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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 5-22-06

<b>Money Island</b>

Striped bass fishing was still pretty good when the weather allowed boaters to fish, said Roger from <b>Money Island Marina</b>. The week was windy, but anglers picked up the bass at every opportunity at the 32 and 34 buoys or along the channel and sometimes at the 6 buoy. Fresh bunker caught the fish, and one of Roger’s customers won the Bay Point Marina Striper Tournament with a 43.4-pound bass, and 11 of the 60 boats that participated sailed from Money Island Marina. Not too many people flounder fished, but Roger saw a few flounder that were hooked. Bluefish were mostly scarce, though some were caught, and no weakfish were seen. Blueclaw crabs were caught steadily, and crabbers were gearing up for the season’s first major shedder-crab run that should come with the new moon. The marina is stocking fresh bunker, minnows, pre-cut, scented squid, frozen, whole squid, frozen mackerel and frozen spearing.


It was windy, but black drum fishing was very good, said Dave from <b>Al’s Bait & Tackle</b>. The lower bay off Cape May produced plenty of drum, and the upper bay at the 32 and 34 buoys gave up quite a few big striped bass. Fresh clams took the drum, and fresh bunker scored the bass, and both are in stock. Not a lot of people flounder fished, and weekenders are the most predominant flounder anglers now, and the weather was bad for weekenders. But flounder could be caught at the stakes just south of Fortescue Creek. Dave heard of a few weakfish bagged on rods and reels and also a few caught in the commercial nets, and people were hush-hush about the locations of the weaks. Commercial crabbers said shedder crabs should start to be available for bait within a week.

<b>Port Norris</b>

Winds were bad, even today, but when people could fish, lots of big striped bass bit throughout the week, and the fishing was also good on the weekend, said Capt. Don from <b>Port Norris Marina</b>. On Wednesday Eric Butto and Brian Garrison used trophy tags to bag six stripers that were 44 inches, 43 inches, 42 inches, 37 inches and 33 inches off Reeds Beach. Frank Wright and Matt Higtins on Wednesday scored a 31-pound bass at the turn buoys or numbers 2 and 3. Also on Wednesday, Bobby Carrol and wife Daniel boated four stripers, and Daniel took the biggest, a 52-3/4-inch 45 pounder, and the rest were 40 pounds, 39 pounds and 36 pounds. On Saturday Lisa Little reeled in a 40-inch, 24.3-pound striper and a 37-inch, 21-1/2-pound striper at Bug Light. On Sunday Richard Dobrowski and wife Joanne pulled in a 48-inch, 48.9-pound bass and a 42-inch, 28.1-pound bass at Bug Light. Devon Mann, his father Gary Mann and Kevin grabbed a 43-inch 24 pounder and a 45-inch 30 pounder. Black drum also bit and will probably keep hitting until June. Nobody seemed to pay attention to flounder fishing because of the howling winds and striper fever, especially with all the big stripers around. No customers fished for weakfish yet. The stripers liked fresh bunker, and fresh bunker is in stock. Minnows and squid are on hand for flounder fishing, and shedder crabs are just starting to be stocked for bait, but nobody really fished with shedders yet.


Lots of striped bass came in over the weekend, especially for the Atco Hookers Striper Tournament, said Pat from <b>Longreach Marina</b>. Each truck had five or six stripers on its tailgate, and the fish were big and were caught all over the bay. Tony Rizzo won first place in the tournament with a 48-pound striper, and he and his crew also bagged three other stripers that were 33 ¾ pounds, 33 pounds and 29 ½ pounds. John Kuzdrall won second place with a 38-1/4-pound striper, and Ralph Simone won third place with a 34-1/2-pound striper. Black drum fishing seemed to be good especially at Bug Light, and no flounder and no weakfish were seen, although Pat heard about one throwback weakfish.  A few croakers started to be caught. Strong winds made fishing difficult, and the marina is stocking fresh bunker, minnows, frozen squid, frozen mackerel, frozen clams and other baits. Customers and their catches included: Bryan Garrison and Eric Butto, 6 nice-sized stripers including two bonus-tag fish; Bob and Brian Snyder, 2 drum 64 and 62 pounds; Fred Hynes of Brigantine and Tom Reagan of Berlin, 2 stripers that were 35 ½ pounds each; Melvin Furman, Lou Lamburne and Danny Faller, 11 drum to 83 pounds, and they kept 4; Dominic Passinger, Franklinville, 45-inch, 38-pound striper; Rich Dobrowelski, Sicklerville, 48-inch, 48-1/2-pound striper; Albert King, Dividing Creek, 31-1/4-pound striper; Mike Pugslie, 43-1/2-pund striper; Jimmy Wood, Kevin Dick and Steve Pierce, 3 stripers 30 pounds, 28 ½ pounds and 28 ¼ pounds; and Al Picolla, 28-1/2-pound striper.


Black drum fishing was very good at the Punk Grounds, Tussy’s Slough and the Pin Top, and most of the fish weighed 50 or 60 pounds to 70 pounds, said Rusty from <b>Captain Tate’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Striped bass were hooked inshore of Bug Light and around Joe’s Tip, and a few were found at the Punk Grounds and the Horseshoe. The drum bit fresh clams, and the stripers took fresh bunker and fresh herring, and the store is carrying all those baits. A few flounder were boated at Miah Maul and in the back bays, but Rusty heard of none landed in the ocean. A few weakfish were reeled in at the Higbees Beach jetty and at Cape May Point, and some bent rods at several of the inlets, especially Corson’s Inlet. Weakfish were also sometimes scored at the bridges in the back bays at night on bloodworms or soft plastics like Zoom baits or Fin-S Fish. Striped bass could be clammed in the back bays, and sometimes they hit lures. Surf fishing lit up at Poverty Beach at Philadelphia and Pittsburgh avenues, where mostly stripers were hooked on clams, and a few drum were also beached. Kingfish bit in the wash at Brigantine, Whale Beach and sometimes Avalon. No reports were heard about bluefish, but blues probably were offshore. Some sea bass were caught at Cape May Reef and at inshore wrecks, and tog were mixed in.

<b>Cape May</b>

<b>Party Time Charters</b> tried to fish Delaware Bay for black drum on Friday night, but seas were nasty, so the boat returned to port, Capt. John said. Seas were better on Saturday and were 3 to 4 feet, and a charter landed three drum to 65 pounds around Brandywine on a trip from 2 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. John heard that seas were the same Sunday, though later in the day might have been worse, and drum fishing that day supposedly produced a little better numbers. But drum fishing was good, and John heard that big striped bass were caught in the bay, including a 58-pound cow in the northern bay over the weekend. He heard no reports about flounder fishing, and he thought everyone was concentrating on drum while the bite was on. Party Time will try shark fishing this weekend on a practice run before the tournaments begin. One of Party Time’s boats fished for tog at a reef in Delaware Bay, and the bite was good. The tog were under 5 pounds but were nice sized. Party Time offers charters on three different boats, and see its web site for the different trips offered on the vessels.

<b>Jaftica Sportfishing</b> had some great drum fishing in Delaware Bay on four trips this past week, and one trip also caught tog in the bay, Capt. Ray said. On Saturday evening a charter scored seven drum to 80 pounds, and during the day a charter fished a reef in the bay and boated tog from 5 to 7 pounds. On Tuesday evening the Apple Home Improvements group reeled in five drum to 70 pounds on a four-hour trip, and on Monday Ryan Moore nailed 15 drum. No striped bass were hooked on recent trips, but a 48-pound striper was nabbed on the boat last weekend. A striper bite is definitely going on in the bay, though Jaftica is targeting drum while the bite is good. Ray heard about a few flounder landed in the bay, including lots of shorts with a few keepers mixed in, and they probably came from around the 19 buoy. Flounder fishing should improve with warmer water. Jaftica is gearing up for shark fishing and will take its first shark trip this weekend. Shark trips will last through about June, and afterward charters will start sailing for tuna, probably by the end of June.

A charter reeled in black drum to 85 pounds on the <b>Sea Fox</b> on the Jersey side of Delaware Bay on Saturday afternoon on outgoing tide in rough seas, Capt. Gary said. The water was 58 to 59 degrees and surprisingly hadn’t changed in awhile. The anglers also tried chunking bunker for striped bass, but only big sand sharks bit. Gary heard that stripers were hooked at the Egg Island flats, and he said bunker was hard buy on Saturday because bunker boats had been weathered out. Gary is looking forward to fishing for flounder and sea bass, and nothing was really heard about flounder fishing yet, and sea bass fishing seemed okay. Shark fishing should turn on soon, after bluefish show up. Gary’s been seeing anglers wading for weakfish at the 2-Mile Bridge, and the weakfishers will occasionally hang a bass.

Black drum fishing was excellent in Delaware Bay this past week, said Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>. Despite lousy seas the past several days, big drum to 75 pounds bit, and lots of small ones were released. Seas were calm Monday through Wednesday. A drum charter Sunday was excellent, and the anglers limited out and came back early at 4 p.m. The only somewhat slow trip was on Saturday night, but five drum were boated, and the bite was good on the boat the rest of the week. Jack Goslee, Jeff Roney Sr. and Jr., and Lou, Bernie and Don DiTomo nailed drum to 70 pounds on Sunday, and all the fish were the same size, like a cookie cutter made them. John and Steve Anderson and family tangled with drum to 80 pounds. Jimmy McHenry and Steve Conley hauled in drum including a 60 pounder, and the rest were 45 pounds. Frank and Kevin Lynch, Larry Peterson, Donnie O’Neill and Dennis also scored drum(editor’s note: Fishing Reports Now was unsure of Dennis’s last name), and Paul Brancolassi, Jonathan Giorgio and Larry Troy Sr. and Jr. battled drum to 80 pounds.  Capt. George heard little about striped bass, and he thought striper fishing was slim pickings in the bay, though he saw some bass at the docks that came from the bay. George sailed on another boat that bottom fished and caught lots of sea bass and some throwback tog.

It was a good week of black drum fishing in Delaware Bay on the <b>Down Deep</b>, and the fish bit the bottom out of the boat, Capt. Bob said. All charters limited out on drum between 70 to 80 pounds. Andy Gonringer’s charter nailed drum to 70 pounds, and so did Tim McCartney’s group. Bill DeMore’s gang landed an 80-pound drum, the biggest of the week. Both Al Fennimore’s charter and Carl Messimer’s charter took drum to 70 pounds, and Brian Marion’s group hoisted up drum to 75 pounds. Both Dave Fish’s group and Seth Guzman’s crew limited out on sea bass 10 miles offshore over the weekend. No striped bass were landed on a trip in about three weeks, and the Down Deep’s charters did not target stripers, but Bob heard that stripers were boated up on the flats in the bay.

Charters on the <b>Pirate King</b> caught lots of big black drum in Delaware Bay, and it was phenomenal, Capt. Rob said. Drum from 50 to 80 pounds were hooked consistently, and a few striped bass to 35 pounds continued to bite in the bay. Trips also scored great catches of sea bass and tog at wrecks. Rob’s looking forward to tuna fishing soon.

On the <b>Miss Chris</b> nighttime black drum trips were good, and patrons limited out on drum to 75 pounds, a fax from the boat said. John Mattershom limited out on drum to 77 pounds, and Sam Romano limited on the beasts to 67 pounds, and Carl Saunders limited out on drum to 68 pounds.

Delaware Bay’s black drum fishing was good for fish to 80 pounds, and they could be caught off Slaughter Beach and at the Pin Top, Tussy’s Slough and the Punk Grounds, and many anglers limited out, said a fax from Capt. Fred from <b>Harbor View Marina</b>. Striped bass to 35 pounds were plentiful, and Bug Light, 20-Foot Slough and the Cape May Rips all held stripers. Fluke could be hooked in the back bay behind Wildwood and at the 19 buoy in Delaware Bay.  Bluefish to 10 pounds roamed the East Lump and the Lightship, and despite cold water temps, some thresher sharks showed up in nets along the beach front off Wildwood. Sea bass to 3 pounds and some short fluke were at Cape May Reef, and limits of tog were available.

The black drum bite turned back on in Delaware Bay, said Matt from <b>Jim’s Bait & Tackle</b> in a fax. And there was no need to run to the Delaware side, because the fish were stacked up on the Jersey side. Most of the drum were respectable 50, 60 or 70 pounders, and the slough southeast of the Pin Top, the Horseshoe area and Tussy’s Slough produced. Early mornings from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. were best, and evenings especially around the changes of tides were also good. Some beautiful striped bass also came from the bay and from the Cape May Rips. In the bay, bunker and clams caught nice bass on the bottom of the tides at Joe’s Tip, Deadman’s Shoal and the edges of the shoals at 60-Foot Slough. At the rips live spots fished at the top of the tides during outgoing were best. Surf fishing for stripers was extremely good this past week at Poverty Beach and Wildwood Crest on clam. The bite at Poverty took place two to three hours before high tides, and at Wildwood Crest low tides produced the best when anglers waded out beyond the bar. Weakfishing picked up a bit in the surf at Cape May Point, Higbee’s Beach and the jetties at the ferry. Lots of the fish were 18 to 20 inches, and a few were nicer. The only flounder reports came from the Intracoastal Waterway, and the fishing wasn’t great, but some nice flatties were taken. Robert Talarico hauled in a 65-1/2-pound striper at Poverty Beach on clam. Art Kushner checked in a 42-1/2-pound bass from Delaware Bay, and Pete Cantori grabbed a 41-3/4-pound striper in Delaware Bay. George Arther fished Poverty Beach and dragged a 26-pound striper onto the sand, and Pete Hansen beached a 19-pound striper at Poverty. Bob Semick picked up a 13-pound weakfish at the toll bridge, and Jim Salisan scored a 9-pound weakie at Lehigh Avenue. Jim Peters stopped by with six flounder from 18 to 22 inches.

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