The season was probably a little early for striped bass fishing, but some anglers will probably try for the fish this weekend, said Sharon from The Girls Place Bait & Tackle. Striper catches were heard about from the back bays and surf. Many anglers think the stripers in the back bays are resident fish, or younger fish, yet to migrate, that spend the year there. But the stripers in the surf are likely migrators. Stripers were also heard about from the mouth of Maurice River. The storm caused rough weather throughout Saturday, but Sunday’s weather was better. A number of telephone calls asked for fresh bunker, the popular bait to fish for Delaware Bay’s stripers in fall. The bunker was stocked Friday, but sold out quickly, and none was available Saturday and through the weekend, because the weather kept bunker boats from sailing. But the bait is stocked several times a week when available. Fresh clams are usually available whenever somebody telephones ahead to order them, and some anglers will fish the clams for the bay’s bass this season. The clams are kept on hand at the shop, when demand picks up. But calling ahead for large quantities, like a bushel, is a good idea then, too. Eels are stocked, and are fished for stripers in different locations, like the surf or the Cape May Rips, where the bay meets the ocean. Even shedder crabs were stocked this weekend, and the season was late for shedders to be available. The shop’s bunker netter saw stripers schooling the ocean this weekend, for the first time this season. White perch might be able to be angled from Maurice River. A few customers might’ve crabbed, but no results were heard. Crabbing’s been slowing for the season. 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.
Though Beaver Dam Boat Rentals was potentially going to be open last weekend, the shop was pretty much closed, Paul said. That was mostly because of the storm all day Saturday. Plus, crabbing was already slow, and the moon had just been full, and that can also slow crabbing. That was going to be the final time the shop was open this season, and Beaver Dam is now closed. The crew thanks customers for a great year. The shop is usually reopened the weekend before Memorial Day. But the boat ramp for duck hunting will remain open for the duck seasons throughout this winter, and a season pass is only $25 for that. The hunting is great. Wildlife licenses will also continue to be sold at the store year-round. Telephone ahead to be sure someone will be at the shop. A 7-inch crab, trapped on Beaver Dam’s first day of business this year, was the season’s biggest for customers. The crabber with that blueclaw won the prize for the largest: a free boat rental next year. Fishing still produced catches this weekend. Crew from the shop landed white perch and released out-of-season sea bass. Paul saw striped bass stirring around. Both sea bass and stripers are usually throwbacks in back waters like this, but anglers release them for fun. Small crabs were seen around the dock. That seemed to bode well for the future population. Commercial crabbers said catches had somewhat improved. Rental kayaks and canoes can still be available to paddle the scenic creek this fall, if customers call ahead to request. This can be a beautiful time of year. Customers crab, fish and paddle on Oranokin Creek, running past the store. The holidays are coming, and check out Beaver Dam’s online store for gifts. Or contact the shop for a gift certificate for a boat rental. A 15-percent discount is available for either the gifts or certificates, if customers request. Gifts like these are better than another tie! Linda from the store said.