Tue., Sept. 16, 2014
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Delaware Bay Report

Report from Tuesday, September 16.

| Port Elizabeth | Newport | Fortescue | Last Week's Report |
THIS REPORT IS UPDATED CONTINUALLY TODAY
UNTIL ALL REPORTS ARE POSTED

THE REPORT IS UPDATED EVERY TUESDAY
Port Elizabeth
The weather and other reasons kept business the slowest since probably spring, said Sharon from Girls Place Bait & Tackle. Anglers bought minnows on Monday to start fishing for summer flounder again, after few sailed for the fish, probably because of weather. But this time of year always slows business, including because of weather, kids going back to school, hunting season starting, and football season. Still, anglers will probably boat for flounder when possible between weather, because flounder season will be closed starting September 28. Lots more customers anticipated striped bass fishing than before. When stripers begin to bite this fall, customers who boat for them will mostly dunk chunks of fresh bunker for bait. But some will fish clams, and some will liveline eels. Eels will start to be stocked this weekend, and surf anglers will also swim eels for stripers. Boaters locally usually fish baits like these for stripers, though boaters farther north, like at Long Beach Island, often troll for the bass. Customers still crabbed, and crabs were around. Baits stocked include fresh bunker that arrives two or three times a week at least. A few shedder crabs are on hand, and the supply of them might be about finished for the season. That’s usual, and the shop takes shedders when suppliers offer them. Anglers can telephone about the supply, and frozen shedders are also stocked. 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.

Newport
Crabs were paired up for mating, and were shedding, this weekend, because of the full moon, said Linda from Beaver Dam Boat Rentals. Crabbing was slow, and that was no surprise. Crabs won’t eat while mating or shedding, making them difficult to trap, and the effects often last several days. Tides were also high because of the moon and rough weather, and the blueclaws are sensitive to tides. When tides never really become low, crabs don’t move around as much as usual, cutting down on catches. Full and new moons can trigger crabs to mate and shed, but not all the moons do, and not all crabs shed at once. Crabs will stop shedding for the season when the water dips to 60 degrees. The water currently was probably in the 70s, so some time remains before shedding ends. Fishing was great, and sizeable, beautiful white perch were reeled in. So were croakers, spots and striped bass. Stripers are usually throwbacks in the creek, but fun to catch and release. One angler landed eight summer flounder to 16 inches in the creek, and that was unusual. Flounder don’t usually gather there. Because fishing’s been so good, the shop will now offer a special on fishing every Sunday. A dozen bloodworms and a pint of minnows will be gratis with the rental of any size boat. If anglers know the prices of those baits, that’s a great deal. Boaters for the special will be towed to different water that’s faster and deeper than crabbers are usually towed to, if anglers want. That’s better for fishing. 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 shop to be picked up. A 7-inch crab, caught on the store’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 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 shop is open daily for crabbing and fishing supplies. Beaver Dam carries everything needed for a day of crabbing, from bait, traps and nets to snacks and drinks. Fishing baits stocked include minnows the store raises. That makes the baitfish larger than at most shops. Rental kayaks and canoes are available to paddle the scenic creek, and this can be 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.

Fortescue
Fishing slowed, but gave up a few catches, said Capt. Mike from the party boat Bonanza II. Sometimes the boat was drifted for summer flounder, and sometimes the vessel was anchored at structure like lighthouses and rocks for other fish. A few bigger flounder to 26 inches were smashed, and fishing wasn’t like no flounder remained in the bay. On Saturday’s trip, spadefish, weakfish, a couple of flounder and a few blues came in. When trips could find croakers, some of them were large. Sometimes not much of anything bit. Fishing was hot and cold. Some dates remain for striped bass charters in autumn. The Bonanza is currently fishing on open-boat trips daily. Fridays to Mondays are more popular days this time of year, and sometimes too few people show up to sail in the middle of the week. Calling ahead to confirm can be best, and sometimes Mike will try to corral people together on the most popular days.

The party boat Salt Talk was docked, Capt. Howard said, because of weather and commitments that he had. Summer flounder fishing seemed to slow, but the boat will keep fishing. Flounder might’ve still been caught at times. Weakfish, croakers and blues seemed to bite. Boaters could chum small blues at the wreck buoy. Fewer anglers showed up at the docks than before, but that was typical for the time of year. Open-boat trips are slated daily, when no charter is booked, but are unlikely to run every day, because of demand. Anglers can telephone to confirm, and weekends are likely to draw the most interest. Still, Howard was going to try to sail on Wednesday this week. In autumn, open trips and charters will fish for striped bass, when stripers biting.

Last Week's Report
Newport

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.

Cape May

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.