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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 5-31-16

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Clams were being sold for bait, so drum must’ve been boated from the bay, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. Not a lot of reports rolled in about the angling, but anglers reported taking the drum early in the weekend off the Villas and Bidwell Creek area. Striped bass sometimes bit in the same area. A few customers headed for summer flounder on the bay, but no results were reported. The best flounder fishing was heard about from back bays toward Sea Isle City, Avalon and Stone Harbor, like from Ludlam Bay. The bays near those towns traditionally fish for flounder in the early season in shallow, warm water. Many customers crabbed, and pretty good crabbing was heard about from Turkey Point and the Dividing Creek area. Weather was beautiful during this Memorial Day weekend, maybe the first beautiful weather on a weekend this spring. Monday’s weather was rougher, but not much rain fell, and wind was light, that morning so far, when Sharon gave this report in a phone call. Business was busy during the weekend. Fresh clams, favorite drum bait, were available, but large amounts weren’t easy to obtain. Fresh bunker were stocked regularly, but the clams were more in demand. Plenty of minnows, favorite flounder bait, were on hand. Even live grass shrimp, not always available, were stocked. Shedder crabs, not large, were stocked this weekend for the first time this year.  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 few boats sailed for summer flounder Saturday from <b>Money Island Marina</b>, Bruce said. But nothing was doing with the angling. Water needed to warm, it seemed. There was lots of activity at the marina this Memorial Day weekend. Boaters from the docks seemed to sail for large striped bass no longer this season, or not this weekend, at least. The stripers might still be around, and customers had been bunker-chunking them near Salem nuclear plant. A trip from the marina played throwback stripers in past days, the shop’s Facebook page said. Anglers fished from the shop’s fishing docks on Nantuxent Creek, running passed the marina. The dock anglers landed some white perch and a couple of small stripers. The marina had been going to host the year’s first barbecue and lecture Saturday, but that was postponed because of possible heavy rain. The <a href="" target="_blank">Marina Barbecue and Lecture</a> will be held instead 2 to 5 p.m. this Sunday, featuring barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, side dishes, dessert and an economic update talk about the area. The talks at the events will be from people like from the Friends of Delaware Bay and the Nature Conservancy. The marina features a bait and tackle shop, a boat ramp, boat slips, dry-dock boat storage, fishing docks and gas. The fishing docks, $5 per adult and free for kids, can offer angling for white perch, small stripers, and croakers, at different times of year. A 12-foot aluminum boat with a 2.5 h.p. outboard is available to rent to fish the creek. Bait stocked can include fresh bunker, live grass shrimp and minnows when in demand. The minnow supply was now begun at the marina.


Crabbing was pretty phenomenal this weekend at <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>, Linda said. Crabbing became available at the shop this weekend for the first time this year, and for every keeper trapped, probably 30 throwbacks were. Lots of babies skittered around, and many customers nabbed 2 to 2 ½ dozen keepers. The season was early for many large crabs to be around, but some sizable were already scooped up. A 6-1/2-incher was pulled in Saturday, and a 6-3/4-incher was pasted Sunday. The 6-1/2-incher had been the biggest at the shop so far, until the larger one came in. The customer with the year’s biggest wins a free rental boat next year. The contest happens each year at Beaver Dam. No bait seemed to catch better than another, but sometimes one bait works better than another, and the shop lets customers know. The shop will probably offer a special for Fathers’ Day on June 19. That was weathered out last year, but the special then was going to be a special rate that included a rental boat, pizza and more. Maybe hoagies or hamburgers will be included this year, and that will be announced. A rental-boat trip that fished this weekend reeled up a 4-pound bluefish and, Linda thought, some white perch. The blue was unusual in these waters, and another trip that fished tugged in a couple of throwback striped bass 22 or 24 inches. Wear light-colored clothing on trips, because that attracts gnats less than dark-colored does. The crew is hoping for a short gnat season. Customers crab and fish on rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running passed the store. The boats are available on Saturdays and Sundays currently and will be available daily beginning in late June. Reserve ahead, because they become booked. When the boats are available, rental kayaks and canoes are, too, for paddling the scenic creek. The shop stocks everything needed for crabbing, from bait, traps and nets to snacks, drinks and suntan lotion. Visit <a href="" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>.


A trip was drum fishing on the bay aboard Wednesday evening when Capt. Jim from <b>Fins & Grins Sport Fishing</b> gave this report in a phone call on the boat, he said. The anglers waited for the trip’s first drum to bite, but one was seen landed on another boat off the bow, and one each was seen taken on boats to port and starboard. A few were biting, and drumming was heard aboard. That was the most recent report Jim gave at press time. But five drum were bagged from the bay on a trip the previous Sunday with Fins. The four anglers on a trip the next day, last week on Monday, each decked a drum on the boat. A friend’s trip heaved in eight last Tuesday night. This was prime time for drum, and Jim would keep after them. Sea bass fishing was okay, not fantastic, on the ocean since sea bass season was opened that Monday. Summer flounder fishing sounded a little slow on the back bay. Fins fishes for all species in season, and is slated to fish every day. Reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability. 

<b>Cape May</b>

The Whitman charter heaved in 10 drum to 70 pounds, keeping five, releasing the rest, on the bay Saturday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. All other boats George knew about that day landed one, two or none, and drum fishing had been so-so up to then, and George guessed he got lucky, he said. “Hey, I’ll be lucky. I’ll take it,” he said. The anglers were experienced, brought their own, extra bushel of clams for bait, fished with their own rigs, two tandem J-hooks, impaling two clams on each rig, and waited for the line to come tight on a bite in a certain way, before setting the hook. Another charter was slated to fish for the drum aboard Monday, Memorial Day, when George gave this report Sunday night in a phone call. The charter wanted to fish no matter rain that was forecast. George was yet to report about that trip at press time, but texted a photo of the catch: 10 drum. The Parker charter sailed for sea bass Sunday on the ocean aboard. A gazillion throwbacks bit, but a bunch of keepers were bagged, drop-and-reel fishing.

Drum were boated on the bay on the New Jersey side toward Coxhall Creek and on the Delaware side off Slaughter Beach, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Surf angling served up some good action from the bay and from the ocean. Adam McDraw Jr. weighed-in his first striped bass from the surf, a 22-pound 41-incher, and his dad beached one identical in weight and length on the trip.  Bunker seemed to snatch stripers from the bay’s surf the most, and clams seemed to do them in from the ocean’s the most. Occasional drum were eased from the surf near Coxhall and at Cape May Point. Surf casters plugging for stripers picked one or two 10-pound blues on occasion. A 6-1/2-pound weakfish was weighed from the surf along a local jetty.  Kingfish were nabbed from the surf at times. Boaters picked summer flounder from the back bay along the Intracoastal Waterway from locally to Grassy Sound.  No flounder were heard about from Delaware Bay, and the catches from the deeper, colder bay often begin later, when the water warms.

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