Mon., April 23, 2018
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Delaware Bay Report

Report from Tuesday, April 17.

| Port Elizabeth | Cape May |

Cape May
The year’s first striped bass was checked-in at Hands Too Bait & Tackle last weekend, the shop’s Facebook page said. The 28-pound 41-incher was beached from the surf on a bunker chunk. The post never said whether that was the ocean surf or Delaware Bay’s surf, but the bay’s surf seemed likely. The ocean was cold. Nick from the store in a phone call Thursday said no catches were reported at the shop so far this season. That striper might’ve been the first.

Trips for black drum will fish Delaware Bay in May on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. Blackfishing on the ocean is available this month aboard. Blackfish season is open in April and closed afterward until reopening beginning in summer, with different bag limits during different times. George knew about no boats that fished this weekend in strong wind, except the party boat Porgy IV from Cape May that blackfished Saturday on the ocean. The Heavy Hitter was in dry dock along Maurice River off the bay during April’s first week for seasonal maintenance like painting. When George sailed the boat to the Maurice from Cape May on March 30 on the bay, including at 20-Foot Slough and Bug Light, he marked no fish or bait and saw none. When he sailed the boat back to the slip in Cape May on April 6, birds, a few hitting the water, others just looking, were seen on the bay at the last cans out of the Maurice. Piles of bait were marked there, but no fish were marked anywhere, and he saw no fish.

May is traditionally the month for black drum fishing on Delaware Bay, and Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing will sail for them immediately, beginning on May 1, Capt. Tom said. Four trips fished for blackfish this past week aboard. Tom wasn’t asked where, but probably on the ocean. The angling was kind of tough in cold water, but some were bagged, and the catches are expected to pick up when the water temp rises a few degrees. In the near future, trips will also sail for bluefish, tilefish and sea bass.