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Delaware Bay Fising Report 5-2-17

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Striped bass reports improved, black drum began to be picked and large bluefish even schooled around, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. The number of bigger striped bass, in the 40 inches, increased that were caught. That was on the bay for boaters off places like Dias Creek, Pierces Point and Cape May, but also at other spots, from Delaware River for shore anglers at Elsinboro and Salem to along the ocean surf, like at Sea Isle City. Puppy drum and a couple of larger began to be docked at Cape May from the bay. Drum fishing should keep improving this month, usually best for the angling. The bluefish roamed from back bays along the ocean coast to the ocean surf to the bay, and this weekend, even up Maurice River. That size was unusual in the river, and smaller blues are sometimes found in the river later in the fishing season. White perch fishing was good in the Maurice. The shop was busy with customers this weekend. Baits stocked included fresh bunker. Fresh clams are a struggle to obtain, and that’s not going to change, but the shop’s been getting the clams. Surf clams that anglers use for bait are overharvested and therefore scarce and are also smaller than they should be. 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.


Capt. Howard from the <b>Salt Talk</b> fished for striped bass Saturday far north on the bay, at the confluence with Delaware River, hooking one that got off, he said. He fished chunks of bunker, and a few stripers were landed in the area then. Big stripers are holding in this area, and should a moment longer. The boat is docked at Cohansey River for the fishing, and will be moved back to Fortescue soon to begin fishing for black drum. Few boats fished from Fortescue yet this season. Some boaters fished Fortescue Creek for white perch. Howard’s cousin nailed two stripers larger than 40 inches apiece in Bidwell Creek. Some big stripers seemed to swim creeks currently. Shore anglers at Fortescue banked stripers, including big. The new Salt Talk is a charter boat for 1 to 4 anglers. The previous Salt Talk was a party boat from Fortescue that Howard since sold. After drum fishing this season, charters with Howard will sail for summer flounder on the bay through summer.

<b>Cape May</b>

<b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b> was supposed to begin striped bass fishing yesterday on Delaware Bay, bunker-chunking for the fish, Capt. Tom said before the trip. Trips aboard will begin fishing for black drum on the bay as soon as possible. This is all because stripers, big, 40 to 48 inches, arrived in the bay, and so did drum. The stripers are mature breeders that spawned in Delaware River and are returning to the ocean. They’ll migrate north for summer in the ocean. The drum began to arrive from wherever they do each spring. Tom heard about 20- to 65-pounders boated. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing. Fishin’ Fever fished for blackfish on the ocean until blackfish season closed yesterday. The angling was alright, a little tougher the past few days. But good catches of the tautog to 13 ½ pounds were swung aboard this past week.

The <b>Heavy Hitter</b> blackfished on the ocean Saturday and Sunday, Capt. George said. Sunday’s trip actually striped bass fished at first on Delaware Bay in the morning, because stripers were supposedly picked from the bay from the Villas to farther north. None bit, and the trip then blackfished. George knew someone whose trip boated a few stripers on the bay that day, but not until 2 p.m. The blackfishing on the Heavy Hitter Saturday and Sunday produced the tog to a 7- or 8-pounder, including keepers, and lots a half-inch to an inch undersized. The angling was alright. Heavy Hitter will also fish for black drum on the bay soon. Some began to be picked, a good sign, it seemed. A boater from across the dock’s trip came up with two 15- to 20-pounders Saturday night.

Sounded like fishing was starting, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Some good-sized striped bass were boated on Delaware Bay on bunker chunks. Last week, 30-inch bluefish swam everywhere. No one spot seemed best, and the blues kept moving, chasing bait. But they schooled at times at places including Delaware Bay, the ocean and off Cape May Point, at the confluence of the bay and ocean. They pushed into the water along jetties at times. Jetties are located along both the bay and ocean in Cape May, where, again, the bay meets the ocean. The blues were also heard about from the back bay farther north. If they roamed there, they probably roamed the local back bay, Nick figured. A few puppy drum were eased from the surf and boated from Delaware Bay last week, and more showed up now. Nick would try for them in the shallows off Coxhall Creek, where drum gathered in recent years. Good blackfishing was boated at ocean wrecks like at Cape May Reef and was also scored along jetties by anglers on foot. But blackfish season closed Monday. Fresh bunker and clams were stocked. Green crabs, jumbo bloodworms and regular-sized bloods were carried.

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