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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 5-17-18

<b>Sewaren</b>

A 41.7-pound striped bass was checked-in that Tom Nespole trolled at Old Orchard Shoal on a Mojo, said Tim from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. Team Outer Limits trolled 12 stripers at Reach Channel including a 35.6-pounder and a 28.7-pounder on Mojos. Stripers were reported boated including at Old Orchard, the Reach and from Keansburg to the Ammo Pier on Raritan Bay. None was boated at the Triangle on the bay, though anglers tried, and the fish were yet to set up in New York Harbor. The harbor can attract them soon. Bluefish began to bite when the anglers fished for stripers. Pier anglers still docked stripers, fewer than before, but still catching. A 20-inch fluke was released from Sewaren Pier. All fluke bait and tackle will be stocked for the opening of fluke season May 25. Baits currently stocked include fresh bunker, salted clams in pints and quarts, sandworms and freshwater baits like trout worms. Dockside, located on Smith Creek, a tributary of the Arthur Kill, is accessible from land and water at the fuel dock.

<b>Keyport</b>

Raritan Bay’s striped bass fishing was excellent aboard, said Capt. Mario from the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>. Many of the bass, including a good number heavier than 25 pounds, bit. That was mostly on cast rubber shads and trolled Mojos. Occasionally trips pasted the fish on livelined bunker, when bunker popped up and were snagged for bait. Open-boat trips are fishing for stripers at 6 a.m. daily and at 1 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays on the Down Deep Bull. The Down Deep, the company’s other boat, began sea bass fishing on Tuesday, opening day of sea bass season, on open trips slated to fish at 6 a.m. daily. Conditions, including poor visibility, weren’t great, and the angling failed to get off to a great start. But trips will keep after them. See weekly schedules of spaces available on <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/downdeepsportfishing/" target="_blank">Down Deep’s Facebook page</a>.  Both boats are comfortable, clean vessels, he said, with full galleys. Fluke season will open on May 25. Like every year, the angler with the season’s heaviest fluke will win a custom rod. Recent heaviest were a 12.6-pounder in 2017, an 11.8-pounder in 2016 and an 11.4-pounder in 2015.  

The new boat should be ready to fish Friday with <b>Manicsportfishing</b>, Capt. Greg said. That’s a 31-foot, fully customized Steiger Craft with twin 300 horsepower Yamahas. Lots of trips are lined up to fish aboard. The boat will fish for striped bass, and the bass still held in Raritan Bay, and some big began to hit in the ocean. Those were mature, migrating bass that finished spawning and departed back waters. Charters and open-boat trips fish aboard.

Excellent striped bass fishing was pounded from Raritan Bay on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Trips kept limiting out and releasing additional keeper-sized, and many weighed more than 20 pounds. Large bluefish began to mix in on the last couple of trips, adding to the great action. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing in mornings and afternoons. Fluke season will be opened on May 25, the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. The year’s first fluke trips will fish that Saturday through Monday. Bring bucktails and Gulps, and New York’s fluke season is already open. New Yorkers are already catching them. “The doormats are waiting!” Frank wrote. Come and get yours. “You know we know how to find them!”

<b>Leonardo</b>

Boating picked away at striped bass on Raritan Bay, even throughout the storm, said Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>. No trips fished with Sour Kraut during the weather, and no anglers wanted to go in those conditions. But the bass still swam the water. Stripers seemed to be finishing spawning and piling out to the ocean. Joe will keep an eye on that fishing to get after those big breeders. Currently, fishing for them was sporadic. If anglers found them and the fish felt like biting, the anglers caught. A sea bass trip is slated aboard Sunday, now that sea bass season opened Tuesday.  In other news, lots of small stripers were reeled from the surf from Sandy Hook to Sea Bright. <b>***Update, Saturday, 5/19:***</b> Limits of striped bass to 35 pounds were boated from the ocean the past two days aboard, Joe wrote in an email. That angling broke open, and nobody can know how long it’ll last. Now’s the time to jump on the fish.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

A couple of keeper striped bass were decked so far from Raritan Bay at 10:45 a.m. today when Capt. Tom from the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> gave this report in a phone call aboard, he said. No trips fished Wednesday in rough weather. The angling was decent Tuesday aboard, and was best on Monday. Trips are fishing for stripers 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily. Watch weather forecasts for Friday and Saturday, or call the boat to ask whether trips will sail those days, because strong wind from northeast could cancel them. If wind blows 20 to 25 knots from northeast, that creates rough seas where the boat’s fishing. Anglers can check the link to the New York Harbor weather buoy on the boat’s website.

Boaters ran into a shot of striped bass, bailing them, off Sandy Hook Point about an hour today, said Tom from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Stripers continued to school Raritan Bay, and bluefish began to be boated on the bay. A couple of local charter boats sailed for sea bass and socked pretty good catches since sea bass season opened Tuesday. The store’s rental boats are in the water for the season. Customers use them including for fluke fishing on the bay when fluke season is opened May 25. All bait and tackle will be stocked for the opener.

<b>***Update, Friday, 5/17:***</b> From <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>, Ron is still beaching striped bass from Raritan Bay’s shore, he said. A bluefish is biting once in a while. He’s fishing all along the shore, mostly at nighttime, casting plugs, and the fishing for stripers, up to 30 inches, is still good, giving up two or three in a trip. He’s often working metal-lipped swimmers. Danny plugs are catching for him, and he’s also tossing Bombers, only because everybody else is using Daiwa SP Minnows. Not a lot of bluefish are around for surf-casters along the bay, but some are. At this time last year, blues were in thick for a week already, according to his log book. The blues currently are still thin and look sluggish, like they do early in the season when water’s cold and the blues can’t eat much, because of low metabolism. But the water is 60 degrees, warm enough for them to be aggressive. Twenty-inch weakfish showed up for shore anglers at Port Monmouth, swiping SP’s. The ocean surf seemed to hold more blues than stripers recently, though stripers also swam that water. He on Tuesday or Wednesday evening in the ocean surf beat bluefish 6 or 7 pounds, not the big gators in the bay and river. Boaters are still rounding up stripers, not big, from the bay, often trolling them. Some boaters tested the bay for fluke, anticipating the opening of fluke season this coming Friday. The fish seemed there.

<b>Highlands</b>

Rain was tough, but if trips could fish between rough weather, striped bass catches were good from Raritan Bay, Capt. Pete from <b>Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing</b> wrote in an email. The boat’s been fishing for them with great success. Bunker, KTS Mojos and M3Tackle spoons hooked them best aboard. Trips will keep after stripers, including on Magic Hour Trips 4 to 9 p.m. that are available. Sea bass season opened Tuesday, and fluke season will open on May 25. Reservations are being taken for those trips, too. Telephone if interested.

Motoring out from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b> on Monday, Ed Niedzinski and Dan Yurow limited out on striped bass to 40 inches on the bay, Marion wrote in an email. Twin Lights, located on Shrewsbury River near Raritan Bay and the ocean, with no bridges before them, includes a marina with boat slips, dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait-and-tackle shop and ship’s store. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card. Baits stocked include live bunker when in demand.

<b>Neptune</b>

The following report was posted Wednesday as an update and is being re-posted in case anybody missed it: Striped bass including two heavier than 25 pounds were angled Tuesday on a charter aboard, Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> wrote in an email. The trip also fished for sea bass, during slack tide, tugging some in. That was opening day of sea bass season, and Last Lady will do much fishing for sea bass now. Trips will also striper fish. Striper fishing was slow last weekend aboard. One trip totaled six keepers, and another totaled three. Individual-reservation trips will fish for stripers on Sunday and May 29. Space was available for Sunday at press time, and the trip will probably also drop for sea bass. Individual-reservation trips will fish for: sea bass May 26 and June 12, 17, 19 and 22; inshore cod May 22; and offshore cod June 27 and July 11.

<b>Belmar</b>

<b>***Update, Friday, 5/18:***</b> Striped bass finally began to be boated on the ocean, and weather’s terrible, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. Ocean boaters whacked big stripers off Monmouth County on the troll, on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait and on jigged rubber shads.  Steve Germann from Freehold’s 42-pound 8-ouncer was biggest weighed at the shop. Three of Belmar’s charter businesses including Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters reported bombing 30- to 40-pounders. “The river and surf guys also had bass,” including Scott Pullen’s 17- and 14-pounders, Marty Westerfield’s 17-pounder and Payton Gepp’s 11-pound 4-ouncer, Bob wrote. Bob himself cracked a 13-pound 8-ouncer. “Blues are invading rivers, (too),” he said. Put on rain gear and have fun, he wrote.

The ocean bite is on, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. He was running a trip last evening that was crushing big striped bass to 45 or 48 pounds on the ocean when he gave this report in a phone call aboard. The fish were trolled because seas were sloppy in northeast weather. He did see some bunker, where livelined bunker probably would’ve caught. But the trip stuck with trolling Mojos on braid that provided light-tackle action, because of the conditions.  Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Book an individual spot with a charter who wants more anglers. Sign up for the email blast on <a href=" http://www.parkerpetefishing.com/" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s website</a> to be kept informed about the spaces.

Three striped bass heavier than 20 pounds apiece were axed Tuesday on the ocean a short ride from port on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. A 30-pounder won the pool, and some stripers were lost, too. All the fish were hooked on jigs and Krocodiles. That was the most recent report at press time, and trips are fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Sea bass fishing was okay on the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b> the last two days, the first days of sea bass season, on the ocean, Capt. Chris said. The boat was back out for the fish this morning when he gave this report in a phone call aboard. Trips had to move around a lot, but managed to put together catches. Trips are fishing for sea bass 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Sometimes those trips leave early at the beginning of a fish’s season. Trips will also fish for striped bass in evenings on the ocean. Watch <a href=" https://www.bigmohawk.com/fishing-report.html" target="_blank">the boats’ website</a> for those dates.

One healthy-sized striped bass was bagged and a few were lost yesterday on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. Stripers were seen rolling in bunker but wouldn’t bite. Plenty of the baitfish schooled with stripers in them, and “conditions are changing for the better,” the email said. Trips are fishing for stripers and bluefish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Brielle</b>

The <b>Jamaica II</b> limited out on sea bass Wednesday, the party boat’s Facebook page said. “Life wasn’t great but with the lighter crowd we only needed a few drops to make it happen,” it said. A few ling, cod and two lobsters were mixed in. On a trip Tuesday, opening day of sea bass season, sea bass were angled at first, until south wind began to puff. Then the fishing was slow. The high hook landed eight keeper sea bass, two ling and a cod, and a couple of anglers bagged six or seven sea bass. East wind was forecast now, and that should warm the water a bit and get the fishing going, the page said. The boat is fishing for sea bass 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Good weather on opening day of sea bass season Tuesday on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. Wish sea bass bit a little better, he said. The angling can only become better, and a few were picked at each spot. He looked forward to the next trip, and the boat is fishing for them 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily through Friday. Beginning Saturday, sea bass trips will sail twice daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. Those trips will fish for fluke when fluke season opens May 25. Bluefish trips will also be launched that day, sailing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

A few sea bass were slugged on Tuesday, opening day of sea bass season, on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b> on the ocean, Capt. Butch said. But the water was cold, and the opening was probably a week too early. Still, a few sea bass, ling and cod were angled, and at least sea bass no longer needed to be released. The water was 50 to 52 degrees, depending on wind direction. South wind makes the water colder, because of upwelling close to shore. West wind pushes the water temperature a couple of degrees higher. Then south wind blows the next day, pulling it lower. Trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Nighttime bluefish trips might begin on Memorial Day weekend. Not many blues were around. Crew from the boat pasted a few on Barnegat Bay. A few blues roamed Manasquan Inlet, but not many.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

On the <b>Norma-K III</b>, sea bass were plowed, a good catch, yesterday on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. The fishing was slower on Tuesday, when sea season opened, covered in the previous report here. But on yesterday’s trip, most of the small crowd of anglers limited out. Clams caught, and anglers who jigged Ava 27s also scored well. Trips are fishing for sea bass 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. The trips will switch to fluke beginning Friday, opening day of fluke season. Bluefish trips will be launched this weekend, sailing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday through Sunday.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

Fishing is supposed to sail for striped bass this weekend on the <b>Tin Knocker</b> on the ocean, Capt. John said. The angling could be weathered out, and was last weekend aboard.

<b>Toms River</b>

More bluefish began to appear in Barnegat Bay than before, said Dennis from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>. So things were starting to happen, finally. The farther south in the bay, the more blues. Blues also began to push into lagoons and the Toms River. On the bay, a friend trolled eight blues 5 to 8 pounds near the 40 buoy. Dennis has been trolling farther north on the bay, toward the Toms and Route 37 Bridge, hooking none. He had two knockdowns off Cedar Creek or Berkeley Island Park on a trip. He had been trolling throwback stripers toward the bridge, and that slowed because water temperature dropped. The water was 55 degrees Monday. Small stripers were hooked on cast lures like Kettle Creek rubber shads around the bridge. Stripers still bit in the river just before and after dark and also in the dark on small shads, swimming lures and top-water plugs. No anglers bloodwormed for them anymore, really, like early in the season. A few of the bass were still hooked on bloods at night. Anglers on the river began to bunker-chunk for blues, catching a few. Surf-fishing was good yesterday. First stripers were beached, then blues were fought. Daiwa SP Minnows and Yo-Zuri lures were fished. Fluke season will open beginning May 25, and a few bit in the bay. Should be a decent little run of them, Dennis thinks. Crabs began to stir around. Eels were swimming. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard on the bay.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Just about everybody who fished the surf caught yesterday, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Both bait and plugs hung striped bass and blues. Bunker and clams were the bait, and Daiwa SP Minnows, popper plugs and bucktails were the lures. The day before, south wind blew. That usually slows surf-fishing because it cools the water because of upwelling. But anglers who put in time scored. Two stripers 28 and 18 pounds were known to be beached on bunker that day. In Barnegat Bay, small stripers and now and then blues were hooked. Crabbing was yet to pick up, but the shop’s rental boats are ready for crabbing. A bunch of Van Staal reels and hats were just stocked.  The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, a café, a dock for fishing and crabbing, and boat and jet-ski rentals.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

The party boat <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b> will begin fishing for the year on May 25, the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, Karen said. Then trips will sail for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekends. Daily trips will kick off on June 15.  Check out the revamped <a href=" http://missbarnegatlight.com/" target="_blank">Miss Barnegat Light’s website</a>, including to see about tuna trips, bluefishing, striper fishing, cruises and more.

<b>Absecon</b>

Big, migrating striped bass are in, especially along the surf and jetties, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. They seemed to swim close to shore in the ocean, and that was good news, but boaters had little chance to find out, because weather kept them docked.  Tides in the middle of the night fished really well along Absecon Inlet’s jetties for stripers. “That’s a tough time to fish,” he said. Clams and bunker seemed to catch them well. Dave’s charters on back bays played loads of throwback stripers, a few of them 24 inches, on Gulp Nemesis on jigs. If a slot limit were in effect like in fall, some would be keepers. A charter Tuesday nailed a mess of the bass. Every point and spot Dave’s ever fished seemed to hold the fish lately. Not many bluefish were heard about from back bays, but if anglers put in effort, they might turn them up. Some blues bit along jetties and the surf. No black drum caught from back bays were reported recently, but drum were beached from the surf, and probably will show up in back bays still. Little was heard about sea bass since sea bass season opened Tuesday, and that day was the only with weather that could be boated for them on the ocean for customers. Most of the shop’s customers trailer boats, and the weather was rough for that size. But from what Dave heard about sea bass, fishing for them was good. White perch fishing was picking up in brackish rivers. The fish seemed finished spawning and hungry. Heads up: The shop’s annual Grand Slam Customer Appreciation Sale will run from Friday through the following Thursday, May 24, the day before summer flounder season opens. Nearly all tackle will be on sale for 25 percent off, and hundreds of items will be 50 percent off.

<b>Brigantine</b>

We’ve got good fishing, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. It’s finally starting to happen, he said. Some big striped bass were pummeled in the surf. Tommy VanZant from Northpoint Marina eased a 39-pound 47-incher from the Absecon Inlet jetty in Brigantine last night on a Riptide chunk of bunker. A big bite erupted there, and anglers caught good-sized. Another angler did-in a 41-incher last night. Another took a 27-pounder from the jetty recently, taking the lead in the striper division in Riptide’s Spring Striper and Bluefish Derby that will end Sunday. That angler was also in first place in the bluefish division. Big bluefish were sometimes wrangled from the surf. Sometimes black drum 10 or 15 pounds were. Baits stocked include fresh bunker and clams. Telephone and reserve the bait if fishing the 29th annual Association of Surf Angling Clubs’ Surf’n Land Tournament in Brigantine on Saturday.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Mugging them! said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Big striped bass 40 inches and larger are here, he said. The fish were plastered from the surf beside Absecon Inlet. So were big bluefish 10 to 12 pounds, and anglers fished for both with Daiwa SP Minnows and 8- or 9-inch soft-plastic lures like those from JoeBaggs, Slug-Go and Hogie. JoeBaggs makes a new paddle-tail that’s crushing the fish. To fish any of these plastics, the shop is carrying a lead jighead with a small head and a big, 8/0 hook. The smaller the head, the better, and the jigs come in ½-, ¾- and 1-ounce sizes. The blues were also belted from the back bay on bunker chunks. A few weakfish were nabbed when anglers fished for stripers in the surf and along the inlet’s jetties. The inlet is lined with jetties that also attract all of these fish. All baits, the full supply, are stocked, including fresh bunker, fresh clams and minnows. The minnows are bait for summer flounder, and the shop is being geared up for the opening of flounder season on May 25. The store is carrying a new flounder rig that includes a light inside a rubber squid. It’s awesome, Noel said. The light glows when in the water, stops glowing when out of the water and lasts 72 hours. Best invention since the hook! he said. Finally, to understand how good current fishing is, <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/pg/OneStopBaitAC/videos/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">watch videos</a> on One Stop’s Facebook page, Noel said.

<b>Margate</b>

Summer flounder season opens on May 25, and the party boat <b>Keeper</b> will fish for them daily beginning that day, Capt. John said. The vessel fishes for flounder throughout the season every year. The trips sail 8 a.m.-12 noon and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. The rate is only $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $20 for kids, because the fishing is near port, and the pontoon boat is economical on fuel. Plus, rental rods are free.

<b>Longport</b>

Fishing for sea bass was pretty good on the <b>Stray Cat</b> on the ocean, Capt. Mike. The season for the fish opened on Tuesday, and some anglers limited out on the trip that day, and the rest came close. The sea bass were good-sized, too, and a good number weighed 3 to 4 pounds. That was a bluebird day with light wind. Current ran where the boat fished in 120- to 130-foot depths, and the boat had to be moved two or three times to adjust. “But it all came together,” he said. Charters are fishing, and space is available for open-boat trips for sea bass Friday and Wednesday through Thursday.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Anything happening? “Rain,” said Bill from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. But striped bass and 5- to 8-pound bluefish swam almost everywhere, from the surf to inlets to the back bay. Some of the bass were keepers in the surf. A few drum were heaved from the surf, and a 48-pounder was weighed-in. Clams and bunker caught the stripers and blues in the surf. Some anglers fished lures and hooked up, but the bait caught bigger stripers. In the bay, soft-plastic lures were fished for 18- to 24-inch stripers. Nobody reported sea bass fishing in the rough weather. Sea bass season opened Tuesday.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Throwback striped bass were whipped at Corson’s Inlet on Hopkins lures with pieces of clam, said “old” Mike at <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Someone reported wrestling a black drum from the surf at 33rd Street in town early in the week. Not a lot was heard about fishing in rough weather or forecasts for rough weather. Forecasts called for stormy weather yesterday, and drizzle fell at first, but weather became fair afterward. Good-sized bluefish tore around last week from about Monday to Wednesday. A few weakfish were plucked from Ludlam Bay that week. Abundant summer flounder seemed to hold in Whale Creek last week, and flounder season will open on May 25.

Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>, tackled bluefish 2 to 4 pounds on the back bay Monday evening on a trip with family, he said. Striped bass could be hooked on the bay, and he knew about no weakfish from the bay recently. Not a lot of weaks are ever around this time of year, and nobody knows if fishing for them will kick back in. They were angled previously. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

<b>Wildwood</b>

<b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b> is hoped to be opened on Memorial Day weekend for the fishing season, Mike said. Bait and tackle will at least be available, and maybe a few of the rental boats will be. Ice during the extreme cold this winter damaged lots of docks, and the crew was busy repairing. That was causing more work than usual to open the shop. Canal Side rents boats for fishing, crabbing and pleasure and kayaks. <b>***<i>Get a $5 discount</i>***</b> on a rental boat if you mention Fishing Reports Now. A large supply of bait is stocked during the season. So is fishing and crabbing tackle and gear. Live crabs for eating are sold, once they become available. Customers enjoy the food at tented picnic tables on the water at the store, or enjoy them at their own location. Wine from Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House is sold at the store. The state approved that last fishing season.

<b>Cape May</b>

Pretty good sea bass fishing was lit into on Tuesday, opening day of sea bass season, on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. That was in 120-foot depths on the ocean, and the four anglers limited out. The fish were sizable, too, and more than half of the keepers were 17 or 18 inches. Good-sized are usually common in fall, not spring, aboard. The fishing’s good, and the boat will fish for black drum on Delaware Bay this weekend. That fishing seemed to come on.

Twelve black drum to 60 pounds  were “on the rope” on Delaware Bay aboard when Capt. Tom from <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b> gave this report at 7 p.m. yesterday, he said. On the previous day’s trip, nine drum to 75 pounds were taken. Trips will also fish for sea bass, now that sea bass season opened, on the ocean. The angling was great on Tuesday, opening day, Tom knew. Charters and open-boat trips sail for all of this fishing. Open trips are also sailing for tilefish offshore on short notice when weather’s good and no charter is booked. One of those trips already sailed this season, covered in a previous report here.

Daily sea bass fishing began on Tuesday, opening day of sea bass season, on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> on the ocean, Capt. Paul said. A couple of spots gave up the fish, and a couple didn’t. Probably one angler limited out, Paul thought, and a few came close. A few had no keepers. A bunch of throwbacks bit at a couple of spots. Paul maybe needs to figure out the fishing, he said, and only that trip sailed. The trips were weathered out since. The trip bounced around to different depths, and Paul was going to try something different when the next trip fished. The fishing might’ve been different on smaller boats with five or six anglers. But the Porgy needs to find a greater number of sea bass for its larger number of anglers. Trips are fishing for sea bass at 8 a.m. daily. The boat fished for black drum on Delaware Bay through Saturday, and the fishing was good that day. A bunch of drum came in. Paul’s grandson on the trip landed an 80-pounder.

Striped bass were weighed from the surf daily at <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. They included big, up to 31 pounds, and see photos on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Handstoo/" target="_blank">Hands’ Facebook page</a>. They were dragged from Delaware Bay, but the ocean surf began to give some up.  Fresh bunker was best bait, but fresh clams began to catch on the ocean side, too. Cape May is at the confluence of the bay and ocean. A few bluefish began to be reported from the bay’s surf, and from the back bay. A few weakfish nipped along jetties on bloodworms and on soft-plastic lures on bucktails. Boating for black drum became good on Delaware Bay at usual places they were caught in recent years on the New Jersey side. The fish to 70 pounds were heard about. Sea bass season opened Tuesday, and fishing for them sounded tough for some boaters. Smaller wrecks in deeper water in the ocean seemed to toss up the fish better. Catches of crabs began to be heard about from the back bay.

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