Sat., Oct. 20, 2018
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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 8-2-18

<b>Sewaren</b>

Wind and rain the past couple of weeks kept some news scarce, said Rich from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. When boaters last fished, they actually tugged fluke from the Arthur Kill. That fluking seemed better than on Raritan Bay, though some fluke were bagged from Romer Shoal. Customers began buying rigs for porgies. Snapper blues schooled all around the docks. Customers crabbed, nabbing decent-sized. Killies and eels are stocked. Fresh bunker arrive daily. Fresh peanut bunker are carried. Bait stocked also includes sandworms, bloodworms and freshwater bait like trout worms. 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>

Great porgy fishing was pounded with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. Sea bass and triggerfish were mixed in, and open-boat trips are sailing for this angling at 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. Saturdays. On Down Deep’s other boat, fluke fishing on the ocean was okay, not fantastic, during the weekend. Open trips are sailing for that at 6 a.m. daily. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers. Both boats feature lots of room and full galleys. 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 trips. Look for the link underneath Contact.

Quality fluke, not quantity, were iced on a trip Tuesday with <b>Manicsportfishing</b>, Manic’s Facebook page said. Two of the anglers smashed their personal bests: a 10-plus-pounder and an 8 ½. The trip worked hard at five areas to put together a catch. A trip the previous day ran out to fish quickly with boys from the dock to grab a few fish for dinner and have fun. Mission accomplished, the page said, and a few fluke and sea bass were bagged. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing, and weather looks good for Sunday. A few spaces are available that day for an open trip for fluke, sea bass and porgies.

A trip fished for porgies, instead of the usual fluke, Monday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Porgies to 2 pounds bit non-stop for the family aboard. Great bite, super fun and delicious fish. Charters will fish for porgies upon request. Fluking was tough in the bay, and best in the ocean at rough bottom, when conditions were right. Weather is more of a factor to fish the ocean. Jigs will be snagged and lost on the rough bottom, so be prepared for that. Frank steers clear of that when possible, but that’s the best fluking right now. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing for fluke. One spot is left for an open trip Sunday. Spaces are available for open trips next week on Thursday through Saturday and that Sunday. Telephone to reserve.

<b>Leonardo</b>

Fishing was great for porgies and some sea bass and fluke mixed in with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Joe wrote in an email. One blackfish could be kept per angler beginning Wednesday, and a diver said some wrecks were loaded with the tautog inshore. Sour Kraut will be looking to add them to catches.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Action with fluke was good most of the time, said Capt. Tom from the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>. It couldn’t be good all the time, but all customers usually caught. The fishing was the same as before. Lots of throwbacks and occasional keepers were decked. Don’t let weather forecasts fool you. Rain probably fell in North Jersey yesterday, but weather was beautiful on yesterday afternoon’s trip. A sprinkle fell in the morning, but that was all. The boat drifted perfectly for fluke that afternoon. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

On the <b>Fishermen</b> on the ocean, fluking was best late on Monday’s trip, in overtime, a report said on the party boat’s website. The beginning of the trip just picked some quality fluke and released throwback sea bass. On the trip’s final drift, the 6.9-pound pool-winner came in. A whopper fluke 10 to 11 ½ pounds, the captain estimated, was lost along the water surface. “A line was wrapped around the fish, it shook its head and we watched as it swam away!” the report said. About eight of the trip’s anglers boxed two beauty keepers apiece. Big sea bass were also in the mix, and the trip’s fishing wasn’t easy, and took all day to put fish in coolers. Tuesday’s trip slugged away at some good-sized, keeper fluke. Two anglers limited out on three apiece, and several bagged two apiece. Some big sea bass were also sacked. Trips are fluking 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily on the ocean. However, the boat is chartered this Saturday, so no open trip will fish that day.

Party boats from the marina caught fluke okay today, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Lots of the fish were throwbacks, like they have been. The trips are fishing from Raritan Bay to the ocean, depending on the boat. The shop’s rental boats are available to fluke the bay. Porgy fishing gave up catches steadily. Kids often began to fish for snapper blues, like along bulkheads. That was great angling, and they bought tackle like snapper poppers and Snapper Zappers. Crabbing was improving. All baits are stocked, including for offshore. Yellowfin tuna that were chunked, not just trolled, began to be heard about. All the bait is carried for chunking. The shop is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina, down the dock from charter, party and private boats.

Anglers bagged fluke here and there in the bay, said Jay from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Most of the fluke were small rats. Some were keepers, not many. A 12-pound keeper was weighed Monday at the store. That was caught near Bug Light, according to the angler. Boaters shoveled up porgies, but porgy fishing was pretty good for anglers on foot, too. Porgies were picked up along the Navy Pier, from the bulkhead at Highlands and, from shore, at many places. Boaters could limit out on two sea bass. One blackfish per angler, per day could be kept beginning Wednesday. The tautog were around, and green crabs for bait for them will probably be stocked in a couple of weeks. All usual baits are stocked for the time of year. “I got it all,” he said. Many snapper blues schooled. Lots of kids got after them.

<b>Highlands</b>

Fluke were boated consistently with <b>Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Pete wrote in an email. So were sea bass and triggerfish. During fluking, throwbacks are always around. But good-sized keepers were also pulled aboard. Tide changes especially produced them. If you like porgies, they were everywhere. All bait and tackle is provided, and your catch is filleted and iced. Two spaces are available Friday. Room is also available next week. Give a call.

<b>Long Branch</b>

The surf gave up quite a number of throwback striped bass, said Mike from <b>TAK Waterman Surf n Fish</b>. But friends beached keepers on livelined snapper blues. The snappers swam the surf, and if anglers could hook them to liveline, they could bag a keeper. Bucktails or small rubber shads and teasers caught the throwbacks in early mornings, in evenings and in the dark. Fluke had been reeled from the surf. But the ocean held a swell last week, and anglers who Mike knew surfed instead of fishing. The surf might’ve been calmer farther north, and that might’ve been better for fluking. But locally the seas were bigger. Mike knew that bluefin tuna bit inshore, nothing crazy. He fished for them recently, covered in a report last week here. He fished for largemouth bass at a lake this week, catching them to 3 pounds, none huge, on swim baits and chatter baits on a trip. TAK is a fishing and surfing store. It also sells the TAK Waterman line of clothes for watersports and beach-going. The name comes from Lake Takanasee. 

<b>Neptune</b>

Three anglers limited out on fluke, and all five of the trip’s anglers left with fillets Tuesday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. The ocean’s fluking is picking up, he said, and the fillets also included sea bass, ling and even a triggerfish that, surprisingly, was bucktailed. Weather looks great for an individual-reservation trip Sunday for big sea bass, big ling, blackfish, winter flounder, cod and pollock at mid-range wrecks. Room is available.

<b>Belmar</b>

The ocean was somewhat nasty, but yesterday’s trip still copped good action with sea bass, lots of shorts and some keepers, a report said on the party boat <b>Golden Eagle</b>’s website. Some keeper fluke were also winged. Previously, great sea bassing was drilled aboard. Catches like fluke and ling were often mixed in. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

Fishing was weathered out on yesterday afternoon’s trip on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. This morning’s trip locked into successful fishing, like recently, for sea bass. Fluke and a handful of small bluefish were also snatched up. Wind picked up toward the end, and this afternoon’s trip was canceled because of the wind and seas. Trips are expected to resume tomorrow. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Brielle</b>

Dirty water slowed fluke fishing on Manasquan River, said Bob from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. That was because of storms, and anglers couldn’t see 6 inches down into the water. The river was warm, too, at 79 degrees two days ago. Ocean fluking gave up many more throwbacks than keepers. Bob knew about a charter with 28 anglers that totaled six keepers. Practically no bluefish schooled the ocean off New Jersey, and most party boat’s that used to bluefish were bottom-fishing instead for catches like sea bass, ling and fluke. In the surf, schoolie striped bass 18 to 26 inches were angled hit or miss, including on 4-inch, white rubber shads or sand fleas. Storm Chug Bug popper lures were popular for the stripers. Most of the catches seemed from Avon to Seaside Heights or Seaside Park. Small sharks were not scarce that could be beached from the surf at night. Offshore fishing was fairly good for yellowfin and bigeye tuna. All the tuna Bob heard about were trolled, though Eric from the shop reported some chunked in a report from the store here Monday. The chunking was at Hudson Canyon.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Porgies, sea bass, triggerfish and a few fluke were scooped from the ocean on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, Capt. Butch said. The bottom-fishing was okay, mostly catching porgies. Some days fished better than others, but anglers usually totaled 15 to 35 porgies apiece. Some limited out on 50. Throw in some sea bass, triggers or maybe a fluke, and that was a nice bag of fish for an angler. Anglers could usually limit out on two sea bass apiece. Trips fished in 20 to 60 feet of water, and the water was 72 degrees on those grounds. A couple of trips were weathered out last week, but the boat fished this week. Trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

Fluke were picked from the ocean Tuesday through today on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The fishing was a little slower than Monday, but some good-sized were still honked. Monday’s fishing was decent, like the weekend’s fluking was on the boat. Bucktails with Gulps seemed to hit most of the better-sized fluke on today’s trip, like lately. August is usually a good month for fluking aboard, so the crew is looking forward. Trips are fishing for fluke 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 p.m. Thursdays, returning when the fireworks end.

Catches of fluke on the ocean were up and down on the <b>Gambler</b>, a report said Tuesday on the party boat’s website. Some better-sized were clutched, but the fishing was inconsistent. Sea bass chewed on most days, “thankfully,” the report said. Anglers needed to do nothing special to catch sea bass. The sea bass bit while they fluked. Chub mackerel began to show up during the fluking. On Thursday night’s wreck-fishing trip, a big swell was leftover, and that made keeping lines on bottom difficult. But anglers who could manage, caught alright. The report didn’t say what was caught, but said Friday and Saturday night’s wreck trips fished better and caught big ling, especially on Friday, small blues, big chub mackerel and a few sea bass. A Shark in the Dark Trip on Sunday night produced no sharks, maybe because of a swell. Weather was great, and that was the season’s final one of those trips. A thresher shark was hooked on Monday afternoon’s fluke trip. 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.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

Four small yellowfin tuna were trolled at Hudson Canyon on Sunday on the <b>Tin Knocker</b>, Capt. John said. 

<b>Toms River</b>

Surf anglers dragged in fluke, often throwbacks, sometimes a keeper, said Mario from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>. Jetty Ghost Mullnuts with a teaser dressed with bucktail, tipped with a 4-inch Gulp swimming mullet in pearl white or chartreuse, clocked them. That’s what an angler and son fished at Island Beach State Park, saying they banked a throwback on almost every cast. Fluking was alright in Manasquan Inlet. A buddy and the buddy’s friend bagged four including a 7- or 8-pound lunker from the inlet. Pat Murphy cracked two fluke to a 5-pound 4-ouncer on the party boat Norma-K III from Point Pleasant Beach. A few decent-sized striped bass were eeled in Point Pleasant Canal at night. Crabbing was picking back up after the recent shed. Fishing for snapper blues was good in the Toms River. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Surf-fishing for fluke was a slow pick at best, a report said today on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. But a report yesterday on the site said the fishing was decent. Maybe something about weather or other conditions changed the fishing. Snapper blues popped into the surf here and there. Crabbing seemed to be rebounding after recent shedding. Crabbing from boats will usually out-catch crabbing from docks or shore. But patience and persistence pays off from docks or shore. 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>

Customers boated fluke well at Garden State Reef North on the ocean, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. They also hung fluke from Barnegat Bay near Barnegat Inlet. This was all when they had the weather to sail or when strong wind failed to blow like it often did this past week. Also in the bay, blowfish slowly began to show up. Boaters fished offshore for tuna during the weekend – they had the weather – and he was waiting to hear results. All baits are stocked including killies and offshore baits. 

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Bottom-fishing bagged fluke and sea bass Tuesday on the <b>Super Chic</b>, Capt. Ted said. The ocean was a little bumpy in a swell, and more of the trips will sail the next four days.

Plenty of fluke bit in Barnegat Bay, but many were throwbacks, said Buddy from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. Scores of undersized hit for every keeper. He heard about no particular places that seemed best for fluking in the bay. The fish seemed everywhere near the shop. No other fish like weakfish or kingfish were heard about from the bay. No bluefish were mentioned from Barnegat Inlet, but blues can always pop up there. No reports about ocean fluking rolled in that Buddy knew about. Trips headed to Barnegat Ridge for bonito on the ocean, but he didn’t hear whether they caught. Crabbing was great on the bay. Clamming is always great near the shop on the bay. Killies and fresh bunker are stocked, and live grass shrimp can be ordered. 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>

Wind never forgot to blow daily, and that made getting a moment of calm difficult to fish the ocean for summer flounder, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. The threat of thunderstorms often even kept trips from fishing the back bay for flounder. The bay’s flounder fishing was typical for the beginning of August. Lots of throwbacks bit. Some anglers think bigger flounder become more difficult to catch on the bay because the small usually grab the hook first. Some think the bigger migrate to the ocean for cooler water this time of year. Others, including Dave, think that many of the bigger have been bagged by this time of season, making finding bigger more difficult than earlier. He thinks many of them leave the bay, but in a cooler! Despite the weather, there was lots of activity in flounder fishing. If boaters get the weather to reach the ocean, they can also target sea bass, triggerfish or any other catch there that has an open season currently to add to fish for dinner. One blackfish per angler, per day became legal to keep beginning Wednesday. Weather kept news scarce about them, but blackfish are certainly swimming places like along jetties and can be hooked. Triggerfishing’s been great at spots like that. Fishing for small striped bass is beginning to turn on well at the mouths of Mullica and Great Egg Harbor rivers. If anglers really want dinner, white perch fishing is great on brackish rivers like that. Not much was heard about weakfish, but crabs began to shed, and the supplier provided shedder crabs for bait the last couple of days. Shedders are favorite weakfish bait, so Dave expects to hear about weaks more often now. The crabs aren’t shedding as much as they do in June, but they’ll go through sheds until water becomes too cold in October. The shed also means that soft-shell crabs for eating will be available. The shop raises and sells them, 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>. Lots of baitfish began to be seen, including many small peanut bunker, some small spots and tiny mullet. The baitfish will grow quickly, and anglers will catch them to liveline for fish from flounder and stripers to tuna. A new order of castnets  arrived to catch peanuts, adult bunker, spots and mullet, all the way down to silversides, the shop’s Facebook page said. The shop’s got the right mesh size, diameter and weights to catch any baitfish available. The quality of the nets is higher, and so a little more expensive, but worth every penny, it said.  The store also stocks pens for baitfish and all supplies for catching and keeping your own. Live spots are stocked from Chesapeake Bay. A few are big for tuna fishing, and quite a few are smaller for flounder. Spots that are large enough to stock become available first in the year from the Chesapeake, because of warmer weather in the south.

<b>Brigantine</b>

From the surf, kingfish were brought in, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. So were brown sharks, required to be released, and rays. Summer flounder swam the back bay, and keepers sometimes came from Absecon Inlet. Blackfish catches were yet to be heard about, but one per angler, per day became the bag limit starting Wednesday, after blackfish season was closed previously. Crabbing was awesome, and many were keepers. Bunker are stocked for crabbing. Baits stocked also include minnows.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Good-sized summer flounder were whipped from the surf to Absecon Inlet to the back bay behind the inlet, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. A 5-pound 27-incher was checked-in yesterday. Customers mostly fish on foot, including along the inlet and bay. They cashed in on triggerfish along the inlet’s rocks. The inlet is lined with jetties. One blackfish per angler could be kept daily beginning Wednesday, and blackfish hovered along the inlet’s rocks. One angler landed 20, all throwbacks, no keepers, but action that day. Weakfish were occasionally hooked at night off Harrah’s on the bay. Big sharks were fought from the bay near Harrah’s at night. The full supply of bait, including green crabs for blackfish, is stocked. Minnows are only $8 a pint. A bait vending machine dispenses frozen bait round the clock. A little of everything.

<b>Margate</b>

Back-bay fishing for summer flounder had begun to pick up on the party boat <b>Keeper</b>, then wind dirtied the water, Capt. John said. The water had begun to clear. Wind blew 25 knots yesterday, and that was tough. That was a particularly windy day. A few keepers were taken among throwbacks landed recently. 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>Longport</b>

Bluefish, little tunny, bonito and Spanish mackerel were crushed on the troll on the ocean on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. Gobs of fish, and another trip will sail for that today. King mackerel bit off lures twice on Tuesday’s trip.  The trips are fishing monofilament, because even the blues won’t touch wire. No. 2 Clark spoons, yellow and green feathers, and cedar plugs are being fished. Old school, he said. Sometimes triggerfish are also angled on those trips. A piece of squid is floated to a buoy where the triggers gather, and two or three are hooked until the triggers get wise and stop biting, like mahi mahi do. Bottom-fishing at ocean wrecks aboard is cranking in some really good-sized sea bass to 3 and 4 pounds. Tuna fishing is scheduled aboard for Saturday through Tuesday. That will sail all the way offshore to the canyons. That fishing, for yellowfins and bigeyes, is spotty, hooking onesies and twosies. It’s all on the troll during daytime, not chunking at night. The trips will probably fish Lindenkohl or Wilmington canyons. There was a bite, no big numbers, at the Wilmington, Spencer and Hudson recently.

<b>Ocean City</b>

The back bay was stirred up because of rain, said Thomas from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Throwback flounder were hooked in the bay toward inlets, because of clearer water there. Sharks could be fought from the inlets to the surf. Those are usually species required to be released like browns and sand tigers. Kingfishing began to pick back up in the surf. It’s been better and slower at different times this season. Back in the bay, fishing for schoolie striped bass, like at night along bridges, died off somewhat. On the ocean, the water was fairly clear at reefs during the weekend, and keeper flounder were plucked from them here and there. Sea bass and triggerfish were reeled from the reefs. Nothing was heard about tuna fishing, because few anglers made the trip offshore between rough weather.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Anglers released throwback summer flounder, a bunch, on the back bay yesterday aboard, had a good time, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The ocean would’ve been too rough to sail for flounder, but the plan was to fish the bay anyway. Another trip was going to fish for flounder on the bay today. Trips will fish for sharks inshore this weekend aboard. That angling’s been great, including last weekend, covered in previous reports here. Joe had planned to fish offshore for tuna tomorrow, but that will probably be weathered out. Annual traveling charters to Montauk, the legendary port, will fish the migrations of striped bass, bluefish and false albacore from September to mid-October. See the <a href="http://www.captainjoehughes.com/page3.html" target="_blank">traveling charters webpage</a> on Jersey Cape’s website. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

The surf turned up decent kingfishing when weather or other conditions were conducive, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. There was currently a serious undertow from the weekend’s full moon. But changes of tides, when the current slowed, were fishable. The surf’s summer flounder fishing seemed to taper off. Rays swam the surf. The back bay still harbored flounder, and fewer and fewer were keepers this time of year. The keeper ratio was “kind of upside down.” But when keepers were caught, some were sizable. The ocean was too rough to fish for flounder. Surely occasional flounder trips worked the ocean, but most locals fish boats like 20- or 22-foot center consoles, and seas were rough for that. The back bay served up schoolie striped bass at dawn and dusk on popper lures and at night on soft-plastic lures or small swimming plugs. Nothing was heard about offshore fishing for tuna or other big game because of seas and weather. Trips surely did that fishing at times, but nobody locally reported the angling. Crabbing was off the charts.

<b>Wildwood</b>

For anglers at <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>, summer flounder fishing was still happening, Mike said. Lots of throwbacks were around, and flounder remained in creeks. The shop sent customers there to avoid boat traffic along the channels of the back bay. Be mindful about your boat’s wake in the channels. Smaller boats have every right to be there, like bigger boats do. Be responsible for your wake. No boats are allowed to anchor in the channels, but they can drift there, including to fish. Trips that boated for crabs probably averaged a dozen keepers. Customers, including kids, had a blast doing the crabbing. A few 1-pound bluefish turned up in the bay on occasion. Mike waited to see snapper blues appear. Anglers buy tackle like snapper poppers to play them. He had ordered cane poles for that fishing, and they were yet to arrive. That’s a fun way to catch snappers.  A friend landed a striped bass from the bay, and wasn’t targeting stripers. On the ocean off Delaware, friends bagged some flounder at Reef 10. Mike heard another report about flounder from there, too. He hadn’t heard about that reef in years, and he doesn’t mean to send anglers on a wild goose chase, if they go to the reef and not catch. But hearing about the reef twice was interesting, after a long spell. Reports about successful flounder fishing on the ocean bounced around from Wildwood and Cape May reefs and Reef 11. Sometimes one of those reefs seemed to produce, and sometimes another did, and so on. Those are reefs commonly reported about. 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. Crabs for eating are in supply that the store sells live, cooked or chilled. Prices for live were currently $15, $20, $25 and $30, depending on size, smallest to largest, respectively. The smaller, $15 crabs probably won’t be available much longer, because crabs are growing for the season. No. 1 crabs, the biggest size, arrived yesterday that were stunning quality. That doesn’t mean tomorrow’s crabs will be, but this is the time of year for beautiful and big crabs. Shrimp and steamed clams, littlenecks, are also in for eating. Customers enjoy the food at tented picnic tables on the water at the store, or enjoy them at their own location. Bottles of wine from Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House are sold at the store.

<b>Cape May</b>

One trip fished, on Monday, with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, and smoked tuna, Capt. Tom said. Weather was rough the rest of the week, and even at the end of that trip. On the trip, six yellowfin tuna to 75 pounds, three bluefin tuna to 60 pounds and a mahi mahi were bagged, all on the troll. The trip had 15 bites, steady action throughout the fishing. The fishing was very good. Both the yellowfins and bluefins were caught in the same spot. They were mixed together. Rain fell the whole day, and seas were slick-calm at first, in the morning. But on the way home, seas were rough as heck. Big, 7- to 8-foot “growlers.” But at least those were following seas. Another tuna trip is slated for tomorrow. A bunch of summer flounder trips are scheduled to fish the ocean. Looking ahead, Fishin’ Fever’s big-game fishing in September will include deep-dropping for swordfish during daytime. Daytime swordfishing has become popular to the south, like in Florida. Tom expects to pioneer that angling locally. Until now, fishing for the light-sensitive swords has been common at night. During daytime, bait is dropped very deep, where the swords are escaping light.

A 10.63-pound summer flounder was nailed on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. Tom Sebastian from Wyomissing, Pa., heaved in the fish Tuesday aboard. The ocean’s seas were a big swell on the trip, and only a few other keeper flounder were landed. Seas have been rough, and sometimes the boat fished in them. Sometimes forecasts kept anglers from showing up to sail, keeping trips docked. Saturday’s trip scored lots of action with flounder, but not many keepers. On Sunday’s trip, strong current prevented bait from holding bottom, and then the current and wind backed off, and the boat wouldn’t drift. Good drifting, not too fast, not too slow, is important in flounder fishing. On Monday, seas were terribly rough, but a trip fished. Tuesday was when the 10-pounder was caught. No trip fished Wednesday, because forecasts kept anglers from showing up. Sometimes sea bass can be hooked during ocean flounder fishing, depending on location. The boat wasn’t fishing where many sea bass swam. A few sea bass were hooked Monday, and Paul thought one was reeled in Tuesday. Trips are fishing for flounder at 8 a.m. daily.

Kingfishing was decent in the surf on the ocean and at Cape May Point at the confluence of the ocean and Delaware Bay, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Fish bloodworms on a kingfish rig. Sharking was good in the surf in evenings. Dunk fresh or frozen bunker or fish like kings or croakers for them. The kings or croakers are used for bait because they have no size limit. An occasional weakfish came from Delaware Bay’s surf on pink Gulp swim baits, floated bloodworms or, on a rig, strips of squid. Summer flounder fishing was pretty good. Flounder were still hooked in the back bays and harbor. Decent flounder catches were reported from Delaware Bay at buoys 9, 10 and 19. They were also reported from the bay near Brandywine Lighthouse, where weakfish and blackfish were also reeled up. Rocks that surround the lighthouse can attract the blackfish, and one blackfish per angler, per day could be bagged beginning Wednesday. Blackfish also chomped along surf jetties. So did triggerfish. Green crabs are stocked for blackfish, and clams are carried for triggers. Nick wasn’t asked whether the clams were fresh. Baits stocked also include minnows and two sizes of bloodworms: regular and jumbo. Offshore baits like ballyhoos, sardines and butterfish are carried. Flounder fishing at ocean reefs sounded spottier recently, or the deeper water fished better than the shallower at reefs. But the angling is expected to pick up. Schoolie striped bass were played along bridges and sod banks. Under lights fished best, but along sod banks also gave them up. Bait like clams or bunker and soft-plastic lures lit into the stripers. When fishing the plastics, slim profiles worked best, because most baitfish were skinny. Lots of baitfish schooled back bays, including minnows, spearing, small mullet and small peanut bunker. Crabbing was excellent. Crabbing got off to a slow start this year but now was kicking in, and Nick thinks crabbing will become even better. It was excellent now, though.

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