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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 5-4-17

<b>Keyport</b>

The <b>Vitamin Sea</b> fished for striped bass on Raritan Bay on Monday and Wednesday, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Forecasts for wind and rough seas canceled the angling throughout Tuesday and on Wednesday afternoon. During the fishing Monday aboard, three keeper stripers and some bluefish were bunker-chunked. During the angling Wednesday, four “jumbo” stripers, two of them just under 30 pounds, were trolled first thing in the morning on rubber shads. Then blues mixed in, and striper catches dropped off. The trip headed west toward land, trying to duck out of strong west wind, and chunked a while. Another striper and some gator blues were cranked up. The trip called it a day at 11:30 a.m. Friday’s trips are canceled because of stormy forecasts. Charters are fishing, and space is available on two open-boat trips on Wednesday morning and afternoon. Space is available for two open trips in the afternoon on Friday and Saturday, May 12 and 13, and on another on that Sunday in the morning.

Good fishing for striped bass was sacked Monday on Raritan Bay with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. Morning and afternoon trips that were slated daily were canceled because of wind Tuesday and Wednesday. The fishing seems to keep improving, after a slow down apparently because of spawning. Open-boat trips are fishing for them daily and charters are available on Down Deep’s two 40-foot boats, featuring comfort including galleys, he said. 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. Fluke and sea bass trips are booking for later this season.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

“Caught some nice stripers (Monday),” a report said about fishing on the <b>Fishermen</b> on the party boat’s website. But the angling wasn’t easy. Throwbacks were also let go. The water had dropped to 54 degrees, after being 58 the previous few days. Not much bait was marked. No report was posted for Tuesday. On Wednesday’s trip, conditions were the worst. Incoming tide butted against strong west wind. “Paul did manage a striped bass for the pool and a nice dinner,” it said. More readings, probably bluefish, began to be marked at the channels. They wouldn’t bite, but after last spring’s good population of blues, trips will certainly fish for them this year aboard. The boat is 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.

A fair number of striped bass were bagged, and throwbacks were let go, in the back of Raritan Bay on Monday afternoon’s trip on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. The morning’s trip landed only a few stripers, not that good of a catch, at Flynn’s Knoll. No trips fished Tuesday, and weather’s been rough. On Wednesday, wind blew, and only the morning trip sailed. Only a keeper and a few shorts came in. No trips are expected to run Friday in forecasts for rain and wind. The boat is fishing for stripers 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Saturday, 5/6:***</b> Was a better morning of fishing, Tom said in a phone call aboard toward the end of the a.m. trip today. Five keeper striped bass and a couple of shorts were swung in, and bluefish showed up. Action, and some stripers were even hooked among the blues. Blues landed were a mix of sizes including big. They weighed 3 to 12 pounds.

Striped bass were boated on Raritan and Sandy Hook bays and on rivers, but the fishing could be tough, said Joe from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Trolling for the bass on the bay could be good on Stretch lures and spoons. Sandy Hook Bay was fished off Leonardo. Shrewsbury River was worked for the stripers at Highlands and Sea Bright bridges. Nothing was heard about Navesink River at Oceanic Bridge, but the fish should be there, too. Surf anglers banked stripers steadily, but no “splurge.” Lots of bluefish could be found on the bays. All baits are stocked.

<b>Highlands</b>

Raritan Bay’s striped bass fishing picked up a little yesterday on the <b>Tuna-Tic</b>, after slow fishing during the weekend for them, Capt. Mike said. Wind and seas were kind of rough that day. He prefers to fish with bait, but trips the last couple of days trolled, because of the rough conditions. Lots of bluefish now showed up in the bay. Yesterday’s trip hooked stripers in the morning, and then blues took over. The blues bent rods, and that was enjoyable. Tuna-Tic is moved to Forked River later this season to fish for stripers on the ocean from Barnegat Inlet, when the migration heads to the ocean from bays and rivers, trekking north as weather warms. Those are big, mature stripers that spawn in bays and rivers at first in spring, and the angling was phenomenal aboard last year. In June, the boat begins shark fishing. Sometimes striper fishing is mixed in on the way back from sharking.

Sailing from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, Paul and Becky on the Second Home trolled a 32-inch striped bass at buoy 11 on a Mojo on Sunday, Marion said. On Saturday, Frank Dapuzzo cracked a 45-pound striper, his personal best, on New York Harbor on a trip with Roy Wurst and Jeff Jacobson. On Friday, Paul and Maddy Hess on the Boudicca trolled two 37-inch stripers, a 39-incher and a 31-incher at Reach Channel on Mojos, keeping the two biggest, releasing the rest. 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 bunker when in demand. Fresh bunker was carried this week.

<b>Belmar</b>

Good-sized bluefish were wrestled from Shark River on metal, said Jessie from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b>. Throwback striped bass were beached from the surf around Shark River Inlet.  He wasn’t asked what on, but one angler clammed a 30-inch keeper at Ocean Grove or Asbury Park on clam this week, Jessie said.

Great fishing today! an email said from the party boat <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>. The trip tackled bluefish 2 to 5 pounds and a few 10-pounders mixed in on the ocean. The catches were plowed just outside Shark River Inlet a while. Then the trip moved south and hooked up again. Most anglers limited out, and crocs and jigs caught best. The vessel is fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Bluefish today gave up the best fishing of the year so far on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. All customers whipped a good catch among plenty of the schooling 3- to 12-pounders. Trips are fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Tomorrow’s trip is expected to be weathered out.

The boat was just splashed, after some maintenance, and Capt. Scott from <b>XTC Sportfishing</b> hopes to begin fishing next week for the season, he said. He’ll look for striped bass on the ocean, and charters will get after the bass as soon as the migration picks up. The trips liveline bunker for the fish, but also fish whatever ways are necessary for them. A few stripers were boated on the ocean a couple of weeks ago. Bunker reportedly schooled the ocean lately, but no stripers were on them. Bluefish are in, seeming to arrive on time. He hopes stripers will pull in soon, like they usually do.

<b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> did no fishing in wind in past days, Capt. Pete said. He’ll haul the boat in the next days for maintenance like bottom-painting. “Getting ready for the big run,” he said. He meant the striper run on the ocean that’s the highlight of spring fishing aboard. Fishing the ocean might be weathered out in the next days anyway. Bunker, not a lot, but some are reportedly schooling the ocean so far, and Pete from shore saw a bunker boat on the water yesterday. The striper migration will forage on the menhaden, and the number of baitfish will increase next week there, he thinks. Stripers will probably be heard about from the ocean more often next week, too. Some boats lit up bluefish that began to school the ocean yesterday. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s about individual spaces available on charters. 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.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

The <b>Tin Knocker</b>’s been bluefishing on Manasquan River with tackle like popper lures, Capt. John said. The fish weighed about 6 pounds. Fun fishing, and he’s been doing that with his son, but charters are available for the angling. Not a lot of charters take advantage of the tough-fighting, healthy-sized fish, but it’s sporty angling. John’s keeping a lookout for the migration of striped bass on the ocean that’s impending. He was supposed to sail for them this weekend, but lightning Saturday morning and the blow Sunday canceled that. This weekend’s weather looks like a bust, but he’ll get after the fish in the next fair weather. Charters aboard fish for the bass with livelined bunker or however’s necessary, including trolling. John will even run the boat to Sandy Hook to clam for the bass at the clam beds if that’s what it takes to put stripers in the boat for charters.

Ling fishing began to pick up on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, Capt. Butch said. The fishing wasn’t good, but was good compared to winter. Customers picked away at them this morning, when he gave this report in a phone call aboard. Some totaled four or five so far, and some bucketed as many as a dozen on trips lately. Plenty of out-of-season blackfish, sea bass and porgies were released on trips. Four or five whiting were hooked today so far, though whiting are scarce. Trips fished 70-foot depths to 120 feet in past days, and today’s fished 70 when he gave this report. Trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

Big blues to 12 pounds, a great catch, grabbed every kind of lure yesterday on the <b>Gambler</b>, the party boat’s Facebook page said. That was a special trip where Accurate Reels was aboard for anglers to test the company’s products. Another one of the trips with Accurate will fish May 23 for stripers and blues, and contact the boat to reserve, or just show up. The crew from the Gambler also thanks the folks from The Reel Seat in Brielle “for all their input and testing of new tackle” on the trip. The Gambler’s crew hopes big stripers become mixed with the blues soon! Trips are sailing for stripers and blues 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.

Daily trips for striped bass and blues were supposed to begin Monday on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website Tuesday. But weather canceled the fishing those two days, and no report was posted for Wednesday and today at press time. The trips are slated for 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

<b>Toms River</b>

Wind was tough in past days, and no boats, none, was seen fishing, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. But sizable bluefish still schooled the Toms River. Anglers fought them from shore and docks. Dennis fished for them from shore Monday, weighing one that was 8.32 pounds. The blues busted on bunker, and that looked awesome, unbelievable. The blues are also still swimming Barnegat Bay, both locally, like from Good Luck Point to Route 37 Bridge, and farther north toward Mantoloking Bridge. They also schooled farther south in the bay toward Forked River and Oyster Creek. Most boaters drifted and cast to the fish, but some trolled, and pony tails that were trolled really worked. Anglers lambasted the blues toward Mantoloking Bridge, and the blues filled nearby Point Pleasant Canal and Manasquan River, too. The bay was loaded with throwback stripers at the 37 Bridge.  A few weakfish were hooked in the bay toward Forked River and Oyster, traditional spots this season. The blues gave up a bonanza of fishing in the surf Tuesday. Most customers fished for them at Island Beach State Park. They said the blues only bit bait, not plugs. Late that afternoon, the blues were slammed in Barnegat Inlet on both bait and plugs. They hit anything. A new body of blues seemed to be arriving. Maybe they migrated from places like Brigantine and Atlantic City farther south, where blues might’ve begun to depart. Back in the local surf, a few striped bass were beached during the weekend. A few were big, including a couple of 30-pounders during the weekend, and a few in the teens this week that were heard about. The surf probably needed to warm a couple of degrees, and its striper fishing would probably take off. Crabbing was good in the Toms, though few people crabbed. They seemed to think crabs couldn’t be trapped this time of year. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Attack of the slammer blues! a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Blues to 14 pounds kept biting for anglers fishing from the dock. The fish attacked all day Tuesday, but especially in late afternoon to evening, until it became too dark. The report was posted Wednesday, and cut bunker fished on bottom was most popular to fish. When anglers wanted to fish lures, metal worked best, because lures like large poppers were a chore to fish in relentless wind. Surf fishing was slow, tossing up small striped bass and an occasional keeper. Large blues also schooled Barnegat Inlet, “if you catch it right,” the report said. Bucktails “with any type of dressing” worked. 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, in season, jet-ski rentals. 

<b>Forked River</b>

Bluefish that were checked-in from Barnegat Bay weighed 10 to 17 pounds at <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>, Kyle said. Boaters trolled them between the BI and BB markers. But they also hooked them on popper lures, metal and soft-plastics. A few weakfish were reeled from the same area. Anglers fished for them just before dark with soft-plastics like pink Fin-S Fish. Kyle listened to boaters on the radio saying they trolled a few striped bass on the ocean yesterday on bunker spoons. Crabs began to be trapped. “So it’s a start,” he said. Baits stocked include fresh clams, bloodworms and killies.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Plenty of big blues were angled from Barnegat Inlet to Barnegat Bay, said Vince Sr. from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. Surf anglers also tied into them. Quite a few striped bass were seen at the shop. Some were boated from the bay to the inlet. Some were trolled on the ocean near the 3-mile line. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3. Fresh bunker and clams are stocked. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and, in season, boat and kayak rentals. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure. The boats will be unavailable this weekend because of weather.

<b>Barnegat</b>

From an edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “Looking at the marine forecast, the Hi Flier is going to be fishing Barnegat Bay for at least a few more days. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Big, gator blues on top-water lures in shallow water are lots of fun on light spinning tackle. It's just … how many weeks in a row are we going to get blown out of the ocean fishing? It's likely those 25- to 40-plus-pound stripers are staged off Island Beach State Park in 50 to 60 feet of water, just waiting for a big spoon, and we can't get to them. It looks like Sunday night, and at least all day Monday, the wind is supposed to swing NW. That will flatten out the ocean, and at least get us out to try. The big blues seem to be picking up momentum in our part of the bay, so we’ll continue to throw lures and bait at them through the weekend. I struck out on my first three bay striper attempts last week, anchored up clamming in Oyster Creek Channel. So it only makes sense that's where I’ll be, doing the same, exact thing on each high-water slack this weekend, as well. Last year's May bite was the best run of quality-sized fish I ever had clamming in the bay, so I'm not ready to give up on that, yet. We’ll fish for the blues before and after each striper effort. Running open-boat or charter 6 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Four people max. All fish are shared.” <b>***Update, Sunday, 5/7:***</b> From an email from Dave today: “It’s time! West winds again tomorrow. Should flatten that ocean out to allow us to go try a shot at trolling bunker spoons for big stripers. Not that there's been any reported, but it’s time. Depending on the sea condition and what you guys want to do, we can also fish the bay for bluefish which has been steady. 6 a.m. to noon (or later).”  

<b>Mystic Island</b>

Boaters and shore anglers mopped up bluefish sporadically on Great Bay, said Brandon from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. The shore anglers caught in the Graveling Point area, and striped bass, no big numbers, were banked from the area at night. For the blues, fish bait like bunker and mackerel. On one day, one bait would work better than another, like finger mullet that were key yesterday in the Graveling area. For the stripers, dunk clams or bloodworms. Bigger stripers than before, 25 or 30 pounds, a few, were heaved from Mullica River. Live grass shrimp were sold like crazy for white perch fishing on the river. That must’ve meant good catches. Brandon was at Wading River the other day, seeing anglers hook a mess of small, 4-inch perch. Fresh clams in the shell, fresh, shucked clams, fresh bunker and the shrimp are stocked.

<b>Absecon</b>

Wind blew, but bluefish, mostly large, not the biggest like a couple of years ago, but some of them 10 pounds, were caught well, said Curt from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. Lakes Bay was a spot for them. Great Bay began to show some. Bigger stripers than before began to be angled sometimes from rivers including the Mullica, mostly at night on eels. The striper fishing will turn on this weekend, he thinks, because the water’s becoming warmer, and the next full moon, next week, is the time of year for better-sized. Charters with Capt. Dave, the shop’s owner, whacked a good number of blues and, here and there, stripers in back waters. Fresh clams, fresh bunker, eels, bloodworms and, for freshwater fishing and brackish white perch, minnows are stocked. The perch bit in the Mullica. They seemed to be spawning, because lots of small hit. Seemed many of the bigger were mating. But some sizeable chewed.

<b>Brigantine</b>

Blues swam everywhere! said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Surf anglers did them in, and so did boaters on the back bay. The fish to 12 ½ pounds were checked in. Surf casters who never caught before, did. The surf off Brigantine Hotel swarmed with the fish. Some huge came from the cove. The action was hot off the South Jetty, the jetty at Absecon Inlet at Brigantine. But blues were tough to land there unless anglers had a long gaff. What was fished in the surf almost didn’t matter. Mackerel caught, and so did bunker -- any “meat,” and the bait didn’t need to be fresh. Fresh bunker were being stocked today and will be for the weekend. Fresh clams will arrive Friday. The number of blues seemed to keep striped bass from getting caught.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Nothing changed, lot of fish, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Bluefish were socked from the surf near the T-jetty, from the T itself to the back bay. The T is at the ocean end of Absecon Inlet. Bigger striped bass than before were sometimes nailed from the T and nearby surf. Small stripers still bit in the surf there, like before. The blues jumped on bunker, mullet, mackerel, herring and Daiwa SP Minnow lures. The stripers smacked clams, bunker, bloodworms and SP’s. SP’s were on fire, and the shop stocks every model. All the baits mentioned and more, the full supply, are stocked.

<b>Egg Harbor Township</b>

Bluefish held everywhere, said Jim from <b>24-7 Bait & Tackle</b>. The surf gave them up. So did the back bay near the store. Some were even heard about from Great Egg Harbor River near the shop. No striped bass were heard about, because of the blues. Either the stripers couldn’t beat the blues to a hook, or the stripers avoided the blues, it seemed. White perch could always be plucked from the river. No customers crabbed yet this season who were known about. Patcong Creek, running past the store, is one of the best places for crabbing, when the blueclaws become able to be trapped for the season. The shop’s rental boats were yet to be splashed for the season but get docked on the creek, and are used for fishing and crabbing. The boats can be motored along the creek, the bay and the Great Egg. Patcong flows into the Great Egg near where the river meets the bay. No fresh clams and bunker were stocked currently, and rough weather kept the bait scarce. <b>The company also owns 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora</b>. The company also just opened Tight Lines Bait & Tackle in Somers Point.

<b>Margate</b>

The party boat <b>Keeper</b> will probably be launched into the water in a couple of weeks for the fishing season, Capt. John said. The vessel each year exclusively sails for summer flounder on the back bay throughout flounder season on two trips daily. The season was yet to be announced but began on May 23 last year. The boat usually runs a few trips that pre-fish for the fluke in the week or so before the season, releasing the fish. The trips are economical, because the fishing is near port, and the pontoon boat is economical on fuel. John wasn’t asked the price for this year, but last year the trips were $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $20 for kids, and rental rods were free. <b>***Update, Thursday, 5/4:***</b> The boat was launched today.

<b>Longport</b>

No fishing will sail in the weather this weekend on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. He expects to resume trips Tuesday, when weather is forecast to improve. Open-boat trips will wreck-fish on the ocean for whatever bites and is legal to bag. The trips blackfished daily until the season closed Sunday for the tautog. That angling went well lately, covered in previous reports here.

<b>Ocean City</b>

The inlets at Ocean City were loaded with blues, said Justin from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. They bit practically anything. Many anglers threw Daiwa SP Minnows to them, though treble hooks that come with lures like that could be difficult to deal with. Soft-plastic lures and chunk bait also caught. The blues were sort of mixed sizes and smaller than before, up to 8 to 12 pounds. Up to 15- to 20-pounders were more common previously. Blues were also reported from the surf. So were a few kingfish and black drum. Striped bass were few and far between in the surf, seeming to disappear because of the blues. The blues seemed a threat to them, or maybe anglers just couldn’t get a hook past the blues to reach stripers. The back bay’s bluefishing was slower but produced the fish. A couple of striper catches were heard about from the bay. The blues seemed to keep more from being hooked there, too. Bluefish were even heard about from Great Egg Harbor River. Justin heard from nobody who crabbed in 1 ½ weeks. But back then, crabs were trapped. One crabber then bailed the blueclaws, not small either, in the bay behind Sea Isle City. Fresh clams and bloodworms are stocked. The store is trying to stock fresh bunker for the weekend. Wind kept bunker boats from sailing.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Paul Hines and crew battled bluefish to 15 pounds, lots, on the back bay last evening aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Paul fished on another trip that afternoon with his nephew aboard, smashing similar fishing. The blues might’ve weighed up to 16 pounds on that outing. Both trips fished with lead jigheads with soft-plastic lures, and a few smaller blues than before began to be seen lately. Most remained heavier than 10 pounds. The bay’s temperature varies greatly this time of year, and was mostly higher than 60 degrees. Sixty-nine was the warmest Joe saw yesterday. Keep up with his fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

Fishing was similar to last week, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Big bluefish, and lots of them, he said. Probably the one main change was that more of the blues bit in the surf than before. Fishing for blues was probably better in inlets and the back bay. But the angling improved in the surf, and the surf is more accessible to some anglers. Some anglers tried for striped bass in the surf during daytime. But getting past the blues could be difficult, and anglers were probably better off fishing for what was best during daytime: blues. Fish for stripers at night, when blues shut off. Most anglers fished for the blues with any “meat” like mullet, herring or bunker. Clams can usually be fished to avoid blues, but blues currently even grabbed clams. Stripers at night could be targeted from the back bay, like tossing soft-plastic lures under lights, to the surf with fresh clams or bunker. The stripers were a range of sizes from 20 inches or smaller to 30 inches or tiny to good-sized. An angler checked in a 6-pound weakfish from the bay. A few weaks have been seen at the shop from the bay, and that was probably biggest. Anglers who target them are often quiet about that. The angler with the 6-pounder kayaked the weak toward the end of day, when bluefish stopped biting for him in the waning light. He Mohawked the blues. He also said out-of-season summer flounder bit ferociously on his trips on the bay. Any chance at a weakfish seemed best when blues weren’t feeding. If blues were, forget about it. Crabbing was good, slower than a couple of weeks ago, but still producing. Mike guessed that was because crabs were coming into the year’s first shedding.

<b>Cape May</b>

A couple of striped bass to 33 pounds were bunker-chunked on Delaware Bay on Monday with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Tom said. The angling was kind of slow, but the water was dirty. That was the year’s first striper fishing aboard, and a good body of big stripers seem to be arriving in the bay after spawning in Delaware River.  Fishin’ Fever will also fish for black drum on the bay soon, and the drum began to show. Several are being boated, and Tom knew about one trip that boated seven. The fish currently weighed 15 to 60 pounds. Tom’s seen a few toward 60, so a few big seem around. Small or puppies usually bite at first in the season, and May is usually the month for drumming.

The <b>Heavy Hitter</b> will begin fishing for black drum on Delaware Bay this month, and boaters picked puppies 15 or 20 pounds during the weekend, Capt. George said. Striped bass were boated on the bay Friday and Saturday off places like Pierces Point on chunks of bunker. Weather was rough Sunday, keeping news scarce. People said bluefish swam the bay this season, George said when asked for this report, but he heard nothing confirmed about that. Few anglers seemed to boat this week in wind. Rainstorms are forecast for Friday, and more wind is predicted during the weekend.

Trips on Saturday will begin to fish for drum on Delaware Bay on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> from 2 to 10 p.m., Capt. Paul said. Telephoning to reserve is best, because bait needs to be ordered ahead, because it isn’t always available otherwise. Daily blackfish trips ran through Sunday, the final day of blackfish season. The angling ended up alright this weekend. A good number of anglers limited out on Saturday and Sunday, and a couple of 12-pounders were nailed Sunday. Alex Levantovsky from Philadelphia won Sunday’s pool with one of the tautog that looked to be a little heavier than 12. Don Mark from Philly heaved in one that looked 12 but was slightly smaller than the pool-winner. The fish weren’t weighed, but Paul and experienced anglers can judge. On Saturday a bunch of out-of-season sea bass, some undersized cod and a few big, out-of-season porgies were released. The boat will probably fish for sea bass daily beginning May 26, opening day of sea bass season, unless drum fishing remains good and there’s demand for drum.

Seemed that a couple of 37- to 40-inch striped bass were slid from the surf every day, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. They were hooked on swimming lures and bunker, and the lures were mostly Daiwa SP Minnows, Bombers and Yo-Zuri Mag Darters. Bluefish were also beaten from the surf. He took a 12-pound 34-incher on an S&S bucktail with an Ottertail, and anglers hit a bunch of blues that day on the beach. Wind kept boaters from fishing in recent days. Previously, they bunker-chunked stripers on Delaware Bay. Joe’s Tip is usually an early-season spot. That’s inshore of 20-Foot Slough off Del Haven and Pierces Point. Drum 30- and 40-pounds were boated on the bay before the wind, off Coxhall Creek, at Bug Light and, Nick thought, off Delaware’s Slaughter Beach. Weakfish, not big, mostly 4 pounds, began to be heard about that were nabbed along surf jetties on bloodworms under a float and on bucktails. Those are older, mature weaks that show up in spring to spawn in back bays. They’re so-called “tiderunners,” because they’re said to move in with the tide. Lots of big stripers slammed the back bay the other day. All anglers there locked into them, sometimes losing them because of the size. One angler landed a 33-incher. Fresh clams and bloodworms are stocked. Green crabs, the blackfish bait, are leftover, though blackfish season closed Monday. Nick was trying to stock fresh bunker today.

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