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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 7-12-18

<b>Sewaren</b>

Boaters scooped fluke, many throwbacks, sometimes a keeper, from Raritan Bay including at the Triangle, said Linda from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. They also caught in the back of the bay toward Raritan River off Perth Amboy and South Amboy. A 6.7-pounder was weighed at the store that was drilled off Chapel Hill Channel. Bait stocked includes killies, fresh bunker, sandworms, bloodworms and all the frozen. Dockside, located on Smith Creek, a tributary of the Arthur Kill, is accessible from land and water at the fuel dock. The fuel dock is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

<b>Keyport</b>

Fluke were smashed since Monday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Super-good, he said, and the fish weighed up to 8 pounds. The anglers on a trip Tuesday were “new to jigging,” he said, so they only managed a few keepers. But the anglers on Monday and Wednesday tore up the catches. One of those anglers limited out on the first drift. Anglers who know how to jig are limiting and catching additional legal-sized, keeping no more than their quotas. The fishing will only become better, “(and one) thing you can count on is we will be on them,” he said. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing. Room is available for an open trip 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday, and the tide will be perfect. Room is available at certain times next week. Reserve early, before the trips fill. Bring jigs and Gulps to fish on them.

A trip pasted a mix bag of fish Tuesday with <b>Manicsportfishing</b>, a post said on Manic’s Facebook page. Most of the species were seen in this photo, it said. Porgies and fluke, if not more fish, could be seen.

<b>Leonardo</b>

Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> just returned from Gloucester, Mass., an email from Sour Kraut said. Anglers boated bluefin tuna and haddock from there. The haddock fishing was great and could limit out in a short time. Shore anglers landed schoolie striped bass from the surf and harbor. Back in Leonardo, Joe will resume sailing for catches including porgies and fluke. The fluking’s been good, and the porgy fishing’s been stellar.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Couple of good-sized fluke were sacked today on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The fish included a 6.11-pounder, a 4 ½ and a couple of 3s. The anglers slugged away in the morning, until current ran too strongly. The rest of the trip slugged away at sea bass, searching around, checking out new areas. Yesterday’s trip had to battle a fast drift but did catch. A hot bite was never found, but several anglers bagged two fluke apiece. Wasn’t easy, and anglers had to scrape for every fluke caught. Bring weight and medium to heavy rods. You have been warned! the report said. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.
However, the vessel is chartered this Friday through Sunday, so no open-boat trips will fish then.

For the most part, trips tugged in lots of throwback fluke and a few keepers on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. Some trips fished tougher, like yesterday morning’s, when the fishing was difficult, easing in fewer throwbacks and keepers. The afternoon’s trip fished better. Most of the boat’s fluke came from the bay, and sometimes trips ventured to the channels on the ocean. A couple of better-sized fluke were taken on trips. Bait seemed to catch better than jigs or bucktails. But few customers fished those lures like the lures they are. Sometimes customers fished the jigs or bucktails like a sinker and caught. Plain rigs seemed to catch best, with bait like spearing or maybe a spearing with a Gulp. Sometimes anglers fished killies. Spearing are provided aboard. On the plus side, all customers are usually catching at least throwbacks. They’re not just standing there. They’re having fun. The crew is doing a good job of helping them land fish and also release sea robins and sharks that sometimes bite.  Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Fluke, not big, were boated on Raritan and Sandy Hook bays, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. A couple of trips fished the ocean for them. A 6-pounder and a 4-1/2-pounder were weighed-in, the only fluke that were recently. Were fluke banked from shore on the bays like before? Yes, he said. He reported that in previous weeks here, and Ron is a surf angler. Buddies beached two keeper fluke and some throwbacks from the ocean surf, mostly at Sandy Hook, a little at Sea Bright, on a trip. Porgies were seen at the store that were boated. Ron saw a photo of a cobia online that was boated off Sea Bright on the ocean. He guessed triggerfish were angled on the ocean. That news circulated. Ron and friend boated for striped bass with eels but caught none. He heard about a New York boat catching. All baits are stocked, including a good batch of killies. The baits also include eels, fresh clams and fresh bunker.

Raritan and Sandy Hook bays’ fluking wasn’t bad, said Louis at <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. He works on a party boat from Atlantic Highlands, and that vessel fluked at the channels and sometimes a little farther out on the ocean at rock piles, depending on conditions. The trips angled some good-sized to 7 pounds. But fluke were to be had on the bays. On the store’s rental boats fluking on the bays, three anglers on a trip would return with two keepers among shorts released. Catches were about like that. The short action wasn’t hot and heavy. Porgy fishing was great “out east,” he said. A load schooled at the stakes or range towers between the channels.  

<b>Highlands</b>

Had a great week, Capt. Pete from <b>Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing</b> wrote in an email. But the storm offshore might’ve affected fluking or made it spotty currently. His trips are fishing for the summer flounder at “the channels, Staten Island, and the back bay,” he wrote. Next week they’ll begin fishing “a little more outside.” A trip with three anglers boated seven keepers including three heavier than 5 pounds apiece aboard. A trip today decked four keepers and a few throwbacks so far, by early afternoon, when he sent the email. The fishing’s been terrific this year, so he hopes it keeps up. Give a call, he said.

On a trip on Sandy Hook Bay from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, Bob Dreyer on the Patty Girl limited out on fluke and landed a blackfish and four conger eels on Tuesday, Marion wrote in an email. Release out-of-season blackfish. On the same day, Gina on the Par Tee fished the Tin Can Grounds, boating two 19-inch, keeper fluke on killies, and Tony, Steve and Rick on the Hammerhead fished Navesink River, boating eight keeper fluke on the baitfish. On Monday, Jay and Tracy Amarosa on the Par Tee swam killies near the 7 buoy to bag two fluke 19 and 20 inches. 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.

<b>Neptune</b>

Trips were slated to fish these next three days aboard, Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> said last evening. A couple of those trips will probably fish for porgies. An individual-reservation trip has been added for July 29 that will fish for porgies and sea bass. An individual-reservation trip will fish for ling and sea bass July 22, and those two fish gave up some of the year’s best fishing aboard Sunday. Here’s a rare chance at cod: an individual-reservation trip will fish for cod at 2 a.m. July 20. That’s next week on Friday. Individual-reservation trips fish for fluke and sea bass every Tuesday. Kids under 12 sail free on those outings, limited to one per adult host. <b>***Update, Thursday, 7/12:***</b> Young anglers were aboard today and smoked great fishing for triggerfish, Ralph wrote in an email. Only fished 2 ½ hours, he said. This was the first time the anglers were on the water.

<b>Belmar</b>

The ocean was still cold for fluke fishing, and now was beginning to warm, said Capt. Chris from the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b>. “I’m getting by with (the fluking),” he said. The vessel is fishing for them 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Good-sized were slapped aboard. Gulps caught best, but bait scored, too. A charter fished aboard yesterday, reeling in sea bass.

Wind and a swell lingered Sunday after the strong northeast blow the previous day, but a trip Sunday on the <b>Katie H</b> decided to try for tuna mid-range, Capt. Mike said. The boat might’ve been the only out there, and the trip pushed as far off as 60 miles. But nothing bit. The trip gave it heck, and put in a long effort. Bluefin tuna and some yellowfin tuna supposedly swam the area, reports said before the trip. But if Mike knew then what he knew afterward, he would’ve pushed all the way offshore, probably to Spencer or Carteret canyons. Tuna seemed to hold there. He prefers fishing all the way off anyway, because there’s more to do in addition to the tuna fishing, like fishing for mahi mahi. The swell was big during the trip, but the Katie H takes a head sea well, and wind was still stiff. The boat is also fishing inshore. Inshore fishing is nabbing fluke here and there and plenty of sea bass on the ocean.

<b>***Update, Friday, 7/13:***</b> Ocean fluke fishing was great, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. Vinny Aufiero from Midland Park hauled in a 10-pound 2-ouncer on a Belmar boat. Benny Green on the same trip limited out on the fish to a 5-pound 12-ouncer. Fluking was good on Shark River on the store’s rental boats. The flatfish to 6 pounds were bagged. Snapper blues and small striped bass also swam the river. Surf fishing was hot for small stripers and fluke. He hit the surf on a trip 5 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., hoping for a few stripers or a fluke or two. He hooked none, but the sunrise alone is worth the trip, he said.

The <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b> was anchored at mussel beds in the ocean off Shark River Inlet on Monday afternoon’s trip, an email said from the party boat. Conditions were poor, but many of the anglers limited out on two sea bass apiece and bagged some ling. Lots of sizable fish swam the area. On the next day, Tuesday, the morning trip lit into excellent sea bassing, then did some fluking. Shorts and keepers gave up action. Great fishing on the trip. On the afternoon’s trip, fishing was slower than recently but still good for sea bass. On Wednesday morning’s trip, fishing for sea bass was excellent, and all anglers limited on them. Toward the end, the trip pulled into the beach and landed a couple of keeper fluke and some shorts. A 6-pound fluke won the pool. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

The anglers limited out on sea bass Monday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. They also bagged ling and released a few throwback fluke. The trip searched for bluefish at first, but none turned up. So most of the trip sea bassed.  Tuesday’s trip also fished outstanding for sea bass and hooked a couple of blues and a few throwback fluke. A trip in the afternoon grabbed plenty of sea bass. On Wednesday’s trip, nothing much was going on with blues, so the trip stuck with bottom-fishing that was excellent for sea bass, and also copped a few keeper fluke and some short fluke and, at several spots, picked ling. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

Bottom-fishing aboard dealt with a swell on the ocean, first from the weekend’s strong northeast wind, then from Hurricane Chris offshore, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. That made fishing for fluke tough at best. That’ll improve, though. Trips during daytime are bottom-fishing for fluke and sea bass. Ling could also be targeted. The bottom-angling in afternoons is fishing for porgies, triggerfish, fluke and sea bass. Porgies and triggers began to bite. Parker Pete’s had been fishing for striped bass in evenings on the ocean. That angling is still possible, but is 1 ½ hours to the north. The fishing depends on whether anglers want to make the effort. The stripers are all big. 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.

<b>Brielle</b>

The ocean’s fluke fishing – bouncing bucktails at reefs and wrecks – was slow but improving, said Alex from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Anglers struggled to limit out. They not infrequently limited on two sea bass apiece when fluking at rough bottom. Triggerfish, a bunch, caught were heard about from wrecks and reefs. Sometimes anglers seemed to look for other catches while waiting for the fluking to improve. Frequent southerly wind that cools the ocean close to shore, because of upwelling, didn’t help the ocean’s fishing. Fluking on Manasquan River had to work to bag a catch. Many of the fluke were undersized, or maybe 1 in 10 was a keeper. No bluefish were really heard about from the river anymore. Striped bass from 20-inchers to keepers bit along the river’s bridges and Manasquan Inlet at night on rubber shads on bucktails. Strong wind that blew up seas made getting offshore tough for tuna fishing. Then the storm passing offshore built up seas. Yellowfin tuna, a bunch of small, sometimes a bigger like 50 pounds if a trip was lucky, were heard about from Hudson Canyon. Bigeye tuna, not many, were run into on occasion there. 

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

On the <b>Gambler</b>, fluke fishing on the ocean was slower the last few days, a report said on the party boat’s website. Some good-sized were hung, and so were sizable sea bass, but fewer than last week. On nighttime trips, wreck-fishing was good. Mixed sizes of ling to 3 pounds were clocked. On a Shark in the Dark Trip on Sunday, a big sand tiger was fought to boat-side and released. “Exciting fun!” Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Wreck-fishing trips are sailing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Thursday through Saturday. Shark in the Dark Trips are sailing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Sundays in July. Reservations are required for the sharking.

When conditions were right, trips picked decent-sized fluke on the ocean the last few days on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said Tuesday on the party boat’s website. A large ground swell from strong wind Saturday didn’t help at first during those days. The angling improved for both fluke and sea bass on Tuesday morning aboard. “It can only get better!” the report said. On nighttime trips last weekend, bluefishing was tough. So the boat bottom-fished, catching ling well. Blues were heard about to the south, so the crew hopes they’re coming. They’ll give the bluefishing their best shot. Trips are fluking 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Bluefish trips are running 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Moonlight and fireworks cruises are sailing at 8 a.m. Thursdays, returning when the fireworks end.

<b>Toms River</b>

Keeper fluke were boated from Barnegat Bay this week, said Mario from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>. The fishing was good Sunday, he knew. Dennis from the shop’s trip that day bagged two near the BB and BI markers, and Mario’s buddy’s trip did, too. Manasquan River’s fluking was good the past couple of days. Surf fishing for fluke was really good. Jetty Ghost Mullnets were the most popular sellers for that angling. A teaser was fished above the Mullnet. S&S, MagicTail and Spro bucktails were also fished for them. But the Mullnets were most popular. Nothing was heard about fluke boated on the ocean. Everybody seemed to say that the ocean fluking was slow. Snapper blues began to be seen in the Toms River, lagoons and Barnegat Bay. Crabbing was fantastic on both sides of the Toms. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Boating for crabs was off the charts on Barnegat Bay, but crabbers from the dock held their own, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Snapper blues, small ones, began to appear along the dock. They’ll grow. The dock is always good for a surprise, like a 19-1/2-inch fluke that a grandfather, fishing with his grandson, reeled in. Surf anglers targeted fluke. Forecasts looked good for the surf today. A light northeast wind would probably kick up a little white water, good for fishing, and would probably keep flies away. At night, shark fishing seemed to be improving in the surf. Baits stocked include killies for fluke, and the shop hopes the new supplier will keep them stocked throughout the season. 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>Forked River</b>

A 12-pound fluke was weighed at the store last week that was boated in Barnegat Bay near Barnegat Inlet, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. That’s one big summer flounder, and the angler was new to fishing for fluke. He bought killies and squid at the shop before the trip, hammered the lunker on a combo of those baits on the hook, and returned with the whopper. Fluking was good on the bay, and the fish seemed to gather closer to the inlet, like at Oyster Creek Channel. Customers fished for them at places like the 35 can and off the sod banks. Fluke were also reported from the ocean at the Tires and Garden State Reef North. Were any other fish reported from the bay like weakfish or kingfish? Bluefish popped up here and there, Mike said. Speaking of blues, snapper blues just began to be seen, like along docks. Those are baby blues that begin to be noticed each summer when they grow large enough. They grow quickly. News was quiet about offshore fishing for tuna or other big game because of seas and weather. The store now carries all offshore baits. All inshore baits – you name it, Mike said – including killies are stocked.  

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

A few more fluke were pitched aboard the last few days than before on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b> from the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. Some terrific-sized sea bass were also bagged. Throwbacks and sea robins also kept all customers busy. Weather looks great for the weekend, and trips are fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. Sunset cruises are running every evening.

Barnegat Bay’s fluking was good, decent, said Ashley from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. Many keepers were docked at the shop, and boaters hooked fluke from the bay right off the store, toward the Dike. She saw a 4-1/2-pounder and a 4-pounder. Ashley heard that weakfish were reeled from the bay. She saw none, but did hear. Lots of bluefish, not big, schooled Barnegat Inlet. Customers are catching crabs now. Crabbing can pick up later here, along the barrier island, than along the mainland, because of cold water from the inlet. Clamming was great on the bay for customers. As many as you want, she said. Baits stocked include killies and fresh bunker. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and boat and kayak rentals. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure.

<b>Absecon</b>

The back bay’s summer flounder fishing was up and down but fairly consistent, said Curt from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. They seemed to move to deeper water, and definitely try your local inlet for them around the tide changes, when current is slow enough to fish. A preferable time to fish is low tide, and then keep pulling back to the bays along the Intracoastal Waterway, fishing the deeper places, where water’s coolest, as the tide comes in. Those tides, incoming, bring in cooler water from the ocean. That’s a time to fish in summer – the fish in bays like the coolest water this season– and that’s the opposite of spring, when the warmer, outgoing tides fish best. Bays became a little warm this season, but the temperature might’ve dropped a few degrees since. Curt heard that the water had been as warm as 86 degrees. That’s warm! Mullica River was 82 degrees, he saw on a trip Sunday when he fished the river. Flounder seemed to be caught on the ocean, too. That fishing might’ve been a little temperamental, depending on the water that the wind direction pushed in. The ocean might’ve been a little cool still for the angling. So the warmest water could fish best. Sea bass fishing was good in 80 to 100 feet in the ocean at deeper reefs and at wrecks. Triggerfish are showing up at ocean reefs and wrecks. Curt’s trip on the Mullica fished the river’s mouth, tying into white perch. The trip tried for weakfish at the mouth, because weaks reportedly swam there, but hooked none. Curt is a perch angler, and the perch seemed to swim all over the “outer” creeks along the mouth and the west side of Great Bay. The Mullica dumps into the bay. That was his advice for finding the perch without being too specific. He didn’t want to say exactly where he’s finding them, but he gave someone else similar advice, and that angler found them. Places like the mouth are spots to fish currently. The perch, weaks and striped bass can bite there. Quite a number of the fish can be found, and his trip started catching right away. Fish baits like bloodworms, shedder crabs or grass shrimp. He heard that the Beesley’s Point area, farther south, was a good place for perch and flounder. That’s a similar spot where creeks and rivers dump in, except that’s closer to the ocean than the mouth of the Mullica. Beesley’s is near the mouth of Great Egg Harbor River. Stripers, not a lot of keepers, were certainly angled in early mornings and at night in Atlantic City, like along the jetties in Absecon Inlet off Melrose and Madison avenues. The inlet is lined with jetties. Anglers fished lures for them like Daiwa SP Minnows and soft-plastic swim baits. The stripers were also caught in rivers like the Mullica. This is the time of year when certain baitfish begin to grow large enough to be noticed. Curt was seeing small peanut bunker that recently hatched. He heard about no fish on them except sometimes small blues at inlets. The season was early for spots to migrate in from south, but customers began calling to ask if the fish were stocked for bait yet. They weren’t, but the shop carries them live when they become available, even carrying them from farther south when they become available from there, until they become available locally. Sharks like duskies, required to be released, haunt bays this time of year. They come in to spawn, and anglers anchor, chum and fish for them with bait like chunks of bunker to fight a big fish. Considering how warm bays became now, fishing for southern species like sheepshead could be good later this season. Sheepshead were already picked up farther south in New Jersey, but seemed yet to arrive locally, like along Brigantine Bridge. They might show up well, because of the warm water. The triggerfish mentioned above are also a southern species that arrives in summer. Lots of bait was sold for crabbing, so Curt assumed crabs were trapped well. Nobody reported a catch like two bushels, but the demand suggested success. The store’s supply of soft-shell crabs for eating and shedder crabs for bait was slow at the moment, but will pick up again, when crabs shed next. Anglers might want to call ahead to check whether the shedders are available. The store raises the crabs for eating, and keep up with the supply on <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/SoftshellCrabs/" target="_blank">Absecon Bay Sportsman’s soft-shell crabs Facebook Page</a>.

<b>Brigantine</b>

Kingfishing in the surf was okay at best, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Anglers had difficulty finding them the last couple of days. Brown sharks, required to be let go, were beached from the surf at night on mackerel. The back bay’s summer flounder fishing became harder. Eighteen throwbacks were hooked for every keeper. So Andy thinks boating for flounder is about to become better on the ocean. The Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs Tournament for kids 5 to 15 will be held Saturday, July 21, in Brigantine’s surf. The kids will be shown how to fish and will be treated to lunch, and it’s a great time, Andy said. Kids can be signed up at <a href=" http://brigantinemunicipalalliance.org/event/hooked-on-fishing-not-drugs/?instance_id=28" target="_blank">BrigantineMuncipalAlliance.org</a>.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Triggerfish were grabbed all along Absecon Inlet, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. The shop is holding a free Trigger Happy Tournament that began Saturday and lasts until July 29 and awards $75, $50 and $25 for the three heaviest. Kingfish were in in numbers in the surf and back bay, mostly along the surf off the T and Vermont and Massachusetts avenue jetties. Summer flounder also bit off those jetties. Three-eighth-ounce, ¾-ounce and ½-ounce bucktails beat them. A Hoochie Mama bucktail that the store sells whacked them. That has tentacles that impart action and glow in the dark. Weakfish bit pretty well at night off Harrah’s. A couple of croakers chomped in the back bay around the sea wall. Striped bass were seen at the shop. Two were brought to the store yesterday, and one was today. They bit early in morning in the inlet off Melrose and Madison avenues. Customers fish the jetty-lined inlet on foot. Snapper blues appeared but were small. They’ll grow this season. A photo of a shark and a photo of a big butterfly ray that were released were posted on One Stop’s Facebook page. Those catches appeared to be made near Harrah’s at night. Many shark species that swim waters like these are required to be let go. Some anglers thought circle hooks were also required if targeting sharks at spots like this. But Noel called law enforcement and confirmed that circle hooks are only required for sharking beyond 3 miles from shore, he said. All baits, the full supply, are stocked, including minnows and bloodworms. Minnows are only $8 a pint. A bait vending machine dispenses frozen bait round the clock. That includes whole squid, scented squid strips, spearing, whole mackerel, filleted mackerel, mullet, shrimp and more. A little of everything.

<b>Margate</b>

Strong wind last weekend and extreme tides this week because of the new moon slowed summer flounder fishing somewhat on the back bay on the party boat <b>Keeper</b>, Capt. John said. But the fishing should kick back in within the next day or two, he hopes. It will bounce back, and dirty water from the wind and from the big tides was the culprit. The water will clear, and that should happen in different weather and tides now. The fishing’s been good and catching more keepers this year than previously. The flounder are biting minnows and mackerel provided aboard and Gulps that anglers bring. Pretty much only flounder are hitting, except the usual sea robins and sharks. Plenty of those chewed. A few baby sea bass began to be hooked that show up in summer. That population will build. Lots of peanut bunker, too small to net, began to be seen. When they grow bigger, John castnets them for customers to liveline for flounder. He saw herring and a few silversides. The populations of baitfish began to build for the season. As it grows, that usually attracts sizable flounder. Trips are fishing for flounder 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 5 p.m. daily. 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>Ocean City</b>

Many brown sharks seemed to depart the surf because the water became colder, said Thomas from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. But kingfish seemed to return to the surf because of that. The sharks seemed to scare the kings away previously. In the back bay, most flounder seemed to move toward inlets and deep water. Fishing ocean reefs was pretty good for flounder. Sea bass fishing was pretty good on the ocean, too. Back in the bay, striped bass were played at night, dusk and dawn along sod banks on top-water lures or a variety of soft-plastic lures like Fin-S Fish. No news rolled in about offshore tuna fishing this week because of seas and weather. Crabbing was super, actually, and under the 34th Street Bridge was the top spot, using bunker for bait.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>, said recently the ocean was probably warm enough to hold mahi mahi close to shore. So he and his wife took at a shot at them Tuesday evening, and nailed two and missed two on the troll. Mahi are in, and fun trips aboard get after the gourmet fish this season close to the coast. The trips troll, cast jigs, swim live bait or fly-rod for them. That can depend on conditions. Earlier that day, a charter fought and released four sharks close to shore: two browns, a 125-pound sandbar and a dusky well over 100. That was on bait, and trips also fly-rod the sharks. These are inshore trips that release the sharks – many of the species are required to be – usually within 10 miles from the coast. The fishing is a chance to experience big fish without the long sail offshore. Warm water attracts them in summer. Jersey Cape is also fishing for summer flounder on the back bay. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

Catches were similar to last week, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. That’s good, and some good catches of summer flounder still came from the back bay. Minnows definitely caught best, but squid and mackerel each worked. Ocean reefs also fished well for flounder, especially Townsend’s Inlet Reef. Some anglers said that reef fished better than the rest. When boaters had the weather to fish ocean wrecks, they hooked lots of triggerfish from the taller ones. Some sea bass were boated on the ocean. A fair number of kingfish were plucked from the surf. Nobody bragged, he thought, but anglers picked them fairly steady. Bloodworms and Fishbites artificial worms probably hooked the kings equally. Brown sharks, required to be released, were fought from the surf at night on mackerel. Nobody reported fishing offshore for tuna since the last report, Mike thought, because of a swell.

<b>Wildwood</b>

Nothing changed with fishing and crabbing for customers, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. He couldn’t speak long to give this report, because he was busy with customers. But in the previous report, he said the back bay produced summer flounder, lots of throwbacks, a few keepers, and the bays’ crabbing was picking up. An episode of Fred Uhlman’s TV show Jersey Cape Fishing will air at 6:30 p.m. today locally on channel 4 on Comcast that Mike was a guest on recently. The episode will show Fred and Mike fishing for the bay’s flounder with bobbers that hung a minnow down 12 to 13 feet in 14 feet of water on the bay. The rig really catches if conditions are right, including no heavy boat traffic. Mike wants to remind boaters to be respectful of anglers in small boats, like when boating along channels. The people in small boats have every right to fish there, so don’t blow past them and cause a wake. 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, including minnows, is stocked. So is fishing and crabbing tackle and gear. Plenty of crabs for eating are in supply that the store sells live, cooked or chilled. Other seafood like shrimp and clams are often in supply, too, and Mike couldn’t be asked which of those might be on hand currently, because he was busy with customers. 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 last fishing season approved that.

<b>Cape May</b>

Trips fished both offshore and inshore aboard, said Capt. Tom from <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>. Fishing for tuna and tilefish offshore was good. If anglers wanted to fish for sharks at night on the trips offshore, lots of makos were around. A trip aboard Tuesday trolled 15 yellowfin tuna to 60 pounds and some mahi mahi at the canyons. A blue marlin was seen swimming into the spread in the morning. The water was 70 to 75 degrees, a blended blue and green and held whales and porpoises. The inshore trips targeted summer flounder on the ocean. Twelve to 20 keepers per trip and good action with throwbacks was waxed. Flounder catches were fairly consistent. 

The next fishing is supposed to run for tuna this weekend on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. He hopes to get the weather, and forecasts were questionable. Tuna are biting all the way offshore at the canyons, whether the Washington, Baltimore or Poormans, and you better choose the right place, he said. He knew about no tuna closer to shore, like at Massey’s Canyon or the Hot Dog. Trips aboard are also trolling for bluefish inshore. Other catches like Spanish mackerel could be mixed in. Those trips could also fish for sea bass and triggerfish. Telephone if interested in any of this angling.

Fishing for summer flounder was up and down on the ocean on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. It was down during the weekend, including because of 20- to 30-knot wind screaming from northeast Saturday. That kept that day’s trip docked, and a big swell remained Sunday, and not many flounder were managed that day aboard. Conditions drifted the boat well for flounder fishing on yesterday’s trip, and some of the fish were caught. Four of the trip’s anglers limited out. That was the best day of the fishing since the weekend’s weather. Last Thursday’s trip fished well. Friday had thunderstorms. But A.J. Kindschy from Wilmington and buddy Joe DeCrese from Claymont limited on that day’s outing. Trips are fishing for flounder at 8 a.m. daily.

Back bays served up summer flounder, and ocean reefs began to give some up, said Joe from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Ocean anglers picked away at Cape May and Wildwood reefs, nothing hot, but starting to catch. Flounder fishing was pretty decent on Delaware Bay toward Fortescue, he heard. Seventeen inches is the legal minimum size on Delaware Bay, compared with 18 in most of the rest of the state. That probably helps. No weakfish were heard about, including from Delaware Bay. Nothing much seemed to school Cape May Channel, off Cape May Point, at the confluence of the bay and ocean, that can hold a variety of fish in summer. A few bluefish, small flounder and baby sea bass probably roamed there. Baby sea bass were everywhere. Kingfish were reported hooked around Cape May Inlet, so they should be in the surf, though none was heard about from the surf. Triggerfish were rumored to hug jetties. Not much news rolled in from offshore, probably because of weather or seas. One angler reported mackerel schooling as far as could be seen while he fished an offshore canyon. The trip landed three small mako sharks on the livelined mackerel, and on the way home trolled a tuna. Crabbing became good, actually. Lots of crabs were trapped in spring but were small. But now good-sized were trapped pretty well. A customer who frequently crabs trapped 1 ½ dozen keeper jimmies in 1 ½ hours. He only keeps jimmies.

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