Sat., Dec. 15, 2018
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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 9-25-18

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

A couple of striped bass, keepers 33 inches and 35 or 37 inches, were heard about from the surf at Fortescue, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. The fish were bloodwormed and a surprise – the angler was trying for other fish like white perch or something. The bay’s striper fishing usually picks up later in the season. That seemed a good sign, maybe. Business increased from anglers buying supplies for striper fishing farther north. Stripers hooked around Absecon Inlet in Atlantic City were heard about, for instance. Weakfish and kingfish swam the bay and could be boated. Summer flounder season closed beginning Sunday. Weather was typically rough for the time of year when seasons are changing. Weather seemed especially rough, or this was a long stretch. Customers still crabbed, and crabbing might’ve slowed, but still caught. Water was warm enough. Baits stocked include bloodworms and shedder crabs. Sharon couldn’t know how much longer shedders will be available. Crabs will stop shedding soon during colder weather. The shop vacuum seals and freezes shedders, too, so they’ll be available for some time. Sharon often fishes the frozen crabs even when live are available. They hold up well and seem to catch as many fish as the live do. 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 last weekend was about the same as before at <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>, Paul said. Previously he said catches were fairly good. So that continued. The tide was awkward or high tide was in mid-morning. Crabs were nabbed before slack, and crabbers who had patience to wait for the tide to run again, caught again. About half the crabs were females. Some crabbers prefer to release females, thinking that helps procreation. Bunker probably trapped crabs somewhat better than chicken did. But that changes. A couple of 20-inch striped bass were reeled from the creek. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. The boats will be available Saturday and Sunday at the store, and will be unavailable afterward through winter, becoming available again in spring. Rental kayaks and canoes will be available on that same schedule to paddle the scenic creek. Although all of these boats become unavailable after this weekend, the store remains open for crabbing and fishing supplies and other things including duck hunting. A 7-1/16-inch crab is the biggest trapped from the store this year, and one weekend is left to catch a bigger. Each year, the customer with the biggest wins a free boat rental for the next year. Visit <a href=" http://www.crabulousnj.com/Home_Page.php" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>. 

<b>Fortescue</b>

A trip fished Thursday on the <b>Salt Talk</b> on the bay, landing a couple of throwback summer flounder, a couple of bluefish and some sharks, not much, Capt. Howard said. Some wind blew, from northeast, and seas became rougher the farther from shore the trip fished. Conditions failed to drift the boat great for flounder fishing.  First, inshore near False Egg Island Point was fished. Then the trip fished the stakes, the rips offshore of there, off Egg Island Point and then back at the stakes. 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>

Little was heard about boating last week because of weather, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. But the bay’s boaters had been fishing near the 9 and 10 buoys to catch summer flounder. Flounder season closed beginning Sunday. Surf anglers began to beach striped bass more than before. Many scored 18- to 24-inchers, and clams or mullet probably caught best. But some anglers connected on top-water lures or swimming plugs when birds worked. Snapper blues, plenty, schooled the surf. The stripers and blues could be found from Poverty Beach along the ocean to Delaware Bay’s shore. Cape May is at the confluence. Along the bay’s shore near the concrete ship, spots, kingfish, weakfish and croakers also showed up. A couple of keeper summer flounder were reported from Cape May Point along the jetties last week. Most mullet seemed to migrate to the surf, though some remained in the back bay. The ocean was too rough to boat. Fishing for small stripers was good on the back bay in early mornings and evenings, on clams or bunker while building a chum slick, or at creek mouths on top-waters or soft-plastic lures. Crabbing remained decent.

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