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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 7-25-17

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Kingfish, lots, were plucked from the southern end of Delaware Bay, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. The fishing was excellent, and the shop’s bunker-netter saw them from deeper water, not closer to shore. But a customer nabbed the kings close-in. Kings like sandy bottom, and look for them there. Summer flounder catches were reported. Customers fared so-so on them at ocean reefs. But flounder also came from the bay. Very few croakers were reported from the bay or anywhere, though they usually school the water by now. The population might’ve dropped off in recent years, and anglers will see whether more show up in the next month or so. One blackfish became the bag limit two Mondays ago on July 17, after blackfish season was closed previously. Nothing was heard about fishing for them yet, but a few green crabs began to be stocked for the tautog. Plenty of the usual bait is stocked including minnows, bloodworms and bunker. Shedder crabs were carried regularly, and the supply might’ve somewhat slowed in past days, but that’s not unusual. Crabs only shed a few times a season, and heat can also make them difficult to keep. Heat was stifling last week, but more customers showed up at the shop than Sharon thought might, considering the high temperatures. Crabbing was good. 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>Newport</b>

Crabbing slowed much because of shedding and mating around the new moon this weekend, said Paul from <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>. Full and new moons often trigger shedding and mating this time of year, and shedding or mating crabs won’t eat, making them tough to trap. But not all crabs shed or mate at once, and all of that only lasts a few days, usually. Still, crabbers probably averaged a couple of dozen keepers, and better crabbers nabbed a few more. Bigger crabs were more common than before. Quality over quantity, he said, and lots more 6-inchers skittered around than previously. The good thing about shedding is that crabs shed to grow. Lots of baby crabs were seen, after the population of them had dropped off a while. Baby crabs should bode well for the future population. Few customers fished, because customers focused on crabbing. But white perch were known to swim the creek, and one angler landed some Sunday. Customers crab and fish on rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. Rental canoes and kayaks are available to paddle the scenic creek. The store can host events like birthday parties and family reunions and groups like scouts, including for an educational day on the water. The shop carries everything needed for crabbing, from bait, traps and nets to drinks, snacks and suntan lotion. Visit <a href=" http://www.crabulousnj.com/Home_Page.php" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>.

<b>Fortescue</b>

A few fish were boated from Delaware Bay in the past week, Capt. Howard from the <b>Salt Talk</b> said, sounding somewhat optimistic. The fish included summer flounder and bluefish. But a couple of locals hooked kingfish and small croakers. The croakers began to show up. Weakfish were probably also around. Fishing on the Salt Talk this past week found flounder at the stakes and the wreck buoy slough. Small bluefish, the usual size this season in the bay, popped up at the flats west of the slough a couple of times a day. They’re neat to catch, fun on light tackle. A charter slated for tomorrow aboard likes to target the small fish like kings, croakers and weaks, and the trip should be able to get into them, Howard thinks. Someone from the marina who fishes the bay all the time is locating them at the first drop-off. The Salt Talk used to be a party boat from Fortescue. Howard sold that boat, and the new Salt Talk is a charter boat for 1 to 4 passengers.

<b>Cape May</b>

Delaware Bay seemed to begin tossing up flounder for local boaters, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. They caught including at 20-Foot Slough, 60-Foot Slough and different depth changes off Reed’s Beach and all around.  Boating off Cape May Channel off Cape May Point, where the bay and ocean meet, usually produces kingfish, croakers, weakfish and flounder this time of year. Nick tells anglers that if none are hooked, push off farther from shore and fish different places at the Cape May Rips to look. In the surf, weakfish seemed to be beached at Cape May Point. An angler who fished a rental-rod from the shop banked a couple. Bloodworms, shedder crabs and squid strips can be fished for them. Kingfish and croakers nipped in the surf. Sometimes flounder did. Brown and sand tiger sharks chomped in the surf, and boating produced bigger ones on Delaware Bay. Both sharks are required to be released. Blackfish, sheepshead and triggerfish snapped along surf jetties and inshore wrecks. On the back bay, boating for flounder was pretty good, and on the ocean, was a little tough. But ocean anglers who worked the structure at reefs caught fairly well.

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