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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 5-16-17

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Boaters cranked in black drum from Delaware Bay off Villas last week, until weather including wind and Saturday’s nor’easter kept many trips docked, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. Forecasts continued to call for rough weather Sunday, and wind even blew 30 or 40 m.p.h. Monday. But wind and weather were supposed to calm afterward through the rest of the week. Striped bass including good-sized were beached from the bay’s surf at Fortescue and were boated from the bay toward Riggins Ditch and Maurice River. Sizable stripers were also hung from the river, including far upstream, where a freshwater fishing license is required. Catches of large striped bass seemed to improve on the ocean farther north, like toward Barnegat Inlet. Bluefishing had already been good in back waters in that area, including in Barnegat Bay, and that’s the way spring fishing usually unfolds. Blues show up, and then large stripers do. The stripers are mature fish that spawned in rivers and bays and now migrated to the ocean to trek north to cooler waters for summer. That’s what stripers like those banked at Fortescue were probably doing. Blues also continued to swarm South Jersey’s bays and surf. Recreational crabbing’s been fairly good. Weather even kept commercial crabbers from sailing. Fresh bait for fishing becomes scarce during rough weather that keeps boats from sailing for the bait. A couple of bushels of fresh bunker were stocked Sunday, but the wind kept bunker boats from running Monday. Clam boats hadn’t sailed for a moment but would probably resume Tuesday. Delaware Bay’s boaters hoped to get back after drum. 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.


Crabbing will become available this weekend at <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>, Paul said. Then it’ll be available Saturdays and Sundays, and also on Memorial Day, until becoming available daily on June 24. Paul saw crabs hanging on pilings, and that seemed a good sign. Crabbing might be good this year, because of the mild winter. Severely cold winters can kill large numbers of crabs, slowing crabbing the rest of the year. Commercial crabbers clobbered catches. A few crab shells were seen, but not much crab shedding seemed to happen yet this year, because nighttime was chilly. Crabs shed to grow. Customers crab and fish on rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. Fishing can tie into catches including white perch, small striped bass, croakers and more at different times of season on the creek. Currently, small white perch seemed to swim the water. Rental canoes and kayaks will also be available to paddle the scenic creek. Beaver Dam stocks everything needed for crabbing, from bait, traps and nets to drinks, snacks and suntan lotion. Events like birthday parties and family reunions can be hosted. So can groups like scouts, including for an educational day about the environment.  Visit <a href="" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>.


The <b>Salt Talk</b> was moved back to Fortescue, Gail said. The boat had been docked on Cohansey River to bunker-chunk for striped bass on lower Delaware River or upper Delaware Bay. Charters aboard will now fish for black drum on the bay. The boat will sail from Fortescue for that and for the rest of the fishing season. No trips fished in the wind and rough weather recently. News was scarce. The striper fishing on Delaware River and the upper bay happens each spring. Large stripers pass through on the way to spawn farther upstream and on the way back. Most spawning seemed finished now. Then the bass swim through the bay to the ocean to migrate north for summer. Capt. Howard, Gail’s husband, runs the Salt Talk. The Salt Talk used to be a party boat at Fortescue. Howard sold that vessel, and the new Salk Talk is a charter boat for up to four passengers. Large stripers were getting heaved from Fortescue’s shore when Howard gave the report from the boat last week. Gail was unsure whether the fish still were, and had been away for Mothers’ Day.

<b>Cape May</b>

Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> fished for black drum on Delaware Bay on Sunday with a friend on the friend’s boat, and a couple of the fish including one bigger, a 55-pounder, were reeled in, George said. Just a few boats fished the area, apparently because that was Mothers’ Day. The fishing seemed a slow pick that day and was decent early last week, until rough weather began later in the week, culminating in the nor’easter Saturday. Forecasts were rough for Sunday, but the bay was flat as a lake until 5:30 p.m., when wind and seas picked up, and dark clouds began to roll in. The trip sailed for the fishing at 11 a.m. Heavy Hitter will charter for drum soon.

Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b> plugged a 43-inch 26-pound striped bass from the surf Wednesday evening on a swimming lure, he said. Occasional stripers were mixed with bluefish in the surf. Most of the stripers came from Delaware Bay’s shore, but sometimes one came from the ocean’s. Fish fresh bunker, fresh clams or swimmers for the bass. Blues schooled practically everywhere. Most were concentrated along Delaware Bay’s jetties this past week, but they also ran the ocean surf and the back bay then. For the blues, fish bunker, bucktails or swimmers. The bay off Coxhall Creek was loaded with boats fishing for black drum last week. Most of the boats decked three to nine of the fish, weighing 30 to 70 pounds. Nothing was heard about stripers boated on the bay, but most boats fished for drum. No weakfish were checked-in, but a few were heard about from along jetties in North Wildwood and locally on bloodworms under a float or on bucktails.

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