg Reef. A catch of five keepers for three anglers on a vessel was good. One trip Sunday on the ocean with three anglers cranked in five keeper flounder and 20 throwbacks. Another with three anglers toggled in five keepers and 30 throwbacks. Nothing was reported about white perch fishing on the rivers. Lots of crabs skittered around, but few were keepers. Entertaining, at least. Fresh, shucked clams, live grass shrimp, bloodworms, minnows, eels and all the frozen baits, like spearing and the different types of squid, are stocked. Gulps were popular sellers for flounder fishing, including large Gulps for the ocean.
<b>***Update, Friday, 7/6:***</b> Lots of summer flounder of all sizes, from the size of a hand to 6 and 7 pounds, hovered throughout the Intracoastal Waterway, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. Flounder fishing was the main affair by far for anglers, and good reports were also heard about flounder boated from the ocean lumps and wrecks. If anglers liked fishing for them there, this was probably a time to get started. Plus, lots fewer bugs bit there, and the weather might’ve been cooler on the ocean. Weakfishing was becoming better and better on the bay, and Dave was going to try for them this morning on the tide a moment. The bay’s population of small blues was “iffy,” and the blues might’ve been feeding on sand eels in the ocean. But Dave expects the number of blues to build in the back bay soon, chasing all the bait there. More and more kingfish and spots appeared in the surf and could be bloodwormed. The spots hung around the surf and docks, and were growing big enough for anglers to catch to keep for live bait. Nearly any fish would jump on a spot, and the spots were large enough for flounder already. Weakfish would also swipe a spot. Sizeable sharks swam the bays, and Great Bay was boiling with them. Anglers hunted them at night. White perch fishing was good on the brackish rivers, though the weather was hot there. Anglers instead might like to boat the bay or ocean or fish the surf for relief. Crabbing was good. Spots are stocked from the South, and Dave is looking at catching them locally to stock soon. That’ll get the price down. Shedder crabs, minnows, bloodworms and all the usual summer baits, a large supply, are carried.
Kingfish and spots swarmed all over the surf, finally moved in, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. The kings bit bloodworms and Fishbites artificial worms equally. Two different anglers beached a striped bass apiece on Fishbites on kingfish rigs. Occasional stripers, resident, non-migrating fish, were around. Good catches of summer flounder were made from the back bay, though many anglers said bigger ones seemed to be moving to the ocean for the season. Fewer keepers and more throwbacks were found in the back than before. Gorgeous bloodworms are stocked, and Fishbites and all the frozen baits are carried.
The electricity just came back on at <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b> after the storm Friday night, Noel said. A few striped bass were still banked from Absecon Inlet at night. One was weighed in that was clammed. Lots of triggerfish chomped clams along the inlet rocks. Kingfish 17 to 18 inches also bit for anglers on foot, from the inlet at Pacific Avenue to the surf along the ocean. Summer flounder swam plentiful in the area. Not a lot were keepers, but some were. Bluefish would come and go. Spots just started to show up along the inlet. Finger mullet swam the back waters. All baits, a large supply, are stocked.
The back bay was clearing up from the storm, starting to look good, and summer flounder fishing was improving aboard as a result, said Capt. John from the party boat <b>Keeper</b>. The fishing wasn’t great, wasn’t as good as in May. “But not too bad,” he said. No bluefish were seen recently, though they schooled, but weren’t caught, previously. Only flounder bit aboard in the past week. Lots of bait filled the bay. Silversides and peanut bunker were able to be netted occasionally to keep in the livewell for bait. They caught flounder well. So did mackerel and minnows supplied on the boat, and Gulps worked very well that anglers brought. The Keeper is fishing for summer flounder 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 5 p.m. daily. The fare is only $25 per adult, $20 for seniors and $16 for kids.
A few summer flounder remained in the back bay, and fishing for them was okay, but more bit at the ocean reefs, said Bill from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Fishing was typical of summertime’s warm waters, and back-bay anglers had to work for flounder. They landed a few striped bass at night. A few flounder were pulled from the surf. Occasional kingfish nibbled in the surf, and sharks and skates grabbed baits there. Good catches of sea bass were socked at the ocean reefs. Farther from shore, yellowfin tuna were trolled at Wilmington Canyon. Not much was heard about bluefin tuna closer to the coast. One overnight trip at the canyons belted yellowfin tuna, mahi mahi, a mako shark and tilefish.
<b>Sea Isle City</b>
Surf fishing picked up a little, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Better catches of kingfish were heard about from the beach. Previously the angling was a slow pick, but catches like 5 or 7 kings were now heard about. Spots, croakers, weakfish and blowfish were mixed in at times. Surf anglers who knew how to catch brown sharks, fish that must be released, nailed a few. At Corson’s and Townsend’s inlets, summer flounder, a few blues and occasional weakfish were nabbed. On the ocean, fishing for flounder was very good at places like Ocean City and Wildwood reefs. A few were even heard about from sea bass trips 20 miles off the coast. Sea bass fishing was fairly good, “not setting any records,” Mike said. But all who tried for them came up with a few and sometimes ling and cod. Inshore shark fishing, catch and release, was great for browns, duskies and blacktips. Multiple reports about catches from 15 to 20 in a morning were heard. Yellowfin tuna were decked at Wilmington and Spencer canyons, mostly on the troll, a few on the chunk. A few bigeye tuna were caught.
Sixteen sharks to 80 pounds, mostly blacktips and duskies, were clobbered on one of the inshore trips for them Sunday aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The trips, catch and release on spinning or fly rods, have been great, and are an opportunity to catch big fish within 15 miles from shore, usually closer. That’s instead of the long trip offshore. The anglers on the trip, John and Marian Martin and Patty Gaudet, fished mostly with bait or mackerel fillets on spinning rods. But one of the sharks was fly-rodded. A few trips fished the ocean reefs aboard. Bob Roda’s family on Tuesday fished Ocean City Reef, pumping in a few keeper sea bass and summer flounder, releasing a bunch of throwbacks of both and a couple of healthy-sized, out-of-season blackfish. A good time, Joe said. Tom Scranton and friends that evening took a short trip to the reefs, claiming sea bass, flounder and blues. Dustin Laricks and Mike McCormick on Monday fished Cape May Reef, catching flounder and sea bass. Action was better at Ocean City Reef. Jersey Cape is also tuna fishing, and yellowfin tuna fishing became more sporadic than before at the canyons, but good catches were still made. White marlin and mahi mahi sometimes bit at the canyons. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s blog</a>. Take an after-work trip from 4:30 p.m. to dark, a convenient, productive time.
Northwest winds blowing rental boats across the channel weren’t easy on the back bay’s summer flounder fishing, but the angling was strong, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. The fact that the fish were caught despite winds was something. Not a lot were caught, but they were caught. A customer Wednesday docked two flounder 22 and 23 inches. Throwbacks were more common today. Bluefish were occasionally run into on the bay. Nothing was heard about weakfish from the waters in 10 days. But nobody really targeted them in the one-weakfish bag limit. Baby sea bass 8 or 9 inches swam the bay. Customers trapped crabs from the bay, but not many of the blueclaws were keepers. The season was early for them. The rental boats are available, and a large supply of baits is stocked. However, big minnows, from the South, that are usually carried, became scarce, because the storm clobbered the supplier in Virginia. A few of the minnows remained at the shop, and are $5 a pint, the best price on the island, Mike said in a previous report. He hopes to stock more Friday. Baits carried include Gulps, shedder crabs, frozen, chopped shedders in brine, all the different squids, including colored and scented squid strips, tube squid and trolling squid, and frozen herring, whole mackerel, mackerel fillets and salted clams in quarts and pints. Mike hopes crabs for eating will arrive this weekend for the season. Check out <a href="http://www.canalsideboatrentals.com" target="_blank">Canal Side’s Web site</a>.
<b>Relentless Sport Fishing</b>’s been tuna fishing, Capt. Dave said. A trip Saturday trolled nine yellowfin tuna 40 to 50 pounds at the canyons. A trip Monday fished somewhat closer to shore, chunking and jigging. The anglers went 6 for 6 on bluefin tuna in the lower 40 pounds. One was kept, and the rest were released. “Not a bad day at all,” Dave said.
Summer flounder fishing was good aboard the ocean, said Capt. T.J. from <b>Legal Limit Charters</b>. So was sea bass fishing, and small bluefish could be fought at the ocean shoals. A shark trip is booked to sail offshore Saturday. Yellowfin tuna fishing sounded spotty, when T.J. last heard on Monday. Some trips totaled one or two, and others five or six. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips are scheduled to target tuna from Cape May and flounder from Tuckerton on T.J.’s other boat. See <a href=" http://www.legallimitcharters.com/open-boat.php" target="_blank">Legal Limit’s open-boat page</a> online.
A sea bass charter today whaled a good catch on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. Lots of throwbacks were sorted through, but plenty of keepers, none huge, up to 16 inches, were iced. Action was non-stop the whole time, drop-and-reel, including lots of double-headers. The anglers, Ryan Moore’s charter, fished 18 miles from shore. Summer flounder fishing sounded slow on the ocean, like at the Old Grounds, in past days. George couldn’t know whether the full moon affected that, and catches were good previously. Trips, including 4-hour charters, could troll for blues on the ocean. Blues schooled including off Cape May Point. Nothing was heard about croakers at all. Trolling for yellowfin tuna seemed slower than before in recent days at the canyons. But the fish were reportedly chunked at night, and that was early, usually happening in August. Trips are available for sea bass, flounder, blues and tuna, and call if interested.
Fishing for summer flounder was good several days on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. All trips fished the ocean, and the angling wasn’t good on Wednesday’s trip, and the boat wouldn’t drift well. But on other days, some of the anglers limited out. John Riccardi, Williamstown, limited out on Friday. Craig Constantino, Voorhees limited out on the fish to 6 pounds, and Paul believed that was on Friday. Bob Steinmetz, West Wildwood, limited out on Friday. Anglers with limits also included Al Pavlichko, Seaville, on Sunday and Carl Keehfus, Villas, on Monday. An 8.8-pounder was the biggest flounder caught aboard during the week. Mike Patterson, Ridley Park, Pa., won the pool with the fish and limited out. He bucktailed that fish, but most anglers dragged bait. The anglers who caught best weren’t passive. They worked for the catches, occasionally twitching the bait, and so on. A few sea bass were mixed in, but none to speak about. The Porgy IV is fishing for summer flounder at 8 a.m. daily.
A couple of customers put the brakes on summer flounder, good catches, along the Intracoastal Waterway and Cape May Harbor, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Delaware Bay’s flounder fishing seemed hit or miss. Someone would report a catch from a place like Brandywine Shoal one day then not so much another. Weakfish swam the flats of the bay. Croakers schooled Bayshore Channel off Cape May Point. A couple of surf anglers ran into big spot fish. On the ocean, flounder fishing was very good at Reef 11 and the Old Grounds. A few healthy-sized flounder and sea bass seemed to be sacked at Cape May Reef on the ocean on every trip. Bluefish always school the ocean shoals like 4- and 5-fathom banks or McCrae’s Shoal this time of year. Fish like false albacore probably swam there. Tuna fishing sounded good at the canyons. Mahi mahi and a few marlin were also trolled there. Minnows, big bloodworms, fresh clams and all the frozen baits are stocked.