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Delaware Bay Report

Report from Tuesday, October 28.

| Port Elizabeth | Fortescue | Cape May | Last Week's Report |
THIS REPORT IS UPDATED EVERY TUESDAY
Port Elizabeth
A few more customers than before picked up supplies to boat for striped bass on the bay Saturday, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. But no results were heard, and severe wind probably kept boaters from sailing on Sunday. Weather was now forecast to be calmer the next couple of days. Saturday was the first day boaters could sail for the fishing recently, because of weather. Even if stripers arrived in the bay, that gave no chance to hear about them. The striper migration apparently arrived farther north in the state. Sharon heard about the catches from the ocean when she picked up bait in Mantoloking on Friday, just after last week’s storm. The striper migration could swim south quickly. The run was late locally, but was also last year. The fish seemed to be coming, and anglers waited. Fuel prices $1 less than usual will be welcome to boaters. Anglers banked bluefish, not big, from shore at East Point during the weekend, returning to the store for more bait, after running out. The blues seemed unusual to see there this time of year. Sometimes bigger blues hit the bay around the same time stripers do in fall. White perch fishing was especially good at ditches like Dividing Creek the last couple of weeks. Small, resident stripers, sometimes a keeper, are sometimes hooked among the perch. The stripers are younger fish, yet to migrate. Bloodworms are stocked for bait for the perch. Plenty of bait was carried starting Friday, after the storm, and sold quickly. The bait stocked included fresh bunker. Fresh, shucked clams are usually on hand, and bushels of clams in the shell are stocked when demand for them grows. But anglers currently can order a bushel ahead of time. Baits stocked also include eels, green crabs and minnows. One customer reported crabbing on a trip that totaled 70 keepers last week along the Intracoastal Waterway near Avalon. That was surprising, and otherwise, crabbing seemed to slow considerably for the season. 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.

Fortescue
The season’s first open-boat trips for striped bass are slated for Saturday and Sunday on the party boat Salt Talk, Capt. Howard said. He knew about no major catches, he said, from the bay, and didn’t talk with many people from the dock last week. Weather was rough. His nephew said migrating stripers were boated from the ocean toward Mantoloking, farther north. The trips on the Salt Talk will probably fish with fresh bunker. The local bunker netter said the baitfish remained in the bay. Howard’s nephew said the lower bay was about 59 degrees. Besides the open trips, charters are available for stripers this season aboard.

Cape May
On the Heavy Hitter, the season’s first striped bass charter is slated for Saturday, Capt. George said. Striper trips aboard usually fish Delaware Bay with bunker chunks at first. But they could fish the Cape May Rips, if the bass show up there. Bucktails or livelined eels or spots are fished at the rips. Sometimes stripers school the ocean in fall, and the trips fish there, if so. But the bay fishing’s been best in recent years.

For Fins and Feathers Outfitters, the season’s first striped bass fishing is on the books for November 10, Capt. Jim said. That will be a Cast and Blast Trip, a combo of striper fishing and duck hunting over a series of days, on the bay. Fins fishes for stripers from the bay to the Cape May Rips to the ocean in fall, depending on where the catches are best. Anglers will also just striper fish, not also duck hunt, aboard this season, of course. But the combo trips are an option. Fins offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including saltwater fishing, duck and goose hunting on Delaware Bay and in surrounding states, salmon and steelhead fishing on upstate New York’s Salmon River from Jim’s lodge, and fly-fishing for trout on Pennsylvania’s streams like the Yellow Breeches.

Last Week's Report
Port Elizabeth

A little more business than before showed up Saturday at The Girls Place Bait & Tackle, Sharon said. Anglers bought fresh bunker, including bushels, and Sharon guessed a few tried for striped bass on the bay with the bait. But nobody reported about the angling, and wind blew 30 knots on Sunday, making business slow. Weather was breezy on Monday, and boaters have had difficulty getting the weather to sail. Most customers were surf anglers, who can fish in rough weather. But this is the time of year when boaters begin trying for stripers on the bay, and rough weather isn’t unusual in fall. Anglers are hoping stripers begin to bite in the bay. The nor’easter forecast for this week could help striper fishing, dropping water temperatures. This week’s cold air could, too. News is rolling around that stripers are being seen more frequently than before throughout the state. The bunker netter saw schools of stripers. The Atlantic City Press reported a 46-1/2-pound striper beached from the surf at Margate. A couple of customers saw sea lice on stripers in back bays. That meant the fish migrated from the ocean. The stripers that anglers are expecting in the bay are stripers migrating from the ocean from the north for the season. White perch fishing was great on Maurice River the past couple of weeks. Lots of bloodworms were sold for bait for them. Customers also bought fresh clams for striper bait. Fresh bunker is the most popular striper bait in the bay in fall. But some anglers fish the clams and other baits. Customers bought supplies for crabbing, but not many crabs seemed to be trapped. Crabbing usually slows during this time of year, and many commercial crabbers stopped crabbing for the season. 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.

Fortescue

Capt. Howard from the party boat Salt Talk is just waiting to fish for striped bass on the bay, he said. Sometimes big bluefish arrive in the bay first, but not every year. But if they do, the boat could sail for them. One of the other party boats caught a few blackfish at the lighthouses, Howard thought. Anglers on Fortescue creek reeled in a few stripers, including several keepers 29 or 30 inches. They were resident fish or young stripers yet to migrate.