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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 9-19-17

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Quite a few reports rolled in about weakfish, kingfish and croakers boated on Delaware Bay, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. A number of anglers caught, and most were heard about from the southern bay. Plenty of bluefish schooled the bay. The minnow supplier was hooking weakfish in Dividing Creek. The bay’s boaters used to begin fishing for striped bass on Columbus Day weekend, this year on Oct. 7-9. In recent years, the fish showed up later, but one never knows when the migration will arrive. Some good catches of white perch were made on Maurice River. Customers still crabbed, trapping the blueclaws. Baits stocked include bloodworms that are popular for the kings, croakers and weaks. The fish favor shedder crabs, too, and shedders began to be scarcer all the time. Fewer crabs shed as water becomes cooler, and crabs will stop shedding soon through winter, because of the temperature. 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 much better this weekend than previously, said Paul from <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>. Trips probably averaged 2 to 4 dozen keepers. Some newbies even fared better than newbies before. Many big, pregnant female crabs were in. Customers who only kept Jimmies averaged 2 to 3 dozen keepers. Those who also kept females averaged four dozen.  The new event <a href="" target="_blank">Crabs and All That Jazz</a> was held Saturday and seemed to go well. The event is a celebration of Delaware Bay and is held throughout the bay’s communities. A good number of people seemed to attend. Customers also rental-boated fish this weekend. One customer landed a cooler full of white perch from the creek two weekends ago. This weekend the angler totaled a dozen perch and a cooler full of spots on the creek. The spots were sizable, and the cooler was large. Small striped bass also swam the water. Customers crab and fish on rental boats towed down Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. Rental kayaks and canoes are also available to paddle the scenic creek. All rentals are available on Saturdays and Sundays this time of year. Beaver Dam stocks everything needed for crabbing, from bait, traps and nets to drinks, snacks and suntan lotion. The shop can host events like birthday parties and family reunions, and groups like scouts, including for an educational day on the water. Visit <a href="" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>.


The <b>Salt Talk</b> fished Delaware Bay a couple of times last week and on Sunday, Capt. Howard said. Croakers, weakfish and blues were reeled aboard, close to shore. A 4-pound, out-of-season summer flounder was also landed and released on Sunday’s trip. Fewer croakers and weaks might’ve been around than before. But they were there and will probably stick around until a substantial blow or cold weather. The blues weighed 1 to 2 pounds, a typical size for blues that school the bay this time of year. Larger were rumored hooked at times in the bay, though that would be unusual. Howard knew about an angler who decked an 8-pound 30- or 32-incher, and that was the only large blue among the smaller the angler caught on the trip. Bigger blues like the 8-pounder used to show up during striped bass fishing in fall on the bay. Howard used to begin the striper fishing at Halloween. The fishing was more difficult in recent years, but every year can be different. 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>

Delaware Bay’s surf in town served up kingfish, spots, croakers and stripers, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Bloodworms were best bait there, but clams or squid could be fished. The ocean surf harbored blues 1 to 3 pounds, sometimes bigger. Cape May is at the confluence of the bay and ocean. A few stripers, mostly schoolies, were slid from the ocean surf. But a few 30-inch keepers were heard about. Blackfish hit along jetties and wrecks. Sometimes triggerfish did. Mullet remained in back waters, but a few anglers reported seeing a few in the surf. The baitfish will migrate to the surf soon.

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