Wed., Nov. 22, 2017
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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 6-15-17

<b>Sewaren</b>

Raritan Bay’s fluke fishing picked up for customers, said Rich from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. A couple of 7-pounders were weighed-in, and an 8.9-pounder was brought to the shop last week. The fishing was “hitting in,” he said, and Keyport Flats was one place the fluke were boated. Bunker-chunking for bluefish was okay in the bay at buoys 20 and 20A. Fewer striped bass were around than before, but stripers were angled at Outerbridge Crossing. All baits are stocked including killies, fresh clams and fresh bunker. 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. The fuel dock is open 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

<b>Keyport</b>

Sea bass season is coming to an end, and the fishing’s been super with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. Open-boat trips are fishing for them daily through Sunday, the final day of the season, and the trips will sail for ling, cod and winter flounder afterward. Charters are available, and that’s all on the Down Deep, one of the company’s two boats. The Down Deep Bull, the other vessel, is fishing for fluke on open trips daily, and charters are available for the angling. Fluking was up and down, and all anglers bagged at least two on most trips, and the high hook in recent days landed four legal-sized, keeping no more than a limit. A 9-pounder was socked the other day that was the biggest so far this season aboard. Join the Short Notice List on <a href="http://downdeepsportfishing.com" target="_blank">Down Deep’s website</a> to be kept informed about special open trips. Look for the link underneath the Contact link.

Rods have been bent throughout all fluke trips, and the anglers with better skill have usually been limiting out on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Trips have been self-imposing a 19-inch minimum size, the New York limit, compared with New Jersey’s 18. That was so trips weren’t limited to fishing Jersey waters. Eighteen-inchers had to be thrown back, but a good mix of 4- to 6-pounders up to 8-pounders were claimed. Gulps caught best, especially in Pink Shine. Nuclear Chicken and chartreuse also produced. Some anglers wanted to fish bait, but they lost valuable time dealing with dogfish that bit. If you can’t bring your own Gulps, the artificial bait is available for sale aboard at cost. Charters are fishing, and a couple of spots are available on an open-boat trip Saturday. A couple are also left for Father’s Day.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Good fluking continues! a report said about today on the <b>Fishermen</b> on the party boat’s website. Some bigger fluke were bombed aboard today and yesterday, Wednesday. This was after Monday’s trip ended up with some good-sized, and Tuesday’s trip’s fluking wasn’t easy. On yesterday’s trip, Wednesday’s, fluking began slowly, picking shorts, and the trip went in search mode and found life. That dried up before long, and the trip moved again, locating very good action late in the morning, while it lasted. Rob Nielsen won the pool with a 7-pound 12-ounce fluke. Never Quit Eddie bagged three beauties to a 6.6-pounder. A 6.2- and a 5.7-pounder were also iced. Today’s trip scored action right away: plenty of smaller fluke and some hefty keepers. A 7-pounder was the trip’s biggest, and several 5 to 6 pounds were racked up. Some bigger fluke once again.  Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 3:30 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Sunday, and for striped bass 3:30 to 9 p.m. every Monday. However, a charter is booked Saturday morning, so no open-boat trip will fish in the morning that day.

An 8-pound 8-ounce fluke was rental-rodded on Tuesday morning’s trip that was the biggest of the year aboard so far, said Capt. Tom from the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>.  That was covered in an update posted here that day. Since then, fluking’s been about the same as previously aboard. On Wednesday morning’s trip, not as much action with throwbacks turned up as before, but a few more keepers did. The afternoon’s trip was the opposite: the fishing gave up more throwbacks but fewer keepers. Fluke, mostly throwbacks, seemed to swim every place fished on trips. The fishing was unpredictable or sporadic. A trip might fish a place where fluke were hooked previously, but at another time, they were reluctant to bite there. Trips fished Sandy Hook Bay and Flynn’s Knoll. Anglers talked about how cold the bait and the fish felt at some places, apparently because the water was cold along bottom where fluke swim. But bait and fish felt warm at others. There seemed pockets of different temperatures. Trips are fluke fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Boating for fluke was a little slow on Raritan Bay, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Not even a lot of throwbacks bit. A friend on a trip from South Amboy boated eight in 4 hours, squeaking out a limit of three keepers before dark. A few bluefish were picked from the bay, but not numbers like before. A boater on the ocean got into big striped bass to 40 pounds on top-water lures Saturday. Many anglers sailed for sea bass on the ocean, but Ron was yet to know results. Some sharks were caught on the ocean in an Atlantic Highlands tournament. They included makos but not big, 70 and 125 pounds, he thought. 

Fluking sounded slow on head boats this morning, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. But maybe today’s afternoon trips would fish differently. The fishing was okay Tuesday, he thought. That was the most recent time he was at the shop, before today. One of the store’s rental boats was fished this morning, and the trip banged out six fluke including two keepers from the bay. Johnny didn’t hear much about bluefish today. Boaters locally didn’t really sail for sea bass. A few striped bass were trolled on the ocean off Monmouth Beach on bunker spoons. Nothing great, he said.  

<b>Highlands</b>

Heading out from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, T.R. Dempsey boated a limit of fluke to a 24-inch 4-3/4-pounder off Sandy Hook Point on Saturday, Marion wrote in an email. On the same day, Paul and Becky on the Second Home plucked three fluke to 19 inches from Swash Channel on killies. On Sunday, Johnny Cuozzo on the Elsea Nora limited on fluke at Flynn’s Knoll while bucktailing, and Dan Lawrence on the Crazy 8 wrangled up a 30-inch fluke at the Oceanic Bridge on Gulp. On Wednesday on Shrewsbury River, Roy and Frantz limited on fluke, and Ed and Tony on the Hammerhead limited on the fish to 23 inches. 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> was basically sea bass fishing every day, catching a good bunch, Capt. Ralph said. The angling was good in the morning on a charter Wednesday, including catching some big. Winter flounder and ling were also bucketed. On an individual-reservation trip Tuesday for sea bass, 10 to 15 fewer than a limit were bagged, with 14 anglers aboard. Sunday will be the final day of sea bass season, and space is available on an individual-reservation trip for sea bass that day. Here’s your opportunity! <b>***Update, Saturday, 6/17:***</b> Forecasts called for rough weather and were accurate, but a charter yesterday fished for sea bass “locally” because of forecasts, and the angling was still good, Ralph wrote in an email. Space is available for the individual-reservation trip for sea bass Sunday, the final day of sea bass season. And weather looks good!

<b>Belmar</b>

<b>XTC Sportfishing</b> competed in last week’s South Jersey Shark Tournament, Capt. Scott said. No qualifying makos were pasted, but two of the fish to 130 pounds and a bunch of blue and brown sharks were landed aboard. The water was chilly or 59 to 61 degrees but clear, and seas were very rough Thursday during the fishing. On the previous Monday, XTC tilefished offshore of Atlantic City on the way to Cape May, pumping in a bunch. Bluefin tuna were seen on the trip, but the outing didn’t stop and fish for them. Bluefins are currently swimming canyons offshore, and Scott hopes they’ll pull inshore soon. That usually makes up a fishery before long. XTC this week mostly sea bass fished on the ocean. One trip fished for striped bass on the ocean and nailed good-sized on trolled spoons.

Striped bass fishing’s been excellent in afternoons since the full moon, and monster stripers have moved in, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. All anglers on a trip Tuesday evening nailed personal-best stripers 40 pounds or larger, and a 51-pound was biggest. They all had a couple of rounds of livelining bunker, because the baitfish were able to be caught for that. Once the bass ate all the livies, the anglers hooked the bass on popper lures and jigs. “Making bait” was key to the fishing on trips. When stripers are busting on top, anglers can connect on poppers, jigs or you name it. The bass could also be trolled, of course. Pete hopes the catches continue to be decent, and trips will keep after them until the bass depart. The fishing aboard includes Magic Hour Trips 3:30 to 9 p.m. every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. 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.

<b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> will next fish this weekend for sea bass and fluke on the ocean, Capt. Mike said. Lots of sea bass are snapping, and anglers just need to work through throwbacks for keepers, he said in the last report here

The <b>Katie H</b> will fish next for sea bass and ling Saturday and Sunday on the ocean, Capt. Mike said. Striped bass fishing was terrific in evenings on the ocean in past days. The boat will compete in the Mako Mania tournament the following weekend. Afterward, trips aboard will begin to switch to big-game fishing offshore. Bluefin tuna and bigeye tuna were reportedly fought from Hudson Canyon, though that was unconfirmed.

Sea bassing was great on the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b> on the ocean, Capt. Chris said. “Really good,” he added, and that’s all he could say, because he had to get off the phone. Trips are slated for 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Sometimes trips sail earlier, so confirm with the boat. Chris couldn’t be asked what the trips will fish after the final day of sea bass season Sunday, but fluke are usually the target then.

Gorgeous today on the ocean aboard, and big bluefish were biting, a report said on the party boat <b>Golden Eagle</b>’s website. The 8- to 10-pounders would come and go, but action was fairly steady, continuously picking on Run Off hammered jigs and crocs. Wednesday’s trip axed 2- to 6-pound blues, though fewer than before. Some keeper fluke and sea bass were also whipped. Tuesday’s trip locked up good fishing for blues to 6 pounds. Many anglers limited out, and some landed a couple of dozen, and some managed a few. Monday’s trip fished well for 2- to 5-pound blues. The fish needed to be chased around, but some anglers totaled more than 10 apiece. Some fluke and sea bass were bagged. The boat is fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Jumbo blues! an email said from the party boat <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>. Bluefishing was off to a good start aboard at 9:30 a.m. today, when the captain gave news for the email. Ten- to 14-pounders were drilled on a couple of drifts. Fishing ended up great the rest of the trip. On Wednesday’s trip, bluefishing was good, tapered off in late morning and picked up again in the afternoon. A 7-pound blue won the pool. A 40-pound striped bass was creamed on Tuesday’s trip. The crew got a report about 30- to 40-pounders crashing on bunker schools, and the bass were difficult to catch, but the 40-pounder was. Trips are fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and for fluke and sea bass 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily. The afternoon trips also watch whales and porpoises and catch the sunset on the ride home. Bring family, friends and children.

<b>Brielle</b>

The following report was posted as an update Wednesday and is being re-posted in case anybody missed it: Anglers averaged four to 10 keeper sea bass apiece on Tuesday afternoon’s trip on the party boat <b>Jamaica II</b>, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. Very good fishing, he said, and some of the sea bass have weighed 4 pounds. Monday’s fluke trip tapped into decent catches, including a good number of 4-pounders, though the boat drifted little in flat-calm seas. Some anglers limited out, and some bagged one or two fluke. Those with limits included Skip Reese, Dave Nelson, Ralph Molinaro and Ray Bryant. Trips are fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and sea bass 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily through Sunday, the final day of sea bass season. Afterward, trips will fluke during the same times every Tuesday through Sunday and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Excellent sea bass fishing was shoveled in on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b> from the ocean, Capt. Butch said. Many anglers bagged two to 10, some limited out, and if anglers tossed back throwbacks without measuring, they saved time and limited. A few winter flounder and ling were mixed in, and all anglers left with a “nice mess of fish.” Two to 10 keeper fluke were mixed in per day, and an 8-pound fluke won the pool yesterday. Fluke weren’t targeted, and the boat fished deeper than most fluke held. The pool-winner was angled from 100 feet of water. Trips fished in 60 to 100 feet. No bluefish were really mixed in. One 2-pound blue came in Saturday. Sea bass season will close beginning Monday, so take advantage. The boat is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

Some good-sized, keeper fluke and a decent number of shorts were jammed on Tuesday morning’s trip on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Pretty good action, it said, and the fishing kept anglers busy. A few sand eels were around, and that usually gets fluke chewing. A few sea bass were mixed in, and Joe Pantina from Manalapan plopped aboard a 6-pound 14-ounce fluke, taking the lead in the monthly pool. Bob Holloway from Bordentown limited out on fluke to 4 pounds. “There were a few other scattered fish around the boat as well,” it said.  Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and for bluefish 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday. Also, a trip will fish for ling 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Fathers’ Day.

For trips on the <b>Gambler</b>, fishing for fluke and sea bass has been off and on, a report said on the party boat’s website. Most fluke were undersized, but a few good-sized keepers to 5 pounds did get boxed. “The sea bass have been a great help and they are taking fluke baits on our fluke drifts,” it said. Fluking should improve as the ocean warms. On nighttime trips for striped bass, chilly water was probably also the reason bluefish catches weren’t great. Plenty of blues were marked but seemed sluggish to bite, difficult to catch. “Still a lack of striped bass (on the trips),” it said. The boat is fluke fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and striped bass fishing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Check out <a href=" http://www.gamblerfishing.net/reports.php" target="_blank">Shark in the Dark Trips</a> that will sail 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. July 9 and 16, limited to 25 anglers per trip, reservations required. Sign up soon.

<b>Toms River</b>

Bluefish a half-pound or pound bit in the Toms River at Island Heights, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. So did an occasional, small striped bass. Crabbing was slow in the area after rain in past weeks. But Dennis threw a pot out yesterday for the first time in two weeks to see what happens. Some who crabbed deeper water trapped a few.  A token striper hit along Route 37 Bridge on Barnegat Bay, but some remained. Barnegat Inlet held a decent run of 2- to 6-pound blues on the tides. Anglers bucktailed them from the jetties. Anglers bought lots of eels to fish for big, 20- or 30-pound striped bass that fed along the north jetty. They kept quiet about the catches. Boaters who fluked on the bay mostly fished at the BB and BI markers. A few fished at the 40, farther north. Manasquan River tossed up a good run of fluke from the hospital to farther upstream. Fluking was even pretty good compared with other years for surf anglers at Island Beach State Park, where 16 inches is the size limit, and two is the bag limit. Three fluke 18 inches or larger is the limit in most of the rest of the state. Surf anglers picked blues and stripers, more blues than the bass. One customer was into them every night, fishing beginning at 8 or 9 p.m. He made catches like a throwback striper and a blue yesterday and two stripers including a keeper the day before. He fished clams for the bass and bunker chunks for the blues. A few striped bass were boated on the ocean, but not a lot of customers fished for them in past days. They fished for fluke more often. More will probably try for the stripers this weekend.  Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fisher Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Heat kept many from fishing, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Previously, bluefish, striped bass and fluke were nabbed from the surf and Barnegat Bay. A change in weather should stir up more anglers to head out. Crabbing was slow. 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>

On Barnegat Bay fluke fishing was alright, and around the research buoy between the BB and BI markers was fished for them, said Kyle from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. Bluefish probably to 4 or 5 pounds swam the bay. Popper lures and metal were chucked to the blues, and a few anglers trolled pony tails for the fish. On the ocean, anglers sometimes fished the Tires for fluke, but only throwbacks were reported. Sea bass were pulled in at the Tires. No striped bass caught were heard about from the ocean. Shark bait like flats of mackerel and shark chum are stocked, and some sharks are getting hooked. Kyle’s brother competed in a private shark tournament with only 15 boats entered, and only two of the boats landed sharks, but a 250-pound mako won. Some thresher sharks were among the tournament’s catches. Baits stocked also include killies, all the frozen for fluke and freshwater baits like nightcrawlers.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

<b>***Update, Friday, 6/16:***</b>. A charter cashed in on some keeper fluke and a good number of keeper sea bass yesterday on the <b>Miss Barnegat Inlet</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. The fishing seems to be slowly improving, and open-boat trips will now sail daily for the rest of the fishing season. Fluke and sea bass will be targeted through Sunday, the final day of sea bass season, and fluke will be afterward. The trips sail 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Until now, the trips fished Fridays through Sundays.

Trips mostly bluefished Friday through Sunday on <b>Super Chic</b> but sea bassed a little, Capt. Ted said. The bluefishing was good for 1- to 4-pounders jigged around Barnegat Inlet. Some of the trips wreck-fished for sea bass once enough blues were angled, and the sea bassing was also good, for the short times it was done. Trips will bluefish Friday and fish for sea bass Saturday and Sunday. A shark trip is booked for the following Saturday. Sharking sounded okay currently, and Ted hopes it holds up.  

Barnegat Bay’s fluke fishing was pretty good, and many keepers were docked at <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>, Vince Sr. said. Many of the fish came from Double and Oyster Creek channels, and bluefish were around in the bay and Barnegat Inlet. On the ocean, sea bass fishing was productive. A couple of striped bass were seen from the inlet the other day.  Crabbing was surprisingly good. Crabbing locally often begins to catch later in the year, because of cold, ocean water from the inlet. Only two customers clammed but said it was unbelievable. Clamming’s usually good for customers. Baits stocked include killies and fresh bunker. 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.

<b>Mystic Island</b>

<b>***Update, Friday, 6/16:***</b> Fair fishing for summer flounder was slugged from the bay, said Brandon from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Look for the fish at drastic drop-offs from shallow to deep or ledges. A bucktail with a Gulp will catch, and anglers bought tons of 4-inch chartreuse swimming mullet Gulps. A report was heard about brown sharks landed in the bay behind Brigantine. Browns must be released, and should be arriving in Great Bay locally. Brandon boated the bay, trying for sharks, but the trip only hooked sand sharks, though they were big. The next evening, he saw a 3-foot brown along the water surface. Boaters anchor and chum at Grassy Channel in the bay in evenings until about 10 p.m., fighting and releasing sharks beginning this time of year. Even the sand sharks put up a fight. Perch and other fish like juvenile sea bass could be angled in lagoons. Bait is well stocked and includes fresh, shucked clams, live grass shrimp and plenty of minnows.

<b>Absecon</b>

Summer flounder were found on the back bay, but the season was early, said Tanner from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. Anglers in the know located them, and the less experienced did not. Bluefish 3 pounds could be fought early in mornings at channels, like in Great Bay. Big weakfish 5 to 7 pounds had been walloped on the bay at holes where anglers know to look. Tanner thought that seemed around the full moon, and thought the angling slowed a bit now. But those in the know hooked weaks in mornings. Striped bass catches were few and far between on the bay, but if anglers “hit the banks hard,” he said, they caught. On the ocean, sea bass anglers had to fish deep water farther from shore, but good-sized gathered there. Mako shark fishing was pretty good currently, like 35 miles from shore. Blue sharks and makos were heard about. Shedder crabs for bait and soft-shell crabs for eating are stocked. The shop raises them, and keep up with the soft-shell supply on <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/SoftshellCrabs/" target="_blank">Absecon Bay Sportsman’s Soft Shell Crabs Facebook Page</a>. Plenty of minnows are carried, and fresh clams are on hand. Live spots are yet to be available but are carried when they are.

<b>Brigantine</b>

<b>***Update, Friday, 6/16:***</b> Kingfish definitely moved into the surf, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. The fishing, on bloodworms, not yet on Fishbites artificial worms because of chilly water, wasn’t phenomenal, but anglers certainly beached three or four in a trip. Bluefish 2 to 3 pounds schooled the surf. A striped bass was angled on occasion at different waters. In the back bay, a kayaker was fishing for stripers off Harrah’s with a bucktail and a 6-inch Gulp. He hooked something, thought he was snagged, and whacked a 10-pound 9-ounce 29-inch fluke. The shop helped him enter the fish in the Atlantic City Press tournament. Fred from the shop fished the bay, boating a bunch of 2- to 3-pound blues and a keeper fluke on a trip. The same size of blues were around in the bay that were in the surf. Andy bagged a 19-inch fluke and lost another keeper-sized at the boat on the bay in a trip. Crabbing was fantastic lately. He dropped a pot in the water and trapped eight keeper crabs. The shop has lots of Fathers’ Day gifts and ideas like this fillet knife and cutting board kit for only $16.99 that’s shown on the shop’s Facebook page. More ideas will be posted.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Anglers on foot loaded up on kingfish from the T-jetty and the adjacent surf, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. The T is at the ocean end of Absecon Inlet, and the anglers also rustled up weakfish and bluefish from the inlet at Madison and Melrose avenues and from the T. But mostly kingfish were lit into. Sometimes striped bass were still eased from the inlet and the surf in the same area. That was mostly at night but sometimes during daytime, not like earlier this season, though. Summer flounder were honked from the inlet and back bay. All of this was by anglers on foot. Lots of crabs, lots of keepers, were trapped along Routes 30 and 40, including along bridges. That’s been phenomenal, and crabbers even threw back keepers 4 ½ inches. Jump in One Stop’s latest free tournament! It’s Weaky Week from this Friday to the following Friday, June 23. First place is $75, and second is $25, for the heaviest weakfish hooked from Atlantic City. All entrants receive a Fish Stopper Lure. Sign up before fishing. The free One Stop Fluke Candy Tournament was already underway or began June 3. It also lasts until June 23 and is for summer flounder caught in the city. Prizes will be $300 for first place, $150 for second and $100 for third. First through third will also win a custom tournament T-shirt apiece. Fourth through sixth will win a Tsunami rod apiece. Entrants will also receive a free One Stop Fluke Candy Rig. Again, register before entering a catch.

<b>Margate</b>

Back-bay summer flounder fishing wasn’t too bad aboard, said Capt. John from the party boat <b>Keeper</b>. The fish are still biting, and yesterday was a little windy, making them not bite as well. But the weather seemed the culprit. The afternoon trip the day before, Tuesday, totaled 15 keepers, among throwbacks released. A bluefish was reeled in here and there on trips. The flounder bit minnows and mackerel supplied aboard, and Gulps that anglers brought. John always suggests bringing Gulps. Trips are fishing for summer flounder 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 5 p.m. daily. The rate is 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>

Sea bass fishing on the ocean was weathered out Wednesday on the <b>Stray Cat</b> because of strong northeast wind, Capt. Mike said. An open-boat trip will run for the fish Friday, and charters will get on them Saturday and Sunday, the final day of sea bass season. Fluke fishing will sail afterward on the ocean, including on open-boat trips, probably every Tuesday and Thursday. In other news, a few sharks were boated along the 40-fathom line. That’s where most trips searched for them, and bluefin tuna swam the canyons farther offshore.

<b>Ocean City</b>

For customers from <b>Fin-Atics</b>, back-bay fishing for summer flounder was alright, Will from the shop said. The fish were angled from shallow water including along Rainbow Channel, the 9th Street Bridge and Corson’s and Great Egg Harbor inlets. Bluefish, smaller than blues before, popped up in the bay at times. Schoolie striped bass bit along bridges and docks at night under lights on soft-plastic lures, bucktails and hard lures. Lots of kingfish were reported mugged from the surf on bloodworms on top-and-bottom rigs. Mako sharks were mentioned caught from the ocean sometimes. No thresher sharks were heard about. Farther from shore at the canyons, bluefin tuna supposedly swam. That was unconfirmed, but buddies boated bigeye tuna while canyon fishing. That was to the south, Will was pretty sure.

<b>Sea Isle City<b>

Fishing for summer flounder remained good on the back bay, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The angling seemed weather-dependent, and that might sound obvious about any fishing, but seemed to matter more than usual. Good weather produced. Small bluefish schooled the bay. Striped bass fishing was handy on the bay on high tides, including with popper lures and flies that began to hook-up. That’s a specialty aboard, and Joe poles his flats boat while anglers sight-cast to the fish, like in a tropical destination. The fish are also hooked on leadhead jigs with soft-plastic lures. Joe will begin inshore sharking soon. Those are catch-and-release trips, usually within 10 miles from shore. Some of the species are required to be released, and the trips are an opportunity to pull on a big catch without the long sail offshore. Joe even fly-fishes for them, with chum flies in the chum slick. The sharks are surprisingly wary, for a big, mean-looking fish. Presentation needs to be right. Otherwise, bait like a mackerel fillet is fished for them. Joe drifts the boat and chums over bottom structure like holes, hills or ups and downs that attract fish. Joe’s anxious to get back offshore. He already fished offshore once this season on a trip that released two small bluefin tuna, bagged a healthy-sized mahi mahi and lost another, covered in a previous report here. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

The back bay’s summer flounder fishing was pretty good, said Cameron from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. A few resident striped bass were heard about from the bay. A couple of stripers, a couple of blues and a couple of flounder were tugged from inlets. Fishing was better on the bay and at inlets than in the surf, and warm weather was probably “getting” to the surf. The most recent couple of stripers from the surf were known about from about Saturday. Not much was heard about flounder boated from the ocean yet. But a couple of good catches of sea bass were reported from the ocean. The shop owner’s brother boated sharks on the ocean the other day. Cameron knew no specifics. But sharking’s been relatively good. Not much news about tuna tumbled in. Crabbing was fairly good, though lots of pregnant females were in.

<b>Wildwood</b>

A buddy heaved a 24-inch summer flounder from the back bay, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. A couple of 18-inchers and a couple of 19-inchers were bagged here and there. One trip totaled eight throwbacks. Flounder fishing was active, not super. Sand sharks and skates sometimes chomped. Otherwise, the bay’s fishing was almost strictly about flounder. Crabbing picked up on the bay. A family of eight crabbed on two of the rental boats yesterday, returning with two bushels of keepers weighing a total of 23 pounds. The next day, a trip trapped two dozen keepers. 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. Minnows were scarce, and local shops that carried them traveled to Delaware to obtain them. But all other baits are in good supply. Crabs for eating are in! The price depends on the market and for live crabs was currently $15, $20, $25 and $30 per dozen for four different sizes, from small to large, respectively. Cooked crabs are $5 per dozen additional. Live and steamed clams are on hand, and shrimp will be carried later this season. Customers enjoy the food at picnic tables on the water at the store, or enjoy them at their own location. Wine from Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House will be available soon at the shop.

<b>Cape May</b>

On the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, sea bass fishing was alright, not great, Sunday on the ocean, Capt. George said. Lots of small bit, and George fished for black drum on Delaware Bay with a friend on the friend’s boat. One was landed, and Heavy Hitter is finished drumming for the year. Trips on the boat are supposed to sail for sea bass Saturday and Sunday on this final weekend of sea bass season. Wind might weather out Sunday’s trip. A few summer flounder have been cranked from the ocean, like at the Old Grounds. Not setting the world on fire, he said, and the season was early. Most charter boats seemed to be getting geared up for tuna fishing soon. Bluefin tuna are being trolled at Poorman’s Canyon or in that area. A few yellowfin tuna are biting, but 95 percent of the tuna are bluefins. Closer to shore, sharking seemed to turn out lots of blue sharks, not many makos, from what George heard from last weekend’s South Jersey Shark Tournament.

A couple of anglers limited out on summer flounder Monday on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> on the ocean, Capt. Paul said. A few of the fluke were bagged on the outing, and those who limited were Fred Nelson and Brian Pichalsky, both from Philadelphia. George Horvath from Philly won the pool with a 4-1/2-pounder, one of two flounder he bagged. Not as many of the flatfish were taken on Tuesday aboard. Mike Jung from Cape May Court House won the pool with a 6-pounder that day. Trips are flounder fishing at 8 a.m. daily.

A 5-pound weakfish was weighed from the surf at Cape May Point yesterday at <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>, Nick said. The angler beached the fish on a soft-plastic lure. On the trip, he also banked six throwback weaks, a couple of throwback flounder and a tailor bluefish. Some good catches of weaks like these were made in the surf at jetties from the ocean to Cape May Point to Higbee’s Beach on Delaware Bay. Cape May Point is at the confluence of the ocean and the bay. Kingfish and croakers were nipped from the ocean surf on bloodworms, Fishbites artificial worms or clams. Brown sharks began to be heard about that were fought from the surf. Browns must be released, and they stalk the surf as the water warms. The back bay’s summer flounder fishing was pretty productive along the Intracoastal Waterway. Flounder seemed to begin to be boated from Cape May Reef on the ocean. Nothing was heard about flounder from Delaware Bay. Brown sharks bit in the bay. Black drum were marked and were heard drumming on the bay but wouldn’t bite. The fishing seemed to be dropping off for the season, but a couple of boaters still tried for them. Fresh clams in the shell are still stocked that are bait for drum. Fresh, shucked clams, plenty of minnows and bloodworms are also carried. Mako sharks could be located in the ocean. Blue sharks and brown sharks were cracked from the ocean, but not many thresher sharks seemed to be. Farther offshore, all the way out, small bluefin tuna and small yellowfin tuna roamed local canyons, and so did sizable bigeye tuna. The Common Sense returned last night with three bigeyes.

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