Fri., Aug. 17, 2018
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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 6-29-17


Fluke fishing was a little slow Tuesday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The angling was slow Wednesday morning, but fluke began to bite later in the day on the trip. They hit for 2 hours, and in that time, a handful of keepers 20 inches and larger and 40 throwbacks were hooked. Most fluke were found in shallows on trips. Deeper water was too cold, but that will change, of course. Waters south of Sandy Hook began to produce. Rough bottom there holds fluke but eats bucktails. Lose a half-dozen bucktails and that’s $40 to $50. Trips aboard can usually catch at less-aggressive bottom but will fish the sticky bottom if necessary. Six-inch Gulps were what to fish, and bait caught but drew dogfish. Charters are fishing, and three spaces each are available for open-boat trips Saturday and Monday mornings. Spaces are also available for an open trip Friday, July 7. Telephone to reserve.  <b>***Update, Thursday, 6/29:***</b> A space became available for an open trip on the Fourth of July, Frank said. <b>***Update, Monday, 7/3:***</b> South wind plummeted water temperatures, making fluke fishing tough the past few days, Frank wrote in an email. He canceled some trips because of that, and besides the water temperature, conditions were perfect Sunday. Still, fluking was poor on a trip aboard that day. Frank has been through this many times, has fished for years. The answer is to keep fishing to be there when the fish bite. “Know one thing that each and every trip we leave the dock willing to go great distances to catch fish,” he wrote. This report was brutally honest, “but that’s how I roll,” he said. Trips are full through Thursday, and four spaces remain for a trip Friday. Telephone to reserve, because trips fill. Sea bass and porgy seasons opened Saturday, so those fish can be bagged, too.

Fishing for fluke improved daily for the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. The water was warming or something, and lots of bait schooled. Fishing for ling and winter flounder continued to be good on the ocean aboard. Lots of flounder this year. Open-boat trips are fishing daily for fluke and will run for fluke and sea bass beginning Saturday, when two will become the sea bass bag limit. Sea bass season is closed until then. That angling is on the Down Deep Bull. On the Down Deep, the company’s other vessel, open trips are sailing for ling and flounder daily. Charters are available for all of this fishing, and each vessel can accommodate up to 15 passengers. 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. <b>***Update, Monday, 7/3:***</b> Fluking was up and down on the ocean aboard, better on some days than others, Mario said. The high hook landed five legal-sized this past week, keeping no more than a limit. The daily, open trips for fluke will now run for a combo of fluke and sea bass, because two sea bass could be kept per angler beginning Saturday. Ling and flounder fishing remained good on the daily, open trips for them. Open trips are also fishing for fluke, sea bass and porgies 2 p.m. to dark every Friday and Saturday. Porgy season opened Saturday.


A trip for fluke, fishing just a couple of hours in evening, boated two keepers 2 ½ or 3 pounds and quite a few shorts on the bay with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Joe said. Gulp and spearing were fished on bottom rigs, and Joe’s looking forward to bucktailing for fluke later this season in deep water when peanut bunker and snapper blues become abundant. He’s also looking forward to the openings of porgy and sea bass seasons Saturday to fish for them. Joe was hoping to sail for tuna mid-range this weekend but will watch the weather. He heard nothing about striped bass but kept more of an eye on tuna. He did hear about good catches of ling and winter flounder from the Mudhole. <b>***Update, Monday, 7/3:***</b> A charter Saturday aboard limited out on sea bass and bagged quite a few porgies, decent-sized, Joe wrote in an email. Fluking was disappointing on the outing, only hooking a few throwbacks, and trips will target sea bass and porgies until fluking improves. Fishing will sail for tuna this week on the boat.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Big fluke today! a report said about Wednesday on the <b>Fishermen</b> on the party boat’s website. “Finally, some much nicer fluke …,” it said. Lots of action, too, and jigging for the fish worked well, especially for several anglers, including the pool-winner. The angler won with a 7-pound 3-ouncer. The high hook limited out on fluke to a 6-1/2-pounder and landed more than 50 of the summer flounder. Another dialed up a 5-pound 9-ouncer, and the captain’s dad also drilled a 5-plus-pounder. A couple of anglers iced a 4-plus-pounder apiece. Great day on the water! the report said. No location was mentioned, but trips the previous two days fished the ocean, according to the report. The angling kept improving each of these three days. 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.

A few keeper fluke were tapped into on the first drift on this morning’s trip on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> on the bay, Capt. Tom said during the fishing in a phone call aboard. Then wind kicked up against the tide, difficult for drifting, and the trip was beginning to move to different places. Conditions were perfect yesterday for drifting, but just a few keepers were clocked. Shorts bit everywhere fished.  Ben Santos from Aberdeen smashed a 10-pound 5-ounce fluke, the biggest aboard this year, on Tuesday. Forecasts now are calling for some wind from south and west, but the boat has the option to fish the bay where the water can be protected from those directions. Some of those places might not harbor as many fluke as others, but those places can be an advantage over elsewhere. The boat is fluke fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Monday, 7/3:***</b> Fishing for fluke was a little improved Sunday aboard, making off with a few more keepers and more throwbacks than before, Tom said. Crew said the fish were less cold to the touch than previously.

Probably one in eight or 10 fluke was a keeper that was boated on the bay, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. The fishing seemed sporadic but sometimes caught. A few were cracked on the store’s rental boats. He heard about no bluefish or other fish, only about fluke. Crabbing was slowly picking up. All baits including killies are stocked. Rental kayaks are also available.

For boaters on the ocean, fluke fishing began to light up a little, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackled</b>. Fluke 11.8 and 11.2 pounds were known about that were caught from the ocean. A 10-something-pounder was known about from the bay. Eight- and 9-pounders were also known about from the bay. Some better-sized turned up at both places. Fluke were reeled from the river, and no stripers were known to be angled from the river. Ron and friends tried bucktailing for them with no success. Good-sized stripers were boated from the ocean, and he knew about someone who pummeled a 57-pounder, probably on a bunker chunk, because the angler likes to chunk. The stripers were usually trolled, sometimes hooked on livelined bunker. Anglers would find a pod of the bass to target. Back in the bay, a couple of 15- and 18-inch weakfish were known to be reeled from outside Monmouth Cove and off Perth Amboy. A buddy ran into 2- to 4-pound blues he popper plugged in the surf at Fisherman’s Beach at Sandy Hook a couple of hours at first light until they disappeared. Five customers stopped in for sharking supplies, but no results rolled in. Nothing was heard about tuna. Crabbing seemed to begin trapping catches.


From <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, Greg Hanna on the Annie H limited out on fluke to 21 inches on Gulp near the Ammo Pier on Sandy Hook Bay, Marion wrote in an email. Angelo and Karen Kelly boated one keeper fluke 22 inches near the pier on a killie. Bob Dreyer on the Patty Ann took a keeper 21 inches while fishing from the Atlantic Highlands jetty with killies with squid. 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.


With <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, trips last fished during the weekend, Capt. Ralph said. The fishing pounded ling, the best catch in some time on one of the trips, winter flounder to 20 inches and cod. That was covered in the last report here, and Ralph suggests jumping on individual-reservation trips for the inshore wreck-fishing July 10 and 17. Or book a charter for the angling. Two sea bass per angler will be able to be bagged beginning Saturday, so the trips will run for ling, sea bass, flounder, cod and pollock. Only a couple of spots are left for an individual-reservation trip for cod at 2 a.m. July 12. Fish for cod in shorts! Annual individual-reservation trips for fluke and sea bass every Tuesday will begin July 11. Kids under 12 sail free on those outings, limited to one per adult host.


<b>***Update, Monday, 7/3:***</b> The anglers Sunday with <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> limited out on sea bass, and some limited on fluke, on the ocean, Capt. Pete said. The water temperature dove to as low as the 50 degrees because of south wind, making fluke sluggish. The fish are there, but the low temperature can make them reluctant to bite. Fishing was weathered out Saturday aboard. Charters and individual spaces on charters are available. One of the boat’s On the Water Seminars will sail July 10 that teach bucktailing for big fluke in a non-threatening environment. Experienced anglers hone the skill, and newbies learn the fishing, and spaces are available. Pete fished offshore for tuna and sharks a few times this past week. The tuna fishing was 50 miles from shore. No tuna were landed, but bluefin tuna were sometimes caught among the fleet. Some boats caught, and some didn’t. The fish gathered at spots like the Chicken Canyon to all the way to offshore canyons.  During the sharking aboard, sharks swam into the chum slick but none was hooked. Pete usually fishes inshore for catches like fluke. 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.

Shark River’s fluke fishing was slow, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. Some good-sized or 5- and 6-pounders came from the river, but fewer throwbacks swam the water than usual this time of year. “We have kingfish, triggerfish and small weakfish in our local waters,” he wrote. “There are also” striped bass feeding on kings, tinker mackerel and baitfish, he said. Many boats from the marina set off for hot bluefin tuna fishing. Party boats that fluked the ocean from the marina scored some decent catches. The ones that are bluefishing tied into small blues. Hope to send a more upbeat report later in the week, Bob said.

On the <b>Celtic Stoirm</b>, fluking was a slow pick Saturday in cold water on the ocean because of south wind, Capt. Mike said. He’s looking forward to a couple of sea bass per angler being able to be kept beginning Saturday, because that can add to catches. He ran a trip on a friend’s boat this week that boxed eight keeper fluke and let go 24 throwbacks on the ocean. He ran another on somebody else’s boat this week that picked up a few keeper fluke and 25 throwbacks on the ocean. Fluke were cold to the touch on trips, and anglers needed to let the fish take a hook, instead of setting the hook quickly. They had to work through shorts to score keepers.  Ocean fluking looks to be improving if warm weather will keep warming the ocean. Space is available for fluking aboard this weekend. <b>***Update, Monday, 7/3:***</b> South wind continued to blow and chill water on the fluke grounds on the ocean, Mike said. On a trip Thursday, the southerly blew 25 knots, and fluking wasn’t very good. A shark trip will fish today on the boat.

Three- to 8-pound bluefish would be found splashing around today on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Some would be caught, and the boat would be moved and do it all over again, catching on Run Off hammered jigs and crocs. Spinning rods out-fished conventional, so bring spinning. Bluefishing aboard Monday was not the easiest but hooked the fish, and was pretty good Tuesday and decent Wednesday. The fish weighed 3- to 8-pounds on the trips, somewhat different ranges depending on the trip. The galley menu is expanding, and breakfast and lunch are available. Pulled pork with coleslaw, pickles and roasted corn, made right on the boat, was just one of the items today. Trips are sailing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Fishing and sunset cruises are running 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

Another good day of bluefishing! an email said Wednesday from the party boat <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>. “Overall, it’s been a great improvement over the past few weeks …,” it said. Fishing to the north, a couple of the trip’s drifts held the fish for good shots, and a few drifts picked the fish. The blues weighed 4 to 12 pounds, and trips are running 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Trips are also fishing for fluke and other bottom-fish 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily, and Tuesday afternoon’s trip searched for ling “to the east.” A decent catch of ling, some whiting and a few Tommy cod were axed. The afternoon trips also watch whales and porpoises and catch the sunset on the ride home.


This report was posted Wednesday and is being posted again in case anybody missed it: “Good fishing for fluke on the all-day trip Monday and some nice fish being caught on the half-day trips,” Capt. Ryan from the party boat <b>Jamaica II</b> wrote in an email. The boat is fishing for fluke on the ocean on full-day trips every Monday and on two half-day trips every other day of the week. Ralph Molinaro from North Haledon on Monday’s trip limited out and won the pool with a 5-3/4-pounder. Anglers who limited on the trip also included Sean Duffy from Bristol, Dave Tootchen from Philadelphia, Carl Wiggems from Trenton, Donnitto Patrick from Trenton, Ed Nolan from Manasquan and Brian Cranford from Lincroft. Each trip scooped up a mix of 3- to 5-pound fluke, throwbacks and out-of-season sea bass. The sea bass were tossed back, and two sea bass per angler will become the bag limit beginning Saturday. The trips are sailing 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday and 8 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday through Sunday.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Bottom-fishing was still surprisingly decent, said Capt. Butch from the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>. In his last report here a week ago, he said he was surprised. The trips aboard in past days scooped up mostly ling but also some sizable winter flounder and a couple of cod. A few big, out-of-season sea bass were let go, and he hopes sea bass will be in when two becomes the bag limit beginning Saturday. Then trips will target both sea bass and ling. Trips fished in depths 130 feet to 230, and the water surface there was probably close to 60 degrees. Trips are bottom-fishing on the ocean 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Nighttime bluefish trips might also sail beginning soon after the Fourth of July holiday, if blues are in. 

Fluke fishing on the ocean had been slow but “began looking up” beginning Tuesday on the <b>Gambler</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Good-sized keepers to 5 pounds were tabbed, and throwbacks, sea robins, sundials and sand sharks were let go. Pool-winning fluke weighed 3 to 5 pounds. No bait or tackle seemed to catch best. On nighttime trips for striped bass and blues last weekend, fishing was no good. But reports about blues starting to show at the Mudhole are a “good thing.” Trips are fluke fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Trips were going to begin wreck-fishing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Thursday this week, but forecasts for wind don’t look promising. Check out <a href="" 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.

Angling for fluke had its ups and downs the past few days on the ocean aboard, a report said yesterday on the party boat <b>Norma-K III</b>’s website. The fishing that morning copped much better action with shorts and some keepers. On the afternoon trip, catches began decent but shut off when south wind built. More fluke began to be clubbed each day aboard, so the crew hopes the fishing keeps improving. The boat is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and for blues 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday. The season’s first trip for ling 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Sunday steamed last weekend, picking away at small, mediums and a few large. The trips were slated to begin the previous weekend, but that was weathered out. 

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

The <b>Tin Knocker</b> competed in Mako Mania and Mako Fever Sunday, releasing 10 brown sharks, one blue shark and a 300-pound hammerhead shark, Capt. John said. So, decent trip, and no trip competed Saturday aboard, because weather was rough. Tin Knocker will begin tuna fishing, and John hopes that starts this weekend. Weather might be too rough at first during the weekend, and good angling for bluefin tuna is being trolled 50 to 60 miles from shore. Decent fishing for yellowfin tuna is being trolled farther offshore at canyons. John believed that included Hudson Canyon. <b>***Update, Monday, 7/3:***</b> Six yellowfin tuna were trolled and a small bluefin tuna was released on the troll Sunday at Toms Canyon aboard, all on spreader bars, John said. The trip departed at midnight and returned that night, trolling throughout the day. The water was 68 degrees where the trip began fishing and was as warm as 71 during the angling. Plenty of life was seen including whales, porpoises and lots of tuna chicks and shearwaters. The water also held glass slicks.

<b>Toms River</b>

Boats bottom-fishing on the ocean seemed to catch best, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. Party boats like the Dauntless bottom-angled ling and big winter flounder.  Very few striped bass were boated on the ocean anymore this season locally. Most bunker that attract the bass schooled farther north. Surf fishing was slow in cold water, and any catches like blues or stripers were usually on bait from shore, because of the chill. However, surf fishing for fluke at Island Beach State Park, where the bag limit is two of the fish 16 inches or larger, wasn’t bad. The limit is three at 18 in most of the rest of the state.  The fluke at the park were mugged on bucktails with Gulps or bait like squid. In back waters, the year’s first snapper blues 2 or 2 ½ inches began to be seen. They were netted and too small for hook and line but grow quickly. Lots of peanut bunker about that size, more than in a long time, began to be seen. Seemed a good sign for fishing later this year. When baitfish like that are abundant in a year, that can be good for angling, attracting fish, including the fall migrations of stripers and blues. The baitfish pour into the ocean during the migration, providing forage for those fish. Dennis saw schools of ¾- or 1-inch spearing for the first time this season, too. In Barnegat Bay, fluke were plucked from traditional places like near the BI and BB markers. Some, not a lot, hugged bottom farther north between the BB and 40. Fewer anglers fished there, so maybe anglers want to work that area. A customer yanked a 5-pound fluke from the bay last week and another this week. Another hooked a 5-pounder from Point Pleasant Canal. Some good-sized were around. Stripers were eeled along the bay’s sod banks and along Barnegat Inlet at night. A few small stripers and a token ½- or 1-pound blue bit along Route 37 Bridge in the bay. Small blues like that swam the Toms River. One angler bunker-chunked big rays in the river, and Dennis never knew about any there before, and he’s fished the river his whole life. Panfish like croakers and spots were yet to arrive. Crabbing lit up on the Toms and nearly everywhere. The shop began to get telephone calls about that last Thursday, and Dennis even loaded up on crabs he potted in the river. Very good crabbing was trapped at Good Luck Point. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

In great weather that’s forecast, “surf fishing activity will surely (increase),” a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Surf casters willing to put in the effort beached fluke and medium-sized blues. Blues 2- to 3-pounds were popper plugged on Barnegat Bay behind Island Beach State Park. Crabbing was now good on the bay from the store’s dock and rental boats.  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>

Kyle from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b> fluked Barnegat Bay on a trip that landed 15 to 20 including three keepers, he said. The bay’s fluking was alright, including at the BI and BB markers, the research buoy between them, Double Creek Channel and High Bar Harbor. A 5.83-pounder was weighed-in this morning, and a 7-pounder was heard about. Plus, Tony “Maja” Arcabascio, owner of Tony Maja’s Products, the bunker-spoon manufacturer, reportedly plowed a 9-pounder from the bay, and that was unconfirmed. Some fluke were out there. Nobody reported targeting bluefish on the bay, but blues surely swam the bay, like they do throughout most of the fishing season. The angler with the 5.83-pound fluke had a line that got bit off by a blue. Not much was reported about the ocean. One angler reported boating a keeper fluke at the Tires in the ocean. Sea bass held at the Tires, the last Kyle knew, and two will become the sea bass bag limit beginning Saturday, after the season’s been closed for the fish. One customer sharked on the ocean last weekend. Not much was reported about sharking, but makos and threshers were surely around. Bluefin tuna were reportedly boated 30 miles from shore. Baits stocked include killies and all the frozen, including Canadian and local spearing. The shop carries fresh, local spearing when they become available from suppliers, and spearing began to be seen. Kyle saw many during his fluke trip, and whenever the baitfish were seen, fluke were hooked. The spearing weren’t tiny, were big enough to use for bait. They’ll grow to a better size for angling in a week.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

On the <b>Super Chic</b> blues 3 to 5 pounds were jigged at Barnegat Inlet in past days on small Ava’s, Capt. Ted said. A little fluking was done on the boat Monday on the ocean but wasn’t very good. A trip will probably fish for sea bass and blues Saturday, when sea bass season opens, allowing two to be bagged per angler. Wind forced a shark trip to be canceled Saturday aboard. Bluefin tuna were caught pretty well 40 to 50 miles from shore, not as close to the coast as bluefins can be, not all the way to the canyons along the Continental Shelf. Yellowfin tuna fishing seemed decent at the canyons.

Some really good days of fluke fishing and some tougher were jammed this week from the ocean on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. “All about the conditions,” it said, and a little more wind blew today, making the fishing difficult. A fair number of keepers were cracked among throwbacks on the trips, and the boat is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.

Boaters docked fluke, a few, from Double Creek Channel on Barnegat Bay at <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>, George said. They worked through throwbacks and often skates for keeper fluke. Nothing was heard about other fish including blues and weakfish. Crabbing was pretty good along the Dike and High Bar Harbor. Four customers clammed at the beginning of the week and returned with three gross, big bags, from the other side of the Dike.  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>

For customers at <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>, fishing was best for summer flounder, Scott said. That was near the 131 buoy on Great Bay, and outgoing tides fished best. That was because water became cold, and warmer, inland water flowed into the bay on outgoing. The fishing wasn’t great. Saturday gave up a good flurry. Someone boated a good catch every once in a while on other days. Insignificant numbers of fluke bit in the ocean. That angling usually heats up when the ocean becomes warmer. No bluefish were really around, including in the bay. Thirty miles to the north seemed the nearest blues. Sizable brown sharks, sand sharks and cownosed rays swam abundant in the bay. Browns are required to be released, but anglers shark on the bay this season from dusk till 10 p.m. at Grassy Channel. They chum and fish with bait like a bunker fillet. The fish are smaller than ocean sharks but are large. The fishing’s an opportunity to fight big fish without an offshore trip, and the shop sells a shark rig and a chum ball for the angling. Crabbing was phenomenal. All baits were stocked including minnows, fresh, shucked clams when available and live grass shrimp. However, fresh bunker were unavailable. Bunker suppliers only found small bunker that slipped through nets, and shark anglers said adult bunker schooled 30 miles from shore. Scott never heard about bunker there before. The clams are ordered for this Friday, and anglers will see whether clam suppliers had the weather to sail, or whether wind blew too strongly.


The back bay’s summer flounder fishing actually picked up locally, for some reason, said Jay from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. A buddy’s trip limited out on six including 22- and 23-inchers and tossed back throwbacks at Absecon Channel. Another friend nailed two 6-pounders on livelined spots from the shop. Spots are stocked, and southwest wind blew up today, keeping most anglers from working the bay. Customers bought lots of bloodworms from the store, so apparently kingfishing improved in the surf. White perch fishing was excellent, including on Mullica River. Jay and Joe from the store fished for tuna offshore on a couple of trips. On last Thursday’s trip they trolled a bunch of 40- to 65-pound yellowfin tuna at Spencer Canyon. In the morning they’d find a clump and catch, find another and catch and so on. On the other trip, they overnighted Sunday to Monday at Baltimore Canyon. Tuna fishing wasn’t so great on the outing. They trolled three yellowfins at dusk and hooked none at night, though they chunked all night for the fish. Every mackerel on the East Coast seemed to show up then! There was lots of life at the Baltimore, also including squid and thousands of pilot whales. They began trolling at 4:30 a.m. to try to catch bigeye tuna, but none showed up. They also deep-dropped and cranked in golden tilefish and a few blueline tiles at the canyon. They trolled home, and landed mahi mahi near the Elephant Trunk. The water at both canyons was 68 to 70 degrees. Very good bluefin tuna fishing was jigged at the Lobster Claw for 80- to 120-pounders recently, Jay knew. That’s inshore like the Elephant Trunk is.


Weather was a little windy for fishing, but kingfish remained in the surf, said John from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Fish bloodworms or Fishbites artificial worms for them, and brown and tiger sharks were around in the surf. Both must be released by law, and kingfish heads or mackerel fillets hooked them. The back bay’s summer flounder fishing was slowly improving, and the tops of tides needed to be fished for them. Crabbing was great. Bloodworms, fresh bunker, fresh clams and the different frozen baits including mackerel are stocked.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Lots of kingfish and some summer flounder were clipped from the surf beside Absecon Inlet and from the inlet, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Those were most of the catches locally, and customers fish the nearby, jetty-lined inlet on foot. Bloodworms honked the kings, and minnows wooked the flounder. Occasional weakfish came from the same waters. Schoolie striped bass did, too. Much bait including peanut bunker and 1- to 2-inch mullet schooled the water. Plenty of bait including bloodworms and minnows is stocked. The store’s Trash for Treasure Tournament is underway till July 15 for kids 5 to 13 for five different species of trash fish like skates, sea robins and sand sharks. Registration is required before fishing, and $50 cash will be awarded for the heaviest fish in each category. The fish can be caught from anywhere.


Back-bay summer flounder still bit for anglers on the party boat <b>Keeper</b>, Capt. John said. The fishing was alright, catching every day. He was pretty happy with it. Throwbacks were eased in, but so were 3- and 4-pounders sometimes. Those were sizable, and the fishing was much better than last year. The angling was off last year and somewhat so the previous year. Flounder on trips grabbed minnows and mackerel supplied aboard and Gulps anglers brought. They jumped on it all, and John always recommends bringing Gulps. No bluefish or weakfish were in the mix in past days. An 8-pound sheepshead was heaved in. Lots of thin or skinny baitfish schooled the bay. That should bode well for fishing, and the Keeper is sailing for 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 ocean was cold or 66 to 67 degrees, but some good-sized summer flounder were to be had, said Capt. Mike from the <b>Stray Cat</b>. Anglers needed to put time in and concentrate, and the trips aboard fished in 80 feet of water, 10 to 15 miles from shore. Not many out-of-season sea bass bit, but quality flounder were there. Two sea bass per angler will be able to be kept beginning Saturday. Open-boat trips will fish this coming Tuesday and Thursday, and those look like the days when open trips will sail throughout the season. A few shark trips and tuna trips are selling. Gangbusters tuna catches were heard about from Hudson to Poorman’s canyons. All trips seemed to catch. Weekends are beginning to fill up with charters. <b>***Update, Monday, 7/3:***</b> Flounder bit at Ocean City Reef, Mike said. The water was bitter cold, and on a trip yesterday was 62 degrees there. But the trip found a few keepers. Mike was maybe going to scope out Atlantic City Ridge to see how that angling is. An offshore trip for tuna will sail at 2 o’clock tonight. Plenty of dates are available for tuna, if anglers are interested, and some mad-dog bites have erupted. Tuna have been caught for a couple of weeks, and white marlin fishing should kick in during the next couple of weeks.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Lots of summer flounder seemed to hold in the back bay, and lots more throwbacks seemed hooked than before, and bigger seemed to start concentrating around inlets, said Pat from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Some flounder migrate to the ocean for cooler water in summer, though some remain in the bay for the season. Boaters sometimes tugged up flounder at ocean reefs, not crazy numbers, but decent-sized fish. Kingfish, really good numbers, were bailed from the surf. Some anglers totaled 20 or 30 in a trip, and bloodworms caught better than Fishbites artificial worms, because of cool water. A few brown sharks, required to be released, were fought from the surf on mackerel, bunker or the heads of kingfish. A few anglers tackled a few striped bass from the bay at night on lures including soft-plastics but sometimes during daytime on cut bait like mackerel, including along 9th Street Bridge. Sharking on the ocean was decent at spots like 28-Mile Wreck and will probably slow soon. Big brown sharks 8 feet were released, and anglers who put in time usually pulled in a mako shark. Farther from shore, tuna were often trolled at canyons including Spencer and Baltimore.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

The anglers aboard Monday cracked two summer flounder 6 pounds 24 inches and 5 pounds 23 inches and a bunch of throwbacks on the back bay, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with  <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The trip had been going to fish for sharks inshore, but wind blew too strongly. One of the shark trips Sunday with an angler, son and friend released four brown sharks and pulled the hooks on two duskies, covered in the last report here. The sharking was coming on. Joe wanted to fish offshore for tuna Wednesday but wind was terrible offshore, though not bad close to shore. A buddy’s trip Monday trolled eight yellowfin tuna and a mahi mahi at Poorman’s Canyon. Joe heard nothing confirmed about tuna inshore yet. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>. <b>***Update, Monday, 7/3:***</b> A father and son jumped on one of the inshore shark trips Sunday, landing one brown, Joe said. But the boat failed to drift much, making the angling tough. So the anglers headed to the bay and caught flounder. The flounder fishing’s been good, with keepers mixed in, typical for summer. Flounder are beginning to bite in the ocean, too, some getting caught on days when conditions are right. Joe was going to fish offshore for tuna today, and that’s been decent.

In the surf, kingfish kept biting, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Some good-sized croakers were mixed in, and the beach fishing kept anglers busy. Plenty of sand sharks and skates also provided action for kids in the surf. The kings and croakers swiped bloodworms and Fishbites artificial worms about equally. A couple of brown sharks, required to be released, were fought from the surf last week, and none was heard about this week. The back bay’s summer flounder fishing was decent, and anglers had to work for them, but some good-sized were winged. Flounder were toggled in from the ocean, and Townsend’s Inlet Reef was the place to be. Sometimes the angling shut off there for a day or however long, but one angler searched all over for flounder, from the ocean off Sea Isle to near the mouth of Delaware Bay, and all six of the trip’s keepers came from Townsend’s Inlet Reef. A couple of customers popper-plugged plenty of rat striped bass 16 to 24 inches from the bay a couple of evenings ago. Reports sounded like tuna weren’t caught so much locally but that plenty – yellowfin and bigeye tuna – were found at Wilmington and Baltimore canyons. Fishing was generally good. Tons of crabs skittered around. When anglers complain about crabs, crabbing’s usually good.


<b>***Update, Monday, 7/3:***</b> A trip will fish Delaware Bay for summer flounder today with <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b>, Capt. Jim said. Trips aboard fished the back bay for flounder, flipping-in lots more throwbacks than keepers, but some keepers. Ocean flounder fishing sounded slow. That usually picks up as the ocean warms. An angler Jim knew fished the surf Sunday, banking small kingfish just south of the Avalon fishing pier.  Guests stayed at Jim’s <a href="" target="_blank">lodge near Salmon River</a> in upstate New York during this Fourth of July weekend.  A discount is offered for the lodge in summer, but only on Airbnb. Fishing is available, including on Lake Ontario, with local guides. Guests often drive quadrunners this season locally. In late summer into fall, they fish the river for salmon. In winter, they fish the river for steelheads and they snowmobile.


Wind often prevented rental-boating for summer flounder on the back bay, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. Not much was available to report about the angling, but the flatfish are swimming the bay and will bite, he knows. When the weather breaks, some good fishing for them should be latched into, because some was before. A flounder tournament was held last week but drew few participants because of wind. Crabbing’s been improving and is good on the bay, and the store’s rental boats are popular for that, too. A couple of locals were hooking weakfish along surf jetties alright. Two sea bass will become the bag limit beginning Saturday, and an angler who tested the fishing nailed the fish at Cape May Reef, releasing the catches. That was unconfirmed and second-hand, but Mike knew the angler. 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 had been scarce, but plenty are stocked now. 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. Cooked No. 2 crabs are on special for $35 for two dozen, a nice price for cooked, Mike noted. Live and steamed clams and cooked and uncooked shrimp are on hand. That’s all been selling well, and customers enjoy the food at tented 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>

<b>***Update, Monday, 7/3:***</b> The season’s first tuna trip will sail today with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Tom said. Tuna fishing sounded pretty good in 30 fathoms if trips could get away from boat traffic. Trips aboard have been plugging away at summer flounder on the ocean, okay fishing, at wrecks, reefs and hard bottom, bouncing around. South wind chilled the water, making the fluke sluggish. But trips ground out catches like nine keepers to 7 pounds and probably 50 throwbacks Sunday aboard. Charters and open-boat trips are sailing for flounder or tuna. Some of the offshore trips will target marlin in August, and a fair number of marlin seemed to begin showing.

Tuna catches were heard about here and there, said Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>. The angling seemed in a little lull within range of Cape May, and good catches dried up that had been made at Poorman’s and Baltimore canyons. Tuna were now heard about from Spencer and Washington canyons, but the Spencer is 82 miles from the town, and the Washington is 90 miles. That’s too far. George knew an angler whose trip this week clocked eight at the Spencer. But the location of the fish can change, and anglers are also waiting for tuna fishing to light up at inshore spots like Massey’s Canyon. George last year lit into tuna at Massey’s on July 3, and during the previous couple of years did in the first few days of July. The angling could begin this weekend. The Heavy Hitter will fish for tuna this weekend, if weather holds, but forecasts look windy. Currently, straggler yellowfin and bluefin tuna showed up inshore, nothing stable, too few to charter for them. Anglers stumbled into them and found none at the same location the next day. When that happens, the fish seem on the move, and the wait was on for them to settle in. <b>***Update, Monday, 7/3:***</b> Tuna fishing will sail today aboard, George said. Catches were heard about from Spencer Canyon and inshore spots like the Hot Dog in past days. The Spencer is far away, and George was going to decide where to head. At spots like the Hot Dog, some boats made catches like six or seven, and some hooked none. Trips inshore had to stumble on tuna. A short, 4-hour charter sailed for sea bass Sunday, after two sea bass per angler could be kept beginning Saturday. The trip bagged the fish and released lots of small. Nothing to write home about, he said.

The party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> hardly drifted on daily summer flounder trips in past days on the ocean, Capt. Paul said. Weather was beautiful but failed to drift the vessel, and that’s tough on flounder fishing. More wind was supposed to blow beginning today that should help. Still, trips picked some flounder, not many. A good number of anglers jumped on Sunday’s trip with almost no drift. They included Karl Keehfuss from Villas who landed two keepers to a 5.7-pounder, and Dave Thompson from Green Creek who limited out. Ken Minett from Mays Landing on Monday’s or Tuesday’s trip limited. Not many keepers bit on Wednesday’s trip, but some better-sized did late on the outing. Anita Bickerdyke from Vineland won the pool with a 6-pounder, and she and her husband boated a keeper apiece. The ocean’s been cold because of southerly wind and was 56 degrees the other day. Paul saw 61 degrees Wednesday morning. Trips are fishing for summer flounder at 8 a.m. daily. Beginning Saturday, two sea bass will be able to be bagged per angler. If trips nab any keeper-sized sea bass starting then, they can be added to catches.

The surf tossed up kingfish, a few big, too, said Joe from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Small weakfish nipped in the surf, and both the kings and the weaks were bloodwormed. Small blues popped up in the surf, and all of these fish were mostly heard about from the ocean surf. Some probably roamed Delaware Bay’s surf, but most customers seemed to fish the ocean who surf-fished. Cape May is at the confluence of the ocean and bay. Croakers, good-sized, showed up in the bay’s surf. One person said they were sizable, and those were the year’s first croakers Joe heard about from there. Eh, still there, Joe said about summer flounder in the back bay. Wind seemed to keep boaters from reaching ocean reefs for flounder, and nothing was heard about flounder from Delaware Bay. Striped bass were played in the bay under bridges at night or during low light like they are all summer. Tuna were angled at offshore canyons and inshore at usual spots like the Elephant Trunk. Baits stocked include minnows and bloodworms. Fresh, shucked clams are expected today or tomorrow. Offshore baits including butterfish, sardines and mackerel are on hand.

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