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Delaware Bay Report

Report from Tuesday, November 24.

| Port Elizabeth | Money Island | Fortescue | Avalon | Cape May | Last Week's Report |
Port Elizabeth
A couple of striped bass were heard about that were boated from the bay off Reeds Beach, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait &Tackle. Those were the only stripers bagged from the bay she knew about in the past week, and she contacted marinas to check. More stripers seemed to be boated on the ocean off South Jersey in past days than before. They were clocked off the Sea Isle City and Avalon area. Much of the southern migration still seemed to school off North Jersey. Maybe the bass that reached the ocean off South Jersey will swim into the bay before long. East wind was predicted for a moment this week. Maybe that would push baitfish toward shore and be good for attracting stripers. Some better weather for boating was predicted for this week. Bait stocked includes fresh bunker, fresh, shucked clams, some fresh clams in the shell, bloodworms and green crabs. On Thanksgiving, the store will be open 5 to 9 a.m., maybe 10 a.m. at the latest. If anglers want to order bait, like for the weekend, they need to order by then. Bait boats expected to sail in the next day, but usually don’t sail on a holiday like Thanksgiving. 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.

Money Island
***Update, Wednesday, 11/25:*** The season’s first migrating striped bass, a 16.7-pounder and a 15.1-pounder, were checked in Saturday from Cape May Rips at Lewes Harbor Marina, Money Island Marina’s Facebook page said. That’s at the mouth of Delaware Bay, and a report and photos were shared on the page, saying the fish were trolled at Overfalls Shoal on Mojos. Like Money Island’s page to follow the news.

Erica Leigh Charters is supposed to fish for striped bass on the bay Friday, Capt. Tom said. Throwback and slot stripers were mostly landed from the bay when the boat last sailed for the bass. Anglers could bag a slot if they had a bonus tag.

Fins and Feathers Outfitters is supposed to fish for striped bass Friday to Sunday, Capt. Jim said. Some of the anglers wanted to fish the Cape May Rips, at the mouth of the bay, for them. But striper fishing seemed to pick up on the local ocean in past days. Fins is also towing the duck- and goose-hunting boats to New Jersey this weekend. Guided hunting for the waterfowl will begin on Delaware Bay aboard soon. Anglers can even enjoy a combo of striper fishing and duck hunting on the bay over a series of days. Fins offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including saltwater fishing from Delaware Bay to back bays and the ocean. The waterfowl hunting takes place on Delaware Bay and in surrounding states, following the migrations. Jim’s been hunting ducks and bears in Pennsylvania recently. The duck hunting’s been fantastic, and three limits were bagged in 60 minutes on opening day of Pennsylvania’s duck season, and the ducks were definitely migrators. Cold weather could be used to shove the migration south, because lots of ducks still flew in Pennsylvania. Fins also offers salmon and steelhead fishing on upstate New York’s Salmon River and snowmobiling from Jim’s nearby lodge. Fly-fishing for trout on Pennsylvania’s streams like the Yellow Breeches is also available.

Cape May
Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter had expected to begin his season’s striped bass fishing on Delaware Bay. That’s where the fish were found first in recent autumns, and they were found in the ocean afterward. But striper fishing turned on along the ocean this weekend, and trips aboard headed there. Those were the season’s first striper trips on the boat. The angling lit up, becoming good, off Ocean City on Friday. The Heavy Hitter began fishing for them on Saturday, but seas were nasty, and the fleet found slow striper fishing that day. But the trip on the Heavy Hitter got lucky and bagged one. Seas calmed on Sunday, and a trip that day aboard bagged eight stripers, and others got off. The fish were 35 to 42 inches, and twice as many got off, because multiple were hooked at once. So the fishing was good, and all the fish were trolled aboard off Ocean City on the ocean. The boat will still fish for stripers on Delaware Bay, if the migration moves there. Trips for blackfish and sea bass are also fishing the ocean on the Heavy Hitter.

A few striped bass, not many, were eeled from Cape May Rips and bunker-chunked from Delaware Bay, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. From the surf, a striper would be beached from the ocean, another at Cape May Point or a couple from Delaware Bay, but from no spot particularly. Ling bit in the surf. Blackfishing sounded good along jetties, and not much was reported about boating for the tautog. Nick would assume the tog could be boated from the reefs. Nobody mentioned sea bass fishing. Fresh clams in the shell, fresh, shucked clams, fresh bunker, eels, green crabs and white leggers were stocked.

Last Week's Report
Port Elizabeth

One trip landed 25 ling while fishing for striped bass on the bay, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. Ling hooked from the bay this time of year is usual, and not much was heard about striper fishing on the bay, and wind was relentless, preventing many trips, in the past week. Wind was mostly westerly, and that builds seas on the bay. Sunday morning was the best weather, and weather on Monday, when Sharon gave this report in a phone call, was also the best in some time. Maybe news would roll in from then about the bay’s striper fishing. But ling were caught from the bay, and keeper stripers 28 or 30 inches were reported bagged from Maurice River. White perch were winged from the river, so some catches were around. Striper catches, some here and there, were heard about from South Jersey’s ocean, surf and inlets at times. Most of the striper migration seemed to hold north still. The bait supplier from Mantoloking said stripers, good catches, were boated on the ocean as far south as a little south of Long Beach Island. Delaware Bay’s anglers waited for the migration to arrive locally. Fresh bunker, favorite bait for the bay’s stripers in fall, was stocked regularly. The baitfish might’ve been stocked less than usual in the past week, because weather kept bunker boats from sailing. But when bunker boats can’t sail, recreational fishing boats can’t either. Baits stocked also include green crabs for blackfishing, and six blackfish became the bag limit starting Monday, from the previous limit of one. 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.

Money Island

A couple of boats sailed for striped bass on the bay, but no catches were heard about, and weather prevented sailing most of the past week, said Bruce from Money Island Marina. Weather included a storm last Tuesday, and strong wind blew most of the rest of the past week. The shop is stocking fresh bunker, the favorite striper bait in the bay in fall, when in demand and available. But weather even kept the bunker boats from sailing most of the last week. Most of the striper migration was yet to reach South Jersey, and the run didn’t seem to enter Delaware Bay yet. The shop in previous reports here mentioned resident stripers, younger fish, yet to migrate, living locally year-round, boated from the bay at times in past weeks. Two anglers fished from the dock yesterday, tugging in a few white perch from Nantuxent Creek that runs past the store. The marina features a boat ramp, boat slips, dry-dock boat storage, a fishing dock, gas, bait and a few items of tackle. Some slips are available for striper season, the shop’s Facebook page said. A 12-foot aluminum boat with a 6 h.p. outboard is available to rent to fish the creek. The rate is $40 for 3 hours and $80 for a full day.


A trip fished for striped bass on the bay Sunday with Erica Leigh Charters, Capt. Tom said. One bonus-tag striper and some throwbacks were landed. The trip fished with chunks of bunker, mostly during incoming tide, but a good part of outgoing. Fish were marked, and the water was 54.7 degrees. About 20 boats could be seen fishing at any given time. A party boat trip heard about reeled in one keeper striper and a few throwbacks.

Cape May

A few striped bass were bunker-chunked on Delaware Bay and trolled on the ocean, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter. He talked with anglers from a couple of trips who searched for stripers on the ocean as far north as Corson’s Inlet, but caught none. A friend chunked for the bass on the bay Sunday, but got “all sharked up.” Sharks swam abundant. The season was probably early for striper fishing locally. The migration arrived earlier years ago, but later in recent years. A charter Sunday on the Heavy Hitter was originally scheduled to fish for stripers, but the trip fished for sea bass instead, loading up on the fish, a good catch, 30 miles from shore. Sea bassing’s been good aboard, and plenty of the fish held in the area. Seas were rough on the trip back to port. The ocean was 59 degrees near the beach and 62-1/2 to 63 on the sea bass grounds. The sea bass were warm to the touch. Six became the blackfish bag limit beginning Monday, from the previous limit of one. Trips will blackfish on the Heavy Hitter, and the angling became good around Thanksgiving last year aboard.

A 34-pound 48-1/2-inch striped bass was weighed from the surf at Hands Too Bait & Tackle, Joe said. Throwback stripers were sometimes played in the surf, and the migration of big stripers was just beginning to trickle south to the local area. Boaters picked a few of the fish from the ocean, though little was heard from boaters in the weather in past days. One angler reported bailing lots of smaller stripers while fishing from the Cold Spring Inlet jetty with big, hairy Andrus Jetty Caster Bucktails with pork rinds. “Old school,” Joe said. Lots of throwback stripers were tugged from along bridges on jigs like Storm Shads or lures like that. Not much was heard about Delaware Bay in past days, but again, weather kept trips from sailing. Previously, the bay’s striper fishing was a slow pick, catching one here or there. Blackfish hugged jetties and bridges. Blackfishing would take off now, because the bag limit was increased to six beginning Monday, from the previous limit of one. Sea bass fishing was good farther from shore.