Wed., Nov. 22, 2017
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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 4-25-17

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Reports rolled in about larger striped bass, keepers, beached from shore at Fortescue on Friday and Saturday nights, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. One was 44 inches, and a small black drum was reported banked there last week. Catches seemed to be picking up on the bay. Small drum were landed from the ocean surf a while ago. Small drum usually show up first in spring, until bigger do. Boaters on the bay usually target the big drum in May. A couple of large bluefish were supposedly wrestled from Fortescue’s shore. A few of the slammers seemed to be showing up, not unusual this time of year.  Striper fishing supposedly improved from shore on Delaware River, too, in the Salem and Elsinboro area. Bigger were heaved in there, after smaller had been. Not a lot of anglers had boats in the water yet this season who fish the bay.  People began crabbing, and one crabber trapped more than 200, including 45 good-sized, in the Beaver Dam Boat Rentals area. Pretty much all baits are stocked. If anglers want fresh clams, calling ahead to reserve is best. The clams have been scarcer in recent years. Green crabs will be carried for blackfish bait until blackfish season is closed beginning Monday. Shedder crabs will be stocked when they become available, usually by late May. 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>Fortescue</b>

The <b>Salt Talk</b> is bunker-chunking for big striped bass that swim lower Delaware River this time of year, Capt. Howard said. The boat is running from Cohansey River for that, and will be returned to Fortescue afterward, for the rest of the fishing season. Salt Talk used to be a party boat. But the new Salt Talk is a smaller vessel for charters for 1 to 4 passengers. Chunking for the big bass began to produce last week and usually lasts three to four weeks. One boat landed six on Friday, ran another trip later that day, and landed seven. Those stripers were up to 36 inches. The same boat on Saturday landed seven of the fish. Outgoing tides seemed to produce. Other tides might have, but that’s the tide when Howard saw catches. At Fortescue, some big stripers seemed to be banked from shore. Howard was there Sunday, seeing a 38-incher, and an angler said a 40-incher and a 41-incher had been cranked in there. Salt Talk will charter for black drum from Fortescue when the angling begins on the bay. That usually peaks toward late May. Afterward, charters aboard will sail for summer flounder on the bay.

<b>Cape May</b>

Big bluefish were sometimes pounded from the surf along Delaware Bay in town, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. No particular place held them consistently, but the blues chased bunker schools in the area. Anglers concentrated on fishing along jetties. An angler tackled a 36-inch blue from the area. Swimming lures or chunks of bunker could be fished for the blues. A couple of boats were known to get into the blues on the bay. When birds worked the water, and baitfish schooled, the blues could be on them and easy to find. Not a lot of boaters fished yet this season. Local marinas just opened two weeks ago. Nothing was heard about boaters trying for striped bass on the bay yet. Tons of small stripers, not many keepers, swam the bay. Surf casters lit into them on bloodworms under a float and soft-plastic lures. Big stripers still migrated Delaware River for spawning. They’ll probably drop back to Delaware Bay beginning in a week, and reach the ocean surf in two to three weeks, after spawning. Blackfishing was good on the ocean, including at Cape May Reef, and along jetties. Fresh bunker, fresh clams, bloodworms and green crabs were stocked.

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