A few summer flounder were boated on the bay, no great shakes, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. That was according to a couple of people she spoke with at a marina, and Sharon had been away last week, heard only a little news. Some weakfish swam the bay, and nobody targeted them in the one-weakfish bag limit, really. If anglers caught weaks while fishing for other catches, “fine,” she said. Nothing was heard about flounder fishing on the back bay and the ocean. Many customers crabbed in the Dividing Creek area, and that went pretty well. Some of the ponds were drained in the Matt’s Landing area, limiting places to crab. All usual baits are stocked, and nothing ran low. The baits included minnows and shedder crabs. The bunker supplier’s boat had broken down a moment, but the supplier was back in action now. 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.
Weather was sometimes rough, but a few trips sailed from Money Island Marina, Bruce said. The trips boated a few summer flounder 22 to 24 inches. Weakfish remained in the bay, like before, and small croakers began to show up in the water. There was some activity. A customer who’d been landing drum and sheepshead from the bay didn’t fish in past days. His catches were mentioned in previous reports here. Fishing from the dock was improving, turning up white perch. Three or four anglers fished from the dock while Bruce gave this report yesterday. A pig roast and a junk-fish tournament will be held August 6 at the marina. The tournament will be for catches like oyster crackers for fun and kids. Take advantage of a free boat-ramp pass for first-time users to introduce them to the marina’s amenities and quality of service. The pass is only valid when signed by marina owner Tony Novak. Boaters should avoid using the ramp within 90 minutes of low tides. 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 stripers, and croakers, 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. Bait stocked can include minnows, live grass shrimp and more, when in season and in demand. Minnows had apparently been spawning, and Bruce had difficulty catching them for four days, but hoped that was finished now. The grass shrimp supplier hadn’t been around lately, and the shrimp can become scarcer this season, because the bait can become difficult to keep alive in summer heat. Plenty of frozen baits are stocked, including tube squid, Pro Cut squid, mackerel and spearing.
Crabbing was definitely “up,” said Paul from Beaver Dam Boat Rentals. Lots of half-bushels and some three-quarters-bushels were trapped. The year’s first bushel was caught on Fourth of July, mentioned in the last report here. Eighty-percent of the boats Sunday trapped more than three dozen keepers apiece. There’s always a random boat that doesn’t fare well. Six-inch crabs were becoming more common, and 7-inchers were seen this past week. A 7-1/2-incher is biggest at the shop this year so far, and the customer with the year’s biggest will win a free boat-rental next year, an annual prize. Fishing was slow on the creek, and how the fishing will go can be unpredictable throughout the year. Fish including white perch, schoolie striped bass and croakers can bite well at times. But crabbing was going surprisingly well. Crabs were trapped even during moons this year so far, and sometimes the catches can slow then, because full moons and new moons can trigger crabs to shed and mate a few days, and the blueclaws refuse to eat then. Lots of pregnant female crabs were reported from elsewhere, including Delaware Bay. But that wasn’t an issue at Beaver Dam. 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. Reserve rentals ahead, because they can book up. Beaver Dam hosts groups like scouts for an educational day on the water. Events like family reunions and birthday parties are also hosted. The store carries everything needed for crabbing, from bait, traps and nets to drinks, snacks and suntan lotion. Visit Beaver Dam’s website.
Plenty of kingfish, some keeper weakfish and small blues could be found at places like off Cape May Point on the bay, said Capt. Jim from Fins & Grins Sport Fishing. Mixed-bag, summertime fishing, he said – lots of good action. Fins fishes every day, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.
Customers who boated the bay landed more kingfish than summer flounder, said Joe from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Kings schooled the bay and surf. Spike weakfish had been heard about from the surf, but not first-hand recently. However, a customer said someone found weaks near Cape May Inlet, and the customer was headed there to fish for them. Flounder fishing in the surf will mostly bank throwbacks. Joe fishes for them with a rig with a white Andros bucktail on bottom with a trailer above, baiting the bucktail, unusually, with a Fishbites artificial worm in chartreuse. Sometimes he’s used a red one, but chartreuse is best. On the trailer, he fishes a 3-inch Gulp swimming mullet. He couldn’t say how many times he sent anglers to fish the surf with the rig, he said, and they scored. Joe also fishes the rig in the back bay. Back-bay boaters scratched away at flounder, and fewer fished there than usual. Boaters at the Old Grounds on the ocean put together the best flounder catches. Ocean boaters also caught the flatfish at Cape May Reef and Reef 11, but the Old Grounds was the place to be. The Old Grounds fishing usually becomes good late this month, but was already productive for weeks now. The angling depends on conditions, like anywhere. Two anglers last week said they fished for flounder on the ocean on a local party boat, but the angling was slow, because the boat failed to drift, because of no wind. But another trip with four anglers fished the area on a smaller, private boat, catching eight keepers, because the boat was able to be power-drifted.