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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 9-26-17

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Weakfish were plucked from Delaware Bay, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. One trip boated a few weaks, a few kingfish and some small croakers near the EP Tower on the bay, and the bay’s fishing’s been like that. Weather wasn’t great for fishing, with hurricanes that kept tumbling up the coast offshore. Weather probably kept anglers from boating the ocean during much of the past week. The bay and rivers were more fishable. Anglers hoped for a good migration of striped bass this fall. In the past, a few anglers would begin searching for the bass in the bay, and catching a few, on Columbus Day weekend, this coming weekend.  The fish showed up later in recent years. But one never knows when migrations will arrive. Crabbing was slowing down, and this was almost October, after all. Crabs begin to depart for wherever they spend winter or begin to burrow into the mud to spend the cold months or whatever. A few shedder crabs were still available for bait. Plenty of quality frozen are on hand. Baits stocked also include bloodworms, minnows and eels. 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.


Most crabbers probably trapped two dozen keepers per trip Sunday at <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>, Paul said. Crabbing was poor the previous day. Crabs were mating throughout this time, and Paul spoke with a commercial crabber who experienced the same: The crabber kept catching crabs with sponges. Recreational and commercial crabbers toss back crabs with sponges. The commercial crabber said the crabs have been mating for a month, and the spawn is usually finished by now. A couple of the shop’s rental boats fished Saturday, landing many white perch on the creek. The fishing slowed Sunday, for unknown reasons. Even anglers experienced at the fishing hooked few that day. The creek remained flooded Saturday from Hurricane José offshore last week. Tides were back down to normal Sunday. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed down Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. The boats will be available this coming Saturday and Sunday and will be unavailable afterward until spring. The boats are usually available through Columbus Day weekend, the following weekend. But the crew noticed that weather always prevented trips on the boats that weekend. The store will remain open daily after this weekend to sell crabbing and fishing supplies and for duck hunting, like every year. Visit <a href="" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>.


No trips fished this past week aboard, and weather was rough several days, said Capt. Howard from the <b>Salt Talk</b>. But good bluefishing was on tap in Delaware Bay. Weakfish were hooked near the lighthouses and probably close to shore, too. Howard was unaware whether small croakers remained close to shore that bit there previously. The bay seemed yet to cool down, so they could remain. Howard thought he heard about small kingfish close to shore. He crabbed at Fortescue Creek on Saturday, and that was slow. He probably trapped no more than 15 keepers. Whether that was because of stormy weather, big tides, the late season or another reason was unknown. Tides were big around then, probably because of the storms or maybe the new moon last week. Two weekends previously he trapped 50 keepers on the creek in a trip. 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>

A few weakfish seemed around, and one angler beached a 28-incher on fresh mullet from the surf, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Delaware Bay’s surf usually tosses up a mixed bag of fish at times including weaks at Sunset Beach and the concrete ship. An angler and daughter nipped three kingfish there on bloodworms on a brief trip. Sometimes bluefish from snappers to 2 or 3 pounds popped into the surf. Cut bait, mostly mullet, banked most, and mullet remained in back bays, and might’ve begun migrating the surf. Fishing should pick up as the baitfish migrate out. Blackfish were grabbed at surf jetties on green crabs and clams. A few throwback striped bass, a couple of keepers, were pulled from back bays and creeks while boaters chummed with clams or bunker and fished with those hook-baits. The stripers were also pasted along sod banks on cast soft-plastic and hard lures. Crabbing seemed to begin picking up last week, after slowing somewhat the previous week for unknown reasons.

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