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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 7-13-17


Fluke fishing seemed a little better than before for customers from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>, Rich said.  The angling seemed to begin turning around a little, he thought. The fish, none huge, were boated including at Keyport Flats and off Coney Island, on the ocean side. A run of striped bass was reported eeled on the ocean off Sandy Hook. Rich reported a run a few weeks ago, so this was another. He wasn’t asked what the previous stripers were caught on. A few people reported boating bluefish, not big. Bait stocked includes eels, fresh bunker daily, fresh clams, killies and all frozen bait including spearing and peanut 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 p.m.


Fishing for fluke ended up decent yesterday aboard but struggled with wind against tide in the morning, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. Conditions are everything for fluking. Anglers who worked Gulps limited out or nearly limited on fluke to 20 inches and larger. None was especially large, but good, healthy, thick fluke were squashed. No doubt fluking’s been tough everywhere this season, and cool water and abundant freshwater from rain affected the migration. But water’s warming, and Frank believes the fishing will improve dramatically in the next week or so. Vitamin Sea will fluke throughout summer, “needless to say,” he said. It’s a dedicated fluke boat. Porgy fishing is out of control. Trips aboard have been catching porgies while fluking, and anglers on the boat can fish for both at once. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips will fish Tuesday through Friday and that Sunday, July 13. Telephone to reserve.


Porgies were picked up Monday along rocks in the ocean with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Joe said. Not great fishing, but some catches, and the boat will run for bluefin tuna mid-range during the weekend, depending on reports.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Much better action today, Capt. Ron from the <b>Fishermen</b> wrote about fluking aboard in a report on the party boat’s website. The day was good for the angling aboard, and this was the first time in a while he could say that, he said. Some anglers tugged in as many as 25 fluke, including a keeper or two. One angler totaled four legal-sized to 4 pounds, keeping no more than a limit of three, and plenty of throwbacks. Another totaled 27 fluke, including a limit. A father and son combined for 40 including four good-sized keepers. An angler with a 5-pound fluke won the pool, and two big sea bass also came in. Bait fished on a simple rig was the ticket, but two anglers who jigged “put on a clinic.” Cownose rays invaded the area, and hundreds were seen the past couple of days. Ron lost two rigs to them yesterday. 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, the boat will be unavailable this coming Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, July 21, Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 29.

During the fluke trips on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, fishing the bay, fishing was inconsistent, a crazy week, Capt. Tom said. Monday morning’s trip hooked not many. The afternoon’s trip locked up more keepers than previous trips. Tuesday morning’s trip tied up shorts and keepers, and the afternoon’s trip fished terrible. Not even shorts bit much. Wednesday morning’s trip boxed just a few keepers and picked shorts. A kid rental-rodded a limit of three on the outing. The afternoon’s trip saw better action with shorts and not as many keepers as before. Every trip fished different, and a few fluke were landed every day aboard. The angling was yet to be good, and that seemed the case everywhere. Bait seemed to catch as well as anything. Some anglers fished Gulps they brought, but spearing provided aboard seemed to work just as well. The boat is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

The river’s fluking wasn’t bad, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Keepers were tapped, and two veteran anglers limited out yesterday in the water. Jay and three buddies bucktailed three keepers on the river Friday evening. A bucktail is the choice for all his fishing on the river, and he and the friends watched striped bass blowing up on bait off a private dock on the river 3 hours during the trip. “It (stunk)!” he said. Raritan Bay’s fluking wasn’t a steady pick, but picked fish here and there. A buddy boated fluke off Keansburg on the bay. Party boats seemed to scramble around for the catches. Snapper bluefish schooled back-waters and were small but began to be hooked. They chased small peanut bunker that will grow big enough to use for bait in a couple of weeks. Mike Grecco boated small blues in the bay off Sandy Hook. Crabs were trapped, and Ron saw crabs constantly swimming past during the fluking on the river. They weren’t a bad size and included hand-sized. All baits are stocked. Everything.  

The rental-boaters from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b> racked up fluke alright today on the bay, Johnny O. said. One angler on the boats iced a 3-1/2-pound keeper and a few throwbacks. Two anglers on another one of the trips today limited out on six of the fish 2, 3 or 4 pounds. Fluking seemed to pick up a little. He heard nothing about how the marina’s party boats fared on fluke today. Porgy fishing seemed good. Snapper blues swam Shrewsbury River. Peanut bunker began to be seen in the water. All baits are stocked for fishing from inshore to offshore. The store, the sister shop to Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, is located at Atlantic Highlands Marina, near the party boat, charter boat and private boat docks. Rental kayaks are also available.


Fishing from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, Paul and Becky on the Second Home boated three keeper fluke off False Hook on Sunday, Marion wrote in an email. On another trip last week they sailed with Frank and Sue on the boat and docked three keepers to 21 inches. Also on Sunday, Angelo and Karen Kelly boated a 22-inch fluke and some sea bass off Sandy Hook, and Jay and Tracy on the Par Tee II decked a 20-1/2-inch fluke off Monmouth Beach.  Also last week, Paul and Maddy on the Boudicca bagged a 6-pound 25-inch fluke off Coney Island. 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.


Big cod and pollock were pounded yesterday from the ocean with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph said. That was the year’s first individual-reservation trip for cod aboard. “Very good day,” he said! Plenty of fish, big, were also lost. “Gave the guys ½ hour (to) check out another wreck – loads of big ling and some sea bass – not enough time on this wreck to see if the cod were there,” he wrote. Last Lady is one of the only boats that fishes for cod in summer off New Jersey. Fish for cod in shorts! Book a charter, or jump on the next individual-reservation trips for cod at 2 a.m. Aug. 9 and 30.  The year’s first individual-reservation trip for fluke and sea bass, trips that sail every Tuesday in summer, ran this week. Fluking’s been very slow on the ocean, but the trip was a different story. Lots of short fluke, some quality keepers and big sea bass were shellacked. The trip only had to fish two places. Great day on the ocean, Ralph said, until wind came up at 12:30 p.m. Kids under 12 sail free on those trips, limited to one per adult host. An individual-reservation trip is full Monday that will fish inshore wrecks, but more will sail July 26 and Aug. 21.


Jumbo blues are here! an email said from the party boat <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b> said. Finally! it said, and the crew’s been waiting for weeks. Big bluefish broke the ocean surface to the north of the inlet today, all over. Now’s the time! it said. The boat is bluefishing 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. The afternoon trips also watch whales and porpoises and catch the sunset on the ride home.

Monster blues were jacked up today on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. They’re back! it said, and fishing for them was great today aboard. The mostly 12- to 15-pounders were nailed on Runoff hammered jigs, and an 18-pound blue won the pool. All anglers caught. The fish splashed the water, and people had fun. This is the time. Trips are bluefishing 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 party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b>, fluke fishing on the ocean scored well, Capt. Chris said. “It’s been a little of an issue, but we’re getting it done,” he said. Very good catches, all on jigs, not bait, and the boat is fluking 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Somewhat better catches of fluke finally began on Shark River, said Tom from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b>. Throwbacks were often hooked, but the fishing began to be better. The store’s rental boats are available to fluke the river. Kingfish and snapper blues also swam the river. Rental boaters at Fisherman’s Den North in Atlantic Highlands, the store’s sister shop, especially began to run into better fluking than before. Belmar’s party boats shoveled up improved fluking on some days, not on others. The party boat Big Mohawk from the port caught quite a few keepers. Water began to warm everywhere, and that seemed to help fluking. Fisherman’s Den is located at the marina on Shark River, near the party boats and charter and private boats. Anything caught in the surf? Tom was asked. A couple of anglers picked a couple of striped bass from the beach, nothing crazy, he said.

Ocean fluke fishing was back and forth or up and down, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. He couldn’t know whether fluctuating water temperature was a cause, and trips aboard caught, but were grinding away to do that. Still, the trips worked hard to “get it done.” Pete almost wanted to say not a lot of the fish were in. But he knew a netter who was catching the heck out of the fish. For hook-and-line anglers, the fluke weren’t aggressive. They often short-bit. But when keepers bit, they hit aggressively, he said. Conditions dictated where trips aboard could fish. Wind blowing 20 m.p.h. forced yesterday’s trip to fish tight to shore, for instance. Some days fished better than others, and that’s the best way to describe the angling, he said. One of the On the Water Seminars that teach bucktailing for fluke sailed aboard Tuesday. The keeper ratio was tough, but the learning went well. On the seminars, experienced anglers hone the skill, and newbies learn the fishing, in a non-threatening environment, and space is available Tuesday for one of the trips. Lots of bait, lots of life, filled the water on the fluke grounds. Parker Pete’s is out there all the time, and trips aboard are a chance to lock into big fluke. Some big sea bass were mixed in when trips fished rocky bottom. 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.


The following report was posted Tuesday as an update and is being re-posted in case anybody missed it: Decent fluke fishing most of the past week on the party boat <b>Jamaica II</b> on the ocean, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. Plenty of big sea bass were mixed in on most days. Customers who bucktailed especially caught limits, and also limits of sea bass. Larry Groh from Levittown took over the lead in the monthly pool with a 6-pound 10-ounce fluke on Sunday afternoon’s trip. Each monthly winner gets the cash but also a whopping one year of free fishing aboard. Unusually, a blueline tilefish was reeled up this past week on the boat. That was in 70 feet of water, and bluelines usually swim 400 feet down or deeper. Trips are sailing 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday and 8 a.m.to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday through Sunday.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Picky fluking was clubbed the past few days on the <b>Norma-K III</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. Shorts, occasional keepers and a few sea bass were landed. Water on bottom remained chilly, but the warm weather should help, the captain thought. Nice few days on the water, he said. A decent catch of ling was made on Sunday night’s trip for them. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily, bluefish 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and ling 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sundays.

Bottom-fishing was pretty good on the ocean on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, Capt. Butch said. Sea bass fishing was good every day on the trips, and anglers worked through small to bag keepers, but limited out on two apiece. Fluke were occasionally cranked up during sea bassing. After fishing for sea bass, each trip shot deeper for ling and winter flounder. That was hit and miss, alright fishing on one day, a little slow on another. The ling were good-sized on some days, small on others. The flounder gave up good catches yesterday and tough the day before. Anglers averaged 10 to 20 fish apiece aboard, and some caught up to 30. Trips fished for sea bass in 60 to 100 feet of water and for ling and flounder in 130 to 230. The population of sea bass was incredible. Someone Butch spoke with who dove on the sea bass grounds said schooling sea bass were seen everywhere beginning 20 feet down. That was in 80 feet of water, so sea bass swam everywhere from the bottom to 60 feet up. Most were small, but there were so many. The ocean on the fishing grounds was 64 or 65 degrees, becoming warmer and about the right temperature for the time of year. Butch is glad the water’s been cool, because the temperature is keeping the fish in. Trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. If bluefishing turns on at night this season, trips will also bluefish then.

For anglers on the <b>Gambler</b>, fluke fishing on the ocean was off and on, a report said Tuesday on the party boat’s website. Sometimes sea bass caught “helped us out quite a bit,” it said. Fluke to 5 pounds and sea bass to 3 pounds were pitched aboard. A weekly wreck-fishing trip is supposed to sail tonight, and the last trip, last Thursday, put up a decent catch of ling, mixed sizes to 3 pounds. Anglers who jigged for squid jigged a hundred good-sized. A Shark in the Dark Trip on Sunday was exciting. Quite a few were hooked, and four were landed. They were sand tigers, required to be released, to 300 pounds. The boat is fluke fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Trips are bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and wreck-fishing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays. The wreck trips are shooting for ling, cod, winter flounder and whatever lurks around wrecks and rocks. The <a href="http://www.gamblerfishing.net/tripinformation.php" target="_blank">Shark in the Dark Trip</a> was sold out Sunday, and this coming Sunday’s is also sold out. So more were added for 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on the Sundays of July 23 and 30. They’re limited to 25 anglers per trip, reservations required. Sign up soon.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

Sea bass and two throwback fluke were reeled up Monday on the <b>Tin Knocker</b>, Capt. John said. A fluke trip is set for Saturday, and the boat will be back on the bluefin tuna grounds Sunday. A 150-pound bluefin was kept and a 125-pounder was released last Sunday, 77 miles from Manasquan Inlet, aboard, covered in the last report here.

<b>Toms River</b>

Barnegat Bay’s fluking was a pick, said Mario from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. Some scored well, and some didn’t. The ocean was like that, too. Not much was heard about fluke from the ocean. But some talked about making a good catch, and others reported slow on the ocean. Surf-fishing for fluke was pretty good, and that seemed not just at Island Beach State Park, where the 16-inch size limit helped. Eighteen inches is the limit in most of the rest of the state. A customer beached two keepers at Lavallette two days ago on a Jetty Ghost Mullnut in white and one keeper there the next day in a Mullnet in olive, gold and white. Kingfish were yanked from the surf. Bluefish 8 to 14 pounds roamed the surf, unusual this time of year. Crabbing was good and can slow down during shedding but has been good. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Sizeable fluke 2 to 4 pounds, not a ton but some, were dragged from the surf at Island Beach State Park, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. They seemed to favor a variety of bluefish strips, dead peanut bunker or spearing with squid or squid alone on a three-way-swivel rig or on a bucktail. Whether the hook on a three-way was dressed or not didn’t matter. Sharking was “in full swing” in the surf at night, better on some nights. Fish a chunk of bunker or mullet on a strong, large hook with wire leader. Crabbing was good from the 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>

Boating for fluke wasn’t bad on Barnegat Bay at Double Creek Channel, near the research buoy between the BI and BB markers and south of the BI, said Kyle from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. Fluking was reportedly fairly good at Garden State Reef North on the ocean. The ocean near the Tires turned out fluke but not great. Plenty of sea bass gathered there. Bluefish fairly sizable, 4 to 8 pounds, a few really big, showed up in Barnegat Inlet and the surf. They were even fought at Oyster Creek from shore. Bunker chunks drew strikes there. No blowfish were heard about, though Kyle previously reported blowfish found in crab pots. A customer headed blowfishing today on the bay, and Kyle waited to hear results. Snapper blues began to be hooked from docks, and crabbing was good. Baits stocked include killies and frozen local and Canadian spearing and bunker. Clam chum is in for blowfishing. Fresh spearing are carried when suppliers begin to provide them this season. 

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Some keeper fluke and sea bass were sacked yesterday on a morning trip and an afternoon trip on the ocean on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, the party boat’s Facebook page said. The vessel is usually only fishing on one trip daily but “filled in for another boat,” it said. Trips are sailing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. Sunset cruises are running at 5:30 p.m. daily, and moonlight cruises are steaming at 8:30 p.m. August 6, 7 and 8. Watch the Atlantic City Air Show on August 23 on the water aboard, lunch included.

Barnegat Bay was warming a little, so that helped the bay’s fluke fishing somewhat, said Chris from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. Lots of shorts and a couple of keepers bit. Customers boated the fish especially at High Bar Harbor, but also at Oyster and Double Creek channels. Sizable bluefish maybe 20-some inches showed up. They were fought from the bay and especially from Barnegat Inlet’s north and south jetties. No weakfish, blowfish or other catches were heard about. The ocean was also warming a little, and fluke were decked there at the Tires. So were sea bass, more sea bass than fluke. Tuna fishing sounded off and on. Or maybe that depended on the anglers. Some good fishing for them was reported. Crabbing was good, and clamming was great. Minnows and all frozen baits are stocked. 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.


From an edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “We just got back from OC, MD, (on Tuesday for tuna and other big-game fishing) with the Hi Flier. She’s back, and we’re jumping into our home-based fishing. We did pretty good down there. We didn’t kill it, but weren’t awful. The weather allowed us to get out four days out of the 10 we were there.” Dave attached photos from the trip, including a 60-pound bluefin that was Steve Spina from Canton, Conn.’s, first-ever tuna. “(The tuna) crushed a rainbow spreader bar,” Dave wrote. “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhB5RBwXsvA" target="_blank">Here’s a few minutes of the end-game.</a>”  The photos also included: Anthony Scalea Jr. from Cranford’s mahi mahi that snatched a flat-lined cedar plug; Dave’s son Nick DeGennaro’s first wahoo, a 31-pounder that smoked a ballyhoo that he learned to rig on the ride out; and Steve Ondrof from Rockaway, N.J.’s, first billfish, a 90-plus-pound white marlin “that put on an endless show of jumps and greyhounding,” Dave wrote. “We counted eight jumps in a row on just one of his aerials. Big thanks to Darren Dorris who gratefully was on board to teach Nick how to rig Joe Shutes with ballyhoos and how to maneuver the boat and handle a marlin boat-side. I didn’t anticipate a billfish, because I had tuna on my brain when making our packing list. So I didn’t have any leader gloves. Nick volunteered the sleeves of his sweatshirt, and Darren used them as makeshift gloves to bill the fish for a few quick pics, and then we revived her until she swam away on her own. A magnificent thing to experience. Had the trip of a lifetime down there with both my boys, Nick, 18, and Max, 16, working deck, while I ran the boat. Max stuck his first fish with a gaff, the 60-pound bluefin. He also did battle with a 150-pound Southern Sting Ray that ate a chunk bait. After 30 minutes, he got him close enough for me to cut the leader at his mouth. Nick filled the void of Darren’s departure by taking over the cockpit and rigging all the baits, and they caught fish. Locally, we’re jumping right into grass shrimping and other gourmet baits for weakfish and the mixed-bag on light tackle (on Barnegat Bay). There are also blues and striped bass to catch in the inlet, throwing soft-plastic and surface lures. We’re also running offshore in search of tuna and mahi. I have availability for afternoon trips today and Friday in the bay and inlet. On Sunday and Monday, I’m available for inshore or offshore, morning and afternoon. The marine weather looks favorable, so if nobody charters those days, I’ll run open-boat trips then to the 50- to 60-mile bluefin grounds. This is mostly a trolling trip, but we’ll always be armed with jigs and casting gear in case the opportunity presents itself. Four people max, all fish are shared. Depart at 3 a.m., return 12 hours later (probably later). Everything is provided. Just bring whatever you want to eat and drink for the time we’re out.”

<b>Beach Haven</b>

A few keeper fluke and sea bass were actually slapped aboard among 50 of the fish landed Friday on the ocean on the <b>June Bug</b>, Capt. Lindsay said. Three or four keeper fluke and a few keeper sea bass were taken again Saturday aboard the ocean, also among 50 of the fish toggled in. The year’s first trip for tuna and other big game is slated for Tuesday on the boat. Heads up: Lindsay’s looking for a mate for the boat. If someone, say a young angler, wants to learn the job, Lindsay’s also willing to teach. Call him: 609-685-2839.

<b>Mystic Island</b>

Reports about summer flounder catches were intermittent from the ocean, or better catches were reported sometimes, and not good catches were reported others times, said Scott from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Okay flounder catches were sometimes plumbed from the bay in shallower water, including near the 139 marker and at Cape Horn Thorofare, Marshelder Channel on the Tuckahoe side and Main Marsh Thorofare toward Brigantine. Flies were horrendous in waters like those in the heat and no wind. Some anglers fished the ocean for flounder to escape the flies, though the ocean’s fishing was nothing great. Plenty of brown sharks and rays haunted Great Bay. Browns are required to be released, but boaters had fun sharking on the bay in evenings, and let the browns go. Sizable sand sharks usually swim the bay this season, and anglers get after them. Scott’s sells a rig and a chum ball for the bay sharking. Five spots showed up in the castnet in the lagoon behind the shop the other week. They were 3 ½ to 5 inches, perfect to liveline for flounder. Maybe spots will show up this year. Crabbing’s been stellar this year. Along any of the bridges or creeks could be crabbed, but dress appropriately. Shorts and flip-flops won’t cut it among the flies. 


<b>***Update, Friday, 7/14:***</b> The back bay’s summer flounder fishing really, really picked up for the season, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. Southerly wind upwelled and cooled the ocean close to shore, and whether that pushed additional flounder into the bay or kept the fish in the bay was unknown. But he thinks it pushed them in. Quite a few somewhat knowledgeable anglers limited out on flounder on the bay. The fishing was good from Great Bay to Atlantic City to Somers Point. Most customers stuck locally around Absecon. Lots of keepers swam. They included a quality number of 5- to 6-pounders and some 19- and 20-inchers, good-sized. A healthy population of 18- to 19-inchers were in, a good thing. Flounder were mostly hooked while boaters worked the drop-offs at edges of the Intracoastal Waterway and cuts. Divers said the ocean bottom was cold. Boaters who flounder fished there during the weekend had difficulty catching, even at popular wrecks. But maybe that will change this weekend, and anglers are likely to fish the ocean for flounder, including to escape greenheads on the bay. Reports sounded like some weakfish were moving into the bay. Some good fishing for the trout should take off when baitfish grow for the season. A good population of peanut bunker seemed to begin appearing in the bay. Quite a few spearing schooled. Cocktail bluefish 1 ½ to 2 pounds and occasionally a good bit larger chased baitfish in the bay. If birds are seen working baitfish, don’t assume only blues are on the bait, because sometimes striped bass are. Striper fishing was good along Mullica and Great Egg Harbor rivers. They had been eating shedder crabs, and so had weakfish. But crabs seemed to stop shedding at the moment, and few if any are stocked at the store. The store raises shedders and also soft-shell crabs for eating. They’ll be in on the next shed, usually happening around full and new moons. Keep up with the supply on <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/SoftshellCrabs/" target="_blank">Absecon Bay Sportsman’s Soft Shell Crabs Facebook Page</a>. The store’s minnow supply was great, and the minnows seemed to be getting bigger. Plenty of live spots are on hand and are good-sized to liveline to try for bigger flounder. Customers will buy them including for tournament fishing this weekend. White perch fishing was terrific in the mouth of Mullica River. They’re working up and down the river and are also up side creeks, including way up Absecon Creek that runs past the store. So they’ve also got to be at places like that at creeks like Motts and Nacote. The perch like shedder crabs, too. In the surf, kingfishing was about the best Dave’s seen since he’s been in the tackle business. Bloodworms pretty much needed to be fished for them. The kings will hit other baits like clams. But bloods are rather necessary, and are selling quickly, but plenty are stocked. Crabbing was great and seemed to keep improving.


<b>***Update, Friday, 7/14:***</b> In Brigantine’s surf, kingfish schooled all over, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. One customer had just beached 22. Kings were all drilled on bloodworms. Brown sharks were in, getting beached on kingfish heads. Release the sharks, according to law. Fresh kingfish heads are stocked, and so are bloodworms, for that matter. A butterfly ray with a 64-inch wingspan was subdued from the surf on the island’s north end at night. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/CaptAndy911/photos/pb.63681841626.-2207520000.1500050444./10154465927126627/?type=3&theater" target="_blank">Take a look</a>. Holy mackerel. In the back bay, summer flounder fishing was definitely picking up. Fish from 1 ½ hours before the tops of tides to 1 ½ after. Minnows, favorite flounder bait, are on hand. Know what’s also carried at the shop, like usual? <a href="http://6abc.com/archive/8422000/" target="_blank"><b><i>Stock’s famous pound cake</b></i></a>!

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Many kingfish were nabbed in the surf near Absecon Inlet and in the inlet, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Dunk bloodworms for them, and good-sized summer flounder were eased from the same waters. Cast minnows for them, and the Atlantic City Press showed that local waters were 63 degrees, while other waters were warmer along the coast. That’s why good-sized flounder swam the area, Noel wrote on the store’s Facebook page. One blackfish per angler can be kept beginning Monday, after blackfishing’s been closed, and people who scouted the fishing hooked and released the tautog along the inlet. The fish were there, and fish green crabs for them. The crabs are stocked, and so are all baits, including bloodworms. Brown sharks that must be let go were fought and released in the area. Some were awfully large, and check out this brown. Whoa.  Lots of peanut bunker schooled the water. Customers fish the nearby, jetty-lined inlet on foot. The store’s Trash for Treasure Tournament is underway till Saturday 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 fishing for summer flounder wasn’t bad, said Capt. John from the party boat <b>Keeper</b>. Lots of throwbacks still bit, and a few keepers were drummed up. The number of keepers dropped off a bit, but the fishing, again, wasn’t bad, and plugged along. The water had become warm, and was 80 degrees Tuesday, but cooled again Wednesday, “way down,” he said. That could help. The flounder were hooked on minnows and spearing provided aboard and Gulps anglers brought. They bit it all, and sea robins and sharks also hit. Baitfish schooled everywhere including peanut bunker and silversides. The peanuts were too small to liveline for bait, but when they grow large enough this season, John nets them to keep aboard for fishing. Baitfish schools were even seen in deep water, not only in the shallows next to shore. Massive schools will be seen soon. Trips are 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 <b>Stray Cat</b> ran into snapper blues, Spanish mackerel and mahi mahi on the ocean while returning from fishing aboard this morning, Capt. Mike said. That just broke wide open, he said. “All kind of stuff,” he said, and trips troll for them aboard this time of year. Previously, he saw false albacore, bonito and a few snappers at Atlantic City Ridge, and said triggerfish held along buoys, so the water, 73 degrees, was just getting right for southern fish like these.  Lots of sea bass – lots! an impressive number – bit 8 to 15 miles from shore during fishing aboard this week. Summer flounder fishing there was slow, but that seemed only because conditions failed to drift the boat well. The bottom had been cold but is warming. The anchor line felt warm. Charters and open-boat trips are running for all of this fishing. Lots of kingfish schooled near shore. No croakers did, but the water temperature was almost right for them to draw in. Twelve-hour charters are fishing for mahi mahi and wahoos along the 30-fathom line. Charters are also tuna fishing, and some open-boat trips will tuna fish later this summer. Telephone if interested. Yellowfin tuna swam Wilmington Canyon. A few bluefin tuna held inshore, like at the offshore edge of the Elephant Trunk.

<b>Ocean City</b>

A summer pick definitely began for flounder on the back bay, said Pat from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. A high ratio of the fluke were throwbacks, and customers always stop in with 4- or 5-pounders, but most keepers were smaller, just making the 18-inch minimum size. Flounder gathered mostly toward both inlets along the island. But the fish were also rustled from off Anchorage Point and at Ships Channel. Small striped bass, tons, gathered in the bay under lights at night, smashing soft-plastic and hard lures. In the surf, kingfishing was very good. Some surf casters fought and released sizable brown sharks, a species required to be let go. The sharks could be hooked in evenings or at night on bunker, mackerel or fresh kingfish. Yellowfin tuna fishing was decent, at least last week at Spencer and Baltimore canyons. Yellowfin fishing seemed to slow a bit currently. Bluefin tuna began to be caught inshore like at the Lobster Claw and the Hot Dog. Most seemed trolled, but some were chunked that were heard about. Tuna at the canyons were all trolled. Crabbing was okay and seemed to slow somewhat because of shedding around the full moon around the weekend. But crabbing began to pick back up and will probably be good the next couple of weeks.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Four yellowfin tuna to 60 pounds and three mahi mahi were trolled at Wilmington Canyon aboard Monday, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The water, okay-looking, not super blue, not marlin water, was 77 degrees and became 73 when 100 fathoms was crossed. Dolphins, whales and turtles were seen. A trip Wednesday with two anglers tackled and released at least a dozen spinner, dusky and brown sharks. One of the spinners was easily 100 pounds, and a dusky heavier than 150 broke off. The fishing was very good, and this was one of the inshore shark trips aboard that usually fish within 10 miles from shore. The trips release the catches, and some of the sharks are required to be let go. The angling is a chance to fight a big catch without running offshore. Bait or flies – chum flies – are fished. The back bay’s summer flounder fishing’s been good. Lots of the fish have been throwbacks, but a few have been keepers, and it’s been good. High tides in evenings, ideal for striped bass fishing on the back bay with popper lures and flies, will next happen next week. The tides come around every two weeks, and the angling’s been on, on the boat. Jersey Cape is fishing for all of these catches. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

Summer flounder fishing slowed a little, said Luc from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. A few were bagged in the back waters off Strathmere. A trip today totaled 25 throwbacks, no keepers, in back waters. A few were bagged at ocean reefs, but the fishing was slow there. Also in back waters or the back bay, small sea bass and small sand sharks bit. Small pieces of Fishbites artificial worms on kingfish rigs could hook them well. A few striped bass were angled on the bay on small popper plugs on the full moon’s high tides. Surf anglers bailed lots of kingfish and, at night, sharks including browns. Browns are required to be released, and boating for sharks on the ocean was phenomenal for browns, duskies and scattered hammerheads from close to shore to 20 miles out. Duskies must also be let go by law. The boating hooked sharks on bait like mackerel fillets in a chum slick.  Luc joined a trip with Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service on Monday that trolled four yellowfin tuna and three mahi mahi at Wilmington Canyon. Crabbing was excellent, and picked through undersized crabs and pregnant females, but trapped keepers and gave up plenty of action.


Lots of summer flounder were hooked from the back bay, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. Many were throwbacks 17 and 17 ½ inches, and that’s a big flounder. But flounder were getting boated – the fishing’s been strong, he said. They mostly came from north of the train trestle, and were also found at the end of the stakes around the 454 and 455 buoys. Baby sea bass were around. A few small striped bass, not a lot, bit. Stripers gathered under lights in the canal at night, and aren’t often hooked. But a keeper is landed once in a blue moon. Crabbing was becoming better and has been stronger than in some time. Crabs were abundantly shedding around the full moon at the beginning of the week, and that slows crabbing a moment, but not long. Catches improved much in the last couple of days. Been a good season for crabbing, and the blueclaws are found in the channel at low tide. On high tide, they skitter out of the channel, venture out and feed. 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 is stocked, including plenty of minnows for flounder. Fishing and crabbing tackle and gear is also on hand. Live crabs for eating are $20, $25, $30 and $35 per dozen for four different sizes, from small to large, respectively. The price depends on the market. Cooked crabs are $5 per dozen additional. Those are New Jersey crabs, and arrive almost daily at the shop. The store also brings in crabs from Maryland about three times a week as a backup, in case Jersey crabs become scarce. The Maryland crabs are No. 1’s, the biggest size, and are $45 per dozen for the biggest No. 1’s and $40 for a smaller size of 1’s. Live and steamed clams and cooked and uncooked shrimp are on hand. 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>

Tuna trips fished lately aboard, at the canyons on the troll, and the angling was okay, said Capt. Tom from <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>. Catches were kind of tough during the recent full moon, but went pretty well aboard. A fair number of 45- to 60-pound yellowfin tuna and a few mahi mahi were bagged. The fishing on the boat had a few shots at white marlin, and had another blue marlin jump into the spread. A previous trip went 1 for 2 on blues, landing a 400-pounder, covered in a previous report here. Inshore tuna fishing sounded like it began to produce, mostly on chunks and jigs. A couple of friends lit into them. Closer to shore, summer flounder fishing was a little tough on the ocean in cold water from southerly wind. But water should be warming, and lots of flounder trips are coming up aboard. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing for tuna or flounder.

A few days fished decent, giving up a few summer flounder, on the ocean on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. He didn’t want to sugar coat, and the fishing was slow overall, but a few anglers limited out and a couple of sizable fluke were grabbed sometimes. Not many keepers bit Wednesday. But Mike Halfhill from Prestonberg, Ky., hung a 4-1/2- or 5-pound 25-incher on the trip.  “He had the right set up,” Paul said, and hooked the fish on a strip of bait on a rig. Halfhill also fished a bucktail on the trip.  Tuesday’s trip’s fishing was decent, and a couple of anglers limited out: Carl Davis from Turnersville and Jim Lewberger from Cleveland, Ohio. He fished with a rental rod, and also fished the day before aboard, only landing throwbacks. Bob Brett from Cape May Court House hung a 7-pounder Thursday and limited. Capt. Paul didn’t want to say the fishing was good, but some decent-sized flounder were around, and he hopes the fishing picks up. Maybe waters will warm, causing flounder in back bays to depart for the ocean’s cooler water. Trips are flounder fishing at 8 a.m. every day. If people want to try their luck, we’re going, Paul said. 

Kingfish and croakers, pretty good catches, were bloodwormed from the surf on the ocean and Delaware Bay, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Weakfish began to be banked from the surf at both places again, after fishing for them had become slower a moment. Weaks were boated in the Cape May Rips. A mix of kings, croakers, weaks and a few summer flounder were boated off Cape May Point, like usual in summer. Flounder fishing began to pick up on the ocean. Trips began to return with decent catches from the reefs there. Flounder kept biting in the back bay and other back waters. A 5-3/4-pounder was checked-in from Cape May Canal. Nothing was heard about flounder from Delaware Bay. Good weakfishing was socked on the bay at 20-Foot Slough. Boaters also fished for brown and dusky sharks, both required to be released, on the bay. Tuna seemed to be trolled from offshore canyons. They had been located between Wilmington and Spencer canyons. Mahi mahi were mixed in. Tuna were also hooked inshore. Crabbing’s been excellent. Baits stocked include jumbo and regular-sized bloodworms, minnows and all offshore baits like flats of sardines and butterfish.

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