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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 8-30-18


The fluke keeper ratio was tough, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. Trips the past two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, only caught six keepers apiece, among many throwbacks. More than 110 fluke were hooked during Wednesday’s fishing aboard. Conditions failed to drift the boat Tuesday, and that plays such an important part. “We have been fishing the deep,” he wrote. Frank believes that bagging smaller fluke would be better for the fluke population than bagging the bigger, breeder fluke that the current size limit forces. Many 15- to 17-inch throwbacks are swimming. Charters are fishing, and three spots are left for an open-boat trip for fluke Sunday. Telephone to reserve. 

Fluke fishing was good, said Capt. Mario from the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>. Trips fished for them on the ocean aboard, and sea bass were mixed in. On the company’s other boat, porgies were pasted. Great catches, with sea bass and triggerfish mixed in. Open-boat trips are fishing for fluke at 6 a.m. daily. Open fluke marathons, trips that fish longer than usual, will sometimes fish next week. Sign up for the Short Notice List on <a href="" target="_blank">Down Deep’s website</a> to be kept informed about that. On the other vessel, open trips are fishing for porgies at 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. Saturdays. The afternoon trips will run until the sun begins setting too early. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers. Both boats feature a full galley and large cockpit.


Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> was in Prince Edward Island to fish for giant bluefin tuna, he wrote in an email. Boaters today from the port caught and released 350- to 450-pounders on charters. Those are considered small. What a fishery, when 350-pounders are small! he wrote. Charters for the bluefins are catch-and-release. Anglers with a permit can keep one per year. Joe will fish for bluefins from the island commercially with a friend at the end of the week, and hopes for big.


A few anglers landed no keeper fluke, but the rest of a full boat socked some good-sized Tuesday on the weekly individual-reservation trip for the flatfish on the ocean with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Some of the anglers limited out, and the trip’s catch included a 5-1/2-pounder and a 5-1/4-pounder. Too many first-timers were aboard for the trip to fish rocky bottom.  Plenty of fluke bit until wind came up. “Great group of people who I think gained some fluke knowledge,” he wrote. On a charter Monday, the boat failed to drift. But the anglers worked hard and decked fluke, including an 8-1/4-pounder. One angler reeled in five keepers including two 5-pounders, keeping no more than a limit of three. Good-sized sea bass were also bucketed. Get on one of the individual-reservation trips for fluke while the fishing is good, Ralph said. Those trips are fishing every Tuesday and on the Sundays of Sept. 2, 9 and 16 and on Saturday, Sept. 22, the final day of fluke season. On the Tuesday trips, kids under 12 sail free, limited to one per adult host. Charters are available, and Last Lady fishes year-round.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Trips are hooking fluke no matter where they fish, from the bay to the ocean, on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. There’s no lack of fluke, just more keepers are wanted. All customers are catching. That includes kids. Action is good. Some anglers catch better than others. Some of the fluke are small. Some are only a half-inch or inch undersized. All the trips are sailing, even if rain falls. If weather’s rough, trips escape in the bay. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Was another awesome day with big fluke Tuesday on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Fluke gave up action the whole trip, and several weighed 4 to 7 pounds. The hot hand landed 25, including a 6-pounder and two 5-pounders. Several anglers limited out. On Wednesday’s trip, weather was hot with no breeze, and flies bit. All of that was probably the toughest all season. The trip slugged away at fluke, including plenty of throwbacks. A couple of anglers clocked two keepers apiece, and they earned them. One angler pulled in four sizable including a 6-pounder. John Froelich won the pool with a 6.9-pound fluke, his first fish of the day. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Fluking on boats sounded slow today, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Lots of throwbacks seemed to be angled, and this was his first day back at work at the store in a moment. So he heard not a lot about fluking on previous days, but thought keepers were had in previous days, among lots of throwbacks. Plenty of fluke seem in, but many seem not to meet the legal minimum size. One of the shop’s rental boats fluked today with two anglers, and they caught one keeper and a bunch of shorts. A couple of the head boats were going to sail for porgies this afternoon from the marina. The shop is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina, down the dock from party, charter and private boats. Snapper bluefish swarmed all over, like along the bulkhead. Johnny heard nothing about offshore fishing recently, and offshore bait wasn’t selling today, maybe because of forecasts for rough weather tomorrow and iffy weather afterward this weekend. Crabbing was steady, Johnny thought.

Boating for fluke seemed to pick up a little for customers in the bay and channels, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Fluke 9.4, 9, 6 and 4.12 pounds were weighed-in, and those weighed were bigger as the week went on. Fluke could also be beached from the surf. A buddy in the surf at Long Branch banked two keepers and 10 throwbacks, bucktailing them just before dark. Sometimes false albacore were walloped in the surf. Bluefish 1 to 2 pounds were everywhere in the surf. Ron saw snapper blues, now growing to good size, at every beach he visited on the bay from Atlantic Highlands to Perth Amboy. Mullet and peanut bunker schooled all of that water. Lots of porgies were caught, and many fished for them. Ron for this report wasn’t asked whether that was from boats and shore or piers. Chub mackerel kept being heard about that were boated on the ocean. Mahi mahi were abundant in the ocean. A buddy brought Ron tuna steaks yesterday from the buddy’s trip that popper-plugged them 4 miles beyond the Mudhole. Madd Mantis popper lures were in demand for tuna fishing. An 1,100-pound bluefin tuna was reportedly boated off Cape Cod.


At <b>Twin Lights Marina</b> today, Johnny on the Par Tee II docked a mahi mahi boated at the Cholera Banks, Marion wrote in an email. Jay and Tracy on the Par Tee II on Sunday returned with four keeper fluke to 20 inches they bagged on Spros with Gulps and squid at the “Ridge,” Marion wrote. 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>

In the surf, fluke fishing was alright, turning out small and a pick of better-sized, said Mike from <b>TAK Waterman Surf n Fish</b>. Most were hooked on bucktails with Gulps. Mike does that fishing in Long Branch, and did no striped bass fishing there recently, but many stripers are swimming the local surf. He knows because he dives and sees them. He must’ve seen a hundred when he dove yesterday morning. The stripers he’s seeing are probably 18 to 22 inches. But he saw larger yesterday morning. Surf casters hook stripers locally on rubber shads. Lots of cocktail blues are running the surf. Bonito crashed into the surf Tuesday, chasing bait. A crazy number of baitfish are schooling the surf. That’s attracting plenty of fish. TAK Waterman is a shop for fishing, especially surf fishing, surfing and paddle boarding. The store also produces the TAK Waterman line of clothing for watersports, including these, and beach-going.


For anglers who could bucktail very sticky bottom, fishing for big fluke was excellent right now on the ocean, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. The angling was great the last few days aboard, and “Big Dave” bucktailed a 9-1/2-pounder Tuesday on the boat. That was on a fluke-seminar trip with the tackle company KTS Customs aboard. See more about those trips below in this report. The fish to 9 pounds are being taken with Parker Pete’s, and a diver speared a 14-1/2-pounder on the wreck Parker Pete’s was fishing. Pete couldn’t guarantee anglers will limit out. But monster fluke are in – this is the time for them, into September. September’s the month for personal bests. Trips are making short drifts of the boat at completely sticky wrecks and rocks. Bring lots of tackle for snags. Family trips in afternoons also had fun landing fluke and sea bass. A 13-year-old on one of those outings reeled in 20 fluke including two keepers. Spaces are available for fluke seminars aboard with the tackle company KTS Customs on Sept. 12, 16 and 19. All anglers will receive two bucktails and three ball jigs from KTS and a bag of Gulps. Finally, don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Book an individual space 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.

Fishing kicked off with bluefish catches today on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Anglers who brought spinning rods nabbed a fair share, and every time they hooked one, five or six blues followed that fish. Bring a spinning rod. Then the trip caught sea bass and fluke. Was a decent day of fishing, and the anglers were smiling when they departed, the report said. Trips aboard sometimes also caught bonito, false albacore and small mahi mahi in past days. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

Keeper sea bass, a good number, and throwbacks were angled today on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. A few fluke and plenty of chub mackerel, sometimes lots of action with the mackerel, were plucked aboard. Six or seven mahi mahi were also nailed. A trip last evening axed plenty of big sea bass and some ling and fluke. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.


For anglers on the <b>Jamaica II</b>, fluke fishing on the ocean was slower on this morning’s trip than it’s been, a report said on the party boat’s Facebook page. Still, some of the anglers limited out, and some of the trip’s fluke were large. A 9.1-pounder won the pool, and an 8.2-pounder was second-biggest. Check out this cobia landed. Trips are fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays. The sea bass can be fished for until sea bass season closes beginning Saturday. Super Fluke Marathons will sail 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Labor Day and Sept. 10 and 17.

The ocean’s fluke fishing was pretty good, catching some quality at the reefs, off the Red Church and farther north, said Vinnie from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Manasquan River’s fluke were mostly throwbacks. He usually fishes Manasquan Inlet in mornings, seeing a few fluke, not many, landed per trip, and usually catching some himself. That depends on the tide and sometimes other factors. The fluke are usually throwbacks, occasionally a keeper, and he goes for action, a bend in the rod, and that’s fun. He fishes a bucktail with a teaser and Gulps on each.  Chub mackerel, sometimes bonito and not so many small bluefish were boated on the ocean. Small mahi mahi were angled on the ocean not far from shore, sometimes only a few miles off, when water was clear. Tuna fishing sounded mostly quiet at Hudson Canyon. Southern canyons seemed to hold a few yellowfin and bigeye tuna and abundant white marlin. He heard that someone landed a couple of spearfish and was going to see that angler after Vinnie gave this report, and would probably hear details then.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

A “nice, fat” yellowfin tuna was boated Friday evening on an overnight charter from that day to Saturday with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>, a report said on Mushin’s Facebook page. Lots of life filled the water, and next, a 450-pound blue marlin was caught – “gave a great show,” it said – and released. At night, “lots of shark activity,” it said. In the morning, boat traffic filled the water, “… but still managed to troll … some tunas,” it said. A trip the next day, on Sunday, was going to concentrate on jigging and popper-plugging for tuna. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing. Looking ahead, fall striped bass trips are being booked, and this is time to reserve. Mushin expects striper fishing to be underway by late October.

Very good bottom-fishing on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, Capt. Butch said. Mostly porgies were sacked, but a variety of fish were, including sea bass, triggerfish, chub mackerel, blues and fluke. Most anglers could bag 25 porgies to a limit of 50 and limit out on two sea bass. Some of the fluke were surprisingly large. One weighed 10 pounds 4 ounces, and some weighed 4 to 6. The fluke were just hooked while anglers porgy fished. Trips fished in shallow water 20 to 55 deep on the ocean. The water there was 73 to 75 degrees. Come on down, before the fishing slows, Butch said. Trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

Quite a few good-sized fluke were belted from the ocean in past days on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. On Tuesday and Wednesday, anglers who bounced around bucktails with Gulps were locked in, catching well. An 8.8-pound fluke on Tuesday took the lead in the monthly pool. This morning’s trip picked away at healthy-sized fluke and some sea bass. Both bucktails and bait caught on that trip. The crew looks forward to good fluking in September. Trips are fishing rough bottom, so bring extra tackle for snags. Sinkers and plain rigs are carried aboard. Trips are fishing for fluke 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. The year’s final moonlight and fireworks cruise will sail at 8 p.m. today, returning when the fireworks end. Those trips run every Thursday in summer until Labor Day.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

<b>***Update, Friday, 8/31:***</b> The few hardy anglers who fished the surf in hot, humid and hazy weather picked small fluke and small bluefish in past days, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. But yesterday was supposed to be the last of the oppressive weather, and northerly wind was now forecast to drop the temperature. Fishing for snapper blues and crabbing were slow from the dock in the heat. More anglers will fish in the moderate weather. 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>Barnegat Light</b>

A good day of fishing for fluke and chub mackerel was rounded up Tuesday on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Good day of action, it said. Lots of the fluke were throwbacks, like before. A 9-year-old landed 13 fluke, including two keepers, including the 4-1/2-pound pool-winner. Her dad pumped in six fluke including a keeper, and her grandfather “didn’t get a keeper,” it said. On Wednesday aboard, a couple of keepers were swung in on the first drift and a few more around noon. The angling was tough-going in strong current drifting the boat fast. Lots of weight had to be fished to hold bottom. Tomorrow is another day, the report said. The trips are sailing 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily on the ocean. Sunset cruises are also running every evening.

Customers are pounding plenty of fluke including a fair number of keepers, said Vince Sr. from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. That included keepers from Barnegat Bay. His anglers took just as many keepers from the bay as the ocean, he thought. Fluke in the bay bit including at Double Creek Channel and in the channel off the shop. Weakfish were seen from the bay now and then. Blowfish seemed to move into the bay. Green crabs are stocked for blackfishing, and the tautog were angled along Barnegat Inlet’s docks and at wrecks. Clamming was terrific on the bay. Crabbing on the bay was spotty, coming and going. Baits stocked also include minnows and fresh bunker. Live grass shrimp can be ordered if the supplier has orders for six or eight pints, at least.


<b>***Update, Saturday, 9/1:***</b> An edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks. Did not have time to post any reports. Been booked every day, and the weather cooperated to let us keep running. Fished Barnegat Ridge mostly for king mackerel, bonita, Spanish mackerel and mahi. The forecasted seas look good for offshore fishing. Looking to run to the tuna grounds 2 a.m. to 4 p.m., usually later, on Monday, Labor Day, and either run back there again or fish Barnegat Ridge on Tuesday. That day’s trip leaves at either 2 a.m., if we run for tuna, or 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., if we run to the Ridge. Four people max. All fish are shared. You can call right up until our departure time to reserve a space. The boat is also available for your private charter on these two days.”


Calm weather enabled fishing ocean reefs for summer flounder, and the angling was good, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. Catches at reefs included mahi mahi and cobia. Not a lot of the mahi were boated during the flounder fishing, but the dolphin were there, and sometimes a flounder trip picked one up. Not a lot of cobia were hooked either, but they were seen, and once in a while caught. A good number of flounder remained in back waters, like on both sides of Brigantine Bridge. Joe King, a local sharpie, whacked a 10-pound flounder near the bridge. In the surf, kingfishing seemed to improve somewhat, and sharks bit. Blackfish, many of them small, hit along jetties. Better and better reports came in about Mullica River’s fishing for small striped bass. Dave will begin charters for the bass next week for the season, and the trips are discounted in September. He’s got bonus tags that allow an angler to keep a smaller striper, so the trips can probably bag dinner. White perch fishing was great in the river. Dave this morning was headed to castnet mullet to replenish the store’s supply of the live baitfish. Mullet are wary, not easy to catch, but are there for anglers to net. Plenty of peanut bunker are schooling that anglers can net. They were a little small to keep live at the store. Dave tried stocking some, but they didn’t live long. But peanuts are also there, if anglers want to net their own. The store carries all the different castnets and supplies, like pens and aerators, to catch and keep your own live baitfish. A few spots are around that are different sizes. The store is stocking live spots from Maryland. Crabbing was excellent. Somewhat of a crab shed was happening, and that can slow crabbing a bit. But the shed also means that plenty of soft-shell crabs for eating and shedder crabs for bait are at the store. The shop raises them, and keep up with the supply on <a href="" target="_blank">Absecon Bay Sportsman’s soft-shell crabs Facebook Page</a>.


The surf tossed up kingfish and sharks, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Bluefish in the surf were bigger than before. A school of 12- to 18-inchers swam through Sunday. For the kings, fish bloodworms. Fishbites artificial worms didn’t catch them so much. The shop’s frozen mackerel worked on the sharks. For boaters, good fishing for chicken mahi mahi was on. That was 12 to 16 miles from shore, not far for mahi. The annual Riptide Fall Striper Derby will take place next Thursday until Dec. 23, and will include a boat division, not just a surf division. The annual Brigantine Elks striper tournament for surf anglers and boaters, benefitting a veterans’ fund, will be held Nov. 16-18.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Anglers fishing the surf beaned sizable kingfish on bloodworms, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Customers fish the surf beside Absecon Inlet in Atlantic City. Anglers on foot banked good-sized summer flounder. Cast to the channel off Harrah’s, the hot spot for the fishing in past days. A 5-pounder was weighed-in. A 10-pounder was checked-in at another store. Tons of snapper blues schooled and attracted flounder. Abundant blackfish hugged Absecon Inlet’s rocks. Lots were throwbacks, but they provided action. Customers also fish the inlet on foot. A few triggerfish, not a lot, remained along those rocks. Plenty of baitfish schooled, including peanut bunker, big silversides, and mullet. All baits, the full supply, are stocked. The biggest minnows this year are stocked and are $8 a pint. One was 5 ½ inches. 


Back-bay fishing for summer flounder caught the fish on the party boat <b>Keeper</b>, Capt. John said. Not a lot were keepers. Anglers enjoyed themselves. Lots of baby sea bass bit. Plenty of sea robins hit. Parents with kids who wanted to see the kids catch, did. The bay’s water was clear, except somewhat dirty on low tides. A 6- or 8-inch weakfish was reeled in. Lots of peanut bunker and other baitfish schooled. John castnetted the peanuts yesterday and kept them aboard for customers to liveline for flounder. He does that sometimes. 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.


No trips fished in the heat Tuesday and Wednesday on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. Brutal, he said, but the boat is now sold out though Monday. The next spaces available are for an open-boat trip Tuesday. Trips during the weekend will probably troll the ocean for bluefish, bonito and a variety of catches including mahi mahi. That’s been a mainstay aboard, and super, catching three or four fish at once, big numbers. Beginning Tuesday, open trips will fish for summer flounder every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday on the ocean. That’s a typical schedule after Labor Day. Sea bass trips will fish offshore beginning Oct. 8, when sea bass season opens back up and 10 will be the bag limit. Sea bass season is open currently and will close beginning Saturday. Two is the limit currently.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Most who fished for summer flounder boated at the ocean reefs, said Ed from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. The fishing was okay, not great, turning out a good number of throwbacks, sometimes a keeper. Atlantic City and Great Egg reefs gave them up, and a few came from Ocean City Reef. The back bay still held some flounder, mostly small. Lots of small bluefish 6 inches to maybe 1 ½ pounds were mixed in. So were tiny sea bass. Lots of brown sharks, required to be released, stalked close to shore that could be boated or fought from the surf. A few kingfish nibbled in the surf. Not many flounder did, though flounder would normally be in the surf. Some boaters trolled a few bonito, false albacore, Spanish mackerel and small mahi mahi 4 or 5 miles from shore. Not much was heard about tuna, frankly, he said. Crabbing was good –  really good. Crabs were good-sized. 

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

This has been a good run of mahi mahi fishing inshore, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. He’s been reporting good catches of them aboard, and another one of the trips was supposed to fish today. One of the trips Monday fished somewhat slower, landing two, missing a third. The two caught were sizable, though. A trip Tuesday with an angler and his daughter fished the back bay, tugging in a bunch of small summer flounder and small sea bass, lots of fun. Coming soon, annual traveling charters to Montauk will fish the migrations of striped bass, bluefish and false albacore from mid-September to mid-October. See the <a href="" target="_blank">traveling charters webpage</a> on Jersey Cape’s website. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

Summer’s best stretch of weather for fishing happened this week, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. That enabled lots of fishing. The best fishing was for mahi mahi 8 to 30 miles from shore. The fish were boated in several ways. Trolling was probably the most common, with small feathers, small spoons, other small lures or small or medium ballyhoos. When trolling, trips tried to cover an area. If anglers knew buoys that attracted mahi, they cast lures like bucktails or maybe swimming lures like Yo-Zuris, or Fin-S Fish. Other anglers bought two or three quarts of minnows, chummed with them and free-lined one to the mahi at buoys. Others castnetted peanut bunker and did the same. The ocean’s summer flounder fishing was decent, and Mike wouldn’t say good, but catches were made. Much fishing picked up late this year, and the better flounder fishing that anglers expect in late summer in the ocean might light up during the first couple of weeks of September. Exotics were around in the ocean, like a couple of barracudas and lots of wahoos. Cobia were seen in the ocean, but fewer were reported than previously. Whether that was because fewer anglers tried for them or fewer cobia remained was unknown. In the surf, kingfishing was steady, and nobody said great, but anglers who fished for them usually caught dinner. Spots and pompanos were beached while anglers kingfished. Tons of small bluefish flipped and flopped all over when Mike surfed the last two mornings. Birds worked the water, and both boaters fishing tight to shore and surf casters could angle the blues. The blues also schooled inlets, and the blues at both places weighed maybe 1 pound, but could be fun on the right tackle. Sharking was excellent in the surf at dawn, dusk and at night. Mike saw no big recently, like 100-pounders he did previously. But plenty of brown sharks, required to be released, 20 to 50 pounds were in. The back bay was warm, but a couple of flounder were still caught there, and, at night, a few stripers were played from the bay. Offshore fishing sounded like a couple of tuna and marlin were beaten, nobody Mohawking them in late summer’s warm water. All heard about were trolled. Generally, fishing was typical of summer, but was pretty good for this time of year, too. Crabbing was excellent.


<b>***Update, Friday, 8/31:***</b> The back bay still retained summer flounder including keepers, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. The number was surprising, and of course throwbacks outnumbered keepers. One angler yesterday brought back a 20-inch keeper he hooked on a 1-ounce bucktail with a minnow. Mike usually fishes a ¾- or 5/8-ounce bucktail on the bay, but somewhat of a breeze blew. That angler also boated a sea bass just over keeper-sized, releasing the fish, not realizing sea bass season was open. Undersized, baby sea bass are common in bays this season, and keepers are rare there. Sea bass season will close beginning tomorrow. Mike sent another trip to fish at one of the creeks because of the wind but also because of boat traffic along the back bay. Be responsible for your wake. Smaller boats have every right to be on any of these waters. About a dozen customers reported catching flounder at Wildwood and Cape May reefs on the ocean in past days. That fishing seemed good. Usually one or the other fishes better, but both seemed to produce. One trip returned with three keepers. Plenty of throwbacks bit at the reefs, and many were only an inch undersized. That’s a 17-inch flounder, a sizable fish. More throwback flounder seemed to hit at the reefs than in the bay now. Keeper sea bass also chomped along the reefs, especially at the trolleys. Crabbing still caught on the rental boats on the bay, usually about 1 ½ keepers per trip. 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 were in supply that the store sells live, cooked or chilled. The price depends on the market price, and was somewhat higher currently because of the holiday. The crabs were “nice, solid,” and crabs for eating will probably be available until late September. Shrimp and clams, littlenecks, were 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. Bottles of wine from Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House are sold at the store.

<b>Cape May</b>

A trip did a little fishing for mahi mahi on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> the other day, trolling a bunch, Capt. George said. Another trip, yesterday, fished closer to shore at 5-Fathom Bank, trolling bluefish and bonito. If interested in either fishing, give a call.

Fishing sailed for summer flounder on the ocean aboard, said Capt. Tom from <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>. The angling, like throughout this season, had to work through many throwbacks for keepers. The catch was alright the other day on a trip, copping the fluke to 7 pounds. An offshore trip Tuesday tried for tuna, and none bit. But white marlin fishing was very good. Nine whites were seen, six bit and three were landed. If the trip had stuck with the marlin fishing, it would’ve loaded up. But the trip then tilefished, cranking in 20. The boat will keep flounder fishing and tilefishing. If tuna are in, trips will tuna fish. If not, the white marlin fishing is gangbusters and should continue to be. Daytime swordfishing trips are coming up shortly. A few have been landed, and the trips fish deep water along bottom for the light-sensitive swords. Fishing for them during daytime, instead of the usual nighttime, has become popular to the south, like in Florida. But Tom is pioneering the fishing here. His trips dunk for tilefish first, then hunt the swords.

A couple of anglers limited out on summer flounder yesterday on the ocean on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. Paul Minnett from Mays Landing was one. Karl Zeigler from Cape May limited and won the pool with a 4-1/2-pounder on the outing. Paul’s brother Dave boxed a 5-1/2-pounder on the trip, but Paul doesn’t allow him to enter the pool. A few flounder were bagged the past three days aboard. A few limits were made. Once a trip grabs flounder at a spot, the next day’s trip has to look in another place. Sometimes that’s tough. Every day’s an adventure, Paul said. Trips lost some tackle in rough bottom the past three days. But the fluke usually aren’t at sandy bottom. A few flounder are being bagged on every trip, and if you want to try your luck, trips are sailing for them at 8 a.m. daily.

Summer flounder fishing was generally not bad, said Joe from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. The angling was okay at Reef 11 on the ocean. Some keepers were still found in the back bay. In Delaware Bay, flounder were boated near buoy 19. No weakfish were heard about from anywhere, including Delaware Bay. In the surf, kingfish, small croakers, small bluefish and a few pompano were around. Flounder also swam the surf, and most were throwbacks. Locating a keeper could be tough, but a good number of flounder roamed the surf. Sheepshead were still angled at places like bridges and pilings. They usually hold along bottom. One angler reported that his trip landed seven cobia, keeping one, on the ocean. The trip had been hooking small bluefish on Hopkins lures. One cobia grabbed one of the hooked blues. So the anglers then fished more of the blues to catch the rest of the cobia. Not much seemed going on with tuna. Crabbing was good.

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