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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 4-11-17

Welcome to the year's first Delaware Bay Report!

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

A few striped bass, including a few large, were slid from the surf at Fortescue, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. Stripers including a few large were landed from Delaware River. So, large stripers, migrating to Delaware River to spawn, after wintering to the south, were showing up. Abundant smaller stripers might’ve been biting in the river. Those are younger fish, yet to migrate, that live in local waters year-round. Springtime’s warming water makes them active. Maurice River gave up so-so white perch fishing, and perch tournaments are held probably every weekend this month. No black drum were heard about from the bay, and the season was a little early for them. May is usually best for drum fishing on the bay, and anglers say drum show up when dogwoods bloom and gnats first appear in the year. “When the dogwoods bloom, drum go boom.” The store is open daily for the season and was fairly busy with customers Sunday. Weather was best on Sunday after days of wind and sometimes rain. Customers bought bloodworms and began to pick up fresh clams. They requested fresh bunker lots more than previously this season. The shop will be open at 5 a.m. beginning Friday through this Easter weekend. The doors were open at 6 a.m. on weekends previously. 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>

The year’s first couple of boats were launched for fishing yesterday from <b>Money Island Marina</b>, Bruce said. He thought the anglers were headed for white perch on Nantuxent Creek, not striped bass on the bay. The marina is located on the creek, near where the creek enters the bay. If anglers wanted stripers, surely smaller, resident stripers could be found. Those are younger fish, yet to migrate, that live locally year-round. Bigger, mature stripers were probably migrating up Delaware River to spawn, after wintering farther south. Before anglers launched those couple of boats yesterday, the only boats sailing the bay from the docks were oyster boats. No fresh bunker were stocked, and the bunker supplier splashed his boat Sunday. But the bunker, favorite bait for the bay’s stripers, are carried when in demand. Business will probably begin to pick up now at the marina. We’re probably over the “hump,” 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. Ask the marina whether the boat is now available for the fishing season.

<b>Cape May</b>

Striped bass trips will begin on May 1, chunking bunker for them on Delaware Bay, with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Tom said. Those are big, mature fish headed to the ocean after spawning in Delaware River. Drum trips begin on May 10, fishing the bay. Currently, the boat blackfished on the ocean. On Sunday aboard, all the anglers limited out on the tautog. The fish weighed up to a 9-pounder, and lots of throwbacks were released. Blackfishing began to improve on the ocean. That was apparently because the water temperature, 46 to 47 degrees on the trip, began to creep up. The previous trip last week walloped a 13-pounder and nearly limited, after the two previous trips fished slowly for blackfish that week, opening week of blackfish season. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing.

Capt. George will try to splash the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> on Friday, he said. Then trips will blackfish on the ocean, and that angling seemed to begin picking up. The striped bass migration began to reach Delaware River at the Commodore Barry Bridge. Second-hand reports said some even began to arrive at the Turnpike Bridge, farther upstream. Drum charters fish Delaware Bay in May aboard. Those trips are booking, and so are sea bass trips that will fish the ocean. Sea bass season is yet to be announced, but began on May 23 last year.

Striped bass, mostly throwbacks, a couple of keepers, were bloodwormed along surf jetties locally, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Cape May is at the confluence of Delaware Bay and the ocean, and customers fish the surf along both waters. The bay side can fish best in the early season, because water can be warmest there. Boaters on Delaware Bay mostly hooked throwback stripers, maybe a couple of 30-inch keepers, no stripers of size yet. Lots of bunker schooled the bay. No bluefish were heard about yet. Fresh clams and, for blackfish, green crabs were stocked. A few boats headed for blackfish on the ocean, and Nick waited for results. Nothing was heard about blackfishing along surf jetties, but some anglers probably began to try for them. Reports would probably roll in.

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