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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 5-30-17

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

A customer showed photos of black drum boated on Delaware Bay, said Michelle from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. Weakfish were reported hooked in Cape May along the bay’s jetties. Customers shared photos of large striped bass on the store’s Facebook page that were landed in Cape May. Some were apparently beached from shore, maybe including at Cape May Canal, and others were boated, apparently from the bay. Striper fishing might’ve been slowing for the season, but a few seemed around. Bluefish popped up “here and there,” Michelle said. A customer limited out on summer flounder 19 to 23 inches on a back bay somewhere during this opening weekend of flounder season. Another customer showed off a bushel of crabs that the customer trapped. Another trapped a half-bushel during the weekend. Weather was cloudy and cool during this Memorial Day weekend, but the store was busy with customers. The weather didn’t seem to keep people from fishing and crabbing. 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 was excellent during the weekend at <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>, Paul said. The year’s first bushel of the blueclaws was docked, and a 7-1/2-incher was trapped. That became the leader in the annual contest that awards a free boat rental next year to the customer who traps the biggest during the current year. Six-inchers, a few more than before, were sometimes seen. One boat with people who never crabbed before totaled four dozen keepers. The shop’s crew was kind of surprised crabbing was so good, and the catches seemed to be heating up. Most were trapped with bunker for bait. One of the boats brought chicken but returned without using much. Packages were seen with one piece missing. A couple of customers fished but were inexperienced, and nothing was heard about fish caught. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. Rental kayaks and canoes are also available for paddling the scenic creek. The boats, kayaks and canoes are available on weekends until becoming available daily on June 24. The store can host events like birthday parties and family reunions, and can host 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> began fishing for black drum on the bay Saturday, and the angling seemed slow that day, Capt. Howard said. The three other boats, including a party boat, that he knew about that sailed for them from Fortescue that day returned with one apiece. Sharks and big rays bit for the anglers on the Salt Talk. A small weakfish was also reeled in, when an angler aboard cast a small piece of clam into the water, after feeling apparently small fish nibbling. Drum fishing had been good, until a couple of days of wind and rain. Hear about summer flounder from the bay? Howard was asked. One of Fortescue’s party boats hooked a few weakies and kingfish along the shipping channel, he said. The boat usually fishes along lighthouses, so maybe that’s where they were reeled in, he said. The previous Salt Talk was a party boat from Fortescue. Howard sold that vessel, and the new Salt Talk is a charter boat for up to four passengers. 

<b>Cape May</b>

Delaware Bay’s black drum fishing’s been very good with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Tom said. Eight to 12 of the fish were landed per trip, and some were especially big, up to 75 pounds, that were mixed in. <a href="" target="_blank">Watch a video of the angling</a>. Sea bass fishing was outstanding on the ocean aboard during this opening weekend of sea bass season. The angling would limit out in an hour, and the anglers kept only the biggest, self-imposing a 15-inch minimum size. Tom began to hear plenty of reports about mako sharks and a few thresher sharks caught on the ocean. Trips will fish for them, including 8-hour trips for threshers inshore.

The <b>Prime Time II</b> was fishing for black drum on Delaware Bay on Sunday evening when Capt. Steve gave this report in a phone call aboard. Two got off so far on the outing, and a few were seen landed on other boats. He expected to drum fish Monday, too. Steve was going to begin shark fishing last weekend on the ocean if weather was fair. But weather ended up rough, so he didn’t go. But he will soon.

Trips fished for black drum Saturday and Sunday on Delaware Bay on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. Saturday’s trip, with Howard Bly’s charter, caught well, and Heavy Hitter was the hot boat, George said. Sunday’s trip, with Howard Moore’s charter, caught drum, but not as well as on Saturday. Two or three were also lost on the trip. Plenty of drum are swimming the bay. The fish are marked and are heard drumming. A trip was going to fish for sea bass Monday on the ocean, George said before the charter. Some anglers are eager to shark fish. George kept hearing about a few mako sharks boated, nothing confirmed. 

Delaware Bay’s drum fishing was hit and miss this season, typical for the angling, said Joe from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. A boat would hit the fish on one day and not on another. Joe knew about one trip last week that boated one and a couple of trips that boated four apiece a night or two before. A buddy drum fished on a party boat trip with 10 anglers that totaled 13 of the fish two weeks ago. So the fishing was okay. Nothing was heard about summer flounder from the bay. Big bluefish stormed Cape May’s waters including the surf about three weeks this season but mostly departed now. A few might still be around. The number of striped bass boated on Delaware Bay had been surprising. Sometimes they were still banked from Cape May’s surf currently. Friends two weeks ago boated eight drum on the bay on a trip. They returned, but other anglers were fishing their spot. So the trip pushed close to shore off Coxhall Creek, and whaled nine big stripers.

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