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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 8-3-17

<b>Keyport</b>

Looks like good fluking is in store, finally, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. A few limits were bagged Monday aboard. On a trip Tuesday, Frank drained the fuel tank looking for a bite, and fluking was poor, but knucklehead sea bass to 4 pounds were found. He sailed in a different direction on Wednesday’s trip, finding good fluking. Sharp anglers are catching limits and more aboard. Only weeks are left of fluke season that closes beginning Sept. 6, so now’s the time to go. Charters are fishing, and spaces are available on open-boat trips 6 a.m. Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday and 2:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 10. Telephone to reserve. Fall striped bass and blackfish charters are beginning to book. Reserve early to ensure dates.

Ocean fluke fishing has become pretty good for the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. The Down Deep Bull, one of the company’s two boats, is sailing for them on open-boat trips 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. On the Down Deep, the other boat, super bottom-fishing for big porgies was scooped up, with big sea bass mixed in. Open trips for that are sailing during the same times, and charters for up to 15 passengers are available for either fishing. Join the Short Notice List on <a href="http://downdeepsportfishing.com" target="_blank">Down Deep’s website</a> to keep informed about special open trips. Look for the link underneath “Contact.”

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Conditions failed to drift the boat on today’s fluke trip until late afternoon on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Then a breeze and change of tide got the boat moving, and fluke biting. A 7-pounder won the pool, and Capt. Ron Sr., the current captain’s dad, socked a fluke heavier than 6. Four anglers took fluke 4 to 5 pounds, and some sizable sea bass came in. When the fishing was tougher during no drift, anglers jigged sea bass and a few short fluke, but that was tough. 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-boat trips will fish then.

On the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Tuesday afternoon’s fluke trip clocked more keepers than in a while and more throwbacks than before, Capt. Tom said. But minimal current drifted the boat since, and that was “part of the problem,” he said. Wednesday morning’s trip hooked a few keepers and some shorts, not as well as on Tuesday afternoon, but better than before. Rough weather hampered Wednesday afternoon’s fluking. This morning’s trip had already reeled up a few keepers and a few shorts at 10 a.m., when he gave this report aboard in a phone call, though the boat was failing to drift. Dogfish were a nuisance and a few sea robins turned up recently. The boat is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Sunday, 8/6:***</b> Forecasts are calling for rain Monday, but the crew will be at the boat, trying to sail, Tom said. How much rain might fall will be seen.

For customers, fluke fishing seemed quiet today, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. He was yet to hear about trips for the fish today on the marina’s party boats. Two of the store’s rental boats were sailed for fluke today. One landed a dozen shorts, and the other cracked no fluke. But better catches of fluke, including a couple of keepers per trip sometimes, were made previously this week on the vessels. The Jersey Coast Anglers Association’s annual fluke tournament is this Saturday. Porgy fishing was good. The store, the sister shop to Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina.

Photos of a few better fluke catches were seen on Facebook, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. But the same anglers kept posting them, and fluking seemed slow otherwise, in both Raritan Bay and the ocean. One angler on a local Facebook page kept posting photos of big fluke the angler caught, but never said where. Nothing was heard about fluke from the rivers, but the fish should be there. Lots of porgies were plundered. That was the “thing.” Lots of snapper blues schooled, and snapper rigs sold briskly. Ron and buddies dragged sharks from the surf at night, like a 5-footer for one buddy at Island Beach State Park and a 6-footer for another at Long Branch. Ron, a surf angler, heard about no false albacore in the surf yet, but they should pull in soon. He just returned from catching 30-pound striped bass at Cape Cod Canal in Massachusetts. A trip from Shark River Inlet reported boating small tuna and some mahi mahi. Location was unknown, but the fishing was only a day-trip, not an overnighter that could sail farther.

<b>Highlands</b>

Greg Hanna on the Annie H, taking a trip from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, limited out on fluke near the Ammo Pier last Thursday, Marion from the shop wrote in an email. Paul and Becky on the Second Home bagged two fluke and tossed back lots of shorts off the Towers on Monday, sailing from the marina. 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.

<b>Neptune</b>

The ocean cooled 5 degrees, and fewer triggerfish were hooked on a trip Wednesday than before with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. That was an individual-reservation trip for porgies and triggers. But a good catch of porgies and sea bass was crushed. A sizable fluke was also landed when an angler bucktailed, though the trip was anchored, not drifted like is done in fluking. Fluking’s been good aboard on bucktails with 6-inch Gulps. Bait also caught, but not in the numbers like bucktails. Fluking went great in the morning on the weekly individual-reservation trip for fluke and sea bass Tuesday. Then the drift came to a standstill, and the fishing picked away. Sea bass were also sacked on the outing. Those trips fish every Tuesday, and kids under 12 sail free on them, limited to one per adult host. A charter Monday bagged triggers, porgies, sea bass and fluke. Charters are available, and individual-reservation trips will fish for winter flounder, sea bass, ling, blackfish and cod Aug. 21 at inshore wrecks and for cod Aug. 9 and 30 offshore. Space is available.

<b>Belmar</b>

Fluke fishing came alive after last weekend’s storm, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. The reason for that was unknown, but the Belmar fleet often limited out on the flatfish on the ocean. They often released more afterward, and fluke heavier than 9 pounds were creamed. Fluke were hooked well on 2- to 4-ounce, white MagicTail ball jigs, either with Gulp 5-inch, white swimming mullets or 6-inch Pink Shine grubs. Part of Bob’s email seemed to be missing wording, and that part looked like he was reporting about Shark River’s fluking. The shop’s rental boats are available to fluke the river. Snapper blues schooled thick in the river. Striped bass 14 to 20 inches swam all over Manasquan River. They bit best at night for anglers fishing in small boats or kayaks, including biting popper lures or small rubber shads. 

Since the weekend’s blow, outstanding fluke fishing got pounded from the ocean with <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Pete said. The angling was excellent Monday. On Tuesday, the boat limited out and released more afterward. On Wednesday, one fluke less than the boat’s limit was whacked. Lots of large fluke to 8 or 8 ½ pounds were slapped aboard trips. Most fluke were bucktailed, but bait draggers caught some. Sea bass were mixed in, and the fishing was the best of the year for Pete. Plenty of charters and individual spaces on charters are available through Sept. 5, the final day of fluke season. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s about individual spaces available with charters who want more anglers. Sign up for the email blast on <a href=" http://www.parkerpetefishing.com/" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s website</a> to be kept informed about future spaces.

Good, super fluke catches were knocked around on the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b> on the ocean, Capt. Chris said. All anglers limited out yesterday, like previously aboard. Catching a lot of nice, and the fishing looked promising for a change, he said. Spinning rods caught best, because spinning were easiest to cast around. Jigs with Gulps were what to fish, and trips are fluking 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Nonstop action with sea bass, a few blues, chub mackerel, some fluke and a couple of bonito was cracked today on the <b>Golden Eagle</b> on the ocean, another outstanding day of fishing aboard, a report said on the party boat’s website. Fishing was similar in previous days, and weather’s been great. Come and enjoy. 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.

Many limits of sea bass and a few fluke to 6 pounds were beaned on the first two drifts yesterday afternoon on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b> on the ocean, an email from the party boat said. Conditions deteriorated afterward, and the fish stopped biting. On this morning’s trip, fishing east of the inlet, action was smashed all around the boat. Plenty of sea bass, some sizable fluke, chub mackerel and a couple of blues were canned. Excellent angling again, the report said. Trips will continue bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, until bluefish show up. 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.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Phenomenal porgy fishing was plowed aboard the party boat <b>Dauntless</b> on the ocean, Capt. Butch said. On slower days, anglers bagged 25 to 50 apiece. On yesterday’s trip, almost all seemed to limit out, because most quit fishing before the angling was supposed to end. A few blackfish, sea bass, fluke and triggerfish were also bagged on trips. Throw in some of them, and an angler had some good dinners. Trips fished in 20- to 60-foot depths. Sunday’s trip fished a little deeper, because shallower water was dirty after rough weather Saturday. Butch hopes the fish keep pulling deeper, because they’re less spooky there. Saturday’s trip was weathered out, and on Sunday, the Dauntless might’ve been the only party boat that fished from the port, while the weather began to clear out. Trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Trips will also bluefish at night if that angling picks up by Labor Day.

“The fluke are still biting very well the past two days,” a report said Tuesday on the party boat <b>Norma-K III</b>’s website. Good-sized keepers were axed, and a good number of throwbacks “(kept) you busy.” A 7-pound 3-ouncer won the pool on Tuesday morning’s trip. Healthy-sized sea bass were sometimes bucketed. The fluke bit everything recently: bucktails, Gulps and bait. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily, bluefish 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and ling 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sundays.

Some better-sized fluke to 7 pounds and a better percentage of keepers began to be laid up on the <b>Gambler</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. Conditions had impact on a given trip, but the fish were there. A few sea bass and even a few bluefish were also decked. The year’s first triggerfish was also tugged in. For the fluke, bucktails with Gulps caught more than bait did. For bait, spearing with squid was “doing the trick.” 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. Space was available for a <a href="http://www.gamblerfishing.net/tripinformation.php" target="_blank">Shark in the Dark Trip</a> this coming Sunday. Another one of the trips is set for the following Sunday, Aug. 13. The sharking is limited to 25 anglers per trip, reservations required. Sign up soon.

<b>Toms River</b>

Barnegat Bay gave up picky fluke fishing, said Mario from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. But the ocean’s fluking improved in past days. Private boaters sometimes said so, and the fishing on party boats sounded a little better than before. In the surf, a few larger blues popped up at times locally. If surf anglers kingfish, they might beach a few. If surf casters fluke fish with a bucktail and a teaser, and take advantage of Island Beach State Park’s smaller size limit, they can score okay. Sixteen inches is the minimum size there, compared with 18 in most of the rest of the state. Crabbing and fishing for snapper blues was good in the Toms River. The crabs were trapped on both the Island Heights and Ocean Gates sides of the river. Crabbing could also be good on Barnegat Bay on boats, if the trips crabbed places where no other people pressured previously. 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, bluefish from snappers to 10-pounders seemed to return to Island Beach State Park, a report said Tuesday on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. That was after the storm, and the fish bit everything from bunker to clams. Metal and popper plugs also worked. A 34-pound striped bass – “yes, striped bass,” the report said – was heaved from the surf at the park Monday evening on a salted clam. Another unusual catch was made: a 9-1/2-pound blue “at the end of our dirt road,” it said, on a bunker chunk. Catches like these often go un-reported, the report said, “so it’s just a matter of being consistent and don’t sit home … .”  Fluke, kingfish and, at night, sharks and rays were angled from the surf. For the fluke, finding them was 90-percent of the trick, it said. The fluke liked a bucktail with a Gulp. Snapper blues swam all around Barnegat Bay. Crabbing was consistent in the bay, and keepers were mixed with many undersized. 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>

<b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b> fished inshore yesterday, trolling bluefish, bonito and chub mackerel, none of the fish big, but a lot, at Barnegat Ridge, Capt. Mike said. Offshore tuna trips will begin to fish the canyons Friday aboard. That angling’s just beginning, catching here and there. A couple of bites were happening. Anglers caught fish. It’s starting, and that’s why the trips are beginning aboard. Most of the tuna were trolled, but a few were chunked and jigged. A few more caught those ways should be seen in the next couple of weeks. Mike will know more after the trip Friday.

For boaters on Barnegat Bay, fluke fishing wasn’t bad closer to the inlet or near the 36 can, said Kyle from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. The fishing was improving at the Tires on the ocean, or better reports tumbled in from there than before. Sea bass also chewed there. No blowfish and weakfish were reported from the bay.  An angler was landing bluefish at Oyster Creek from shore on bunker at night, going almost daily. Those were the only blues heard about. But snapper blues filled lagoons and waters like that. The shop hopes to stock fresh, local spearing this weekend. The year’s first of the baitfish were carried two weekends ago. None was stocked last weekend in the weather. Baits stocked include killies, frozen baits including local and Canadian spearing and the different squids, and, for freshwater, nightcrawlers.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

A couple of fluke trips fished the ocean, tying into fairly good catches the past couple of days on the <b>Super Chic</b>, Capt. Ted said. Enough keepers bit to keep all anglers interested, and a 6-pounder was in the mix yesterday. After the weekend’s stiff weather, anglers who could fish could score catches, pretty good. A few sea bass, lots of sea robins and plenty of throwbacks also bit on the trips. The boat fished 45 to 55 feet of water, and a trip Friday might fish for bluefish. The anglers booked for Saturday definitely want to bluefish. A few blues are schooling Barnegat Ridge. A couple of trips this month will launch the year’s tuna fishing aboard. Ted will probably determine September dates for open-boat tuna trips in the next week. He’ll try to schedule a couple for October, too. That month’s booked busy, but he’ll try.   

Keeper and throwback fluke put anglers into action Tuesday on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. Wednesday was another good day of the fishing aboard. Some sea bass were also socked on the boat. Now seems a good time to get after fluke on the boat, the report said. Trips are sailing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. Sunset cruises are running at 5:30 p.m. daily, and moonlight cruises will steam at 8:30 p.m. this Sunday through Tuesday. Watch the Atlantic City Air Show on August 23 on the water aboard, lunch included.

Good catches of fluke began to be heard about from the Tires in the ocean, said Ronnie from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. The fishing picked up, and sea bass were also hung there. In Barnegat Bay, anglers boated for fluke off the gas dock and Barnegat Lighthouse. Mostly throwbacks bit, he thought, and today he saw no keepers from the bay by 10 a.m., when he gave this report. Bluefish always pop up in Barnegat Inlet. Five or 6-pounders are probably biggest. Blackfish are biting along the inlet. A friend who dove saw plenty. Nothing was heard about crabbing recently, but crabbing’s been good along the mainland, like around Oyster Creek, this season. Many people clammed the bay, and catches were good. Clamming probably gave up the best catches of anything. People could dive right off the shop and come up with five clams. 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. Baits stocked include minnows and live grass shrimp. Ronnie was pretty sure green crabs were on hand.

<b>Mystic Island</b>

The bay’s summer flounder fishing seemed to drop off compared with before, said Brandon from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. The fish were apparently migrating toward the inlet and ocean like they do in summer. The ocean’s fishing for them at reefs seemed to improve the past three days. Good numbers, lots of shorts but a few keepers, were reported. Snapper blues and occasional bigger swam the bay. The small fish like blowfish, kingfish and croakers were yet to appear much in the bay that can make up a fishery in summer. When the fishing’s on, boaters anchor and chum for them, snappers and other catches that can include weakfish, spots and baby sea bass. Blackfish caught were mentioned from farther north at Barnegat Inlet and farther south at the Brigantine Bridge and Atlantic City’s jetties. White perch schooled not far up Mullica River and the creeks off the river in the area. A striped bass bite, including for a few keepers, happened in the river on trolled Bomber lures, occasionally on eels. Baits stocked include minnows, green crabs and eels.

<b>Absecon</b>

Boating for summer flounder was reported to pick up on the ocean, said Jay from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. The fishing sounded fairly good at each reef from Barnegat to locally. Flounder were still boated from the bay in deeper water, nothing crazy, but catching. Hear about weakfish? he was asked. From the mouth of Mullica River, he said. Hear about striped bass there? A few, on shedder crabs, he answered. Blackfishing was very good at bridges, other structure like that and jetties. Only one is the limit until more can be bagged late in the year. But those who fished for the tautog, caught. Jay fished on a tuna trip yesterday that struck out. One tuna bit on the chunk and broke off in like 8 seconds. The leader – light, 30-pound fluorocarbon – must’ve nicked on the mouth or something. Jay likes trolling because if the fish are hooked on the heavier line on the troll, they’re usually landed. The trip on the troll hooked a 10- or 11-pound bluefish in 80 feet of water, 50 miles from shore, interestingly. The boat was trolling fast because the boat was moving to another spot for tuna. Baits stocked include plenty of minnows. Green crabs and eels are on hand. Live spots from Maryland are carried. Five spots were landed from the shop’s dock on Absecon Creek two weeks ago or so. Jay knew about no spots locally since. More shedder crabs than before began to be available at the store. A good supply of soft-shell crabs for eating should be carried in two weekends. The store raises them, and keep up with the supply on <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/SoftshellCrabs/" target="_blank">Absecon Bay Sportsman’s Soft Shell Crabs Facebook Page</a>.

<b>Brigantine</b>

Spots moved into the surf, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Five anglers reported banking them, and Fred from the store planned to try for them tomorrow to see how the fishing was. Dunk bloodworms for them. Snapper blues also arrived in the surf, chasing peanut bunker. Fish any “meat” for the blues on small hooks on rigs like a Fireball. Kingfish and brown sharks swarmed all over the surf like before. Bloodworms hooked the kings more than Fishbites artificial worms did, and the water was cool for the best fishing with Fishbites at 76 degrees. Release the browns by law, and fish kingfish heads for them. Baits stocked include bloodworms and minnows.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Customers yanked many summer flounder from Absecon Inlet, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. The fish included maybe 10 to 15 that weighed 5 pounds that were checked-in at the shop in the past 1 ½ weeks. Inches of rain poured at Atlantic City on Saturday during the nor’easter. But that didn’t matter for fishing, and six flounder must’ve been brought to the shop Sunday. Minnows and squid fished best for flounder. Customers fish the nearby, jetty-lined inlet on foot, and are also nailing blackfish and triggerfish along its rocks. Green crabs are fished for the blackfish. Still, more flounder are landed than those fish. Sometimes sheepshead are reeled in along Brigantine Bridge. Tons of snapper blues are schooling the inlet. Snappers are blitzing on peanut bunker. Fish for the snappers with spearing or minnows under a bobber or with Sabiki rigs. All baits, a full supply, including those mentioned, are stocked.

<b>Margate</b>

Back-bay fishing for summer flounder was lots better Wednesday on the party boat <b>Keeper</b> than on the previous few days, Capt. John said. The water began to be clearer Wednesday, after the weekend’s storm dirtied the bay. A few keepers were hooked among throwbacks on both of the day’s trips, and John hopes the water keeps improving. Storms, including usual summertime ones in a day, might blow up. But they’re usually short this time of year, not sustained like last weekend’s. A few 2- to 3-pound blues were angled on trips. Abundant baby sea bass schooled the water that do this time of year. Sea robins and sharks also bit. Plenty of snapper blues and tons of baitfish schooled. The flounder bit minnows and mackerel supplied aboard and Gulps that 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.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Now that water began to clear, kingfish began to bite in the surf again, said John from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Brown sharks, required to be released, were eased from the surf. Small blues, a bunch, started to appear in Corson’s Inlet, smacking strip baits. Flounder roamed Corson’s but were small. Lots of throwback flounder swam the bay, and small blues cruised the bay. Flounder fishing began to pick up at ocean reefs. A customer’s trip with a few anglers boated four keepers at Ocean City Reef yesterday. Not much was heard about other reefs. Spanish mackerel had been found at Atlantic City Reef. A few sheepshead held at reefs. If anglers wanted to play with blackfish in the one-blackfish bag limit, plenty hovered along bridges and other structure. Not many were keepers, and green crabs are stocked for the fishing. Customers who tuna fished just began to return to the angling, after the weekend’s rough weather. Even before the weather, the water was dirty.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Water clarity took a hit from the bay to the ocean since last weekend’s storm but was beginning to clear, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. On Monday aboard, a charter released eight sharks to 75 pounds. Those were spinners, duskies and browns, and in the afternoon, another charter released three duskies. On Wednesday, a charter let go four sharks: browns, a spinner and a dusky. These were some of the inshore shark charters aboard that catch and released the fish usually within 10 miles from the coast. Some of the species are required to be let go, and the trips are a chance to pull on big fish without the long sail offshore. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

Spots, a big influx, showed up in the surf, including a few quite large – eating sized, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Excellent kingfishing was clubbed from the surf on bloodworms or Fishbites artificial worms, those catching about equally. The ocean’s summer flounder fishing seemed to really kick into gear at reefs. Some terrific reports rolled in during the past few days. The bay’s flounder catches seemed to be dwindling, and weren’t finished, but were fewer than before. High tide is about 5 p.m. today. That’s the beginning of ideal conditions, high tides in evenings, to fish for small striped bass on the bay. The fishing’s been productive this summer, and the tides happen every two weeks. Tons of small blues schooled everywhere from the bay to inlets to 10 miles from shore on the ocean. Trips ran across schools of the 1- to 3-pounders. Little was heard about tuna fishing since the weekend’s northeast winds and storm. Some trips headed for them, but not much was heard about catches. 

<b>Wildwood</b>

Warmth might’ve kept some anglers from fishing, but those who went boated summer flounder from the back bay, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. Lots more of the fish were throwbacks than keepers, like usual. But the fish were there.  Lots of frozen mackerel were sold at the shop. The store carries a three-pack that was popular, and they seemed in demand for flounder bait, though mackerel is more common for bait in spring for the flatfish. Spearing are usually popular for the fishing this season. The number of baby sea bass began to increase that show in the bay this time of year. Crabbing was good, and some were big. Canal Side rents boats for fishing, crabbing and pleasure and kayaks. <b>***<i>Get a $5 discount</i>***</b> on a rental boat if you mention Fishing Reports Now. A large supply of bait is stocked, including minnows for flounder. Fishing and crabbing tackle and gear is on hand. Live crabs for eating are $20, $25, $30 and $35 per dozen for four different sizes, from small to large, respectively. The price depends on the market. Cooked crabs are $5 per dozen additional. Those are New Jersey crabs. The store sometimes brings in crabs from Maryland on weekends, in case Jersey crabs become scarce. Looked like that would be unnecessary in the next days. People like the store’s Jersey crabs because they’re kept live in tanks. One important local government official, who won’t be named in this report, stopped by and commented on that. Customers also like the shop’s cooked crabs. Someone from Atlantic City picked up the cooked crabs, took them home and found that his family had also bought crabs from elsewhere. The person returned to Canal Side the next day and bought more, because he liked them, he said. 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 Jersey approves the shop for that.

<b>Cape May</b>

The <b>Heavy Hitter</b> tuna fished inshore Tuesday, Capt. George said. The fishing, on the chunk, was a little tough because light leaders had to be used. Four tuna were broken off. A mahi mahi was landed, and another pulled the hook. A small hammerhead shark grabbed a bait and was released. The anglers also tried jigging, but nothing hit the jigs. All the fish were hooked on butterfish. The water was filthy, after last week’s storm. George was surprised tuna were there. Lots of bait also schooled the 75-degree water.

A few tuna broke off at Massey’s Canyon yesterday on the <b>Prime Time II</b>, Capt. Steve said. That was on the chunk, and some mahi mahi were chunked on the trip. The end of the trip trolled, but nothing bit then. The tuna broke off because light, 30-pound, fluorocarbon leaders had to be fished. So did small chunks of bait. Was the water dirty? Steve was asked. “Not too bad,” he said, but it was somewhat. The reason the light leaders and small pieces of bait had to be fished to draw bites in discolored water was unknown, but it did. The water was 72 to 73 degrees, and the fish-finder seemed to mark sand eels along bottom. Not much other life was seen. Some tuna chicks flew around. Steve spoke with a few trips that had similar results that day. Steve will try to chunk for tuna or troll for mahi in the next days. He did no summer flounder fishing recently, but did previously, covered in previous reports here.

Fishing’s “been picking some” summer flounder from the ocean on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. None of the daily trips sailed Saturday and Sunday because of wind 30 or 35 knots and rough seas. Despite those conditions, a couple of anglers limited out on Monday’s trip, including Bob Key from Lancaster. Kathryn Wapole from Queens on the trip limited out on three, including a 6-pounder that she won the pool with. She, her dad and her brother totaled five keepers on the outing. The water’s been dirty and green since the blow, and tuna anglers said the water was even dirty 30 or 40 miles from shore. The angling was picky on Tuesday’s trip, but two anglers limited, including Bob Key again. He also won the pool with a 5-pounder that day, and Rob Orcutt from Broomall, Pa., was the other who limited. Flounder fishing on trips was still picky like before. But the fish were there to be caught, even after the blow. Trips are fishing for flounder at 8 a.m. daily.

Summer flounder fishing at ocean reefs seemed to begin turning on, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Good catches were reported from Cape May and Wildwood reefs and Reef 11. One customer’s trip at Cape May Reef boated seven keepers to a 7-3/4-pound 27-1/2-incher. Flounder were still bagged from the back bay or in the harbor and along the Intracoastal Waterway. Some flounder were heard about from Delaware Bay, mostly from along the edges of 20-Foot and 60-Foot sloughs. Croakers were around in the bay at drop-offs like that. Snapper blues schooled along the bay’s shore. Weakfish seemed to hug the Concrete Sheep near the shore and surf jetties at Cape May Point. Good kingfishing and croaker fishing was beached from Cape May’s surf. Blackfish, triggerfish and sheepshead gathered along jetties. Occasional flounder were slid from the surf. Tuna fishing sounded pretty good, a little spotty. Fifty-and 60-pounders were mostly chunked or were jigged in early mornings. Light leaders 30 to 50 pounds were fished for chunking. Somewhat heavier could be fished when jigging. Crabbing was excellent. Bloodworms, minnows, green crabs and all frozen baits are stocked, including all frozen for offshore, like butterfish, sardines and ballyhoos.

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