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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 7-5-18


Fluke, lots of throwbacks, a few keepers, were boated at usual places including the Triangle, Old Orchard Shoal, the Great Kills Inlet area, the Keyport Flats, off the Ammo Pier and off Coney Island, said Tim from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. A customer today rounded up 30 throwbacks and one keeper. Plenty of sharks and sea robins bit during fluking. Bluefish popped up randomly, and customers bought salted clams for porgy fishing. A kid who works at the shop kept trapping baby crabs in a couple of overnight pots. Crabs seemed yet to grow bigger this season. 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 super-good yesterday, the Fourth of July, on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Fireworks! he said. The anglers, a full boat, limited out on the fish to 6 pounds, released additional keeper-sized and had good action on throwbacks that were let go. A 10-pound king mackerel, an uncommon fish this far north, was also landed. Fluke bit at every drop, “and that is very good news,” he wrote. It’s summer, and fluking is great, he said. The boat’s large keel makes the vessel drift naturally, and that makes a difference, he said. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips will fluke at 6 a.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday. Telephone to reserve.

A charter limited out on fluke Sunday with <b>Manicsportfishing</b>, Manic’s Facebook page said. Conditions failed to drift the boat, always tough for fluking, and weather was hot. But the anglers kept fishing. They also released countless throwbacks. Open-boat trips and charters were supposed to fish afterward. The only space available for a charter was Saturday in the next few days. Some weather is forecast, but the captain expects good fluking, and expects to fish Raritan Bay, not the ocean, because of wind and seas that are forecast for the ocean. Manic usually fishes on charters on weekends and open trips on weekdays when no charter is booked.

Porgies, loads, were bailed with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. Every trip whipped them. Charters are available, and open-boat trips are sailing for porgies at 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. Saturdays. On Down Deep’s other boat, fluke fishing gave up lots of throwbacks but good-sized keepers. That was on Raritan Bay, and Down Deep tried fluking on the ocean a couple of times, but that was slow. Still, the ocean might pick up by next week. If so, the boat will begin fluking there. Every angler on fluke trips becomes eligible to win a custom rod awarded to the customer who bags the year’s biggest fluke aboard. Charters are also available for fluke, and open trips are fishing for them at 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Each boat accommodates up to 15 passengers and includes air conditioning, a full galley and a large cockpit.  


With <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, porgies, lots of porgies, bit yesterday, Capt. Joe said. Fluke were also bagged on the trip, and so was nearly the boat’s limit of sea bass, though they weren’t even targeted. The keeper ratio for fluke was about 1 in 10, but a good bag of keepers was had. The fluking, including that ratio, was typical for summer, and anglers just needed to fish deep water for keepers. Sour Kraut also fishes for tuna this time of year. A good spread of yellowfin tuna and a few bigeye tuna swam from Toms to Lindenkohl canyons, Joe heard recently. Bluefin tuna held in the Chicken Canyon and Bacardi wreck areas.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Mostly throwback fluke, a couple of keepers, were landed from the bay on the two rental boats that fished today from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>, Johnny O. said. Party boats from the marina seemed to fare about the same. Nobody was heard about who fished for fluke on the ocean recently. Porgies showed up in the bay, and were good-sized. Fishing for them was okay. Nobody mentioned other fish including bluefish and sea bass. Crabbing began to improve. All baits, everything, including killies, are stocked. The store is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina, down the dock from party, charter and private boats.

Wasn’t much of a drift of the boat on the fluke trip on the Fourth of July on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. But the trip made the best of the drift it had, and anglers slugged away at throwbacks and keepers, including a couple of good-sized. The hot hand pulled in five legal-sized and won the pool with a 5-pound 11-ouncer, keeping no more than a limit of three. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

The bay’s been lively with fluke on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. The fishing was off to a slower start on this morning’s trip, when he gave this report at 10:30 a.m. on the outing in a phone call. Throwbacks were picked, and a few keepers were bagged, and the boat was just beginning to drift. When the boat drifts well, plenty of throwbacks and a few keepers are biting. Bait caught, and nobody really bucktailed. Bucktails were fished like sinkers, not like the lures that bucktails are. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Everybody was fluking, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. That was on Raritan and Sandy Hook bays, and nobody reported fluking on the ocean. Surf anglers tugged in fluke from the bay, too. Ron’s a surf caster, and he and friends scored them. Peanut bunker began to be seen along the bay shore. Ron knew about no snapper blues that did, except a few that a buddy caught while castnetting for peanuts. Porgies were in, including along piers. Someone brought Ron a bucketful from a pier. A couple of regular customers tackled two bluefin tuna on one trip and two on another a couple of days later. Crabs seemed small locally. All baits are stocked including killies, lots, not jumbos, but sizable. Killies seemed scarce locally, but the shop’s supplier was catching them.


<b>***Update, Friday, 7/6:***</b> On a trip from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, Jay Amaraso on the Par Tee limited out on fluke 24, 20 and 19 inches near buoy 7 yesterday on killies, Marion from the marina wrote in an email. Jay earlier in the week bagged a 24-incher near the same buoy on the same bait. Catches last week included Anthony Petito from Brooklyn’s 28-inch fluke near buoy 11 and Ed Niedzinski’s limit of the flatfish to 25 inches from Raritan Bay. All of those fish were on killies, too. Stephen Manobianco fished Shrewsbury River last week, returning with a 21-inch fluke. 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.

Capt. Pete from <b>Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing</b> will be back in the states in the next days, he wrote in an email. Charters and open-boat trips will fish for fluke, sea bass and porgies. All bait and tackle is provided, and catches are filleted and iced-down for anglers. The bait for fluke includes killies, spearing and fresh squid. Tackle includes M3Tackle, KTS Customs and Geazers Teazers.


The ocean’s fluke fishing is improving, Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> wrote in an email. The weekly individual-reservation trip this week copped fluke and sea bass on the ocean on a great day, he wrote. The trips fish every Tuesday, and kids under 12 sail free on those outings, limited to one per adult host. A couple of spots are left for an individual-reservation trip for cod that will sail at 2 a.m. Wednesday. Last Lady is one of the only boats that fishes for cod each summer from Jersey. Fish for cod in shorts!


A trip was going to fish for striped bass on the ocean this evening aboard, Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> said before the outing. But fluking on the ocean aboard was improving a lot. The water temperature was rising, and fluke were becoming much more aggressive. Trips are fluking in mornings and evenings. Eventually, fluke trips this season will include annual Bucktail Seminars that teach bucktailing for the big ones. 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.

Awesome sea bass fishing today on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Each angler limited out, and keepers and shorts served up plenty of action. Just a great day of fishing, it said, in beautiful weather. The boat limited on sea bass yesterday, too. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Reserve online and save 10 percent. Fishing and sunset cruises are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Sometimes those trips sell out, so reserve ahead.

Many anglers easily limited out on sea bass northeast of Shark River Inlet on Monday afternoon’s trip on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. The fishing was excellent from the minute the vessel was anchored. Tuesday morning’s trip looked for bluefish, found none, and so bottom-fished. Plenty of sea bass and porgies were hooked.
Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.


Toms Canyon sounded like the place to be to troll yellowfin tuna, not large but some 30- and 40-pounders, a handful of bigeye tuna and a fair number of white marlin, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Bluefin tuna seemed to hold at Chicken Canyon but seemed tough to get to bite. Afternoons seemed the time to catch any, and the bluefins were trolled on ballyhoos and spreader bars, and were sometimes hooked on cast sliders. Fishing for ling was decent at the Mudhole, with winter flounder mixed in. Fluke fishing was fair on the ocean. Sea Girt and Axel Carlson reefs gave up a few, no great shakes, but anglers could pick them. Local wrecks were loaded with sea bass. Anglers could jig them and not bring bait to fish. Slow-pitch jigging works, and the store carries a variety of the jigs and the rods, reels and lines for the jigging that’s becoming popular. The crew from the store can educate anglers about how to do the fishing. The technique is simple, but the whole system needs to be fished. The reel needs to match the size of jig, for example. In Manasquan River, small striped bass bit at night along the bridges on Fin-S Fish or 4-inch, white rubber shads.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Porgies and triggerfish began to be hooked during bottom-fishing on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b> on the ocean, Capt. Butch said. Sea bass, ling and winter flounder were also bagged aboard. The fishing was fairly decent, producing 10 to 25 fish per angler, a good mix of those species. Trips fished for the porgies, triggers and sea bass in shallow water 50 or 60 feet deep. They fished for the ling and flounder in 100 to 120 feet. The water temperature ranged from 65 to 72 degrees, depending on location and wind direction the night before. But the water’s warming, and the porgy fishing should become better and better as it does. Trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

Anglers picked at fluke and sea bass on the ocean the last few trips on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said yesterday, the Fourth of July, on the party boat’s website. Five- to 6-pound fluke won pools, and more fluke seemed to move in every day. 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.

Most trips for fluke and sea bass caught pretty well this week on the <b>Gambler</b> on the ocean, Capt. Bob wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. A good percentage of the fish hooked were keepers. Several anglers limited out on fluke on this morning’s trip. A 5.8-pounder won the pool, and a 6 ½-pounder is leading the monthly pool. Don’t forget: the cabin is air conditioned, he said. Nighttime trips fished well Thursday through Saturday. A mess of mixed-sized ling to 4 pounds and a few sea bass were clobbered. The year’s first Shark in the Dark Trip fished well on Sunday. A big sand tiger shark was released, and a couple were hooked up. “Lots of excitement on a beautiful night,” he wrote. 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 through Saturday. 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, and some space remains for this weekend.

<b>Toms River</b>

For surf anglers, fluke fishing was the ticket, said Mario from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>. Occasional small bluefish showed up in the surf. Sharks bit in the surf at night. Manasquan River fished hot for fluke. Fluke were plucked from Barnegat Bay near the BI and BB markers. Any bluefish swimming the Toms River like before? Mario last heard about very scattered ones three days ago. 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 casters banked fluke on bucktails with Gulps and a plain Gulp teaser, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Island Beach State Park fished well for them, and the color of the Gulp was a matter of preference. But white is the tried and true, and chartreuse is the next most. Look for cuts and drop-offs to fish. Small bluefish sometimes swam into casting range. So did a few striped bass. Catch-and-release shark fishing was gaining popularity at night in the surf. Some good catches of keeper crabs were made from the dock, but not nearly the numbers that were trapped from boats on the west side of Barnegat Bay. The store’s rental boats could be used for that. The season was a little early to find snapper blues to angle from the dock. But they should appear soon. Blowfish should show up in the bay soon, too. 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>

Trolling for yellowfin tuna went pretty well at offshore canyons with <b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Mike said. No tuna bit at night on the chunk yet. Nighttime fishing was dead. That was all Mike could report at the moment because a phone call came in that he had to answer when he gave this report.

Many customers fluked, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. The fishing remained good on Barnegat Bay in 5 or 6 feet of water at usual places like near the BB and BI markers and the research buoy. High Bar Harbor fluked well this week. But the ocean began to turn out fluke, too, including at the Tires. Some customers fished Garden State Reef North for the summer flounder on the ocean. Sea bass also bit at the Tires, and hit well at ocean wrecks. No other fish like weakfish and kingfish were heard about from the bay. Tuna fishing was good offshore, whether at Spencer or Carteret canyons or other canyons. Yellowfin tuna 40 to 70 pounds were trolled. A customer said all the bluefin tuna an angler could want swam Chicken Canyon. That’s closer to shore. Crabbing was excellent. Mike and kids nabbed 16 keepers at Berkeley Island Park in a couple of hours. Killies and every bait you can imagine is stocked. The store now carries all offshore bait, too, for tuna and other big game.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

On the <b>Super Chic</b>, trips fished for fluke and sea bass on the ocean, Capt. Ted said. Catches were okay, enough to keep anglers interested. A trip for tuna is supposed to run Friday but might be weathered out. The boat is supposed to resume fluke and sea bass fishing Sunday, and Ted hopes to get that trip in. Weather was coming in the next days. An open trip for tuna offshore is set for July 20 to 21. An open trip for tuna inshore is slated for July 22. Spaces are available for the outings.

Barnegat Bay’s fluking was pretty good, said Ashley from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. The fish were decked including right off the shop and at Double Creek Channel. Lots of skates bit in the bay. Fluke were reeled from the ocean, too, including at the Tires. Somebody reported catching kingfish from the bay, but Ashley saw none. Bluefish, not big, were fought from Barnegat Inlet. Somebody reported landing lots of tuna. Another trip departed for tuna yesterday, but no results were heard. Baits stocked include killies, fresh bunker and all frozen. 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.


Everybody was in the summer flounder world, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. The fishing actually seemed to become better, and good reports were heard from inlets. Some anglers believe the fish migrate to the cooler ocean at some point in summer. But Dave, who runs charters for the flatfish, believes the fluke continually migrate into the bay, too. Most customers chased flounder. But lots of anglers played with sharks in the bay and surf. Many of those species are required to be released, and circle hooks must be used. Some weakfish held in mouths of rivers like the Mullica. Striped bass, mostly shorts but a few keepers, schooled the rivers. A few eels were bought from the shop to fish for stripers at night along bridges. Crabbing was picking up well. The bait supply, including minnows, is good. Minnows had been scarce, but the supply currently was stable, at least. No shedder crabs are on hand at the moment for bait, and soft-shell crabs for eating were almost gone. But both will be available again when crabs shed. The store raises the crabs, and keep up with the supply on <a href="" target="_blank">Absecon Bay Sportsman’s soft-shell crabs Facebook Page</a>.


Kingfish were around in the surf, said Tom from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. They could be hooked on bloodworms, and good-sized brown sharks and sometimes 6- or 7-foot sand tiger sharks bit at night in the surf. Both are required to be released, and mackerel heads or bodies were fished for them. Circle hooks are required for sharking. Summer flounder including a keeper here or there could also be hung from the surf. Baits stocked include minnows, lots of healthy-sized bloodworms and frozen mackerel.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

A ton of triggerfish, summer flounder and kingfish were whacked, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Customers fished for them on foot, and all three fish were good-sized. The triggers were plentiful and were nabbed along jetties from the surf beside Absecon Inlet to along the inlet itself. The inlet is jetty-lined. The flounder fishing was really good from the surf beside the inlet to inside the inlet and the back bay behind. Rigs to fish for the flounder included the Hoochie Mama, sort of a glorified bucktail with tentacles that the current imparts action on. The rigs also included the Fluke Candy that’s a floating jighead, and the Game Changer that has a squid that lights up when dunked in water. All three rigs are stocked. All baits, a large supply, are stocked. Minnows are on sale for $8 a pint. A bait vending machine dispenses frozen bait round the clock. That includes whole squid, scented squid strips, spearing, whole mackerel, filleted mackerel, mullet, shrimp and more. A little of everything.


Back-bay fishing for summer flounder was fine, not bad at all, pretty good on the party boat <b>Keeper</b>, Capt. John said. A couple of slow days happened last week because of wind direction, but the fishing picked up since. Lots of throwbacks bit, like in flounder fishing everywhere these days. But keepers were bagged, including a 6-pounder Tuesday. Keepers also included a couple of 4s, some 3s and lots of 20- to 22-inchers. John hopes the good catches continue a while. Flounder bit everything: minnows and mackerel provided aboard, and Gulps that anglers brought. No other fish were mixed in, really, except plenty of sea robins and sharks. 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.


Fishing is concentrating on summer flounder at ocean reefs and rock piles and tuna on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. The ocean surface spiked up to 78 to 79 degrees in the heat wave, so flounder pushed farther from shore to deeper, cooler water than before. Charters and open-boat trips are sailing for them. A couple of spaces are left for a tuna trip on Sunday, July 15. Stray Cat will probably sail on two more open trips for tuna this season.

<b>Ocean City</b>

The height of summer conditions seemed to begin in the heat wave, said Nick from <b>Fin-Atics</b>.  Summer flounder caught were still reported from the back bay, not so much the ocean yet, though the fish were caught toward the inlets. Maybe that meant they were headed toward the ocean. Most were throwbacks, but some were keepers. The very tops and bottoms of tides seemed to fish best, or two hours surrounding each. The fish didn’t bite much when tides moved faster. A few flounder were reported from Ocean City and Townsend Inlet reefs on the ocean, but that seemed spotty. Triggerfish bit pretty consistently at jetties and piers. A few striped bass were beached from the surf in mornings at mid-island. Brown sharks and a few sand tiger sharks chomped in the surf. Both are required to be released, and circle hooks are required for sharking. Kingfishing became spotty in the surf, and when sharks arrive, kings seem to scatter. Fishing for tuna and mahi mahi was fairly consistent at Baltimore and Wilmington canyons. Been a good year for tuna fishing. Most of the tuna were trolled, but some were top-water plugged on a couple of occasions heard about. Crabbing was phenomenal from back creeks to up Great Egg Harbor and Tuckahoe rivers.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Mike Roth on an inshore shark trip released more than a dozen including browns, sandbars, duskies and spinners Sunday aboard on bait, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Some of those are required to be released. On Monday, he fly-rodded more than 10 including sandbars, duskies and spinners and broke off a hammerhead. At least two of those sharks weighed more than 100 pounds apiece. On Tuesday morning, a family aboard landed more than 50 summer flounder, including four keepers, on the back bay. Joe’s in no hurry to fish for flounder on the ocean, and the fishing was still terrific on the bay. Eventually in summer, the angling becomes better on the ocean. Later that day, Joe fished for inshore sharks again, this time with his friend Mike, Joe’s son Ryan, Jay Vonczoernig and John Martin. The angling was great, and the catches included an enormous dusky that weighed more than 150 pounds, the biggest Joe saw in some time. One of the anglers fly-rodded a spinner heavier than 100 pounds and also a hammerhead. The hammerhead was the first reeled aboard this season, and quite the catch on a fly. Fishing overall has been great. The water is in good shape, including on the ocean close to shore. Joe wouldn’t be surprised to report that mahi mahi were hooked close to shore aboard, as soon as he fishes for them. The water was clean enough for them and also cobia. During some summers, wind direction makes the water too dirty. Next week, high tides at dusk on the bay, tides that happen every two weeks, will be ideal for striped bass fishing with popper plugs and popper lures. That angling’s been good with Joe. Keep up with his fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

Kingfishing improved in the surf, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. He heard some good reports. Fish bloodworms or Fishbites artificial worms for them. Lots of sharks like browns and duskies, whatever species they are, roamed the surf, biting at dawn, dusk and nighttime. Most shark species in the surf, including those two, are required to be released, and circle hooks are required for sharking. In the back bay, summer flounder fishing was excellent. Tons of the flounder were shorts, but some were quality keepers. Some nice keepers came from ocean reefs, especially Townsend’s Inlet Reef. But every reef down to Reef 11 and the Old Grounds were known to give them up. Most trips to the reefs were also able to pick up sea bass and triggerfish. Good trolling for bluefish, a few bonito and a couple of mahi mahi was reported from inshore to mid-shore. Triggerfish were angled at floating structure including buoys on those trips, too. Tuna fishing sounded excellent offshore, mostly on the troll. Lots of splash bars and tackle like that was trolled. Mostly yellowfin tuna were hooked. But sometimes bigeye tuna and bluefin tuna were taken on the trips. Mike heard about his year’s first swordfish that a recreational trip docked. Crabbing was great and probably produced the best catches of anything. One of the crew from the shop and his family crabbed until greenheads drove them away, and still totaled 50 keepers.


Crabbing’s picking up, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. Customers fish and crab on the back bay on the boats. The fishing produced summer flounder, lots of throwbacks and a few keepers. One trip on the boats pumped in 32 including four keepers. Weather was hot, but that seemed to make flounder fishing stronger. A few 2- to 3-pound bluefish and a couple of striped bass were seen from the bay at the store. Weakfish were angled along the jetty. Triggerfish showed up along jetties. 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, including minnows, is stocked. So is fishing and crabbing tackle and gear. Crabs for eating ran out, and Mike was waiting for the next batch to arrive. Steamed shrimp were carried that were $14.95 for a pound. They were decent-sized: 26 to 30 in a pound. 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 the store to carry the wine.

<b>Cape May</b>

A 4-hour trip trolled bluefish on the ocean Tuesday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. He mated on a friend’s boat Wednesday, the Fourth of July, on a 6-hour trip that first caught sea bass then trolled the blues. Trips tuna fished Friday and Saturday on the Heavy Hitter. Tuna are all at the canyons, all the way offshore, in range of Cape May. Trips need to cover ground and run across them. Mahi mahi and white marlin began to show up on the grounds.

Summer flounder were pitched aboard on some trips, and some trips fished slow for them on the ocean on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. Flounder fishing can be like that, and on Saturday, Sean Pottichen from Philadelphia limited out to a 5-pounder. On Sunday, Gari Mellwib from South Jersey and Casey from Salem limited, and Casey’s flounder weighed up to a 5-1/4-pounder. On Tuesday, John Thomas from Philly and Carl Keehfus from Villas limited, and John won the pool with a 6-pounder. A lot of throwbacks bit that day, “for a change,” Paul said, and some keepers were spread around the boat. Too few anglers wanted to fish yesterday, the Fourth of July, for a trip to sail. Barbecues, parades, fireworks and events like that keep demand down on the Fourth aboard sometimes. Today’s trip was expected to sail, and lots of anglers telephoned to go. Trips are fishing for flounder at 8 a.m. daily.

Summer flounder fishing sounded a little hit or miss, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Mixed reports came from Cape May and Wildwood reefs. Sometimes sea bass were bagged at reefs or wrecks during flounder fishing. No trips targeted only sea bass in the two sea bass bag limit, but trips mixed in fishing for them. Bringing clams to mix-in fishing for them or triggerfish can be a good idea. Triggers can hold along buoys or structure like that this time of year. Lots of flounder were still hooked in the back bay, but the keeper ratio was down. Striped bass including a couple of keepers were grabbed from back bays and Cape May Harbor around dark on bait. They were also angled pretty well at bridges at night on soft-plastic lures. Flounder fishing seemed to slow a bit on upper Delaware Bay, where Nick was reporting the best catches on the bay before. But a couple of trips reported better flounder angling on the southern bay recently. That’s closer to Cape May. The usual summertime mix of kingfish, croakers, small weakfish and flounder should be swimming Cape May Channel, off Cape May Lighthouse at the confluence of Delaware Bay and the ocean. Sharks usually haunt those waters, too. Sharks were beached from Cape May’s surf. Most shark species in these areas are required to be released. Anglers fish for them with fresh bunker or frozen mackerel on a big hook on steel leaders. Circle hooks are required. The fishing’s best during low light or early morning, evening and nighttime. But sometimes the sharks bite during daytime. Kingfishing was slow in the surf. A couple of reports mentioned kings and croakers from the beach, but too few to say that was fishing to do. A good number of triggerfish began to hover along Cape May Inlet’s jetties. Any cut bait including clams, squid or shrimp on small hooks can attract them. A couple of trips reported trolling a few mahi mahi at 5-Fathom Bank. One of the trips spotted a cobia. Offshore fishing caught yellowfin tuna, mostly on the troll, at canyons like Lindenkohl and Carteret or farther south at Washington Canyon. A few bluefin tuna were spotted at inshore lumps and canyons like Massey’s. Some of those began to be chunked or jigged.

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