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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 4-19-16

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

A few striped bass were heard about from Maurice River and the bay, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. The angling seemed improving, and a couple of customers lifted keeper stripers from the river. One was 21 pounds, and one angler reported another even bigger caught from the river. A 36-inch striper was banked from Fortescue’s surf, and a few smaller stripers seemed landed there. Boaters bought baits like bunker to sail for stripers on the bay. Drum usually bite in the bay by late April or early May. Twenty- or 30-pounders were heard about from farther north, like toward Long Beach Island, and drum usually appear at places like that first each year. Fishing for sizable white perch was good in the Maurice. Big bluefish showed up in back bays along the ocean coast. A few weakfish seemed to be picked along jetties. This is the time of year when large weaks show up to spawn, and hooking them along jetties, on bloodworms floated under a bobber, is how some of the first are usually seen. On the ocean, blackfish chomped along reefs. A few customers boated them. A run of female crabs began. Crabbing was terrible this time last year, but commercial crabbers are currently trapping the blueclaws. Looks like crabbing might be better this year than last, maybe because this winter was mild. Baits stocked include bloodworms, fresh clams and fresh bunker. Green crabs for blackfishing are on hand when available. They were scarce last spring but more available this spring. The Girls Place, located on Route 47, just after Route 55 ends, carries a large supply of bait and tackle, and is the long, one-story, yellow building on the right. It’s on the way to the bay.

<b>Money Island</b>

A couple of boats were motored out for striped bass fishing toward the Salem power plant, said Bruce from <b>Money Island Marina</b>. One of the anglers he heard back from said none of the bass was caught during that time. The season was early, and boaters were just beginning to fish. Another boat was launched to fish for white perch up Nantuxent Creek, running past the shop, yesterday. Results were yet to be heard, but the anglers were experienced perch catchers. Two fishing docks were installed at the marina last year for anglers to fish the creek, and two more will be installed this year, probably by mid-summer. Catches from the fishing docks include perch, throwback striped bass and croakers throughout the fishing season. A commercial crabber from the marina who began trapping for the season nabbed about 10 bushels the other day. That seemed a good start, not bad, encouraging. The crabber only began trapping about a week ago for the year, and probably needed to adjust where the pots were located, and so on. The season was early for crabbing, but maybe the warm winter was now causing crabs to be active early. Fresh bunker, a favorite bait for the bay’s stripers locally, were stocked during the weekend. A half-bushel were even on hand yesterday. Baits stocked throughout the season can also include minnows and all the frozen baits, like spearing and squid. Live grass shrimp are usually carried on weekends when in demand, and sometimes on other days, when in demand or someone wants. The marina features a bait and tackle shop, a boat ramp, boat slips, dry-dock boat storage, the fishing docks and gas. A 12-foot aluminum boat with a 2.5 h.p. outboard is available to rent to fish the creek.  


Boating for black drum will probably kick in by the second week of May on the bay, said Capt. Tom from <b>Erica Leigh Charters</b>. Someone beached a keeper striped bass from Fortescue’s surf during the weekend. Whether anglers banked throwback stripers that can bite there this season was unknown. Not much was heard about the bay’s fishing yet, and Tom was busy prepping for the fishing season, including working on annual maintenance on the boat.

<b>Cape May</b>

Wind kept much fishing from happening, but surf anglers tossed plugs for stripers on the bay in Cape May, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Weather might’ve looked gorgeous on land, but wind often prevented boating.  A couple of people said a couple of boats were seen fishing Delaware Bay at spots like 20-Foot Slough, probably scouting whether drum showed up yet in the bay. Blackfish seemed to be picked along jetties. A photo of a surf angler with a bluefish was posted on the shop’s Facebook page. “Racer blues are here,” the post said.

The <b>Heavy Hitter</b> was supposed to blackfish on the ocean this weekend, but wind canceled that, Capt. George said. Wind blew hard on Saturday, kicking up white caps. Weather turned out better on Sunday, and a trip probably could’ve fished that day, but the angling had already been canceled, because of forecasts. Trips for drum will fish Delaware Bay in May aboard. None of the five or six boats sailed in the forecasts this weekend that are fishing from Heavy Hitter’s marina so far this year. The angling on the Heavy Hitter would’ve been the year’s first aboard. The boat was splashed at the marina the previous weekend for the year.

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