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New Jersey Fishing Reports Archives 5-18-17

<b>Sewaren</b>

Blues, a lot of blues, said Rich from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. A tremendous amount. But good reports about striped bass rolled in from New York Harbor near the Statue of Liberty the past couple of days. Some began to push into the Arthur Kill near the store. The fish show up in these areas this time of year. New York’s fluke season opened yesterday, and good action was reported. Killies and all fluke bait and supplies will be stocked for New Jersey’s opening of fluke season. Jersey yesterday decided on next Thursday as the opener, but the fed needs to approve. Fresh bunker and clams are stocked. Dockside, located on Smith Creek, a tributary of the Arthur Kill, north of Outerbridge Crossing, is accessible from the water at the fuel dock and from land.

<b>Keyport</b>

Good striped bass fishing was tackled Monday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Six of the fish were bagged, and the angling was slower on Tuesday aboard, bagging two and releasing a short. On Wednesday aboard, five keepers and two shorts came in, and a few stripers were missed. “We also had a black drum blitz around the boat,” he wrote. Three were hooked, but these were big fish, peeling off line. One was landed, a 75-pounder. “Bluefish are still around, creating havoc, of course,” he wrote. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips with room are 2 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and at 6 a.m. May 29 and 30. That’s Memorial Day and the next day. Telephone to reserve.

Catches of striped bass, on Raritan Bay and the ocean, were up and down, some days fishing better than others for them with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. That was during trolling and while bunker-chunking. Open-boat trips are fishing daily for the bass, and charters are available. Down Deep’s two boats accommodate up to 15 passengers each. Open trips and charters will fish for fluke and sea bass when the seasons open for the fish. Book the charters now. Daily, open trips will continue striper fishing then, too. See <a href="http://downdeepsportfishing.com/open-boat-availability/" target="_blank">Down Deep’s calendar</a> online for available dates. Join the Short Notice List on the site – look for the link underneath the Contact link – to be kept informed about special open trips.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Finally, some jig fish! a report said about Tuesday on the <b>Fishermen</b> on the party boat’s website. The game plan was changed, and a new place was searched, and the captain was glad the trip did. Bluefish 3 to 6 pounds were jigged from the start at an area of life. The trip must’ve caught the change of tide right, because reports were dismal from the spot early in the day. The trip fished for the blues until anglers had their fill. Then the boat “ran back north” to look for stripers, fishing bunker and clams. But stripers never showed. Still a great day on the water. Nighttime striper fishing was tough aboard, but the hope was that the fishing would change, once water cleared this week, after the weekend’s rough weather. Tuesday’s report was the most recent on the site at press time. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Bluefish were clutched on Raritan Bay on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> while Capt. Tom gave this report at 9:30 a.m. today aboard in a phone call. The fishing wasn’t a bail, but one would be hooked, and anglers would wait, and another would be cranked in, not too far apart. Some were missed or got off, and the fishing was good. Trips were weathered out until Tuesday. Tuesday morning’s trip smoked blues, a good pick. All anglers had a good time, he said. On the afternoon’s trip, the angling was no good, an unbelievable difference. Wednesday morning’s trip eased in some blues. The afternoon’s fished slowly until a few blues bit toward toward the end of the outing. The angling was better than the slow trip the previous afternoon. The boat fished at Flynn’s Knoll Wednesday with bunker and clams.  The boat is fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Boaters trolled striped bass on the ocean off Monmouth Beach and a little farther south, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Customers this morning said they were headed back for the fishing. Local head boats mostly whipped bluefish, he thought. Nothing was heard about surf fishing. All baits are stocked, and the store’s rental boats and kayaks are available. The store, the sister shop to Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina.

Fishing was pretty much the same, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. That seemed good news. Blues swam everywhere. A 19-pounder was the biggest he saw, and a kid hooked the slammer from Navesink River at a bulkhead. That took two people to dock the fish. Blues schooled the river. They schooled Raritan Bay and the ocean. He and friends clocked them 3 ½ hours, almost on every cast, from shore on the bay from Parking Lot C at Sandy Hook. A few striped bass were picked from the surf, usually at night. On Tuesday morning surf casters locked into stripers to 20 pounds at Monmouth Beach. Boaters sailed right up to them and caught, too. When Ron mentioned bass hooked anywhere, you can assume blues showed up there, he said. For blues from shore, mostly pencil poppers or Polaris poppers caught. Some fished bait for them, but caught fewer. Lots of bunker schooled different waters. Clams seemed key for stripers from shore. Striper fishing began to heat up. Boaters trolled stripers on the ocean on green Mojos and yellow bunker spoons. That did the most damage, he said. Two 36-pounders, a 32-pounder and a 31-pounder were weighed-in. Customers trolling for stripers seemed not to fish the bay, but hit the ocean. Yesterday and last night were warm, but the bay was 57 to 58 degrees. When it warms a little, striper fishing should pick up. No fluke were heard about recently. A few were picked from the bay at Leonardo previously on Daiwa SP Minnow lures, Ron reported a week ago here. All baits are stocked, including fresh bunker daily. Fresh clams are on hand, and killies will be in supply for the opening of fluke season. The store will soon carry vacuum-packed, rigged, dead eels that Ron puts together. The store has someone making the spoons for the rigs. Joe Julian from the store asked Ron how Ron rigs eels to check on Ron!

<b>Highlands</b>

Scott on the Cara Marie, sailing from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, trolled a 35-pound 42-inch striped bass near Sandy Hook on a Mojo on Friday, Marian wrote in an email. On the same day, Paul and Maddy on the Boudicca trolled two sizable stripers at Reach Channel on Mojos. Earlier that week, April Hanna on the Annie H bunker-chunked a 32-inch 15-pounder, her first striper, at Flynn’s Knoll. Weather took a turn for the worse Friday through Monday. On Tuesday, Ed and Tony on the Hammerhead boated a 40-inch striper and eight blues at the West Bank on plugs and Mojos. On the same day, Roy, Brian, Frank, Dave and Frantz bunker-chunked a striper and many blues. Twin Lights, located on Shrewsbury River near Raritan Bay and the ocean, with no bridges before them, includes a marina with boat slips, dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait and tackle shop and ship’s store. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card. Baits stocked include fresh clams and live and fresh bunker when in demand.

<b>Neptune</b>

<b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> will begin fishing for the year on trips for sea bass once sea bass season is opened May 26 to June 18, Capt. Ralph said. Charters are available, and a couple of spots are open for an individual-reservation trip for sea bass June 6.

<b>Belmar</b>

Fishing trolled a few good-sized striped bass to 45 inches, probably 38 or 40 pounds, yesterday on spoons with <b>XTC Sportfishing</b> on the ocean, Capt. Scott said. Bluefish, a mix of sizes from small to big, schooled the water the previous days, but not that day. Trips are mixing in jigging for blues when possible.

Ocean striped bass fishing was up and down, but the fish caught aboard were monsters or 35 to 45 pounds, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. Four or five stripers to 46 pounds were belted yesterday aboard, he thought. That was with just a few anglers, and no bluefish showed up that day, but they sure did the previously couple of days, phenomenal fishing. They were a variety of sizes from 3 to 13 pounds. Trips have been trolling stripers, and in between have been jigging blues. Bunker were difficult or impossible to find and catch to liveline for the bass locally. Fishing aboard includes Magic Hour Trips for stripers that are filling quickly, but more space is available for them in June. The trips are running 3:30 to 9 p.m. every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, reservations required. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s about individual spaces available with charters who want more anglers. Sign up for the email blast on <a href=" http://www.parkerpetefishing.com/" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s website</a> to be kept informed about the spaces.

Excellent bluefishing was hammered Tuesday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The 3- to 12-pounders bit the whole trip on Run Off hammered jigs and on crocs. Trips were apparently weathered out in previous days. On Wednesday’s trip, the fish were difficult to find. Smaller blues were located but were skittish, and the trip covered lots of miles. The fishing was better on today’s trip. A couple of good shots of smaller blues turned on, and some good shots of big blues were found later in the day. More blues were beaten than on the previous day, but not enough. The fish should become livelier as water warms. Weather looked good for today and tomorrow. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

On the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, super bluefishing was ripped into the entire trip Tuesday north of Shark River Inlet, an email from the party boat said. Ava 27 and 47 jigs, without and without tails, worked great on the 5- to 10-pounders. The fish paved bottom, occasionally bit along the surface, and sometimes were read top to bottom. Friday was the last time the boat fished prior to then, because of weather. Fishing was excellent for big blues to 15 pounds Friday aboard. On Wednesday’s trip, the angling was slower. A handful of drifts picked decent catches of 2- to 4-pounders in shallow water. On today’s trip, shots on some drifts gave up fair fishing for 2- to 4-pound blues and some 10-pounders. Catches backed off in late morning, the trip took a ride north, and fishing picked at shots of blues to 10 pounds, a fair day of fishing. Trips are sailing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Brielle</b>

A 12-hour wreck-fishing trip piled up a good catch of ling and a few cod and winter flounder yesterday on the party boat <b>Jamaica II</b>, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. “Good action all day,” he wrote, and Ryan Borgunn from Manahawkin was high hook with 27 ling. Only three of the trips are left this spring, sailing at 5 a.m. Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday. No reservations are required. Open-boat sea bass trips will run May 26, 27, 28 and 29, Memorial Day. A special sea bass trip with limited anglers, reservations required, will sail 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 3. Call 732-458-3188 to book. Half-day trips daily, for fluke in the morning and sea bass in the afternoon, will sail at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. beginning May 30. Full-day trips for fluke and sea bass will steam 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday starting June 5.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Anglers picked five to a dozen ling apiece the past four or five trips on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, Capt. Butch said. A few good-sized winter flounder were decked, and they should begin biting soon. Lots of sea bass, lots of small, but also beauties, were released. Anglers hope they’ll chew when sea bass season is opened May 26. Out-of-season blackfish were let go. Yesterday’s trip fished in 80 feet of water to 170. Butch tried to stay away from sea bass, but they even showed up in 170. They usually don’t appear there until fall. The ocean was 52 to 53 degrees on the fishing grounds, and trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

Good bluefishing early today on the <b>Gambler</b>, the party boat’s Facebook page said. The catches slowed at mid-day, but bigger blues got waxed at the end of the trip. “Was good to see smiles on everyone’s faces,” it said, and all anglers left with fish. Weather looks beautiful the next few days, and trips are sailing for striped bass and blues 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Accurate Reels will host a trip aboard Tuesday for anglers to test the company’s tackle. The trip will fish for stripers and blues, and contact the boat to reserve, or just show up. One of the trips fished earlier this month, drilling a great catch of blues, covered in a previous report here.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

Three striped bass in the 20-pound range were plowed on the ocean Tuesday evening on the <b>Tin Knocker</b>, and two others were lost, Capt. John said. The fish were trolled on white Mojos and bunker spoons. Weather was beautiful, and seas were 2 feet. This was after rough weather in previous days, surrounding Saturday’s nor’easter. The next trip is probably Friday evening.

<b>Toms River</b>

The Toms River at Island Heights harbored scattered blues, but the population was tapering down, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. Barnegat and Manasquan inlets were still loaded with blues. Fishing for them was pretty darn good, and blues there were 5 to 12 pounds, compared with more abundant 2- and 5-pounders in Barnegat Bay. Big blues were migrating out. Blues were bunker-chunked in the bay around the mouth of the river at Good Luck Point and behind Seaside. Bait caught them better than artificials. Blues also held in the bay farther south. Fluke were hooked and released in the bay there. Whether they will be when fluke season opens will be seen. Striped bass still appeared under Route 37 Bridge in the bay, but that population was dropping off, too, because of warming water that was 63 degrees. In the surf, bunker-chunking for blues was real decent. Stripers were picked from the surf on bait and lures. The annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament will be held Sunday at Island Beach State Park, and the store will be open overnight Saturday to Sunday for the event. The shop will open at 5 a.m. Saturday. Big striped bass were boated on the ocean sometimes, mostly on trolled white bunker spoons. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Large schools of bunker began to shove close to the beach, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. “You know what happens when large bunker come in close,” it said. Large bluefish and big striped bass follow. A kayaker this morning ran into one of the schools of the baitfish, and began snagging the bunker and livelining them. He walloped at 40-1/4-pound 47-inch striper. “Don’t sit home and wait for the phone to ring,” it said. Bluefish seemed nearly everywhere, including inlets, Barnegat Bay and the surf. Cut bunker was best bait for them, and metal and bucktails also clubbed the fish. When fishing bait, using bunker and clams will cover all bases for blues and stripers. More and more stripers were weighed-in. In the surf, most were taken on bait, but anglers skilled at fishing plugs held their own on the beach. Crabbing was very slow, but the warm weather could change that. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, a café, a dock for fishing and crabbing, boat rentals and jet-ski rentals. 

<b>Forked River</b>

Plenty of bluefish schooled Barnegat Bay, said Grizz from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. Big blues swam Oyster Creek all the way to Route 9 Bridge. Blowfish were sometimes nabbed from the creek, the warm-water discharge from Forked River power plant. A few weakfish were angled in the bay off the creek on pink Fin-S Fish in mornings. A 45-pound striped bass was weighed-in yesterday that was boated on the ocean on a bunker snagged for bait and livelined. But most stripers from the ocean were trolled. Blues also schooled the ocean. “Those who’re playing with crabs are getting some,” Grizz said.

Trips picked striped bass, not a lot but big with <b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b> on the ocean, Capt. Mike said. The fish in the area all seemed 30 pounds to the mid-40s. A short, 4-hour charter Tuesday landed two 35-pounders. Monday was windy, and the boat’s bottom was painted Wednesday, so fishing only sailed Tuesday. This was after rough weather surrounding Saturday’s nor’easter canceled trips. Before the storm, fishing crushed stripers aboard the ocean. Trips are trolling the fish and sometimes hooking them on livelined bunker. One of the 35-pounders Tuesday was taken on a bunker snagged for bait and then livelined. Mike planned to liveline on today’s trip. The fish Tuesday were spawned out, and that seemed to mean more stripers will arrive after spawning in Delaware and Susquehanna rivers. The ocean was getting close to warm enough for shark fishing. Sharking should be available in two weeks, and the second and third weeks of June will be the year’s best sharking. Mike gets calls for sharking in summer, but won’t shark then. Shark charters will be a focus aboard soon, and dates are available. Striper charters are booked today through Monday.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Fishing will kick off for the year on Memorial Day weekend on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, the party boat’s website said. Trips will bluefish 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays through Sundays beginning then. Daily trips for fluke will begin June 23.

Some big striped bass from the ocean were seen at <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>, Vince Sr. said. Trolled bunker spoons caught, and bluefish including good-sized raced all around. Minnows and all the fluke supplies will be stocked for the opening of the season for the summer flounder. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and boat and kayak rentals. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure.

Blues like crazy stormed Barnegat Inlet and up and down Barnegat Bay, including at the LBI Bridge, said Rob from <b>Van’s Boat Rentals</b>. Short stripers, few keepers, schooled all over the same areas. Not many boaters reached the ocean for striper fishing because of weather. The shop’s boat rentals will become available for the season on Memorial Day weekend. They’ll be available Fridays through Sundays until becoming available daily in June’s third week, when schools let out. Van’s rents boats from 9 to 50 h.p. for fishing, crabbing and pleasure in-season. Kayaks are rented in-season, and facilities include a bait and tackle shop and a marina with slips, gas and full boat servicing.

<b>Barnegat</b>

From an edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “I finally worked out a calendar for our Ocean City, Md., tuna fishing. I’m going to offer Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 3, 4, and 5 for charter or open-boat. Three people max. I have a crew of three, myself and my two boys, Nicholas, 18, and Max, 16. The rate for an all-day trip -- leave at 6 a.m. and return around 4 p.m. -- is $1,200, if we fish the 30-mile spot, Masseys Canyon. It’s $1,400 if we travel 50 to 60 miles to the Poormans Canyon. Last year, there was an awesome day-chunk bite on yellowfin and bluefin mixed together the entire month of July at the closer spot. Hoping for a repeat this year, but the canyon troll is our fall-back, Plan B. Should be able to find some mahi, too. The house is on the water and available at $100 per person, per night. Just about everywhere in OC has a three-night minimum, so I thought it would be convenient to offer the house for the night before our trip, after, or both. Nothing fancy, but it has 75 feet of bulkhead and a boat slip, so we can walk from the back deck onto the boat. <a href=" https://www.vrbo.com/844157" target="_blank">Here’s the house</a>. I have all the gear, but if you want to bring anything of your own, you’re welcome to.”

<b>Mystic Island</b>

Anglers could run into a bluefish blitz on Great Bay from a boat or shore, said Brandon from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Plenty of the fish schooled the water. The angling could also be slow. Large striped bass began to appear in the surf. A 44-pounder was whacked at Atlantic City yesterday. No numbers of the fish showed up, but some were plucked every day. One angler took a lunch or smoke break at AC’s shore yesterday, saw fish getting caught, ran and grabbed a rod from the truck, and hooked blues and stripers. Action popped up like that. White perch fishing was good at places like Mullica River and Wading River. The angling was also heard about from Beach Haven West. Fresh clams in the shell, bloodworms and live grass shrimp are stocked. So are minnows, and plenty more, enough for summer flounder anglers, should be stocked for the opening of flounder season. 

<b>Absecon</b>

Surrounded by blues! said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. More and more striped bass were hooked at night, and stripers also began to be boated on the ocean during daytime. For the blues, surf-fishing was hottest, and probably as good as ever. The angling was no blitz, but everybody caught. Blues also swam from the back bay to the mouths of Mullica and Great Egg Harbor rivers. The stripers at night were found in the surf, bay and those river mouths. But along the surf jetties seemed best.  Jay who works at the shop and Danny Ponzio on the War Dancer trolled a 36-pound striper on the ocean off Holgate during daytime yesterday. They stopped by the store at 3:30 a.m., the shop’s Facebook page said. Take advantage of the store’s annual <b><i>***Customer Appreciation Sale***</b></i>, underway throughout the next week until summer flounder season begins. More details will be posted about the sale, and pick up striper trolling gear at 25 percent off at the event, it said. This is a time to boat the ocean and troll, if wind is now letting up. Wind was rough through Monday, including during Saturday’s nor’easter. Flounder season will likely open next Thursday. New Jersey voted for that date yesterday, and the federal government needs to approve. Plenty of flounder including keepers 18 inches or larger seemed to hold in back bays. Looking good, Dave said. He’ll charter for them, and his charters fought plenty of blues and some small stripers in back waters lately. Plenty of flounder bait and supplies are stocked. Eels are also stocked, and a few stripers began to be eeled in the two rivers. That was late, but seemed to improve. Shedder crabs will probably become available late in the month for bait. Then soft-shell crabs will also become available for eating. The shop raises them, and keep updated about the supply on <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/SoftshellCrabs/" target="_blank">Absecon Bay Sportsman’s Soft Shell Crabs Facebook Page</a>.

<b>Brigantine</b>

A 43-3/4-inch 25-pound striped bass was weighed-in from surf yesterday, winning the angler the Riptide Yuki Hana 43-Inch Striper Bounty, Joe from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b> said. That’s an annual award for spring’s first striper 43 inches or larger from Brigantine’s surf. Entry was $5, and all the cash was awarded. Three stripers were checked in from the surf this week: one on Tuesday and two on Wednesday or yesterday. The other two were 38 inches and 29 ½ inches, and all were beached on fresh bunker. Bluefish 8 to 16 pounds were bombed from the island’s surf all week. Blues were also pasted in the back bay from Brigantine to Atlantic City. The annual Surf and Land Tournament will be held at Brigantine on Saturday, and the shop will be loaded with bait, including fresh bunker, clams and bloodworms. Minnows will be stocked for the opening of summer flounder season, tentatively next Thursday.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Fishing wasn’t epic like before, but was phenomenal, and anglers who fished, caught, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Bluefish in the surf smacked fresh bunker, frozen mackerel, frozen mullet and Daiwa SP Minnows along Absecon Inlet. Every color of SP is stocked. Lots of striped bass bit at night in the area now, best on the second tide, on plugs and bait. Enter your striper in One Stop’s free tournament that lasts until June 3 and began May 13. Prizes will be $250, $150 and $100 for the three heaviest from Atlantic City. Fourth through sixth will win Tsunami rod-and-reel combos. First through third will also win custom T-shirts. All bait is stocked, a large supply.

<b>Margate</b>

The party boat <b>Keeper</b> will make exploratory trips this weekend on the back bay, Capt. John said. The boat will fish for summer flounder daily on the bay throughout flounder season, like every year. Opening day looks like it’ll be next Thursday. Trips this weekend are two open-boats on Saturday and Sunday mornings and a charter Saturday afternoon. The trips will probably smash bluefish and release flounder. Plenty of blues remained in the bay. Open trips are only $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $20 for kids, because the fishing is near port, and the pontoon boat is economical on fuel. Plus, rental rods are free.

<b>Longport</b>

Capt. Mike on the <b>Stray Cat</b> scoped out sea bass for the May 26 opening of sea bass season, he said. A trip Tuesday creamed the fish, good-sized and lots, letting them go, at all seven pieces fished. They chomped at wrecks but also other structure like rocks in the ocean. Sea bass trips are sold out on the first Saturday and Sunday of the season, Memorial Day weekend. But room is available on a special open-boat trip for sea bass 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, limited to 12 anglers. More open trips for sea bass will be available the next Tuesday and Thursday, May 30 and June 1. Out-of-season blackfish also bit on the trip, and only clams were fished, not crabs that blackfish prefer. Snapper blues and windowpanes also hit. In years past, May 15 was the time to hunt sea bass aboard. The fish are there, and the water was 56 degrees.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Blues, lots, said Pat from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Stacked up at Corson’s Inlet pretty good. Some were heard about from along Route 9 Bridge now and then. At Great Egg Harbor Inlet, fishing for blues was hit and miss, only because of the size of the area. They were found on some days and not on others. Most anglers fishing for blues with bait seemed to switch to plugs including Daiwa SP Minnows, but also other swimmers including Bombers. Some people cast rubber paddle-tails to the blues. When anglers soaked bait for the fish, they usually dunked chunks of bunker. The surf gave up blues near Corson’s. Striped bass including a couple of keepers were occasionally reported from the surf. “Nothing too special,” he said, “but a few.” No weakfish were reported, maybe because of all the blues. Blues even schooled Great Egg Harbor River’s mouth near Jeffrey’s Landing. The river’s fishing for white perch sounded decent. One out-of-season summer flounder was heard about that was released at Corson’s Fresh bunker and clams are stocked.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

For customers at <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>, fishing was pretty similar to last week, Mike said. Lots of bluefish remained, and more were 5 to 10 pounds instead of 10 to 15 previously. But whoppers were still mixed in. The back bay held the most by far, was the place to be. Boaters anchored and fished bait like bunker, herring and mullet for them. Or they cast jigs of all types. No color or anything seemed better. Mike threw an ugly orange one, clobbering the fish. No weakfish were heard about this week. Striped bass were around, not a lot, but a couple were seen every day. A couple came from the surf, and one was bagged at the inlet recently. Crabbing was good. Mike’s crabbing trip the other day trapped not many males but a ton of big females. Many crabs skittered around. 

For back-bay fishing aboard, bluefish still chewed, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The fish weighed 3 to 6 pounds, and a few were big. Striped bass fishing began to improve on the bay on board on jigheads with soft-plastic lures and on popper lures and flies. Whether they hit poppers depended on conditions. But mostly blues bit. Popper fishing is a specialty aboard, drawing explosive, visual attacks along the water surface. Good summer flounder fishing was on tap on the bay, for when flounder season opens. The flatfish currently picked up jigs and were released while Jersey Cape fished for the other species. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

<b>Wildwood</b>

<b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b> will be opened on Memorial Day weekend for the season, Mike said. He just ordered bait for that, and summer flounder season will probably be opened Thursday. The federal government at press time had to approve, and New Jersey yesterday approved. Flounder had to be swimming the back bay. Bluefish ran strongly in the bay. Mike ate 2-pounders for dinner yesterday that were delicious. Cut off the dark meat, he said. He saw no weakfish but heard about weaks from the bay. Crabbing has begun pretty decent on the bay. Mike spoke with people who crabbed from docks.  He hopes to carry crabs for eating for the opener, and also shrimp and clams. A supplier said the crabs should be available. Live and cooked-to-order crabs are carried throughout the season. Customers enjoy all the food at picnic tables with tents on the water at the store, or enjoy them at their own location. Canal Side rents boats for fishing, crabbing and pleasure and kayaks. <b>***<i>Get a $5 discount</i>***</b> on a rental boat if you mention Fishing Reports Now. A large supply of bait and tackle is carried.

<b>Cape May</b>

Fishing for black drum was probably going to resume tonight and tomorrow night on Delaware Bay on the <b>Prime Time II</b>, Capt. Steve said. Some space is available for the fishing this weekend, and the trips last fished Wednesday and Thursday, before the storm. The trips pretty much limited out, and even threw back some of the fish. The drum weighed 30 to 65 pounds. That was during the full moon, and sometimes drum spawn and stop biting the week after May’s full. The boat will probably begin shark fishing the week after Memorial Day or the following week. He likes a 65-degree ocean for sharking, and the water was currently 58. Warm days like currently will warm it up. Sharking will definitely be on by the beginning of June. 

The <b>Heavy Hitter</b> will fish for black drum on Delaware Bay this weekend, Capt. George said. Those are the year’s first charters for the fish aboard.

Three striped bass 40, 34 and 33 pounds were bunker chunked on Delaware Bay Tuesday with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Tom said. Trips aboard have been catching black drum on the bay, and the angling slacked off in the first days of the week, but seemed to begin picking up yesterday. Two drum to 70 pounds were boxed aboard by 7:30 p.m. yesterday, when Tom gave this report in a phone call on the trip.

Black drum refused to bite in Delaware Bay through the first couple of days of the week, said Capt. Paul from the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>. A trip was skunked aboard Tuesday night, the season’s first of the trips to catch none, and the trips will resume today on the boat. None of the fleet caught during those days that Paul knew about. The angling was slow since Saturday’s nor’easter. Maybe the fish were spawning. That happens: sometimes the fish go into a spawn and stop biting a moment. Trips are drum fishing 2 to 10 p.m., and telephone to reserve. Trips will begin sea bass fishing on May 26, opening day of sea bass season.  

Delaware Bay’s surf fished pretty well for striped bass, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Fresh bunker dragged in some big, but some anglers dunked clams, giving a chance to hook a black drum, too. Occasional bluefish to 15 pounds jumped into the bay’s surf and into the surf at Cape May Point, at the confluence of the bay and ocean. Stripers were mixed in at the point with blues. Sometimes stripers and blues were banked from the ocean surf. Blues from there were reported from North Wildwood today. Weakfish hovered at Cape May Point, soft-plastic lures locking into them. The back bay fished well for sizable blues. Nick wasn’t asked whether that was for shore anglers as well as boaters. For boaters, Delaware Bay’s drum fishing seemed a little slow, “just getting after the moon,” he said. A drum tournament was set for this weekend, so anglers were quiet about the fishing. Boating for the bay’s stripers was a little slow, but picked a few in shallows close to shore and farther out at the Cock and Balls. Fresh clams, fresh bunker and minnows are stocked. Bloodworms were expected to arrive soon.  

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