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Delaware Bay Report

Report from Tuesday, May 22.

| Port Elizabeth | Newport | Fortescue | Cape May | Last Week's Report |
THIS REPORT IS UPDATED EVERY TUESDAY
Port Elizabeth
Black drum were boated well on the bay, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. A Fortescue party boat that buys bait at the shop reported landing 12 of the drum on Thursday night. Sharon didn’t know how the boat fared during the weekend. A customer on Friday reported beaching two striped bass 41 and 45 inches from Cape May’s surf, one during daytime, the other at night. The angler was headed to Brigantine, saying he heard stripers, bluefish and weakfish were banked there. Fish were around, including drum, bigger stripers than before and some weakfish. People crabbed but water was cold. Catches of the blueclaws seemed yet to pick up. All usual baits are stocked. Fresh clams are scarce and difficult to obtain these days. The supplier harvested none during the weekend in rough weather. Sharon hoped the supplier harvested the clams yesterday in good weather. 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
Crabbing was weathered out last weekend at Beaver Dam Boat Rentals, Paul said. That weekend, the one before Memorial Day weekend, is usually when crabbing becomes available from the rental boats. The boats will become available this coming weekend from Saturday through Monday, Memorial Day. Afterward, they’ll be available on Saturdays and Sundays, until becoming available daily in late June, when schools let out for summer. That’s the usual schedule each year. Paul saw crab shells at the boat ramp, so crabs went through a shed. They shed to grow, often around full and new moons, once water becomes warm enough. The new moon was last Tuesday. He saw minnows in the creek yesterday morning for the first time this year. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. Rental kayaks and canoes are available to paddle the scenic creek. Call ahead to reserve all of these vessels, including because they become booked up when the season gets going. The shop stocks everything needed for crabbing, from bait, traps and nets to drinks, snacks and suntan lotion. Beaver Dam can host events like birthday parties and family reunions, and groups like scouts, including for an educational day on the water. Visit Beaver Dam’s website.

Fortescue
Capt. Howard sailed the Salt Talk on Sunday on the year’s first fishing aboard, on a trip for black drum on the bay, he said. The trip fished 1 or 1 ¼ miles off the Villas, and lots of boats fished there. The angling seemed slow at the time, and Howard saw only three drum landed on other vessels. The water was a little dirty and held grass and debris from rough weather recently. Seas were a little rough in the morning and calmed later in the day. Summer flounder season will open Friday, and this might be too early in the year for a substantial number of flounder to swim the bay. One of Fortescue’s party boats took a drift to see if flounder would bite, and none did. Horseshoe crabs might’ve become a nuisance for Fortescue’s surf anglers fishing for striped bass. The striper fishing had been good and might’ve become slower. A friend who was boating sizable stripers on the northern bay, sailing from Cohansey River, said that angling was slowing down, so the friend returned his boat to Fortescue. The Fortescue surf casters had been reeling in bluefish at times, and Howard knew a trapper who found blues in the traps. The Salt Talk used to be a Fortescue party boat. Howard sold that vessel, and the current Salt Talk is a charter boat for up to four passengers.

Cape May
The evening’s first black drum was just cranked from Delaware Bay on Sunday on the Heavy Hitter when Capt. George gave this report in a phone call on the outing, he said. That was on George Parker’s charter, and Bill Brennan’s charter on Saturday also pulled in drum on the bay aboard. More drum trips are slated for Wednesday and Thursday on board. The boat is also fishing for sea bass on the ocean. That angling was good on a trip Tuesday aboard, covered in a previous report here. The trip limited out, and the fish were surprisingly good-sized.

Eight black drum to 80 pounds were on the rope so far on Delaware Bay aboard, when Capt. Tom from Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing gave this report last evening in a phone call on the trip, he said. Eight were totaled on the previous day’s trip, and the boat fished for the drum every day, even in rough weather in past days. Remembering how many were caught on each trip was difficult, but a couple of the trips subdued 14 or 15 apiece. The year’s first sea bass trip on the ocean was supposed to fish today. Open-boat trips for tilefish are fishing offshore on short notice during windows of weather when no charter is booked. Charters have been booked every day recently. Charters and open trips sail for all of this fishing.

Striped bass were weighed from the surf daily last week at Hands Too Bait & Tackle, Nick said. They included big, up to 31 pounds, and see photos on Hands’ Facebook page. They were dragged from Delaware Bay, but the ocean surf began to give some up. Fresh bunker was best bait, but fresh clams began to catch on the ocean side, too. Cape May is at the confluence of the bay and ocean. A few bluefish began to be reported from the bay’s surf, and from the back bay. A few weakfish nipped along jetties on bloodworms and on soft-plastic lures on bucktails. Boating for black drum became good on Delaware Bay at usual places they were caught in recent years on the New Jersey side. The fish to 70 pounds were heard about.

Last Week's Report
Port Elizabeth

Good black drum fishing was reported from Delaware Bay near Cape May close to shore one night during the weekend, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. Eleven of the fish were landed on a Fortescue party boat, and two were lost, during the angling. Similar catches were made on other boats in the area that night. Not much was heard about striped bass, except about stripers banked from shore at Fortescue. Nothing was heard about weakfish, but weaks should be showing up. Catches of them like along the bay’s jetties are usually reported this time of year. People were beginning to crab, and no big catches of crabs seemed to be made yet. Commercial crabbers began to crab, too. Crabbing should pick up as weather warms. Pretty much all usual baits are stocked. Those include bloodworms and minnows. Fresh bunker are stocked almost daily. Fresh clams were carried pretty regularly, even if Sharon had to drive to get 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.

Newport

Crabbing will become available this weekend from the rental boats at Beaver Dam Boat Rentals for the crabbing season, Paul said. Then the boats will be available every Saturday and Sunday, and also on Memorial Day, until becoming available daily in late June, when schools let out. But telephone ahead about this weekend, because rough weather could postpone the start. Whether crabs skittered around yet this season was unknown, because no customers crabbed yet. A kayaker played throwback, schoolie striped bass on the creek. Customers crab and fish from rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. In other news, Paul heard about big stripers eased from Fortescue’s surf, and about black drum cranked from the bay on boats. Beaver Dam sells everything needed for crabbing, from bait, traps and nets to snacks, drinks and suntan lotion. Once the boat rentals begin for the year, rental kayaks and canoes also become available to paddle the scenic creek. Beaver Dam can host events like family reunions and birthdays. It can host groups like scouts, including for an educational day on the water. Visit Beaver Dam’s website.

Fortescue

Capt. Howard from the Salt Talk heard that 11 black drum were bagged Friday on a Fortescue party boat, he said. He didn’t know how the boat fared afterward on the weekend, but if drum began to bite like that, Howard might fish for them this coming week. Striped bass were angled from shore at Fortescue. He didn’t know if the fishing was as good as previously this season, and wondered whether horseshoe crabs affected the catches. Horseshoe crabs began to come in, and fishing lines can become tangled in them. White perch were plucked from shore at Fortescue last week. A neighbor reeled in a bunch early that week, and they were big.

Cape May

Black drum, good catches, were hauled from Delaware Bay on Friday and Saturday, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter. Sunday’s weather was rough in howling wind that began to calm as George left Cape May in the afternoon. Charters are about to fish for the drum aboard.

Twelve black drum to 70 pounds were already heaved from Delaware Bay aboard Sunday at 7:30 p.m. when Capt. Tom from Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing gave this report in a phone call on the trip, he said. Four drum to 85 pounds were totaled on a trip Saturday on the boat. He wasn’t going to say where he was fishing, but said drum bit on both the New Jersey and Delaware sides of the bay.