Sat., Oct. 20, 2018
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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 9-4-18

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b> recommends fishing deeper for the bay’s flounder this time of year, like along the shipping channel’s edges or at the anchorage, she said. The fish seem to seek cooler water in the deep now. No specific reports rolled in about flounder fishing on the bay. But the fish should be swimming the bay. One of the shop’s bait suppliers was netting spots from the bay. Weakfish probably schooled the bay, and Sharon hopes that authorities loosen regulations for weakfishing. Currently, one weakfish can be bagged per angler, per day. If four or five were allowed to be kept, trips would probably fish for weakfish. No trips do in the one-fish bag limit, really. Sharon knew anglers who motored to the northern bay at Ship John two weekends ago, catching small striped bass, and seeing other boaters pulling in the stripers there. One keeper was known about. Tackle like bucktails or bloodworms on a rig were fished for the stripers. Sharon joined a trip that fished Cape May Reef on the ocean Saturday. Probably 15 to 20 flounder, including one keeper, were reeled aboard. So were four or five 1-pound blues and some small sea bass. Sea bass season closed beginning Saturday. Seas were 1 to 2 feet, and weather was beautiful, after rough weather on Friday. A few green crabs were stocked, and anglers fished with them for blackfish and sheepshead along rocks and wrecks. All usual baits are stocked, including minnows, bloodworms and shedder crabs. Crabbing was pretty good. 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>

Crabbers averaged 1 ½ to two dozen keepers per trip during the weekend at <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>, Paul said. The catch was slower than he expected, but the best crabbing was early in morning, because of the tide. That’ll change, and crabbing was no good for most crabbers on Sunday. One trip, though, departed early in morning and caught well. The others showed up in mid-morning. A 7-1/16-inch crab was nabbed. That is the biggest this year so far, and the customer with the biggest wins a free boat rental next year, an annual prize. One trip from Beaver Dam nailed 50 large crabs. Commercial crabbers reported lots of big crabs, including 7-inchers. Bunker, chicken and squid caught crabs equally this weekend. No customers seriously fished during the weekend, but three or four big striped bass hung on crab lines. They seemed to like chicken. Paul had reported big stripers in the creek previously. They returned. Puppy black drum were abundant, showing up in crab traps and nibbling on hand lines. Turtles, diamondback terrapins, were less abundant than they have been this season, but were still there. They can be a nuisance sometimes, attracted to crab bait. Bunker attracts them less than chicken. Now that Labor Day is passed, maybe the turtles will be less abundant, because fewer people will crab on weekdays. If bait in the water is less abundant, maybe that will cause fewer turtles to stick around. Now that the holiday is passed, the store will open at 6:30 a.m. instead of 6 a.m., because the sun is rising later. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. Everything needed for crabbing is stocked at the store, from bait, traps and nets to drinks, snacks and suntan lotion. Visit <a href=" http://www.crabulousnj.com/Home_Page.php" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>. 

<b>Fortescue</b>

One trip fished in super-hot weather last week on the <b>Salt Talk</b>, Capt. Howard said. He was busy working his day job the rest of the week. But the angler on the trip had a shoulder injury that was acting up, and quit early at 11 a.m. Throwback summer flounder and some bluefish were caught on the trip. That was at the Elbow and, on one drift, the wreck buoy. After that drift, the trip returned. A boat at the dock next to the Salt Talk totaled four keeper flounder among throwbacks released on a trip. Another angler, a local, boated a few kingfish, not large, and bluefish at the first drop-off. A few croakers were showing up “down the beach a little,” Howard said. 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 anglers.

<b>Cape May</b>

Summer flounder fishing was generally not bad, said Joe from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. On Delaware Bay, flounder were boated near buoy 19. No weakfish were heard about from anywhere, including the bay. On the ocean, flounder catches were okay at Reef 11. Some keepers were still found in back bays. In the surf, kingfish, small croakers, small bluefish and a few pompano were around. Flounder also swam the surf, and most were throwbacks. Locating a keeper could be tough, but a good number of flounder roamed the surf. Sheepshead were still angled at places like bridges and pilings.

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