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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 8-21-18

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

The 19 buoy and the 21 buoy were the places anglers talked about to catch summer flounder from the bay, said Ray from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. The 19 is the buoy south of Miah Maul Lighthouse, and the 21 is the buoy north of the Maul. Both are along the edge of the Delaware side of the shipping channel. If you’re going to bag flounder on the Delaware side and then boat on the New Jersey side, the flounder must meet Jersey’s minimum legal size for the bay: 17 inches. Delaware’s minimum is 16 ½. You can be ticketed if you bring a flounder under 17 to the Jersey side. Gulps and minnows were the popular baits for flounder for customers. Small bluefish were boated from the bay. A customer reported watching another angler reel in weakfish after weakfish while fishing from shore, but Ray didn’t know whether that was on the bay or elsewhere. One weakfish is the bag limit, and apparently the angler kept no more than that. The customer also saw that angler pull in undersized, 16-1/2-inch flounder in the mix. Crabbing seemed to be improving locally. 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 on Saturday was pretty good at <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>, Paul said. Those who could crab averaged two to three dozen keepers per trip that day. The shop was closed Sunday because of rough weather. Paul expected good crabbing this week, because tides were going to be ideal. High tide was at 9 a.m. today, for instance. Crabbers who headed out at 6 a.m. could crab the end of incoming and throughout outgoing, and those are good times. Crabs caught were mostly either large or small. Few were in-between. Crabs kept being seen coupled or mating along pilings. That was early, because crabs usually mate on full or new moons, and the full moon will be this weekend. Maybe crabs will be finished mating by the time the moon is full. Schoolie striped bass swam the creek. Paul had been reporting large stripers that were hooked but broke off in the creek, and heard about none in past days. That didn’t mean none was there. Maybe some were, maybe some weren’t. A customer who nailed white perch, a bunch, two weekends ago from the creek said he landed a few this weekend. That angler tends to be conservative in reporting catches, Paul said. Another customer tugged four big rays to the side of the boat on a crab hand line on the creek. Abundant turtles – diamondback terrapins – scurried around the creek. Customers had to deal with the turtles feeding on crab bait. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. Beaver Dam carries 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="" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>. 


A trip before the weekend decked a few keeper summer flounder and mostly throwbacks from the Ditch on the bay, between Egg Island Point and the 19 buoy, on the <b>Salt Talk</b>, Capt. Howard said. A few small blues were also reeled in, and fishing was about the same as previously aboard the bay. The population of flounder might’ve thinned somewhat, because an owner of a boat from the docks that usually limits out on the fish said his trips still limited but reeled in fewer flounder than previously. Still, the fishing seemed the same as before on the Salt Talk. Weather became rough during the weekend, making news scarce on those days. The bay on the trip was 78 degrees, and previously was 80. Maybe rainwater including from Delaware River cooled the bay slightly. A netter found lots of weakfish in the netter’s fish traps in the bay close to shore near Maurice River. A crabber found croakers and spots in the crabber’s pots, but Howard heard about no croakers and spots caught on hook and line. He heard about a 50-inch cobia landed from 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>

Near the 19 buoy was supposed to be a place to bag flounder on Delaware Bay, Joe from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b> said late last week. But anglers who fished there said they only hooked throwbacks. Near the 9 and 10 buoys and near Fortescue seemed better for keepers on the bay, he said at the time. Good kingfishing was had in the surf. Cape May is located at the confluence of the bay and the surf, so anglers fish the surf along both bodies of water. Small croakers showed up in the surf, and small bluefish sometimes turned up in the water. When the croakers appeared, shark fishing seemed to pick up in the surf. Brown sharks were abundant. Sometimes dusky and even blacktip sharks bit. Like 1 ½ hours before dark and into dark gave up the sharks. The other night, anglers would land one and release it, cast again, and hook another. Many sharks that swim the surf are required to be let go. Triggerfish and blackfish hugged jetties. Sheepshead, another fish that hugs structure, always appear in summer, but were especially abundant this year. They swam along structure like bridges and even inshore wrecks. Green crabs are bait for them, but no green crabs were stocked. But shedder crabs were supposed to arrive and could be used.

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