One of the party boats that buys bait from the shop reportedly totaled 14 or 15 drum from the bay Friday and four Saturday, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. Drum might’ve been boated from the Delaware side of the bay this season, but were hooked from the New Jersey side recently. Weather was difficult for boating beginning in the storm Saturday. Wind blew terribly Sunday and strongly Monday, and also blew more often than not in the recent past. Sometimes lots of dogfish were a nuisance during drum fishing. Good catches of striped bass were made from Fortescue’s surf this past week. If shore anglers caught them, boaters could probably catch the bass in the area. Stripers were reported boated from the bay in the Cape May area tight to shore. The netter found a few weakfish, not large, in the catch lately from the bay. On Maurice River, good white perch fishing was nabbed, and stripers were picked. Commercial crabbing somewhat dropped off recently, apparently because of cooler weather. But Sharon sees crabbing boats from the bay daily, and they caught the blueclaws, and the crabbing was better currently than this time last year. Fresh clams, favorite bait for drum, were stocked, but were difficult to obtain in the weather that kept clam boats from running. Clams were provided in the order that anglers requested the bait. Order them ahead. Fresh bunker were usually on hand, when the supplier could sail for them. 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.
Wind kept boaters from fishing the bay throughout the weekend from
Money Island Marina, Bruce said. One angler attempted to fish from the dock and quit in 5 minutes because of the weather. Docks were rocking and rolling. Customers dropped off boats for the fishing season this weekend, but didn’t even launch them in the slips, because of the weather. Striped bass could surely be found on the bay from the marina. Previously, customers bunker-chunked them near Salem nuclear plant. An angler shared a photo of one of those last week on the shop’s Facebook page. Drum fishing is usually far from the marina, on the southern bay, so boaters from the docks don’t typically sail for them, and reports about drum are uncommon locally. The marina features a bait and tackle shop, a boat ramp, boat slips, dry-dock boat storage, fishing docks and gas. The fishing docks, $5 per adult and free for kids, are located on Nantuxent Creek, running passed the marina. Angling can be good from the docks, including for white perch, small striped bass, and croakers, at different times of year. A 12-foot aluminum boat with a 2.5 h.p. outboard is available to rent to fish the creek. Additional fishing docks and rental boats are expected to be launched this year. Bait stocked can include fresh bunker, live grass shrimp and minnows when in demand.
Crabbing will become available Saturday and Sunday for the crabbing season at Beaver Dam Boat Rentals, Paul said. It’ll be available on weekends beginning then and daily beginning in late June. Someone crabbed around the corner, landing four keepers and lots of 2-inch throwbacks. The throwbacks could bode well for July, when the 2-inchers grow to keeper-sized. The moon will be full this weekend, and sometimes crabs shed on full and new moons. Sometimes crabs begin to shed only after weather and water become warmer. Weather was 39 degrees yesterday morning. A commercial crabber docked 10 bushels of females and two dozen No. 1 males or Jimmies from the bay. A “she run” seemed on. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running passed the shop. Everything needed for crabbing is stocked, from bait, traps and nets to snacks, drinks and suntan lotion. Though crabbing from the rental boats will only be available on weekends for now, the store is open daily for supplies. When the rental boats are available, so are rental kayaks and canoes to paddle the scenic creek. Visit Beaver Dam’s website.
Trips for drum are slated to sail soon with Erica Leigh Charters, Capt. Tom said. On one boat, 18 were landed and 10 were lost Friday. On Saturday, many boats were skunked that fished for the boomers. The difference was amazing. Striped bass were sometimes beached from Fortescue’s surf. One woman banked two good-sized the other night.
Boaters reported dynamite, lights out, fishing for drum Thursday and Friday on the bay, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter. That was on the New Jersey side of the bay, and the fishing became slow Saturday. A trip that day aboard caught none. A few were landed among the fleet that day, and anglers hope the fishing lights back up. Just seemed a slow day. George heard the fish drumming a few times and marked drum on Saturday’s trip. Weather began pleasant, then stormy weather began rolling through, then weather calmed again, that day. George canceled a trip Sunday for the drum, because of forecasts for wind. The day ended up windy. Anglers are reporting boating a few striped bass in the bay’s shallows, close to shore, off places like the Villas and Bidwell Creek, on bunker chunks. Sometimes as many as seven or eight stripers were reported from a trip, and that angling seemed slow Saturday, too. A few of the bass were reeled in. George looks forward to sea bass fishing on the ocean, once sea bass season is opened beginning next Monday. Telephone if interested in any of this fishing. Summer flounder season will be opened beginning Saturday, but Heavy Hitter’s flounder trips usually sail later in the year, because they usually target ocean reefs. The ocean warms enough for flounder to bite there later in the year. Flounder will probably be caught in back bays – warmer, shallower water – when the season opens.
Five drum were decked from the bay two Saturdays ago on the party boat Porgy IV, Capt. Paul said. That was the year’s first trip for them aboard, and seven drum were totaled two days later on the boat, on Monday of last week. The next trip sailed on Wednesday, and four were caught, and two broke off, so far at 6 o’clock that evening, when he gave this report on the outing in a phone call. Another was hooked and was being fought when he spoke. Drum had begun to bite, and the trips fished on the Delaware side of the bay. Wednesday night’s trip fished 2 to 3 miles off Delaware, when he gave this report. No drum really bit on the New Jersey side then that Paul knew about. But that will change any time, and the boat will fish the Jersey side then, he said. That did change, and the fish began biting on the Jersey side in the next days, according to other reports on this page. Most of the drum caught were smaller or 25 to 35 pounds, until that time, at least, but a couple of better-sized were landed on Wednesday’s trip so far. The Porgy IV is fishing for drum 2 to 10 p.m. on every day when enough anglers sign up and weather is fit. Telephone for availability.
Fishing was pretty good, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Striped bass, big, including 40-inchers, were picked from Cape May’s surf last week. They all seemed quality fish, hooked on fresh bunker. They were mostly weighed from Delaware Bay in town, but also came from the ocean surf in Cape May. A few drum were clammed from the surf. Bluefishing seemed to slow locally, and mostly produced farther north. But blues probably still popped up in the ocean, and at Cape May Rips, like chasing bunker. Boaters on Delaware Bay began to fight drum to 35 or 40 pounds last week. That was on the New Jersey side, and a few boaters headed to the Delaware side, off Slaughter Beach, to catch. On the Jersey side, the drum came from places like close to shore off Coxhall Creek. Boaters bunker-chunked a few large striped bass in the bay tight to shore, like in 4- or 5-foot depths, in areas like off the Villas. A few customers worked the back bay for smaller stripers. A few pre-fished for out-of-season summer flounder on the back bay, releasing the fluke, trying to figure where they swam for the season opening beginning Saturday. The population of the flatfish seemed to be picking up there.