Wind and rain kept news scarce, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. But until Thursday, kingfish, croakers and weakfish were boated from the bay. Few fished since, because of weather. Weather’s been rough in past weeks, but that’s typical during the changing seasons. A cold front now blew in, and maybe that will be good for striped bass fishing. Anglers used to begin trying for the bass on the bay on Columbus Day weekend, this past weekend. But the fish arrived later and later in recent years. The bay last week was 65 or 67 degrees, a little warm for stripers. The water will begin to cool in cooler weather now. A few anglers tried for stripers in the ocean surf. The ocean was probably also warm. Crabs were still trapped, and crabbers will see whether that changes in the lower temperatures. 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.
White perch, lots, were bailed from Nantuxent Creek from the fishing docks at Money Island Marina, Bruce said. The fish were bloodwormed, and none of the worms is stocked, but maybe the worms will be carried next year. Anglers could almost not help but hook small, throwback striped bass from the docks. Sometimes bluefish were fought from the docks. One day blues would bite, and on another perch would, and on another stripers would. No boaters fished the bay in five days, because of rough weather. Boaters waited to fish the fall migration of larger stripers in the bay. Fresh bunker, favorite bait for the angling, is stocked when in demand. 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 striped bass, croakers and more, 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.
Crabbing was closed in the weekend’s weather at Beaver Dam Boat Rentals, Linda said. Crabbing is now also closed for the season, because this past weekend, Columbus Day weekend, is the year’s final crabbing from the shop annually. Crabbing becomes available again on about the third weekend of May, the weekend before Memorial Day weekend, each year. But the store remains open for supplies currently. Hunters will also stop in for turkey check-ins and duck hunting this season. Hunters can telephone the shop about duck permits. Duck hunters launch boats from the store and hunt on Oranokin Creek, running past Beaver Dam. The creek is also where customers crab and fish on Beaver Dam’s rental boats, when the boats are available during the warmer months. Crabbing was great this year at Beaver Dam, apparently because of the mild winter. Linda hopes for another mild winter, so next year’s crabbing might be even better. Severely cold winters can kill some crabs, slowing crabbing afterward during the year. A 7-15/16-inch crab was the biggest a customer trapped this year. The customer won a free boat-rental next year, an annual prize the shop awards. Linda thanks customers for a great season! Visit Beaver Dam’s website.
A couple of customers reeled up croakers, weakfish and sheepshead along the bay’s jetties, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Bluefish, 14- or 15-inchers, swam everywhere, including the surf. Boaters nailed them at places like the Cape May Rips, when weather made boating possible. Schoolie striped bass, mostly 20- or 24-inchers, a few keepers, were picked up in the surf between the blues. Blackfishing was great along surf jetties. Crabbing was still good last week, and Nick posted photos of an 8-inch crab, tip to tip, filling the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket, with huge claws, on the shop’s Facebook page. He took the crab to a taxidermist to be mounted and displayed at the store. The water was warm enough for crabbing, in the high 60 degrees. But that was cooler than before, no longer in the 70s.