Tue., June 28, 2016
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Delaware Bay Report

Report from Tuesday, June 28.

| Port Elizabeth | Money Island | Newport | Avalon | Wildwood | Cape May | Last Week's Report |
THIS REPORT IS UPDATED EVERY TUESDAY
Port Elizabeth
Drum-fishing reports no longer rolled in, since a few smaller caught were heard about two weekends ago, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. Anglers kept catching summer flounder from back bays, like before. Not much was heard about flounder fishing on Delaware Bay, and weather wasn’t the greatest for boaters to give effort. Strong wind often blew, including Thursday through Saturday, and two inches of rain fell late in the week. Weakfish bit along jetties for shore anglers, and boaters also found weakfish in the bay, when boaters had the weather to sail. Whether any boaters targeted the trout in the one-weakfish bag limit was unknown. But weaks were hooked while boaters flounder fished. Whether kingfish arrived that bite including in the surf in summer was unknown. Water was a little cool. Crabbing improved for recreational crabbers, even if crabbing dropped off somewhat for commercial crabbers. Pretty much all usual baits are stocked, including minnows and bloodworms. Fresh clams are still carried, and shedder crabs are on hand when available. Shedders arrived a few times a week, and if anglers want to order shedders ahead, that’s not a bad idea. Not a ton of the crabs are around. 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 few boats fished during the weekend from Money Island Marina, rounding up a few sizable summer flounder 22 or 24 inches, weakfish and even drum, Bruce said. The boaters fished for flounder at favorite holes to the south, and Bruce wasn’t going to spot-burn or give away locations. The weakfish seemed caught randomly while anglers flounder fished. The drum were five puppies that a trip docked along with a weakfish. Drum this time of year are resident fish that swim near structure like lighthouses throughout summer. They’re not the schools of the fish that migrate to the bay in spring to spawn and migrate away afterward. So, fishing was picking up. Take advantage of a free boat-ramp pass for first-time users to introduce them to the marina’s amenities and quality of service. The pass is only valid when signed by marina owner Tony Novak. Boaters should avoid using the ramp within 90 minutes of low tides. Enjoy the Marina Barbecue, Family Fun Day and Open House 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. 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, can offer angling for white perch, small stripers, 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. Bait stocked can include minnows, live grass shrimp and more, when in season and in demand. Minnows were stocked, and Bruce hadn’t seen the shrimp supplier in some days. Fresh bunker was no longer carried this season, because of demand.

Newport
A storm dumped 3 inches of rain locally Friday, through nearby places failed to get so much, said Paul from Beaver Dam Boat Rentals. That seemed to slow crabbing Saturday and part of Sunday. Crabbers on Saturday averaged two dozen keepers at most. But catches improved like a flip of a switch when the tide changed Sunday. Crabbers who had stayed grabbed two to three dozen keepers. So results were mixed during the weekend, and the rain seemed the reason. Someone who crabbed at nearby Maple Avenue reported similar results: slow crabbing Saturday but good Sunday. A variety of sizes were trapped at Beaver Dam. Most keepers were 4 ½ to 5 inches, but some were up to 6 ½. That’s good-sized, and no diehard anglers used the rental boats this weekend. But schoolie striped bass were seen chasing minnows. Large cownosed rays swam the water, even biting crab bait. Mostly bunker trapped crabs this weekend. Bunker and chicken caught equally the other day. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. Crabbing became available daily this week from the store for the season, after being available on weekends previously. That’s a typical schedule, and rental kayaks and canoes are also available to paddle the scenic creek. Book rentals ahead, because they can fill. Beaver Dam carries everything needed for crabbing, from bait, traps and nets to snacks, drinks and suntan lotion. Visit Beaver Dam’s website.

Avalon
The next fishing is supposed to sail Thursday or Friday with Fins and Feathers Outfitters, and the trip might fish Delaware Bay for summer flounder, Capt. Jim said. The trip might target waters toward Miah Maul and East Point and the stakes in the area. If the trip needs to fall back on weakfish, that might be an option. Spike weaks supposedly schooled toward the 1 buoy.

Wildwood
Fishing was good for kingfish, weakfish and summer flounder on the bay the last few days, Capt. Jim from Fins & Grins Sport Fishing wrote in a text. He was traveling and couldn’t say more, but catches like that are usually made off Cape May Point on the bay. That seemed where the fish probably bit.

Cape May
Weakfish, good-sized, schooled at the bay’s stakes, and shedder crabs hooked them, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Surf anglers reeled weaks from along jetties in Cape May. Blues and kingfish were plucked from the surf. Sharks were fought from the surf at night. More began to be heard about summer flounder boated from the bay than before. Details were scarce, but that seemed a start. Flounder fishing on back bays was slow, but flounder bagged were quality-sized there. Ocean flounder fishing seemed really to turn on at places like the Old Grounds, Reef 11 and Cape May Reef. Kingfish, spike weaks, some flounder and croakers swam Cape May Channel in Delaware Bay off Cape May Point. Shark fishing picked up in Delaware Bay, and those are usually prohibited species that are released. But they can be sizable. The sharks mentioned above from the surf are also usually prohibited and are let go.

Last Week's Report
Port Elizabeth

One customer limited out on summer flounder on the bay between the 1 buoy and the drop offs at Miah Maul, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. That was the only flounder report from the bay, but customers talked about catching flounder on back bays like crazy. Weakfish schooled Delaware Bay, and bit along surf jetties. Nothing was heard about drum fishing on the bay, though fresh clams, favorite bait for drum, became more available this weekend than before. Better weather allowed clam boats to sail, after a windy week previously. The past week’s wind diminished opportunities to sail for catches including flounder and drum on Delaware Bay. White perch were reeled from Maurice River. Crabbing improved, and customers who talked about crabbing during the weekend all said so. Crabbing seemed to keep improving lately. Baits stocked include plenty of minnows, and many minnows, favorite flounder bait, were sold. Shedder crabs were carried when available, and the supply was okay. Some arrived every week. 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

This was the time of year and the type of weather for summer flounder fishing to begin on the bay, Money Island Marina’s Facebook page said. Minnows, the different types of squid and bucktails were stocked for the angling. White perch swam abundant in Nantuxent Creek, running past the shop. 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, can offer angling for white perch, small stripers, 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. Bait stocked can include minnows, live grass shrimp and more, when in season and in demand. ***Heads up:*** a new promotion is being tested to introduce boaters to the convenience and level of service at the marina. The boat ramp will be free to first-time users who purchase bait, a minimum of $8 worth, from the marina. The ramp fee is usually $15 for boats up to 18 feet and $20 for larger, because the larger typically require assistance. Boaters should avoid using the ramp within 90 minutes of low tides.

Newport

Excellent crabbing was pounded during the weekend at Beaver Dam Boat Rentals, Paul said. Three to four dozen keepers per trip might’ve been average, and lots of small crabs, including many 3- to 4-1/2-inchers, skittered around. Four-and-a-half is the legal minimum size to keep the hardshells. Still, a few big were trapped, and many of those were 5 and 5 ½ inches, and some were 6. Paul had an idea that “something was up” when a good crabber landed 10 keepers in the first hour of crabbing this weekend. Crabs seemed to prefer bunker for bait, mostly. One trip that fished tugged in a half-dozen sizable white perch. Lots of small, schoolie striped bass swam the creek, almost a nuisance, if stripers can be a nuisance to anglers. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. The boats have been available on weekends so far this season, and will become available daily beginning this weekend. That’s a typical schedule each year. Rental kayaks and canoes are available to paddle the scenic creek, when the boats are available. Reserve rentals ahead, because they can book up. Beaver Dam stocks everything needed for crabbing, from bait, traps and nets to drinks, snacks and suntan lotion. Visit Beaver Dam’s website.

Fortescue

A photo was posted Sunday showing eight sizable summer flounder on the dock from a trip that day on the bay, on a local marina’s Facebook page. The two anglers on the trip reportedly limited out on the flatfish and released a few additional keepers. A few other keepers were also weighed at the marina that day. This showed that flounder swam the bay, the post said about the photo. The flounder fishing picked up a bit, a local party boat’s Facebook page said this weekend. That post included a few photos of the fish aboard then on the bay.

Cape May

Some anglers still drum fished on the bay, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter. A buddy’s trip landed six Saturday night, and headed back Sunday for the fish. George waited to hear results, when he gave this report. He stowed away the drum rods and tackle for the season. Tuna trips are booked to fish offshore canyons this weekend, and a trip might be slated to fish for them Wednesday, aboard. George had told anglers calling about tuna trips to jump aboard when the fish showed up, and yellowfin tuna, good catches, began to be trolled at the canyons that the Cape May fleet fishes.

Drum probably still swam the bay, and nothing was reported about them departing, Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle said Thursday in a phone call. Few tried for them. No summer flounder were heard about from Delaware Bay yet, he said at the time. But he guessed flounder were picked from the back bay. A few flounder were heard about from the ocean. Bluefish sometimes schooled Delaware Bay and Cape May Rips. A couple of striped bass, mostly throwbacks, a couple that were just keeper-sized, were still slid from the surf last week, mostly along jetties. Shore anglers also angled them from inlets then. A few kingfish were plucked from the surf, and two customers hung two sheepsheads along jetties. Bluefish 5 to 10 pounds occasionally piled through the surf last week. Some dusky sharks and brown sharks began to be fought in the surf. No sandtiger sharks were reported from the surf yet, and each of those species is prohibited and must be released.