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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 8-29-17

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Fishing seemed a little slower in the past week, or regular customers said it was, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. But the anglers boated croakers and weakfish on Delaware Bay. Good populations of weaks seemed to school the bay this season, notable after the decline of the population some years ago. Not much was heard about summer flounder from the bay. Sharon also heard not much about flounder fishing at ocean reefs. She was in and out of the shop, and the crew at the store could know more about flounder. Customers kept busy buying supplies for crabbing at the store, and Sharon considers August and September the best time of year for crabbing. Crabs can be meaty then – the shells can be full of meat because crabs have fed all summer. Weather was beautiful and cooler than before. Maybe the change in temperature somewhat slowed fishing a moment. 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 was spotty, said Paul from <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>. Some customers really caught, and some didn’t. Bait and tide made a difference. Bunker for bait trapped the blueclaws, for the most part, and changes of tides were the times to catch. Those who used chicken, the other popular bait, experienced slow crabbing. Trips yesterday totaled from 10 keepers to two-thirds of a bushel per rental boat. The customer with 10 was an experienced crabber but stuck with chicken. Still, crabbing was spotty, and Paul didn’t want to say otherwise. Customers that day trapped most crabs, by far, on the change of tide in morning. Crabs trapped currently included a healthy number of good-sized and also lots of babies. A bunch of crabs were 6 ½ inches, and one crabber yesterday totaled 14 keepers, and Paul thought none was smaller than 5 ¾ inches. Four-and-a-half is the legal minimum size. Freshwater from rain seemed to taper off in the creek that was abundant previously. The creek turns a cedar-water color when freshwater is prevalent. No customers fished in past days. Small striped bass could be seen along the dock on low tides. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek. Beaver Dam is open daily through Labor Day. Afterward, the rental boats, and also rental kayaks and canoes to paddle the scenic creek, will be available on Saturdays and Sundays. Paul would also like them to be available Fridays, but will see whether he’s got the staff to do that. The shop after Labor Day will open at 6:30 a.m. instead of the current 6 a.m., only because the sun is rising later. Though the rentals will be available only on those days, the store will be open daily for crabbing and fishing supplies, like usual. The shop carries everything needed for crabbing, from bait, traps and nets to snacks, drinks and suntan lotion.  Visit <a href=" http://www.crabulousnj.com/Home_Page.php" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>. A celebration of Delaware Bay, named <a href="https://crabsandallthatjazz.eventsmart.com/events/tournament-tickets/" target="_blank">Crabs and All That Jazz</a>, will be held Sept. 16. That will replace the similar Bay Days celebration that used to take place but does no longer. Crabs and All That Jazz will include a crabbing contest, a Crab-Venger Hunt and, at the end of the day, a dinner featuring the crabs caught. Click the link to visit the event’s website for more info.

<b>Fortescue</b>

A couple of charters fished Delaware Bay aboard this week, and the fishing went pretty well, said Capt. Howard from the <b>Salt Talk</b>. Frank Nabb’s family fished on one of the trips Thursday. They landed 14 bluefish, two or three weakfish, some summer flounder and a mess of small croakers, steady action close to shore. Friday’s trip, with Mel and Peggy from Philly, pulled in a dozen blues to 4 pounds, three weaks to 19 inches, two flounder including a 21-incher and a bunch of small croakers, also close to shore. The trips fished with shedder crabs and bloodworms, and also some of the croakers. Howard also heard about a few flounder bagged from deeper water farther from shore, like a couple that someone he knew boated near Miah Maull. Not a lot of flounder seemed to swim the bay, but some did. The Salt Talk used to be 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>

In Delaware Bay’s surf, somewhat bigger croakers began to be angled, after smaller were previously, like along the ferry jetty, said Joe from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Kingfish, 8-inch snapper blues, a few small weakfish and a few small flounder were nabbed from the surf. That included the ocean’s surf as well as the bay’s surf. Cape May is at the confluence of the two bodies of water. Anglers who knew how to target sheepshead nailed a good number to 7 or 8 pounds at jetties, bridges and old pilings or similar places. Nobody really targeted blackfish in the one-blackfish bag limit this time of year, but some were reported caught along places like that. The only flounder boated from the bay came from farther north, like toward Fortescue, that were heard about. Weakfish 18 or 20 inches had been reported boated from the Delaware side of the bay, nothing on fire, but some. A white perch tournament was held two weekends ago, and the anglers could hardly buy a perch at places like Dennisville Creek and Maurice River. Maybe dirty water was the reason, and water had been filthy. On the ocean, catches of summer flounder included limits. The fishing might’ve become slower in past days, but was pretty good, even really good, the previous two weeks. Crabbing was good along docks, creeks and the sides of roads.

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