Some summer flounder were caught, mostly in back bays, but some from Delaware Bay that were heard about, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. A customer boated a few from Delaware Bay on Wednesday. Some boaters were known about who fished the bay at the 19 buoy for flounder. Weather was still an issue for fishing the bay, like previously. Weather was sometimes rough, or forecasts sometimes called for rough weather, on the bay this weekend. Many other days were windy or threatened storms. That limited trips on the bay to an extent. A heat spell arrived now, but that was typical. Croakers showed up and were landed on the bay. Exact locations weren’t reported, but croakers schooled Maurice River near the bay. If the hardheads swam there, they likely schooled the bay. A 47-pound striped bass was hauled from the surf at Cape May Point about two weekends ago. Weakfish bit along the surf’s jetties, along the bay in Cape May, and surely weaks schooled the bay. Nobody targets weaks, really, anymore, because of the one-weakfish bag limit. If weaks are hooked, that’s usually during flounder fishing. The weaks along the jetties bit bloodworms or shedder crabs on floats or bobbers. Shark fishing seemed good for ocean boaters. A friend gave thresher shark steaks to Sharon. Crabbing improved somewhat. A customer said that included at Maple Avenue. Crabbing seemed to improve for commercial crabbers somewhat, too. Shedder crabs were no problem to stock for bait. Minnows, a favorite flounder bait, have been stocked all along, haven’t run out. Pretty much all baits are on hand. 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.
Crabbing was slow, but freshwater from rain in the creek seemed to begin dissipating by the end of the weekend, and most boats nabbed two dozen keepers, said Paul from Beaver Dam Boat Rentals. Crabbing wasn’t slamming yet, but improved. Freshwater had been slowing catches, because the blueclaws stay in saltwater. Catches varied widely between a dozen and three dozen keepers, among throwbacks released, during the weekend. Crabs were growing larger, and the most experienced boat on Saturday caught two dozen keepers 5 ½ inches or bigger. Catches were best during afternoons throughout the weekend, for unknown reasons. Tides were low at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Paul thought crabbing would be best for customers who departed early in the mornings, crabbing during incoming tides that drew in saltwater. But customers who finished crabbing before the afternoon didn’t catch much, and those who stayed, said the catches took off in the final couple of hours. Croakers appeared in the creek for the first time this season. A few small showed up, and those were the first fish seen in the water this year. Fish had also seemed affected by the freshwater. Customers crab and fish on 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 police versus firefighters crab-off will be held this year, like last year. The contest was held about a week last year, and the winning side earns a discount on crabbing for all police or firefighters, whichever side wins, the rest of the month. Rental kayaks and canoes are available to paddle the scenic creek. Beaver Dam hosts groups like scouts and family reunions, and can provide an educational day about the environment. The rental boats, kayaks and canoes have been available on weekends until now, but will become available daily starting this weekend for the season. The shop is open daily for supplies, even when the rentals are only available on weekends. Visit Beaver Dam’s website.
A 400-pound sand tiger shark was released on the bay Monday with Fins & Grins Sport Fishing, Capt. Jim said. A trip in previous days aboard also fought the sharks, and the angling is great. Sand tigers are required to be released, but anglers enjoy fighting them, and Fins & Grins is tagging the fish for NOAA. Fins & Grins is also fishing for the sharks while waiting for other angling to pick up, like summer flounder fishing. The sharking is half the price of sharking farther from shore, on the ocean, another reason anglers like the trips. But Fins is also sharking on the ocean. One of those trips was great on Saturday aboard, landing five mako sharks, two dusky sharks and the biggest blue shark Jim ever saw. A few sizable flounder began to bite at the Old Grounds on the ocean, for anglers who could fish the deep water and pay attention. Fishing is available every day with Fins & Grins, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability. The trips that fish the bay sail from the boat’s slip in Wildwood, like all trips do aboard.
Croakers and weakfish hovered along the surf’s jetties, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. That could include along Delaware Bay in town, and clams, shrimp or squid could be fished for the croakers. For the weaks, bloodworms on a float or soft-plastic lures could be cast. A few brown sharks and sand tiger sharks, both required to be released, bit in the surf. Sometimes they hit mostly at night during the season, but an angler reported tying into the sharks in the middle of the day. No striped bass swam the surf anymore this season, really. Small stripers were played on the back bay at night, like along bridges. Little was heard about summer flounder fishing on Delaware Bay. One angler fished near Brandywine Lighthouse on the bay, more than a week ago, with a half-dozen clams. He boated a puppy drum 5 to 15 pounds on each clam. Most drum seemed to depart the bay for the year, but a few remain all summer, at places like the lighthouses. The back bay gave up flounder, pretty good catches. A few of the flatfish began to bite in the ocean at Cape May Reef, Reef 11 and the Old Grounds.