Fri., Aug. 17, 2018
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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 6-22-17


Raritan Bay’s fluke fishing began to pick up a bit, said Rich from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. Some good reports came in, including from Sandy Hook Channel and the Keyport Flats. Customers reported more action than before. A big rush of large striped bass 40 pounds and heavier was run into on the ocean off Sandy Hook a couple of days ago. Anglers on the Woodbridge Pier reeled in stripers and blues. Killies, fresh bunker daily, worms and all frozen bait, including for fluke like spearing and the different squids, 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. The fuel dock is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Fluke fishing was difficult Tuesday aboard because of strong wind from southwest, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. But conditions were good Wednesday, and the fish bit well. The six anglers aboard bagged 14 of the summer flounder, tossing back four times as many throwbacks. Fluke season is shaping up well, and the fish are beginning to appear in more and more areas. The keepers are all quality fish and thick. They’re gorging on sand eels, and the fishing will keep improving into summer. “We know where they are and consistently produce good catches so come and join us,” he wrote. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing, and great dates are available for charters. Follow <a href="" target="_blank">Vitamin Sea’s Facebook page</a> for up-to-the-minute open schedules and for daily reports and photos. Some 12-hour, marathon, open trips for jumbo fluke will sail. Open trips are fluking 2 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday, and space is available on next week’s. Open spaces are also available Saturday through Monday and next Thursday. Fall striped bass and blackfish charters are being booked. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!”

Sea bass season closed Monday, and daily, open trips that had been running for them began sailing for ling, cod and winter flounder since with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. Charters are available for the fishing, and all of that is on the Down Deep. The Down Deep Bull, the company’s other boat, is fluke fishing on open trips daily and on charters, and was weathered out Monday. Tuesday’s open trip for fluke fished okay, catching a good number of keepers and lots of shorts. Wednesday’s trip iced a handful of keepers and a ton of shorts. The fluke trips are now fishing the ocean for jumbos. Join the Short Notice List on <a href="" target="_blank">Down Deep’s website</a> to be kept informed about special open trips. Look for the link underneath the Contact link. Each of Down Deep’s boats accommodates up to 15 passengers.


Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> was headed shark fishing early this morning, he said before the trip. He’s looking forward to the opening of porgy season July 1, because he heard about good catches in New York waters. Trips aboard will continue fluke fishing. They’ll also keep striped bass fishing, if stripers are still around. He heard they are, but was going to scope them out and see on the way to shark fishing today.  <b>***Update, Friday, 6/23:***</b> The sharking aboard yesterday fished the Mudhole, Joe wrote in an email. One thresher shark swam into the chum slick, but refused to bite a bait. The angling seemed slow on other boats, too, because of warm water that pushed into the area. Sour Kraut will begin tuna fishing inshore, because the fish regularly began to be reported to swim the water.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

After searching half the ocean the previous couple of days looking for the fluke bite, the <b>Fishermen</b> on Wednesday tried a new area, a report said on the party boat’s website. The anglers slugged away at throwbacks and keepers most of the morning, in perfect conditions with west wind and outgoing tide. West is best, they sometimes say, when other conditions are in favor. The high hook landed four legal-sized and a bunch of shorts, keeping no more than a limit. A 6-pounder won the pool, after the lead changed several times, beginning with a 4-pounder. Not a lot of areas are holding fluke in the ocean yet, and the water temperature, 70 degrees, is good. The captain isn’t happy with the amount of bait in the channels. Reach Channel last year at this time held bait and was the place to be, but was a dead zone currently. But he hopes for banner days ahead. The boat is 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.

Fluking was pretty much the same as before on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. Anglers picked throwbacks and occasionally a keeper, and the twice-daily trips fished every day, despite rough forecasts this week. He found that Sandy Hook Bay fished best for the summer flounder, and sometimes the trips fished Fynn’s Knoll. This morning’s trip began at Flynn’s, and a few throwbacks and quite a few dogfish bit, so the trip moved to the bay. On the first drift there, a keeper and at least 10 throwbacks were hooked so far, he said during the angling at 10 a.m. aboard. Anglers on the trips fished spearing that are provided, and sometimes killies that the anglers brought. A few fluke were hooked on bucktails, but bait seemed to fish better. Anglers always ask Tom whether killies work better. Sometimes they do, and he tells anglers that if they like to fish killies, bring a half-pint, not a lot, because what the fish prefer changes. Put the killies in the container in a cooler or on a tray with ice to keep them cool. They stay alive best that way, and not in water. Some of the fluke are dark-colored because they’ve swum along bay’s dark or muddier bottom for some time. Some are bright-colored, because they’ve recently arrived from the ocean’s sandy bottom. They were moving in, not in droves, but were coming. One advantage of fishing the bay is that the ride is short for more fishing time. Trips are fluke fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

The bay’s fluking was pretty steady, and a couple of 5-pounders were known about from along the Navy Pier, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. That’s been the spot, and white Gulps have been the bait. Small blues roamed the bay. A few anglers were catching fluke from the river at usual places. Ron didn’t want to spot burn. Small striped bass, not a lot, were picked off in the river on small bucktails. Boaters trolled large stripers far out on the ocean on spoons. Spoons were the way to go this week. Nobody really surf fished who was heard about. Big rays were reported from the surf farther south.

Fishing for fluke was a slow pick, nabbing lots of throwbacks, maybe 1 in 8 or 10 a keeper, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. A couple of the store’s rental boats were fishing for them today, and results were yet to be known. Rental kayaks became available for the season at the shop, btw. Some took them out and seemed to enjoy. Striped bass fishing seemed to pick up in the bay in past days on bunker chunks. He wasn’t saying where, but toward the mouth of Shrewsbury River might’ve been a place. Toward the mouth of Navesink River, too. No bluefish were heard about. Peanut bunker schooled near the shop the other day but disappeared.  Anglers searched for adult bunker to catch for bait but had difficulty. A couple of customers departed for offshore fishing today, one for sharks, the other for tuna. Killies and all baits are stocked, including for offshore.


Jay, Tracy and Johnny on the Par Tee II docked a 21-inch fluke today at <b>Twin Lights Marina</b> that they boated near Bug Light on a Spro, Marion wrote in an email. Landon, Garret, Chris and Charles Geyer on the Scales and Tales smashed striped bass 48, 45, 42 and 40 pounds Friday at Ambrose Channel on livelined bunker. Paul Martinez on the Pura Vida on Saturday limited out on sea bass at the Rattlesnake on clams and jigs. That was before sea bass season closed Monday. 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 all for offshore.


<b>***Update, Saturday, 6/24:***</b> Ling, winter flounder to 20 inches and cod, a good catch, was plowed yesterday on a bottom-fishing trip with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Sign up now for individual-reservation trips for cod 2 a.m. July 12 and inshore wreck-fishing 6 a.m. July 10 and 17. Individual-reservation trips for fluke and sea bass every Tuesday begin July 11. Kids under 12 sail free on the Tuesday trips, limited to one per adult host.


Fishing was tough on Tuesday’s trip after wind and rain Monday, but was good for blues Wednesday and today on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Wednesday’s trip got into action the whole time with mostly 2- to 3-pound blues and also some fluke and out-of-season sea bass. The sea bass were let go, and all customers caught and were happy, it said. On today’s trip mostly 2- to 4-poulnd blues turned out very good action a while. All customers were hooked up at once a couple of times. Some fluke were also tugged in, and fishing slowed when boat traffic built, but a good catch was made. Trips are fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Fishing and sunset cruises are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

On the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, angling was slow Tuesday after wind and rain Monday, an email from the party boat said. A few bluefish were managed, and Wednesday’s trip did quite a bit of looking. The boat ended up at the edge of the channels, picking blues on some drifts, only catching a few on others, at good bird life at readings on bottom and some on top. Was definitely better than on the previous day, and the boat is fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and for fluke and other bottom-fish 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily. The afternoon trips also watch whales and porpoises and catch the sunset on the ride home.

Two trips will fish inshore Friday and one will fish offshore Sunday with <b>XTC Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Scott said. The inshore trips will probably sail for striped bass, blues or fluke, and the offshore trip will run for tuna. That will be the year’s first tuna charter aboard, and reports sound like small yellowfin tuna are beginning to be caught at offshore canyons, and a few bluefin tuna might be biting inshore. Inshore waters are loaded with sand eels, so there seems no reason for bluefins not to be there. Scott will find out on the trip. XTC is also available for shark fishing, and a handful of mako sharks, lots of blue sharks and a couple of thresher sharks are in. XTC fished for sea bass until sea bass season was closed Monday. The angling was excellent, couldn’t be better.

Shark trips were canceled Tuesday and Wednesday aboard because of forecasts for wind, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. Wednesday’s trip probably had the weather to sail, but the charter needed a couple of days’ notice, and forecasts were questionable. Saturday was the most recent fishing aboard, because of forecasts. Striped bass, pretty good catches, were boated Tuesday evening on the ocean on other boats. Parker Pete’s is concentrating on stripers, like usual this time of year, and the fishing aboard includes Magic Hour Trips 3:30 to 9 p.m. every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Two spaces are available for one of the trips Saturday. Trips aboard have been catching huge stripers, covered in previous reports here. Fluke fishing on the ocean will probably begin on July 1 on the boat. Parker Pete’s bucktails for big fluke, and two sea bass per angler will be able to be kept beginning that day, spicing up catches.  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="" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s website</a> to be kept informed about the spaces.

The <b>Celtic Stoirm</b> will next fish Friday to Sunday, and Capt. Mike hopes fluke fishing picks up on the ocean, he said. The boat had been sailing for sea bass and fluke on the ocean, until sea bass season closed Monday.

Wind cranked and drifted the <b>Katie H</b> much too fast for sea bass fishing Saturday and Sunday on the ocean, but the trips put together good catches, especially Saturday, Capt. Mike said. The angling was great Saturday. The boat will compete in Mako Mania this Saturday and Sunday. Afterward, the vessel will switch to tuna fishing offshore. Mike heard about no tuna mid-range but will search to confirm during the weekend’s sharking.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Ling fishing was surprisingly okay, not great, but okay on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b> on the ocean, Capt. Butch said. Pretty good, and he was pretty surprised, he said. Winter flounder and sometimes a few cod were also boxed. The ling weren’t big, but customers bagged 10 to 25 fish apiece. How long the ling fishing will hold up couldn’t be known, and a few boats kept fishing for them. Trips fished in 140 to 180 feet of water, staying deeper to try to avoid out-of-season sea bass, and the boat is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Trips will also fish for bluefish at night beginning maybe in early July, if the blues are biting.

South wind Sunday and Monday cooled the ocean, a report said on the party boat <b>Norma-K III</b>’s website. But fluke are there, and a decent number, mostly throwbacks, sometimes a keeper, were pitched aboard Wednesday morning’s trip. That was the most recent report at press time. Squid and spearing seemed to catch best on the outing, and bucktails and Gulps only angled a few on the trip. A 4-pound fluke won the pool, and weather’s looking great through the weekend. The boat is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and bluefish 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday. A trip will sail for ling and cod Sunday night during the same hours.

<b>Toms River</b>

Bluefish ½ pound to 2 pounds and an oddball bigger cruised the Toms River, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. Boaters picked away at fluke, nothing awesome, at the BI and BB markers and the research buoy between them on Barnegat Bay. A 12-pound blue was kayaked on the bay behind Island Beach State Park on a Bomber lure. An oddball big seemed to swim the bay, too. Blues and fluke were picked from Barnegat Inlet on bucktails in that area. No blowfish were heard about from the bay, but they’re due soon. Farther north on the bay, closer to the shop, a few striped bass loitered along Route 37 Bridge, but that angling quieted much. Crabbing was a little better along the bridge than elsewhere. Crabbing finally began to happen. A customer who crabs every day trapped 20-some keepers and a load of throwbacks on the Toms River last night in an overnight pot. That was his best catch this year so far. Crabs were also trapped along Good Luck Point. Surf fishing was only a pick of stripers and blues, and participation was low in weather this week. Clams hooked more stripers, and bunker chunks hooked most blues. A few stripers, not many, were trolled on the ocean on bunker spoons. Again, participation was low in weather. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Yesterday was the longest day of the year, and the surf should calm and clear in the next days in better forecasts, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Strong wind had built seas and dirtied the water. Previously, surf-fishing was typical of the final days of spring. At times, bluefish were beached on cut bait, striped bass from small to keeper-sized were clammed, and fluke were hit on bucktails with Gulp or squid.  Brown sharks, required to be released, began to cruise the surf at night. Crabbing was improving on Barnegat Bay. Killies and sandworms are now being stocked for summer. 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>

Barnegat Bay’s fluke fishing was okay between the BB and BI markers and at Double Creek Channel, said Kyle from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. Nothing was heard about bluefish from the bay in past days, but blues to 6 pounds schooled the bay, the last he heard. Nobody mentioned weakfish from the bay. No ocean reports rolled in, but weather was windy. A few people shark fished before the wind, reporting a couple of mako and a couple of thresher sharks wrestled in. Crabbing was good, and bait stocked includes killies and all the frozen for saltwater, and nightcrawlers and other worms for freshwater.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Fishing for fluke on the ocean was slow Wednesday but was improving Monday and Tuesday on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, reports said on the party boat’s website and Facebook page. “More action with some short fluke,” it said, and out-of-season sea bass also bit more than before. Westerly winds in the next days were expected to warm the ocean and help fluking. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Thursday, 6/22:***</b> A charter today found good fishing aboard, a better number of keeper fluke than before, the boat’s Facebook page said. Lots of sizable sea bass were released, and two sea bass will be able to be kept per angler beginning July 1.

Customers took fluke near the BI marker on Barnegat Bay, Rob from <b>Van’s Boat Rentals</b> said. He heard people say that there wasn’t much action on the bay, except from fluke, and that most of the fluke were keepers. A wife who fishes the bay with her husband said they hooked not many shorts this year. They boated two keepers 19 and 20 inches the other day. Boaters who knew what they were doing sometimes clocked striped bass from the ocean. No crabs were really trapped on this side of the bay yet. Colder, ocean water from Barnegat Inlet seems to make crabbing begin later here than along the mainland. Van’s rents boats from 9 h.p. to 50 h.p. for fishing, crabbing and pleasure and rents kayaks. Rentals have been available on weekends, and will probably become available daily next week, a usual schedule. Facilities include a bait and tackle shop and a marina with slips, gas and full boat servicing. Minnows and all frozen bait is on hand.

Some good fluke fishing was eased from High Bar Harbor on Barnegat Bay, “from what I hear,” said Vince Sr. from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. A mix of cocktail blues was around in the bay. No news tumbled in about striped bass boated from the ocean, and weather was windy, but he thought fewer anglers tried for them than before. Nothing was heard about sharks like makos and threshers yet. Vince wasn’t asked about tuna, considering he heard nothing about the sharks that would be boated closer to shore than tuna. Plenty of customers run for tuna once that gets going locally. 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. Killies and the whole frozen selection of baits is stocked.


“Barnegat Bay Weakies!” Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b> wrote in an email. He’s fishing for them and also for pelagics on the ocean. “We had some nice weakfish this week in the bay,” he wrote.  “Fifteen- to 17-inch fish, and then we had some 23- and 24-inchers. We did have a pair of nice fluke, too, 19-1/2- and 20-inch fish that were mixed in with the weakies on the east side of Barnegat Bay. We also had two bad efforts in the same spot, so it's not like we're beating them up, but they’re quality fish when we get them. The inlet is giving up all sizes of blues for us lately. On Wednesday night we had 3- to 6-pounders, a pair of 9- and 10-pounders and some short stripers. Those fish are on soft plastics and poppers. Mix in some fluking, and it's a well-rounded trip. Sailing open-boat or charter 12 noon to 5 p.m. Friday and 5 to 10 a.m. and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The forecast looks really good for running offshore Sunday and Monday, so I’m running open-boat or charter for either inshore or offshore fishing. Maybe Barnegat Ridge ... Resor ... Fingers ... Bonita … Bluefin … Mako? I'm game! Call me for more info.” <b>***Update, Sunday, 6/25:***</b> An email from Dave on Saturday: “The boat just became available Monday 6/26 for all day tuna or half day bay fishing for weakies, blues, and fluke. The weather report and sea condition are excellent for either. Open Boat or Charter. Sign on as an individual or charter the boat. I will be offshore from 4AM to 2PM tomorrow (Sun). I will be back in cell range around 2PM to reply to your email, text, or voicemail. You could also get me between 3:30AM and 5AM tomorrow (Sun) before I'm out of cell range if you feel so inclined. Also available Tues, Wed, and Thurs afternoons for bay trips, Charter or Open Boat. It looks like I will have live grass shrimp for these dates so we will be targeting weakfish and the mixed bag on ultralite tackle. We could also mix in topwater lures and soft plastics for blues and short stripers in the inlet.”

<b>Mystic Island</b>

Wind cut down on feedback, but some summer flounder were boated from the bay, said Brandon from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Surely the fish remained. A couple of sharks were fought from the bay, nothing crazy. Sharks including browns, required to be released, enter the bay this time of year to spawn. The fish, even sand sharks, can be sizable. Wind prevented trips from flounder fishing on the ocean. The angling was slow when reports most recently rolled in. One trip hooked one throwback and otherwise only sea bass. This is a time of year when the ocean could begin to warm enough for flounder to bite there, but anglers will see whether the fishing’s ready. Sea bass season closed Monday. White perch were plucked from lagoons and weren’t reported about much from Mullica River. Perch had to be in the river, and should be more scattered now, not schooled like when spawning earlier in the year. Baits stocked included minnows and bloodworms. Only one container of live grass shrimp remained, and Scott from the shop was yet to catch more. No fresh clams were on hand because wind kept the clam supplier from sailing. Nightcrawlers were in supply for freshwater.


It’s been pretty much summer flounder, and all flounder anglers were getting out for them, and catching, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. That was on the back bay, and nothing was heard about fishing for them on the ocean, and weather was windy for that. Good kingfishing was reported from the surf, and they began to show. Dave did hear about white perch fishing going well on Mullica River. The perch weren’t giants, but schooled in good numbers, and throwback striped bass were mixed in. Dave had been extremely busy taking care of soft-shell crabs that were popping that the shop raises to sell for eating. That slowed, and currently, shedder crabs looked like they’d even be difficult to obtain for the weekend. But shedding should start back up around the new moon in the next days. Full and new moons can trigger shedding, and the last full did very much. Keep up with the soft-shell supply on <a href="" target="_blank">Absecon Bay Sportsman’s Soft Shell Crabs Facebook Page</a>. Live spots were stocked for the first time this year, and became available from Maryland. They were large, but a couple of anglers said that if you want big flounder, the spots were exceptional for bait. Plenty of minnows are carried.


Surf anglers bloodwormed kingfish pretty regularly now in town, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Bluefish turned up here and there, and a weakfish was seen from the surf. Someone shared a photo of a 3- or 4-foot sand tiger shark from the island’s surf on the store’s Facebook page. Sharks like that seemed to begin arriving for the season, and be sure to release sand tigers and other required sharks by law. Baits stocked include minnows and good-sized bloodworms. Riptide’s 43-Inch Striper Bounty has begun again. That’s for the next striper 43 inches or larger that’s checked-in from Brigantine’s surf. Entry is $5 and required before fishing, and all the money is awarded. A new bounty is begun each time the bounty is won, and the money can really grow.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Anglers on foot caught kingfish like crazy from the surf near Absecon Inlet and up the inlet, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Weakfish, summer flounder, still some blues and occasional striped bass were picked up from the same waters. Bloodworms were popular to dunk for the kings and weaks. Minnows were soaked for the flounder. The shop will start a Trash for Treasure contest this weekend for kids 5 to 13 for catches of trash fish like sea robins, sand sharks, oyster crackers and more. Registering is required before fishing, and prizes will range from $300 to $50 for five places, and winners will also receive a custom T-shirt. Noel was still working out details and will post them on <a href="" target="_blank">One Stop’s Facebook page</a>. The fish can be caught from anywhere. All baits, a large supply, are stocked.


Summer flounder fishing was pretty good on the back bay on the party boat <b>Keeper</b>, Capt. John said. Wind and rough weather had the angling unsettled until yesterday. Water cleared, and the fish bit a little again. The angling was okay, and he was pretty happy with it. A couple of bluefish bit off lines today, and a few blues have been around. An 8.1-pound sheepshead was decked on the vessel today. Flounder bit minnows and mackerel provided aboard and Gulps that anglers brought. John always recommends 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.


The <b>Stray Cat</b> began summer flounder fishing on the ocean, now that sea bass season closed, Capt. Mike said. Open-boat trips will fish for flounder next week on Tuesday and Thursday. How was the fishing? “It’s coming on,” he said. Wind wouldn’t stop blowing this week, drifting the boat fast. Holding bottom was difficult, and the wind would drift the boat quickly past wrecks. Anglers had to drop lines immediately to bottom for a quick chance to drag bait past a wreck and catch. Wind blew 17 knots the entire trip yesterday. The water was 64 degrees, and most of the trip’s fluke were hooked in 45 feet of water, shallow water, at Great Egg Harbor Reef. Then the trip moved to the north end of Ocean City Reef, hooking a few more. Some tuna trips are slated, and news was scarce about tuna in past days because wind prevented trips. News about sharks was scarce for the same reason. A couple of Saturdays remain in August for charters. Book before they’re gone.

<b>Ocean City</b>

When weather was fishable, decent summer flounder fishing was boated from the back bay, said John from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. More throwbacks swam than keepers, but some were keepers, and usual spots gave them up, including Rainbow and Ships channels and behind Margate. Some flounder anglers began to fish deeper water, thinking the fish might be migrating there. John didn’t know whether the fish were. The surf was big and full of grass and debris much of the week, because of wind. But when the surf could be fished, a good number of kingfish were slid in. A 10.6-pound flounder was plastered from the town’s surf last Thursday. That was the biggest John saw in years from the area. Maureen Klause from Ocean City weighed-in a 126.4-pound mako shark today that she landed on 6-pound line. That was a potential world record for the line class, John said, and Maureen fishes to break records. That was the only shark John heard about this week. Tuna were supposedly boated lately, but that was unconfirmed.  

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Kingfish, decent numbers that arrived in the surf, was probably the most exciting news, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. They were keeping anglers happy, and a couple of striped bass lingered in the water. Whether they were stragglers from the spring migration or were residents, catches like a 32-incher from Strathmere and a couple of throwbacks were made. A couple of brown sharks, required to be released, were reeled from the surf this week. A decent pick of summer flounder was underway in the back bay. Big minnows were the ticket for them. Maybe fish a minnow on the top hook of a top-and-bottom rig with a bucktail with a Gulp or squid on bottom. The shop is loaded with big minnows. Not a lot was reported from the ocean, and weather was rough for boating there. A trip with six anglers Saturday boated eight keeper flounder, an okay catch, at Townsend’s Inlet Reef on the ocean. Tuna were reported biting around Baltimore Canyon, a little far for local boaters. But anglers hoped the fish were headed this way. Nothing was heard about sharking on the ocean in the weather this week.

Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b> for the first time this year scouted for the inshore shark trips that he runs, he said. The sharks were in! The trip, with his son, released brown and dusky sharks. Those species are required to be released, and the trips are catch-and-release anyway. Fishing usually within 10 miles from shore, the trips are a chance to fight big fish without the long sail offshore. The sharks were hooked on mackerel fillets fished in bunker chum in the 67- to 68-degree water, and the trips also fly-rod sharks, when anglers want. One of the trip’s sharks could’ve been fly-rodded. On Tuesday four anglers aboard landed two keeper summer flounder to 22 inches and a bunch of shorts on the back bay. Joe fishes for the flounder with a rig with a bucktail with Gulp on bottom and a minnow on a plain, red hook on a trailer above. Most of the flounder bit the minnows, but the trip’s fish hit both the bucktails and the minnows. The bay was 70 to 72 degrees on the outing, a little warmer at some places. High tides in evenings, ideal for striped bass fishing on the bay, were coming up this week. That angling, including on popper lures, a specialty aboard, has been good. Trips also fly-rod them with poppers with Joe. He heard nothing about offshore fishing for tuna in past days in sloppy weather. But he was sure the angling was good.  Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.


At <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>, summer flounder catches improved from the back bay, Mike said. He couldn’t complain at all, he said, and not as many customers fished as sometimes, but the flatfish were brought in. Windy weather was rough much of the week. But crabbing especially picked up on the bay. The blueclaws were pretty plentiful, and customers averaged three or four dozen keepers per trip. He cooked a dozen yesterday that a customer had just trapped, and the shop cooks crabs for $5 per dozen. Mike saw no bluefish in a while but heard about some caught from the bay. He heard about a few triggerfish hooked along the local surf’s jetties, and knew an angler who was catching them. Mike also knew an angler who targets weakfish along the jetties and was nailing them. The angler landed an 8-pounder last week and a half-dozen weaks in a trip the other day. He kept no more than a limit of one per day, and fishes for the trout with a bucktail like ¼- or 3/8-ounce on 6- or 8-pound line. <b>***Heads up***</b>: Mike’s looking for about a 6-foot by 23-foot canopy, if anybody has one. 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. 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 cooked and uncooked shrimp are expected Friday. 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 if New Jersey approves the shop for that.

<b>Cape May</b>

Tuna – two bigeyes, two bluefins and three yellowfins – were trolled at Poorman’s Canyon on Saturday during daytime on a trip that Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> joined on a boat from the dock, George said. One of the bigeyes weighed just over 100 pounds, and the other weighed just under. One of the bluefins weighed 87 or 88 pounds, and one of the yellowfins was undersized. Tuna are biting, and telephone George if interested in the fishing. Many boats seemed to catch that day. The warmest water was 65 to 66 degrees at the canyon on the trip, and the water was clear. The trip departed for the fishing at 1:30 a.m. in fog that began to clear once the sun came up. Tuna usually begin to show up closer to shore, like at the Hot Dog, in June’s third or fourth week. George heard about none yet, but they could show up. People who sea bass fished inshore, before sea bass season closed Monday, sometimes saw bluefin tuna. Those fish always seem unwilling to bite and on the move. One angler who sea bassed near the Cigar during the weekend kept seeing a bluefin that was eating undersized sea bass that the trip released. The tuna wouldn’t touch hooked sea bass when the anglers livelined them. South Jersey Marina in Cape May’s Canyon Club Overnight Tuna Tournament seems likely to be weathered out Friday to Sunday. George heard nothing about shark fishing in past days, and the fleet all seemed interested in tuna now. Nobody mentioned summer flounder fishing.

Some good-sized summer flounder and some limits were angled Friday and Saturday on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> on the ocean, Capt. Paul said. No trips fished Sunday and Monday in weather that kept anglers from showing up. A few showed up and fished Tuesday aboard, bagging a handful of flounder. On Wednesday’s trip, wind blew much stronger than forecast, drifting the boat fast, and holding bottom was difficult. But some flounder including some limits were taken. Carl Davis from Turnersville limited out and won the pool with a 5-pounder. Ken Minett from Mays Landing also limited on the trip. Anglers who limited on Saturday were Al Bednarki from Philadelphia, who also won the pool with a 4-1/2-pounder; Brian Pichalsky from Philly; and Karl Ziegler from Cape May. Despite how cold the ocean was this spring – and it’s still chilly – a few flounder have been biting. Paul hopes the weather becomes calmer. Trips are fishing for flounder at 8 a.m. daily.

Summer flounder were grabbed from the back bay and ocean reefs, said Joe from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. None was talked about from Delaware Bay. A few drum remained in Delaware Bay, though nobody really fished for them anymore this year. Not much was reported about striped bass, and water was warming for that. Weakfish were nipped along jetties on bloodworms fished from floats. Small bluefish schooled everywhere including the back bay, the surf and around inlets. Kingfishing reportedly went fairly well in the surf, and croakers schooled a couple of miles from shore, yet to pull into the surf. Kings had been reported from Delaware Bay when the bay’s drum fishing was peaking. A 310-pound mako was the heaviest shark in the South Jersey Shark Tournament in Cape May two weeks ago. Nothing about sharks or tuna was heard in past days in rough weather for the angling.

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