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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 9-12-17

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Weakfish were picked from Delaware Bay here and there, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. They should stick around a while. A few croakers were heard about from the bay. No kingfish were, and the season was becoming late for kings to be in the bay. Kings might’ve remained in the ocean surf. A good-sized population of sizable white perch should be swimming Maurice River. This is a time of year for good perch fishing, including for big. Some of the fish will probably swim to the bay near the river. Some school up and head there this time of season. Summer flounder season closed Wednesday, and fewer anglers might’ve been around than before, because of that. Fewer people also fish after Labor Day and once schools start back up. Weather was becoming cooler, and anglers hope that improves striped bass fishing. They waited for the fall migration of stripers. Lots of customers still crabbed. Baits stocked include shedder crabs. They’re bait for fish including weaks but also the perch. Anglers serious about perch often use shedders. Shedders will become scarcer in the next weeks, because crabs stop shedding once weather cools. Anglers can telephone and reserve shedders from the store. Frozen shedders are also stocked and catch well. Sharon’s often fished with them, and the frozen catch as well as live, she thinks. Shedders aren’t the easiest for stores to keep live, and throughout the season, the shop brines and freezes them once the crabs are in danger of becoming old. Plenty of frozen are on hand. 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 slow but seemed to be picking up, said Paul from <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>. Trips averaged two dozen keepers Saturday and Sunday, after the previous Monday, Labor Day, produced no good crabbing. Many crabs were pregnant females, and crabbers usually release them. One of the shop’s best crabbers docked three dozen keeper males and released three to four pregnant females for every male trapped. White perch are in, and some are good-sized. One trip bailed perch, lots, on the creek. Paul tossed a Rat-L-Trap lure into the creek, and hooked a big perch, probably 2 pounds, on the first cast. Schoolie striped bass were also angled on the creek.  Customers crab and fish on rental boats towed down Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. The boats are available on Saturdays and Sundays, and so are rental kayaks and canoes to paddle the scenic creek. Visit <a href="" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>. The time is here: <a href="" target="_blank">Crabs and All That Jazz</a>, the new event celebrating Delaware Bay, will be held Saturday. That replaces 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, live music, a food truck 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. Participants in the crabbing contest can donate their crabs for the dinner, and that’s encouraged. But if they’d rather keep the crabs they caught, they can do that and pay for the dinner. Otherwise, the dinner is included.


Fish including croakers, blues and now a few kingfish remained close to shore near Fortescue, said Capt. Howard from the <b>Salt Talk</b>. The kings recently arrived, and that could be a good thing, he said. These catches should continue to swim there some time, so long as weather doesn’t become cold. He did no fishing since summer flounder season closed Wednesday. But trips aboard have been landing the fish like croakers, covered in previous reports here. Those trips also angled weakfish in the same area near shore. Howard wasn’t asked whether the weaks remained there, but seemed likely they did. Howard crabbed along Fortescue Creek or adjacent ditches one day, trapping about 40 keepers. They weren’t huge but probably up to 5 or 5 ½ inches. The Salt Talk used to be a Fortescue party boat. Howard sold that vessel, and the new Salt Talk is a charter boat for up to four passengers.

<b>Cape May</b>

From Delaware Bay’s surf, croakers and spots were banked, like at Higbee’s Beach and the ferry jetty, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Fish bloodworms for them. Bluefish 1 pound, maybe some bigger to 3 pounds, were dragged from the ocean surf. They could tumble into the bay’s surf, and Cape May is located at the confluence of the bay and ocean. Kingfish were plucked from the ocean surf and maybe could show up in the bay surf a little. Blackfish snapped along surf jetties. Sheepshead were sometimes reeled from the back bay along structure like bridges and pilings. They could show up along surf jetties from the bay to the ocean. Baitfish including peanut bunker, spearing and mullet schooled back waters. They’ll migrate to open water in the ocean and Delaware Bay soon. The fall migrations of striped bass and big blues will forage on them. Anglers wait for those migrations.

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