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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 8-17-17


Customers from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b> locked into improved fluke fishing the past few days, Rich said. Better numbers of better-sized were boated, and Princes Bay was the place to be, and bucktails were the tackle to fish. He hopes the angling will be “something” during these final weeks of fluke season. Bluefish were around, popping up by chance in local bays. Look for birds working baitfish that the bluefish also foraged on. Lots of porgies and sea bass were reported caught. 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. Bait stocked includes killies, fresh bunker, fresh clams, eels and all frozen like sand eels and spearing.


For anglers on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> the last few trips, fluking was excellent, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The boat limited out on each, and anglers often landed double or triple their limits, keeping only their legal amounts. Craig Tomensky reeled in 36 keepers, more than five times a limit, Wednesday aboard. High hooks landed as many as 35 fluke, including throwbacks. Consistently good fluking this season finally happened aboard. Jump on the boat before fluke season is closed beginning Sept. 6. Charters are fishing, and space is available on open-boat trips Saturday and Sunday. Telephone to reserve. Book fall striped bass charters while Frank has bonus tags for anglers to keep an extra striper apiece. He’s picking up the boat’s share this week.

Good fluke fishing was mopped from the ocean and Raritan Bay with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. That was on the Down Deep Bull, and trips on the Down Deep, the company’s other boat, smoked incredible porgy fishing. Big porgies to 2 ½ pounds all day, and sea bass mixed in. The porgies were so ferocious they were difficult to get past, a great year for porgy angling. Open-boat trips are sailing for fluke 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Open trips are porgy fishing during the same hours. Charters are available, and each boat can accommodate 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, marathon, open trips that fluke 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Look for the link underneath “Contact.” Book fall striped bass and sea bass charters and open trips.


No trips fished in weather in past days with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Joe said. But he heard that porgy fishing remained strong. Fluke fishing was surely improving. He hopes to fish this weekend, and is watching the forecast, after the offshore hurricane this week. Storms like that began to roll up the coast for the season. The angling this weekend aboard might head for tuna inshore that reportedly bit. 

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

After an 11-pound 9-ounce fluke was creamed Sunday on the <b>Fishermen</b>, Monday’s trip returned to the same area, a report said on the party boat’s website. An 8-pound 6-ouncer was drilled, and a couple of anglers limited out, but the fluking wasn’t easy that day. Sizable sea bass also bit less than before. The 11-pound fluke was covered in the last report here. On Tuesday’s trip, fluking was awesome. A 7.1-pounder was the trip’s biggest, a 6.4-pounder came in, and several anglers limited. Big sea bass were also sacked. Wednesday’s trip walloped another big fluke: an 8-pounder that won the pool. The trip bounced around to put together a catch, but the fluke aboard also included a couple of 6-pounders and a 5-pounder. Sea bass were also hooked. On today’s trip, fluking was tough on a hard outgoing tide and nasty roll. That made the fishing difficult for most anglers aboard. But a few good-sized fluke were managed while bouncing around rocky bottom, and a 6-pounder won the pool. None of the anglers limited on fluke. A couple of large triggerfish and some big sea bass were iced. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Quite a few throwback fluke chomped every day for anglers on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. Keepers were hung here and there. Trips fished Raritan Bay, and more fluke bit on some trips than others, but they were angled. Kids were coming out, and people were enjoying the half-day on the water. Fishing the bay avoided the swell and riptides on the ocean because of the storm offshore.  The boat is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Rental boaters from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b> scored well on fluke on Sandy Hook Bay, Andrew said. One of the trips with three anglers limited out during the weekend. Another a couple of days ago also limited. The ocean’s fluking was slow earlier this season and good for a while afterward, and now slowed a little because of the swell from the hurricane offshore. The fishing was mostly a thumbs down currently, someone in the store told Andrew while he gave this report. Good porgy fishing was scooped from the bay and ocean. If a pile of sea bass was found, anglers could limit out on two quickly. Triggerfish were around.  Only one blackfish could be bagged currently, but they bit well. Nothing was heard about fishing Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers. But crabbing was good on the rivers and along the bay near the shop.

Fluke fishing was picking up, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. That was just as fluke season was ending, he added. Pretty good catches of them were made in the bay. Even during rough weather Tuesday, 4-pounders were bagged. A buddy limited out on fluke two days in a row on the bay. His fish measured up to 24 inches. Porgies schooled everywhere, even along the bay’s shore. Anglers nabbed good catches of porgies from the Keansburg Pier. Military who fished from the Navy Pier caught porgies. They also landed 20-inch striped bass. The bay was full of peanut bunker, anywhere an angler went. Abundant cownosed rays stalked the bay. Ron and friends banked 15-pounders from shore between Keyport and Keansburg, and those weren’t big for cownosed. Snapper blues schooled everywhere. In the ocean surf, brown sharks bit more to the south but a few 4- and 5-footers did locally. Release browns by law. A buddy eased a 9-foot shark from the surf at Island Beach State Park, farther south. Little was heard about Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers, except lots of crabs were trapped at Oceanic Bridge and Red Bank. Many people crabbed. Ron saw bluefish 3 or 4 pounds at Monmouth Beach in the Shrewsbury. They showed up and left. A friend sailing from Point Pleasant returned with small yellowfin tuna and some mahi mahi. Another trip angled four 50-pound yellowfins from an offshore canyon. 


Mike Menzel and Steve and Don Liberty’s three fluke totaling 25 pounds won the Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County’s fluke tournament that <b>Twin Lights Marina</b> hosted Saturday, Marion from the marina wrote in an email. Jeff and Scott Crilly, Sean Smida, Lou DeRosa and Bob Hryszko took second with 23.2 pounds, and Bob Cameron earned third with 22 pounds. Mike Menzel won three Calcuttas with a 10.6-pound fluke. Customers fishing from the marina this past week included Jay, Tracy, Johnny, Gina and Roger on the Par Tee II, who docked fluke 27, 25 and 22 ½ inches and sea bass 22 and 21 ½ inches off Sea Bright. On another trip, Jay, Tracy and Gina on the Par Tee II did-in fluke 22 and 18 ½ inches off Monmouth Beach. Bob Dreyer on the Patty Ann pitched aboard fluke and sea bass off Sandy Hook.  Paul and Becky, and Bob and Becky, caught fluke off the Towers. Twin Lights, located on Shrewsbury River near Raritan Bay and the ocean, with no bridges before them, includes a marina with boat slips, dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait-and-tackle shop and ship’s store. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card. Baits stocked include all for offshore.


With <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, big porgies and big sea bass were slugged Wednesday from the ocean, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Fewer were than before, but all catches were quality. A 3-pound sea bass won the pool. On the weekly, individual-reservation trip for fluke Tuesday, catches began well then dropped off. “Everyone stayed with it and we had a good time,” he wrote, “between the rain drops.” Only three of the trips, sailing every Tuesday, remain before fluke season is closed beginning Sept. 6. An individual-reservation trip for porgies, sea bass and triggerfish will run Monday.


Ocean fluke fishing is improving, though the ground swell from the hurricane offshore slowed the angling yesterday, stirring up bottom, said Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>. Trips are booked aboard for this weekend and should be able to fish in fair forecasts. Just fewer than three weeks are left before fluke season is closed beginning Sept. 6, so come out for the angling. Enjoy this end of summer, too, including taking the kids fishing before school begins. Tuna trips are booking for September.

Drop-and-reel sea bass catches, the boat’s limit of good-sized, and one or two keeper fluke were yanked aboard Sunday on the <b>Katie H</b> on the ocean, Capt. Mike said. A bunch of throwback fluke were tossed back. The sea bass could hardly be avoided. Anglers this weekend will get after fluke and sea bass aboard, taking advantage before the seasons for each are closed. Tuna charters are booking to fish offshore canyons, and the first is slated for Aug. 26. Whether that trip will fish inshore for a day or offshore overnight will be seen. The offshore, overnight fishing can take off in late August, but September and October often fish great for that. Currently, bluefin and yellowfin tuna were getting boated mid-range, and the angling was spotty, typical for the time of year. Sometimes the tuna bit, and anglers just need to go and see. 

<b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> last fluked Monday on the ocean, Capt. Pete wrote in a text. An excellent catch was bombed. 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.

On the ocean swell and a fast drift, fishing was terrible yesterday on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. But angling was great today aboard for chub mackerel, quite a few bonito and one mahi mahi. Lots of action, and even the kids crushed many catches. 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. Fireworks are watched on Thursday’s afternoon trips.

Super fishing was steamrolled today on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Plenty of chub mackerel pounced on bait, jigs or nearly anything fished, right along the water surface. A good catch of bonito including double-headers was cracked right in with the mackerel. The water boiled with fish in the chum, and a big shark also swam the slick. Yesterday’s fishing had a couple of slumps but steady catches otherwise. Mackerel, a few blues and some bonito were reeled in on bait and Runoff hammered jigs. Trips are 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 are available for 24- and 31-hour <a href="" target="_blank">tuna trips</a> in September and October. Reserve them.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Fluking was “strange” Tuesday and Wednesday on the <b>Norma-K III</b> on the ocean, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. That was probably because of the hurricane offshore. The fishing was slow on Tuesday’s trips, but good on Wednesday morning’s trip. But on Wednesday afternoon’s trip, the angling wasn’t good at all, like the flip of a switch. Matt expected better fluking today. On the slow trips, a few keeper fluke were picked, and sea bass gave up decent catches. The sea bass helped anglers bring home fish. On the good trip, a healthy number of keeper and short fluke were tugged in, a 9-pound fluke won the pool, and sea bass were bagged. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Thursday through Sunday.

Most fluke trips fished decent on the <b>Gambler</b>, a report said Monday on the party boat’s website. Catches included a fair number of keeper fluke, some shorts and plenty of sea bass, but only a few keeper sea bass. Large chub mackerel were sometimes beaten. The boat’s drift mattered for fluking. Too much wind, and bottom was difficult to hold. Too little, and not enough ground was covered. Wind 10 to 15 knots fished best. A wreck-fishing trip last Thursday night, fishing mostly in 110 feet of water, latched into okay catches of mixed-sized ling to 3 pounds. Customers who jigged for squid caught some. A bluefishing trip Friday night fished excellent for small blues, chub mackerel and a few bonito and mahi mahi. Coolers were filled. A bluefishing trip Saturday night fished “not as crazy” but decent, the report said. A <a href="" target="_blank">Shark in the Dark Trip</a> on Sunday night fought a big sand tiger shark 20 minutes that got off, “saw lots of things,” the report said, and had a couple of runoffs that were suspected to be sharks. Two more of the trips were added for the next two Sundays, Aug. 20 and 27, and book tickets online now.  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 filling.

<b>Toms River</b>

A few more fluke were dragged from the surf every day, said Mario from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. Bucktails with Gulps and teasers caught, and plenty of snapper blues swam the surf, and occasional bigger showed up. In Barnegat Bay, a few keeper fluke were still boated between the BI and BB markers and off Barnegat Lighthouse. Throwback striped bass, plenty, were played at night in the bay at certain places on swimming plugs and on the Toms River. Crabbing was slow but improving on both sides of the river, and snappers roamed plentiful in the river and bay. Ocean fluking was definitely picking up at different locations including the Tires and Axel Carlson Reef. Some decent-sized were taken. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River. 

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Island Beach State Park fished best in the surf during daytime, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Good-sized fluke, not a ton, were picked from cuts and holes near Barnegat Inlet in the park’s surf. Bucktails with matching-colored Gulps out-fished other tackle. But live bait including snapper blues worked. Snappers could appear and be hooked nearly anywhere in the surf in the shop’s local area. Toss small metal for the blues. Snappers also schooled Barnegat Bay, and larger blues occasionally roamed along docks and bulkheads. Crabbing was slow on the bay. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, a café, a dock for fishing and crabbing, boat rentals and jet-ski rentals. 

<b>Forked River</b>

Barnegat Inlet threw out good catches of fluke sometimes, said Kyle from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b >. A nearly 10-pounder – a 9.99-pounder – was weighed from the inlet at the store yesterday and was whacked on a livelined snapper blue. Snappers swam everywhere in the bay and back waters, and lots of cocktail blues were around in the bay. Kyle had just gotten a report about blowfish found near the research buoy in the bay. On the ocean, fluke were cranked up at the Tires and Garden State Reef North. Crabbing was supposedly very good. Fresh, local spearing were stocked last night, and are carried now and then. Frozen baits are in, like local and Canadian spearing. Killies are on hand, and so is clam chum for blowfish.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

A 25-pound bluefin tuna and six false albacore were trolled 50 miles from shore Wednesday on the <b>Super Chic</b>, Capt. Ted said. Seas were big in Barnegat Inlet when the trip departed in the morning, and the ocean held a ground swell throughout the day because of Hurricane Gert offshore. But the ocean’s seas weren’t bad on the 56-foot Super Chic. The water was green-blue, not the greatest-looking, on the fishing grounds. There was life, including lots of baitfish and some rays and the albies and some skipjacks, but in a small area. The next tuna trip is on Sunday. Two inshore trips are booked for Saturday, and probably want to fish for whatever bites. Fluke and bluefish are options, and fluking’s been good aboard the ocean, covered in recent reports. Blues and bonito were reportedly caught farther north on the ocean, but Ted would have to find out how far.

Fishing for fluke on the ocean was a little better yesterday on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, a report said on the party boat’s Facebook page. “Some real nice” were plowed, it said. Catching keepers was a bit tougher previously, though throwbacks gave up action, keeping everybody engaged. Pool-winning fluke still included healthy-sized then, weighing 3 to 6 pounds. 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 Wednesday on the water aboard, lunch included.  Reserve <a href="" target="_blank">tuna trips</a> for September and October.

Many rental-boaters returned with fluke from Barnegat Bay, said Vince from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. All at least caught throwbacks, but a fair number of keepers were around, and lots were cleaned at the store yesterday. The ocean’s flounder fishing was fairly good, though the swell kept anglers from making the trip the past couple of days. Bluefish 15 inches came from the bay now and then. Also on the bay, crabbing was good, and clamming was great. Blackfish were plucked from along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks, and not a lot of anglers fished for them in the one-blackfish bag limit, but green crabs are stocked for bait for the tautog. Killies are carried, and anglers can order live grass shrimp ahead of time. Live spots will be stocked for fall. Lots of boaters departed for tuna fishing recently, and lots returned with the fish from 40 to 50 miles out. 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.


An edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “This is a great stretch of fishing we’re experiencing right now. On the inshore scene we’re catching brown and blacktip sharks within 5 miles of Barnegat Inlet. Three- to 5-foot sharks on spinning and light conventional tackle. After a few hours of that, we’re hammering fluke in Barnegat Bay. A very high percentage of small fish with some really nice keepers making it into the cooler. You have to catch 30 shorts to put one on ice, but it’s steady action. If you want to go on an adventure, the tuna have moved within 45 miles of the inlet, and weather for Sunday and Monday looks good. Yellowfin and bluefin mixed together. Twenty- to 60-pound fish on the troll, chunk or jig. This is the closest they’ve come to our inlet all season. We’re going to load the boat with slabs of bait, the trolling arsenal, jigging rods and come home with some tuna! Today, Friday and Saturday I’m going to stay close to shore because some seas are still forecast. We’ll do the shark and fluke combo. If the inlet or ocean is too rough, we’ll stay on the fluke. Open-boat or charter, 12 noon to 6 p.m. On Sunday and Monday we’ll head to the blue water for tuna. Open-boat or charter. Leaving at 4 a.m., returning at 4 p.m. All open-boat trips, inshore or offshore, are limited to four people max, and all fish are shared. Any of these dates can be booked for your own charter as well. It's never too late to check availability. You can call right up until ‘go time.’ On inshore charters, the head count is more flexible. Here's my boys Nick and Max who jumped on Monday morning for a few hours of shark fishing:  <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. We had seven brown sharks in the morning and seven more on the afternoon trip for Mike Fuhrman and friends. We came back in the bay, and caught a ton of short fluke as well as a 19-incher and a 25 inch, 6-1/2-pounder.”

<b>Mystic Island</b>

The temperature’s not 103 degrees, Great Bay’s not boiling, and August has been pretty good, said Scott from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Not a lot of fishing happened on the bay. But kingfish were mentioned from the bay, and Scott couldn’t know whether that would develop into a fishery, but hope was there. The angling usually already starts by this time of summer. Mostly fishing for summer flounder happened. New sand bars built in Little Egg Inlet, and boaters grabbed a mix of throwback and keeper flounder at the new, big bar off Little Beach at the inlet. Some really good days of flounder fishing took place at ocean wrecks and reefs. And on some days, the fishing slowed right down, and anglers scratched their heads, like, what happened? On the next day, the fishing was on again. Not much was heard about white perch fishing on Mullica River.  But the perch should be there, and this was a time of year for the angling. Plenty of bloodworms are stocked that are popular for perch bait. No grass shrimp are, because Scott didn’t bother to net them. Minnows and fresh, shucked clams are carried. Tons of crabs skittered around back waters, and they needed to shed and grow. Forty were trapped in the shop’s pot in the lagoon behind the store, and three were keepers 4 ½ inches, the legal size, or just larger. The population looked good for fall, when the crabs will have shed and grown to keeper size.


Catches of summer flounder were about as good as they get on the ocean, when anglers had the weather to sail there, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. Anglers needed to find them, or there was no “magic ticket.” But all reefs seemed to toss up the fish, and that was the hottest fishing for flounder. There were pods of small and pods of big, but plenty. The back bay still held flounder, and so many baitfish schooled the water that the flounder didn’t bite just any bait fished. Absecon Inlet seemed to attract good-sized, keeper flounder. Fishing along the jetty-lined inlet or along other structure like bridges and deep sod banks seemed best for flounder in the back. Plenty of throwback flounder swam the bay, if anglers just wanted action.  Peanut bunker schooled everywhere in the bay and back waters. Dave was yet to search for mullet and saw none, but anglers reported beginning to see some. Fishing for 15- to 20-inch, throwback striped bass was fantastic on Mullica River. Dave took anglers there Tuesday, and a 10-year-old girl was even casting a jig and catching them aboard. If anglers want the action, he fishes jigs or bucktails with Gulp mullets, letting them sink a couple of feet, then reeling them in. A trip with Dave a week ago landed a 28-inch keeper, and someone had just sent him a photo of a 31-inch keeper, when Dave gave this report today. Keeper stripers were around in the river. If anglers bring shedder crabs to fish on anchor on the river, they can also hook white perch and weakfish for fish to bag. If shedders are fished, anglers never know what will bite. Fishing reportedly was similar at Great Egg Harbor River. Crabs are shedding, and that’s attracting fish. Plenty of shedders for bait and soft-shell crabs for eating are stocked. 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>. Live spots are carried, including large for tuna. Tuna baits like butterfish and sardines are in supply, too, for one-stop shopping for the fishing. Live peanut bunker are carried, if anglers don’t net their own.


Kingfish and spots were the hottest catches from the surf, said John from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. The fish were bloodwormed, and brown sharks that must be released by law were angled in the surf at night on frozen mackerel or fresh kingfish heads. Snapper blues were nipped from the cove in the surf beside Absecon Inlet on small pieces of squid on popper rigs and on small metal. Summer flounder swam the back bay and ocean. The sizable were in the ocean, and the bay held lots of throwbacks. Baits stocked include bloodworms, frozen mackerel, frozen squid, and minnows.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Lots of summer flounder, including big, and snapper blues were pancaked from Absecon Inlet, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Blackfish practically jumped from the water, though many were throwbacks. Two anglers worked through 20 throwbacks apiece to each bag a keeper on a trip, from the beginning of the tide to 2 hours afterward. To catch the flounder, nothing is better than minnows and squid. Fish a “stinger-hook” rig or a Fluke Candy rig that the store stocks. The stinger-hook rig has tandem hooks, and a strip of squid gets impaled on the top hook, and the minnow gets placed on the bottom hook, like the minnow is surf-boarding on the squid. The Fluke Candy rig features a bucktail on bottom and a floating bucktail above on a leader. For the snappers, fish spearing or minnows on a Snapper Zapper rig or a spearing rig that Noel makes, and both are also stocked. The rig he makes comes with a long-shanked hook, and a spearing is hooked along the length, from the mouth to the rear end. For the blackfish, dunk green crabs or clams. Customers fish the nearby, jetty-lined inlet on foot. All baits mentioned and more, the full supply, are stocked.


On the party boat <b>Keeper</b>, back-bay fishing for summer flounder was pretty good, okay, Capt. John said. One day’s fishing was off this week, but generally the angling wasn’t bad, wasn’t good. It was okay. “It’s getting to be that time of season,” he said. But the fish were hooked aboard. Mornings fished much better than afternoons lately. Some of the fish were angled on yesterday morning’s trip, and the fishing slowed on the afternoon’s. Small bluefish, lots of sea robins, tiny sea bass and small sharks also hit on trips. Minnows nailed the flounder well. Minnows and mackerel are provided aboard, but mackerel attracted the sea bass by this time in summer. Gulps that anglers brought helped with flounder fishing, and John always recommends bringing them. The baitfish population was somewhat smaller in the bay than previously, but tons of the bait still schooled. 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> fished the past couple of days, including in rain and, yesterday morning, heavy fog, Capt. Mike said. A trip that day fished Great Egg Harbor Inlet, landing surprisingly a bunch of fish, including snapper bluefish and small sea bass and summer flounder. Pretty good, he said. Trolling the ocean’s been nailing snapper blues – good-sized or 2 and 3 pounds – and a good number of Spanish mackerel at 2-Fathom Bank and up and down that line. A shark, a brown, Mike thought, was hooked and released during that angling aboard. That was the first shark like that he ever saw bite on the troll. Summer flounder fishing is fairly decent at 80-foot depths on the ocean.  Open-boat trips will fish today and Friday. Four spaces are available for Friday, and open trips fish for whatever’s biting best, sometimes a combo of catches. A tuna charter will sail Saturday, and the effects of the offshore hurricane look like they’ll be gone. 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 fall sea bass season opens. Anglers should telephone, because of the substantial savings for tuna. The trips will also deep-drop for tilefish, depending on the tide. Sea bass season is yet to be announced.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Lots of small summer flounder, sea bass and blues swam all over, said Bill from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. But some bigger flounder were bonked, including a 12-pounder weighed-in during the weekend, and a couple of 7-pounders were checked-in. Ocean reefs fished pretty well for flounder, when anglers had the seas or weather to boat there. Keepers could be toggled from the back bay, all from deeper water near the inlets. The bay farther back mostly harbored snapper blues and small sea bass. From the surf, kingfish and a few spots were banked. Brown sharks, required to be released, were wrestled from the surf, mostly in evenings and at night. From ocean boaters, very little was heard about tuna. Marlin were subdued at canyons offshore. Crabbing was very good.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Inshore shark trips that fish aboard mugged the catches, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The anglers on one of the trips Tuesday whipped 18 of the fish to 70 pounds: spinners, duskies, sandbars and browns. A trip Wednesday smashed 19 of the same species. The trips, usually within 10 miles from the coast, catch and release the sharks. Some of the species are required to be let go. The angling’s a chance to fight a big catch without the run offshore. Summer flounder fishing was good in the ocean. High tides at dusk will happen in the next days that are ideal for fishing for striped bass on the back bay with popper lures or flies, a specialty aboard. Annual traveling charters will fish the migration of stripers, blues and false albacore from Montauk beginning in September. If you ever wanted to fish the migration from the legendary port, Joe’s going. See the <a href="" target="_blank">traveling charters page</a> on Jersey Cape’s website.  Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

Until the swell on the ocean yesterday, summer flounder fishing was great there, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. All local reefs produced the fish on the ocean. Townsend’s Inlet Reef produced great, though the fishing there usually becomes tougher once anglers pressure those waters. That reef’s closer to port, so anglers didn’t need to boat far. Bluefish from snappers to 1-1/2-pounders inundated waters from the back bay to the surf to the ocean, swiping tackle like small Kastmasters and spoons. Catching kingfish from the surf became a little more difficult than before, and Mike thought that was because of increased numbers of blues and spots beating kings to baits. For anglers looking for something different to target, plenty of blackfish snapped along structure like rocks, pilings or bridges. Light-tackling them was fun on baits like green crabs, and the tautog could be found far back in the bay this time of year, not only in waters toward the front, where the fish gather when weather becomes cooler. Not much was heard about tuna catches. Lemke’s Canyon had given up a bite, and Mike guessed that was mid to late last week. Crabbing was excellent, a little slow around the full moon because of shedding and pregnant females. But crabbing improved since, and some of the crabs were large, like in Maryland.


Locals picked up keeper summer flounder from the back bay, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. A decent number of flounder swam the bay, and many were throwbacks. Mike knew two anglers who were boating flounder at Cape May Reef on the ocean. Many were throwbacks, but some were keepers. When the ocean was colder not so long ago, divers talked about lots of sizable flounder hugging bottom in the ocean that seemed reluctant to bite in the low temperature. That seems to happen. Lots of small sea bass scurried around the bay like they do this season. Sometimes weather this week prevented rental boats from motoring onto the bay. Some were reserved for Tuesday morning, but Mike didn’t send them out because of a rainstorm. Crabbing on the bay seemed to become slower than before because of boat traffic. Mike encouraged boaters to be mindful about wakes in the bay. He’s seen 25- and 30-foot boats and jet skis whip past 17-foot skiffs that were crabbing or fishing. The water can be like I-95, and that is slowly eroding the bay. Commercial crabbers are catching well. His supplier is providing plenty from Delaware Bay. 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 sold. The price depends on the market and is currently: $20, $25, $30 and $35 per dozen for four different sizes, from small to large, respectively. Cooked crabs are $5 per dozen additional. The prices have been the same for some time now this season. Live and steamed clams and cooked and uncooked shrimp are available. Customers enjoy the food at tented picnic tables on the water at the store, or enjoy them at their own location. It’s official: Wine from Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House has been approved to be sold at the store.

<b>Cape May</b>

Bluefish and Spanish mackerel are biting on the troll at 5-Fathom Bank, said Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>. Trips have been tackling them aboard, and jump on a 4-hour charter for the angling. George fished for summer flounder at Reef 11 on the ocean Monday on a friend’s boat, and the angling was pretty good. The three anglers limited out, and flounder are being bagged, when conditions drift the boat right for the angling. Tuna fishing became slower for the fleet recently, but maybe the angling will pick up again. It can bounce up and down.

Good numbers of anglers limited out on summer flounder Friday to Monday on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> on the ocean, Capt. Paul said. Not many of the fish were clubbed on Wednesday’s trip, and Paul didn’t know whether he went to the wrong place or the swell from the storm offshore affected the fishing. On Saturday’s trip, John Ricciardi from Williamstown limited out and won the pool, and Al Bednarik from Philly limited. Al landed two keepers more than his limit, Paul thought, and kept no more than the legal number. On Sunday’s trip, Al Pavlichko from Seaville and Sam Oh from Broomall limited. A few anglers on Monday’s trip limited. On Wednesday’s trip, Dr. Phil from Mantua limited and won the pool, but only occasional fluke, not many, were hooked aboard that day in the swell. Paul hopes seas settle and the fishing kicks back in. Trips are flounder fishing at 8 a.m. daily. 

Local reefs in the ocean seemed to put out great numbers of summer flounder, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. There were some keepers, and trips talked about landing 20 to 30 flounder in a trip at the reefs, including throwbacks. Catching keepers in the back bay became a little harder, anglers said, but some action was had. On Delaware Bay, good flounder catches, a few fish, were decked from near Miah Maull and at 60-Foot Slough. More croakers than before began to turn up in the bay around the Cape May ferry jetty. Croakers, kingfish, snapper blues, weakfish and flounder gathered at Cape May Channel. Blackfish chomped along jetties and wrecks. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel were trolled at spots like 5-Fathom Bank. Tuna fishing sounded spotty at inshore lumps, but some were picked. Crabbing was excellent.

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