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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 5-29-18

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Quite a number of black drum were boated on Delaware Bay on the New Jersey side, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. Fourteen were landed Thursday night on a Fortescue party boat. Five were reeled in on the boat the next night, and no reports were heard from the rest of the weekend. Obtaining fresh clams, the popular bait for drum, was probably the biggest challenge. The clams were scarce and probably will continue to be. The clams arrived at the store one morning, on Friday or Saturday, and not the rest of the weekend. Anglers can telephone and order the clams from the store, and the shop will keep the anglers informed about the status of the order. Some anglers fished frozen clams for the drum, and some reported catching on them. The year’s first shedder crabs became available during the weekend, and drum will bite shedders. Big striped bass were sometimes heaved from the bay’s surf at Cape May. Sometimes black drum were also eased from that surf. Customers reported limiting out on summer flounder at Corson’s Inlet or in the back bay in that area on this opening weekend of flounder season. Nothing was heard about flounder from Delaware Bay, but flounder might be swimming the bay. Bluefish and sometimes weakfish were angled in the Brigantine and Atlantic City area surf. Sometimes weaks were nabbed in the Somers Point and Avalon area. Participation in crabbing picked up, but Sharon was unsure about results. Commercial crabbers said crabbing was a slow pick but improving. The fact that shedder crabs became available is a sign that crabbing should improve. Crabs were becoming more active. 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 kicked off this weekend for the year on the rental boats at <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>, and was better than Paul expected, he said. Lots were trapped, and most were small. But rental-boaters who could crab trapped about three dozen keepers per trip. The crabbing usually begins the previous weekend, the weekend before Memorial Day weekend, for the year at the shop. But the crabbing was weathered out that weekend. The store was also closed this Sunday because of weather. Bunker caught best, and usually does, except on new and full moons, when crabs are shedding or mating. Then chicken sometimes works best. That’s because of hormones, Paul guesses. A few customers fished on the creek, hooking a few throwback striped bass, not many, but a few, including a couple of 24-inchers. The rental boats are available every Saturday and Sunday, until becoming available daily in late June, when schools let out for summer. That’s the schedule every year. Rental kayaks and canoes are available to paddle the scenic creek. Telephone ahead to reserve all rentals, because they can become booked when in demand. Beaver Dam stocks everything needed for crabbing, from traps, bait and nets to drinks, snacks and suntan lotion. Visit <a href="" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>.


The <b>Salt Talk</b> was going to fish for black drum on Memorial Day, Capt. Howard said the evening before the trip. A trip hooked but broke off a drum the previous Monday aboard. Howard spoke with another charter captain whose trip landed two and lost two Saturday evening. That captain told Howard that a Fortescue party boat totaled six that evening. Striped bass fishing seemed to slow from Fortescue’s surf. Horseshoe crabs arrived in the water and fouled fishing lines, and only six or eight anglers fished the beach when Howard looked Sunday. Howard knew about nobody who fished for summer flounder on the bay during this opening weekend of flounder season.

<b>Cape May</b>

The Mattia charter Sunday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> boxed three black drum from the bay then returned to port because of weather, Capt. George said. Northeast wind came up, and seas became somewhat sloppy, though better weather was forecast. The Capella charter the previous day aboard bagged three drum and lost three.

Good-sized striped bass kept being beached from Delaware Bay’s surf in town, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. The keepers were all bigger, and a few were smaller, like a 28-incher one customer had. Bunker chunks and lures caught, and bluefish occasionally bit during the angling. Blues also hit along the ocean surf’s jetties on bucktails. Cape May is located at the confluence of the bay and the ocean. Pretty good catches of weakfish began to be heard about from along Cape May’s jetties on bloodworms on floats. Bubblegum-colored soft-plastic lures worked well along Delaware Bay’s jetties on the trout. Boating for black drum was off the hook on Delaware Bay last week. Evenings during hard-moving tides fished best, and the drum came from usual places like the shallows close to shore off Coxhall Creek. But the fish began to bite along hard bottom farther from shore. Fishing for summer flounder seemed promising for the opening of flounder season last Friday, Nick said before the opener. Everybody who knew said the population looked good in the back bay. But the store’s bunker netter found a few flounder in the nets in Delaware Bay, and that seemed reason for optimism on that bay. Flounder hadn’t been heard about from Delaware Bay this early in recent years, though they used to be a common catch this early there.

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