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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 5-3-18

<b>Sewaren</b>

A 40-pound striped bass and a 31-pounder were docked from Raritan Bay at <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>, Tim said. Tom Nespole caught the first, and Dennis Smallie took the second, and both fish were trolled on Mojos. Boaters found stripers farther out in the bay now, from the Ammo Pier to Sandy Hook and at Old Orchard Shoal and off Coney Island. Earlier this season, the fish gathered farther back, in the warm shallows. Fishing for stripers at piers like Sewaren Pier hooked lots of throwback stripers and some keepers, not huge or 28 inches to under 40. No bluefish were heard about. Baits stocked include fresh bunker, sandworms, bloodworms, pints and quarts of salted clams, nightcrawlers and 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>

On the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, striped bass were found at different areas each day on Raritan Bay, and the fish were spread out in the bay, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The fishing was great, bagging the bass to 32 pounds. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing for them, and three spots each are available for open trips 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. A charter is available 6 a.m. to 12 noon Tuesday. Telephone to reserve. Warm weather is triggering more species to arrive in the bay, including fluke. Anglers hooked and released a bunch on bunker chunks or plugs meant for stripers. The Vitamin Sea is a dedicated fluke boat throughout summer, and the trips follow the migrations into and out of the local area. Trips aboard can put you on them consistently, he said. Dozens of doormats were slapped aboard last year, and this year will be no different, he said. The boat’s deep keel makes the Vitamin Sea drift true with the current, a big reason for good catches, he said. Fluke charters are being accepted, and many good dates remain. Book now to get the date you want.

<b>Manicsportfishing</b> will begin fishing next week, for striped bass on Raritan Bay, Capt. Greg said. Electronics are being installed this weekend on the new boat, a 31-foot Steiger Craft, fully customized, with twin 300 horsepower Yamahas. Stripers are stacked up in the bay. Once they migrate to the ocean, or if bluefish invade the bay before then, the boat chases the stripers on the ocean. Getting a hook past the aggressive blues can be challenging when they hit the bay. The big engines give the boat the speed to reach the ocean, and Greg likes the ocean fishing, including because some 40- and 50-pound stripers can bite there. Looks like sea bass season will open early this year on May 15, and trips sail for them aboard.

Both of the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>’s boats fished for striped bass every day on Raritan Bay, mugging many keepers and releasing additional, Capt. Mario said. Red-hot fishing, he said, and pick a good day and join a trip. The stripers weighed up to 30 pounds, biting rubber shads, jigs, bunker-chunks and on the troll. On some days, trolling caught more, and that changed each day. Open-boat trips are sailing for stripers daily, and charters are available. The two 40-foot Downeasters feature full galleys and large cockpits, and each accommodates up to 15 passengers. Sea bass season will open on May 15, and one of the boats, the Down Deep, will fish for them beginning then. The other, the Down Deep Bull, will keep fishing for stripers. Sign up for the Short Notice List on <a href="http://downdeepsportfishing.com" target="_blank">Down Deep’s website</a> to be kept informed about special open trips. Look for the link underneath “Contact.”

<b>Leonardo</b>

<b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> will next fish during the weekend, for striped bass on Raritan Bay, Capt. Joe said. Friends boated the fish including yesterday. The angling was a little slower than before but trolled the bass on Mojos. Joe looks forward to stripers starting to bite livelined bunker, and that should happen soon. Stripers seemed spread out in the bay, from what Joe heard. Trips had to work and find them, and that seems always to happen when the bass are getting ready to spawn. Afterward, they fall back out of rivers and back waters, and some bigger are socked then.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Aboard the <b>Fishermen</b>, fishing for striped bass broke out Tuesday, a report said on the party boat’s website. The bass were jigged for the first time this year on the boat, and all the stripers were good-sized, up to 20 pounds. The hot hand landed 20 beauties, and the bite lasted in the morning till the end of the tide. Afterward, bait was fished, scoring only a couple of runoffs. Lots of stripers were marked but wouldn’t bite on the outgoing. Loads of bait was swimming into the bay throughout the day. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

A few striped bass were hooked on rubber shads and jigs on yesterday morning’s trip on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. Bait was fished next on the outing, and “a couple of more keepers” were reeled in, among throwbacks during both types of fishing. On the afternoon’s trip, only bait was fished. All of this was slower fishing than previously, but caught some. This was all on Raritan Bay. On this morning’s trip on the bay, a few throwbacks were angled so far, on bait, he said early in the outing in a phone call aboard. Weather was great, and trips are fishing for stripers 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily. The year’s first fluke, a 19- or 20-incher, was released on this morning’s trip aboard. The boat switches to fluke once fluke season opens May 25.

Boating for striped bass was a little iffy today on Raritan Bay, said Tom from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Stripers were weighed-in from the fishing including a 31-pounder and a 28-pounder, but not all boaters caught. The fishing was tough on party boats, “but they can’t get far enough back,” he said. Private boaters trolled Mojos and sometimes fished jigs, clams or bunker chunks. Party boaters clammed the fish and tried to jig them. A few stripers were angled from the bay’s shore. A few bluefish showed up for surf anglers on the bay recently. Someone reported 10-pounders. All baits are stocked including fresh clams and fresh bunker. The store’s rental boats will be splashed tomorrow.

A 58.1-pound striped bass was weighed from Raritan Bay’s surf Monday at <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>, Ron said. The fish took 30 minutes to land and was the angler’s only catch in the 3-hour trip. Striper fishing was good at night from the bay’s shore on lures including Redfins, Danny’s, Sebiles and custom CCW’s. The shop stocks all but the CCW’s.  Ron began getting texts from buddies about the fishing taking off yesterday in the middle of the night, two hours before high tide. They caught from Perth Amboy to Sandy Hook or all over. By the time he arrived, the bite was finished. Anglers were walking off the beach saying it was. He fished three different places with no catches. A handful of 6-pound blues, 30 stripers to 40 inches and a 40-pound black drum were reportedly hooked from the Keansburg Pier the other night. The pier was reportedly opened overnight sometimes. A buddy boated a good catch of stripers off Cliffwood Beach on the bay along the edge of the channel on Mojos and plugs, especially Rapala X-Raps. Gibbs trolling swimmers were the other lures he trolled. Boaters were all trolling the shallows for stripers on the bay.

<b>Highlands</b>

Raritan Bay’s striped bass fishing is the best in a long time, Capt. Pete from <b>Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing</b> believes, he wrote in an email. He hopes it stays that way. You could fish Mojos, bunker chunks or livelined bunker, and you’re going to catch. He can’t say the fishing will be like this tomorrow, but it is now. Magic Hour Trips from 4 to 9 p.m. are the only open-boat trips available currently. If you can fish for these stripers, enjoy that now, because the catches will end.

Striped bass fishing was phenomenal on Raritan Bay, said Capt. Mike from <b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b>. Every trip limited out, and this was probably the best of the fishing in 10 years. The bass weighed up to 25 or 30 pounds, and the stripers around lately seemed to keep being a little bigger than before. Some charters are available from Monday to Thursday next week.

Heading out from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, Scott, Dave, Gary and Bob on the Cara Maria limited out on striped bass off the Navy Pier on Sunday on trolled Mojos, Marion wrote. On Saturday, Tina and Ashley Beard trolled a 36-inch striper and a 32-incher off the pier. Rich Dabal, Joe and Harvey on the Sudden Impact limited on stripers on the back of Raritan Bay last Thursday. 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>Belmar</b>

With all the bait showing up and this warmer weather, striped bass fishing should pick up on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. Plenty of bunker were seen along the water surface on Wednesday’s trip, and fish stacked on bottom were read among the bait at times. A 14-pound striper won the pool that day. On Tuesday, boats that fished early whacked stripers. That was finished when the Miss Belmar Princess arrived an hour later. A couple of stripers were reeled aboard. On Monday, the fishing was slow. Stripers were read and seen but not biting yet. Trips are fishing for stripers and bluefish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

A couple of striped bass were scooted aboard Monday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. That was on bait, and a few more were picked up Tuesday on the vessel, some on swim shads, some on bait. A 20-pounder won the pool that day, and lots of bird life and fish swirling was seen. On Wednesday’s trip, the angling was slow, and stripers followed jigs but refused to bite. This warm weather is hoped to amp up the fishing. Trips are fishing for stripers and bluefish 7:30 .a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

The following report was posted as an update here Tuesday and is being re-posted in case anybody missed it: An edited email from Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> at 3 p.m. Tuesday: “BASS on our beaches, big numbers, small bass on nearly any lure, SP Minnow, small Bomber and teasers. The fly fishermen having a great time, fish up to 28 inches common. You can pick any of your favorite beaches and catch 10 to 20 bass. Weather is great, get out and enjoy.”  

<b>Brielle</b>

<b>***Update, Saturday, 5/5:***</b> Maintenance was finished on the <b>Jamaica II</b>, a charter will fish aboard Sunday and open-boat trips will resume afterward, the party boat’s website said. The next trip will fish Mudhole wrecks 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday. A special trip will fish for cod 3 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Saturday. Another Mudhole wreck trip will fish 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. that Sunday, May 13.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

The <b>Gambler</b> began striped bass fishing 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, a report said yesterday on the party boat’s website. A few more days of warm weather, and stripers and blues might get aggressive, it said at that time. Yesterday’s trip sailed south, and today’s was expected to head north to the Shrewsbury Rocks or toward Sandy Hook. The trips are geared up for any type of fishing for stripers. Casting lures like rubber shads, Ava jigs and spoons is the favorite. But the boat is bringing supplies to snag bunker for bait or fish with clams. The trips are looking for stripers but are happy to run into bluefish, if blues show up.

Bottom-fishing remained slow on the cold ocean on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, and Capt. Butch wanted to say the angling improved a little, but only because a few more fish were cranked in than before, he said. A few cod and ling came in. A few out-of-season blackfish 5 to 7 pounds were released, and ones that big didn’t even bite, where the boat’s fishing, before the season closed beginning Tuesday. After that fishing, the boat was pulled a little shallower, and a handful of out-of-season sea bass were let go. Conger eels began to show up there, and Butch expected them. The water was 47 degrees in the deep and 49 in shallower water, and that was much too cold for sea bass. But two weeks will pass before sea bass season opens beginning May 15. Did Butch see any bait or fish like striped bass? Lots of bunker, he said. Fewer bunker were seen yesterday, but on the day before, loads schooled from the beach to the Mudhole. The boat tried fishing for mackerel at a couple of schools of the bunker, but no mackerel were hooked, and the water was cold for them. Fifty to 53 degrees is ideal for mackerel, and Butch only knew about one mackerel caught, last weekend at Rockaway Reef. Butch tries for mackerel every trip, and has anglers who jig for them. Sometimes you wouldn’t know whether mackerel were there unless anglers tried for them. The boat mixes in mackerel fishing with bottom-fishing when the mackerel migration is in. Trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

The <b>Norma-K III</b> began fishing for ling and cod Tuesday, a report said on the party boat’s website. A few ling were whipped at each drop, but the fishing was slow. A few small cod were tugged up, and a big ling won the pool. The captain was happy to see a few bites, compared with previously. Previously, the fishing was slower. What a day! the report said. Seas were flat in gorgeous weather. Trips are fishing for ling and cod 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. The trips previously sailed for blackfish, until blackfish season closed that day. The trips will switch to sea bass May 15, opening day of sea bass season.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

Striped bass fishing on the ocean will kick off the year’s angling this weekend on the <b>Tin Knocker</b>, Capt. John said. Charters are now available.

<b>Toms River</b>

Surf fishing for striped bass was good, actually, said Dennis from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>. Most were throwbacks, but some were keepers. Bunker and clams pasted them, and a few anglers cast plugs to hook up, fishing them slowly. He saw photos of a couple of anglers with bluefish from the surf, but blues were scarce. Blues were sometimes rumored to be angled at Oyster Creek at Forked River power plant, but Dennis saw none. Blues were reported to pop up at Manasquan Inlet and Barnegat Inlet a moment, and Virginia who works at the shop’s son and friends fought a couple, not many, at Manasquan Inlet. Bluefish usually invade Barnegat Bay and the Toms River by this time of season. Cold water this spring seemed to prevent that so far. The Toms harbored a ton of stripers. Dennis knew about two keepers landed at Island Heights on the river last night among a dozen or more anglers fishing. Heads up: the game warden checked anglers’ stripers there last night, and someone was busted for keeping undersized. Bloodworms caught the river’s stripers best, and caught the keepers. Kettle Creek rubber shads and plugs clocked throwbacks. Dennis began trolling Barnegat Bay from the mouth of the Toms to Route 37 Bridge, trying for blues like he does each spring. No blues turned up, but throwback stripers did. He fished the area three times, trolling rubber shads and 6-inch Yozuris.  He never before trolled stripers, only blues, there. He caught stripers there in past years while casting. A friend was also trolling there currently, finding no blues but plenty of stripers. A load of stripers schooled there. One angler trolled Mister Twisters and small shads, bailing the small bass. The stripers that Dennis reeled in were healthy-looking, good-sized throwbacks. A few weakfish were angled from the bay off Cedar Creek and Berkeley Island Park. Winter flounder were boated on the bay near Mantoloking Bridge. The fishing seemed better than previously. Three customers who stopped in went and nabbed them. Crabs began to skitter around, and Dennis trapped six keepers in his pot. Crabbing was slow but beginning. Some people caught eels beginning a week ago. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

A 16-pound 33-inch striped bass was weighed from the surf today at <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>. The fish was bunker-chunked at Ortley Beach. Lots of throwback stripers roamed the surf, but more keepers seemed to arrive each day.  The back side of high tides gave up most stripers from the surf. No place was a hot spot, but the catches came from Ortley Beach to throughout Island Beach State Park. Daiwa SP Minnows, clams and bunker chunks caught in the surf. Bluefish began to appear in the surf, but no great numbers. 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, in season, boat and jet-ski rentals. The boats will be available in the middle of next week.

<b>Forked River</b>

<b>***Updated, Friday, 5/4:***</b> Was a quiet week, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Fishing slowed at Oyster Creek that feeds and cools Forked River nuclear plant. The warm side of the creek, the outflow, is a good place for fishing in early spring, including for striped bass and winter flounder. That’s because the outflow’s warm water attracts fish when natural waters are cold. Later in spring, the outflow becomes too warm for fish. When that first happens, the cool, intake side of the creek harbors fish. By now, fish disperse to other waters like Barnegat Bay. This is a usual time for that to happen. Not much was heard about angling this past week, but striped bass have got to be around in places like Barnegat Bay, Mike said. Those tend to be smaller, young stripers, yet to migrate. Soon, big, mature, migrating stripers can enter the bay. Bluefish usually have already migrated to the bay this time of season. But blues were scarce this season throughout New Jersey so far, apparently because of a colder ocean in cooler weather than usual this spring. Weakfish began to be angled from the bay off the creek last week on tackle like Kettle Creek paddle tails. Evenings seemed best. The fishing seemed a little slower this week. Nothing was heard about winter flounder in a week. Last week, they were reported caught from the bay farther north, toward Toms River. Worms, fresh clams, fresh bunker and frozen baits are stocked.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Since blackfish season closed Tuesday, fishing was a little slow, said Vince from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. Anglers hope the bluefish migration tumbles into Barnegat Bay. Small stripers were beached from the surf, and not so many were hooked from the bay, except near the Forked River nuclear plant. But anglers hope for striper fishing to pick up like it usually does soon. Fresh bunker are stocked. Green crabs are still on hand that were fished for blackfish. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and boat and kayak rentals. A few skiffs and pontoon boats are in the water, and more will keep being launched as demand picks up.

The <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b> was expected to be back in the water this week, the party boat’s Facebook page said Sunday. The vessel was at Yank’s Marine for maintenance. The year’s fishing aboard will begin on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Trips will sail for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays through Sundays from then through mid-June. Sunset cruises will sail on Fridays and Saturdays beginning then until mid-June. Visit <a href=" http://missbarnegatlight.com/sailing-schedule/" target="_blank">the boat’s re-vamped website</a> for the schedule beyond that and for info about fishing for striped bass, bluefish and tuna aboard.

<b>Mystic Island</b>

Small striped bass kept hitting at Graveling Point, said Brandon from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. No big chewed, but anglers could play all the small they wanted. The water was 51 or 52 degrees, Brandon heard, and 55 is ideal for striper fishing there. Graveling is a shore-angling spot at the confluence of Great Bay and Mullica River. Bloodworms, clams and bunker caught. Puppy black drum were heaved in at the Point. A weakfish 24 inches or something that came from Graveling was the only weak Brandon knew about this season. White perch fishing was difficult, took work, on Mullica River. Plenty of fresh clams, bloodworms and live grass shrimp are stocked. Fresh bunker will arrive tonight or tomorrow.

<b>Absecon</b>

A pretty good movement of striped bass seemed to draw striped bass mostly to inlets, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. Even the smaller stripers seemed to be moving somewhere. Angles might think only big, mature stripers migrate. Some good weather’s happening, and the weekend’s weather will be good for fishing, and stripers are definitely around. Twenty-pound black drum are showing up, especially in back bays. A few out-of-season summer flounder are popping up, getting hooked and released while anglers fish for other catches. No bluefish were seen. In brackish rivers, white perch fishing was productive. Dave wasn’t asked what baits are stocked, but the shop’s been carrying the full board.

<b>Brigantine</b>

The year’s first striped bass was checked-in from Brigantine’s surf at <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>, Capt. Andy said. Joe Neild beached the 29-inch 8-pounder Tuesday off the Brigantine Hotel on a chunk of bunker, and won the $50 gift card to the store for the first. Bradley Clemick beached a 32- or 33-incher, sending Andy a photo. Paul Lavigna banked a 29-incher. Linda Davoli stopped in with a 9-pound bluefish from the town’s surf today, saying she pulled in several. She said the blues fed on kingfish. So keep a lookout for kings. That blue put Linda in first place in Riptide’s Spring Fishing Derby for stripers and blues. That was the only blue entered so far. The Riptide/<a href="http://www.alanbrigantinehomes.com" target="_blank">AlanBrigantineHomes.com</a> 43-Inch Striper Bounty was up to $190. The cash is awarded to the entrant who brings in spring’s first striper 43 inches or larger from Brigantine’s surf. Entry is $5, and the bounty will grow, because all the cash is awarded. Sign up at the store for the Brigantine 4x4 Assist that offers unlimited towing from Brigantine’s beach for the year for $75.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Schoolie striped bass, lots, sometimes a keeper chomped at night in Absecon Inlet and the adjacent surf, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Plugs, bloodworms, fresh clams and fresh bunker zapped them, and customers fish the nearby inlet and, of course, the surf on foot. The bunker supplier reported finding big stripers to 50 pounds in Delaware Bay in his nets. When fishing for big ones is on there, big usually arrive in Atlantic City in less than a week. The supplier, who’s been netting 30 years, said the stripers were the biggest he ever saw. An Atlantic City outdoor writer tried for kingfish in the surf and tied into double-headers of blowfish instead on bloodworms. Out-of-season summer flounder carpeted the back bay thickly from Harrahs to Routes 30 and 40. All baits, a large supply, are stocked including bloodworms and fresh clams. A few green crabs are leftover from blackfish season that closed Tuesday.

<b>Longport</b>

Sea bass fishing will kick off on May 15, opening day of sea bass season, on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. Open-boat trips for sea bass will fish every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday beginning that day. That first Sunday trip, on May 20, is sold out. Mike’s other boat, the Adventure, a 50-foot Ocean Yacht, is in the slip, ready for striped bass charters and fluke charters. Fluke season will open on May 25. That boat accommodates up to six passengers, and Stray Cat, a 53-footer, carries up to 22. 

<b>Ocean City</b>

A bunch of schoolie striped bass 12 to 20 inches held in the back bay, nipping soft-plastic lures, said Thomas from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Occasionally that size was bloodwormed in the ocean surf. Kingfish swam the surf, and blowfish were heard about from there. No bluefish were known to be in. White perch fishing was good on Great Egg Harbor River. A 1.36-pounder was weighed-in. Bloodworms, fresh bunker and fresh clams are stocked. Bona Fide Baits are newly stocked.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

The two anglers aboard Wednesday evening jigged and released striped bass and summer flounder from the back bay, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Anglers from shore are banking stripers from the ocean and inlets at very specific spots. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

Most reports were similar to last week, with a couple of tweaks, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Tons of small striped bass swam around like before. Whether anglers wanted to fish for them in the surf, inlets or back bay, the stripers were all over those spots. They were mostly 15 to 25 inches, and not many were keepers. Maybe one in a hundred was. But occasionally one was a keeper. Multiple customers gave great reports about kingfish and blowfish in the surf, exciting news. Bloodworms lit into most, and if anglers want to fish Fishbites artificial worms, they should fish the red package, the “fast-acting. The water was too cold for the blue package, the “long-lasting.” The fast-acting, made for colder water, release scent quicker. The season was early for kings and blowfish. Bluefish were late and yet to arrive, and kings and blowfish were early, and anglers didn’t know what to think. Something else new was that a good number of weakfish appeared in the bay, biting at places like creek mouths at the top of outgoing tides. Mike saw none heavier than 4 pounds, but the weaks were good, solid 2-pounders. People forget how to fish for weaks. Slow down, be careful setting the hook, and re-program yourself from striper fishing and bluefishing. Weakfish have weak mouths, the reason for the name. Crabbing was slow but trapped a few.

<b>Cape May</b>

Tilefishing will run offshore this weekend with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b> if weather is calm enough, Capt. Tom said. That will be the year’s first tilefishing aboard, and open-boat trips and charters sail for the angling in windows of weather. Some black drum were boated from Delaware Bay on the New Jersey side. Tom is up for the drum fishing on open trips or charters. Open trips and charters sail for all of Fishin’ Fever’s fishing. Sea bass fishing will be launched aboard May 15, opening day of sea bass season. Speaking of offshore, shark fishing begins June 1 on the boat for makos and threshers. Tuna fishing also begins in June on the vessel. The tuna fishing starts at the offshore canyons for bluefins and yellowfins. Then the fishing follows the tuna to the inshore lumps and holes in late June and the beginning of July.

Trips for black drum, the year’s first, will fish 2 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> on Delaware Bay, Capt. Paul said. Telephone to join the trips, because Paul needs to order bait. The boat will fish for sea bass daily on the ocean beginning May 15, opening day of sea bass season. Daily blackfish trips sailed through Monday, the final day of blackfish season. Was mostly a tough blackfish season because of cold water. A few of the tautog including a 16-1/2-pounder were landed on the last couple of trips. That was a big female and was released, and more big females usually bite in spring than did this year, because of the cold. Weather was windy on the trips Sunday and Monday, about like it was the whole season. The water was 48 to 49 degrees on the final day, still cold.

Boating for black drum sounded pretty good on Delaware Bay on the New Jersey side, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & tackle</b>. Surf anglers seemed to drag in drum from the bay. Striped bass fishing in the surf was a little spotty. One or two beached were heard about every day, but too few to say a certain place was producing or any details. But fishing for throwback stripers was good on the back bay. Throw soft-plastic lures or hard lures like Daiwa SP Minnows. A few weakfish were picked along inlets and jetties on bloodworms on a float or soft-plastic lures on lightweight jigheads. The only bluefish heard about were 1- to 3-pound tailors from the back bay sometimes. A few blueclaw crabs began to be trapped as water warms. The back bay was best for that. Fresh clams in the shell, fresh bunker and bloodworms are stocked. 

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