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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 6-7-18


Fluke were boated including at Great Kills Harbor, off Keyport in the shallows on Raritan Bay, near the Ammo Pier in Sandy Hook Bay and off Coney Island, said Tim from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. More bluefish than before were shoving into bays. They were mostly cocktails, he heard. Striped bass were trolled from Ambrose Channel to Shrewsbury Rocks on the ocean on Mojos. Baits stocked include fresh bunker, salted clams, killies and all 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 fuel dock is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Excellent sea bass fishing was whipped on every trip with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. Lots of big sea bass. Ling and winter flounder mixed in. Open-boat trips are fishing for them daily on the Down Deep. The Down Deep Bull, the company’s other boat, will begin to concentrate on fluke on open trips that are running each morning. That boat will now also fish for striped bass on open trips departing at 2 p.m. every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Charters are available, and each boat accommodates up to 15 passengers. Each features a full galley and big cockpit for comfort. Sign up for the Short Notice List on <a href="" target="_blank">Down Deep’s website</a> to be kept informed about special trips. Look for the link under “Contact.”

A brief fluke trip landed four keepers and countless throwbacks Tuesday on Raritan Bay on the New York side in terrible conditions with <b>Manicsportfishing</b>, Manic’s Facebook page said. A strong west wind blew against the tide the whole time. Fluke are there, but some of the most productive areas were unfishable. The trip ran into 10- to 15-pound bluefish on the way home, putting the anglers into light-tackle action.

The five anglers yesterday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> limited out on fluke to 4 pounds, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Plenty of throwbacks gave up action. Fluking’s been good aboard, and Gulps out-fished bait by 90 percent. Bait caught dogfish, skates, sea robins and occasional fluke. Spend the money and bring Gulps. If you don’t know how to fish Gulps on jigs, the crew will teach you. The fluking was apparently on Raritan Bay, though Frank didn’t say. He did say striped bass were huge in the bay the last few days. Stripers should remain in the bay a while, including because the water is loaded with bunker. A few bluefish roamed the bay. A few trips are still fishing for stripers aboard, including open trips 2 to 8 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday. Spaces are available, and open trips for fluke with spaces available will fish at 6 a.m. Saturday through Monday. The striper fishing is best in the afternoon, and Vitamin Sea will keep after them until the bass swim out of range. June has consistently fished well for fluke and stripers. Vitamin Sea is a dedicated fluke boat in summer. That’s why trips aboard fluke consistently well, he said. Reports and photos prove that year after year, he said.


Weather kept striped bass fishing from sailing the last few days with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Joe said. Trips aboard walloped big stripers on the ocean last week. The fish lately “broke up,” giving up sporadic fishing, but were still caught, he heard. Joe will run a crew trip this evening, after the boat was docked in the weather these past days, and see if stripers can be located. He hopes to find them on the trip and be back on them for the weekend. Stripers are still being boated to the south, so the run should keep migrating north to local waters. Fluke fishing was fairly good on Raritan Bay for anglers Joe knows. Catches included limits. <b>***Update, Thursday, 6/7:***</b> Joe and the boat’s mate fished on the trip today and limited out on over stripers in a half-hour, Joe wrote in an email. “Sour Kraut is still on them,” he wrote!

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Striped bass were sandwormed pretty well at the Oceanic Bridge on Navesink River from shore, said Joe from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Shore casters there bucktail fluke fairly well. Striper fishing is usually good at Sea Bright Bridge on sandworms from shore, too. Surf anglers on the ocean banked stripers, blues and fluke. Stripers were boated at Flynn’s Knoll on clams. Joe heard nothing about boating for stripers on the ocean recently. He heard little about boating for fluke on Raritan Bay. Party boats will give those reports, he said. Crabbing was good, and this was early in the year for that. All baits are stocked, including killies for fluke.

Fluking began to pick up both in Raritan Bay and farther south in Shark River, said Tom from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, the sister shop, is on Shark River. Rental boaters from the Atlantic Highlands store tapped into fluke fairly decent on Sandy Hook Bay. A few bluefish began to appear in the bays including around the Ammo Pier and near Atlantic Highlands. A few also turned up in the Navesink River at Red Bank. Striped bass were boated off Sandy Hook Point. Party boats from Shark River smoked sea bass, great catches, on the ocean. Fishing was generally improving a little. Frequent rough weather didn’t help anglers to get out. All baits are stocked including fluke baits like killies and spearing. Shark baits and chum is stocked, and local boaters began sharking, but Tom heard about no makos caught yet.

Every trip fished different for fluke on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. Mostly throwbacks bit, of course, and sometimes more did on one trip than another. This morning’s trip clocked a handful of keepers among throwbacks so far, he said at 10:30 a.m. on the outing in a phone call. Sometimes conditions made a difference on trips. “It’s fluking – that’s what it is,” he said. No especially large fluke were taken recently. Some of the throwbacks were just barely undersized. Some were tiny. Bait caught better than Spros or bucktails, whether the bait was Gulps, killies or spearing. Spearing are provided aboard. Trips mostly fished Sandy Hook Bay, sometimes Raritan Bay. Every place seemed to fish the same. The boat did no fluking in the ocean yet this year. A couple of the head boats tried the ocean but returned to the bay. There seemed no reason to head to the ocean. Trips are sailing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Capt. Ron from the <b>Fishermen</b> didn’t know what to expect when the party boat resumed fluking Tuesday after the trips were weathered out Sunday and Monday, he wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. That was including because of rolling seas in the morning. The trip slugged away at fluke at some areas, and hooked none at others. A couple of customers caught well, considering the conditions. One who limited out and landed additional legal-sized also released throwbacks and won the pool with a 6.9-pound keeper. That was his personal-best day of fluking, and he kept no more of the keepers than his quota. The trip’s fishing was tough but managed some good-sized by the end.  Wednesday’s fluking was slow aboard, and axed a “couple handfuls” of keepers. One angler landed 14 throwbacks, decent action, and won the pool with a 4-pound fluke. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. However, a charter is booked Saturday, so no open-boat trip will fish that day.


Daniel Rella weighed a 42-pound 42-inch striped bass at <b>Twin Lights Marina</b> on Saturday, his 13th birthday, that he trolled at Romer Shoal on a Mojo on the boat the 2Fs, Marion wrote in an email. Two other stripers larger than 40 inches were docked at the marina. 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. <a href="" target="_blank">Bionic Bait</a> for offshore fishing will be stocked beginning Wednesday for sharks, tuna, swordfish and other big game.


A group limited out on big sea bass yesterday on the ocean with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. They also cranked in ling and cod. Fishing’s been very good aboard. Striped bass fishing on the ocean is hit or miss. Need to be there when the fish pop up for a short moment. Most of the bass are trolled. Ralph suggests you sail for sea bass instead, before sea bass season is closed beginning June 23. Three spaces each are available for individual-reservation trips for sea bass Tuesday and June 17. Nine are available for one of the trips on June 22, the final day of sea bass season. Last Lady is one of the only boats that fishes for cod each summer from New Jersey, and individual-reservation trips for cod will fish offshore at 2 a.m. June 27 and July 11. Last year, June and July fished best for cod aboard. Fish for cod in shorts! Annual individual-reservation trips that fish every Tuesday will kick off on June 19. That first trip will target sea bass. Kids under 12 sail free on those outings, limited to one per adult host.


Sea bass fishing was super on the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b> on the ocean, Capt. Chris said. It really was, he said, and the boat limited out on almost every trip. The fish were good-sized, too. Trips are sailing for sea bass 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. The boat eventually fluke fishes in late spring or summer, but will stick with sea bass currently. The fishing’s good.

Fishing for striped bass picked away on the ocean with <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Pete said. Some days fished better than others, but stripers 30 and 40 pounds were pasted. Afternoon’s fished better, and the water was still cool, so more stripers should migrate through. Plenty of spaces are available in mid-June for fishing aboard. Striper fishing aboard includes Magic Hour Trips from afternoons until dark several times a week. Sea bass fishing was excellent on the ocean, and Parker Pete’s sea bassed, too. Fluke fishing will begin during the last week of this month on the ocean aboard. Fluke were already hooked from the water aboard when anglers jigged for bluefish. 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.

Most customers limited out on bluefish by 9 a.m. today on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email from the party boat said at 11 a.m., while the trip was still fishing. The fishing through then, north of Shark River Inlet, was good from the first stop. All-out blitzes erupted, and most anglers were hooked up constantly. Yesterday’s trip caught a handful of blues, but the fishing was slow. So the trip switched to sea bass, rounding up a decent catch of them. Afterward, on the evening trip that day, sea bass fishing was great. Trips are fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and fluke and sea bass 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

Weather broke, and fishing resumed Tuesday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, after angling on the party boat was laid up in a blow, a report said on the vessel’s website. Saturday was apparently the last time a trip fished before then. At first on Tuesday’s trip, bluefish, lots, swarmed all around, but hardly bit. The trip switched to sea bass fishing and cleaned up on lots of keepers. Wednesday’s trip picked blues at first and then sea bassed. The anglers banged away at sea bass, and all left with a bunch of them and some blues. 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.


“Catching some nice fluke,” an email said from the party boat <b>Jamaica II</b>. Trips began to fish for fluke this past week aboard, along with sea bass fishing. Plenty of big sea bass were socked on the vessel. Morning trips drifted for fluke and sea bass at wrecks and reefs, and afternoon trips anchored at wrecks for sea bass. On one of the morning trips, Ed Nolan limited out on both fluke and sea bass. On afternoon trips, limits of sea bass were common. Many of the sea bass didn’t need to be measured. The sea bass weighed up to 4 pounds. Trips are fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, sea bass 2 to 6:30 p.m. during those days, and fluke and sea bass 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays.

Boaters trolled striped bass on the ocean on Mojos and spoons, said John from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. The fishing slowed somewhat. Boaters also hooked a few of the bass on bunker snagged for bait then livelined, but that was tough, mostly because of boat traffic. Bluefish showed up again in Manasquan River on Tuesday morning. They were fought on metal, popper plugs and swimming lures. Blues seemed to appear in the river more on outgoing tides than incoming, and they were heard about back to Point Pleasant Canal. Blues were also beaten at Manasquan Inlet that morning. Fluke were picked form the inlet. Stripers hooked were occasionally heard about from the inlet and off the Dog Beach. Stripers were angled from the canal at night on eels, rubber shads and plugs. For stripers in the surf, anglers had to put time in and pop around to different spots. Clams and bunker chunks caught most consistently, but plugs picked some. Sometimes bluefish invaded the surf. A customer one day said he saw anglers hooked up to blues at every jetty. On the ocean, fluke fishing was up and down because of weather that fluctuated water temperature. Sea bass fishing was excellent on the ocean, especially on jigs. Many anglers are converting to slow-pitch jigging for sea bass, and are loving it. A customer this week said, do you know how hard it is to leave for sea bass without bait? But the angler stopped in to buy more slow-pitch jigs. The store is completely stocked with the jigs, rods, reels and line, the whole system, for slow-pitch jigging. Recently, all of that was only available from Japan.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Fluking on the <b>Gambler</b> on the ocean gave up decent enough bites the last couple of mornings, the party boat’s Facebook page said. A fair number of keepers were slugged, and bait seemed to catch better than jigs. A customer who won a pool with a 4-1/2-pounder fished with pink Gulp and limited out. Afternoon trips fished slower. The crew expects good weather for fishing the next few days, and don’t let forecasts fool you, the post said. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Trips for striped bass are running 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Last week’s striper fishing was unproductive, but the crew will give it their best shot.

The ocean’s fluke fishing is improving, a report said on the party boat <b>Norma-K III</b>’s website. When conditions are right on the boat’s trips, keepers are being hung here and there among decent action with throwbacks. Sea bass are “helping anglers bring home dinner,” too. During yesterday’s fishing, spearing with squid with green skirts fished decent. The fluking will only become better as the ocean warms. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and bluefish 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday.

Bottom-fishing scooped up pretty decent catches from the ocean on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, Capt. Butch said. Plenty of keeper sea bass came in, and some ling, winter flounder and a couple of fluke were iced. On a couple of days, most of the boat limited out on sea bass. Yesterday was a little tougher, and lots of sea bass were hooked, but a lot were throwbacks. But quite a few anglers limited on sea bass on the outing. Throw in six or eight ling and a flounder or two, and an angler had a mess of fish. Trips fished in 60 to 100 feet of water. The water was chilly for the time of year and yesterday was 58 degrees. It was 58 to 59 the past couple of days, and Butch saw as warm as 61 recently. A diver said the bottom was 10 degrees lower. The chilly water can only be good for bottom-fishing later this season. Despite the low temperature, a couple of fluke bit in 90- to 100-foot depths. Jump aboard before sea bass season closes beginning June 23, Butch said! Trips are sailing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

The <b>Tin Knocker</b> sailed for striped bass Tuesday on the ocean, Capt. John said. The fishing was slow, and only two were decked. But they weighed 38 and 40 pounds. The fish were trolled, and shark fishing will probably begin aboard next week. John will probably compete in a shark tournament or two. Tin Knocker will begin tuna fishing immediately afterward. John knew that bluefin tuna were hooked but not whether the fishing was good.

<b>Toms River</b>

Freshwater from rain caused bluefish to move more into Barnegat Bay than in the Toms River where they swam previously, said Abby from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>. The blues had been big. Not much was caught in the river currently. Striped bass 20 to 24 inches bit in Barnegat Bay near Route 37 Bridge. Blues could be found in that area. Photos were posted of good-sized stripers eeled from Point Pleasant Canal at night on <a href="" target="_blank">Hook House’s Facebook page</a>. Surf-fishing was mostly quiet. Skates hit, and sometimes stripers, blues or black drum did. The stripers were usually throwbacks. A 52.6-pound striper was weighed-in last week that was trolled from the ocean on a trip from Manasquan Inlet. Recreational crabbers were yet to trap many crabs, except undersized. Overnight traps caught crabs well. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Surf-fishing was on the uptick Wednesday at Island Beach State Park, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Several sizeable, keeper stripers were smashed on cut bunker, and a few anglers reported landing more than one keeper. Surf fishing was a slow pick in previous days.  Boating for stripers was a slow pick on the ocean lately. In the surf before Wednesday, stripers, blues and fluke were beached if you could find them. On Tuesday, a few throwback stripers and medium-sized blues were banked from Island Beach to Seaside Park. The stripers were clammed, and the blues were bunker-chunked or popper-plugged. The surf gave up a few keeper fluke at Lavallette and Ortley Beach on Tuesday on bucktails with Gulps. Fluking’s been good in the surf from Lavallette to Island Beach. Good-sized fluke also came from Barnegat Bay behind Island Beach and off Sedge Islands. The bay behind the shop put out a pick of small blues, occasional throwback stripers and occasional throwback fluke. No crabs were trapped yet this season to speak of. 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>

Another shark trip, this one on Tuesday, fished on the <b>Tuna-Tic</b> and went well, Capt. Mike said. A thresher shark was bagged, and blue sharks were released. Trips are fishing for them inshore, and if anglers want to take advantage while threshers are close to the coast, a charter is only $1,200. That price isn’t listed on Tuna-Tic’s website, because the fish only stick close-in a short time, maybe another week or so. Right now is a shot at them without having to sail far and spend as much money as usual for sharking. The year’s first trip is supposed to sail offshore for tuna today aboard, and will probably return early Saturday.

Some good catches of fluke were made on Barnegat Bay at typical places like the BI and BB markers and Meyer’s Hole, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Fluke 3 ½ to 9 pounds were weighed from the bay at the store. Bluefish 2 to 5 pounds were trolled on the bay. Striped bass fishing was sporadic on the ocean. The fishing, on the troll, was nothing steady, but the ones caught were big. Killies and all frozen baits for fluke are stocked. Shark bait and chum is on hand.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Barnegat Bay’s boaters caught fluke, “not bad, either,” said George from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. They boated them right off the shop in front of the Dike “and on the other side,” he said. Striped bass fishing slowed in past days. Stripers previously were boated on the ocean, and a few were picked up from the bay. “It comes and goes,” he said. Bluefishing also slowed, and blues previously were clutched from Barnegat Inlet. Trips limited out on sea bass on the ocean yesterday. Nobody crabbed or clammed yet on the bay from the shop. Crabbing begins later here on the barrier island than on the mainland, because of cold water from the inlet. Clamming is usually good on the bay, but nobody wanted to walk in the cold water for clamming. The water was 64 degrees. Killies ran out of stock and were scarce. All frozen baits are carried for fluking.  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.


The following report was posted as an update Tuesday and is being re-posted in case anybody missed it. An email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b> that day: “Haven't been out since the blow came through on Sunday. We did sail Saturday with a full boat. I had some good intel from friends up north that Deal and Long Branch were giving up nice stripers so we got an early start and made the left out of Barnegat Inlet. Thirty miles later we put the lines out and we trolled for hours without a hit. The radio echoed the same sentiment of ‘what happened?’ There's nothing worse than getting there to hear that. We went as far as the Shrewsbury Rocks and then we headed back to Barnegat. Stopped at the North Barnegat Inlet jetty and did really well casting light spinning rods with soft plastics for 2- to 4-pound bluefish. Fortunately the guys I had on board were having fun doing that. What does that mean for this week? Absolutely nothing. Whether you are new or seasoned, you have to know that the bite doesn't stay off for long. The only way to see those epic days is to chalk up a few slower ones. Sure there are trends you can exploit if you have the luxury of being able to leave the real world behind at a moment’s notice, but that isn't always the case. The reality is the fish are still here, things got screwed up by the funky weather systems for a few days and now it's time for the next round. You can either be there or read about it. The long-term weather and marine forecast looks great. We will be fishing for stripers on the oceanside and fluke and blues in the bay if everyone wants. Sailing open-boat or charter (12 noon to 7 p.m. daily through Friday and 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday through Monday). Four people max, all fish are shared. Everything is provided. You can call me on my cell right up until we leave to see if there is room.” <b>***Update, Saturday, 6/9:***</b> An email from Dave: “My head is spinning right now. We struck out Thursday afternoon on the big striper hunt, after my big, rah-rah speech about being there or reading about it. Turns out you didn't need to be there, and there's nothing to read about. We trolled all afternoon without a hit, and worse, it didn't even feel like we were going to hook up. No bait, no readings … Deadsville up and down the coast. Except for Raritan Bay/Sandy Hook –  those guys are lighting it up, and that's a little too far of a run. On our way back, we stopped at the Barnegat Inlet jetty to cast for blues just to put these guys into some action, and it turned out to be all stripers. Nothing legal, though we came close with a 27-1/2-incher, but a blast on the 10-pound spinning rods. That action was good enough to return Friday. Of course, we left out the trolling effort. We started out casting 2- to 4-pound blues in the inlet, and when the tide was right, we switched to our striper spot and connected with three bass: 24 inches, 12 pounds and a 21-pounder! <a href=" " target="_blank"> Here's a clip of the 12 pounder </a>. All on light tackle and casting soft plastics. We also caught short stripers on both days behind the sod banks. I'm going to focus on this fishing for a little until I hear something better out front. I also picked up shedder crabs and a flat of sandworms, because I hear the south end of LBI is giving up some nice weakfish. I thought we could try our own west side of the bay here or take the run down there.  As if that's not enough to chew on, the canyons are on fire with bluefin and yellowfin tuna. Anything from 30- to 100-plus-pound fish. Now, we're not a canyon boat, but … we can go when the weather window is really good. The World Cat is a very capable hull, we just put brand-new motors on her, and I have a brand-new, six-man Viking survival raft, an EPIRB search and rescue beacon, and a Garmin/Sirius/XM weather station onboard. I bought all that stuff before I bought the first gold reel. I'm not going to give any dates or advertise canyon trips, because my rate of cancel would be so high on any dates we pre-book. However, feel free to check-in if the marine offshore weather forecast looks really good for any Saturday through Monday. Like it does this Sunday! Running open boat or charter Sunday and Monday for??? You tell me. I’m game for any of it.”


The back bay’s summer flounder fishing was pretty good, said Curt from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. Many three- and four-angler limits were made per boat. The bite was kind of up and down, depending on water temperature. Fish the warmest water, because the catches shut down during cold water. So outgoing tides and the bottom of tides fished better. Customers mostly fished for flounder. But a variety of fish could be angled at the mouth of Mullica River, including white perch, striped bass and weakfish. All species gather at the mouth. Fish east of the Garden State Parkway Bridge, like at the cuts. Cookie-cutter, 3- to 4-pound weaks have been around. During a fishing tournament the store held two weekends ago, the weaks mostly came from Absecon Inlet. But some came from elsewhere. That was an annual, multi-species tournament, called the Grand Slam Customer Appreciation Tournament, held on opening weekend of flounder season each year. Curt heard about a few big, 40-pound stripers nailed from the inlet’s jetties at night last week on bunker chunks, a few on Daiwa SP Minnows and eels. The inlet is lined with jetties. A few big stripers like 38 and 40 pounds were weighed at the store from Brigantine’s surf that week. Lots of throwback stripers could be found along jetties, docks and bridges in early mornings and evenings. Throw SP’s or pink Fin-S Fish to them. Not many bluefish were heard about. They kind of popped up where they wanted, and lucky anglers ran into them. Nothing was heard about sea bass fishing on the ocean. Maybe weather kept boaters from sailing for them. Crabbing was pretty good. The store’s supply of soft-shell crabs for eating was currently good. The shop raises them, and keep up with the supply on a <a href="" target="_blank">Absecon Bay Sportsman’s soft-shell crabs Facebook Page</a>. Plenty of minnows are stocked, even if the store had to work for them. Eels are carried. Demand for fresh bunker and fresh clams was dropping off, because flounder fishing became most popular.


The surf shoveled out good fishing for striped bass and bluefish, said John from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Been a good season for the fishing, and the stripers included big. A 44-1/2-inch striper was weighed-in from the surf Tuesday, and the angler won the Riptide <a href="" target="_blank"></a> 43-Inch Striper Bounty. Entry was $5, and the angler won all the cash. John wasn’t asked how much cash. The entrant wins who checks-in spring’s first striper 43 inches or larger from the surf. Fish clams or bunker chunks for the stripers. Some big were also whacked on Daiwa SP Minnows. Fish the chunks or SP’s for the blues. A healthy number of summer flounder, including keepers, were hooked from the cove. Sometimes kingfish were belted from the surf, and bloodworms are stocked for bait for them. Fresh clams, fresh bunker and all frozen baits are carried. Minnows ran out and were scarce.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Anglers on foot clocked striped bass from Absecon Inlet at night on fresh bunker, fresh clams, bloodworms and plugs, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Bluefishing from the surf beside the inlet, or from atop the jetties there, began to slow down compared with before, but still caught, during daytime. Watch a video of the bluefishing this week. That’s from the T-jetty at the ocean end of the inlet. Fish bait or plugs for the blues. Everybody fishes something different in the area, Noel said. Summer flounder and good-sized kingfish were sometimes hooked from the surf in that area. Use minnows with squid for the flounder and bloodworms for the kings. All baits are stocked including minnows and bloodworms. You name it, Noel said.


The storm Sunday affected the back bay’s summer flounder fishing this week, including causing weeds in the water, but the angling wasn’t bad on the party boat <b>Keeper</b>, Capt. John said. The fishing caught, including healthy-sized flounder 3 and 4 pounds, and the water should keep improving. He’s been happy with the fishing this season. Flounder bit everything: mackerel and minnows provided aboard, and Gulps that anglers brought. Minnows were difficult to obtain, but were carried aboard so far. No bluefish were hooked aboard this week. They seemed to be departing the bay for the season. 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.


Yeah man, it’s going off, said Capt. Mike from the <b>Stray Cat</b>. Sea bass fishing and bluefin tuna fishing are going off. Sea bassing was great aboard, the best since before Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Sea bass currently were abundant and big. Open-boat trips will fish for them Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Those are the final scheduled at the moment, and many charters are coming up. Sea robins and conger eels began to show up on the sea bass grounds. Piles of herring schooled under the boat Tuesday. Squid were also hooked on that day’s sea bass trip aboard. The tuna began to pull north, closer to port, from Massey’s Canyon, because water temperature plummeted. Locally, the water was 59 degrees, and previously was 65. All kinds of bait is attracting the tuna along the 20-fathom line. The tuna are crashing the bait, and birds are working the bait. All the bluefins are being trolled. Telephone Mike if interested in fishing for the bluefins. An open-boat trip will sail for tuna Sunday, June 24, limited to six passengers.

<b>Ocean City</b>

A 27-pound 44-inch striped bass was brought from the surf on the island’s south end today at <b>Fin-Atics</b>, Thomas said. The fish was bunker-chunked, and lots of schoolie stripers came from the surf, mostly on soft-plastic lures or paddle-tails. That was during daytime and at night, round the clock, and tide didn’t even seem to matter. Someone had just stopped in who reported releasing three that were clammed in the middle of the day. Hefty stripers were seen from the beach occasionally. Something like a 40-incher was checked-in last week that grabbed a bloodworm meant for kingfish. Summer flounder fishing was pretty good on the back bay. They seemed to hold more in shallower water, soaking up sunlight. Striped bass were mixed in. Sometimes bluefish were mixed in that weighed mostly 4 to 6 pounds. Ten pounds was heaviest. Sea bass fishing was good on the ocean farther from shore. Crabs were trapped, but not many, and the season was early. Those that were, seemed to be trapped most on high tides. 

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Bluefin tuna fishing sounded good during the weekend at spots like 19-Fathom Lump and the Elephant Trunk, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Quite a few trips limited out on two unders and an over, and the fish were pretty much trolled. Small feathers and small lures seemed best. A few mako sharks were fought in that area. Summer flounder fishing was good on the back bay. A couple of trips tried for them on the ocean, but no success was reported. But the bay held good numbers including good numbers of keepers. The ratio was still like 1 keeper among 10 throwbacks, a good ratio, and better than it usually is later in the season, when the population of keepers can begin to be thinned out more. Striped bass were still beached from the surf sometimes. No black drum were known to be taken from the surf this week. Small stripers began to bite at night under lights like at bridges and docks on small plugs or small soft-plastic lures. Not many bluefish were seen, only a couple of small now and then. Sea bass fishing was good for those running a little farther from shore, 20 to 40 miles out. Sizable, healthy sea bass. Anglers often said that wrecks they fished for years held more of the sea bass than they did in years. How’s crabbing? Eh, okay, he said.

A family aboard Tuesday evening scored three keeper summer flounder to 4 ½ pounds among lots of throwbacks, lots of action, on the back bay, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Probably 25 flounder were hooked in the 4-hour trip, pretty good fishing. Even a double-header was hooked. Joe’s flounder trips fish a rig with a bucktail with a Gulp on bottom and a minnow on a red hook on a trailer above. The minnow caught most flounder, and the bucktail caught the bigger, and that’s typical. The bay’s been in the upper 60 degrees, and Joe caught no bluefish from the bay in a while, but didn’t target any either. Striped bass should absolutely be swimming the bay. That’s another fishing he’s got to do, he said. Looking ahead, inshore shark trips aboard usually begin in the middle of this month or when schools let out. Those are catch-and-release trips, usually within 10 miles from shore, a chance to fight big fish without the long haul offshore.  Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.


Summer flounder fishing was strong on the back bay, “when the wind is on your side,” said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. When wind blows across the channel, that makes drifting the boat tougher for flounder fishing. Baits like mackerel, spearing and herring seemed to catch flounder better than minnows. A buddy last week on a trip toggled in 13 flounder, including two keepers. Eleven were on mackerel and two were on minnows. Still, customers kept wanting minnows, popular flounder bait. Minnows are scarce and Mike hopes to stock them tomorrow. All frozen baits are in, including mackerel, spearing, herring, mullet and all kinds. No crabs were really trapped yet. A friend trapped a dozen at a pot at his dock, and all were females. Crabbers like to keep males, believing that releasing females helps breeding. No crabs that the store sells for eating were available yet. The supplier was yet to call Mike, and Mike will wait for the supplier to call. When the supplier is catching, the supplier telephones. The store’s rental boats are in the water for the season. 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 during the season. So is fishing and crabbing tackle and gear. Mentioned above, live crabs for eating are sold, once they become available. Customers enjoy the food 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. The state approved that last fishing season. Mike wasn’t asked whether the wine was available yet from the shop this season.

<b>Cape May</b>

Capt. Paul on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> tried summer flounder fishing on the ocean a couple of times in past days, after the boat sailed for sea bass daily previously, he said. Not many flounder bit, and maybe this was a little early to fish for them in cool water. But the angling will improve, and daily trips will now fish for flounder, departing at 8 a.m. Not a lot of sea bass hit, at least not for him. Customers want a certain number of sea bass, and if Paul can’t meet that number, he wants to fish for flounder. Maybe anglers on smaller boats raked in plenty of sea bass 30 or 40 miles from shore. But daily sea bassing can’t run that far on the Porgy. A couple of trips fished decent for sea bass on the party boat, when a small crowd, 13 or 14 anglers, fished aboard. But when a lot of anglers joined a trip, that number of fish hooked was too few. Sea bass fishing was good last spring where the boat fishes. But was slower this year.

No fishing sailed since the weekend on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> in rough weather, Capt. George said. He heard about no fishing in the weather either. During the weekend, black drum were boated on Delaware Bay aboard, covered in the last report here. George in that report also talked about bluefin tuna biting, saying that if anglers want tuna, they better fish for them while they’re in.

Sea bass trips have been sailing on the ocean when they could between rough weather with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Tom said. Every trip limited out, and some really good-sized were pumped in. Ling spiced up the catch. Black drum are still swimming Delaware Bay, and Tom’s positive they’ll bite around the new moon next week. Room is available for that fishing aboard. Charters and open-boat trips sail. Tuna, mostly bluefins but a few yellowfins and bigeyes, are biting. The bluefins are holding along the 30-fathom line and also the 100-fathom line. The yellowfins and bigeyes are in the deep. The bluefins, a variety of sizes from 30 to 55 inches, are pushing sand eels. Many of the bluefins are breaking the water surface, and some pods are almost the size of a football field. The tuna are all being trolled. Some shark charters are coming up aboard, and sharking is good. The sharks include makos and threshers, and Tom knew about a couple of makos caught that pushed 300 pounds, and threshers that were heavier.

Anglers were all fishing for summer flounder, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. The back bay along the Intracoastal Waterway and the inlets fished well for the flatfish. Nick did hear about flounder boated from Delaware Bay. A trip reeled in four keepers yesterday there. Where? The anglers said along hard bottom, so Nick figured that was at the sloughs. A few boaters began to skip out to the ocean for flounder. Reports were still heard about black drum caught from Delaware Bay. The fishing was good Saturday, and the drum seemed to push farther from shore. Tussy’s Slough was fished for them. A few striped bass were still angled from the surf. Dunk fresh bunker or fresh clams for them. Weakfish and flounder were also dragged from the surf. Not much was heard about bluefish from the surf or anywhere. The weakfishing was decent along jetties on bloodworms on floats or soft-plastic lures on bucktails. Sea bass fishing seemed to be improving inshore at reefs like Cape May Reef and small pieces. Shark fishing sounded good along the 30-fathom line. Some makos were subdued. Catches of bluefin tuna and fish like false albacore turned on at places like 19-Fathom Lump and the Tea Cup, all on the troll. Minnows, fresh bunker, fresh clams and bloodworms are stocked. So are offshore baits like flats of mackerel and ballyhoos. Butterfish should be carried soon.

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