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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 11-6-18

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Customers began asking for fresh bunker for bait more frequently, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. That’s popular for striped bass fishing this season, including on the bay. But really no news rolled in about fishing in difficult weather including storms and wind. Autumn’s weather is always rough, but this fall’s feels exceptional. A calmer day happens occasionally, followed by three or four rough days again. Sharon heard about a couple of striped bass, apparently keepers, caught around Ocean City, but no details, including whether the fish came from back waters or the ocean. She talked with a friend who’s a fishing business owner farther north in Mantoloking, and the friend reported little business selling supplies for striper fishing yet. The striper migration was apparently still farther north in New Jersey. Sea bass fishing on the ocean is one of the only other types of fishing available this time of season in saltwater. But windy weather seemed to keep those trips from sailing. Green crabs are stocked for blackfishing like along jetties. Fresh bunker are carried when available but are difficult to obtain from suppliers in the weather. Bunker boats don’t sail in stiff weather. Sharon obtained a couple of local suppliers but will drive a distance to get the baitfish if necessary. Bloodworms have been carried all the time. The store’s been stocking sandworms that are similar and popular farther north in the state but gaining interest locally. Sands can grow larger than bloods. Clams have been coming in, but mostly frozen, salted. Fresh clams were scarce apparently for the same reason as fresh bunker were: the clam boats often didn’t sail in the weather. Anglers hope this stretch of rough weather calms. The Girls Place, located on Route 47, just after Route 55 ends, carries a large supply of bait and tackle, and is the long, one-story, yellow building on the right. It’s on the way to the bay.

<b>Fortescue</b>

Capt. Howard from the <b>Salt Talk</b> was going to boat for striped bass on the bay Sunday with a neighbor, he said. That was the only day with calmer weather recently. But the neighbor showed up too late for the trip to sail. Howard had planned to troll with Stretch lures but also drift livelined spots that are available from a bunker netter he knows. Salt Talk is supposed to compete Saturday on the bay in an annual striper tournament from Money Island. If Howard gets the weather to sail, he should have news about the fishing afterward. Howard thought that one of the Higbee’s from Fortescue was going to fish for stripers last weekend or last week on the bay but never heard results. The Salt Talk used to be a Fortescue party boat. Howard sold that vessel, and the new Salt Talk is a charter boat for up to four passengers. 

<b>Cape May</b>

Sounds like things are starting to happen, and the southern migration of striped bass began arriving in the northern state, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. At Cape May, small bluefish were nabbed from the surf last week. A few throwback stripers and a couple of keepers were banked along surf jetties locally. If fishing bait for the blues or stripers, Nick would still recommend mullet. The mullet migration was gone or thinning out – he wasn’t asked for this report whether any remained, but the baitfish seemed gone or thinned out at some places last week in New Jersey – but the bait still caught. Fresh bunker that were going to be stocked last weekend would also work. Frozen, salted clams will always bean the throwback stripers, too. Fresh bunker should be stocked the rest of the season at the shop whenever available from suppliers. Fresh, shucked clams were also going to be carried last weekend. If fishing lures for the blues, metal was productive. Top-water lures hit them at first light or when the fish were feeding heavily. For the stripers along the jetties, Daiwa SP Minnows and Yo-Zuri Mag Darters were top lures. Tsunami swim shads also caught. These lures replicated the baitfish. The back bay was on fire with baitfish and 18- to 24-inch stripers, a few bigger that were keepers. Lures to hook them were slimmer, like Bass Assassins or others that weren’t paddle-tails, because spearing schooled. Getting reports about sea bass fishing on the ocean was tough, because weather kept canceling trips. But ocean wrecks should be prime for sea bass.  

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