Sat., Nov. 18, 2017
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Delaware Bay Report

Report from Tuesday, November 14.

| Port Elizabeth | Fortescue | Cape May | Last Week's Report |
THIS REPORT IS UPDATED EVERY TUESDAY
Last Week's Report
Port Elizabeth

A few throwback striped bass were banked from shore at Fortescue, Reed’s Beach and similar places on Delaware Bay, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. White perch were probably more often slid from the surf at those places. Nothing was heard about striped bass boated locally from the bay to the ocean. Wind and sometimes rain were frequently not conducive to boating. Boaters had little opportunity to try for stripers. Still, the striper migration seemed parked far north in New Jersey. Water was yet to cool enough for the run to arrive in the southern state. A few of the big migrators seemed to be caught as far south as Long Beach Island. Fishing was mostly a waiting game locally. White perch could be angled in Maurice River. Fresh bunker are stocked when anglers are likely to want the bait. Salted, frozen clams are carried in quarts and pints, and fresh surf clams for bait are almost impossible to obtain. The clams are apparently overharvested. The salted clams are from Massachusetts and are clams meant for eating. So they’re high quality, and are what’s available. 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.

Fortescue

A photo of several fair-sized striped bass that were boated from Delaware Bay was shared this weekend on a party boat from Fortescue’s Facebook page. Capt. Howard from the charter boat Salt Talk knew nothing about the catch, but any fish like that are likely to come from around the lighthouses this time of year, he said. The only stripers that Howard knew about were ones that someone from the docks was hooking from Fortescue Creek. Those were smaller stripers but seemed to include a few larger to 26 and 28 inches the past couple of weeks. A trip on the Salt Talk is supposed to compete in a striper tournament this weekend on the bay. Last year in the contest, only one striper, a 30-incher, was entered. It won, of course. Although stripers used to migrate to the bay by now in past years, any boating for stripers on the bay has been best later in the season in recent years. The contest this year will include categories for weakfish and bluefish. So maybe at least some blues could be decked in the contest this year, Howard figured. The Salt Talk used to be a Fortescue party boat. Howard sold that vessel, and the new Salt Talk is a charter boat for up to four passengers.

Cape May

Small bluefish and throwback striped bass were sometimes beached from the surf from the ocean to Delaware Bay in Cape May, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. So were weakfish from Cape May Point and near the concrete ship on the bay. Cape May is at the confluence of the ocean and bay. The back bay seemed the only place giving up keeper stripers locally. But striper fishing there was good, at first light on lures along the sod banks, or during daytime while boaters chummed and fished with clams or bunker. The water was warm last week, 65 degrees, for the migration of big stripers to reach the surf and elsewhere in South Jersey yet. Someone reported seeing schooling stripers at 5-Fathom Bank on the ocean, though. That’s beyond 3 miles from shore, and striper fishing is closed beyond 3. Some time will likely pass before the migration kicks in, but the stripers at the Bank suggest that maybe the run is at least beginning to trickle past. Blackfish snapped along jetties and bridges well.