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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 7-6-17


Many dogfish bit in Raritan Bay and the Arthur Kill, said Rich from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. He never saw dogs in the Arthur Kill before. A fluke tournament was held at the shop Sunday, and the first-place fluke weighed 5 pounds 6 ounces, and second-place weighed 1 ounce less. Then a customer docked a 6-pound 8-ounce fluke the next day. Off Coney Island was the hot spot for fluke. The fish also came from Princes Bay, the Keyport Flats and near the Ammo Pier. Bluefish sometimes still popped up in the bay, because bait was around to hold them. Nothing was heard about striped bass anymore this season. Killies and fresh clams are stocked. Fresh bunker are stocked daily, and all frozen baits are on hand like sand eels and the different squids. 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 on the ocean was tough during the weekend, said Capt. Mario from the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>. The high hook aboard pulled in three keepers, and open-boat trips are fishing for fluke daily on the Down Deep Bull. On the Down Deep, the company’s other vessel, fishing for ling and winter flounder was good. That boat is fishing for them on open trips daily. Charters are available in the a.m. and p.m., and each boat accommodates 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.

Fluking remained a challenge, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. On some days, the keeper ratio was good. On others, the ratio wasn’t, but action was good. On others, the fishing was just tough. When trips fished rough bottom, a good mix of sea bass also bit, but weights and bucktails were often lost. “Everything is a tradeoff, I guess,” he wrote.  The water surface was 70 degrees, but the bottom was much colder. Space is left for an open-boat trip Friday, and telephone to reserve.


Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> sailed for bluefin tuna mid-range on the Fourth of July, he said. He caught none, first fishing a place where none showed up. Then he heard about catches, but by the time he reached there, the bite ended. The fish were trolled in early morning on ballyhoos. Fluke fishing sounded slow on Raritan Bay that day. A couple of boats from the marina reeled in no keepers on the Fourth. The day before also sounded slow.

<b>Atlantic Highlands<b>

Much better action on Wednesday’s fluke trip on a decent drift of the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Plenty of shorts and some keepers to the 5-pound pool-winner were slung in. The high hook landed three good-sized keepers and some sea bass. Most anglers left with dinner for a change, it said, and some good-sized sea bass were in the mix on the trip. Bait caught fluke best, and small Spros also worked. 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.

Fluking was about the same as before, said Capt. Tom from the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>. Trips aboard, fishing Sandy Hook Bay and Flynn’s Knoll, tugged in a few shorts and occasional keepers. Nothing was heard about better fluking on the ocean or elsewhere. Local boats were seen running this way and that. At least the boat had the bay to fish, so could duck out of weather that affected elsewhere. Customers seemed to have a good time, and the crew was great, helping them and kids. So customers would jump aboard, enjoy the time on the water, and hopefully get fish. And Tom hopes the angling picks up. No matter whether the trips fished different parts of the bay or Flynn’s, the fishing seemed the same. Some trips aboard fished better than others. The boat is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Raritan Bay and Shrewsbury River were full of bunker, but no fish were on them, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. The bay’s fluke fishing was slow, and so was the ocean’s in past days. But a couple of anglers grabbed fluke from the river. Big rays like 40 pounds were seen at Keansburg Pier. Crabs were beginning to be trapped, and customers bought lots of supplies for that. Killies and all baits are stocked.

Rental boaters from the store pasted fluke from the bay a little better than before, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Rain kept them from fishing today, but three of the boats sailed each of the past three days, and each pumped in a couple of keepers and eight to 13 throwbacks. On party boats that fluked, the keeper ratio wasn’t great, but there was some action with a few and throwbacks. Charter boats and private boats might’ve fared somewhat better. Customers began to buy clams in case fluke trips fished where sea bass also swam, since two sea bass per angler could be kept beginning Saturday, after sea bass season was closed previously. Clams are a bait for sea bass. Bait stocked also includes killies, all frozen for inshore, and all frozen for offshore. Offshore anglers locked into good bluefin tuna fishing at times.


Greg and Anne Hanna, sailing from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, yesterday boated a 5-1/2-pound 24-inch fluke and a 5-pound 23-1/2-incher near the Ammo Pier on Gulps and squid, Marion wrote in an email. On Monday Jay, Tracy and Gina boated three fluke to 21 inches off Monmouth Beach on killies and squid.  On Friday Jay, Tracy and Johnny bagged two fluke 18 and 22 inches at the Tin Can Grounds on killies and Spros. 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.


Space is available for individual-reservation trips for inshore wreck-fishing Monday and July 17 and cod Wednesday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Last Lady is one of the only boats that fishes for cod in summer from New Jersey, and has been doing that annually for years. Annual, individual-reservation trips for fluke and sea bass, sailing every Tuesday, will begin next week. Kids under 12 sail free on those outings, limited to one per adult host. Charters are available daily.


Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> sailed on a shark trip, but the water was too warm at 71.4 degrees, and was green and terrible-looking, he said. Only two runoffs were scored, and the water held no life, except at the first spot, where lots of life was, including tinker mackerel and bluefish. One runoff happened there. The other two spots held no life. A trip for fluke and sea bass on the ocean was maybe going to sail today. More of the trips are set for Friday and Sunday.

Cold water slowed fishing last week, said Jessie from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b>. That was because of southerly wind, but wind switched to east this week, and that warms water, and Shark River’s fluke catches improved. The shop’s rental boats are available to fluke the river. Fluking on party boats produced some limits on the ocean. Bluefishing on party boats nabbed 1-1/2 or 2-pounders on the ocean and was kind of slow. No striped bass were weighed-in in a couple of days. Previously, striper fishing was pretty good in the surf a couple of days and in Point Pleasant Canal. Some keepers were clubbed from Shark River a couple of days, previously.  

Bluefishing was slow in past days on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. None was hooked on today’s trip, but a large area of the fish appeared to the north. They splashed around but disappeared after an hour. The trip switched to sea bass fishing and limited out on them. Anglers were disappointed about the blues, but had a good time. The boat’s been switching to sea bass on trips, and the angling’s been good, and sometimes fluke have been mixed in. Trips are sailing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Fishing and sunset cruises are running 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

Anglers on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b> today “ended up” tying into great fishing for sea bass and ling, an email from the party boat said. The boat usually bluefishes this time of year, and apparently switched to sea bass and ling on the outing. Yesterday afternoon’s trip lit into great sea bass fishing. Mostly throwbacks bit, but a good catch was gathered by the end, and a few people limited out. A couple of dozen ling and a few fluke were bagged. Trips are sailing 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.


Ocean fluke fishing was terrible, said Dave from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Maybe that was because of inconsistent bottom temperatures, because he thinks the fish are there. But they seem not to eat when the temperature fluctuates that much. The water seemed to be warming a bit currently in east wind, after south wind that cools the water close to shore because of upwelling. Manasquan River’s fluking wasn’t so good, and the reason was unapparent. The angling was better two weeks ago. Bottom-fishing was good on the ocean, though, especially for ling. Ling, sea bass, winter flounder and occasional cod and pollock were cranked up on the trips. Practically no bluefish swam the ocean locally. Bluefin tuna fishing was pretty good, and a few yellowfin tuna were mixed in. This was at the Chicken Canyon, the Bacardi wreck, the Triple Wrecks and the whole area. How big? Dave was asked. Eric from the shop and a friend boated a 110-pound bluefin, he answered, and the bluefins ranged from 30 and 40 pounds to heavier than 200. The yellowfins weighed 30 or 40 pounds. The tuna were trolled on spreader bars, ballyhoos and daisy chains with ballys. When the tuna popped up along the surface, anglers cast stick baits to them including Shimano Orcas and Coltsnipers, and also popper lures. Dave was unaware whether tuna were boated at Hudson Canyon, and many locals who fished canyons ran south. 

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Some nice yellowfin tuna and blueline tilefish were cracked on a trip with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>, Mushin’s Facebook page said Monday. See a photo. Mushin is fishing from Cape May through the month to take advantage of tuna fishing that’s been good from there in recent years this time of year. Charters and a limited number of open-boat trips are sailing.

On the <b>Gambler</b>, fishing was decent for fluke and sea bass Saturday on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. A fluke just under 6 pounds won the pool, and the fishing aboard Sunday was a bit slower and Monday was okay. Fluke to 4 pounds and sea bass to 3 pounds were shoveled in during those days. Hake, sea robins and sand sharks were mixed in. 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. Those trips were supposed to begin during the past couple of weeks but were apparently weathered out.  Check out <a href="" target="_blank">Shark in the Dark Trips</a> that will sail 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Sunday and July 16, limited to 25 anglers per trip, reservations required. Sign up soon.

Trips picked away at fluke when conditions were right on the ocean during the weekend on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. South wind had cooled the water, and the water became warmer on Sunday. Fluke and sea bass were angled that day aboard. On Saturday night’s trip, bluefishing was slow. Lots of blues were reported swimming far offshore, and the crew hopes they’ll push inshore soon. On Sunday’s trip, ling fishing was decent, and all anglers left with the fish. Trips are fluking 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily, bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday and ling fishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Sunday.

Since two sea bass could be kept per angler beginning Saturday, trips usually limited out on them quickly and then sailed deeper and fished for good catches of ling and winter flounder on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b> on the ocean, Capt. Butch said. The fishing was good on a couple of days and slower on a couple, but was pretty decent. Average anglers bagged 10 to 20 fish apiece, and better anglers bagged up to 30. Some were able to limit on sea bass and two flounder and throw in 16 or 20 ling and hang a nice catch. A few fluke, not a lot, but a couple of dozen per day were even bagged on a couple of days. Trips fished for sea bass in 60 to 80 feet of water and for ling and flounder in 130 to 230. The water was 60 degrees to the mid-60s on the fishing grounds, and was 53 a few days last week. The boat is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Nighttime trips will also bluefish later this season if blues show up. Butch heard about no catches of blues and saw no blues. A few tiny bonito were hooked aboard yesterday.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

The <b>Tin Knocker</b> will probably fish for bluefin tuna this weekend, Capt. John said. Six yellowfin tuna were trolled and a small bluefin was released farther from shore at Toms Canyon on Monday aboard, covered in the previous report here.

<b>Toms River</b>

Barnegat Bay’s fluking was alright, said Mario from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. Keepers were hooked here and there, and a buddy was scoring well. The angling depended on tide, and outgoing fished best at certain places, but best tide was different for different spots. The fish were found near the BI and BB markers and the 40, and behind Barnegat Lighthouse, at the turn, where boaters drifted off the sand bar. How ocean fluking was depended on who reported. Some reported catching well, and others didn’t. Mario would say the fishing was a pick, and the water was still cold.  Small snapper blues schooled Toms River and lagoons. Small peanut bunker and spearing appeared in those waters. Anglers castnetted the peanuts. Crabbing was great on both sides of the river and at Good Luck Point. Not a lot was reported from the surf, except small blues sometimes and, at night, sharks that were hooked on mullet or bunker. But fluke fishing was good in the surf, if anglers targeted them, hitting holes, moving, especially at Island Beach State Park, because of the park’s 16-inch minimum size, compared with 18 in most of the rest of the state. Bucktails with Gulps and a teaser could be fished for them. Two-ounce Jetty Ghost Mullnuts, a jig, worked well on the fluke from the beach. Those will also catch blues or stripers, if those fish are around. Mario lands the blues and stripers on the Mullnut on a medium retrieve.  Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

With the holiday weekend past, it was time to see what fishing would be like going forward, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Small bluefish moved along the surf, like usual this time of season, mostly swiping cut baits. Fluke appeared and disappeared in cuts in the surf, pouncing on bucktails “and all sorts of strip and live bait combos,” it said. More and more sharks chewed in the surf at night. Tie on a large hook on heavy wire, and fish a whole or half, dead, large baitfish. Barnegat Bay’s crabbing remained good.  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>

For fluke anglers on Barnegat Bay, catches weren’t bad, said Kyle from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. More reports about fluke rolled in from the bay than the ocean. On the bay, they came from Double Creek Channel and the research buoy. That’s between the BI and BB markers. A couple of sizable were seen from Garden State Reef North on the ocean. The Tires were also fished for fluke, and also sea bass, on the ocean. No bluefish were really heard about from the bay or anywhere. No weakfish were mentioned from the bay. Crabbers found blowfish in traps, but none was reported on hook and line yet from the bay. Tuna were reported from inshore or mid-range. Sharking was okay in those areas. Baits stocked include killies and frozen including local and Canadian spearing. Fresh, local spearing will probably be carried soon. The supplier began trying for them, only netting a few. The baitfish grow quickly and become net-able soon.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Wind direction changed this week, and fishing for fluke and sea bass on the ocean rebounded well on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, a report said yesterday on the party boat’s website. More keepers of both were slapped aboard, and the wind had been southerly that cools the ocean near shore because of upwelling. The direction changed to easterly that warms the water, and trips are fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.

Lot of short fluke, a keeper here and there, were boated at Double Creek Channel and High Bar Harbor, said Rob from <b>Van’s Boat Rentals</b>. Better catches of fluke, more keepers, were decked from the ocean in 40 to 50 feet of water, sometimes at structure, sometimes at open bottom. Not many bluefish and striped bass seemed around. Not many crabs were trapped locally yet. Crabbing can begin later in the season on this ocean side of the bay than along the mainland, because of cooler water from the ocean. Minnows, fresh clams and all frozen baits are stocked. Van’s rents boats from 9 h.p. to 50 h.p. for fishing, crabbing and pleasure and rents kayaks. Facilities include a bait and tackle shop and a marina with slips, gas and full boat servicing. 

A boater stopped by today who’d just latched into jumbo bluefish to 10 pounds on the ocean just off Barnegat Inlet, said Al from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. That seemed unusual, and ocean fluke fishing was kind of slow. Fluke were toggled in from the channels near the inlet to the Intracoastal Waterway nearby on Barnegat Bay. The bay’s crabbing began to improve, and its clamming was excellent and seems never to let up. Minnows and the full supply of frozen baits is 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.

<b>Beach Haven</b>

Four trips fished for fluke and sea bass on the ocean during the holiday weekend through Tuesday on the <b>June Bug</b>, Capt. Lindsay said. Quite a few throwbacks were angled, but Tuesday’s trip scored better, barreling up some keepers of both fish to a 22-inch fluke. The trips fished at Little Egg Reef and once at Atlantic City Reef, and found the best fishing, on Tuesday, between the reefs. In other news, a fair number of tuna were taken offshore on other boats, and Lindsay heard about no billfish yet. He’s trying to book tuna trips in the next 10 days, and a number of the trips are filling the schedule toward the end of the month.

<b>Mystic Island</b>

The ocean’s cold water seemed to shove summer flounder to the back of the bay in shallows for warmth, said Brandon from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. That’s where flounder were angled more than elsewhere in the bay. Around the inlet wasn’t a place to look so much. But the ocean’s flounder fishing began to improve at Garden State reefs north and south and Little Egg Reef. Nothing crazy, but some catches, including some better-sized than in the bay. A 6-pound 24-1/2-incher was biggest known about at the shop. Spotty reports began about kingfish and blowfish nipped in the bay. Brandon caught five spots while castnetting the lagoon behind the store. If spots arrived there, they might be swimming the bay. Fishing the bay for a variety of panfish including kings, blowfish, spots, baby sea bass and snapper blues can develop in the bay in summer.  Bloodworms are a bait fished for them. Not much was heard about white perch from Mullica River. But the fish probably swam the river or tributaries. They swam lagoons, and one customer hooked a dozen, and another caught only crabs who tried for the perch at a lagoon. Unusually, one angler ran across big bluefish to 10 pounds on the river at Deep Point. Blues that size can be common in spring. Much bait was sold for tuna fishing, and trips must’ve been into the fish. Crabbing was tremendous, and a large amount of bunker were sold for that. Baits stocked also included plenty of minnows and a few fresh, shucked clams. Bloodworms were supposed to arrive today or Friday, and live grass shrimp sold out.


Looks like the back bay’s summer flounder fishing picked up reasonably, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. He got to fish for them today, after being tied up with the soft-shell crabs and shedder crabs the shop raises. He fished on the trip with Bo Higbee, taping a segment of Higbee’s television show Fishing the East. The fishing took a moment to get going, and they arrived a little late on the tide. But they each limited out on three, not giant but up to 20 inches, mostly on Gulps with minnows. But Higbee went “old school” and also caught on minnow with squid. Anglers during the weekend who fished hard boated limits of flounder on the bay. A few 4- and 5-pounders are stalking the bay. No confirmed reports were heard about flounder from the ocean, but reportedly some trips caught, and some didn’t. The ocean warmed the past couple of days in east wind, after upwelling near the coast because of south wind chilled the water. Water at Brigantine Bridge at the top of the tide today was 67 degrees, a more normal temperature. Kingfish apparently bit in the surf, and lots of bloodworms were sold for them. A few striped bass were reeled in around Absecon Inlet and on Mullica and Great Egg Harbor rivers. A fairly good number of white perch schooled the rivers and even Absecon Creek. They were an option for anglers to catch.  Many anglers looked for shedder crabs to buy for bait, but none was available. A few arrived today, and shedders and soft-shells for eating might become abundant again on the full moon that was about to happen. Keep up with the supply the shop raises on <a href="" target="_blank">Absecon Bay Sportsman’s Soft Shell Crabs Facebook Page</a>. Live spots 4 and 5 inches were just stocked and are perfect for bait for flounder, weakfish and any size of striper. Dave wasn’t asked where the spots were from, but they were from out of state, probably Maryland, because he said no spots arrived in local waters. He stocks local spots when they’re in. He also begins to carry live peanut bunker and mullet when those baitfish grow large enough and become abundant locally later in summer.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Customers did a number on kingfish in the surf near Absecon Inlet and in the inlet itself, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. They fish the nearby inlet on foot and dunked bloodworms for the kings. They also rustled up summer flounder from the same places sometimes, on minnows. Brown sharks, required to be released, were fought from the surf at times, and were big, too. Cut bait including fresh bunker and frozen mackerel hooked them. All these baits and more, plenty, are 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.


Good kingfishing was mugged from the surf, said John from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Bloodworms and Fishbites artificial worms nabbed them, and the water was cold for Fishbites to work, but the kings began to jump on the artificials more and more. Baits stocked include the bloods, and brown and tiger sharks, both required to be released, were fought from the surf at moments. Frozen kingfish heads, mackerel and bunker are carried for bait for them. Summer flounder were plumbed from the back bay.


Not that bad, Capt. John from the party boat <b>Keeper</b> said about summer flounder fishing on the back bay aboard. He was happy with the fishing and hopes it holds up. Lots more were hooked than last year, an off year for the fishing. The previous year was off, too, though both years still produced. Currently, throwbacks and a few keepers bit, like usual. The water was cool, and John hopes it stays that way, because cool water is clear. When water’s clear, flounder bite, and vice versa. Anglers aboard all seemed to enjoy themselves. All were catching, and kids were also jumping aboard and seemed to have a good time. Not much else hit besides flounder, except sea robins and sharks. Mornings fished better than afternoons, but not because of tide. Tide was low yesterday morning, and the morning still fished best. Wind usually blows up in afternoons this time of year. The flounder pounced on minnows and mackerel supplied aboard, and on Gulps anglers brought. 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.


Four yellowfin tuna were whacked and two got off on a trip Wednesday at Wilmington Canyon on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. A couple of the tuna weighed 50 and 60 pounds that were landed, and one that got off was large, more than 100 pounds. Swam to bottom and wouldn’t budge. Tuna are in, if anglers want to go. How long the fishing will last is never known, and 12-hour trips are fishing for them aboard. This trip fished 6 hours and traveled the rest of the time. The trip trolled Joe Shutes and big Cyclone feathers. Black and purple cleaned up on the catches, were hot. A few wahoos were heard to be caught inshore at the Cigar and elsewhere just beyond the 40-fathom line. Space is available on open-boat trips for fluke and sea bass on the ocean Friday, Tuesday and next Thursday at deep-water wrecks.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Summer flounder fishing improved a little in past days, mostly in the back bay, because water warmed, said Bill from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Many were throwbacks, and a few flounder were even slid from the surf.  Kingfishing was pretty good in the surf, mostly on bloodworms, not many on Fishbites artificial worms, because of the low water temperature. Nothing was heard about flounder from ocean reefs, or news became quiet from there, once the water became cold. The temperature really tumbled. Striped bass, mostly small, were angled in the surf and along bridges at night. A few were 30-inch keepers, mostly from the surf. Out-of-season blackfish seemed to begin biting along bridges in the colder water. Small, football yellowfin tuna were boated to the north from Spencer to Carteret canyons, almost all on the troll, a few on jigs. Everybody worked through them to try to find bigger. A couple of boaters still shark fished on the ocean, reeling in mostly blue sharks. No makos were heard about in a couple of weeks. No sharks were really beached from the surf because of cold water. Sand sharks and skates were hooked in the water.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

A good number of kingfish were plucked from the surf, said Luc from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Kings were also boated at Avalon Shoal and Sea Isle Lump. Not many sharks stalked the surf, and they seemed to depart for warmer water, because the surf became cold recently. An angler this morning reported reeling up 25 summer flounder including a limit of three at Flat Creek. A few small sea bass and random sandsharks swam the back bay. A trip at Lindenkohl Canyon offshore went 10 for 11 on yellowfin tuna. Other anglers on a trip sailed there the next day and only caught one, and that was barely keeper-sized. Tuna fishing seemed really on and off. Crabbing was very good.


From <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b>, Capt. Jim ran a trip to Delaware Bay for summer flounder, launching the boat at Reed’s Beach, earlier this week, he said. He’d heard nothing about flounder fishing there, but scoped it out, and the angling was no good, totaling six flounder, none larger than 12 inches. The trip covered much distance, fishing many of the bay’s popular spots. The boat was motored to Miah Maull, 18 miles away. A couple of rips inshore of there were fished. So were the stakes near Fortescue. Working back south, the trip also fished near the No. 1 buoy and, farther south, near the 19 buoy that’s near 14-Foot Light. Both the New Jersey and Delaware sides of the bay were fished there. The trip also fished near Bug light, toward Reed’s on the Jersey side. A good-sized fleet fished the stakes near Fortescue. He saw the Fortescue boats Bonanza and Miss Fortescue near Fortescue. A few boats fished near the No. 1 buoy. Jim heard that weakfish bit near the 1 during the trip, but didn’t fish for them, because of the one-weakfish bag limit. Jim on a hook tossed a bunker snagged on the trip into the water to try for a shark near the 1. A 6-foot shark 70 or 80 pounds was caught and released. That was enjoyable. The bay was 82 degrees, and Jim was surprised by the lack of flounder, and many of the fish carpeted the bay in years past this time of year. He expected better on the trip, including because black drum fishing seemed decent on the bay earlier this year. John at Big John’s tackle shop at the marina said a load of huge bluefish filled the bay this spring, though many anglers might be unaware. The blues might’ve also suggested flounder fishing should be good. Jim also fished the back bay lately for flounder, and more bit there. Those fish seemed to gather in creeks for warm water when the ocean pushed-in cold water recently. The fish seemed not to bite at places like Paddy’s Hole, and the creeks yesterday were 75 to 76 degrees. The ocean had been 64 or 66 degrees. Jim also walked the surf, and anglers banked kingfish, though small, there. One angler who fishes daily had 18 that day. Surf casters who fished large chunks of bunker dragged in sharks they released.  Guests stayed at Jim’s <a href="" target="_blank">lodge near Salmon River</a> in upstate New York this past 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.


Weather was often windy this week, but yesterday a couple of summer flounder were brought from the back bay to <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>, and so were crabs, Mike said. “So, it’s starting to pick up again,” he said, and the flounder fishing’s been pretty good. Crabs were beginning to shed around the moon that was about to be full, slowing crabbing somewhat. Mike saw none of the baby sea bass yet that appear in the bay in summer, but the season was a little early, and he heard about a few. 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. Crabs for eating are $15, $20, $25 and $30 per dozen for four different sizes, from small to large, respectively. The price depends on the market. 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. 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>

A trip nailed three yellowfin tuna 50 to 80 pounds and went 1 for 2 on blue marlin, releasing a 400-pounder, at Wilmington Canyon on Wednesday with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Tom said. A trip Monday at the Wilmington aboard beat three yellowfins to 65 pounds and a 22-pound mahi mahi. All the fish were trolled on the trips, and tuna also swam the inshore spots that boats fish to the south of Cape May this time of year. Scattered pockets seemed to swim everywhere, and trips just had to put in time, find the fish and work a pod. Fishin’ Fever sailed on a couple of summer flounder trips on the ocean, and the angling was a grind but eased in six to 10 keepers apiece, if he remembered. The fishing, he said, will turn around in east wind now, for sure. South wind chilled the water previously.

Charters fished for summer flounder on the ocean, mostly at Cape May and Wildwood reefs, sometimes at small snags not far from the inlet, on the <b>Prime Time II</b>, Capt. Steve said. The fish gave up a steady pick, including keepers on every trip, but anglers had to work for keepers. The water had been cold because of south wind. Sometimes sea bass were hooked, but sea bass weren’t targeted. An angler from the marina’s trip landed three smaller yellowfin tuna and a mahi mahi at Wilmington Canyon on Monday. Steve heard that tuna were caught at canyons but not as many at inshore spots, or they seemed scattered inshore.

Anglers fished inshore at the Hot Dog for tuna on a trip on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, but only one tuna was hooked and lost, Capt. George said. The angler got excited and threw the reel into free spool, the line bird-nested and the fish broke off. Tuna were there, but anglers needed to capitalize. On private boats during the fishing, one landed three, and another caught one. Tuna fishing at the canyons farther offshore sounded slow the last few days. Nothing great, lots of small tuna. But maybe a bite will take off at either place this weekend.

Not a lot of summer flounder bit in the ocean, but one or two anglers seemed to limit out on the fluke per day aboard, said Capt. Paul from the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>. Some days fished better than others, and Monday produced pretty good numbers of the fish on the boat. Jason Wresenski from Del Haven won the pool with a 7-1/2-pounder that day. That was the week’s biggest aboard and his only keeper on the outing. On Sunday’s trip Pat McCarthy from Pittsgrove limited on flounder to a 5-1/2-pounder, winning the pool with the fish. Also that day, Al Bednarik and Sean Pottichen, both from Philadelphia, limited. But not many flounder were bagged that day, Sunday. Not a lot of fish lately, but get a hot hand, and the angler makes it look good, Paul said! Greg Hucklebridge from Yardley limited on the flatfish to a 4-pounder Wednesday. Maybe one or two sea bass were mixed in per day, since two per angler could be kept beginning Saturday. Maybe Paul didn’t fish where more sea bass would be. The ocean’s surface close to shore was frigid for summer but farther from shore was not. The surface near the inlet was 61 degrees Tuesday, and Paul didn’t check Wednesday, because he concentrated on navigation in fog that the cool water caused.  The surface farther from shore was 70 degrees that afternoon. Trips are fishing for flounder at 8 a.m. daily.

Some summer flounder were bagged from the back bay and ocean reefs including Wildwood Reef and Reef 11, said Joe from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Nothing was heard about flounder from Delaware Bay, except a buddy hooked throwback flounder from the bay at a reef on the Delaware side while the boat drifted. But he began to catch weakfish there, so he anchored and landed very good weakfishing for spikes to 24- or 26-inchers. In the surf in both the ocean and Delaware Bay, kingfish, spike weaks and brown sharks hit. Cape May is located at the confluence of the ocean and bay. Release brown sharks by law. A bunch of tuna bait arrived at the shop, Joe saw. A good number of anglers must’ve ordered the bait for tuna fishing this weekend.

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