Striped bass were still reeled from Delaware River locally, but fewer than before, said Rick from Big Timber Bait & Tackle. The fish seemed mostly to migrate farther upstream for spawning. But they’ll have to migrate back down, and will be caught again. Bloodworms were popular bait for the river’s striper anglers fishing from shore. But clams caught, and helped prevent white perch from biting. Big white perch, good catches, could be nabbed on bloods, though. Large catfish gave up good fishing on the river. Any stripers landed from the bay came from the southern end. Besides clams, bunker began to hook them. Most boaters who fished for the bay’s drum seemed to fish the New Jersey side toward Brandywine. But a few drum caught were reported from the Delaware side off Slaughter Beach. Fresh clams are stocked, and sometimes fresh bunker is carried on weekends. But vacuum-packed, frozen bunker is on hand that’s catching stripers. Bloodworms, eels, shiners and nearly all saltwater frozen baits are in supply. Big Timber stocks bait and tackle for fishing on all waters from fresh to offshore.
Boaters during the weekend decked striped bass at Bug Light and Reed’s Beach, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. Winds blew then and the past 10 days, but a few sailed. They also said larger stripers than before, about 40 inches, were heaved in. Customers who fished Delaware River said lots of stripers gathered at Commodore Barry Bridge. Back on the bay, a few drum were cranked aboard off Slaughter Beach on the Delaware side. Nothing was heard about bluefish. Sharon in previous reports said netters ran into weakfish in the bay, but few of the trout are caught on hook and line in cold waters this time of year. White perch were plucked from brackish rivers, but weather was cold and windy. Crabbing was yet to pick up much. Any that were trapped came from the sounds, and many of Delaware Bay’s commercial trappers were yet to drop pots in the waters. Fresh clams and fresh bunker are stocked when available, and ordering ahead is best, especially for clams, to ensure a supply, and also to ensure the freshest bait. Winds can keep boats from sailing for clams and bunker, making the supply scarcer. Winds can also keep clam boats from sailing farther offshore, where the bigger surf clams are found. Clams available can be smaller because of that. Bloodworms, minnows, eels and all the frozen baits are on hand. The Girls Place, located on Route 47, just after Route 55 ends, stocks a large supply of bait and tackle. It’s the long, one-story, yellow building on the right, with plenty of parking, including for trailered boats.
A charter was cancelled Saturday, and winds blew fiercely through the weekend, but Capt. Jim from Fins and Feathers Outfitters spent a couple of hours both Saturday and Sunday attempting to fish himself, he said. He tried clamming the bay for striped bass and drum, but the angling wasn’t productive in the weather. Winds were beginning to dirty the waters badly, and nothing bit. He fished 20-Foot Slough, Bug Light and the stakes nearby. Weather was too rough to sail to the Delaware side of the bay, but a few drum began to be caught off Slaughter Beach there. A 19-inch, out-of-season summer flounder was hooked and released on clam, and flounder began to show up along the coast. The fluke season will be opened on Saturday, May 18. Fins and Feathers fishes the bay in spring and fall and the ocean from Avalon in summer. To fish the bay, the boat is trailered to wherever’s closest to fishing, like Cape May or Reed’s Beach. Fins and Feathers offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including duck and goose hunting on the bay, when the seasons are opened. Anglers can even enjoy a combo of striper fishing and duck hunting over a series of days. Fins and Feathers also fishes for salmon and steelhead on upstate New York’s Salmon River from Jim’s lodge, and guides trout trips on Pennsylvania streams like the Yellow Breeches.
A drum charter, the season’s first, was cancelled Saturday on the Heavy Hitter, because of winds, Capt. George said. A few drum were boated on the bay on the Delaware side. “Nothing great,” George said. Sea bass fishing on the ocean will begin aboard when sea bass season is opened May 19.
Drum began to show up in the bay, said Capt. Mario from the Down Deep. Striped bass fishing was slow for boaters around Cape May. Sign up for the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s Web site for special sea bass and wreck fishing trips. Sea bass season will be opened May 19. Also see the boat’s site for a schedule of open-boat tuna trips that will be posted soon. The trips will probably begin in late June or early July.
One angler, Ray Alkins from Washington Township, bagged two striped bass 37 and 36 inches from the bay’s surf at Cape May last week on clams, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Ray saw another angler tackle a 41-incher, and plenty of anglers release throwbacks. Surf fishing was pretty good for striped bass there, and also on the ocean surf around Cape May. Clams mostly caught, and also hooked occasional drum from the beach. But stripers could also be plugged along jetties, especially around Cape May Point. A few weakfish began to be slid from the surf along the point’s jetties. Bloodworms, strips of squid or bucktails could be fished for them. A few bluefish reportedly swam the back bay, like at Avalon, but none was seen at the shop. Not many blues were around Cape May. The bay’s boaters picked up a few stripers at the cove on clams, sometimes on bunker, when anglers could find bunker. A few small drum boated were heard about from the bay last week. Fresh clams and bloodworms are stocked, and fresh bunker are carried when available.