The bigger fluke seem to lay deep, in 45 or 50 feet, in the channels, said Capt. Chuck from Angler Sportfishing Charters. Trips drifted the boat across, getting a shot at the deep, but might also pick up fluke, even if smaller, on the upsides. A fluke trip caught well on Saturday morning aboard. A trip that afternoon for fluke was cancelled, because of forecasts for winds. A deluge of rain was forecast for Sunday that never developed. Some big striped bass 35 pounds bit in Hudson River at night, upstream from Verrazano Bridge. But the big fish were hooked during daytime, too. Chuck heard about the stripers, but from reliable sources, those he knew for years. Angler Sportfishing is up for the fishing.
Sea bassing remained super with Down Deep Sportfishing, Capt. Mario said. Lots of big ling and some cod to 10 pounds were in the mix. Once the current bag limit of 15 is dropped to two for July for sea bass, the Down Deep will run special, open-boat trips for cod and ling. The Down Deep Bull, the company’s other boat, licensed for up to 15 passengers, then will run open trips for fluke. Charters are available, and join the Short Notice List on Down Deep Sportfishing’s website to be kept informed about special open trips. Also see the site’s open-trips page for available dates.
A trip for fluke was possibly slated for 3 p.m. today with Papa’s Angels Charters, Capt. Joe said. The boat’s been fluking on Raritan Bay, and space is available for charters or open-boat trips for fluke this weekend. The trips usually sail 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 3 to 8 p.m., and telephone to climb aboard. ***Update, Thursday, 6/25:*** The trip today, with Bill Belot’s party, boated two keeper fluke and a number of throwbacks at the Ammo Pier on Sandy Hook Bay, Joe said. Action with shorts was good, and the anglers enjoyed themselves, he said, and bigger fluke just weren’t abundant. Spearing, Gulps and squid were fished.
Action was good with fluke on a trip Wednesday aboard, but the keeper ratio was off, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. Eight keepers were bagged, among 40 fluke landed. “Good fluking is synonymous with good conditions,” he said. Wind blew against tide, and then mostly throwbacks were hooked. When the conditions improved, keepers began to be shoveled in. This weekend looks like a blowout, in forecasts for strong wind, from east. So Frank’s unsure about the open-boat schedule, and hopes to settle on dates by Sunday. Telephone if looking to jump on the trips. Charters are also fishing.
Plenty of short fluke 16 or 17 inches, just under the 18-inch legal size, bit in Raritan Bay, said Joe Sr. from Joey’s Bait & Tackle. Customers boated the bay for fluke from Staten Island to the Ammo Pier, and blues were still around in the area, and sometimes some were big crocodiles. Striped bass were scarce by now, and if anglers caught them, that was at night. All baits are stocked, including killies and fresh clams and bunker.
Raritan Bay’s fluke fishing began to pick up a little, said Jimmy from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. More keepers came from the river than the bay, but quite a few keepers began to come from the bay. Anglers will see whether the weekend’s storm affects the angling. Plenty of junk fish like sea robins and dog sharks bit in the bay during fluking. Bluefish schooled the back of the bay, and the fleet caught them every day. Striped bass, some good catches, were still boated off the ocean beach. Fishing for sea bass and ling was good on the ocean. Surf anglers banked a few fluke and blues. All baits are stocked.
All the fluke trips fished, on Raritan Bay, on the party boat Atlantic Star, Capt. Tom said. The angling was better on some of the outings than others. On Tuesday afternoon’s trip, quite a few fluke were landed, and some were keepers. Wednesday was one of the better days of the angling, and weather was some of the best, including low humidity. On the morning’s trip, lots of fluke were swung in, and more were keepers than usual. Most were throwbacks, of course, and the afternoon’s trip fished even better. More keepers than usual were nabbed, and Tom McCall from Middletown limited out, and another angler won the pool with a 6-pounder. Conditions were favorable, and when that happens, the fluking is better. So, lots of fluke still bit on trips, like before. Some anglers reeled in 20 on Wednesday. Some anglers managed some keepers on trips, and some pasted no keepers. All caught shorts. The Atlantic Star is fishing for fluke on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m.
The party boat Fishermen didn’t drift much on Wednesday’s fluke trip, and the morning fished best, and the summer flounder were only picked the rest of the outing, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. But Jerry Krako won the pool with a 7-1/2-pounder, and a couple of fluke caught weighed 4 or 5 pounds. A bunch of throwbacks were mixed in. Striped bass busted all over during the final hour, and one angler nailed a 35-pounder. Ron tossed a jig, hooked a huge striper, handed the fish off to an angler, and the bass broke off, after three runs. Ron would’ve loved to hit the stripers a couple of times, but the anglers didn’t seem interested. Wind against tide affected Tuesday’s trip’s fluking. Only a handful of anglers joined the trip, apparently because of forecasts for storms. Capt. Ron Sr. decked three good-sized fluke, including a 6-1/2-pounder. A couple of other keepers were taken on the trip, but too few for the fishing to be good. C.J. Leonardi, a young angler, won the pool with a 7-pound fluke. One angler tugged up one keeper and a bunch of shorts on the trip, on Tuesday. The angler limited out on Monday’s trip. On Monday’s trip, fluking was good, despite wind against tide. The fish gave up action the whole time, and there was the angler with the limit. Several of the trip’s other anglers scored three keepers apiece, and some scored one or two. A 5-1/2-pounder won the pool. The season-long pool was still lead by an 8-pound fluke. Think you can beat that? Come try, Ron said. Some sizable fluke were around. The Fishermen is sailing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Trips are fishing for stripers 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.
Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing mostly sea bassed, and the fishing was good, Capt. Pete said. The trips limited out pretty regularly, and some big ling were mixed in. So were cod, in the beginning of the week, but not later. Trips will probably concentrate on sea bass the rest of the month, while 15 is the bag limit. Two will be the limit in July. The trips will keep limiting out this month, he thinks. A trip is available on Sunday afternoon, the only space left through the weekend. But some space is available next week, before the sea bass limit drops. Charters and open-boat trips sail. After the limit decreases, trips will concentrate on fluke, though trips can fluke fish now, if anglers want. This was turning out to be a good fishing season, so far, Pete thinks.
From Twin Lights Marina, David Ott walloped a 51.8-pound striped bass off Sandy Hook Point on a livelined bunker Friday on the My Boys on a trip with Dan Shields and Nick LaViola, Marion wrote in an email. Greg Hanna on the Annie H limited out on fluke to 5 pounds and boated bluefish near the Ammo Pier on Sandy Hook Bay. Ed and Tony on the Hammerhead limited out on fluke to 22 inches on Shrewsbury River. On the Second Home, Faith Presti bagged two fluke 21 ½ and 20 inches, and Logan Presti bagged two that were 19 and 18 inches. That was off Sandy Hook Point. Paul and Maddy Hess on the Boudicca grabbed keeper fluke to 22 inches off the Ammo Pier. Twin Lights, located on Shrewsbury River near Raritan Bay and the ocean, with no bridges before them, includes a marina with boat slips and dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait and tackle shop and ship’s store. Live bunker are stocked when available. The offshore selection, like frozen flats of baitfish, is carried. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card.
Nearly all anglers limited out on sea bass Wednesday with Last Lady Fishing Charters, Capt. Ralph said. Was good fishing, and a trip for ling was also good during the week, and some schoolie cod were cranked up on the outing. One space was available for an individual-reservation trip for sea bass at 7 a.m. Friday. The rest of the trips are full this month, while 15 is the bag limit. Two sea bass will be the limit in July. Starting in July, individual-reservation trips will fluke every Tuesday. Those trips sea bassed this month, and kids under 12 sail free on the Tuesday trips, limited to two per adult host. A special individual-reservation trip will fish for ling, cod and sea bass, 25 miles from shore, at 6 a.m. Sunday, July 12.
A fluke trip scored great, limiting out on the fish to 8 pounds on the ocean Monday, in great conditions for the fishing, with Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters, Capt. Pete said. The boat is beginning to transition to fluking, but sea bass fishing was good, decent, on the ocean aboard. Fifteen is the sea bass bag limit currently, and two will become the limit starting Wednesday, essentially the closing of sea bass season. Some boats picked striped bass at first light and in evenings on the ocean. Parker Pete’s sometimes took a shot at stripers at the beginning of trips. Fluke trips this season will include On the Water Seminars, like last year, that teach bucktailing. Anglers can learn the fishing anew, or can hone skills, if already familiar. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s anyway, about individual spaces available on charters. Jump on Parker Pete’s website to subscribe to the email blast to be kept informed about the spaces. Look for the place to sign up on the right side of the page, where it says Join Our Newsletter.
A sea bass trip is supposed to fish today on the Katie H, Capt. Mike said. The angling’s been great aboard, including last weekend, covered in the last report here. The boat is supposed to compete in Mako Mania this weekend, but weather might nix that. Coming up, the Katie H will fluke fish, and tuna trips will make up much of the schedule later this summer.
Sea bass fishing pretty much limited out every day with XTC Sportfishing, Capt. Scott said. A few cod and ling were mixed in, and a couple of fluke were in the mix the other day. XTC is supposed to compete in the Mako Mania and Mako Fever tournaments this weekend. But that looks like it’ll be weathered out. The boat is still busy with inshore charters, but trips farther from shore for sharks and tuna will pick up soon aboard. Eventually this season, tuna trips will fill the schedule. Lots of sharks like threshers seemed to swim between Axel Carlson Reef and Barnegat Ridge. Nothing was heard about tuna in past days.
Shark River’s fluke fishing was good, but throwbacks currently outnumbered keepers 20 to 1, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. The shop’s rental boats are available to fish the river, and ocean fluking improved this week. Multiple limits were pounded on Belmar party boats. Sea bass fishing was good at ocean reefs. Some very large striped bass were trolled on the ocean, on bunker spoons and umbrella rigs with rubber shads. One angler on a Belmar charter boat smashed a 44-pounder. Another on the boat slammed a 42-pounder.
On the party boat Big Mohawk, fluke fishing was good Wednesday on the ocean, Capt. Chris said. Many of the anglers limited out, and an 8- or 8-½-pound fluke was the pool-winner. Gulps fished best, by far, and spinning rods were best, as always, to cast away from the boat. The Big Mohawk is fishing for fluke 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
After good bluefishing Monday and Tuesday, it was slow Wednesday on the Golden Eagle, a report on the party boat’s website said. But fishing was a little better today than on Wednesday aboard. “We ended up with smaller bluefish and some nice codfish,” all on jigs, it said. The Golden Eagle is fishing at 7:30 a.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.
Bluefishing was slow the past couple of days on the party boat Miss Belmar Princess, but good previously, according to emails from the vessel. A few small blues and a thresher shark were hooked farther from shore today. Then cod, three dozen, including 10 keepers, and sea bass were caught during the second half of the trip at hills and rubble. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. every Saturday. Family Fun Days are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday and Sunday for fluke, sea bass, blues or whatever bites. The trips enjoy a sunset cruise on the way home.
Point Pleasant Beach
Mushin Sportfishing ran for the offshore canyons for tuna on a daytime trolling trip Wednesday, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. The trips usually depart at 12 midnight, but storms that night prevented that. So the trip left at 7 a.m., finding beautiful, blue, 73- to 75-degree water on the fishing grounds. A couple of knockdowns were scored quickly, in 100 fathoms, along the Continental Edge. They didn’t come tight, and the crew wanted to find a white marlin for one of the anglers, so the trip pushed out to the warmest water, along 500 fathoms. But little was found there, and the trip worked back to 100 fathoms. The anglers went 2 for 4 on yellowfin tuna. With enough tuna for the anglers and friends, the trip called it a day, heading home. Lots of promising signs for the offshore season! Alan said.
Sea bass fishing would be red hot on a couple of days, and many anglers would limit out on the fish, on the party boat Dauntless, Capt. Butch said. On other days, the fishing was a little slow, like on Wednesday, and most anglers would bag five to 10 of the fish. The angling was generally okay, all right, on trips, and a few ling and cod were mixed in. The boat mostly fished in 60- to 90-foot depths, and the water temperature fluctuated between 55 and 65 degrees. That was the surface temp, and the water cooled quickly underneath. A diver said the water became considerably colder 20 to 25 feet down, and that the bottom was 42 to 44 degrees. The Dauntless is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Bluefishing trips are sailing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday. Those trips were attempted last weekend for the first time this year. Too few anglers showed up, and another boat from the docks was the only to sail for blues then.
Fluking held up well on the party boat Norma-K III, Capt. Matt wrote in a report for Monday through Wednesday on the vessel’s website. Shorts gave up good action, and some good-sized keepers were plowed. Some big sea bass were socked, too. South wind slowed the angling on Tuesday. The boat failed to drift much on Wednesday morning’s trip, so skates kept anglers busy, but fluke were in the mix. “The drift was faster (that) afternoon, but it seemed that the Gulps and bucktails worked the best,” he said. “We only caught a few on the squid and spearing combo.” A 6-pound fluke was in the lead for the monthly pool, but anglers not in the pool caught bigger. If you fish aboard, get in the pool. On nighttime trips, bluefishing remained tough. The boat was anchored at the end of Wednesday night’s trip, and ling were picked. The crew will keep giving bluefishing their best, and the fish will be here, he said. The Norma-K III is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and for blues 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
For Barnegat Bay boaters, fluke fishing depended on wind and tide, said Mario from Murphy’s Hook House. The summer flounder could be found at the BB and BI markers. But if wind blew, the anglers could duck behind Barnegat Lighthouse, and might hook the fish at some of the drop-offs there. Cara MacNeil bagged a 6.69-pound fluke from the bay. A trip Mario was on landed 20-some fluke including two keepers on the bay. Blues 2 to 4 pounds popped up in the bay sporadically. Blowfish hovered near the research buoy, between the BB and BI, though few fished for them. Mussel beds near Barnegat Light should also hold them, though few if any fished for them. For surf anglers, the best bet was the 16-inch fluke size limit available at Island Beach State Park. Two fish that size, 2 inches smaller than in the rest of the state, can be bagged in the park. The park’s fluke could be targeted along the ocean surf, with bucktails with Gulps and teasers. But they could also be fished for from the park along Barnegat Bay, from the kayak access areas. If anglers knew where to fish at the kayak areas, they’d catch. Tackle like small ball jigs with small, soft-plastic grubs caught fluke best there. Throwback striped bass were also fought at the kayak areas before dark. In the ocean surf, blues 2 to 4 pounds sometimes schooled. Fish frozen mullet or fresh bunker for them during daytime. Crabbing was great on Toms River, along both banks, and not many tried for them. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.
Crabbing was good the last two days from the dock and rental boats, said George from The Dock Outfitters. Fishing was quiet from the dock, and fluke catches picked up from the surf pretty well. Cast a Spro with Gulp. If anglers need to fish bait, dunk spearing and squid. Striped bass were occasionally dragged from the surf in early mornings and before dark. Barnegat Bay’s fluke fishing wasn’t great, but turned out the fish at the BI and BB markers and around Barnegat Inlet. Blowfishing was improving pretty well at the 42 marker. Bluefish 2 to 6 pounds swam the bay toward the inlet. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, boat and jet ski rentals, a café and a dock for fishing and crabbing. Baits currently include killies and fresh clams and bunker.
Barnegat Bay’s fluking was good at Meyer’s Hole, High Bar Harbor and Double Creek Channel, said Kyle from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. The bay’s blowfishing was okay. Not a lot tried for them, but those who did, picked up a few, not many. Nobody caught bluefish from the bay who was heard about. Some said bluefish stole their bait meant for fluke in the bay. From the ocean, nothing was reported about fluke yet. Sea bass fishing was good on the ocean. A Barnegat Light charter boat had good fishing for mako sharks a couple of weeks, and no sharking was heard about in past days. Kyle’s brother is supposed to compete in Mako Mania this weekend, but weather will probably postpone the tournament. Crabbing was good. Crabbers trapped big blueclaws right off docks. Baits carried including killies, local and Canadian spearing, and shark baits and chum.
A few sea bass were bagged Wednesday on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light, a report on the vessel’s website said. The angling was on the slow side, and one fluke was also bagged. The ocean surface warmed to higher than 70 degrees, but the bottom was chilly. Angling was slow on Monday’s and Tuesday’s trips, too, but some sea bass were sacked. One keeper fluke and some shorts were pumped in. The boat failed to drift much on Monday. The Miss Barnegat Light is sailing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.
An angler and two daughters docked seven keeper fluke to 7 pounds, a good catch, from Barnegat Bay at Bobbie’s Boat Rentals, Al said. The bay’s fluking was good in deeper water in the channels. Fluke from the ocean were yet to be reported. Bluefish had schooled Barnegat Inlet but disappeared recently. Crabs were yet to skitter around, and crabbing begins late locally, because of cold water from the inlet. But some would usually be expected by now. Clamming was good on the bay. 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 baits in season. Minnows are stocked. The grass shrimp supplier was yet to splash the boat for the season. Nothing will be known about weakfish from the bay until the shrimp are carried, really. Live spots were unavailable from the spot supplier, who gets them from Maryland and Virginia. Spots come from there until the fish show up locally, and spots are usually already available from those southern states.
Some decent-sized fluke were boated between the bars off Captain Mike’s and while drifting off the Coast Guard Station at the drop-off from 18 to 40 feet, said Brian from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. Flounder were found at Little Egg Inlet off Little Beach in 10 to 25 feet, and sharks also bit there, if bait like bunker was fished. Bluefish showed up at the inlet in evenings, and look for birds working the water. Usual places in Great Bay served up flounder, like Grassy Channel and from the 130 to 139 markers. Bluefish, not big, 3 pounds, schooled there at times. On the ocean, Little Egg Reef gave up flounder, no better or worse than the bay. Garden State Reef South and Atlantic City Reef were generally the best places for flounder in the ocean. Croakers and spots, not many, a few, were reported from the bay, like off Graveling Point. Baby sea bass began to be hooked in the bay. Mako sharks swam 30 fathoms in the ocean. Nothing was mentioned about tuna, and seas were kind of rough offshore. Crabbing was good. Plenty of minnows are stocked. Grass shrimp are on hand, and telephone to double-check. Fresh, shucked clams are in supply, and fresh bunker should be in for the weekend.
The back bay’s summer flounder fishing was improving, said Curt from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. Flounder swam the ocean, and Curt thinks the bigger flounder might remain in the ocean these days. When he began working at the shop, some bigger, like 10, 11 or 14 pounds, were weighed from the back waters, but not in recent years. Blues, different sizes, popped up in the bay sometimes. Bigger blues like before still showed up at moments. But smaller were around now, too. Croakers swam inlets and along jetties. Croakers could also be found in back waters, and Curt located them at the mouth of Mullica River. Those were smaller, and bigger croakers seemed to gather around inlets and jetties, like Atlantic City’s T-jetty. One of Curt’s trips hooked weakfish at the mouth of the river one day. One weighed a couple of pounds, decent-sized, and one was 15 inches, and a bunch swam the water. The trout seemed a little vacant now. Striped bass were plugged along sod banks and eeled along bridges at night. The fishing was fairly decent, nothing to write home about, but some good-sized keepers were hooked. Sometimes stripers were still beached from the surf. But kingfish were more of the focus in the surf that was heard about. Kingfishing seemed a little better toward Ventnor and Avalon. But kings could be banked at Brigantine. Crabbing picked up, and the latest crab shed was about finished. Shedder crabs are stocked for bait, and soft-shell crabs are on hand for eating, when available. The shop raises the crabs. Baits stocked also include minnows, eels and fresh clams, and just about everything, except spots. The store is working on obtaining spots to stock live. The year’s first come from southern states, until spots show up in local waters that can be caught to carry. No baby bunker or peanut bunker were seen in back waters yet. But Capt. Dave, the store’s owner, saw some of the season’s first mullet in the waters. They were small, and he thought they were minnows, at first.
Brown sharks 3 and 4 feet and kingfish were hooked from the surf, said Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle. Release the browns, by law, and the sharks pounced on kingfish heads and chunks of mackerel or meat like that. A good day of summer flounder fishing was had Saturday. But the fishing’s been hit or miss, and Andy joined a trip 3 hours Wednesday that only landed throwbacks. The tops of tides and outgoing seemed best for flounder fishing on the bay. The Hooked on Fishing Tournament for kids will be held July 18 in Brigantine. Baits carried currently include minnows, bloodworms, fresh clams and nearly everything.
Customers tied into kingfish, croakers and sometimes summer flounder, on foot from the surf at Massachusetts and Vermont avenues to the T-jetty, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. They also hooked sea perch while trying for the kings. The T is at the mouth of Absecon Inlet. The anglers lit into good-sized flounder and croakers, good catches, off the sea wall, toward Gardner’s Basin, the past five days. For the kings, croakers and perch, fish bloodworms or clams. Soak minnows for the flounder, and sometimes blues smacked the minnows, meant for the flatfish. Bloodworms are two dozen for $20 on Mondays and Tuesdays and $10.75 per dozen the rest of the week. Minnows are only $8 a pint or $15 a quart. Catch the special on bucktails at $1.79 for 1/8 ounce, $1.85 for ¼ ounce, $1.89 for 3/8 ounce, $2 for either ½ or 5/8 ounce, $2.20 for 1 ounce, $2.29 for 1 ½ ounce, $2.99 for 2 ounce and $3.49 for 3 ounce. The bucktails come in white, pink-and-white, yellow-and-white, chartreuse-and-white and red-and-white. One Stop also has a shop at Gardner’s Basin.
Egg Harbor Township
Great Egg Harbor Bay’s summer flounder fishing had been dead a moment, but now began to pick up, becoming pretty good, said Collin from 24-7 Bait & Tackle. That was behind Margate, along 9th Street Bridge and off the BoatUS Towing dock in Somers Point. Not much was talked about flounder and sea bass from the ocean. A report was heard about blues 22 to 24 inches still caught along 9th Street Bridge. Collin saw a 36-inch striped bass landed at Somers Point Pier near Somers Point Beach at midnight. So striper fishing seemed okay at night. Weakfish were heard about from off Beesley’s Point. White perch fishing was great from the Garden State Parkway Bridge to Patcong Creek and Great Egg Harbor River, and other brackish waters around there. No croakers were reported from anywhere. Kingfishing in the surf was hit or miss along Ocean City’s jetties and Atlantic City’s T-jetty. Anglers needed to be there at the right time and find them. Brown sharks, required to be released, 4 and 5 feet were fought from shore at Ocean City. In the ocean, mako sharks apparently still swam. A trip two days ago landed five mako sharks and a 12-foot great white shark. A few small great whites were reported hooked recently. Nothing was reported about tuna catches, for unknown reasons, maybe because of weather, maybe because most offshore boaters shark fished. Tuna trips were known to sail, but nobody gave results. Catches of yellowfin tuna and a few bigeye tuna were last reported two or 2 ½ weeks ago, from southern canyons. Good tilefishing was reported from canyons then. Crabbing became slower, and the reasons were unknown, like maybe because of colder water or freshwater from rain. The store’s rental boats are available for crabbing and fishing along Patcong Creek, running past the shop, Great Egg Harbor River and the bay, and Patcong is one of the best places to crab. Baits stocked include minnows, shedder crabs, bloodworms and all the offshore baits, like flats of baitfish and bluefish chum. The company also own 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora.
The Stray Cat fished for sharks, browns, 15 miles from shore on Tuesday, Capt. Mike said. Browns are required to be released, and gobs of them filled the water. All you could want -- big pull on the line, he said. A bonito was hooked but lost near the transom on the trip. That was the first of the season aboard, and is the year’s first reported on this site. Mike planned to try for bonito again today, and the water looked good for fishing on the trip. It was 74 degrees, clear and blue. Trips like this mix in trolling for catches like that sometimes. Blues can often be trolled, and none was found in past days. But they were caught previously aboard. Fishing gave up a little sea bass action on Wednesday, because of northwest wind, cleaning up water. Stray Cat is also summer flounder fishing. Nice flounder, he said, are coming from 70 and 80 feet in the ocean. Space is available on open-boat trips for flounder July 4 and 5. Telephone to lock in a spot. The boat is also fishing farther from shore for sharks like makos and tuna.
Fishing was alright, but rain messed it up, said Will from Fin-Atics. The back bay’s summer flounder fishing was alright, though the water became dirty. Rainbow Channel and along 9th Street Bridge held the fish. Depths 10 to 15 feet on outgoing tides produced. Bluefish hit here and there, not many, in the bay. Kingfish began to show up in the surf. A healthy population of brown sharks, required to be released, haunted the surf. Occasional striped bass were slid from the surf, and dogfish grabbed baits in the surf. Not many sea bass bit in the ocean. News was scarce about sharks and tuna farther from shore. Baits stocked include plenty of minnows.
Sea Isle City
Joe Kitty popper-plugged striped bass to 25 or 26 inches on the back bay Wednesday with Jersey Cape Guide Service, Capt. Joe Hughes said. That angling is a specialty aboard in summer, in the bay shallows, while the boat is poled, like in a tropical destination. The fishing can include sight-casting, and the bass wallop the lures, Rapala Skitter Pops, or crease flies, a version that Joe ties with a bigger cup to throw more water. The attack is visual, exciting. Jorge Rodriguez decked summer flounder from the bay aboard Monday. Joe also putzed around, catching flounder on the bay, on Tuesday by himself. His trips fish for the bay’s flounder with a rig with a bucktail on bottom, with a Gulp on the hook, and a minnow on a red hook, on a trailer tied above. Jersey Cape’s inshore shark trips are heating up. The trips fight and release sharks like duskies and browns, required to be released, within 10 miles from shore. The last trip had the fish 4 miles out, covered in a recent report here. The fishing is a chance to fight big fish without the long trek offshore. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.
Sand tiger sharks and dusky sharks were battled and released, after being tagged, on Delaware Bay on Wednesday with Fins & Grins Sport Fishing, Capt. Jim said. A total of six were nailed on the trip, and both species must be released. These were big fish, including an honest 300 pounds for the sand tigers. The trips are an opportunity to fight large catches without the long trip offshore, and the trips are half the price of shark trips farther from shore, on the ocean. The bay sharks are in, and Fins is also sharking on the longer trips to the ocean. That angling is good, too, and mako sharks stalked 20 fathoms. A few summer flounder were boated at the Old Grounds on the ocean. Anglers need to bucktail the deep water there, and the anglers need to be ones who can do that, if they’re going to catch. Fins fishes for all species available, but the bay’s sharks were kind of a sure thing at the moment. Crabbing was great, and Fins does that, too. The trips anchor in the back bay, and croakers could also be hooked during the crabbing. Fins & Grins fishes every day, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.
Some say the back bay’s summer flounder fishing was strong, and some say it was slower, said Mike from Canal Side Boat Rentals. Locals say it was flat, and Mike didn’t know if that was because of weather. Tuesday night’s storm was severe. Still, the bay’s flounder weren’t going anywhere yet, and they just seemed not to bite as well recently. Conditions like lots of bait will hold them in the water. The canal was choked with bait. Mike saw a tremendous number of striped bass in the canal. Someone video-taped them under lights at night, and Mike couldn’t believe the film wasn’t from September, he told the filmer, but the video was from now. The stripers won’t bite under those conditions, though. The canal teemed with them on high tides in the dark. Some of the rental boaters crabbed on the bay, trapping the blueclaws okay. After the rough weather earlier this week, lots of rental boaters sailed the past couple of days, and rental kayakers headed out. Canal Side rents boats for fishing and crabbing and kayaks. ***Get a $5 discount*** on a rental boat if you mention Fishing Reports Now. A full supply of bait is sold at the shop. That includes minnows, scented and unscented squid, trolling squid, cleaned tube squid, spearing, herring in three per pack, mullet in 12 per pack, whole mackerel, beautiful mackerel fillets, salted clams in quarts and pints, 1-pound of packaged clams, 9 ounces of the clams, frozen, cut clams, whole and cut bunker and plenty of Gulps. All sorts of tackle and supplies are stocked, including bucktails, Spro jigs, Kalins jigheads, rigs from the different companies like Aqua-Clear, Gamakatsu hooks, minnow boxes, pails and buckets, minnow traps, dip nets, hand-woven nets with 6- or 7-foot aluminum handles that are more expensive, therefore less-popular sellers, but great nets, all sorts of crab baskets and more. Mike likes to carry local tackle when available. Spooling reels with line is available. Rods and reels are sold. Crabs, both live and cooked, are sold for eating, and picnic tables are set out to enjoy them, with umbrellas. The crabs are currently No. 2’s for $15 per dozen live and $20 per dozen cooked. The crabs are cooked in advance in the morning.
The Heavy Hitter is supposed to fish this weekend, but forecasts for windy, stormy weather look like they’ll cancel that, Capt. George said. The boat was going to troll for bluefish that reportedly arrived at 5-Fathom Bank. Sea bass fishing was good when George worked the deck on another boat this weekend, covered in the last report here. He heard nothing about sharks or tuna in past days. No boats seemed to run for the fish because of wind.
Summer flounder fishing, on the ocean, wasn’t consistent, and some days were shaky, but some were good on the party boat Porgy IV, Capt. Paul said. How the angling went might depend on the angler asked. But two anglers limited out on Monday’s trip. Charlie Kauflie from Lansdale, Pa., was one, and his flounder weighed up to a 5-1/2-pounder. On Friday’s trip, Mike Taglianetti from Morrisville, Pa., bagged four of the flatfish to a 7-pounder. A couple of big flounder like that were bagged on trips. On Wednesday’s trip, 27 keepers and a bunch of shorts, lots of fish, not a lot of keepers, considering the crowd, were totaled. Paul was surprised at the number of anglers who showed up, after severe storms in South Jersey the night before. The Porgy IV is fishing for summer flounder at 8 a.m. daily.
Croakers showed up, along jetties, in Cape May Canal, at bridges and all around, said Joe from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Big weakfish still held along jetties, hitting bloodworms on floats. Surf fishing was mostly quiet, though. An occasional striped bass was angled from the surf. Many summer flounder scurried the surf. Boaters lifted aboard flounder from the back bay. Flounder fishing lit up at Cape May Reef on the ocean Wednesday, reportedly. Eleven keepers were bagged on one boat there that day. The trip reported that a couple of other boats fished the reef at the time, catching the flatfish just as well. Bluefish reports seemed to dry up from everywhere. Nothing was heard about Delaware Bay. No news rolled in about sharks or tuna from the ocean, maybe because of weather, but no reason was known. Tuna were last heard about a week ago from Wilmington Canyon.