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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 5-22-18

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Black drum were boated well on the bay, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. A Fortescue party boat that buys bait at the shop reported landing 12 of the drum on Thursday night. Sharon didn’t know how the boat fared during the weekend. A customer on Friday reported beaching two striped bass 41 and 45 inches from Cape May’s surf, one during daytime, the other at night. The angler was headed to Brigantine, saying he heard stripers, bluefish and weakfish were banked there. Fish were around, including drum, bigger stripers than before and some weakfish. People crabbed but water was cold. Catches of the blueclaws seemed yet to pick up. All usual baits are stocked. Fresh clams are scarce and difficult to obtain these days. The supplier harvested none during the weekend in rough weather. Sharon hoped the supplier harvested the clams yesterday in good weather. 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.


Crabbing was weathered out last weekend at <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>, Paul said. That weekend, the one before Memorial Day weekend, is usually when crabbing becomes available from the rental boats. The boats will become available this coming weekend from Saturday through Monday, Memorial Day. Afterward, they’ll be available on Saturdays and Sundays, until becoming available daily in late June, when schools let out for summer. That’s the usual schedule each year. Paul saw crab shells at the boat ramp, so crabs went through a shed. They shed to grow, often around full and new moons, once water becomes warm enough. The new moon was last Tuesday. He saw minnows in the creek yesterday morning for the first time this year. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. Rental kayaks and canoes are available to paddle the scenic creek. Call ahead to reserve all of these vessels, including because they become booked up when the season gets going. The shop stocks everything needed for crabbing, from bait, traps and nets to drinks, snacks and suntan lotion. Beaver Dam can host events like birthday parties and family reunions, and groups like scouts, including for an educational day on the water. Visit <a href="" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>.


Capt. Howard sailed the <b>Salt Talk</b> on Sunday on the year’s first fishing aboard, on a trip for black drum on the bay, he said. The trip fished 1 or 1 ¼ miles off the Villas, and lots of boats fished there. The angling seemed slow at the time, and Howard saw only three drum landed on other vessels. The water was a little dirty and held grass and debris from rough weather recently. Seas were a little rough in the morning and calmed later in the day. Summer flounder season will open Friday, and this might be too early in the year for a substantial number of flounder to swim the bay. One of Fortescue’s party boats took a drift to see if flounder would bite, and none did. Horseshoe crabs might’ve become a nuisance for Fortescue’s surf anglers fishing for striped bass. The striper fishing had been good and might’ve become slower. A friend who was boating sizable stripers on the northern bay, sailing from Cohansey River, said that angling was slowing down, so the friend returned his boat to Fortescue. The Fortescue surf casters had been reeling in bluefish at times, and Howard knew a trapper who found blues in the traps. The Salt Talk used to be a Fortescue party boat. Howard sold that vessel, and the current Salt Talk is a charter boat for up to four passengers.

<b>Cape May</b>

The evening’s first black drum was just cranked from Delaware Bay on Sunday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> when Capt. George gave this report in a phone call on the outing, he said. None was hooked until then on the charter, though George saw the fish being decked on surrounding boats. Drum were also pulled from the bay on a charter aboard Saturday. More drum trips are slated for Wednesday and Thursday on board.

Eight black drum to 80 pounds were on the rope so far on Delaware Bay aboard, when Capt. Tom from <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b> gave this report Sunday evening in a phone call on the trip, he said. Eight were totaled on the previous day’s trip, and the boat fished for the drum every day, even in rough weather this past week. Remembering how many were caught on each trip was difficult, but a couple of the trips subdued 14 or 15 apiece.

Striped bass were weighed from the surf daily last week at <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>, Nick said. They included big, up to 31 pounds, and see photos on <a href="" target="_blank">Hands’ Facebook page</a>. They were dragged from Delaware Bay, but the ocean surf began to give some up.  Fresh bunker was best bait, but fresh clams began to catch on the ocean side, too. Cape May is at the confluence of the bay and ocean. A few bluefish began to be reported from the bay’s surf, and from the back bay. A few weakfish nipped along jetties on bloodworms and on soft-plastic lures on bucktails. Boating for black drum became good on Delaware Bay at usual places they were caught in recent years on the New Jersey side. The fish to 70 pounds were heard about.

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