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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 8-10-17


Good fishing for fluke including limits, a healthy number, were actually reported yesterday, said Rich from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. Catches were heard about from Princes Bay and around Staten Island. Fluking generally seemed to pick up somewhat. The angling wasn’t easy this season, surprisingly, and lots of the fish were throwbacks. Porgies, plenty, were consistently bagged. A few bluefish were around. They popped up sporadically near the 20A buoy in Raritan Bay. Bait stocked includes killies, fresh bunker daily, fresh clams, sandworms, bloodworms and all frozen like sand eels and spearing. Dockside, located on Smith Creek, a tributary of the Arthur Kill, is accessible from the water at the fuel dock and from land. The fuel dock is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Conditions were right, and fluke fishing was excellent for jumbos Wednesday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The anglers limited out on the fish to 7 pounds, and some of the anglers landed twice a limit, keeping only their quotas. Many of the keepers weighed 4 to 6 pounds, and many throwbacks bit and were released. Good-sized sea bass were mixed in. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips with spaces available will sail Saturday, Monday and Wednesday. Telephone to reserve. See photos and the latest reports and schedules: <a href="
" target="_blank">Like Vitamin Sea on Facebook</a>.

Fluke fishing on the ocean’s been great for the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. Lots of big fluke, he said, and jumbo sea bass in the mix. An open-boat, marathon trip for fluke fished fantastic 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday aboard. On the company’s other boat, bottom-fishing’s been super for porgies with sea bass mixed in. All anglers have been leaving with plenty of fish. Open-boat trips are sailing for both types of angling at 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. Charters are available, and each boat accommodates up to 15 passengers. Sign up for the Short Notice List on <a href="" target="_blank">Down Deep’s website</a> to be kept informed about special trips like the fluke marathon. Look for the link underneath “Contact.” Book fall striped bass and sea bass charters and open trips.


<b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> was supposed to sail this morning on an overnight tuna trip, Capt. Joe said. Inshore, porgy fishing seemed best. Sour Kraut’s been cleaning up on them, covered in previous reports here. Fluke fishing inshore seemed good on one day, slow on two or three, and so on. That depended on wind direction.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

A 10.4-pound fluke was smashed and big fluke hit today on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The 10-pounder was the year’s first double-digit fluke aboard. A dad nailed the fish, and he and his son and two daughters each limited out on the trip, and also socked some big sea bass. Three of the trip’s fluke weighed more than 7 pounds, and several weighed 4 to 6. Others also caught some big sea bass. The boat failed to drift much most of the morning, but the trip slugged away at quality-sized fluke. Great day on the water, the report said. On Wednesday’s trip, a 9.1-pound fluke that won the pool and a fluke just heavier than 7 were drilled. Several anglers landed more than limit of three, keeping no more than that, and many bagged two good-sized and limited on two sizable sea bass apiece. An ocean swell had become much better that day. On Tuesday’s trip, a swell hurt the fishing, but some anglers bagged two fluke, and the trip picked away at some sizeable fluke and sea bass. Two 5-pound fluke tied for the pool. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. However, charters are booked this Friday and Saturday, so no open trips will fish then.

None of the fluke trips fished Monday in rain on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. Forecasts kept anglers from showing up at the port. On Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s trips, fishing Raritan and Sandy Hook bays, near the pier on Sandy Hook Bay, more throwback fluke bit than before, and a few keepers were had. A few keepers, not a lot, were tugged aboard each trip. If conditions drifted the boat, the angling went better. The crew’s shaping up to fluke every day, trying to give patrons a good time, and hopefully an angler will bomb a keeper. The crew’s doing a good job with customers, Tom said. The boat is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Boaters beaned the heck out of porgies, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Trips for them included nighttime ones on party boats. Two trips fluked on the shop’s rental boats today, one bagging a keeper, the other landing seven throwbacks. An especially big fluke was reportedly whacked on a party boat today. Party-boating for fluke winged many shorts and a few keepers. Kids had fun with abundant snapper blues from shore on the bay and rivers. Lots of snapper rigs and spearing were sold for the fishing. Water was a little murky, but peanut bunker schooled at the end of the marina at pier 9. The store, the sister shop to Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina. Crabbing was good, Johnny guessed, because crabs were seen all around pilings.

Many trips headed to the ocean for fluke, and fluking improved a little, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Some bigger were boated. Buddies limited out on fluke in the surf at Sea Bright yesterday. That was awesome, Ron said, and Ron and friends are surf anglers. Sometimes cocktail blues popped up for surf anglers and boaters. He heard about no sharks from the surf, except from farther south, like at Island Beach State Park and Long Beach Island. Shore anglers there sometimes beached big rays, too. A buddy hooked three rays while fluking locally. Boating for porgies was “cooking.” Most anglers targeted fluke or porgies. Ron did no fishing on Shrewsbury or Navesink rivers in a couple of weeks. Three-pound blues were biting then. Fluking was probably normal on the rivers. No complaints were heard. A friend pummeled a 10-pounder from one of the rivers, but that was unusual. The only tuna fishing that anglers at the store mentioned was that Jay Julian’s friend boated yellowfins, but Jay didn’t know where. Crabbing seemed to be improving. Ron was catching them at Keansburg. He and friends simply scooped up 1 ½ bushels there. A friend rental-boated good crabbing at Red Bank. A customer was trapping crabs well from the Keyport Pier.


Making the trip from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, Paul Presti and Lloyd Storm on the Second Home bagged three fluke off the towers, Marion wrote in an email. Danny Lawrence on the Crazy 8 boated a 20-inch fluke at Sandy Hook Channel, and Dan Shields and T.R. Dempsey dialed up two keeper fluke and some keeper sea bass off Sandy Hook.  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.


An individual-reservation trip will fish for porgies and triggerfish on the ocean, instead of fishing inshore wrecks, on Aug. 21 with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. That’s because fishing for porgies and triggers is excellent. Weather became rough Monday, but a charter aboard that day loaded up on porgies, sizable triggers, big sea bass, two keeper fluke and a cobia, before conditions deteriorated.  On the weekly, individual-reservation trip for fluke Tuesday, all left with fillets, and some caught more than a limit, keeping only their legal numbers. A 6-pound fluke won the pool, and bucktails with Gulps fished best. Only a few more of the trips, fishing every Tuesday on the ocean, are left before fluke season closes beginning Sept. 6, and the angling is good. Kids under 12 sail free on those outings, limited to two per adult host. An individual-reservation trip for cod will sail at 2 a.m. Aug. 30.


<b>XTC Sportfishing</b> was motoring back into the inlet Wednesday evening from a tuna trip when Capt. Scott gave this report in a phone call aboard, he said. A couple of yellowfin tuna were landed and a few were lost. That was inshore on popper lures and jigs. The trip trolled, but no tuna bit on the troll. The previous two trips only trolled yellowfins inshore. A tuna trip was headed all the way offshore to the canyons today, the first to run there aboard in a while this year. Between tuna fishing, trips aboard have been catching fluke and sea bass on the ocean.

Ocean fluke fishing’s been pretty good, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. The blow did roll through during the weekend, affecting the angling a bit. The fishing was tough Tuesday but better Wednesday aboard. Weather was improving during that time. Some larger fluke are getting clobbered. The fishing aboard includes On the Water Seminars that teach bucktailing for big fluke. Space is available on one of the trips Tuesday, and only one more of the seminars will sail before fluke season is closed beginning Sept. 6. On the seminars, newbies learn the bucktailing, and experienced anglers hone the skill in a non-threatening environment. 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 future spaces.

Sea bass and fluke were clubbed from the ocean Tuesday with <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>, Capt. Mike said. The angling began slowly because of wind but picked up okay. A trip Wednesday trolled for tuna inshore, and none showed up. But then the trip pot-hopped and tackled mahi mahi, or fished lobster-pot-buoys for them. Whales, dolphins and all kinds of life filled the water during the trip. An open-boat trip was slated for today, and a charter was set for Friday. Space is available during the weekend. 

A great catch of sea bass was piled up today on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The trip limited out, and some of the biggest sea bass this season were claimed aboard. Lot of smiling faces departed the trip, it said. Fishing was slower Wednesday aboard, but sea bass and porgies were swung in. On Tuesday’s trip, very good sea bassing was clobbered, and blues, chub mackerel, ling, bonito and fluke were also lit into. No report was posted for Monday, and fishing might’ve been weathered out that day. The boat is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Fishing and sunset cruises are running 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily. Spaces remain for 24- and 31-hour <a href="" target="_blank">tuna trips</a> in September and October. Reserve them.

Afternoon trips fished excellent the past couple of days on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email from the party boat said. Sea bass, ling and fluke were bucketed, and sunsets were beautiful on the way home. This morning’s trip locked into a great showing of sea bass with fluke mixed in. Yesterday morning’s trip “managed some nice sea bass along with some fluke,” it said, and also took a ride north and finished up with impressive porgy fishing. A great time was had by all, it said. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Trips are also fishing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily, and the afternoon trips also watch whales and porpoises and catch the sunset on the ride home.

Shark River’s fluke fishing was improving, said Tom from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b>. The shop’s rental boats are available to fluke the river. Fluking was improving on the ocean, too. Sea bass and porgies were plucked from the ocean. Snapper blues schooled the river, and kingfish nibbled in Shark River Inlet. Crabs were trapped in the river. Not much was reported about surf fishing in warm water.


For boaters, ocean fluking picked up, said Bob from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Surf anglers tried to beach fluke but banked snapper blues 6 to 8 inches more often. Sea bass bit well for boaters on the ocean. Tuna fishing is good “if you want to make the run,” he said. To where? he was asked. South is all they’re saying, he said. The tuna are inshore of the canyons, around the 30-fathom curve, but 60 to 70 miles south, he said. Most of the fish seemed trolled, because many Reel Seat spreader bars were sold for that.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

<b>***Update, Friday, 8/11:***</b> An open-boat day-troll fished for tuna at a local canyon yesterday aboard, Capt. Alan from <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> wrote in an email. At first, the trip picked away at small yellowfin tuna and some mahi mahi. Other boats also hooked the small tuna. Then a couple of 70-pound yellowfins were crushed aboard. The quality of the larger yellowfins has been “nice,” and a good spread of yellowfins has been swimming these northern canyons. The outlook seems good. Purple and black plastics out-fished every other color on the trip, like has been the case. Weather was beautiful.

Fishing for fluke resumed Tuesday on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, after Monday’s trips were weathered out, a report said on the party boat’s website. The angling, on the ocean, was picky aboard that day, grabbing a few keepers and some shorts, probably because of a swell leftover from the weather. The fishing was much better Wednesday aboard. Some good-sized keepers were pasted, shorts turned out plenty of action and a few good-sized sea bass were taken. Anglers who bounced around jigs with 6-inch Gulp grubs scored well, but a few fluke were angled on bait.  Trips are 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. Thursdays through Sundays. 

The <b>Gambler’s</b> fluke trips this past week fished pretty well, a report said on the party boat’s website. Two 7-pounders and quite a few 5-pounders were waxed on the ocean angling. Keeper sea bass were also claimed. Thursday night’s wreck-fishing trip fished pretty well for ling – mixed sizes to 4 pounds – and squid on the ocean. Some of the squid were larger than usual. Friday night’s bluefishing trip on the ocean fished well for smaller ones and some big chub mackerel. Saturday night’s bluefishing fished even better. Remember to bring a cooler with ice. A Shark in the Dark Trip on Sunday night managed only a few runoffs, never landing the sharks. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Trips are wreck-fishing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays and bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The <a href="" target="_blank">schedule of tuna trips</a> is posted on the boat’s website, and spaces are beginning to fill. Some of the trips are sold out.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

The <b>Tin Knocker</b> fluked on the ocean Tuesday, scoring well, Capt. John said. Four or five keepers and some sizable sea bass were bagged, and a bunch of throwbacks served up action. The boat’s been tuna fishing recently, covered in previous reports here, and fluking is slated aboard this weekend, at least on Saturday. But tuna were still caught both inshore and offshore, according to reports John heard.

<b>Toms River</b>

The ocean’s fluke fishing picked up, Mario from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> said in a phone call. Barnegat Bay’s fluking was a pick. Abundant snapper blues schooled the Toms River and lagoons. They swam both sides of the river, he wrote on the shop’s Facebook page. Reminder: Like for all bluefish, 15 is the bag limit for snappers. Crabbing slowed in the river, probably because of shedding because of the full moon. In the surf, snapper blues roamed. How big? he was asked. Snappers – you could liveline them, he said. Fluke were bucktailed in the surf. That included a few on Tuesday. Anglers who kept “moving” found them. Throwback striped bass bit in the bay at night on small swimming lures and popping plugs. Mario hammered them Monday night a little south of Ocean Gate. “The bait is moving so move with it,” he wrote on the Facebook page. 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 the surf, the number and size of fluke was increasing, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Some quality-sized were angled from cuts on Gulps or strip baits. Snapper blues, not tiny but good-eating-sized, schooled the surf thick. The surf’s sharking at night slowed. Beach buggies gained access to Barnegat Inlet at Island Beach State Park, because a closure was lifted this week. That part of the beach was closed for nesting piping plovers, like happened in recent years. In Barnegat Bay, crabbing was a slow pick, and many were undersized, and snappers seemed everywhere. 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>

Fluke fishing at the Tires picked up, became good, on the ocean, said Kyle from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. Some hefty were weighed-in from there, and sea bass chomped at the Tires. Those who boated fluke in back waters basically fished Barnegat Inlet or off the Coast Guard station. A couple of reports about blowfish came in from Barnegat Bay. The fishing seemed nothing great or solid, but a couple of customers heard blowfish were around. The shop’s been reporting no blowfish until now this year, except when some were found in crab pots earlier in the season. Snapper blues schooled lagoons. Crabbing was good. Fresh, local spearing were stocked today. Kyle couldn’t say they’d last for the weekend, and none was available last weekend. The supply is spotty. Baits stocked also include killies, all frozen and, for freshwater, nightcrawlers. Clam chum is on hand for blowfishing. Offshore baits are carried including frozen flats of butterfish, sardines and mackerel.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

On the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, fluke fishing on the ocean improved much on Wednesday after previous days, the party boat’s Facebook page said. The fish “liked the conditions,” it said, and the ocean previously held a swell, after rough weather Monday night. A good number of chub mackerel also bit on Wednesday’s trip, and they make great fish cakes. On today’s trip, light wind caused no drift of the boat, so fishing was a little slow. A handful of keeper fluke, all sizable, and some action with shorts was copped. Mackerel, sea bass, small blues, porgies and the year’s first triggerfish aboard were also iced. 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. Watch the Atlantic City Air Show on August 23 on the water aboard, lunch included.  Now’s the time to reserve <a href="" target="_blank">tuna trips</a> for September and October aboard.

Many fluke were seen at <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>, Vince Jr. said, and the fishing’s been pretty good. The summer flounder were hooked from the ocean. They also came from the bay, and those fluke began to migrate toward the ocean. They were mostly located at Double Creek Channel and off the end of the Dike, not High Bar Harbor anymore. A bluefish was landed on occasion in the bay, but nobody targeted blues there. Fluke were almost all that was targeted in the bay. But Vince did hear about some weakfish from Meyer’s Hole. Blackfish were angled along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks, and plenty snapped at ocean wrecks. Lots of yellowfin tuna were seen last week. The last detailed report came from a customer who boated tuna at the Cole wreck. But lots of tuna seem around. Crabbing was fairly good. Nearly all crabs were pregnant with sponges two weeks ago. But fewer had sponges now. Clamming was good like always. A bunch of customers clammed yesterday, gathering lots at Clam Island.  Killies and green crabs are stocked. Live spots will be carried toward fall. 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>: “Lately we've been participating in two fisheries that we usually don't target:  fluke and sharks. After throwing gallons and gallons of shrimp and not connecting with weakfish (in Barnegat Bay), I decided to fish for what’s here, instead of what’s not. Although they are mostly shorts, the bay, inlet and ocean are giving up good numbers of fluke. If you put your time in, you wind up with some good-size fish for the cooler. We’ve been targeting sharks for the last week and a half, and catching them on every trip. Most are 3- to 4-foot brown sharks. We’re using lighter conventional outfits and releasing all that we catch. Only a 4- to 5-mile run from the inlet. They’re super aggressive and give a great fight. It’s possible to combine both of these fisheries in the same 5- or 6-hour trip. We could also cast lures in the inlet for blues and small stripers when conditions are right. Sailing open-boat or charter 12 noon to 6 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday through Monday. Four people max.”

<b>Mystic Island</b>

If not for summer flounder, there could be trouble, said Scott from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. But flounder fishing was terrific at ocean reefs. Large Gulps 5 and 6 inches were key on any rig with huge silver blades. A minnow was fished on the same hook as the Gulp, and the fish wanted that combo. Ten days ago boaters who worked the bay tied into flounder all day. Yesterday they landed like two in a trip. Some of the fish definitely migrated to the ocean. This was the second week of August, and the small fish like croakers, kingfish, spots, snapper blues and baby sea bass were yet to gather together in the bay that make up a fishery by this time during some years. Boaters anchor and chum for them. Many snappers swam lagoons, keeping kids busy. No customers talked about trying for blackfish along the bay’s ledge banks. Green crabs are stocked for blackfishing, and somebody bought a dozen once in a while. None talked about white perch fishing on Mullica River, and all seemed to flounder fish instead. But perch should bite abundantly, and this is the time of year. Baits stocked include plenty of minnows. Fresh bunker are in, and fresh clams will arrive Friday. No live grass shrimp are stocked, and not long ago the heat wave would’ve killed them if stocked. Temperatures were lower now and the shrimp could be carried, but Scott got around to netting none.

Boaters fishing for summer flounder on the ocean finally got into good catches, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>.  All ocean reefs gave up good fishing for flounder, and Great Egg Reef sounded best locally. Flounder were sometimes still angled in back waters, and Absecon Inlet fished best for them there. Anglers on foot did a job on the fish at the inlet. If anglers are boating the back, working along the inlet’s jetties seemed the thing to do. The inlet is lined with jetties. Dave boated Mullica River’s mouth for a bunch of throwback stripers but also a keeper Tuesday. The fish are chasing peanut bunker, and the trip fished peanuts and jigs tipped with Gulps and shedder crabs. The keeper jumped on a shedder. Peanuts and other baitfish are swimming abundant in back waters. If anglers want action, the striper fishing’s very good at the mouth. Dave also heard about small stripers angled at night in back waters like this. The stripers were everywhere, and a few were keepers. Striper fishing will probably be targeted once flounder season is closed beginning Sept. 6. Striper bonus tags will allow an angler to keep an additional striper 24 inches to less than 28 beginning in September, and plenty that size should be swimming. White perch swarmed nearly everywhere they usually do. They could be fished for on the Mullica for fun and dinners. An angler who fishes Absecon Creek at the docks at the store reeled in nine of the perch yesterday, and that’s not a place for perch. A few spots held there, and eels held in the creek. The shop is now stocking live peanut bunker, and also plenty of castnets for anglers who want to catch their own bait like that. Live spots from Maryland are carried, including a few big for tuna fishing, and tuna fishing’s good. Frozen baits for tuna are on hand like butterfish, sardines and ballyhoos. Tuna anglers can make one stop for bait at the store. Plenty of shedder crabs are in, and a few soft-shell crabs for eating are beginning to be available. The store raises them, and keep up with the supply on <a href="" target="_blank">Absecon Bay Sportsman’s Soft Shell Crabs Facebook Page</a>.


Kingfish bit up and down the surf, said John from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Spots and snapper blues moved into the surf and Absecon Inlet. Brown sharks that must be released slashed at mackerel or kingfish heads for bait in the surf at night. All of this fishing’s been best at the tops of tides. For the kings and spots, bloodworms were fished. For the snappers, small metal was cast. Summer flounder anglers found many throwbacks in the bay. The ocean harbored most big. Baits stocked include bloodworms, minnows, frozen mackerel and sometimes fresh kingfish heads.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Anglers fishing Absecon Inlet whipped summer flounder left and right, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. This was the year of the flounder, he said, and Noel could almost guarantee an angler would hook flounder. Customers fish the nearby, jetty-line inlet on foot. The flounder were caught including on minnows, spearing and peanut bunker. But a tandem-hooked rig with squid and, on the bottom hook, a minnow did the job. Droves of snapper blues schooled the inlet. Snapper Zappers with spearing or Sabiki rigs took them. Blackfish bit plentiful on green crabs along the inlet, but only 1 in 15 or 25 was a keeper. If anglers wanted action, action could practically be guaranteed with blackfish there. The inlet has been one alive place for fish. The fish have been there because of baitfish. The baitfish included peanut bunker, spearing and mullet the same size as the spearing. All baits, the fully supply, are stocked. Baits include fresh spearing with the mullet mixed in.


Back-bay summer flounder fishing was a little slow aboard since last week’s storm, because the weather dirtied the water, said Capt. John from the party boat <b>Keeper</b>. But the angling picked up yesterday somewhat, because the water began to clear in better weather. Throwbacks and some keepers bit. Not many keepers did. Weather was supposed to be calm today, so John hopes the water keeps clearing. Yesterday’s trip found the fish in 7- to 8-foot shallows in the back of the bay. Small bluefish sometimes bit on trips. Lots of sea robins and baby sea bass and a few sharks did, too. The flounder bit minnows and mackerel provided aboard and Gulps that anglers brought, and anglers should bring Gulps. Sometimes the baby sea bass that show up each summer become a nuisance on mackerel, so that bait stops being fished. But that wasn’t so much of a problem yet. 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.


Trolling for bluefish began to catch again, and Spanish mackerel were mixed in, on the ocean on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. That was 7 or 8 miles from shore, and the fishing seemed to slow around last weekend’s storm. A good number of Spanish were in the mix now. Summer flounder bit in the ocean, but 1 in 20 was a keeper. Most were 17 to 17 ¾ inches, an inch to a quarter-inch undersized. An open-boat trip was sold out today, and Mike was unsure when an open trip will fish next week – probably Thursday or Friday. Open trips sail for whatever fishing’s best. Tuna fishing will kick off on Sept. 5 and 6 aboard. Those days are sold out. Beginning then, open tuna trips will sail whenever no charter is booked. Because flounder season this year closes early beginning Sept. 6, a discount will be offered for tuna trips to the offshore canyons starting in September, until the sea bass bag limit increases. Anglers should telephone, because of the substantial savings for tuna. The trips will also deep-drop for tilefish, depending on the tide. Mike’s new, second boat, the Adventure, for up to six passengers, is expected to be ready to sail for fall striped bass. The Stray Cat accommodates up to 22. The Adventure has been splashed in the Stray Cat’s slip, B2, and the Cat has been moved to A2, closer to the parking lot.

<b>Ocean City</b>

When no grass filled the surf, kingfish tumbled around the water, said John from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. The fish bit well on bloodworms and Fishbites artificial worms, but the water became grassy through the past couple of days because of the blow this weekend through the beginning of the week. Brown sharks, required to be released, chomped in the surf in numbers in evenings on big chunk baits like bunker and mackerel. Short summer flounder and a few keepers were picked away at Great Egg and Ocean City reefs on the ocean in the past day or so. In the bay, short flounder and occasionally a keeper – not many keepers were heard about lately – were boated. But an angler should be able to find a keeper or two at Ship’s Channel and deep holes from there to Great Egg Harbor Inlet. Bluefish to 2 pounds were reported from the bay and Corson’s Inlet. Bay anglers had been doing well at blackfishing and trying to find triggerfish at bridges until the blow slowed catches. Yellowfin tuna catches began to be talked about from places like Massey’s Canyon, 19-Fathom Lump and other dips and lumps like that. Chunking for them sounded hit and miss, including because light, 25- and 30-pound, fluorocarbon leaders had to be fished. A couple were trolled outside of the chunking fleet, like on blue and white lures. 

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Everybody spoke about summer flounder fishing on the ocean, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Boating for the fish kicked into gear, and some good catches were made at Ocean City, Townsend’s Inlet and Wildwood reefs, and snags and rubble between. A rig with a bucktail on bottom with a white or chartreuse Gulp and a hook on a trailer above with a big minnow was the one to fish. Minnows are usually not popular for ocean flounder fishing, but loads were sold. Maybe that was because of water clarity or something – the water was dirty – but the reason was unknown.  Not many triggerfish seemed around, maybe because of water clarity. The ocean was dirty from the surf to 50 miles out. Flounder were sometimes angled on the back bay, but those catches definitely reduced. High tides coincided with dusk last week on the bay, producing good catches of striped bass on popper lures. The tides happen every two weeks.  Tons of sharks stalked the ocean 2 to 10 miles from shore, including browns, duskies, blacktips and spinners. Boaters chummed and fought plenty, and some of the species are required to be released. A handful of Spanish mackerel were heard about that were trolled at Sea Isle Ridge. That was the only type of trolling heard about recently. The local party boat angled some good catches of sea bass on the ocean. Surf fishing was good, fun, giving up pretty steady action in past days. A beautiful run of kingfish swam the surf this summer. Some spots and snapper blues were around in the surf. So were sharks sometimes. Not much news came in about tuna. One angler reported something like a catch of one tuna at someplace far like beyond the Continental Shelf off Toms Canyon or something. The angler texted something like he had a tuna report. But that wasn’t really a report or good news or something! Crabbing was excellent, a little tough recently but only because of the full moon.

Fishing was washed out Monday in rain, and trips resumed Tuesday aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. A charter that day released 15 sharks – spinners and duskies – to 50 or 60 pounds. That was one of the inshore shark trips that catch and release, usually within 10 miles from shore. Some of the species are required to be let go, and the angling is a chance to battle large fish without the long sail offshore. A charter aboard Wednesday landed two keeper summer flounder, a bunch of throwbacks and small sea bass on the ocean. Then several spinner sharks “kind of ruined our parade,” Joe said. Try losing a $9 bucktail to a shark, but the day was fun, he said. Trips this weekend aboard will shark fish and might fish for flounder or mahi mahi. Joe heard nothing about tuna recently. He was going to sail for them last Friday but never did.  Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>. His annual, traveling charters to Montauk begin in September that fish the migrations of striped bass, blues and false albacore. See the <a href="" target="_blank">traveling charters page</a> on Jersey Cape’s website.


Cape May Reef on the ocean fished well for summer flounder a couple of days ago, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. Throwbacks often bit, but a number of keepers did. Some party boats caught well there that day. Otherwise, some boaters tied into flounder well on the ocean at places like that, and some didn’t lately. Many flounder bit, and not a lot were keepers, and that was both on the ocean and on the bay. The bay’s catches also included tons of baby sea bass the past couple of weeks that show up every summer. A few croakers were heard about from the sounds at North Wildwood. Snapper blues schooled bays and back waters. Mike likes to see them, because that means the latter part of the fishing season is coming! Then he gets a break from work, but that actually won’t happen until October. Crabbing was hit and miss on the bay, maybe because of fluctuating weather. The crabbing had been great. But weather was warm then suddenly became cooler overnight. Mike didn’t mention, but the full moon was also earlier this week, and that can slow crabbing several days. One boat trapped two dozen keeper crabs a couple of days ago, though. Cooler weather was good for keeping the store’s minnows and crabs lively in the livewells. The crabs are for eating. 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. So is fishing and crabbing tackle and gear. Live crabs for eating are the same prices as in recent weeks: $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. Sometimes crabs from Maryland are carried if Jersey crabs become scarce. But that looked unnecessary currently, and the supplier trapped well on Delaware Bay, and began to nail big. The supplier provided as many as Mike wanted the past couple of weeks. Food sold also includes live and steamed clams and cooked and uncooked shrimp. 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 Jersey approves the shop for that.

<b>Cape May</b>

A mess of bluefish and Spanish mackerel were trolled yesterday at 5-Fathom Bank on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. A trip Thursday chunked a yellowfin tuna, a mahi mahi, a small hammerhead shark and a couple of false albacore on the inshore ocean. Telephone if interested in any of this fishing.

Seven keeper summer flounder were axed and throwbacks were released at the Old Grounds on Wednesday on the <b>Prime Time II</b>, Capt. Steve said. On a shorter, 4-hour trip Tuesday at Cape May Reef, two keepers were landed among throwbacks. The throwbacks gave up lots of action. Seas were a little choppy that day, drifting the boat faster than on the next day, Wednesday, when more keepers were bagged. The slower drift seemed to help the angling.

Summer flounder were hooked a while on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> on the ocean, Capt. Paul said, and not many bit the past few trips. But weather was rough for a stretch. Seas were rough on Saturday’s trip, but Karl Zeigler from Cape May limited out on flounder to 6 pounds on the outing. No trips fished in Sunday’s rain and wind and Monday’s pouring rain. The ocean held a big swell on Tuesday’s trip, and flounder, a few, were only picked. Rob Campbell from North Wildwood on the trip limited on flounder to 5 pounds. On Wednesday’s trip, with beautiful weather and a good-sized crowd, conditions barely drifted the boat, never good for flounder fishing. Only a few keepers and a bunch of throwbacks were managed, but maybe the trip fished the wrong place. The boat never drifted faster than .1 or .2 knots. Al Bednarik from Philly won the pool with a 5-pounder. But a few flounder are holding at several places, and trips are flounder fishing at 8 a.m. daily.

Much talk was about summer flounder fishing on the ocean, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Some good catches of them were made at Cape May Reef. Deeper water at Reef 11 and the Old Grounds produced limits and some big flounder.  Sea bass seemed there, and anglers fishing smaller, less-known or unnamed wrecks caught sea bass best. The popular places seemed picked over. Flounder still bit in the back bay along the Intracoastal Waterway from Sunset Lake to Cape May Harbor. Delaware Bay’s flounder fishing seemed a little spotty, and Nick guessed that was because of water clarity. After heavy rain, water clarity suffered, and that seemed to slow the fishing, and rain fell recently. Croakers, kingfish, snapper blues, spike weakfish and flounder swam Cape May Channel off Cape May Point, at the confluence of the bay and the ocean. Kingfish hit in the ocean surf. Kings, croakers, weakfish and a few keeper flounder were slid from the surf at Cape May Point and, on Delaware Bay, near the concrete ship. Blackfish, sheepshead and triggerfish hugged jetties and pilings. Triggers swam along structure in the ocean inshore. Tuna fishing was spotty at best at midshore lumps and places like Massey’s Canyon and the Tea Cup. The fish seemed not too close and not too far from shore. A few were picked here and there, better on overcast days than sunny. Marlin held at offshore canyons. Crabbing was excellent, a great year for crabbing. Minnows, bloodworms, green crabs and frozen baits are stocked, including for offshore.

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