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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 9-27-16

Note, 10/4: Few fished and crabbed in rough weather this past week, so this report was not completely updated today. But a couple of updates were posted.

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Most business was about weakfish and crabs, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. Quite a few weaks schooled the bay, and the number seemed greater than last year. Interest seemed to be peaking about the fish. Many anglers boated for them, though one is the weakfish bag limit. The anglers caught and released the fish for fun, after bagging one, and also turned up croakers and 2- to 4-pound blues, good-eating sized, from the bay. Not a lot was heard about kingfish, but some seemed around. The season was becoming late for kings, but the water was warmer than usual. 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>***Update, Tuesday, 10/4:***</b> Nothing was doing with fishing in the weather, Sharon said. Business was “dead as a door nail.” Wind calmed Monday finally, but rain fell that morning. Still, anglers will probably try for stripers this Columbus Day weekend. That’s traditionally a time to begin fishing for them, and sometimes the fish were hooked then in years past.

<b>Money Island</b>

Anglers waited for the fall run of striped bass, said Bruce from <b>Money Island Marina</b>. After maybe another week, hardcore anglers will begin looking for them. Less serious anglers sometimes pulled boats for the year, and somewhat of a lull happens in fishing between when schools start back up and anglers search for stripers. Weakfish and good-sized blues were sometimes boated from the cove, the marina’s Facebook page said. Fishing for white perch was fairly good from the docks this weekend, Bruce said.  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 striped bass, 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. Fresh bunker, favorite bait for the bay’s stripers, is stocked when demand picks up. All frozen baits are carried.

<b>Beaver Dam</b>

Crabbing was so-so, said Paul from <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>. Catches this weekend ranged from not many per trip to a full bushel, or some caught not so much, and some scored well, for unknown reasons. Was difficult to tell “if that was the crabs or the crabber,” he said. Fishing was definitely good for white perch on the creek. One angler landed a mess of small striped bass from the water. Paul had never seen the creek so salty. The salt was because of the drought, he guessed. Four inches of rain fell last week on Monday locally, the first rainy day in some time. He’d been concerned that freshwater from the rain would hinder crabbing, but it didn’t. Maybe that was because the water had been so salty. Customers crab and fish on rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. The boats are available Saturdays and Sundays through Columbus Day weekend, October 8 and 9, if weather allows. They’re also available on Columbus Day itself, Monday, October 10, if weather allows. Afterward, they’ll be unavailable through winter until available again in spring. Though the boats are only available certain days, the shop remains open daily for supplies. Beaver Dam carries everything needed for crabbing, from bait, traps and nets to snacks, drinks and suntan lotion. Hunters also stop by later in the year, including for turkey check-ins and for duck hunting on the creek.   Visit <a href="" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>. <b>***Update, Tuesday, 10/4:***</b> The shop was closed in the weekend’s rough weather, Linda said. The rental boats will be available for the final time this year this weekend through Monday, Columbus Day, if weather allows. But the store will remain open afterward, mentioned above, and kayak rentals and the boat-launching ramp will, too. The ramp will mostly be used for duck hunting. Telephone for kayak rentals to make sure the crew will be there to rent them. Beautiful weather for kayaking should remain this fall. This can be a great time of year for that. Linda expects to give an update for the next report on whether the 7-15/16-inch crab remains the biggest a customer trapped this year. The crab was taken earlier this year, and she expects it’ll keep the lead. That’s a big blueclaw. The customer with the biggest each year wins a free boat-rental the next year.

<b>Cape May</b>

A bunch of weakfish, some blues, a couple of kingfish, an 18-inch summer flounder and a porcupine puffer were landed from Delaware Bay on a charter Sunday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. The fishing was good, and lots of weakfish, good-sized to probably a 20-incher, schooled toward Cape May Point. Most keepers were 14 inches, and smaller weaks like 10 inches also bit. The anglers limited out on one weak apiece, releasing the rest. Seas were rough in strong northeast wind, through forecasts called for calm seas in 5- to 10-knot wind. No boats, including party boats, probably fished the ocean in seas that day. The Heavy Hitter was anchored in the seas, and the anglers caught. That was the final day of flounder season. Charters are being booked for striped bass. That angling will begin in November, George guessed, but maybe will start earlier. Stripers used to be caught in mid-October at the Cape May Rips. Charters will also fish for sea bass and blackfish later this year on the ocean.

Good catches of weakfish and some croakers were boated near Brandywine Shoal Light, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Kingfish and croakers had been reeled from 20-Foot Slough, the last he heard. Bluefish 10 to 16 inches tumbled the surf, Nick said. A photo of a good catch them was posted on the store’s Facebook page. Mullet began to migrate the surf, and a few throwback striped bass were picked from the water. A couple of 26-inchers were known to be beached. Crabs were still trapped. Nick is trying to keep fresh mullet stocked. Baits carried include bloodworms.

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