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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 6-26-18

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Much was heard about summer flounder at <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>, Sharon from the shop said. Not many details were heard about Delaware Bay’s flounder fishing, but flounder were boated from the bay. No great catches of keepers might’ve been reported. Anglers who fished for flounder on back bays often asked for Berkley Gulp crabs. Berkley make a Peeler Crab that the shop carried for years, and suddenly everybody wants. Anglers on back bays noticed small crabs in the stomachs of flounder, making the bait popular. Weakfish and blues were also reported from Delaware Bay. The weaks seemed spread throughout the bay, after they first appeared in the southern half. Traditional places like near Flat Top and the No. 1 buoy probably held them. Sharon wasn’t asked where the bluefish were located. But blues tend to pop up randomly throughout the bay in summer. Striped bass, lots of small but some keepers, were reported boated near Ship John last week. More customers crabbed than before, and crab catches seemed to keep improving a little. Baits stocked include minnows that were scarce previously. The supply seemed somewhat more abundant than before, and Sharon hopes that continues. Minnows are popular bait for flounder. 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>Newport</b>

Crabbing wasn’t bad, wasn’t bad, said Paul at <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>. Weather caused the store to be closed Saturday. But rental-boaters on Sunday probably averaged two-dozen keepers. Some trapped way more, and some only nabbed a few, including crabbers who insisted on using chicken for bait, when bunker caught best. The shop offered them a few bunker free, but the crabbers stuck with chicken. The crew at the shop has found that chicken works when crabs are mating, guessing that had to do with hormones. Crabs weren’t mating last weekend. Lots of baby crabs skittered around. The biggest keepers this year so far were 6 ½ inches. Many keepers currently were 5 to 5 ½ inches. The rental-boater who traps the year’s biggest wins a free boat rental next year, an annual prize. The water is warming, usually good for crabbing. One of the rental boats landed more than 30 white perch from the creek. Another angler released a 24-inch, throwback striper from the water. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. The rentals this weekend became available daily for the season, after they were available only on weekends previously, a usual schedule each year.  Rental kayaks and canoes are available to paddle the scenic creek. Reserve rentals ahead, because they can become booked this time of year. Beaver Dam stocks everything needed for crabbing, from bait, traps and nets to drinks, snacks and suntan lotion. The shop can host events like birthday parties and family reunions, and groups like scouts, including for an educational day on the water. Visit <a href=" http://www.crabulousnj.com/Home_Page.php" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>.

<b>Fortescue</b>

Trips fished for summer flounder on the bay Thursday and Sunday on the <b>Salt Talk</b>, and the angling seemed to be picking up, Capt. Howard said. A few keepers were decked among throwbacks, and bluefish were sometimes mixed in. The blues bit flounder rigs on bottom, weren’t the blues that are sometimes seen along the water surface chasing bunker schools. The trips caught including at the stakes and off Egg Island Point and False Egg Island Point. The water was probably in the high 60 degrees, and felt warm. A few junkfish including oyster crackers and sea robins seemed to become more abundant than before. One of the trips fought big sand sharks 4 or 5 feet long. Howard prefers to avoid the sharks, but the anglers seemed to get a kick out of them. No weakfish were hooked aboard in two weeks, but Howard heard about a few weaks, small ones like 10 inches, from the bay. No kingfish were landed aboard, but Howard saw 10-inch kings that others caught from the bay. No croakers seemed around, but he hopes they arrive in the bay. 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>

The bay’s summer flounder catches sounded good, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. He heard nothing about location. Flounder fishing was also good on back bays. Any weakfish in Delaware Bay? A couple toward Bug Light and the stakes there. Surf anglers picked a few weaks along jetties. Surf fishing for stripers slowed, but still gave up an occasional keeper or throwback. Anglers began targeting sheepshead along bridges and jetties in back bays.

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