“On the water report,” Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email this morning aboard. The trip tried fishing an area for bigger fluke, and currently pasted six keepers 4 to 7 pounds, and throwbacks gave up action. “More later,” he said.
John Nichols was high hook with four keepers on fluke trips aboard this week, said Capt. Mario from the Down Deep Fleet. A 6-1/2-pounder was biggest, caught by another angler. Fluking was hit and miss, and Mario hopes it picks up. That angling was on the Down Deep, and ling fishing was good on the Down Deep Bull, the company’s other boat, both 40 feet. Ling catches were consistent, unlike fluking, and cod and big winter flounder were also iced on the ling trips. Charters are fishing, and join the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about special open trips. Also see the site’s open-trips page for available dates. Open trips include 12-hour marathons, both for fluke or ling and cod.
Fluke fishing was a little tough – lot of throwbacks, said Jimmy from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Bluefish 2 to 4 pounds were jigged in the back of Raritan Bay. Snappers and crabs were snatched from back waters. Excellent ling fishing was pounded at the Mudhole, and a few cod and winter flounder were hooked among them. Nothing was heard about porgies, except porgies angled along the Earle Pier. All baits are stocked.
A few keeper fluke were put up on Monday’s trips, but the fishing wasn’t good, on the party boat Atlantic Star, Capt. Tom said. Throwbacks gave up action, not well. Tuesday morning’s trip was slow, and the afternoon’s turned up a pick of the fish, actually a few more keepers than usual, and better action on throwbacks. On Wednesday morning’s trip, a few fluke were claimed, not as much as on the previous afternoon. Wednesday afternoon’s trip’s fishing was no good, for unknown reasons, though the same areas were fished: Reach Channel and Flynn’s Knoll. But the main thing was that all the boat’s fluke trips are sailing, he said, and the crew is trying to make a good time for anglers. Schools are almost back in session, so get the kids out, catch some fish, take photos. 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.
All-day action on good-sized fluke Wednesday, and another big fluke, a 9.2-pounder, was heaved in, this one on Monday, on the party boat Fishermen, Capt. Ron wrote in an email. That was after a 10.6-pounder was hauled aboard Friday, covered in the last report here. On Wednesday’s trip, was amazing what a decent drift of the boat will do. Throwbacks and keepers, really good-sized, were on a bite the whole trip. A 7-pounder won the pool, and six of the keepers weighed 5 to 6 pounds. The high hook bagged four fluke, and bluefish busted the water surface at quitting time. Some of the season’s biggest blues were tackled aboard, while the trip gave them a shot. On Monday’s trip, Bob Frade from Lake Hopatcong bagged the 9.2-pounder, his personal best. The trip’s fluking wasn’t so good. Capt. Ron Sr. slapped three keepers aboard, and some of the boat’s best jig anglers managed two. Tuesday’s fluking wasn’t easy either. Wind blew against tide, hampering the boat’s drift most of the trip, and no drift is never good for fluking. The anglers worked hard, and the high hook bagged three. Large fluke were targeted that day aboard, and some big were smacked, for the effort. It’s just a tough year, Ron said, after 37 seasons. Wind blew against tide all but two or three days a month. If 16 inches were the size limit, like in Delaware, instead of New Jersey’s 18 inches, Ron would need to build a bigger boat, he said. But that won’t happen in his lifetime, he said. He thanked his regs for hanging in. They were there for great fishing, and are here now, working hard. Salt of the earth, Ron said. We’ll give it hell again tomorrow, he said. The Fishermen is sailing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. However, this Saturday morning is chartered, so no open-boat trip will fish then. Trips are fishing for fluke, porgies, croakers or whatever bites 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.
Sailing from Twin Lights Marina, Ed and Tony on the Hammerhead boated six keeper fluke at Chapel Hill Channel on Wednesday on Gulps and killies, Marion wrote in an email. Paul and Maddy Hess on the Boudicca on Tuesday boxed two 19-inch fluke at Flynn’s Knoll on Gulps and squid. Paul and Maddy on another trip Saturday, with Dom and Nick Ciccarelli, on the Boudicca docked another 19-incher from Sandy Hook Chanel on Gulp and squid. 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. Baits stocked include the full offshore selection. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card.
For Last Lady Fishing Charters, fluke fishing on the ocean was only fair on the weekly individual-reservation trip for the fish Tuesday, Capt. Ralph said. Several keepers to 25 inches were waxed, and a bunch of shorts were released. Giant, out-of-season sea bass were let go the whole trip. Many kids were aboard the trip, so Ralph couldn’t fish where he’d prefer for better fluking. But the kids had a good time, and that was the important thing, he said. A trip today was supposed to fish for cod. Individual-reservation trips are fishing for fluke every Tuesday, and kids 12 and under sail free, limited to two per adult host. Two spaces remain for an individual-reservation trip for sea bass on October 22, opening day of sea bass season. Other individual-reservation trips are full, and Ralph will schedule more.
Fluke fishing on the ocean was pretty tough, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. The fish gathered in small patches. A drift of the boat would catch some, and the drift would be repeated, and none would be hooked. On a good day, anglers would bag two or three apiece. The fishing was a grind – that’s the best way to put it, he said. Lots of mackerel swam the water, and sometimes small blues did. Plenty of dates are available for trips in September, and Pete hopes fluking picks up. 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.
Twenty yellowfin tuna and a 90-pound swordfish were landed on an overnight trip Monday to Tuesday with XTC Sportfishing, Capt. Scott said. A 200-pound bigeye tuna and a dozen yellowfins were taken on an overnighter Thursday to Friday. Most yellowfins on the trips were trolled during daytime inshore of the offshore canyons, except five that were chunked at night at the canyons on the trip with the sword. The bigeye was trolled, at the canyons, of course. Trips are supposed to fish for tuna inshore today and at the canyons Friday.
Shark River’s fluke fishing was good this week, and better numbers of keepers were plowed than before, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. Three anglers on a trip landed more than 100 fluke, including six keepers, from the river. Two of them, regulars at the shop, last week landed 150, including no keepers, on a trip on the river. The store’s rental boats are available to fish the river. Lots of mullet and spearing schooled the back of the river. Sometimes small striped bass and snapper blues fed on them. Ocean fluking was fair, and fluke 8 pounds and heavier were docked from Belmar’s head boats this week. Charter boats scored some good numbers of the fish. Bluefishing was slow on the ocean. But mackerel fishing was hot on the trips. “Go figure – no blues, lots of mackerel,” he said. Surf fishing was slow, but should pick up, as baitfish migrate to the ocean from the river.
Small blues and plenty of mackerel were pitched aboard Tuesday, at a hill east of Shark River, an email from the Miss Belmar Princess said. The fishing began slowly but improved throughout the trip. Wednesday’s trip fished the same lump, and blues and mackerel were marked but took a while to get going. They began to be picked, and the angling turned out decent. On Monday’s trip, throwback fluke, two keepers and some blues, mackerel and false albacore were eased in. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for blues 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.
On a beautiful ocean, fishing for blues and mackerel was good Monday on the party boat Golden Eagle, a report on the vessel’s website said. Tuesday’s trip took a chance and searched for larger blues. Three- to 7-pounders, a decent catch, were clocked, after searching quite a bit. On Wednesday, anglers picked at blues and mackerel aboard, and on today’s trip, blues, weakfish and shad were boated the first couple of hours, and that looked promising. Then blues and mackerel were cracked, until the fishing slowed in the afternoon. Looks like beautiful weather in the next days. The Golden Eagle is fishing at 7:30 a.m. daily. Fishing and sunset cruises are sailing at 4:30 p.m. daily, and reservations are required for those outings.
Point Pleasant Beach
On the party boat Gambler, fluke fishing on the ocean was pretty slow, but seemed to be picking up, Capt. Bob said at 9 a.m. today aboard in a phone call. One angler had already bagged two keepers, on the trip’s first drift of the boat. John Currier from Hoboken had sacked a 4- or 5-pounder already. The water gave up pretty good life, including throwbacks, sea robins, sand sharks “and all that good stuff,” he said, on the trip. Definitely looking better a bit, he said, and the trip fished in 45 feet, so far. Plus, fluke seemed to be migrating to the ocean from rivers. Bob heard the fish were yanked from Manasquan Inlet’s wall, for instance. This coming couple of weeks should be good, he thinks. The last nighttime bluefishing trip, on Saturday, was good, tugging in small blues to 2 pounds and mackerel, 15 miles from shore. The last nighttime ling trip caught well, too, tugging in mixed sizes of ling, from small to 3 pounds, and a few cod and big winter flounder. Those trips recently reeled in two to four lobsters apiece, too. The Gambler is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Trips are fishing for ling 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 .m. every Thursday and for blues every Friday and Saturday during those hours. Tuna trips will begin on September 21, and see the tuna schedule online.
Bottom-fishing plugged away at ling and decked winter flounder and a few cod on the party boat Dauntless, Capt. Butch said. Anglers averaged 10 to 25 fish apiece, still decent fishing. The size of the ling and cod began to be a little small. But some of the cod were still keepers – ling have no size limit – and the flounder were big. A few mackerel and small blues were in the mix, and the trips fished in 120 to 220 feet. The ocean everywhere, from shore to the fishing grounds, was 75 degrees along the surface. The water was a dirty green, like before, so the bottom was probably chilly. Chillier water below causes plankton or algae to gather along the surface, turning the water green there, Butch thought. No porgies were hooked, and a few were nabbed when the boat fished for sea bass closer to shore, until sea bass season was closed. Porgies were currently boated off New York, farther north, but as soon as they migrate south, the Dauntless will target them. Nighttime trips are fishing on Fridays and Saturdays through Labor Day weekend, at least. Those trips usually sail for bluefish, but few blues were around for the trips this summer. So the trips recently fished for ling and cod. The Dauntless is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Trips are bluefishing or bottom-fishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday through Labor Day, if not longer.
At Murphy’s Hook House, Richie Mast today weighed a 5.8-pound fluke, the biggest of six he boated off Manasquan on the ocean, Mario said. Ocean fluking seemed alright, nothing great. Barnegat Bay’s fluking was sporadic, near the BI and BB markers, and off Barnegat Lighthouse. Plenty of snapper blues roamed the Toms River. Lots of small, throwback black drum filled the river. Drum must be 16 inches or larger to keep. Bait was balled up in the river, including mullet, spearing and peanut bunker. Crabs were trapped from the river. The surf doled out scattered blues and sometimes fluke. Surf casters took advantage of Island Beach State Park’s 16-inch fluke size limit, compared with 18 inches in the rest of the state. Two fluke is the limit in the park, compared with five in the rest of the state. Murphy’s, located on Rouge 37, also owns Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.
Along the dock, many blowfish hovered, said George from The Dock Outfitters. Lots of small black drum and sometimes spots gathered there. Snapper blues schooled the water. Crabbing improved a little from the dock and rental boats. The surf harbored lots of small fluke and a couple of 12-inch bluefish. No blackfish were mentioned, except some speared along Barnegat Inlet. From the ocean, fluke that kept being reported came from off the bathing beach at Island Beach State Park in 35 to 40 feet. 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 stocked currently include killies and fresh bunker and clams.
Barnegat Bay shoveled up good blowfishing, said Kyle from Grizz’s Forked Bait & Tackle. That was at the mouth of Oyster Creek and south of the 40 marker, on clams or squid on the hook in clam chum. Fluking was okay, mustering lots of shorts, sometimes a keeper. In the ocean, they were located off the bathing beach at Island Beach State Park, in 60 feet, and the Tires. Those were the spots reported, and from the bay, the cut from Oyster Creek Channel to Barnegat Inlet was the place talked about. A few reports about weakfish boated on the bay rolled in. Sandworms will be stocked next week for them, and anglers asked for them. Otherwise, pink Fin-S Fish were jigged for the trout. Crabbing sounded alright, not as good as previously. Crabbers complained about the blueclaws dying in overnight pots, because of warm water. Minnows are stocked, and fresh spearing should be carried for the weekend. All frozen baits are in supply.
Fishing was up and down on the fluke trips on the ocean on the Miss Barnegat Light, a report on the party boat’s website said. On some days, conditions drifted the boat well, and some good-sized were swung up. When the boat failed to drift, the angling was slow. Croakers began to show up the last few days, helping keep action around the boat. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. ***Tuna trips*** will fish the canyons overnight from 3 p.m. to 1 p.m. October 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 23, 30 and 31, limited to 26 passengers. The price is $400, and everybody gets a bunk. No food will be available, but coffee and two microwaves will be. Butterfish and sardines will be supplied. A two-day tuna trip will sail 3 p.m. October 17 to 1 p.m. October 19 for $600 per person. The trips can be canceled 72 hours in advance, no exceptions, and call 609-494-2094 to book.
A couple of keeper fluke, lots of shorts, were boated, said Kevin from Bobbie’s Boat Rentals. The fish seemed to gather more around Barnegat Inlet than before, like they were staging to migrate to the ocean. From the ocean, a couple of keepers from the Tires were heard about. A few bluefish were landed from the inlet, but weren’t schooled. Customers ordered live grass shrimp for weakfishing on Barnegat Bay, but those who fished for them last week caught none. Blackfish were reeled from along the inlet’s rocks and ocean wrecks, though the fishing wasn’t good. Crabbing had become pretty good and became slower currently. 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. Baits stocked currently include minnows and green crabs. Customers can order live grass shrimp a couple of days ahead. Live spots are yet to be carried.
The ocean off the Red Tower, in 55 or 60 feet, seemed the place for summer flounder fishing, said Scott from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. The angling was fair and better than at places like Garden State Reef South and Little Egg Reef. High hooks landed 100, including four keepers, off the tower. Lots of action, difficult to hook a keeper. In the bay, a fishery for blowfish and kingfish almost developed. Catches of them were heard about once in a while, and lots were small, and occasionally the fish were large enough to keep. Scott heard about croakers this week for the first time this season. A few swam the mouth of Mullica River. Rumors about weakfish began to circulate from the bay, and whether they were true was unknown. Maybe the shop will report weaks next week, he said. Surely blackfishing should be good along the bay’s banks, because it always is in September, and this was almost that month. Nobody mentioned trying for them in the one-blackfish bag limit. But if anglers wanted to fish for them, the tautog were probably there. So a smorgasbord of fish, he said, swam the bay. Lots of crabs skittered around, and crabbing was like much fishing. Many of the blueclaws were small, but enough were sizable to keep crabbing interesting. Minnows, bloodworms, green crabs and fresh, shucked clams are stocked. No live grass shrimp are stocked in the heat that would kill them.
Summer flounder are here, hard to say more, said Capt. Dave from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. Full-moon tides started to arrive, and striped bass, mostly throwbacks, began to be popper-plugged and hooked on soft-plastic lures in the back bay. High tides at dusk and dawn and nighttime fished best for them. Most were played along sod banks, especially because of abundant mullet. But some were caught along jetties and Brigantine Bridge. This was a great time to take kids panfishing in the bay. Croakers and kingfish swam along the ocean beach but began to push into the bay. The bay was mobbed with baby black drum 5 inches. Keeper size is 16, but the drum gave up action by the dozens on worms and clams on small hooks. Dave hopes some grow to keeper, puppy size next year to be caught, and they grow quickly, he said. Stories began to be heard about weakfish, small, including from the mouth of Mullica River. But the mouth of Great Egg Harbor River seemed best. A few were heard about from along the Intracoastal Waterway between both rivers. This was still August, and weaks could be found another couple of months. There was still a chance for weakfishing. Crabbing was as good as in a long time, and seemed to keep becoming better. More crabbing supplies were just ordered, and crabbing’s been the hot thing. Crabs are shedding, and shedder crabs are stocked for bait. So are beautiful soft-shell crabs for eating, and the shop raises the crabs. Keep up on availability on the shop’s soft-shell crabs Facebook page. Lots of baitfish schooled, including mullet and peanut bunker in the bay, and spots, both in Absecon Creek, running past the shop, and in the surf. Live peanuts and spots are stocked. Mullet are stocked off and on. Mullet schooled thick, but in open water in the bay, where Dave couldn’t always castnet them, before they got spooked and swam away. The shop carries one of the largest selections of bait including live and fresh.
The surf began to hold somewhat more kingfish than before, said Justin from Riptide Bait & Tackle. They began to bite Fishbites artificial worms, not just real bloodworms that they already nibbled. Both are stocked, and sharks mostly no longer haunted the surf that did previously. Summer flounder were mostly reported from the ocean, deep water.
Mostly croakers were lit into, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. But lots of blowfish were hooked, and so were kingfish. Summer flounder were still caught, and sometimes blackfish were hit along the rocks. All these fish were found along the Vermont Avenue jetty, the T-jetty and off Melrose Avenue. Bloodworms, clams, mullet and minnows were fished. Green crabs were dunked for the blackfish. All these baits and more, a large supply, are stocked. Bloodworms are two dozen for $20 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 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
Ocean City Reef was mainly where summer flounder were boated, said Austin from 24-7 Bait & Tackle. Few were reported from the bay, except sometimes small. Weakfish, lots of small, were mostly reported, from the surf and sometimes docks. Crabbing was great, including in Patcong Creek, running past the shop. Lots of the blueclaws were sizable, and one crabber reported trapping nearly a bushel of keepers in a short time. The store’s rental boats are docked on the creek, available for fishing and crabbing there and nearby, including on Great Egg Harbor River and the bay. Baits stocked include live spots, minnows and green crabs. Fresh bunker is on hand. No fresh clams are carried, until probably next month sometime. All the offshore baits are stocked, and nothing was heard about offshore fishing for tuna and big game. The company also own 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora.
Back-bay fishing for summer flounder was slow, but improved, and was lots better this week than last on the party boat Keeper, Capt. John said. The water cleaned up somewhat, and was dirty previously, for unknown reasons. Wednesday morning’s trip fished better than before, though the afternoon’s was no good. Lots of fish bit on trips, including throwback flounder, a gazillion baby sea bass and tons of sea robins. The fishing was fun, and all customers seemed to enjoy. Minnows caught best, and the sea bass bit the tails off Gulps, and mackerel attracted many sea bass to hit. Minnows and mackerel are provided aboard. Baitfish schooled all over the bay in mornings. Big schools of mullet moved around. Peanut bunker moved, too. Mullet will migrate to the ocean soon, because that’s what happens when John sees the bait in the bay like this. They’ll push to the ocean next week, he guessed. The Keeper is fishing for summer flounder 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 5 p.m. daily. The trips are only $28, because the fishing is near port, and the pontoon boat is economical on fuel. Rental rods are free, too.
The Stray Cat worked the ocean for summer flounder, Capt. Mike said. Ninety feet held the keepers, and nine spots are available for an open-boat trip for flounder Saturday. Croakers showed up 5 ½ miles from shore Wednesday. They weren’t great-sized, but there were plenty. Mike saw no weakfish yet this season in the ocean. The ocean was 77 degrees, and out to 20 miles was cloudy or smoky, holding plankton. Lots of pollen covered the water Wednesday. Two spaces remain for an open, overnight trip for tuna September 5 to 6.
Trips fished for summer flounder aboard every day, and actually produced some keepers, said Capt. Victor from the party boats Miss Ocean City and Captain Robbins. That was among throwbacks released, and quite a few of the trips seemed to give up keepers, he said. Trips are fishing for summer flounder on the back bay 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. daily and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday. After Labor Day, trips will fish the ocean for flounder and croakers 6 hours daily.
Sometimes kingfish, small, now and again better-sized, floated the surf, said Will from Fin-Atics. Brown sharks, required to be released, began to be fought from the surf again, after fishing for them slowed previously. Warmer water seemed the reason. Ocean summer flounder fishing was good at reefs, he heard, and big ones were in the mix. Inlets held croakers, occasional spots, and small sea bass. Little was reported about offshore fishing, and the angling was slow, and the water was dirty. But bigeye tuna were sometimes nailed at Wilmington Canyon. Crabbing was good.
Sea Isle City
Popper-plugging for striped bass lit up, was good, in the back bay the past couple of evenings, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. High tides in evenings are ideal, coming around every couple of weeks. A couple of anglers even said some of the bass appeared to be migrators, because the fish were shiny or silvery and had sea lice. Those are usually considered signs that stripers are migrators from the ocean, and this was very early for the migration. Summer flounder fishing was okay, and some of the best flounder reports came from deeper water in the ocean than usual. The reports came from water like 100 to 130 feet, up to 10 miles from shore, from coral or stone bottom. If anglers look for areas like that on a chart, maybe they’ll get into the fish. Plenty of kingfish swam the surf, and were small, but caught. Offshore fishing sounded tough. Lots of mahi mahi and some bigeyes were found. Crabbing was excellent, and those who hadn’t crabbed in years trapped them, and old timers said crabbing was the best in a long time.
Two small mahi mahi and two gigantic false albacore were fought from the ocean on live bait including peanut bunker Wednesday with Dusty Laricks and Dan Roth aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. A leatherback turtle was found tangled in a pot line, and they released it, and a whale was seen on the way back to port, and that’s unusual this time of year. Was like Sea World, Joe said, and Jamie Smith’s family aboard the previous day, on Tuesday morning, boated two keeper fluke, a bunch of throwbacks and baby sea bass from the back bay. Dick Linus and friend aboard that afternoon released a bunch of throwback fluke on the ocean. On Monday, an angler and son took one of the inshore shark trips on the boat. They fly-rodded two, broke off two on flies and landed three to five on bait. So the angling was good, and the sharks weighed up to 100 pounds. The trips fight and release sharks, usually within 10 miles from shore. Eager for the fall migration of fish? Joe meets the run early each year, on traveling charters to Montauk, New York, the legendary port. The trips this year, for striped bass, blues and false albacore, will be launched on September 18. Hit the migration before your friends do in New Jersey. Annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys will fish from Christmas to Easter. Visit Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.
The next trip was supposed to fish today, trolling for blues, with Fins & Grins Sport Fishing, Capt. Jim said. Blues 2 ½ to 3 pounds, good-sized for eating and fun on light tackle, have schooled the ocean off Cape May Inlet for 1 ½ months now. They also gathered at 5-Fathom Bank and ocean reefs. A trip Sunday crushed the blues aboard. Summer flounder held in the ocean at Cape May and Wildwood reefs. Croakers, weakfish and kingfish swam many places, including in the ocean off Wildwood, and sometimes off Cape May Point. Fins fishes for any species available. Trips fish every day, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.
Bluefish were trolled Wednesday on the Heavy Hitter on an annual trip for ARC, Capt. George said. The fleet hosts anglers from there each year, and summer flounder trips are slated for Friday and Saturday on the Heavy Hitter. Offshore fishing was the same as previously: Bigeye tuna were trolled at Wilmington and Washington canyons, late in the day. If the fish show up, they show up. Marlin and mahi mahi were heard about from the 50-fathom line between Baltimore and Poorman’s canyons.
Summer flounder fishing, on the ocean, was inconsistent on the party boat Porgy IV, Capt. Paul said. On some days, the angling was better, but no consecutive days gave up the same results. Not many keepers, and lots of shorts, bit on Wednesday’s trip. On one day, Saturday or Sunday, Paul thought, Gary Drumheller from Broomall, Pa., bagged three keepers to 8 pounds. On the next day, Bill Effing from Bensalem, Pa., bagged four. Ed Bednarik from Philadelphia nailed the week’s biggest flounder: an 8.33-pounder. For August, flounder fishing should be better. Not a lot of the fish were around, “at least not for me,” Paul said. Even boats from Delaware, where 16 inches is the flounder size limit, compared with 18 in New Jersey, struggled. Weather played a part, and wind was brutal on Saturday, and the ocean held a big swell Sunday. But some anglers aboard are boating a few, and some want to try, and the Porgy IV is fishing for summer flounder at 8 a.m. daily.
The keeper summer flounder seemed to come from the ocean’s artificial reefs and the Old Grounds, said Joe from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. A few flounder, mostly small, were known about from the back bay. Lots of bait filled the bay and creeks, including peanut bunker, spearing and mullet. Nothing was heard about Delaware Bay, and customers mostly fish there for striped bass in fall. Currently, they mostly fish the ocean and back bay. Snapper blues schooled off Cape May Inlet. From the surf, sometimes kingfish and small bluefish were beached. A few spots reportedly appeared in the surf. A few croakers, not lots, but big, were scattered around jetties and bridges. Sharpies landed a few striped bass, sometimes keepers, along jetties at night on Mag Darters.