Crabbing this weekend was a little better than on the previous weekend, not great, said Linda at Beaver Dam Boat Rentals. On the previous weekend, crabs were mating, after the new moon the prior Monday. This weekend was between moons, usually a better time for crabbing. New and full moons can trigger crabs to shed and mate, and they won’t eat while doing that. That can slow crabbing, but not all the moons trigger that, and not all crabs shed at once. Crab sizes this weekend were fine, Linda said. The water level and temperature seemed normal, though yesterday’s high tide was especially high, apparently because of the coming full moon. Weather was hot during crabbing Friday and Saturday. This season has been tougher for crabbing than some summers, apparently because of the cold winter. Severe cold can kill crabs. Today is the full moon, so that’s not necessarily good for crabbing. But the effects of mating and shedding often only last several days, so maybe any mating or shedding will be finished by this weekend. Customers who fished hooked croakers, spots, white perch and throwback striped bass. The angling’s been good this year, and Beaver Dam will hold a fishing special for a discount soon that will be announced. Keep an eye on reports for that. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. The staff checks on them every hour, and if customers want a break in the meantime, they simply cell phone the store to be picked up. A 7-inch crab, caught on the shop’s first day of crabbing this year, is the crab to beat in the season-long contest for the largest. The rental-boater with the biggest will win a free rental next year. The boats are currently available Fridays through Sundays through Columbus Day, and crabbers should call ahead to reserve the vessels, because the boats can become full. After Columbus Day, the boats will be unavailable, until they become available again next year. The boats are available daily in summer until Labor Day. The shop is still open daily for crabbing and fishing supplies. The 4H held a camp at Beaver Dam last week, and that was a success. The public was welcome to participate, and Linda hopes to make the event even bigger next year. Beaver Dam hosts groups like scouts, birthday parties and family reunions, and can provide an educational day about the environment. Rental kayaks and canoes are available to paddle the scenic creek, and this is a beautiful time of year for that, crabbing and fishing. Check out Beaver Dam’s online store for gifts, or purchase a gift certificate, including for the holidays. A 15% discount is available for either, when customers request.
Signs started to suggest summer flounder might’ve started showing up in the southern bay within range of the party boat Porgy IV, Capt. Paul said. The boat’s been fishing for flounder on the ocean, but talk was heard on the radio about good catches from boats from Bidwell Creek. A local boat that had been fishing the ocean for flounder was also seen coming from the bay. Reports about flounder from the bay mostly came from farther north toward Fortescue previously. If the flounder population is large enough on the southern bay within range, the Porgy IV will fish there. Otherwise, the boat will continue working the ocean for flounder. The angling on the ocean had good days and bad, depending on conditions. A bunch of good-sized flounder were pitched aboard on a couple of days. On one day last week, wind blew against tide, and most of the trip’s flounder were hooked on the first drift. Then the conditions tangled lines, and skates bit, and things were a disaster. But flounder were around in the ocean, even in a few different places, biting well when conditions were good. The Porgy IV will probably flounder fish through flounder season and even afterward. That’s because the boat has a Research Set Aside Permit that allows the vessel to flounder fish after the season is closed on September 28. The Porgy IV is fishing for summer flounder at 8 a.m. daily.
The bay’s summer flounder fishing slowed some, compared with earlier in summer, but was still good, at usual spots like Bug Light, the Punk Grounds and near Fortescue, said Dell from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Ocean flounder fishing was good, and Cape May Reef fished best for them there. Surf fishing was mostly dead. Lots of short fluke and sometimes sharks were dragged in. Blackfish were hooked along Cape May Inlet’s jetties, but few fished for them in the one-blackfish bag limit. Croaker fishing seemed to slow a little in the back bay, but gave up some.