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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 8-9-18


Most keeper fluke were reported from Ambrose Channel and Shrewsbury Rocks, deeper water, said Tim from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. He heard nothing about porgies and sea bass. A charter boat from the docks caught bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna at Chicken Canyon. Baits stocked include killies, fresh bunker and frozen baits like sand eels, peanut bunker, smelts and spearing. Trout worms and nightcrawlers are carried, and no sandworms and bloodworms are in supply this time of year. 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.


Great fluke fishing was whipped Monday through Wednesday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Wednesday fished best, because a patch of bigger fluke was found. The seven anglers landed well over their limit, keeping no more than their quota, releasing the rest. The previous two days fished well but were inundated with fluke a half-inch to an inch undersized. Many fluke blanketed every location fished on the trips. Frank named no location, but in the previous report said trips were fishing rough bottom now, apparently in the ocean. See photos on <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook page</a>. Charters are fishing, and spaces are available on open-boat trips Saturday and Sunday. Telephone to reserve.


Catches of fluke seemed to be picking up somewhat, said Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>. Some better-sized were bucktailed at Shrewsbury Rocks. During bottom-fishing aboard, pretty much as many porgies as anglers wanted to catch could be reeled in. The fishing hooked more and more triggerfish, and usually limited out on sea bass. The trips began to try for blackfish since one became the bag limit starting on the first of the month, after blackfishing was closed previously. Only small were hooked so far. Friends who are divers told Joe that bigger were there, but were yet to bite. Fishing was probably coming into a good time of year. Fluking is usually good in late August and early September. Joe is supposed to fish for tuna this weekend. He plans to sail all the way offshore to the canyons. A friend scored well on yellowfin tuna and caught some bigeye tuna and tilefish there. Joe saw photos of sizable striped bass, not small, including up to 35 or 40 pounds, from friends. He was yet to find out details, like whether the fish were eeled at New York Harbor or something. But he’ll look into it and will sail for the bass if that’s practical.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Anglers on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> rounded up fluke similar to how the fishing’s been, Capt. Tom said. There was action and a few keepers. The boat recently began fishing at the channels on the ocean as well as on Raritan Bay. Strong current at the channels sometimes caused Tom to pull the boat back into the bay. But the fishing was the same everywhere. Current ran stronger than during the full moon, and that was unusual. Some trips fished better than others, but fluke were found everyplace fished. Yesterday morning’s trip scored action, and the afternoon’s scored even more. Weather was gorgeous that afternoon. The 18-inch size limit is tough. Many fluke are biting, including just undersized. Some are small. The trips are fishing every day, if you want to come down and catch, and maybe hook a keeper. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Another good-sized fluke was cracked on today’s trip on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The 7.7-pounder won the pool, and today’s hot hand landed 25 fluke including a limit of three. The three keepers were beauties. Several anglers bagged two, and plenty of sea bass were sacked on the trip. No report was posted for yesterday, Wednesday. On Tuesday’s trip, the boat drifted well for fluking most of the morning, but the bite wasn’t good. But some healthy-sized were managed, including the 8-pound 5-ounce pool-winner, and was a good thing sea bass bit. Current ran strongly the second half of the trip. On Monday’s trip, current failed to run, and fluking was good. Trips are fluking 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily on the ocean. However, the boat is chartered this Friday, so no open trip will fish that day.

Many who fished for fluke began fishing the ocean instead of the bay, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. The angling was a little slow, and in the surf, keeper fluke seemed scarce. A couple of customers were trying for them whom Ron was asking about that. Snapper blues, sharks and rays ran the surf. Boating for porgies was good. Ron saw photos of big striped bass 35 or 40 pounds that an angler who was catching them posted on Facebook. That was on livelined bunker, and the angler didn’t tell location. Ron netted 3-inch mullet on the river. Lots of spearing kept spraying in the river previously. Peanut bunker schooled everywhere. Productive bluefin tuna fishing was reported from beyond Chicken Canyon. A mix of trolling, jigging, popper-plugging and chunking seemed to catch. A handful of trips landed five or six. One angler showed Ron a video of a 50-pounder crushing a popper plug at the boat. Crabbing went better than before, and some anglers busheled-out. Ron saw about three photos of bushels of the blueclaws from Keansburg Pier on Facebook. No green crabs are stocked yet for blackfishing, but people kept telephoning asking for them. No reports were heard about blackfishing. All other baits, a large supply, are pretty much stocked, including killies and fresh peanut bunker.

Party boat fluking seemed to catch a little better today, said John from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Porgy fishing was good, and customers kept buying clams for the angling. Striped bass caught under bridges at night were heard about. Nothing was hard about what hooked the bass. Snapper blues swarmed all over the surf and bays. Peanut bunker were growing a little larger. Crabs hovered along pilings in the harbor, but crabbing isn’t allowed there. The store is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina. Offshore anglers were buying flats of bait including butterfish and sardines. They began to catch on the chunk at night sometimes, but still trolled tuna. They also bought trolling tackle like daisy chains and spreader bars. One offshore angler reported a catch of six yellowfin tuna and one bigeye tuna on a trip. Anglers today bought bait to try for mahi mahi. All baits are stocked.


Sailing today from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, Greg and Ann on the Annie H boated two keeper fluke and some bluefish, sea robins and sand sharks at Sandy Hook Channel, Marion wrote in an email. On Monday they whacked a 7-pound fluke at the channel. Karen Kelly and Justina Forsyth on Sunday bagged four fluke near buoy 1 on Peruvian smelts. 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>

The surf’s fluke fishing slowed a little, said Mike from <b>TAK Waterman Surf n Fish</b>. He couldn’t know whether that was because of reasons like the moon phase or dirty water not long ago or something, but the angling was tougher the past four or five days, something changed. Spearing began to school, and maybe the fluke targeted them, making the fishing tougher. Previously, snapper blues seemed mostly the forage fish. Snappers still schooled, and now bigger blues, cocktails, also swam the water. To catch the fluke, he looks for baitfish, currently at holes and trenches. Fluke seemed to gather there more than along jetties this season. He tugged in two the other evening on bucktails with Gulps. The number of snapper blues wasn’t so bad on the trip, so he could fish the bucktails without snappers hitting and being a nuisance. Small striped bass bit in the surf. Early mornings and dusk seemed to give them up. For instance, he livelined a snapper the other evening and had one of the bass batting at the snapper that never got hooked, and heard about a striper beached the next morning. Livelined snappers or white, 4-inch Tsunami shads will hook the stripers. In a report here last week, he said anglers back then fished the snappers because sometimes bigger stripers, keepers, bit them. The shads are stocked, and so are different brands of bucktails and a variety of Gulps. Nobody really fished for blackfish along surf jetties since one became the bag limit on Aug. 1. But the tautog were there. Blackfish season was closed previously. Mike fished on a trip for bluefin tuna inshore during the weekend. A little of a bluefin bite was underway. The fishing was tougher because of boat traffic on the trip. But the trip landed a 45-incher on a jig. That sounded smaller than other bluefins that the fleet caught. The water was a little greener than on his previous trip for bluefins two weeks ago, and sand eels schooled. TAK is a shop for fishing, mostly surf fishing, and surfing. The store also produces the TAK Waterman line of clothing for these sports and beach-going. The name comes from Lake Takanasee.


Decent fluke fishing was rustled from the ocean Tuesday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> until wind came up at noon, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. During the wind, a few fluke were still reeled in, until the decision was made to return early. That was a weekly individual-reservation trip that sails every Tuesday for fluke and sea bass. Kids under 12 sail free on those outings, limited to one per adult host. On Wednesday a charter boxed triggerfish, porgies and sea bass on the ocean in beautiful weather. Individual-reservation trips will fish for: porgies and triggerfish Saturday and Aug. 19; cod at 2 a.m. Aug. 24; and multi species of bottom-fish Aug. 26. Spaces are available on the trips.


On the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b> on the ocean, fluke fishing’s been good, Capt. Chris said. Two 9-pounders were eased aboard yesterday. A 10-pounder and another 9 were cracked last week, and some 8’s have been nailed. Good-sized were around. Mostly jigs on spinning rods, so anglers could cast best, caught. Bait picked up a few, but 95 percent of fluke were jigged. Weather looks good for the weekend, and trips are fluking daily. Take note: The trips have been leaving early, usually by 6 a.m., sometimes not long after 5 a.m. That’s been making a difference, getting the boat on the fishing grounds before other vessels, and before the heat of the day.

Fishing for fluke on the ocean picked up since the last blow for <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Pete said. The fish bit pretty much everywhere the trips looked, and morning trips caught, and so did some afternoon trips. Sometimes in summer wind increases in afternoons. Four-hour family trips in afternoons fished well for sea bass and fluke. On trips targeting fluke, bucktails caught better than bait, like usual. Some first-time bucktailers tied into fluke well aboard. Charters are available in afternoons currently. Mornings are available after about Aug. 20. Plenty of spots are available in September for charters, including on weekends. That month can fish well for fluke. 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.

Two of Belmar’s party boats reported exceptional fluke fishing on the ocean, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. The fluke weighed up to 9 pounds, and many of the boats’ customers limited out. At Shark River Inlet and the L Street Pier, anglers on foot caught more keeper fluke than before. Gulps and livelined snapper blues worked well for them. Snappers schooled places like that and are fun for kids to land. When Bob fished the surf for striped bass yesterday morning, he saw two anglers beach plenty of fluke. Most seemed throwbacks.

Super fishing was slammed today for bluefish, bonito, lots of chub mackerel and a pollock on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Fish were easy to catch. On Wednesday’s trip, fishing for blues and bonito caught but had to work for them. Then the trip fished for sea bass, and that was good. Several sizable fluke to 5 pounds and a few ling were also pulled up. The trip’s angling was good overall. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

Bluefish were lambasted Tuesday on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b> until mid-day, an email said from the party boat. The blues worked rainfish, causing white water, and all the anglers limited out on the fish, on jigs. Then the trip pushed farther from shore and fished for sea bass and chub mackerel, picking away. An excellent day of fishing. On Wednesday’s trip, the blues weren’t around like that. So the trip bottom-fished, rounding up sea bass and a few fluke. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.


Boating for fluke on the ocean was pretty good, seeming to pick up more and more at many places, said John from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Some were big, and he and a friend limited out by 7:30 a.m. on a trip, and the fluke included one that pushed 7 pounds. Anglers fished the usual jigs and Gulps for the ocean’s fluke. John fished 6-inch Gulp grubs, and Gulp mullet will also work. Manasquan River’s fluking was okay. The fishing had slowed, apparently because of rain and maybe heat. Not much was heard about the river’s striped bass fishing, maybe because of the rain that since ended. Manasquan Inlet lit up with fluke, great catches, Tuesday. Someone said the fish were hooked on almost every cast sometimes. Surf anglers dragged in fluke. Bonito caught on party boats were heard about from trips that angled chub mackerel and small blues on the ocean. Dave, the shop’s owner, fished on a party boat trip that pasted blueline tilefish, golden tiles and rosefish, very good tilefishing. He’s a tilefish aficionado and sometimes books party boat trips that anglers can join if they call the shop. Check out the store’s <a href="" target="_blank">custom tilefish rods</a> that might be the only available off the shelf.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Bottom-fishing was decent on the ocean on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, Capt. Butch said. The angling was good when he gave this report at 9:30 a.m. aboard today in a phone call, and he was watching double-headers of porgies in the bow. The trips mostly shoveled up porgies, sea bass and triggerfish. Most anglers probably bagged 15 to 30 fish on trips. So action was good, he said. The boat is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

<b>***Update, Friday, 8/10:***</b> After Wednesday afternoon’s trip tried new areas for fluke and pitched aboard a good number of keepers, the <b>Gambler</b> was returned there Thursday, a report said on the party boat’s website. Some quality keepers to 6.9 pounds and lots of throwbacks, sea robins and skates were toggled in. These trips fished deeper than at first on Wednesday afternoon’s trip. The shallower water gave up small fluke non-stop. Nighttime wreck-fishing trips have generally fished well for ling aboard. The trips are ready to fish for anything including ling, blues, chub mackerel and squid. 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. Thursdays through Saturdays. Shark in the Dark Trips will fish this Sunday and the following Sunday, Aug. 19. Reservations are required for the sharking, and can be made on <a href="" target="_blank">Gambler’s website</a> or by calling the boat.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

Fishing for fluke and sea bass was lock and load, on fire, the entire trip on the ocean today on the <b>Tin Knocker</b>, Capt. John said. The catch included six keeper fluke and some keeper sea bass, and throwbacks of both. Another trip will head for them tomorrow.

<b>Toms River</b>

The surf held abundant fluke, said Mario from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>. Fishing for them was no good Sunday but good Monday for him. Most of the fish were throwbacks Monday. Many eels were bought for striped bass fishing. The fish were eeled at night at Point Pleasant Canal. Kayakers eeled stripers at night behind Island Beach State Park. News was scarce about boating for fish on Barnegat Bay and the ocean, for some reason. No customers really mentioned the fishing. Snapper blues schooled the Toms River. To catch them, anglers needed to fish the river’s lee side of wind. If they fished the side of the river where wind blasted in their face, they failed to catch. Crabbing weeded through many throwbacks for keepers. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

For surf anglers, fluke catches heated up, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Some quality were weighed Monday at the store from Island Beach State Park, and surf-fishing continued to show life through today. Fluke kept being angled, including some keepers, and bluefish 1 to 3 pounds began to appear. Schools of bunker and balls of rainfish were also seen in the surf. The water was starting to look fishy. For the fluke, bucktails with Gulps worked best. Thin metal hooked the blues. In Barnegat Bay, crabbing worked through a ton of undersized for keepers. Snapper blues schooled the bay but were small. 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 limited out on fluke at Garden State Reef North during the weekend, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. The angling seemed decent, and was the best reported. Fluke were still decked from Barnegat Bay, and a 4-pounder from near the BI marker had just been weighed at the store when he gave this report. The fluke in the bay bit at typical spots like Oyster Creek and Double Creek channels and High Bar Harbor. Some customers banked fluke from the surf at Island Beach State Park. Quite a few customers went for blowfish on the bay during the weekend, and reports were heard saying some of the fish began to show. Many anglers sailed for tuna, heading all the way offshore for yellowfins, during the weekend. Good catches of yellowfins were trolled during daytime, the last Mike heard. But the customers kept buying flats of bait, because tuna just began to bite on the chunk at night. The full supply of offshore and inshore baits is stocked. Crabbing was excellent.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Fluking wasn’t bad, said Chris from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. Sometimes big came from the ocean, and lots of fluke bit in Barnegat. Locally, most were reported from off the Coast Guard Station. No blowfish were heard about from the bay. Neither were fish like weakfish and kingfish. Lots of snapper blues schooled along the docks. Baitfish that schooled included plenty of peanut bunker. Crabbing wasn’t so good but clamming was excellent on the bay locally. Baits stocked include killies and fresh bunker. Live grass shrimp can be ordered. 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.


<b>***Update, Friday, 8/10:***</b> An edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b> on Thursday night: “We have been spending all of our time fishing in the ocean. Sunday we ran offshore about 60 miles to the southeast. We stumbled on a slick with chick birds hitting it. Great readings. Set up on the anchor and started chunking. Put out a few rods with bait and handed Matt Tebaldi a jigging rod with one of my favorite jigs. He and his wife Tess, from Manahawkin, were on their first-ever offshore trip. After about 10 minutes of jigging, Matt said, ‘I got something.’ It was apparent to me that it wasn’t a tuna, but nonetheless, let’s see what you got. He reeled in a 16-inch illex squid. Nasty looking creature. I stuck a hook in him and put him out at 50 feet under a balloon. Five minutes later the reel was screaming. After a long fight on medium-light drag, as we only had him on 40-pound fluoro leader, Matt and Tess tag-teamed an 80-pound bluefin tuna. Put him in the box and got a call from Brian Ewan on the Dora Lee that the troll bite was going off only 6 miles from where we were. We ran over, put out the spread and trolled two nice 40- and 50-class yellowfins. Here’s a <a href=" " target="_blank">video clip of Matt on one of those trolled fish</a>. Returned the next day, Monday, and added a pair of yellowfins in the 20- to 30-pound class among a huge pod of whales and porpoises. Fished the last two days trolling Barnegat Ridge and sharking. Both days we clobbered the sharks. Today (Thursday) I had Michael Fuhrman of Cherry Hill, Steve Karl of Loveladies and Erin Foose of Altoona, Pa., on board. We had a bunch of sharks, mostly 3- to 4-foot Atlantic sharpnose, but Steve brought a 200-pound-class dusky shark to the boat, and a little while later, Erin bested a 120-pound dusky just 4 miles off the beach. Here’s a <a href="" target="_blank">video of Erin and her dusky</a>. The ridge has been giving up bonita, Spanish and king mackerel. We’re available for open-boat or charter Saturday through Monday. Inshore sharking and trolling for bonita and Spanish mackerel at Barnegat Ridge. We can do both in the same trip. If they relax the thunderstorm predictions for any of these three days, we can also make the 60-mile run to the tuna grounds.  The ridge/shark combo trips are 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Four people max. The mid-range tuna trips are 3 a.m. to 5 p.m. Four people max. All fish are shared on all trips. Call me to book a spot on any of these trips. You can always try us right up until our departure time to see if we have a spot.”


Looked like wind finally calmed, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. Summer flounder fishing was fairly good on the ocean, though lots of the fish were undersized. Or, Dave would rather say, lots were adult males 16 to just under 18 inches that should be legal to bag. Eighteen is the legal minimum size. Still, good-sized were hooked between the shorts. Flounder including keepers still swam the back bay. He hadn’t fished for them in a moment but was supposed to head for them today on a family trip. He’s running charters for flounder, and expects to fish for striped bass on charters soon. He’ll scope them out himself first, and the bass seemed to be biting well in Mullica River in early mornings. More and more were reported, and anglers also bought eels to fish for stripers. More and more panfish seemed around, including reportedly a few croakers. Fishing for white perch, another panfish, was good on the Mullica. The panfish kingfish were plucked from the surf, when anglers ran into a school. On some days, the kings turned up, and on some, they didn’t. No kings were reported from the bay, but maybe nobody tried for them. Absecon Creek was full of peanut bunker that were a little small to keep in the livewell. But they could be good flounder bait to liveline. Mullet grew to about the size of big minnows and were abundant. Rain bait was around. Dave expects the populations of weakfish and bluefish and at least small stripers to increase, because the baitfish should attract them. Live spots are stocked from Maryland. Bigger spots seemed scarcer than before when they were stocked last weekend. He’ll see the size when more arrive this weekend. Crab shedding was pretty much fully underway. So shedder crabs are stocked, and the shed looks like soft-shell crabs for eating will be in good supply. 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>.


Kingfish, brown sharks and rays were slid from the surf, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Release browns according to law. Summer flounder could apparently get bagged from the surf. Jackie DeBernardo beached one keeper one day and two the next. Bloodworms and killies are stocked, the bloods are the bait to soak for the kings. South wind kept dropping the surf’s temperature too low for Fishbites artificial worms to work. The annual Brigantine Elks striped bass fishing tournament for surf anglers and boaters, benefitting a veterans’ fund, will be held Nov. 16-18. 

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Summer flounder, lots, were slammed, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. That was from the surf to Absecon Inlet to the back bay. Customers fish all those places on foot, but a boater weighed-in an 11-7/8-pound flounder that won the Southern Region in Saturday’s Jersey Coast Anglers Association Fluke Tournament. That was covered in the last report here, but Noel told more details for this report. The angler won $5,000 for the fish, and was 4 ounces short of winning $50,000, he said. The angler hauled in the fish from the bay on an aluminum boat. Customers fishing on foot also caught kingfish, triggerfish, blackfish and snapper blues, a little of everything. But lots of flounder. The full supply of baits is stocked. A bait vending machine dispenses frozen bait round the clock.


One day gave up lots of summer flounder, not a lot of keepers, mostly throwbacks, on the back bay on the party boat <b>Keeper</b>, Capt. John said. Then the fishing was slower. A few keepers were nabbed on most trips. The water cleared this week, after dirty water from weather previously. The day it cleared is when lots of the fish, more than usual, bit. Small bluefish, baby sea bass, sharks and sea robins hit. All anglers were hooking lots of catches. Peanut bunker grew to not a bad size to liveline. He netted them for customers to fish for flounder aboard on some days, not every day. Abundant baitfish schooled. 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.


Trolling the ocean crushed bonito and small bluefish on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. Spanish mackerel and small mahi mahi were sometimes hooked during the angling. King mackerel kept biting off the lures. Monofilament leaders were fished, not wire that would prevent the toothy kings from biting off, because the other fish, even the blues, shied away from wire. Tackle trolled included 4-inch cedar plugs and feathers. The cedar plugs were dynamite. The cedars were what the kings kept smacking, too. Charters stuck with this angling, and did no bottom-fishing for sea bass or summer flounder lately. The trolling provided plenty of fish for anglers. Bonito are good-eating. But open-boat trips will fish for flounder Sunday and next Thursday, limited to 10 anglers per outing, on the ocean in 80-foot depths. The ocean during the trolling was 78 degrees. Bunker showed up, and so did bunker boats. Brown sharks and a few bull sharks foraged on the bunker. Two trips Monday and Tuesday took a shot at tuna fishing inshore, along the 30 line. But no tuna seemed around, and the trips pulled back closer to shore and loaded up on bonito. For tuna, trips had to fish 40 or 50 fathoms, apparently. Places like the Cigar and the 750 Square looked devoid of life.

<b>Ocean City</b>

South wind dropped the water temperature to 64 degrees from 78 a few days ago, said Thomas from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. That seemed to cause summer flounder to bite best in inlets more than in the ocean. Considerably more keeper flounder were heard about from inlets than before. When the wind direction changes, the temperature will change. South wind causes upwelling that chills the ocean close to shore. The colder water slowed shark fishing in the surf. Thomas heard nothing about kingfish from the surf. That didn’t mean no kings were there. He just didn’t hear. On the back bay, fishing for small striped bass seemed to improve. The bass were angled along sod banks on top-water plugs and along bridges on soft-plastic lures. Fishing for tuna offshore didn’t sound so good recently. It had been better, like for yellowfins at Spencer Canyon that Thomas heard about before the slowdown. Mahi mahi fishing had been improving out there. White marlin fishing was good. Crabbing was terrific.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Ocean fishing for summer flounder might’ve started later than last year, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. He was making the transition from the bay later, but the ocean fishing might’ve begun to amp up. A trip Monday morning aboard boated two keepers 5 pounds and 4 ½ pounds among throwbacks. Another this week hung one keeper 21 inches and throwbacks. A couple of trips fished the back bay for flounder this past week aboard, playing a bunch of throwbacks. One of the trips had one keeper. The bay will give up action. Like usual this time of year, more flounder will bite in the bay, and fewer but better-sized will hit in the ocean. Inshore sharking’s been good, and the sharks have been big. A trip Tuesday aboard released seven dusky sharks, and all but one weighed more than 100 pounds. The other weighed 80 to 90, not shabby. A trip Saturday released several duskies and sandbar sharks, and many were big. One weighed 150. Duskies and sandbars are required to be let go, but the trips, usually within 10 miles from shore, are catch-and-release anyway. They’re a chance to see big fish without a long sail offshore. A trip during the weekend landed a bunch of amberjacks and landed triggerfish on the ocean aboard. The trip was looking for mahi mahi, but none showed up. High tides at dusk were coming up this week that are ideal for fishing for striped bass on the bay with popper-lures and popper-flies. That’s a specialty aboard in summer and draws explosive, visual attacks. The tides happen every two weeks. Annual traveling charters to Montauk, the legendary port, will fish the migrations of striped bass, bluefish and false albacore from 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>.

A 10-pound summer flounder was weighed at <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b> this week that was heaved from an ocean reef on a minnow, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Fishing for flounder at ocean reefs wasn’t hot and heavy, but some sizable were there. Weather calmed this week, and boaters made the trip. Some big sea bass swam reefs. He took a trip for triggerfish on the ocean, and caught the triggers, but the trip also dunked for sea bass a little, and smashed four really good-sized, without much effort. They were jumbos. Lots of triggers are in. A big, 65.6-pound cobia was weighed-in today. Many cobia are roaming the ocean, and being prepared to run into them is worthwhile. They can be found at floating structure like buoys. You get one shot at them, usually, or if you don’t hook them on the first cast, they usually disappear or refuse to bite afterward. They also swim up to the boat if you’re fishing for other catches like inshore sharks or even flounder. To be prepared, have bait ready like a large minnow or a live bunker, eel or sea robin. Or have a lure ready like a Slug-Go or a bucktail. Most anglers probably aren’t ready when cobia are seen. Most probably also try using a rod that’s too light. Inshore trolling is drilling lots of small bluefish and some catches like bonito or skipjacks. One angler reported two Spanish mackerel from the fishing. Troll lures like Clark spoons or feathers. Farther from shore, tuna fishing sounded just good at the canyons for yellowfins and bigeyes. Sometimes tuna were heard about from closer in, like at 19-Fathom Lump. Most tuna were reported trolled, but some were chunked. In the surf, kingfish nibbled and seemed small. Anglers downsized hooks to catch. Tiny spots swam the surf. Sharking was good in the surf. In the back bay, fishing for small striped bass, but some up to 30 inches, was fantastic. If anybody is a freshwater angler, like for largemouth bass, they’d be crazy not to take advantage. The stripers are being light-tackled, like on freshwater rods with 10-pound line. He likes to fish for the stripers with popper lures, and Rapala Skitter Pops are his favorite. But anglers fished for them with lots of different lures, even digging into the tackle box and seeing what would catch next. Overall, fishing was good, and weather was better this week, after a long stretch of rough conditions.


Customers still cranked in summer flounder from the back bay, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. Not a lot were keepers, but the anglers were catching. There was activity. Anglers bought the shop’s minnows and spearing for the fishing. Three-packs of mackerel from the store were popular for the angling. Some anglers filleted the mackerel, and some chunked it in a steak so the two sides of the belly wiggled. The chunks hooked the bigger flounder. Flounder fishing was okay on the ocean at Cape May Reef and Reefs 10 and 11. But the fishing caught on one day and not on another, and you just never knew. Flounder catches were reported from McCrae’s Shoal, too. Snapper bluefish 6, 8 or 10 inches began to show up. They were seen including chasing baitfish in the canal. Mike’s got 16-foot bamboo poles that are fished with 16 feet of line with spearing on a bobber that are lots of fun for picking off the snappers. Crabbing picked up on the bay, and the crabs grew a little larger. Trips averaged 1 ½ dozen keepers, and a number of trips totaled two, three or four dozen. That depended on whether the tide was right. People were generally pleased with crabbing. 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 are in supply that the store sells live, cooked or chilled. No. 1’s, the biggest, were scarcer recently, but some were carried. No. 2’s were plentiful. Shrimp and steamed 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. Bottles of wine from Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House are sold at the store.

<b>Cape May</b>

A bunch of bluefish, sometimes bonito and occasionally Spanish mackerel were trolled at 5-Fathom Bank on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. Not many Spanish swam this area this year. A better number did last year. Tuna fishing had been decent and slowed a bit now. But maybe it’ll come back on.

Not many summer flounder were bagged Monday on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. But a bunch of keepers were taken on Tuesday’s trip, though the boat drifted “bad,” he said. Lots of shorts were released on that outing. Casey G. from Salem limited out that day. Al Bednarik on the trip axed an 8.53-pound flounder that was the biggest of the week so far aboard. On Wednesday’s trip, conditions failed to drift the boat, never good for flounder fishing, and the angling was slow. Some of the anglers released 10, 12 or 14 throwbacks, but not many keepers came in. Trips are fishing for flounder at 8 a.m. daily on the ocean.

Customers fished for summer flounder at a little of everywhere: the ocean reefs, the back bay and Delaware Bay, said Joe from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Nobody super-complained about the angling, but none said it was good.  The back bay could give up a good bite but mostly from throwbacks. On Delaware Bay, the catches were last heard about from near Fortescue. Customers were unlikely to sail that far north, and some tried for flounder close to Cape May on Delaware Bay. But none reported success. Rumors said croakers began to be around. No details were heard. Kingfishing was good in the surf. Sometimes small bluefish schooled the surf and back bay. Sharks chomped in the surf at dusk and at night. Lots of throwback fluke scurried around the surf, and maybe you’d hook a keeper, but most were shorts. Sheepshead bit more than usual at places like bridges or jetties. Good white perch fishing was had on Maurice and Tuckahoe rivers. On the ocean, triggerfish held along structure like buoys. A few porgies were talked about from ocean wrecks. They’re uncommon this far south, and weren’t abundant, but enough were caught for anglers to mention. Joe wasn’t asked about sea bass fishing on the ocean for this report. Fishing for tuna, mostly yellowfins, a few bluefins, erupted Sunday at Massey’s Canyon and 19-Fathom Lump. But that fishing seemed to die out now. On Sunday the tuna were caught every way: They were trolled, chunked and jigged. Crabbing was excellent.

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