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Delaware Bay Report

Report from Tuesday, June 27.

| Port Elizabeth | Newport | Fortescue | Avalon | Cape May | Last Week's Report |
Port Elizabeth
Several days of wind kept news scarce through the weekend, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. But weakfish and kingfish were probably hooked from Delaware Bay, and summer flounder were likely angled from back bays. The weaks and kings were probably also beached from the surf. No croakers were heard about yet, and the season was early. Croakers usually swim local waters in July and August. Crabbing was pretty good, and sales of crabbing supplies were busy. Shedder crabs are coming in for bait. Minnows, bloodworms and practically all baits are stocked that anglers might need for local fishing. Customers were buying more bait for sharking on the ocean than before. They began to buy more bait than previously for tuna fishing, and that demand will come on this season. The Girls Place, located on Route 47, just after Route 55 ends, carries a large supply of bait and tackle, and is the long, one-story, yellow building on the right. It’s on the way to the bay.

Novice crabbers often trapped two to four dozen, and better crabbers trapped a half-bushel, said Paul from Beaver Dam Boat Rentals. A couple of catches filled two-thirds of a bushel. When weather wasn’t a factor, crabbing wasn’t bad. Wind 20 to 30 m.p.h. forced the store to be closed Saturday. But the shop was back open Sunday. Bunker for bait caught better than chicken did. That can change. No customers seriously fished in past days, but a burrfish was hooked, and two 4-foot rays swam along the dock. Those were each unusual to see in the creek. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek. Rental kayaks and canoes are also available to paddle the creek. Rentals are now available daily, after being available on weekends previously. The change is made once schools let out for summer. Check out Paul in an article and video on the Philadelphia Enquirer’s website about water supposedly rising along Delaware Bay from global warming. Visit Beaver Dam’s website.

A few summer flounder were boated at “open water” on Delaware Bay, said Capt. Howard from the Salt Talk. Someone from the dock who fishes all the time landed the fluke and other catches like weakfish at places like a mile from shore at the first drop-off. Weakfish and kingfish were plucked near lighthouses. Howard just finished his day job for summer and will fish more frequently now and will probably have more news then. The Salt Talk was a Fortescue party boat that Howard sold, and the new Salt Talk is a charter boat for up to four passengers.

A trip Saturday would’ve fished Delaware Bay for summer flounder aboard, but forecasts for wind and rain nixed that, said Capt. Jim from Fins and Feathers Outfitters. No rain fell, but wind sure blew. He plans to fish the bay for flounder on trips this coming Sunday and Monday. A short, 4-hour trip Sunday fished the back bay aboard for flounder, reeling up a keeper and shorts. Just a relaxing, good day, he said. When charters aboard fish Delaware Bay, the boat is trailered and launched wherever’s nearest the fishing. Otherwise the boat departs from the slip at Avalon.

Cape May
A few black drum remained in Delaware Bay last week, though nobody really fished for them anymore this year, said Joe from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Summer flounder were grabbed from the back bay and ocean reefs, but none was talked about from Delaware Bay. Weakfish were nipped along jetties in the bay’s surf on bloodworms fished from floats. Small bluefish schooled everywhere including the surf, the back bay and around inlets. Cape May includes surf along both Delaware Bay and the ocean, because the town is at the confluence. Kingfishing reportedly went fairly well in the ocean surf, and croakers schooled a couple of miles from shore, yet to pull into the surf. Kings had been reported boated from Delaware Bay when the bay’s drum fishing was peaking. Not much was reported about striped bass, and water was warming for that.

Last Week's Report
Port Elizabeth

One of the crew from the shop nabbed 18 kingfish from Delaware Bay on a trip, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. The angler on the trip, last week, also landed a 50-pound black drum from the bay. But the bay’s drum fishing seemed mostly finished for the year. A few drum probably remained in the water, but anglers were finished targeting them, pretty much. Weakfish were picked from the bay, and the bigger seemed inshore. Summer flounder were boated at ocean reefs. One customer decked at 6-pounder, and Sharon was unsure at which reef but thought Cape May Reef. Crabbing’s been okay, and the shop had customers buying supplies like shedder crabs for bait for fishing. People were going fishing, and there were fish to be caught. The Girls Place, located on Route 47, just after Route 55 ends, carries a large supply of bait and tackle, and is the long, one-story, yellow building on the right. It’s on the way to the bay.


A few summer flounder to 17 ½ inches were boated at the slough at the stakes south of Fortescue on Saturday on Delaware Bay on the Salt Talk, Capt. Howard said. Seventeen inches is the minimum size limit on the bay, compared with 18 in most of the rest of the state. Flounder began to appear in the bay in June’s last week in recent years, and fishing for them usually improved in July. Howard didn’t know the bay’s temperature currently but guessed the water was in the 60s. The trip fished with shedder crabs, and shedders have been in good supply. Commercial crabbers have been scoring well on the bay. Howard fished the bay solo Wednesday when a charter canceled, and landed bluefish inshore. A 10-inch weakfish and big stingrays were also hooked. Weakfish and kingfish, okay catches, apparently bit along the shipping channel. Howard spoke with an angler from the docks who put together a good catch of kings close to shore, north of False Egg Island Point. The angler frequently fishes the bay. Croakers seemed yet to arrive in the bay. Howard heard nothing about black drum fishing on the bay in past days. He thought one of Fortescue’s party boats’ most recent trip for drum was on Friday night, but didn’t know results. The Salt Talk used to be a party boat from Fortescue. Howard sold that vessel, and the new Salt Talk is a charter boat for up to four passengers.


Fins and Feathers Outfitters will next fish Saturday and Sunday, maybe for summer flounder on Delaware Bay toward Miah Maull, Capt. Jim said. Black drum fishing was probably winding down on the bay. But a buddy totaled three of the drum last week on a trip. Another friend boated flounder including two keepers on the back bay at Sea Isle City in only a couple of hours Wednesday or Thursday. When Fins fishes Delaware Bay, the boat is trailered and launched wherever’s closest to the fishing. Otherwise the boat sails from the slip at Avalon.

Cape May

Black drum were hauled from Delaware Bay last week, said Capt. Steve from the Prime Time II. He knew that a few trips sailed for them this weekend, but was yet to hear results. Summer flounder trips will begin on the Prime Time soon on the ocean. Steve hadn’t really spoken with anybody who fished for them there yet. Flounder bit in the back bay. Nothing was heard about flounder from Delaware Bay. Wind kept a shark trip from sailing Sunday on the ocean on the Prime Time. Steve knew about actually some sizable mako sharks caught lately. A few thresher sharks were landed, but threshers seemed scarcer than usual so far. A boat from the docks trolled a bluefin tuna, three yellowfin tuna and two bigeye tuna at Poorman’s Canyon at night on an overnight trip.

A 5-pound weakfish was weighed from the surf at Cape May Point at Hands Too Bait & Tackle, Nick said. The angler beached the fish on a soft-plastic lure. On the trip, he also banked six throwback weaks, a couple of throwback summer flounder and a tailor bluefish. Some good catches of weaks like these were made in the surf at jetties from the ocean to Cape May Point to Higbee’s Beach on Delaware Bay. Cape May Point is at the confluence of the ocean and the bay. Kingfish and croakers were nipped from the ocean surf on bloodworms, Fishbites artificial worms or clams. Brown sharks began to be heard about that were fought from the surf. Browns must be released, and they stalk the surf as the water warms. The back bay’s summer flounder fishing was pretty productive along the Intracoastal Waterway. Flounder seemed to begin to be boated from Cape May Reef on the ocean. Nothing was heard about flounder from Delaware Bay. Brown sharks bit in the bay. Black drum were marked and were heard drumming on the bay but wouldn’t bite last week. The fishing seemed to be dropping off for the year, but a couple of boaters still tried for them that week. Fresh clams in the shell were still stocked that were bait for drum. Fresh, shucked clams, plenty of minnows and bloodworms were also carried. Mako sharks could be located in the ocean. Blue sharks and brown sharks were cracked from the ocean, but not many thresher sharks seemed to be. Farther offshore, all the way out, small bluefin tuna and small yellowfin tuna roamed local canyons, and so did sizable bigeye tuna. The Common Sense returned with three bigeyes.