Somewhat fewer fluke were seen than before at Dockside Bait & Tackle, but the fishing was still phenomenal, Rich said. The bigger ones came from Ambrose Channel now, but fluke were still bagged from Raritan Bay at the Triangle and Old Orchard Shoal. Fluke were no longer decked from Raritan River so much. Schooling bluefish popped up randomly and were boated on the bay. Quite a few crabs were trapped. Baits stocked include killies, fresh bunker daily and all the frozen, like the different squid, including pre-cut, whole, scented and tube. Dockside, located on Smith Creek, a tributary of the Arthur Kill, north of Outerbridge Crossing, is accessible from land and from the water at the fuel dock.
Good catches of fluke continued daily on the Vitamin Sea, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. A trip Wednesday bagged 16, none giant, but quality-sized. Trips fished different areas, including new, to see how far the fish spread. The deep water at Ambrose Channel began to produce. The season was early for fluking there, but fluke migrate Ambrose to reach wintering grounds. The channel’s been known to produce some giants. Angler skill mattered for how many keepers were landed on trips. Big fluke pull hard, and wiggle off the hook, if the angler allows slack in the line or, worse, lifts the fish’s head from the water before the net is scooped underneath. Gulps and bait caught about equally. On Tuesday aboard, cownosed rays and sea turtles swam the water, feeding on bunker schools. That looked like National Geographic. Charters are fishing, and spots are available for an open-boat trip Saturday, and weather looks great. The next open trips will sail Tuesday through the following Saturday, unless a charter books.
Big fluke and limits, a report said Wednesday on the party boat Fishermen’s website. Trips the past couple of days fished several new areas, in search mode. “We found what we were looking for!” it said. Quality fluke and several limits were canned. Five- to 7-pound fluke won pools, and plenty of throwbacks bit, too. The trips had the water to themselves, but that will change. The Fishermen is sailing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, for striped bass 6:30 to 11 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and for fluke, blues, porgies and whatever can be bagged 6:30 to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Saturdays. However, this Friday and Saturday mornings are chartered, so no open-boat trips will fish then.
An 8-1/2-pound fluke had just been nailed this morning at Reach Channel on the party boat Atlantic Star when Capt. Tom gave this report at 10 o’clock aboard in a phone call, he said. The trip’s fishing had begun with fluke catches, quite a few throwbacks and some keepers, while the boat drifted. Then the drift slowed, slowing the catches, so the boat was moved to the Reach. The fish bit there, too, though fewer than Tom would like, and the boat still drifted slowly. He hoped the angling would pick up as the current and drift picked up. Every day fished differently for fluke aboard in past days. Trips fished places including Raritan and Sandy Hook bays, the Reach and Flynn’s Knoll, depending on conditions. Every trip caught, some trips better than others, depending on conditions. Plenty of the summer flounder bit, though. He’d prefer that more keepers did, of course. Sometimes the catching was quite busy, and the mates did a great job of keeping up. All trips fished, and weather never prevented that. The Atlantic Star is fluke fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.
Big, giant fluke swam the channels, because the water was cooler, said Jay from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. A friend boated an 11-pounder, and back waters like bays became warm. Porgies schooled all over. Lots of triggerfish were mixed in at wrecks with sea bass and blackfish. Snapper blues schooled the harbor. Peanut bunker schooled back waters like that, but bluefish, few and far between, weren’t really on them, like they should be. Crabbing was excellent, and all baits, the full supply, are stocked.
Water began to warm, so fluke anglers began to fish deeper, at the channels, said Chris from Fisherman’s Den North. Somewhat fewer fluke were seen at the shop than before, but many anglers fished for them. Many mackerel and some small bluefish schooled the Mudhole. Lots of baitfish schooled the harbor. Now that water warmed, peanut bunker schooled the harbor at night, not so much in daytime, when they were abundant previously. That cut down on the supply of fresh peanuts at the store, but the baitfish were usually carried. Snapper blues like 10 inches schooled back waters like that, and kids played them from piers and bulkheads. Crabs, good-sized, were seen all along pilings and bulkheads in the harbor. Crabbing was probably best in rivers, though, because access is easier there. Baits stocked also include killies, all the frozen for inshore like spearing, the different squids and mackerel, and all the frozen for offshore like flats of butterfish and sardines. The shop, new this year, is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina, near the party boats, charter boats and private boats, and is the sister store to Fisherman’s Den in Belmar.
Seventeen fluke to 6 pounds, a good catch, were clutched on a charter Saturday on the ocean with Lady M Charters, a report said on the boat’s website. Some good-sized sea bass were also bagged, and catches began right away at rough bottom that was fished first. When that slowed, the trip pushed farther from shore, and the angling was better. Sometimes all the anglers were hooked-up at once there. So many of the fluke were a quarter-inch to an inch undersized and were released. Great action, though. On Sunday a charter fished on a Mudhole Marathon wreck-fishing trip. The angling was excellent, catching ling, winter flounder and cod. Each wreck fished, several of them, gave up excellent life. The trip also made a drop away from the Mudhole, limiting out on sea bass quickly. A few spaces are available for open-boat trips the next two Saturdays for fluke and sea bass. Telephone about Mudhole Marathon trips. Charters and open trips are fishing.
From Twin Lights Marina, Paul and Maddy Hess on the Boudicca boated five keeper fluke to 21 inches at Flynn’s Knoll during the weekend, Marion wrote. Also during the weekend: Paul and Becky on the Second Home bagged seven fluke to 21 inches off the Ammo Pier; Amanda Mohr on the Flash limited out on five fluke to 20 inches; and Dana Carrasco and Allie Sparaga on the Hammerhead beat a 21-inch fluke and an 18-incher, respectively, “around the Hook.” Last week, Greg Hanna on the Annie H limited on fluke to a 5-3/4-pounder off the Ammo Pier, and Micah Topche, 6, limited on fluke to 21 inches on Navesink River on another trip on the Flash. Twin Lights, located on Shrewsbury River near Raritan Bay and the ocean, with no bridges before them, includes a marina with boat slips, dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait and tackle shop and ship’s store. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card. Baits stocked include all for offshore.
Porgies, as many as the anglers could catch, were plowed aboard Wednesday, Capt. Ralph from Last Lady Fishing Charters wrote in an email. The anglers only kept the fish larger than 11 inches, and also limited out on large sea bass. Fluke fishing was slower Tuesday on the weekly individual-reservation trip than on a charter Sunday that cleaned up on the flatfish. Big money was won in the pool on the individual-rez trip, though. The individual-reservation trips for fluke are fishing every Tuesday, and kids under 12 sail free, limited to one per adult host. An individual-reservation trip this coming Sunday will fish inshore wrecks. Limited space remains for individual-reservation trips for cod August 3, 17 and 31. Looking ahead, individual-rez trips will sail for sea bass October 25 and blackfish November 16.
Ocean fluke fishing was super all week on the party boat Big Mohawk, Capt. Chris said. Really good, he added, and catches included good-sized fluke, including 5, 8 and 10 pounds. Many 4- and 5-pounders were tackled. Gulps on jigheads hooked most, much better than bait, and the Big Mohawk is fluke fishing 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
An okay to good catch of small blues was rustled up toward the end of yesterday’s trip on the Miss Belmar Princess, an email from the party boat said. The trip had first looked along the offshore edge of the Mudhole, but not even mackerel showed up there that day. Some ling and sea bass were grabbed there, though. The blues were found on the ocean just off Shark River Inlet. Small blues that had been biting along with the mackerel also failed to show up the previous day, Tuesday, near the Mudhole. The trip caught ling, sea bass and a couple of blackfish. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Family fishing and sunset cruises are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday through Sunday.
Mackerel and blues, a decent catch, were did-in yesterday on the Golden Eagle, a report said on the party boat’s website. Anglers kept picking and picking, ending up with the catch. The previous day’s, Tuesday’s, trip banged away at both fish, not as well as on the previous days, “but plenty enough,” it said. On Monday’s trip, fishing was great for them. On the afternoon fishing and sunset cruise yesterday, more than a dozen keeper fluke, including several 3- to 6-pounders, were smashed, and plenty of throwbacks were released, excellent fishing. The Golden Eagle is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Afternoon fishing and sunset cruise trips are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 Fridays through Saturdays, reservations required.
Fishing for fluke on the ocean was definitely improving and was great aboard, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. Conditions were favorable, and plenty of the fish, both throwbacks and keepers, gave up action. He was happy with the “life.” None of the anglers limited out on yesterday’s trip, but most bagged three to four. The biggest of the fluke weighed more than 8 pounds. Limits were bagged on some days. Anglers who bucktailed and had an idea how to do that caught the most and bigger fluke. Trips include On the Water Seminars that teach bucktailing in a non-threatening environment. One of those sailed Monday, and the catch was excellent and included limits. The fluke weighed up to 7 pounds that day, and the next seminar will run Tuesday. Space is available, and plenty of space is also available for charters and individual spaces on charters. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s anyway about the individual spaces. Sign up for the email blast on Parker Pete’s website to be kept informed about the spaces.
A trip was supposed to fish inshore today on the Katie H, Capt. Mike said. The trips have been racking up ling and sea bass great. Recent outings for that fishing were covered in the last report here. Fluke were bagged on the trips, too, and the number of keepers caught was becoming better and better. A midshore trip is supposed to fish for bluefin tuna Friday on the boat.
Point Pleasant Beach
New areas were fluked on the ocean Wednesday, after the angling was slower Tuesday, on the Gambler, an email from the party boat said. On Wednesday morning’s trip, some fluke and a few sea bass were bagged, but the fishing still wasn’t so good. But a decent catch of fluke to 6 pounds was iced on the afternoon’s trip, at a different spot. Some anglers bagged three fluke and a few sea bass apiece. On last Thursday night’s wreck-fishing trip, bigger ling, a few sea bass, a couple of large winter flounder and a keeper cod were taken. On Friday and Saturday nights’ bluefish trips, good catches of small blues, good-eating-sized, and sizable mackerel were tugged in. The blues and mackerel could be cooked the same way. Marinate the skinned fillets at least an hour, no more than 24 hours, in teriyaki sauce or Italian or balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing. Cook them 10 minutes, skin-side down, in a ceramic baking dish in a pre-heated, 350-degree oven. Then check the fillets with a fork. If there’s resistance, bake another 5 minutes, and the fish should take no longer. To grill them, marinate the same way, and grill the fish wrapped in tin foil that retains moisture. Fluke trips are fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Trips from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. are fishing wrecks every Thursday and are bluefishing every Friday and Saturday.
On the party boat Dauntless, bottom-fishing on the ocean was okay, not great, but pulled in a good variety of fish, Capt. Butch said. Catches included sea bass, and trips just began to try for porgies, landing a few. A few ling came in, and fishing for them began to slow. A few winter flounder, still a couple of cod, and a couple of blackfish were axed. One blackfish per angler could be kept beginning Sunday. Porgies and sea bass bit in 20- to 50-foot shallows. Ling chewed in 90 feet. Ling were also hung in 100 to 200 feet, where flounder and cod were. The ocean was 68 or 69 degrees on the fishing grounds and in the low 70s along the shore. On Friday and Saturday’s nighttime trips, blues, ling, cod and sea bass were bucketed. Not a lot of any of the fish but a good variety of the different species were toggled aboard. Night trips will bluefish, if enough blues are around, and will fish for the variety otherwise. The Dauntless is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. The night trips are running 7:30 to 12:30 every Friday and Saturday.
Manasquan River’s fluke fishing was best downstream from the Railroad Bridge, said Virginia from Murphy’s Hook House. A patch off the Lobster Shanty and Gull Island was productive, and she fished on a trip that bagged three there. Light jigheads 1 ounce or lighter were the tackle to fish, and the river upstream from the bridge held throwbacks, really no keepers, like off Point Pleasant Canal. Nearby Barnegat Bay off Bay Head held few keepers and lots of lettuce. Farther south in the bay, fluking was good toward Barnegat Inlet. Ocean fluking was good when conditions drifted the boat well for the angling. A 5-pound fluke was weighed-in from the surf at Ortley Beach. Fishing for sea bass and ling was good on the ocean. A few porgies were pulled from the ocean farther north. Blowfish were plucked from docks near the shop. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.
Tons of crabs were trapped from the dock and the shop’s rental boats, said Ray from The Dock Outfitters. Off Good Luck Point served them up well for the boaters. Not a lot of fish bit along the dock, but snapper blues and occasional small fluke did. Blowfishing was slow from the dock. Fluke fishing picked up at inlets. An 8-pounder and a 6-pounder were weighed-in from Manasquan Inlet. In the surf, sharks were landed at night. A 7-foot sand tiger shark was beached at Seaside Park last night. Sharks from the surf are often species required to be released, including sand tigers. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, a café, a dock for fishing and crabbing, boat rentals and jet-ski rentals.
***Update, Friday, 7/22:*** In Barnegat Bay, fluke bit at usual places like from the research can to farther south in 7 and 8 feet of water, said Brian from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. A couple of customers threw some aboard from Double Creek Channel. On the ocean, fluking slowed at the Tires, but the fish were boated farther north off the bathing beach at Island Beach State Park and off the Seaside Pipe. Blowfish were scarce in the bay. Tuna seemed to show up at Barnegat Ridge, because a half-dozen customers bought supplies for the angling. Killies and all frozen inshore baits like local and Canadian spearing for fluke are stocked. Fresh, local spearing are carried when they become available later this season. Offshore baits including flats of butterfish and sardines are on hand.
A handful of keeper fluke were sacked yesterday from the ocean on the Miss Barnegat Light, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Throwbacks were also hooked, not a great day of the angling, but some action. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for fluke and sea bass at 8 a.m. daily.
***Update, Friday, 7/22:*** Lots of fluke were walloped from Barnegat Bay and Barnegat Inlet, said Rob from Van’s Boat Rentals. The fish measured from 10 inches to large, like 30 inches, and on the rental boats, even inexperienced anglers returned with 25-inchers. The number of good-sized hadn’t been seen before in a long time. On the bay, the fish were found at places including right off the shop – where plenty were caught – off the Dike and at High Bar Harbor. Fluke made up most catches. A few snapper bluefish were around, and couple of customers bought snapper rigs. No weakfish and no blowfish were heard about from the bay. Nobody even bought chum logs for blowfishing. Van’s rents boats from 9 h.p. to 50 h.p. for fishing, crabbing and pleasure. Kayaks are rented, and facilities include a tackle shop and a marina with slips, gas and full boat servicing. Baits stocked include killies, fresh clams and the full selection of frozen.
Barnegat Bay’s fluke fishing was pretty good, said Chris from Bobbie’s Boat Rentals. A bunch were shorts, but a few were keepers. High Bar Harbor and right off the shop shoveled them up well. The angling wasn’t bad at Double Creek Channel, and Oyster Creek Channel also turned them out. Customers found the fishing better in the bay than in the ocean, but boated some from the ocean to the north. Bluefish schooled the ocean off Barnegat Inlet’s north jetty. Snapper blues schooled back waters near the shop. Crabbing wasn’t great but okay. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and boat and kayak rentals. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure. The store is known for bait supply, including live bait in season. Minnows, live grass shrimp and fresh bunker are on hand.
From an edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier: “We caught four more weakfish yesterday on the east side of the bay using live grass shrimp. They ranged from 13 to 18 inches. Jim McHugh and his two sons, Jim and Pat, from Mendham, N.J., were on board for some lively light-tackle action in the slick. Also added some fluke, snapper blues and a bunch of big sand sharks. They did battle with our 6-pound spinning rods. (Live shrimp on plain hooks and shad darts caught the fish), and this fishery is just heating up. Our mornings are booked for the next three days, so we’re offering trips 12 noon to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday for live grass shrimping. Open-boat or charter. Monday morning and afternoon are also available.”
Somewhat better numbers of summer flounder were boated than before, said Brandon from Scott’s Bait & Tackle, or the fishing turned on a little. Great Bay’s fishing for them was hit and miss, like before, but the angling was better toward Absecon, not far, like a bay or two away. Deeper holes seemed to hold them, and Brandon the other day landed 20 at a random hole toward Absecon. Only one was a keeper, but 20 was a good number. He also released a 4-pound 24-inch weakfish in the area another day. Some anglers boated flounder, picking shorts and occasional keepers, at ocean wrecks, like at Garden State Reef South and Little Egg Reef. They also bagged a couple of sea bass, calling it a day. Back in the bay, bluefish about 12 inches, spotty populations but some, began to appear. They showed off the Fish Factory the other day. A few blowfish, not many, began to be heard about from the clam stakes. Baby sea bass swam all over the bay and other back waters. Lots of sharks were reported fought from Great Bay. Some shark species in bays must be released by law, so be familiar or let all go. A 6-1/2- or 7-foot sand tiger, a shark that must be released, was beached from the surf toward Seaside Park somewhere. A photo was seen. White perch were reeled from the brackish Mullica River and creeks like Big Creek here and there. They seemed to hold in the saltier water. Crabbing was phenomenal, and a dozen keepers had just been trapped in the lagoon behind the shop in a pot. Baits stocked include minnows, fresh bunker and fresh, shucked clams. Live grass shrimp were out of stock.
Boaters pancaked summer flounder, pretty good fishing, at Absecon Inlet, said Tanner from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. Bigger baits like 6-inch Gulp grubs were fished in deeper water. Tanner’s found that flounder hover down tide from the ice breakers at Brigantine Bridge, tucking out of the current to ambush prey. So they’d be on the ocean side on outgoing, for example. Two sheepshead 15 and 12 pounds were checked-in from under the bridge. One hit a spot, and the other smacked a Gulp. Weakfishing had been good, but Tanner heard about none in a week or two. They had been located along the Intracoastal Waterway and at the AB buoy in Atlantic City. On the ocean, flounder fishing “wasn’t quite there yet.” But if anglers fished the right wrecks in the ocean, they caught. One blackfish could be kept per angler, per day, beginning Sunday, and blackfishing wasn’t good in the bay, but some nice were boated from the ocean. Plenty of minnows are stocked. To get a pint for $5, like the store’s Facebook page, and like this great video on “what it takes to keep the tanks full.” The supply of shedder crabs was hit and miss for the moment. Soft-shell crabs for eating were out of stock but are carried as soon as available. The store raises shedders and soft-shells. Live peanut bunker are stocked whenever Capt. Dave, the store’s owner, nets them.
Brigantine’s annual Hooked on Fishing tournament for kids in the surf was a huge success Saturday, said Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle. Just under 200 kids entered, and kingfish were hooked all over the water, and a good-sized flounder and a shark were also beached, and weather was perfect, during the event. Kings continued to give up good angling now from the shore. Brown sharks, required to be released, were fought day and night from the beach. The surf was clean and full of life. For boaters, summer flounder fishing was good and improved in Absecon Inlet. Some anglers limited out on them, and catches included youngster Joey Klemm’s 9-pound 3-ouncer and Maria Byrnes’ 6-pound 7-ouncer. The shop is loaded with bloodworms and minnows.
Anglers on foot put the brakes on kingfish, summer flounder, snapper blues, triggerfish and blackfish from the surf and along Absecon Inlet, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. They fished bloodworms, minnows and green crabs. A 5.6-pound flounder was in the lead in the month-long flounder tournament through August 15 from One Stop and Ducktown Tavern. All proceeds will be donated to the Valerie Fund, and first place will be a large flatscreen TV and a $150 Fluke Candy Tackle Box. Second will be a rod-and-reel combo. All entrants will receive a Fluke Candy Rig. Check this out: the store recently installed a bait machine outside that from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. is currently selling bloodworms, nightcrawlers, green nightcrawlers, green crabs, clams, spearing, scented squid, whole squid, tube squid, three-packs of mullet, filleted mullet, herring and more. Plus, more baits will be added. All baits mentioned in this report and more, the complete supply, are also stocked in the store. Bloodworms are on special for two dozen for $20 in the store, not in the machine.
Egg Harbor Township
Not a lot of summer flounder were boated from the bay, but some were, said Austin from 24-7 Bait & Tackle. The fishing began with a bang this year, then became slower. Currently, anglers needed to find them on the bay, and location could change every day. Not many were brought from the ocean, either. Tuna fishing was good, and most anglers fished for them inshore, but Austin knew people who caught them offshore. Crabbing was great on Patcong Creek, where the shop’s rental boats are docked, and Patcong is one of the best places for crabbing. Minnows are half-price throughout the fishing season: $3 for a half-pint, $6 for a pint and $12 for a quart. Baits stocked also include shedder crabs, fresh bunker and everything for offshore. The company also owns 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora.
Wind drifted the boat too fast for summer flounder fishing yesterday on the ocean, and too slow the previous day, said Capt. Mike from the Stray Cat. But sea bass fishing was good yesterday on a trip, and a 7- or 8-pound mahi mahi was also bagged on the outing that swam up to the boat. Mahi are swimming the water, and so are Spanish mackerel that a trip caught previously. Trips Friday and Saturday will probably troll for mahi and Spanish. A hammerhead shark also swam up to the boat yesterday, and evening trips are sharking. Bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna held at Massey’s Canyon. Ones caught recently were smaller or 30 pounds. The next open-boat trips will sail Friday and Wednesday, the final open trips for some time. Charters are booked otherwise. Open trips run for flounder and sea bass if conditions are favorable. Otherwise they fish for whatever’s best, like the mahi and Spanish. Bluefish that had been trolled aboard swam closer to shore lately, within 4 miles of the coast. That’s where bunker also schooled.
Back-bay fishing for summer flounder picked up on the party boat Keeper, Capt. John said. Pretty good, after the angling was somewhat tough at the beginning of the season. Minnows and Gulps caught best, but the fish also bit mackerel. Minnows and mackerel are provided aboard, and anglers bring their own Gulps and should. A few sea robins, baby sea bass and sharks also bit. Lots of bait schooled the bay, including small peanut bunker. John expected to begin castnetting the peanuts today to keep in the livewell aboard for bait. A few of the baitfish should be large enough. The Keeper is fishing for summer flounder 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 5 p.m. daily. The trips are only $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $20 for kids, because fishing is near port, and the pontoon boat is economical on fuel. Rental rods are free.
Angling for summer flounder began to come on a little more than before, said Jake from Fin-Atics. Many were small, but large began to be boated from the ocean. Many flounder remained in the back bay, and bigger than before began to be cranked from the bay. Sometimes that’s a sign that many of the fluke were about to migrate to the ocean’s cooler water. Sea bass were lifted from the ocean here and there. Not a lot was reported about them. Striped bass were sometimes fought on the bay, and a friend released three or four to 20 inches on peanut bunker last night. Some kingfish were hooked from the surf on bloodworms or Fishbites on top-and-bottom kingfish or perch rigs. A few brown sharks were let go in the surf in evenings and at night, and browns are required to be released. Big rays were subdued in the surf at times. Bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna were chunked at Massey’s Canyon, 40 miles south of Cape May. Yellowfins, bluefins and a few bigeye tuna were trolled at Wilmington Canyon during daytime but also chunked at night.
Sea Isle City
The three anglers aboard Wednesday afternoon released three brown sharks and two dusky sharks on one of the inshore sharking trips with Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle, he said. In the morning on another one of the trips, two other anglers released two duskies and a brown. Those sharks weighed up to 100 pounds, and the trips, usually within 10 miles from shore, are a chance to fight big fish without the long sail offshore. The sharks are released, and some, including browns and duskies, are required to be. Mackerel fillets are fished for them on conventional rods in a chum slick while the boat is drifted over bottom structure like ridges that Joe has known to attract the sharks. Customers can also fly-rod for them with chum flies in the chum slick. For a sizable, mean-looking fish with teeth, sharks are surprisingly wary of the flies. The presentation needs to look natural. On Tuesday evening, three anglers aboard popper-plugged and released seven striped bass to 26 inches and two 10-pound bluefish from the bay. The blues were unusual and “a pleasant surprise,” Joe said, and the striper fishing’s been better than expected. The fishing, also with popper flies, is a specialty aboard in summer, and go now, while the fish are biting. Poppers draw explosive, visual strikes, and Joe poles a flats boat in the shallows during the fishing, while the anglers sight-cast. High tides in evenings were ideal for the angling in past days and come around every other week. The previous striper trip clocked and released nine, covered in the last report here. On Tuesday morning aboard anglers reeled up steady action with summer flounder, including one keeper, and a triggerfish from the bay. On Monday an evening trip was blown out when weather barreled through. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.
Some good catches of kingfish were beached from the surf, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. A few small weakfish and summer flounder, even a couple of croakers, also bit there, plenty of action. In evenings and at night, sharks, mostly browns and duskies that are required to be released, were wrestled from the beach. Mackerel was the bait of choice. But some anglers used kingfish racks or other bait, and anything meaty and bloody would do. Boaters sometimes reported summer flounder fishing on the back bay and the ocean, talking about not easy fishing, but catches, if the time was put in. Sea bass fishing was usually drop-and-reel for a limit of two per angler on the ocean, like on a stop during a flounder trip. Mike stopped for sea bass like that, and the trip quickly limited. Back on the bay, high tides in evenings were ideal for plugging for striped bass in past days, and good fishing for them, not great, but catching, was reported. Tuna catches, decent, were still talked about from Massey’s Canyon throughout the week, when boaters had the weather to sail. That was mostly while chunking, sometimes on jigs. Crabbing was excellent.
Trips lit into lots of summer flounder including a few keepers from the back bay, said Mike from Canal Side Boat Rentals. Four, eight, seven or 12 might be landed in a trip. As many as 17 were totaled, and two of the fish were keepers on that outing. One trip nailed a 5-pound 3-ounce 24-incher Saturday at the end of the stakes at the 444 and 445 buoys. That was one of two keepers on the trip. A trip early this week also beat a 24-incher, but the fish only weighed 3 ½ pounds. The end of the stakes at those buoys is a place where flounder are boated locally. Mike saw a friend this morning headed to Cape May Reef on the ocean for flounder fishing. The friend had been scoring well at Wildwood Reef on the ocean, but wanted to try Cape May Reef. Big swirls began to be seen in the canal. None of the fish was seen, but were obviously large striped bass. Lots of baitfish schooled the canal that were apparently shiners. Mike usually castnets the water to see what baitfish come up, but hadn’t recently. Canal Side rents boats for fishing, crabbing and pleasure and kayaks. ***Get a $5 discount*** on a rental boat if you mention Fishing Reports Now. A large supply of bait and tackle is carried. Crabs for eating are sold, and the price changes according to market price. Prices currently were $32 per dozen for live No. 1s and $20 per dozen for live No. 2s. Pre-cooked and cooked-to-order are also sold for a few dollars more. Shrimp, clams and, on weekends lately, oysters are also sold for eating. Customers enjoy the food at picnic tables with tents on the water. A couple on honeymoon enjoyed the shrimp and crabs in past days, and were struck by how good the food was, saying it was off the charts and that Mike should advertise it. They talked about how they also loved the eating on the water, and also how nice North Wildwood was. Check it out.
Summer flounder fishing was hit and miss, pretty picky, on the ocean on the party boat Porgy IV, Capt. Paul said. But the angling was decent on Tuesday’s trip, rounding up lots of bites and action. Ken Minnet from Mays Landing on the trip bagged four. Dan Inmer from Philly won the pool with a 5-1/2-pound flounder, one of two flounder he bagged on the outing. Then the fishing was slow on Wednesday’s trip, with a good-sized crowd aboard. Conditions weren’t bad, and the boat drifted fine, important for flounder fishing. But the angling was disappointing, after the previous day’s catch. The Porgy IV is fishing for summer flounder at 8 a.m. daily.
Caveman Sportfishing fished for inshore sharks, tremendous angling, Capt. John said. The trips fight and release big sharks close to shore. A trip today aboard was supposed to fish for tuna at Massey’s Canyon, 40 miles from Cape May. A friend chunked a bunch of yellowfin tuna there yesterday.
One tuna was hooked but got off and another was missed Tuesday inshore on the Heavy Hitter, and weather and seas were terrible, though that was not forecast, Capt. George said. No other tuna bit on the trip, but boats caught that began fishing at 5 a.m. How they reached the waters that early in rough conditions was unknown. Boats from Ocean City, Md., nearer to the fishing, seemed the ones that did. The Heavy Hitter departed for the fishing early, but was turned around, because of seas. But the trip sailed later that morning, trying to head out in improved conditions, arriving at 9:30 a.m. at the fishing grounds, and conditions were still rough. The bite was mostly finished by then. But tuna were caught earlier, and were caught again the next day, yesterday. The Heavy Hitter is supposed to fish for them again Saturday, if weather allows. Rough weather might prevent that. Trips are also trolling for bluefish and fishing for summer flounder on the ocean aboard.
From the surf, kingfish and small weakfish, blues and summer flounder were sometimes banked, said Joe from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Sand sharks and brown sharks could be dragged from the surf at dusk or nighttime for fun. Release browns by law. Sizable triggerfish were yanked in from along surf jetties. Snapper blues appeared in the surf and back waters. Sometimes bigger like a pound or ¼ pounds showed up in the waters. For boaters, summer flounder fishing became better on the back bay than on the ocean. The angling became tougher at ocean reefs 10 days or two weeks ago. In a flounder tournament during the weekend, the two biggest were pasted from the bay, and so were most of the decent catches. Anglers might hook one or two sizable from the bay in a trip, among throwbacks. Sizable remained in the water. Unconfirmed rumors said good flounder fishing took off on Delaware Bay near Fortescue at the stakes. Sometimes croakers appeared in the bay toward Cape May and the surf. Fishing for yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna remained good at Massey’s Canyon. Crabbing was excellent the past two weeks, practically anywhere crabs are found around Cape May. Catches might’ve slowed because of shedding during the week’s full moon. But catches usually pick back up within a few days. Full and new moons can trigger crabs to shed, and they won’t eat while shedding, making them difficult to trap. But not all crabs shed on every moon.