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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 7-19-18


Good catches of fluke were made from Outerbridge Crossing to Perth Amboy, said Tim from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. Fluke were also boated near the sailboats both off Perth Amboy and Keyport. He heard nothing about other catches like porgies, sea bass or bluefish. The shop’s owner expected to fish for tuna and tilefish Friday to Saturday. That offshore angling was weathered out on most days. 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.


Fluke fishing was consistent but north wind somewhat slowed catches in past days, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. The wind either blew with the tide, drifting the boat too fast for the fishing, or blew against the tide, making the drift too slow. Still, every trip clocked eight to 12 keepers. Six-pounders were biggest. Cownosed rays were battled Tuesday. Fun for the anglers. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips with spaces available will sail Saturday, Wednesday and next Thursday. Some are available Friday and Saturday of next week, too. Grab them while they are, and telephone to reserve.

<b>Manicsportfishing</b> will next fish today through Sunday, Capt. Greg said. He spent the beginning of the week on boat maintenance and cleaning the vessel after it competed in a fluke tournament Saturday and Sunday. That angling was covered in the last report here. The trips today through the weekend will mostly fish for fluke, except one is scheduled to sail for ling. The fluke trips sometimes mix in fishing for sea bass, porgies and triggerfish, because those catches swim the same area. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing.

Fantastic porgy fishing was clobbered with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. Sea bass and blowfish were mixed in, and open-boat trips are sailing for porgies at 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. Saturdays. Down Deep’s other boat will sail open for fluke on the ocean beginning Friday at 6 a.m. daily.  Fluking aboard fished Raritan Bay until now this season. On the ocean, bigger fluke will be targeted at rough bottom. All anglers on fluke trips are eligible to win a custom rod for the customer who nails the year’s biggest fluke aboard. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers. Both boats feature big cockpits and full galleys. Sign up for the Short Notice List on <a href="" target="_blank">Down Deep’s website</a> to be kept informed about special trips.


Fluke, sea bass and porgies were reeled aboard, Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> wrote in an email. He’ll be traveling a moment soon and expects to fish for tuna afterward.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

The daily fluke trip searched inshore and offshore today and finally found a line of the fish that could be worked late on the outing on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Before then, a couple were plucked here and there. Wasn’t a great bite this day, but action for anglers who hung in. The trip went into overtime, and for several anglers, that was certainly worthwhile. One angler limited out on three including two beauties 4 and 5 pounds, and bagged a couple of big sea bass. Another limited on three great fluke, and a few bagged two apiece. Two fluke heavier than 6 pounds apiece tied for the pool. A charter fished Wednesday aboard, and high pressure seemed to turn on fluking. There was action the whole outing at several areas, and there were a couple of hefty fluke to the 5-3/4-pound pool-winner tugged in. Just a handful of sea bass bit, though a couple of drops should have given them up. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Fluking wasn’t great but wasn’t terrible, and was definitely better than last year, said Capt. Tom from the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>. Trips fished for them on Raritan and Sandy Hook bays, not the channels, in past days aboard. Mostly throwbacks bit, and some keepers were bagged. Some days fished better than others. Stormy weather on Tuesday slowed the angling. On Wednesday morning’s trip, a breeze caused the boat to drift fast. Plenty of throwbacks and not as many keepers as usual bit. In the afternoon, fewer throwbacks but more keepers than in the morning hit. The trips are fishing every day, showing anglers a good time. Weather’s mostly cooler on the water than on land. The crew is doing a great job of helping anglers land fluke, and showing them how to catch. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Party boats seemed to work for fluke today, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. On the shop’s rental boats, if two anglers fished on a trip, they’d catch maybe one or two keepers among throwbacks, he’d say. Porgy fishing was good. Sometimes decent catches of sea bass were mentioned. Sales of clams for catches like sea bass seemed to increase suddenly, like anglers wanted to supplement fluke catches. Triggerfish were around, and might be difficult to clean, but are delicious. Crabbing was a little slow. All baits are stocked.

Lot of big fluke began to be pulled from the ocean, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. In Raritan Bay, numerous throwbacks outnumbered keepers. A buddy on a trip landed one keeper and 18 throwbacks on the bay. He also lit into a cownosed ray. The rays were in, and Ron heard about them from various places. Fluke were angled from the surf from the bay to the ocean. Many anglers don’t know how to fish for them. Three or four customers head out and take keepers. Ron from the bay’s shore at Port Monmouth bagged a 20-incher and let go 10 shorts on a trip. Porgy fishing picked up a little for shore or pier anglers. He knew about a couple of anglers who scored a bucket of them from shore on Sandy Hook. Crabbing was improving. A couple of trips on the Navesink grabbed a couple of dozen keepers apiece. The full supply of baits is stocked, including for offshore. Killies that were on hand currently were great. Frozen peanut bunker are carried now, and fresh might be stocked Friday for the weekend. 


Was a pretty good week of fishing, after a slow start Sunday, Capt. Pete from <b>Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing</b> wrote in an email. Porgy fishing pounded jumbos. That was on clams, and once the boat is anchored, the fish come and go. But jumbos were hung on every drop. Fluke fishing was slow Sunday but awesome afterward. After Sunday, two of three trips limited out aboard. The boat fished an area where the trips found fluke heavier than 8 pounds. Space is available for open-boat trips Monday and next Thursday. Telephone Pete.

Sailing from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, Angelo and Jack boated three keeper, 24-inch  fluke  near the Ammo Pier on killies, 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.

<b>Long Branch</b>

From the surf, lots of fluke were banked, said Nick from <b>TAK Waterman Surf n Fish</b>. Keepers were mixed in. Fish the lightest bucktail possible, really light, tipped with a Gulp or a soft-plastic like Jersey Fluke Belly the shop is newly stocking. Lots of schoolie striped bass hit in the surf, believe it or not, he said. Kettle Creek rubber shads were fished for them. So were 4-inch Gulp mullets. Those could be fished on S&S Bucktails Big Eyes that worked. TAK is a shop for fishing, spear fishing, surfing and more, and also for the TAK Waterman line of clothing for all these water sports and beach-going. Rods, reels and tackle is stocked including all of this tackle mentioned in this report. Tackle includes stuff like Spro and S&S jigs and Bomber lures. Frozen bait like spearing, squid and clams is carried. The store’s crew are anglers. Mike from the shop was fishing today, when Nick gave this report, and Mike was supposed to go tuna fishing tomorrow.


Space is available for an individual-reservation trip for cod at 2 a.m. Friday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Last Lady is one of the only boats that fishes for cod each summer from New Jersey. Strong southerly wind and stormy weather that was coming made fishing slow on a trip Tuesday that managed a few porgies, sea bass and triggerfish. That was rare – fishing’s been good aboard for catches like that recently, covered in previous reports here. Space is also available for an individual-reservation trip for ling and sea bass at 5:30 a.m. Sunday.


On the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b>, the ocean’s fluke fishing turned around a little, began to pick up, Capt. Chris said. Lot of improvement, and the fishing’s been easier. Gulps on jigs fished best, as usual. That was on spinning rods, and bait’s almost obsolete. Bait maybe fished best on half a day out of seven days on average. Trips are fishing for fluke daily.

Was another day of super fishing yesterday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. An excellent catch of sea bass, plenty of ling, a few mackerel and some fluke were pasted. The fluke keeper ratio seemed improving lately. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

An awesome catch of sea bass and some ling and fluke were pummeled yesterday at rocky bottom and mussel beds in the ocean on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. Plenty of action around the boat the whole trip on a beautiful day with zero humidity. Come take advantage of the weather on the water. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

The ocean’s fluke fishing was up and down like before, Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> wrote in a text. But the fishing was definitely improving, including last weekend aboard. Fluke trips with Parker Pete’s this season usually include Bucktail Seminars that teach bucktailing for the big ones in a non-threatening environment. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s about individual spaces available with charters who want more anglers.

Surf fishing was slower than last week but was holding up, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. Previously, he reported good surf fishing for small striped bass. The somewhat slower fishing this week might’ve been because of tides. “Not much water with the new moon,” he wrote. He noticed fewer baitfish in the surf. No terns worked the surf that dove on the forage the previous two weeks. A good number of fluke, mostly throwbacks, bit in the surf like before. Sometimes kingfish were nabbed from the surf. Bluefish sometimes popped up in Shark River Inlet that shore anglers could angle. For boaters, fluking became somewhat slower this week. Bob didn’t say whether that was on the ocean or Shark River or both. The shop’s rental boats are available to fluke the river. Several 6- to 10-pound fluke were weighed this week at the store.


Trips for fluke fished pretty well on the party <b>Jamaica II</b> on the ocean this past week, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. Some bigger were boxed, and drifting conditions made a difference. When the boat drifted slowly, bigger fluke and sea bass were hooked. Sea bass to 5 pounds were cranked in. Fluke were mixed sizes daily. On some trips, a bunch of 3- to 5-pounders were axed. On others, just-keepers and lots of throwbacks were. Rich Caputo took the lead in the monthly pool with a 10.1-pound fluke on this afternoon’s trip. Ed Nolan from Manasquan had been in the lead with an 8.4-pounder. The boat drifted fast today, causing some big fluke to be dropped. New fluke are showing up every day. The fish are on the move. Trips are fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays.

Boating for fluke on the ocean was hit and miss, catching better on some days, not on others, said Bob from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. He wasn’t asked how fluking was on Manasquan River, but the shop a few days ago here reported fair fluking on the river. Surf fishing was good for small striped bass on sand fleas. Some anglers landed five to 10. A friend hooked a striper from the surf that a shark attacked. Sharking from the beach began to pick up at night. Small bluefish sometimes popped into the surf and bit during daytime. Bluefish were almost nonexistent for boaters on the ocean. Party boats that focused on the blues in past years now mostly bottom-fished for sea bass. Tuna fishing could be great at offshore canyons for yellowfins. Some trips caught well, and some did not. The fish were mostly trolled. Alex from the shop joined a trip that docked nine yellowfins, departing at 12 a.m. Sunday, returning at 1 p.m. that day.  A slug of bieye tuna recently turned on suddenly. Not many mahi mahi bit at the canyons yet.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Tuna fishing is solid now in the Hudson Canyon area, so the boat will be returned to home port in Point Pleasant Beach before this coming blow, Capt. Alan from <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> wrote in an email. Mushin fished from Cape May for tuna, sharks and tilefish in June until now to reach the southern canyons, like it does every June to July. From Cape May aboard, no trips fished since the weekend, and that angling was good, covered in the last report here. The fishing is already canceled for this coming weekend, because of strong wind that’s forecast from then through early next week. Mushin will now fish the canyons from Point, and charters and open-boat trips are still available.

Good fluking! a report said about this morning’s trip on the ocean on the <b>Norma-K III</b> on the party boat’s website. Fluke were hungry, giving up good action the whole trip. Some were keepers, and plenty were throwbacks, keeping you busy. Fluke were also biting on the afternoon’s trip when the report was posted on the site. Hopefully this was the start of good things to come, it said. Trips are fluking 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Bluefish trips are running 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Moonlight and fireworks cruises are sailing at 8 a.m. Thursdays, returning when the fireworks end.

Porgies, triggerfish, sea bass and a few fluke were pitched aboard the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, Capt. Butch said. It’s porgy time, he said, so he’ll try to keep targeting them. This was about the time last year that porgy catches picked up. The fishing for all these species, a mix, was okay. A customer catching 15 to 40 fish “is a good bet,” he said. Getting all anglers to limit out on two sea bass apiece wasn’t difficult. They had to weed through throwbacks. Action was good. The porgies and triggerfish were fished for in 20 to 80 feet of water, and the sea bass and fluke were chased in 60 to 80 feet. The ocean’s temperature kept changing on the fishing grounds. The water was 66 degrees yesterday morning and almost 72 that afternoon. Trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

For anglers on the <b>Gambler</b>, fishing for fluke and sea bass on the ocean had been slower in previous days but improved on Monday morning’s trip, a report said Tuesday on the party boat’s website. Some good-sized fluke and sea bass were decked on the outing. Pool-winning fluke weighed 4 or 5 pounds on most trips, and an 8-3/4-pounder was in the lead for the monthly derby. On Thursday nights, wreck-fishing trips fished well for ling. High hooks totaled in the 30s to 40s, and the ling were mixed sizes to 4 pounds. Night trips on Fridays and Saturdays fished for whatever was best, so ling were mostly homed in on. Small blues were sometimes caught on those trips last week. On Sunday’s Shark in the Dark Trip, two were hooked. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Wreck-fishing trips are sailing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Thursday. Trips are also fishing every Friday and Saturday nights during those hours, for whatever’s best, mentioned above. Shark in the Dark Trips are sailing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Sundays in July. Reservations are required for the sharking. Room was available for this Sunday’s sharking.

<b>Toms River</b>

<b>***Update, Friday, 7/20:***</b> Good fluking was rustled up on Barnegat Bay near the BB and BI markers, said Mario from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>. Manasquan River’s fluking was okay, slowing a little. Surf fishing for fluke was productive. Big rays roamed the surf. So keep an eye on your rod – that sort of deal, he said. Snapper blues schooled back waters. Crabbing was off the charts. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

The surf held good numbers of fluke, and the number of throwbacks seemed to be increasing, but plenty of keepers could be had, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’s website. Stick with a Gulp on a bucktail with a Gulp on a teaser above. Crabbing was strong from the rental boats and the dock. The population of snapper blues increased daily along the dock. 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>

Customers frequently just began to head to the ocean for fluke fishing, but Barnegat Bay’s fluking remained decent, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. He saw a 10-pounder boated near the research buoy in the bay. When customers fished the ocean for the summer flounder last weekend, they mostly worked the Tires and Garden State Reef North. Sea bass were also hooked from the ocean. Did Mike hear about other fish from the bay like weakfish or kingfish? Only bluefish occasionally. Snapper blues also began to appear, and people stopped in for rigs like snapper poppers. One customer top-water- and popper-plugged throwback striped bass on the bay one evening. Not much offshore fishing for tuna happened in rough seas or weather, including seas from the offshore hurricane last week. The store stocks all offshore baits. It carries all inshore baits, too, of course. That includes killies. Crabbing was super.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Charters fished for fluke lately on the <b>Super Chic</b> on the ocean, Capt. Ted said. Sea bass were also sacked, and a few keepers of both bit among plenty of throwback fluke. Anglers had to work through them. The trips mostly fished in 60- or 70-foot depths, though yesterday’s trip fished in 40 to 45 because of conditions. The water temperature was good currently, hovering around 70 degrees, for fluking. Tuna fishing’s been good when boats have had the weather to sail. An open-boat trip for tuna might be weathered out Friday. The trip has the anglers to sail. Another is supposed to fish Sunday. Call Ted for availability.

A good number of fluke were seen from Barnegat Bay at <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>, Vince Jr. said. About the normal ratio were keepers, though, like 1 in 10. Many came from Double Creek Channel now, and the fish seemed to be departing High Bar Harbor. No fish like weakfish or kingfish were heard about from the bay. Bluefish were tangled with along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks. Crabbing was alright, not terrific, but “serviceable.” Clamming was pretty great, like usual. Basically, clammers could rake as many as they wanted. Plenty of killies are stocked. Fresh bunker arrives nearly every day. 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.


An edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “We ran to Barnegat Ridge on Sunday. Two- to 3-foot long swell, very fishable. Had John Post and his son-in-law Tim Smith and grandson, 13-year-old Timmy Smith, all from Mountainside, N.J., aboard. Stopped about 1 ½ miles shy of the North Ridge, as I usually do. This way the lines go out in the deep water, and we troll towards the high ground. As Nick (Dave’s son) was setting out the fourth rod in the spread, a cedar plug, it went spooling off in his hand. He locked it up, and Timmy boated a nice bonita. As we drew closer to the Ridge, there were slicks and chicks. This is best-case scenario wherever you’re fishing, but especially here. The slicks were so fresh that you could smell them 30 yards away, and there were a dozen to twenty chick birds picking at them at any given time. I could hear the rods going off in my head … but it never happened. Killer fish and bait readings throughout the water column. I gave it two hours of tight turns and nothing. There were quite a few spinner sharks thrashing and crashing, so this is the only thing I could suspect might’ve put off the species we were looking for. I had brought a can of chum and some fresh bunker, so I asked our crew if they wanted to try sharking, and they were game. It took about twenty minutes, and the first rod went off. Timmy jumped on the rod and brought a 60-pound dusky to the boat. Then two rods went off at the same time. We lost one, and Timmy finessed a 120-pound dusky to be released on the other. We were doing it all with 20- to 30-class gear, so it was a lot of fun. Nick and I were watching the balloons, and we both happen to see a fish jump over one of the balloons. I said, ‘that was a mahi,’ and he said, 'yeah, I know.’ He had eaten a hunk of bunker on a 9/0 circle hook rigged on 200-pound mono. Once again, Timmy was on the rod, and boated this 8-pound square-head baby bull mahi. This kid was a true angler. Smooth on the rod. <a href=" 
" target="_blank">Here he is on one of the duskies</a>.  If we had stayed on the troll, it might have been a one-bonita day that was over in the first five minutes. That bucket of chum and fresh bait turned it into a decent catch with plenty of action. Thank God for Plan B! On Wednesday I had Nick Honachefsky of the new series Saltwater Underground on board. He was hosting friends Sean Reilly and WWE pro wrestler Jake the Snake Roberts, along with Jake's son Dustin. Jake caught a nice striper on light tackle at the Barnegat Inlet jetty. We moved back into the bay and hammered away at short fluke jigging leadheads and Gulp for a few hours.  Running open-boat to Barnegat Ridge on Friday, leaving at 11 a.m., returning at 6 p.m. Trolling for bonita, mahi or any other high-speed fish that are in that neighborhood. I'll have the chum and bait on board if we want to try a few hours of light-tackle sharking. Four people max. All fish are shared. You can call for a spot right up until we leave. I'm available to call until 9 p.m. today or as early as 5 a.m. Friday. Saturday is booked. Sunday and Monday are potential bay/inlet charter days, because the ocean will be a little rough from Saturday afternoon through the following few days. Looking to run offshore for tuna next week open-boat or charter Sat/Sun/Mon, trolling and chunking. Probably running 80 miles-plus each way, unless things heat up closer. Leaving at 2 a.m., returning around 4 p.m., sometimes later. So if you have to be back at a certain time, you won't make it. Four people max. All fish are shared. Reservations required. Everything is provided. If you have a favorite rod and reel, and it's appropriate, you can bring it. Hoping we get a nice stretch of weather, we are due.”


Fishing was in mid-summer mode, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. Summer flounder were there to be caught, and the population, especially of big flounder, might’ve been thinning in the bay. Some of the big have been bagged already, and some migrate to the cooler ocean this time of season. But flounder were still in the bay. The ocean’s reefs last weekend did begin to give up better flounder fishing than before. That fishing should only improve, and the reefs ought to be the best place to limit out this weekend on the flatfish. Striped bass, mostly throwbacks but loads, schooled inland waterways and along bridges and docks. To really catch them, fish at night. Not a lot of news rolled in from rivers like the Mullica. White perch fishing was good along the Mullica. Weakfish could be found at the mouth of the river, though the population was slim. Baitfish were appearing for the season. They included lots of small peanut bunker. Dave saw many mullet just larger than fingerlings when setting out minnow pots. All kinds of bait was around, including spearing along banks. Dave is expecting the year’s first spots to be stocked live today from Maryland. Spots grew large enough down there. He heard about 1-inch spots seen locally, enough to think that a run might develop this year. No run happened in about four years locally. They usually grow large enough locally to catch for bait in mid-August to September. Crabs were between sheds at the moment, so this was a time for crabbing, and this was in the middle of crabbing season. Time to go. Crabs mostly won’t eat while shedding, making them difficult to trap. When crabs are shedding, the shop raises them to sell for soft-shell crabs for eating.  Keep up with the supply on <a href="" target="_blank">Absecon Bay Sportsman’s soft-shell crabs Facebook Page</a>.


Kingfish nibbled in the surf, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Dunk bloodworms for them, and the water was too cold for Fishbites artificial worms to work. Brown sharks that are required to be released and cownosed rays stalked the surf. Mackerel were fished for the sharks, like three-packs of frozen heads the store stocks. Triggerfish gathered at the end of the Absecon Inlet jetty in Brigantine. Cast clams for them. Summer flounder were around. One angler bagged a 4-pounder under the Brigantine Bridge. Bloodworms and minnows are stocked. Stock’s famous pound cakes, from Stock’s Bakery in Philly, are carried. Captain Ron’s Bug Spray is in and is selling by the case, including for greenheads. It’s the best, Andy says. The Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs Tournament for kids 5 to 15 will be held Saturday in Brigantine’s surf. The kids will be shown how to fish and will be treated to lunch, and it’s a great time, Andy said. To sign up and for info, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Customers were catching everything: summer flounder, big triggerfish, kingfish, snapper blues and sharks, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Croakers also showed up. Customers fish on foot from the surf to Absecon Inlet to the back bay behind the inlet. The flounder swam everywhere from the surf to the channel in the inlet to tight against the inlet’s rocks to the back bay. Fish minnows, mackerel, spearing or squid or a combo for them, like the classic minnow with a strip of squid. Peanut butter and jelly, Noel said. Many flounder were weighed at the store today. The triggers gather along jetty rocks and bite baits including clams, shrimp and bloodworms. The inlet is jetty-lined, and the surf includes jetties near the inlet. Customers fish the surf beside the inlet. A 4.4-pound 20-1/2-inch trigger was weighed today at the store. The shop is holding a free Trigger Happy Tournament until July 29 that will award $75, $50 and $25 for the three heaviest. The kings chewed in the surf, mostly on bloods. Fishing’s on, Noel said. All baits, the full supply, are stocked. A bait vending machine dispenses frozen bait round the clock. A little of everything.


Many summer flounder were reeled from the back bay aboard, said Capt. John from the party boat <b>Keeper</b>. Most were throwbacks, like flounder are everywhere. The number of legal-sized decreased recently, but he hoped that was just a lull for a moment. He hoped this morning’s trip began to pick up more, and the water looked clearer this morning, after dirty water recently. The angling always does pick back up. Last year the fishing turned on in late July and August, compared with a moment before. The fish currently bit everything: minnows and mackerel supplied aboard, and Gulps that anglers brought. Small sea bass began to show up that do each summer. Plenty of fish like sea robins bit like usual. The bay was full of baitfish. When peanut bunker grow larger, John will net them to liveline for bait aboard. That can catch big flounder. Trips are fishing for flounder 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 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.


On the <b>Stray Cat</b>, fishing picked away at sea bass and summer flounder on the ocean, Capt. Mike said. Trips also trolled snapper blues, bonito and little tunny on the ocean, and hooked triggerfish on those outings. The ocean turned over Tuesday and became absolutely blue, good for those trolled catches. Fish like bonito prefer clear water. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips will be for flounder Friday, Tuesday and Sunday, July 29. Four spots were left for Friday. Stray Cat is also fishing for tuna. If anglers are interested in an open trip for tuna Friday, Aug. 10, call Mike. Those trips are limited to six passengers, and have been selling out. The tuna fishing is trolling currently. Mike expects to begin chunking for tuna on Sept. 1.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Boaters early in the week reported good catches of summer flounder in the back bay and inlets, said Nick from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Then south/southwest wind dirtied the water, slowing the fishing. If the water clears, the fluke should be there. Snapper blues began to appear at inlets. Flounder fishing was hit or miss at ocean reefs. Some catches were heard about, but nothing great at all. Plenty of triggerfish and sheepshead hugged piers and jetties. Not a lot of anglers took advantage, but those catches could be decent. The surf mostly harbored brown sharks that are required to be released, and sand sharks and rays. Kingfising was sporadic in the surf. They were sometimes reported beached, but not many. Certain holes attracted them. Nothing was heard about fishing for tuna offshore in about a week, because of wind and rough weather. Getting out there’s been tough.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Sizable summer flounder were still boated on the back bay sometimes, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. He saw a 9-pounder and a 7-pounder in the past week. Throwbacks definitely needed to be weeded through, but better-sized were around. Flounder fishing was good at ocean structure, and Townsend’s Inlet Reef seemed a best spot. Back in the bay, lots of striped bass were socked in two ways: either top-water plugged at dusk or dawn along the banks or hooked at night under lights like at bridges and docks on soft-plastic or swimming lures. In the surf, kingfishing certainly picked up and was about as good as would be expected. The fishing was on during some days, off on others, but most anglers were able to beach eight, 10 or 12 in a trip. Brown and dusky sharks, both required to be let go, were fought from the surf mostly at dusk, dawn or nighttime. Inshore sharking for species like that released the fish while chumming and chunking say 3 to 6 miles out. Mike saw his season’s first cobia this week. Some were surely around. A couple of trips trolled places like Sea Isle Ridge, tying into bluefish, sometimes skipjacks. Mike saw a Spanish mackerel from the fishing. He heard no reports about tuna fishing in probably a week because of weather. But the last reports were awesome. Yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna mixed in were taken. A buddy’s trip landed two white marlin maybe a week ago. Crabbing was excellent.


Good numbers of summer flounder, mostly throwbacks, swam the back bay, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. Catching a keeper was much more difficult than hooking a short, but flounder still ran the bay. Baby sea bass occasionally bit. Bluefish turned up once in a blue moon in the bay. Flounder fishing on the ocean was sporadic, not consistent, at Wildwood and Cape May reefs. Being sporadic – that was consistent! Crabbing was improving and pretty much “on track.” Where the shop sent rental boaters on the bay for crabbing, trips mostly trapped a dozen to two dozen keepers. Canal Side rents boats for fishing, crabbing and pleasure and kayaks. Kayaks were renting well. <b>***<i>Get a $5 discount</i>***</b> on a rental boat if you mention Fishing Reports Now. A large supply of bait, including minnows, is stocked. So is fishing and crabbing tackle and gear. Crabs for eating are in supply that the store sells live, cooked or chilled. Prices are about $15 to $30 per dozen, depending on size. Shrimp and clams, littlenecks, are also in for eating. 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 last fishing season approved that.

<b>Cape May</b>

Tuna fishing might sail Friday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. Weather’s looking rough for the weekend. Tuna were picked lately, he heard. Friends were going to fish for them today, so he should hear more. George sailed on a friend’s boat yesterday that limited out on sea bass and trolled a bunch of bluefish on the ocean. Kurt Schneider was high hook on both. Heavy Hitter is also doing that fishing. If interested in fishing, dates are open aboard.

Summer flounder seemed to hold in the ocean, but the right conditions seemed needed for them to bite, Capt. Paul from the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> said. Monday fished decent for them aboard. Friday fished slowly, maybe because of a swell from the offshore hurricane. Conditions failed to drift the boat Saturday, never good for flounder fishing. A few flounder were bagged on Sunday’s trip. No trip fished Tuesday because of stormy weather and wind. On Wednesday’s trip, not many were bagged. Then Paul heard about some caught farther down the coast, so maybe he went the wrong way, he said. He’ll find out today, he said. John Kramer Jr. won Sunday’s pool with a 5-1/2-pound flounder. Trips are sailing for flounder at 8 a.m. daily. 

Anglers fishing for summer flounder still caught in the back bay, and began to pick at ocean reefs fairly well, said Joe from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. A few weakfish were heard about from near Brandywine on Delaware Bay, and Joe guessed a few flounder came from there, too. He heard about flounder boated toward Fortesue on the bay a week or two ago and not since. He didn’t know whether flounder still gathered there. Back in Cape May, kingfish began to be angled in the surf. Brown sharks, required to be released, chomped in the surf. Triggerfish showed up along jetties and wrecks. Tuna anglers were headed out now in a break in weather. The fishing had seemed to slow a moment but recently pick back up. Some trips caught okay, and some were skunked. Crabbing was excellent the last couple of weeks.

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