Tue., Sept. 18, 2018
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Delaware Bay Report

Report from Tuesday, September 18.

| Port Elizabeth | Newport | Fortescue | Cape May | Last Week's Report |
THIS REPORT IS UPDATED EVERY TUESDAY
Port Elizabeth
Summer flounder probably remained in the bay, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. News was scarce because remnants of the tropical storm and then remnants of the hurricane kept anglers from fishing last week. So no reports came in about flounder. But the season was probably too early for them to migrate out of the bay completely. Some of the last news was that one of the shop’s bait suppliers netted large weakfish from the bay. The netter works close to shore, and weaks will probably swim the bay throughout this month and into October sometime. That supplier also found kingfish at 60-Foot Slough, in shallower water closer to shore at the slough. Kings seemed to school the southern bay. That netter also picked up spots from the bay. Anglers hope for a run of striped bass in the bay later this year. Stripers used to migrate to the bay in the first and second weeks of October, years ago. The migration’s been considerably later in recent years. Customers also looked forward to the opening of sea bass season on Oct. 8, but fishing for sea bass will be on the ocean. Customers still crabbed, and caught. Baits stocked include shedder crabs and minnows. Shedders should be available a moment longer, until crabs stop shedding for the year, when water cools. They should be available here and there for a moment. The Girls Place, located on Route 47, just after Route 55 ends, carries a large supply of bait and tackle, and is the long, one-story, yellow building on the right. It’s on the way to the bay.

Newport
Crabbers all seemed to catch fairly well during the weekend at Beaver Dam Boat Rentals, Paul said. He saw lots of catches of more than two-dozen keepers per trip, some with three dozen, a couple with four and one with five. Good-sized crabs were nabbed. Many keepers were 5 ½ inches or larger, and crabs trapped were mostly either tiny or sizable. Bunker seemed to catch best. Chicken often works better during shedding or mating, and Paul guesses that’s hormonal. But shedding and matting usually happen on full and new moons, and this was between the moons. Shedding and mating weren’t happening. One kid caught and released one of the big striped bass that have been swimming the creek. The striper looked about 36 inches in a photo. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. Rental kayaks and canoes are also available to paddle the scenic creek. Crabbing will be available at 6:30 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday throughout this month. Afterward, crabbing will go on break through winter at the store. The shop remains open after September including for crabbing and fishing supplies, duck hunting and more. But actual crabbing goes on break then at the store. Visit Beaver Dam’s website.

Fortescue
After rough weather throughout last week, the Salt Talk fished the bay Sunday, Capt. Howard said. The angling was slow, tugging in a couple of throwback summer flounder and a few small bluefish near the shipping channel while the boat was drifted. The water was clear there, and then the trip pulled inshore and anchored, landing small blowfish and small kingfish. The water was dirty there. Not many small boats, only a couple of large, were seen on the bay during the trip. The Salt Talk used to be a Fortescue party boat. Howard sold that vessel, and the new Salt Talk is a charter boat for up to four passengers.

Cape May
Bluefish 12 to 18 inches were beached from the surf, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Mullet schooled the back bay to the surf, and the blues in the surf chased them. Mullet were the bait to dunk for the blues, and the fresh and frozen baitfish were stocked. A few kingfish were bloodwormed from the surf, and the worms were also in supply. Cape May is at the confluence of Delaware Bay and the ocean, so customers fish the surf at both places. This was almost the only news, because weather kept many from fishing. One other piece of news, though not from Delaware Bay, was that anglers focused on small striped bass in the back bay. The fishing seemed good because of abundant baitfish: peanut bunker, mullet and spearing. Most anglers top-water plugged the bass. That usually works well during low-light like in evenings, but in the past week, overcast skies throughout the day often gave up bites, too.

Last Week's Report
Port Elizabeth

The netter found quite a few kingfish in the 60-Foot Slough area, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. The kings seemed to be moving somewhat inshore and shallower in that area. The netter also caught lots of spots and some sizable weakfish from the bay. If these fish were around, summer flounder probably remained in the bay. If anglers look for flounder, maybe they should fish deeper water for them this time of year. The storm in past days probably riled up the ocean, and the remnants of a hurricane are forecast for later this week. The New Jersey side of the bay is leeward from easterly winds like from the storm in past days. Sometimes that makes the bay fishable when the ocean is not. Sharon fished Cape May Reef on the ocean two weekends ago on a trip that landed plenty of throwback flounder, a keeper, a few bluefish and some small sea bass. A trip she joined at ocean reefs the previous weekend also reeled in croakers. Crabbing currently was still pretty good, including in the Maple Avenue and Dividing Creek area. Customers were still crabbing, and some good-sized crabs were trapped. If crabbers could crab on small boats, like on tidal ponds or creeks, that could catch better than crabbing from shore. All baits are stocked including minnows and shedder crabs. The supply of shedders will diminish soon. Crabs will stop shedding in cooler water. The Girls Place, located on Route 47, just after Route 55 ends, carries a large supply of bait and tackle, and is the long, one-story, yellow building on the right. It’s on the way to the bay.

Port Elizabeth

Crabbing was weathered out last weekend at Beaver Dam Boat Rentals, Paul said. Crabbing was attempted Saturday, but weather chased crabbers back in. Crabbing is now available at 6:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays through September, and will go on break afterward through winter. However, the shop will be closed this Sunday. Crabbing was available daily previously this season. Customers crab and fish on rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the store. Everything needed for crabbing is stocked, from bait, traps and nets to drinks, snacks and suntan lotion. Rental kayaks and canoes are available to paddle the scenic creek during the same hours. Visit Beaver Dam’s website.

Fortescue

One trip, on Friday, fished a short time on the bay on the Salt Talk, before weather became worse in the storm since, Capt. Howard said. A couple of undersized summer flounder and a few bluefish were tugged in, before the trip returned to port. At first, the trip fished inshore at a couple of places, because Howard knew someone who’d been catching panfish there. Nothing bit, so the trip moved and fished for flounder at the stakes and the rips nearby. Forecasts had called for rough weather during the trip. Skies were overcast, but wind and seas were calm. They became rough later that day. The Salt Talk used to be a Fortescue party boat. Howard sold that vessel, and the new Salt Talk is a charter boat for up to four passengers.

Cape May

Fishing for summer flounder sounded good near the 19 buoy or Miah Maul on the bay last week, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Back bays held tons of throwbacks that week, and any keepers there seemed near inlets. The fish seemed to be migrating out. Croakers and kingfish schooled off Higbee’s Beach in the bay. Boaters and shore anglers hooked them. Cape May Channel off Cape May Lighthouse held kings, croakers and snapper blues. That’s at the confluence of the bay and ocean. Crabbing was fairly good.