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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 4-26-18


Keeper striped bass were clocked from Sewaren Pier on bunker, sandworms and bloodworms, said Tim from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. Lots of throwbacks and keepers mixed in were hooked from that pier, Perth Amboy Pier and all the piers along Raritan Bay locally. An angler who telephoned reported walloping a 30- or 35-pounder from Carteret Pier, but that was unconfirmed. A charter sailing from the shop kept limiting out on stripers and releasing additional, bailing them. Boaters caught from the bay in 4 feet of water between Perth Amboy and Laurence Harbor. No bluefish were known to arrive, and the water was cold for them, in the high 40 degrees to low 50s. Fresh bunker, sandworms, bloodworms and pints and quarts of salted clams are stocked. Dockside, located on Smith Creek, a tributary of the Arthur Kill, is accessible from land and water at the fuel dock.


Every striped bass trip scored a homerun on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> on Raritan Bay, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The trips limited out and released additional, and the bigger stripers weighed more than 30 pounds apiece. This is really good fishing, he said. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing for them, departing in mornings and afternoons. Open trips in afternoons have been fishing every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, when no charter is booked, and Frank’s thinking about running open trips on Friday afternoons, from 2 to 8 o’clock. Contact him if interested in that time. Fluke began to migrate to the bay, getting caught while anglers fished for stripers. Fluke season will open May 25, and fluke charters are being accepted. Plenty of good dates are available for that, and grab them while they are. Follow <a href="" target="_blank">Vitamin Sea’s Facebook page</a> for the latest spaces available on open trips, daily reports and photos.

The new boat, a fully-customized 31-foot Steiger Craft, arrived Friday, and electronics are being installed, said Capt. Greg from <b>Manicsportfishing</b>. Charters and open-boat trips for striped bass will begin aboard as soon as that’s ready, fishing for striped bass on Raritan Bay. Greg fished with friends on a friend’s boat for the bass Sunday. The fishing was tough in the morning, but they stuck it out until boat traffic decreased in the afternoon, and then nailed stripers to 41 inches, a good catch, on trolled Mojos. They released the big females, and Greg kept no stripers. The friends kept some. The striper fishing will probably last throughout May in the bay. In June, Manic will fish for stripers on the ocean, when they migrate there. Afterward, the boat will fluke fish.

Raritan Bay’s striped bass fishing was good for the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. The fish were trolled and just began to bite bunker chunks and clams. All anglers bagged the bass aboard, and open-boat trips are fishing for the stripers daily, departing in mornings. Open trips are also striper fishing at 1 p.m. every Wednesday and Friday through Sunday.  Follow <a href="" target="_blank">Down Deep’s Facebook page</a> to see spaces available on open trips, posted daily. Charters are available, and each of Down Deep’s boats accommodates up to 15 passengers. Both are big and comfortable, he said, and include a full galley.


Striped bass, limits every trip, kept being trolled on Raritan Bay on Mojos and Rapala plugs, said Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>. None was really large, but there was plenty of action. An open-boat trip for the stripers will sail Sunday, and spaces are available. Joe knew about no bluefish arriving yet but expects them any time, because the water is just breaking 50 degrees.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Fishing for striped bass locked into a bite in the morning, late in outgoing tide into slack tide, on Monday’s trip on the <b>Fishermen</b> with a handful of anglers aboard, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. All the trip’s keepers were caught then. Shorts were also copped then. A few throwbacks came in after the slack, and a 21-pound striper was the pool-winner. Was good to see a few Monday regulars on the trip, Ron wrote. That was the most recent report at press time on the site. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

The party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> was fishing for striped bass on Raritan Bay at 10 a.m. today when Capt. Tom gave this report in a phone call aboard, he said. A handful of anglers joined the trip, and not a lot showed up at the marina to sail on party boats this morning. But the trip sailed anyway, and four keepers were bagged, and throwbacks were released so far. All were hooked on clams, and stripers were there. This was the trip’s first drop, and the boat is fishing for stripers 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Thursday, 4/26:***</b> All anglers left with a keeper striper from this morning’s trip, Tom said. Throwbacks gave up a steady pick on the outing. On this afternoon’s trip so far, conditions weren’t as good, but three keepers were bagged, and the anglers picked at throwbacks, he said at 3:30 p.m. when he gave this update in a phone call aboard. So striper fishing improved today aboard, and he hopes that holds up. <b>***Update, Saturday, 4/28:***</b> Was a nice morning trip of fishing today aboard, Tom said. The trip picked away at keepers and shorts. On this afternoon’s trip, a keeper and a few shorts were already pumped in, and a couple of bites were missed, he said at 2:40 p.m. when he gave this update in a phone call on the outing.

Party boats from Atlantic Highlands Marina turned up good striped bass fishing today from Raritan Bay, said Tom at <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. The store is located at the marina, and private boaters also scored well. All customers who told him about results reported a good day. A healthy number of keepers showed up, and throwbacks also chomped. Shore anglers pulled in a few stripers from the bay lately, but boaters caught more. A few bluefish were reported from the ocean surf at Sandy Hook yesterday. Surf casters on the ocean toggled in a few stripers, not many, but the fish began to beached, apparently because of warming water. Anglers on private boats made catches of blackfish, not mugging them, but dialing some up. All baits are stocked, and Tom hopes to launch the shop’s rental boats this weekend for the fishing season.

“Normal-sized” striped bass to 20 or 25 pounds swam Raritan Bay, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. He caught bigger, up to 30 pounds, at mid-month from Perth Amboy Pier and the shore beside the pier, covered in a previous report here. He and friends axed stripers to 25 pounds from Keansburg Pier last weekend from midnight until 4 a.m. on bunker heads on a trip. Stripers bit on every cast the first two or three hours of outgoing tide. Plenty of bunker schooled the area, and plenty of bunker are schooling throughout the bay, popping up here and there like they do. Lots of boats are fishing for the bay’s stripers, and are still targeting the back of the bay toward Perth Amboy, at the “warm mud.” A few 8-pound bluefish, not many, were angled from the bay’s shore. The only he saw were two or three at Port Monmouth that smacked pencil poppers. Ron heard about no boaters catching blues in the bay. Winter flounder were still axed from Navesink or Shrewsbury rivers. A few small stripers hit in the rivers, but more flounder did. Ron heard nothing about blackfish catches, but many customers asked for green crabs to fish for them. Green crabs will be stocked for the weekend. Fresh bunker are stocked daily. Sea clams are on hand. Good flats of bloodworms and sandworms are in. They were big in the last couple of batches. New tackle is arriving daily. The shop might have the largest selection of Sebile lures in New Jersey. All the trout bait and supplies are stocked for freshwater, including meal worms, trout worms and PowerBait. Trout fishing’s been good, including for decent-sized. Sizable seemed included in spring trout stocking this year.


Seven striped bass to 30 pounds were already landed at 7 a.m. on Raritan Bay with <b>Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing</b> today, Capt. Pete wrote in an email soon afterward. “I don’t wanna to jinx us but this has been a great spring,” he wrote. A few spaces are available for open-boat trips, and telephone to jump aboard.

Making the trip from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, Bob Dreyer on the Patty Girl landed four keeper striped bass on Raritan Bay near Keyport, Marion wrote in an email. 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. Baits stocked include live bunker when in demand.


<b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> will fish next on Saturday, for cod, Capt. Ralph said. An individual-reservation trip will fish for cod May 22. Individual-reservation trips will sail for blackfish Sunday and Monday, the final days of blackfish season. Individual-reservation trips will steam for striped bass May 20 and 29 and sea bass June 12 and 22. Another one of the trips for sea bass was just added for May 26. Other individual-reservation trips that are fishing for some of these species are full, unless Ralph schedules more. Prime dates are booking quickly for charters.


Good fishing for winter flounder was lit into at the mouth of Point Pleasant Canal, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. Blackfish cooperated along the canal and inlets. Shark River’s flounder fishing was slow, and more out-of-season fluke seemed to hold there than flounder did. Small striped bass but quite a few nibbled in the surf at Belmar, Spring Lake, Sea Girt and Seaside. Time to start fishing, he said. For striper anglers, fishing will only improve. Bluefish should show up, too. 

A trip for striped bass was supposed to fish today on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The ocean’s temperature rose 2 degrees, reaching 48, giving a chance that the fish would hit there. The boat was kept docked since Monday to wait for the temp to rise.  Somewhat warmer weather lately and some sun that’s forecast was looking good, and the crew wouldn’t be surprised if bluefish begin to show up in the next days.


The party boat <b>Jamaica II</b> is in the boat yard for seasonal maintenance, Capt. Joe said. He hopes the vessel will be splashed early next week, and had been hoping the maintenance would already be finished. When the boat is launched, trips for cod and ling will resume. The schedule on the vessel’s website says those trips will run 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.  But the important thing, Joe said, is that full-day trips will sail for sea bass 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily beginning May 15, opening day of sea bass season. The boat’s website says those trip will fish through Friday, June 1. Starting June 2, trips will sail for sea bass and fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. daily.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Spring might’ve sprung, Capt. Butch from the <b>Dauntless</b> wrote Saturday on the party boat’s Facebook page. The past couple of trips, at that time, began to belt a few more ling, cod and blackfish than before. Some anglers bagged two to six apiece. He expects catches to improve as the ocean and weather slowly warms. Trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

For anglers on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, blackfishing improved on Monday, a report said on the party boat’s website. Some keepers and shorts were hung, some on jigs, others on rigs. The fishing was a little slower on Tuesday’s trip. Throwbacks bit, but the captain would’ve liked more keepers caught. High hooks on both days bagged three, and pool-winning blackfish weighed about 6 pounds on the trips. No report was posted for Wednesday, and that day’s trip was apparently weathered out. Today’s weather looked good for a trip, and the boat is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. through Monday, the final day of blackfish season. Green crabs and clams are carried aboard. The schedule for afterward will be announced.

<b>Toms River</b>

Throwback striped bass were slid from the surf, said Mario from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>. How many? It’s starting, he said, nothing major, but some. Bunker chunks and clams hooked them. A few anglers connected on lures. But the Toms River and Barnegat Bay were still the places to be for throwbacks, especially after dark. Mornings and evenings produced some, and soak bloodworms for bait during all of these times. Some white perch could be plucked from the river. Winter flounder fishing was a little slow, and Mario couldn’t give more details about any of this fishing, because customers built up at the store when he gave this report in a phone call today, and he had to take care of them. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Forked River</b>

<b>***Update, Friday, 4/27:***</b> The discharge side of Oyster Creek became warm, so anglers didn’t fish there so much anymore, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. More fished the cooler intake side than the discharge side, but most customers now fished Barnegat Bay. The creek is used to cool Forked River nuclear plant. Early in the fishing year, the discharge, warmer than “natural” waters, attracts fish including striped bass and winter flounder, until the discharge becomes too warm. On the bay currently, lots of schoolie stripers but some keepers mixed in were hooked on bloodworms and clams. That was at many different places, including from docks. Customers reported catching from docks as far north as Bayville, just south of the Toms River. Weakfish began to be reported from the bay, including good-sized like 20- and 22-inchers that Mike saw. The weaks bit in the bay just off the discharge, but also in the mouth of the discharge, usually at dusk on bloodworms or Kettle Creek paddle-tails. The paddle-tails are stocked. Winter flounder were picked from the bay here and there, and seemed scarcer than previously. Maybe they were migrating to the ocean for the season. Green crabs for blackfishing are stocked that will be the final carried for now, because blackfish season will be closed beginning Tuesday. Baits stocked include surf clams, and the clams are scarce at many shops, but Mike’s got a connection. Bloodworms and killies are carried.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

The year’s first charter that’s currently scheduled for the <b>Super Chic</b> is on May 12, Capt. Ted said. That’s a trip for bluefish, and he hopes fish will stir around by then. They should, and not a lot was doing locally yet with fishing. No bluefish were heard about that could migrate in any day. No striped bass were heard about yet from the ocean. The only stripers talked about were from Raritan Bay farther north and smaller stripers in Oyster Creek or Barnegat Bay in that area. The creek is the warm-water discharge from Forked River nuclear plant. But blackfishing sounded decent, okay, on the ocean. A friend’s been blackfishing, catching okay, not bailing them, but dialing up enough to keep anglers happy. Sea bass season is tentatively scheduled to open May 15, and Super Chic will jump on them. Ted planned no tilefish trips yet, and wants to see when sea bass season will open. Sometimes open-boat trips tilefish aboard early in the year offshore.

Someone boated a 13-pund blackfish on the ocean a mile off Barnegat Inlet a couple of days ago, said George from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. Customers headed for blackfish along the Barnegat Inlet jetty near the shop, but George knew about none reeled in. Maybe some will be this weekend. Striped bass were reported angled from Oyster Creek, the warm-water discharge from Forked River nuclear plant. Green crabs and frozen baits are stocked. Additional live and fresh baits are carried once fishing picks up. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and, in season, boat and kayak rentals. One of the boats is in the water, and more might be launched in two weekends. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure.

The <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b> is in the yard getting the hull painted and being inspected, the party boat’s Facebook page said. The vessel will be back in the water soon, and will begin fishing on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Trips will sail for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays through Sundays from then through mid-June. Sunset cruises will sail on Fridays and Saturdays beginning then until mid-June. Visit <a href="" target="_blank">the boat’s re-vamped website</a> for the schedule beyond that and for info about fishing for striped bass, bluefish and tuna aboard.

<b>Mystic Island</b>

Shore anglers began to tackle loads of small striped bass at Graveling Point, said Brandon from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Black drum to 30 pounds were heaved in there. Shots of drum bit during about the first half-hour of incoming tides then disappeared. The stripers jumped on bloodworms and clams. Brandon snagged a bunker by mistake, cast a chunk and caught on that, too. Fresh bunker will be stocked for the weekend.  Early in the season, when water’s coldest, bloodworms catch the stripers best, because the worms are easiest for fish to digest during slow metabolism in low temperatures. When water warms, baits like clams and worms begin to work, and eventually work better than the worms in the warmth. Drum are usually hooked on clams meant for stripers. Drum are usually a by-catch when anglers striper fish. Bluefish were yet to appear at Graveling, and the annual $100 gift certificate to the store remains up for grabs for the angler who checks-in the year’s first blue from that area. Graveling is a shore-angling spot at the confluence of Great Bay and Mullica River. White perch were difficult to catch from the Mullica, so maybe they were spawning. One of the shop’s crew who’s an avid perch angler searched up and down the river, including into freshwater. Little Creek was invaded with the perch. Anglers trying for the perch at Wading River Bridge on the Mullica managed one of the fish now and then, but the perch were small, like 4 inches.


Still a weather deal, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. Not a lot of anglers fished, but fishing seemed to be picking up. Black drum to 20 pounds seemed to arrive in Great Bay, and were also reported from Lakes Bay. Striped bass swam everywhere, and some were 28-inch keepers. The stripers held in rivers and elsewhere, and not enough anglers were around to say anyplace was a best spot for them. Bluefish were yet to arrive. A few seemed scattered around, but no blitz. Blackfish just began to bite along jetties in warming water, and the season will close beginning Tuesday for the tautog. White perch seemed to be spawning in brackish rivers, making them reluctant to bite. Catches were scattered but should pick up because of the full moon this weekend. Baits stocked include green crabs and a pretty good supply of fresh clams.


A few throwback striped bass were dragged from the surf, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Bloodworms seemed to attract them best, but clams sometimes worked. A 20-pound black drum was weighed-in from the back bay, and the angler caught a couple on the trip. The full moon is this weekend, so maybe the drum will begin to appear in the surf. Fresh bunker and clams are on their way to the store. Bloodworms are carried.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

A 19-inch 2.2-pound weakfish was weighed from the bay today at <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>, Noel said. Lots of schoolie striped bass now bit day and night from the surf beside Absecon Inlet to the bay off Harrah’s and everywhere in local bays. They hit mostly at night previously. Currently, bloodworms were best bait for them. Out-of-season summer flounder to 20 inches, big ones, chomped and were released in the bay near the wind mills and Erie Avenue near Atlantic City Expressway. A few blackfish, not many, were cranked in from along the jetty-lined inlet on crabs and clams. The bluefish migration was yet to arrive. All baits, a large supply, are stocked.


Trips picked away at blackfish on the ocean on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. A light bite, he said, in 70 feet of water, and some anglers who fished shrimp scored fairly well. The water was 50 degrees, and a few summer flounder and sea bass, both out-of-season, also bit. Open-boat trips will blackfish daily through Monday, the final day of blackfish season. Reservations are being taken for an open trip for sea bass on May 15, opening day of sea bass season. Open trips will run for sea bass every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Summer flounder season will open May 25, and Mike began to get his other boat, the Adventure, a 50-foot Ocean Yacht, ready for that angling. Strictly charters sail on that vessel. Shark trips will begin on May 20. In other news, a few 3-pound bluefish began to show up along bridges and at Ocean City Reef.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Tons of schoolie striped bass swam nearly everywhere from inlets to the back bay to rivers, said Justin from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Mostly soft-plastic lures seemed to drum them up at inlets. Bloodworms and small pieces of clam seemed to zap more of them along 9th Street Bridge in the back bay and in Great Egg Harbor River. Nothing really hit in the surf, and the surf was cold here. He guessed the surf was 48 degrees yesterday. Some anglers were trying for catches in the surf. No bluefish were around. Blues 2 to 10 pounds supposedly popped up in Ludlam Bay then disappeared, the last Justin heard about blues. The bluefish migration is usually in by now. Good reports about blackfishing tumbled in from Atlantic City and Great Egg reefs in the ocean. Nobody reported trying for blackfish along jetties. Some of the store’s green crabs, bait for blackfish, had to be thrown out because nobody bought them. Loads of white perch, good-sized including a pound and heavier, bit in Great Egg Harbor River. Green crabs, bloodworms and fresh bunker are stocked. Fresh, shucked clams were going to be stocked shortly. Fresh clams in the shell were unavailable.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

<b>***Update, Friday, 4/27:***</b> A trip with two anglers Thursday played and released throwback striped bass on the back bay on jigs aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The same anglers fished aboard Monday, letting go a few bigger stripers to 26 or 27 inches and a bunch of out-of-season summer flounder on the bay. Lot of fish on that trip. No flounder bit on Thursday’s trip, apparently because of somewhat dirtier water.  All of this fishing’s been good. Bluefish were yet to appear in the bay, and Joe’s hoping they will. That migration brought huge blues to the bay the past three years. Previously the blues were usually smaller or 2 to 4 pounds. Even that size was a blast to fight. Blues are strong and aggressive.

Fishing was about the same as before, and lots of small striped bass swam mostly Corson’s Inlet but also Townsend’s Inlet, and a couple were even beached from the ocean surf, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. For shore anglers, Corson’s Inlet fished best for them. Flies caught best, like 2- to 3-inch Clouser Minnows. They were just the right size. Next best were soft-plastic lures, especially Bass Assassin paddle tails. But plastics like Zooms and Fin-S Fish also worked. Clams and bloodworms caught them third-best. Summer flounder carpeted the back bay ridiculously. Too bad flounder season won’t open until May 25. Right now is the prime time for flounder fishing in the local back bay. South Jersey’s shallow, warm back bays attract them this time of year. Anglers boating for stripers tried to avoid the flounder, and had to shake off sizable ones. Boating for small stripers was best along parts of Ludlam Bay, where water poured out on outgoing tides. The bluefish migration was yet to arrive. Mike saw no weakfish but heard about a couple caught. He heard about no blackfish landed from shore yet, like along jetties. Cold water seemed a reason. A few people even crabbed, but were yet to trap any.


Capt. Jim from <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b> last weekend saw one boat fishing the back bay along the Intracoastal Waterway, he said. He saw a couple of other boats sailing there but with no fishing rods visible aboard. If the bluefish migration slams the bay, his charters will home in on them. He’ll make a few phone calls, and the anglers will hurry to chase the blues. Last year, charters aboard beat big slammers in April’s last week and May’s first week. Fishing might’ve been behind in colder water this year, and Jim will see whether the blues show. Charters in May will fish for black drum on Delaware Bay. May’s full moon can be one of the best times for that angling. Jim walked the beach at Avalon last weekend, and saw no activity like baitfish or birds working the surf. But he saw that a break formed 70 yards from shore and so did a trough 25 yards from shore. When that’s happened in the past, a good kingfishing season has developed. Jim heard nothing about steelhead fishing on Salmon River near his <a href="" target="_blank">lodge</a> in upstate New York. Guests at the lodge were “snirting” or driving quadrunners in snow and dirt. He’d imagine the river was high this time of year, but steelheading could still be happening. Steelheads spawn in the river around now and return to Lake Ontario to spend summer. Anglers fish for salmon on the river from late August to October. Guests participate in other activities including kayaking to snowmobiling and more throughout the year. A discount is available for the lodge but only on Airbnb.

<b>Cape May</b>

Capt. Tom from <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b> heard about the year’s first black drum boated from Delaware Bay, he said. Five were totaled on one boat, and two or three were hauled aboard another. May is traditionally the month for the drum fishing, and Fishin’ Fever will sail for them beginning Tuesday, if anglers want to go. That’s May 1, and charters and open-boat trips sail for that angling and all fishing aboard.  Three trips blackfished recently on the ocean aboard. Fishing in 60- to 90-foot depths, one of the trips bagged 21, another bagged 18 and the other bagged 10. Action with throwbacks was decent, and the water was 48 degrees. The blackfish bit clams and crabs equally, after they hit clams best previously. Fishin’ Fever sails for tilefish offshore this season on short notice during windows of weather. That also becomes available May 1, Tuesday. The boat runs for bluefish any moment now, if blues migrate to back bays. Trips light-tackle them from there to the ocean near shore. The bluefish migration seemed yet to arrive. Sea bass fishing begins on May 15, opening day of sea bass season, on the boat on the ocean.

The <b>Heavy Hitter</b> will fish for black drum on Delaware Bay in May, and someone said they saw a photo of a drum caught from the bay online, Capt. George said. He didn’t know whether the drum was pasted from shore or a boat. Drum began to be reported landed from Great Bay, so they could be swimming Delaware Bay.  Hear about any striped bass, even from Delaware River? George was asked for this report. Someone who mates on the boat said stripers reached Trenton in the river. People George knows fish the river for stripers.

On the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, trips blackfished Saturday through Monday and were weathered out afterward, Capt. Paul said. No great numbers bit in cold water, but sometimes the fishing was good. A bunch of keepers were walloped on Monday’s trip. The angling was slow on Sunday’s. Saturday’s trip fished okay, and lots of people fished aboard that outing. Not all caught keepers. Rudy Barbolini from Marlboro and John Ricciardi from Williamstown limited out on that trip. On Sunday’s trip, Roland Stucke from Philly whacked an 8- to 9-pounder, his only keeper on the outing. Bob Brett from Whitesboro won the pool Monday with a 7-1/2-pounder. Kevin Moran from Cinnaminson smoked the past week’s biggest blackfish aboard, a 9.9-pounder, almost 10 pounds. Trips are blackfishing at 8 a.m. daily through Monday, the final day of blackfish season. The boat might begin to fish for black drum the following weekend on Delaware Bay. Puppy drum began to be beached from the bay’s surf. Trips will fish for sea bass daily beginning May 15, if that remains opening day of sea bass season. That’s the tentative opening day, but the date of the opener could change.

Sounded like fishing started to pick up, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Puppy black drum began to be eased from Delaware Bay’s surf. Nothing was heard about drum boated from the bay yet, and the fish seemed to swim shallows. But few anglers probably tried boating for them. Throwback stripers were beached from the surf from the ocean to the bay. Cape May is located at the confluence of the two waters. Fish bloodworms for the shorts along jetties, and clams or bunker along the open beach. Rubber paddletails and lightweight jigs could catch, too. A few spike weakfish began to be reported hooked along jetties and bridges. Blackfishing was pretty good at inshore wrecks, and Nick saw a 10-pounder last week. Blackfishing at jetties was a little slow but seemed to begin improving in water that crept up to 50 degrees. Little was reported about the back bay, but small stripers usually bite well in the bay and along bridges this time of season. Bluefish are due to invade inlets and the back bay any time. Fresh bunker and fresh, shucked clams will be stocked for the weekend. Bloodworms and green crabs are on hand.

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