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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 6-14-18


Customer Rich Melton motored back to <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b> with three fluke 22, 23 and 25 inches he boated outside the Triangle yesterday on “meat,” Tim from the shop said. Fluke were also grabbed on the Perth Amboy side of the lighthouse, near the sailboats off Keyport and near Coney Island. No bluefish were heard about. Striped bass were eased from the ocean to the south toward Shrewsbury Rocks. Dockside’s owner ran a trip that fought aboard yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna at a canyon or canyons off Delaware, far south. Baits stocked include killies and the whole variety of frozen for fluke. Dockside, located on Smith Creek, a tributary of the Arthur Kill, is accessible from land and water at the fuel dock.


The new boat’s new engines had their 50-hour service Monday to Tuesday, said Capt. Greg from <b>Manicsportfishing</b>. A charter Wednesday aboard limited out on under striped bass to 27 pounds on livelined bunker off Long Island. As many 3- to 5-pound bluefish bit as anybody could want. And we wanted none, Greg said! When the bass stopped biting, the anglers fluked a short time, reeling in the flatfish including five keepers, if Greg remembered the number, 24 to 26 inches. Not great fluking, but they only fluked a short time, and the anglers seemed thrilled with the trip’s catches. The fluke only wanted killies with nothing else on the hook, on plain rigs with no dressing. That was weird, Greg said. He’s fluking in the back of Raritan Bay in 17-foot depths to deeper. Greg yesterday canceled a striper trip for today because of wind that was forecast. The trip needed to liveline bunker off Long Island to catch, and the livelining would be impossible in that wind. The anglers only wanted to liveline. Before the striper trip, when the engines were being serviced, Greg spoke with locals who were striper fishing. They were catching none during daytime locally, and were only chunking the fish at night. That’s why Manic’s trips were heading to Long Island. Greg would like to fish for sea bass as much as possible before sea bass season closes beginning June 23. So those trips are available. His last sea bass trip scored well, even if the trip had to motor farther away than some charter boats can. Twin 300-horsepower engines make that possible aboard. Greg is supposed to captain a client’s boat to compete in a shark tournament this weekend, and will fish all the way offshore at the canyons.

Sea bass, excellent catches, were pounded with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b> on open trips that are bottom-fishing at 6 a.m. daily, Capt. Mario said. Lot of big, including a giant that weighed almost 7 pounds. Porgies began to bite, and the trips will focus on porgies once sea bass season closes beginning June 23. Fluke fishing is just beginning, and no big were hooked aboard open trips that are sailing for fluke at 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. every Friday and Saturday on Down Deep’s other boat. Fishing for bigger will pick up after the next full moon, he thinks. Trips are fluking on Raritan Bay aboard, and will probably fish the ocean after the moon. The ocean needs to warm. Down Deep gives away a custom-made rod each year to the customer who tackles the year’s biggest fluke aboard. A 12-pound 6-ouncer was last year’s winner. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers, and both boats feature full galleys and large cockpits.

Fishing resumed aboard Wednesday with a fluke trip in the morning and a striped bass trip in the afternoon on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Trips last fished, for stripers, during the weekend on the boat. Weather kept the vessel docked afterward. On the fluke trip that morning, fishing was okay. Some anglers limited out, and some bagged one or two. “We did some exploring and found fish in most spots,” he wrote. The striper trip limited out on the bass to 22 pounds, went well. Like Frank said in the last report, striper fishing isn’t over. Fluking is on the upswing, and looks like it’ll provide a great summer of catches. Weather looks good for the rest of the week. One space is available for an open trip for fluke Friday morning. Two spots are available for open fluking on Sunday morning, Fathers’ Day. Spaces are available for an open trip for stripers 2 to 8 p.m. that day. Telephone to reserve.


<b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> last fished for striped bass on Sunday, Capt. Joe said. He heard about good catches of the fish made on Monday, and will sail for them again on trips this weekend. The fishing was slower on Sunday’s trip, and the stripers on that outing were smaller than on previous recent trips. Two of the bass to 25 pounds were trolled on that trip, covered in the last report here. The two previous trips, on Thursday and Friday, walloped big stripers. Friday’s bass weighed up to 47 pounds. The fishing is somewhat slowing for the season, but anglers want to sail for the stripers, and big ones can still be found. So Sour Kraut will keep after them. The fishing is hit and miss, and the only way to catch is to get out there. These recent trips fished on the ocean off Sandy Hook Point, between the channels, near the mouth of Raritan Bay. If charters weren’t booked to fish for stripers this weekend aboard, Joe would fish for tuna at the offshore canyons. That angling sounded good.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Catches of fluke turned on during outgoing tide on Tuesday’s trip on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The bite didn’t last long, because wind came up and ended it. But some good-sized were pitched aboard during the action. Life was found again toward the end of the trip, but not like before. No report was posted for Wednesday. On today’s trip, wind honked at 25 knots. The trip’s fluking began great, but once the tide ran with the wind, that was tough. Eight to 10 ounces of weight was needed to hold bottom, even in shallow water. So bait fished best. Diehard bucktailers had difficulty fishing, but stuck with bucktails. They’ll never change, the report said. Weather now looks great through the weekend, and Fathers’ Day should be awesome. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

A decent pick of throwback and keeper fluke was tugged aboard Wednesday morning’s trip on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. The fishing wasn’t bad on the afternoon’s trip. On Tuesday, fluke were taken on the morning’s trip, and the afternoon’s fluke trip fished terribly. Throwbacks didn’t even bite much. Wednesday fished a lot better. Monday afternoon’s trip fished especially well for fluke. Fluking was inconsistent but sometimes decent. Tom wasn’t asked where the boat fished, but previously said trips fished on Raritan and Sandy Hook bays, depending on conditions. Bait caught most on trips, and Spros or other jigs cranked in a few. Gulp with spearing or killies seemed best, and spearing are provided aboard. Trips are sailing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

In the wind today, party-boating for fluke didn’t catch so well but picked, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. The fishing was good yesterday on the vessels, and today’s trips couldn’t fish where they preferred, and drifting the boats correctly was difficult, because of the wind. None of the store’s rental boats fished today in the wind. The keeper ratio on the rentals has been one in five, the thought. Nothing was heard about striped bass, but boaters seemed to still liveline a couple. Sea bass fishing was “on target” on the ocean, and trips limited out. Killies are stocked, and so is “whatever they need,” he said about the bait supply. All the fluke jigs, Gulps and so on are carried.

From <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>, Ron fished for fluke from the bay’s shore on a trip, landing about 12 including a 22-inch keeper, he said. He fished a Tsunami high-low rig with a green-and-white squid teaser and a bucktail on bottom with a white Gulp. He brought a package of white Gulps, and fished a few hours, including into dark, and even caught in the dark. Boaters Ron questioned caught fluke 18 inches, 19 inches, nothing great. One had a 20-incher. Ron’s a surf angler, and the surf’s striped bass fishing slowed. Stripers seemed to push to deeper water. Boaters caught them but like in 50-foot depths, the last he heard. A kid boated a 47-pounder and a 50-pounder. Then stripers “went down,” and when they did, they only bit livelined bunker. Then the kid landed a 51-pounder on the bunker. Stripers were boated last week between the channels off Sandy Hook in morning. A buddy’s trips boated stripers in the evening at Flynn’s Knoll on bunker snagged for bait. Lots of bunker, lots, schooled Raritan Bay. That buddy departed the flood gates and never got out of bunker until the Ammo Pier. All baits including big, fat killies are stocked.


Been a good week overall, Capt. Pete from <b>Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing</b> wrote in an email. Striped bass were less plentiful than earlier this spring, but Fin-Taz-Tic did catch them. Sea bass fishing was excellent. Fluking was also excellent aboard, and spaces are available for two open-boat trips on Saturday, June 23, in the morning and afternoon. Two spots are left for an open trip on June 24 in the afternoon.


Weather was rough, but sea bass bit on a trip Monday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Big fish, and the charter, from Mercer County Anglers, nearly limited out, in tough conditions. On an individual-reservation trip Tuesday, most anglers limited on sea bass and landed more, keeping no more than their quotas. Big ling were also sacked, and out-of-season blackfish were released. Only two more individual-reservation trips will fish for sea bass: on Tuesday and June 22, the final day of sea bass season. The trip Tuesday will be the year’s first of individual-reservation trips that fish every Tuesday. Kids under 12 sail free on the Tuesday trips, limited to one per adult host. Last Lady is one of the only charter boats in New Jersey, if not the only, that fishes for cod each summer. Individual-reservation trips will fish for cod at 2 a.m. June 27 and July 11. Last year, cod fishing was best in June and July aboard.


Striped bass fishing was up and down on the ocean, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. The fishing dealt with adverse conditions like strong wind from a poor direction sometimes, but still put together catches of 30- and 40-pounders. Trophies were still around, and big were heard about from far south that will migrate north, and the water was cool. So the fishing should last into July. Some dates are still available for the fishing, including for Magic Hour Trips that fish in afternoons until dark. Trips will fish for fluke and sea bass in July. Sea bass fishing was currently phenomenal. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Book an individual spot with a charter who wants more anglers. Sign up for the email blast on <a href="" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s website</a> to be kept informed about the spaces.

After a search for bluefish that located none today on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, the trip fished for sea bass, an email said from the party boat. Sea bass including some good-sized were hooked steadily, and the day was beautiful on the ocean aboard. Trips are fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and fluke and sea bass 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

The <b>Golden Eagle</b> was docked Monday because of weather, a report said on the party boat’s website. On Tuesday’s trip, fishing was good for blues 1 to 3 pounds, small but plenty. Then the trip bottom-fished, scooping up a bunch of sea bass, keepers. Was a great trip. Wednesday’s trip pummeled action with blues, a little bigger this time, pretty much the whole time. Anglers had to work a little harder to catch, but all reeled in blues to take home. That was on jigs with teasers, and a few sea bass and a throwback striper were also jigged. On today’s trip, no bluefish could be found. So the trip went off and put together a good catch of sea bass. Some porgies and one keeper fluke were also rounded up. Trips are fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Sometimes the trips target sea bass. Purchase tickets online for a 10-percent discount.  Fishing and sunset cruises are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Sometimes those trips sell out, so reserve ahead.


The ocean’s striped bass fishing wasn’t so great, said Dave from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. It was kind of hit and miss, and the catches heard about came mostly from north, from Allenhurst to Highlands Bridge. But there weren’t many. Some stripers were hooked from Manasquan Inlet. Sea bass fishing was good on the ocean, and was starting to slow down inshore. Those pieces were picked clean pretty well. Bait and jigs seemed to catch equally on Tuesday, he said on Wednesday, when he gave this report. Slow-pitch jigs and the rods, reels and lines to fish them are stocked, and are becoming popular for catches including sea bass and cod. The technique is simple, but the whole system needs to be fished. The weight of the jig needs to match the reel to fish well, for instance. The tackle was only available in Japan recently, and the crew at the shop can help anglers become educated about the fishing. The ocean seemed chilly for fluke fishing, but charter boats and party boats were yet to put effort into the angling. So not a lot was heard, and maybe private boaters fished for the fluke. Manasquan River’s fluking was okay, when not much rain fell. When rain fell a couple of days, that dirtied the water, slowing the catches, until enough tide changes cleaned the water. Are bluefish still in the river? The party boat Jamaica fished for them the other day, Dave knew. That should tell you something, he said. Fishing for tuna was good offshore during the weekend for lots of yellowfins and bigeyes and some bluefins. That was from South Toms Canyon to Wilmington Canyons, all on the troll. Spreader bars, daisy chains and ballyhoos were fished. Mako sharks were sometimes caught at night on the trips. Bluefins were hooked at the Texas Tower during the weekend, all on the troll, on ballyhoos, sometimes on spreaders. Little was reported about inshore sharking. Dave heard about effort but not much results. Locals don’t often shark anymore unless in a tournament. One mako was entered in last weekend’s South Jersey Shark Tournament. The fish weighed 269 pounds, according to the tournament’s website. Anglers will see how sharking goes in this weekend’s Brett T. Bailey and Jersey Coast Shark Anglers shark tournaments.

<b>Toms River</b>

In the surf, striped bass were scattered, and most were throwbacks, but sometimes decent-sized keepers, a few, were banked, said Mario from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>. A few were weighed-in. Fluke fishing was good in the surf. Boating for stripers on the ocean was, eh, picky, Mario said skeptically. Most of the bass swam beyond 3 miles from shore, where fishing for them is closed. A couple were brought to the shop last week. Barnegat Bay’s fluking was okay between the BB and BI markers. Fishing for them was good on Manasquan River. A 10-pounder was weighed-in from the Manasquan last week. Another angler recently bagged three fluke to heavier than 4 pounds from the Manasquan on bucktails. Whether the angler fished from a boat or the shore was unknown to Mario. Bluefish, different sizes from 5 to 12 pounds, were bunker-chunked at night, and sometimes caught on lures at night, on the Toms River at Island Heights and Ocean Gate. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

After weather hampered the fishing early in the week, the surf tossed up striped bass, blues and fluke again in past days, for anglers in the right place at the right time,  a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’s website. A few more anglers fished the beach yesterday than before, and a few more fish were banked than previously. They were throwback stripers, some keepers, small to medium-sized blues and a few healthy-sized fluke. Bait caught most. Barnegat Bay’s fishing was the same as before, the report said. Crabbing was a slow pick. 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>

Fishing was good, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Customers who fluked in Barnegat Bay reported scoring well. That was at usual places like Meyer’s Hole, Double Creek Channel and the BB and BI markers. Fluke caught were even heard about from the Tires in the ocean off Barnegat Inlet, though anglers might think the ocean was too cool this time of year. Anglers who fluked the bay ran into bluefish sometimes. Blues were around in the bay, certainly. Sea bass fishing was good on the ocean. Trips limited out. Customers reported phenomenal tuna fishing. Killies and all baits for fluke, all of them, like frozen, local spearing and every type of squid, are stocked. Offshore baits are carried, including 25- and 50-pound flats of mackerel and bunker, and chum.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Lot of fluke here, said Vince Sr. from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. He was watching the catches right off the shop. Bluefish swam Barnegat Inlet that weighed 3 to 5 pounds, not large, but big enough, and a good size for eating. Many anglers think smaller taste better or that bigger can have some dark meat. A few striped bass, not many, were boated on the ocean, mostly on trolled spoons or Mojos. Sea bass were socked at ocean wrecks. 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. Minnows are scarce, and none was stocked currently. Fresh bunker and the full supply of frozen baits is carried.


An edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “We ran to the Spencer Canyon on Sunday. Found the right water. Beautiful shade of blue. Tons of porpoise and whales. Skipjacks attacking our spread every 5 to 10 minutes. Caught one small bluefin tuna, not even big enough for the cooler, and way too many skippies. That's the report. We were one of the boats that didn't catch that day.  Here's what we're doing in the next stretch going into the weekend. We’re running open-boat or charter 12 noon to 5 p.m. today and Friday for inshore fishing. Casting lures at the inlet jetty for stripers and blues with light-tackle, and drifting the bay channels for fluke. Four people max, all fish are shared. Saturday looks like the best day to run offshore, so as long as that forecast holds up, we are chasing tuna. Right now, it shows no storm activity and 1- to 2-foot seas. Probably headed for the canyons, unless I get some good mid-range reports in the 50- to 60-mile range. The canyons we’re fishing are about 85 miles. We meet at the dock at 3 a.m. and return around 5 p.m. Four people max, all fish are shared. If we stay within the 60-mile range, the rate is less money. But right now, the best reports are coming from the canyons. Yellowfin and bluefin. On Sunday (Fathers’ Day!), we’ll fish inshore, the same as today’s and Friday’s trips, but we’ll start at 7 a.m. and return at noon.”


Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b> was about to run a summer flounder charter on the back bay when he gave this report at 6:30 a.m. today in a phone call, he said. So he couldn’t speak long, but flounder fishing was off the hook, and plenty of minnows are stocked for them for the weekend. Those were the two most important pieces of news, he said, and minnows are scarce. Most customers are fishing for flounder, and flounder are abundant. A charter with him yesterday had five good-sized keepers, including three larger than 20 inches apiece. Lots of small are biting, and just-undersized are also chewing that should be keepers, he thinks. But what are you going to do, he said. Other fish were biting, but most effort was on flounder. Dave became busy with charters again, after he was tied up dealing with shedder crabs for bait and soft-shell crabs for eating that the store raises. The shed was finished for now. Shedder crabs are stocked. Follow <a href="" target="_blank">Absecon Bay Sportsman’s soft-shell crabs Facebook Page</a> to keep up with the supply.


Black drum were frequently heaved from the surf, said John from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. They chomped clams, sometimes bunker. Striped bass were beached on occasion, and drum were more often hooked on bait meant for stripers. Few bluefish were seen anymore. They were moving out. Lots more kingfish were moving into the surf than before, pouncing on bloodworms or Fishbites artificial worms. A ton of summer flounder gathered in the back bay and near Absecon Inlet. Been a good season for that. No minnows were stocked, and they were difficult to obtain. But fresh clams, fresh bunker and bloodworms are carried.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Summer flounder were hooked like crazy from the surf beside Absecon Inlet in town and from the back bay, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Fish minnows and squid for them. A 6-pounder was checked-in that came from the inlet off Madison Avenue. Customers fish the inlet on foot. The number of weakfish caught grew again. They were landed off Harrah’s when anglers fished for other catches. Sometimes big bluefish were still fought from the surf beside the inlet. Fewer than earlier this season, of course. More flounder were caught than anything. Noel today when he gave this report was about to post a photo of a 32-inch striped bass on the shop’s Facebook page. Too few stripers remained to target them. But some kept being picked up while anglers fished for other catches. Lot of fish were weighed-in this week. Most customers fish on foot from the surf to the inlet to the bay near the store. Minnows are stocked for $8 per pint. The average price is $13, because the baitfish are scarce for the moment.


On the party boat <b>Keeper</b>, back-bay summer flounder fishing wasn’t bad, wasn’t smashing them, but caught, Capt. John said. Enough were hooked to keep customers happy. The fish bit all baits fished aboard: minnows, Gulps and mackerel. Minnows were scarce but carried on every trip. John couldn’t know whether they will be on the next trip. But he’s got a good supplier. Minnows and mackerel are provided, and customers bring their own Gulps, and should. No other fish were mixed in, except sharks and sea robins. Some of the sea robins were big, and some customers keep sea robins to eat. An 11-pound bluefish was decked. Sometimes weather forecasts kept some anglers from showing up for trips when the forecasts were wrong. Rain was predicted for yesterday morning but cleared before the morning trip departed. Trips are fishing for flounder 8 a.m.-12 noon and 1 p.m.-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.


Trips wreck-fished the past two days on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. Sea bass fishing was a little slow, and the ocean’s temperature dropped to 61 to 62 degrees and kept summer flounder from cooperating. The temperature had been as high as 65 to 66. The anglers didn’t catch lots, but caught sizable. Three out of five fish were keepers, a good ratio. A little bait schooled the pieces, but not a lot. Bluefish were yet to arrive that Stray Cat also trolls on trips like this when the blues come in. An open-boat trip for sea bass and flounder is sold out Sunday, Fathers’ Day. Sundays are booking up, and open trips are running every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. The next spaces are available for this coming Tuesday’s and Thursday’s trips that will sail for sea bass and flounder. Three spots are left for an open trip for tuna on Sunday, June 24.

<b>Ocean  City</b>

Seven- to 10-foot depths seemed targeted for summer flounder in the back bay, said John from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Gulps, mackerel and minnows caught, if anglers could obtain minnows. A line formed for the baitfish this morning at the store, because the shop was the only in the area that had them. The minnows now were sold out, out of stock for the moment. A few small bluefish cruised the bay, and anglers almost had to run into them, or the blues needed to run into the anglers, for the anglers to catch. Lots of throwback flounder, some schoolie striped bass and a few blues swam Corson’s Inlet. Outgoing tides seemed to fish slightly better because of warmer water. Whether John meant that tide was best at Corson’s, the bay or both was unknown, and he wasn’t asked. Schoolie stripers were played along 9th Street Bridge on lures like rubber paddle-tails. Anglers also caught them from sod banks. When the surf was fishable, kingfish, a fair number, were beached, mostly on bloodworms. The water was a little cool for Fishbites artificial worms. Wind often roughed-up the surf. Schoolie stripers were occasionally clammed from the surf. Wind, seas and rain prevented offshore fishing in past days. A few customers planned to go tomorrow. Previously, good catches of yellowfin tuna and a few bluefin tuna were pasted at Spencer and Lindenkohl canyons. The fish-holding water reportedly slid south now to Wilmington and Baltimore canyons. Some of the customers planned to sail there tomorrow.   

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

For boaters on the back bay, summer flounder fishing was decent, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Nobody was bragging, he’d say, but results were pretty good. Minnows were scarce for bait for flounder, but he was doing his best to stock them. Bluefish 2 to 4 pounds were still mixed in. Nighttime striped bass fishing was actually better in the past two weeks than before under lights at docks and bridges on Fin-S Fish and Bass Assassins. That was moving into a summer pattern. Surf anglers still picked stripers. Some kingfish were nabbed from the surf on bloodworms or Fishbites artificial worms. Pro Tip, Mike said: Fish the blue package of Fishbites, not the red, while the water is cool like now. The blue is longer-lasting scent. The red is fast-acting for when fish bite more aggressively. Sea bass fishing was good for those sailing the distance 25 or 30 miles from shore. Not much success inshore. Tuna fishing was good for mostly bluefins, but more yellowfins and bigeyes showed up in the past week than before. Tuna were no longer inshore at places like the Elephant Trunk and the Tea Cup. They were offshore, pretty much at the canyons. Lindenkohl Canyon gave them up, and all of these southern canyons seemed to have a bite sometime recently. All the tuna were trolled that Mike heard about. But maybe a trip or two hooked them on jigs or lures when the tuna popped up along the surface in a school. Shark fishing sounded slow, probably because of the new, larger, 83-inch-minimum size limit for makos. Makos that big weigh 180 or 200 pounds minimum, and most makos off the coast are smaller.  


The back bay’s crabbing began to improve, and its summer flounder fishing was decent, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. Nobody crabbed on the rental boats, and they all fished. But Mike’s got a couple of traps in the canal that nabbed a few crabs. Minnows began to hook the flounder best. Previously, spearing and mackerel did. If anglers have no minnows, spearing would be top choice. Mackerel would be next. Some anglers fish squid for flounder, but Mike doesn’t know why. Maybe tradition. Squid’s a “lazy man’s bait.” Put squid on a hook, and it practically never comes off. No crabs for eating are available for the store to sell yet. That could change this afternoon, you never know, he said. No other food like shrimp will be sold at the store until crabs arrive. The crabs are most popular. 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 is stocked. So is fishing and crabbing tackle and gear. Minnows are stocked, though minnows are scarce in New Jersey. Mike got them from Virginia. Customers enjoy the food mentioned above at tented picnic tables on the water at the store, or enjoy them at their own location. Wine from Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House is sold at the store, once the food becomes available. None will be carried until then. The state last fishing season approved the store to carry the wine.

<b>Cape May</b>

Trips for summer flounder on the ocean aboard didn’t sail regularly, said Capt. Paul from the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, because of weather. Slated to fish daily, the fishing ran on Friday. That day’s angling showed signs of better fishing. A couple of the anglers limited out: Craig Constantino from Voorhees and George Schmidt from Marlton. Had a few other flounder around the boat, Paul said. Fewer were hooked on Saturday’s trip. Sunday’s and Monday’s trips were weathered out. Tuesday’s trip met a big swell, and not many flounder were reeled in at all. Wednesday’s trip was scrubbed because of weather. But forecasts look like weather’s going to improve. This weekend might be the first in seven or eight with no rain, and temperatures are supposed to reach the 80s and 90s next week. If weather straightens out, maybe some flounder will cooperate. If anglers want a chance at flounder, trips are sailing for the fish at 8 a.m. daily.

Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> spoke with friends who all canceled tuna fishing on their boats Monday through Wednesday because of weather, he said. He ran no trips then either. Weather wasn’t good for sailing, especially offshore for tuna. Give a call if interested in tuna fishing or fishing for sea bass.

Black drum were sometimes boated from Delaware Bay, said Joe from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. The fishing will probably last through the weekend, before the drum depart.  It’s that time of year. Summer flounder fishing was good, not bad at all, in the back bay. A good number of keepers remained or was yet to decline from fishing pressure. Buddies who boated the bay behind Avalon last week hooked one keeper flounder Tuesday, limited out by 12 noon that Wednesday and also limited that Thursday. Minnows, favorite bait for flounder, were scarce and ran out at the store. Joe did hear something about flounder from Delaware Bay. The fish were reportedly bagged at deeper water at usual places. Trips probably infrequently fished Delaware Bay because of windy weather. Anglers Joe knows were rumored to nail 18- to 24-inch weakfish that bit like crazy from Delaware Bay somewhere toward Fortescue or Maurice River. Throwback striped bass were sometimes dragged from Cape May’s surf on clams or bunker chunks. Or sometimes anglers plugged to catch them, like along jetties. A few big weakfish bit in the surf along jetties on bloodworms. White perch fishing was good on Maurice River, creeks around Dennisville or brackish waters like these. Joe heard about tuna being caught a week or so ago. Sharks should bite, but nothing was heard about sharks. Wind probably prevented sharking often. Crabbing wasn’t so hot yet. Customers headed to crab, after buying bait.                               

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