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Saltwater Fishing Report

Report from Thursday, July 24.

| Keyport | Atlantic Highlands | Highlands | Neptune | Belmar | Brielle | Point Pleasant Beach | Toms River | Seaside Heights | Forked River | Barnegat Light | Surf City | Mystic Island | Absecon | Brigantine | Atlantic City | Margate | Longport | Ocean City | Sea Isle City | Wildwood | Cape May | Last Monday's Report |
The Vitamin Sea will next fish today, for fluke, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. He’ll try to give results during the trip that will be posted here as an update, if he does. The boat is booked Friday and Saturday, but space is available Sunday on an open-boat trip for fluke. Follow the Vitamin Sea’s Facebook page for real-time reports and open-trip dates. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!” ***Update, Thursday, 7/24:*** The trip today limited out on fluke, Frank wrote in an email at 12 noon. “All quality fish,” he said, and at least six weighed 5 pounds.

With Papa’s Angels Charters, fishing will next sail on Friday and Monday, for fluke, Capt. Joe said. Open-boat trips are available twice daily, for fluke in the morning or blues in the afternoon, when no charter is booked. Telephone to jump aboard.

Atlantic Highlands
After tough fluke fishing previously, Wednesday’s trip took a long ride to try elsewhere, Capt. Ron from the party boat Fishermen wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Twenty-six keepers, all good-sized, were bagged on the first drift, and the good fluking lasted the whole trip, and some sizeable sea bass were socked, including a 6-pounder. Nine anglers limited out, including regular customers on Wednesdays. Those with limits were Hammer Tom and brother Gerry, Brett, Larry, Uncle Luna, Never Quit Eddie, Scooter Scott, Rob Pags and Tom the Vet. Tom the Vet won the pool with an 8-pound fluke, just missing the season-long pool-leader, an 8-pound 3-ouncer. Most of the anglers aboard read Ron’s report the previous day about the tough fishing, and still joined the trip, and he was amazed. He thanked them for hanging in there, and they were rewarded that day. “Now, if we can only do it again tomorrow!” he said. The Fisherman is fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and for croakers, porgies and bottom fish 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. daily except Sundays. However, charters are booked this Friday and Saturday mornings, so no open-boat trips will fish then.

One of the party boats, the Fishermen, ran into a heck of a catch of fluke on Wednesday, many keepers, said Joe Sr. from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Another one of the head boats picked up a pretty good catch of the flatfish at the Mud Buoy. One of the charter boats kept smashing ling, loads, on the ocean. Paul Murphy from Atlantic Highlands trolled a 32-pound striped bass at the 2S buoy on a bunker spoon. A bunch of croakers schooled the rivers. Snapper blues swam the rivers and along places like bulkheads. Crabbing picked up a little. The full selection of baits is stocked.

More throwback fluke bit than before and some keepers were clutched on Tuesday morning’s trip on the party boat Atlantic Star, and then the boat’s drift was lost, Capt. Tom said. On the afternoon’s trip, the drift was good, and lots of throwbacks hit. “I mean a lot,” he said. Action was non-stop, mostly with throwbacks, and all customers caught at least the shorts, and some of the keepers were sizeable. Three anglers in the bow landed almost 20 fluke apiece, including four keepers total. So the fishing was okay that day, but fell apart on Wednesday. The difference was crazy. Shorts and not nearly as many keepers were angled as on the previous day. Fishing for keepers was pretty darn tough on the outing, actually. “We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” he said. 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.

Running from Twin Lights Marina, Bob Drumm and sons subdued a thresher shark, 145 pounds dressed, at 17 fathoms on the family’s 20-foot Angler, Marion wrote in an email. Patty Studzinski bagged a 20-inch fluke, her first-ever fluke, at Ambrose Channel on the Old Gray Mare on a killie with squid. Twin Lights, located conveniently 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. The full supply of bait is stocked for inshore and offshore. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card.

Wind forced fishing to be cancelled Wednesday afternoon with Last Lady Fishing Charters, Capt. Ralph said. On a trip Tuesday, fluke catches weren’t as good as on Saturday morning, he said, and only eight keepers to 6 pounds were bagged. A bunch of sea bass and 20 ling were boxed, and south wind came up by 1 p.m., causing the trip to depart early for home. More trips will fish inshore on Saturday and Sunday, and a trip will fish offshore for tuna at the canyons on Monday. If anglers want to fish for cod, a few spaces remain on an individual-reservation trip for them on August 7, the only spaces left before September. One of the trips for cod became full on August 28. Charters are available, and individual-reservation trips are fishing for fluke every Tuesday.

XTC Sportfishing mostly sea bassed recently, and the angling was excellent, Capt. Scott said. Small bluefish were also tugged in. More trips will fish inshore Saturday and Sunday, and a tuna trip will fish the offshore canyons Monday.

After the last blow, the ocean was somewhat cleaner and warmer, and trips fished for fluke a little deeper aboard, and not a lot were landed, but the
ones caught were definitely larger, up to 8 pounds, said Capt. Pete from
Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. One of the On the Water Bucktail Seminars sailed aboard Tuesday, and went well. Most of the anglers had never bucktailed for fluke before, and most bagged fluke 3 to 5 pounds, and an 8-pounder was largest. The trip first fished shallow, so the anglers could get the hang of bucktailing. By the end of the trip, the deep was fished, and the anglers were “bucktail pros,” Pete said. See more info about the seminars below. Pete hopes fluking will amp up once the ocean temperature levels off and becomes steady. Fishing for small bluefish with bonito mixed in was good on the ocean. Pete spoke with nobody recently who sailed for bluefin tuna on the mid-shore ocean. But friends previously were limiting out on the bluefins, one over and two under, and Parker Pete’s will sail for the tuna. Here’s info on the seminars: Parker Pete’s this season is hosting “on the water seminars” on bucktailing for fluke. An email about that said: “Are you tired of reading reports of people catching big (fluke)? Do you usually ‘drag’ bait and hope for the big one? Are you being out-fished when you go out fluking? Are you ready to get hooked on bucktailing in a non-threatening way?” The trips are inexpensive, and the next will sail on Tuesday, and August dates will be announced, and email Pete for more info. Also, don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Jump on Parker Pete’s website to subscribe to the emailed newsletter to be kept informed about last-minute, individual spaces available to fill in charters. Look for the place to sign up on the right side of the page.

Fluke fishing was hot and cold on the ocean and in rivers, mostly because of weather, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. Bluefishing improved a lot on the ocean, but the fish were small. Still, they were perfect for the frying pan. Bonito, fun to catch, good to eat, were spread around in the ocean. In the rivers and back-waters, snapper blues schooled. They were fun for kids to catch, and great for fluke bait for adults. In the surf, kingfishing was good. Small blues and striped bass were around in the surf, if anglers fished during low light. Some anglers were ticketed for undersized fish and exceeding bag limits this week. “You don’t want to be one of them,” Bob said. Have fun, he said, but follow the regs.

For anglers on the Big Mohawk, fluke fishing, on the ocean, was good, not bad, not too bad, Capt. Chris said. The angling could’ve been worse, and could’ve been better, surely, but was decent, and some of the fish were sizeable, so that was also nice. Most of the fish were jigged, because the water warmed. Mostly Gulps hooked them, and very few were hooked on bait. That was also because the water warmed, so that was good. The Big Mohawk is fishing for fluke 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Bluefish, a super catch, and some bonito mixed in were smoked today on the party boat Golden Eagle, a report on the vessel’s website said. Blues and false albacore were wrestled aboard Wednesday, but catches were a little off, compared with the previous several days. Fishing was decent for blues on Tuesday’s trip, and excellent for blues and bonito mixed in on the previous two days’. Trips aboard caught on hammered jigs, Krocodiles, teasers and popper lures. The Golden Eagle is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

Excellent fishing was drilled today on the party boat Miss Belmar Princess, at hills and lumps on the ocean east of Shark River Inlet, an email from the boat said. Super readings of fish were marked top to bottom, and sometimes the fish were hooked along top. The email didn’t name the species, but apparently meant bluefish, the species mostly targeted this season aboard. Experienced anglers caught all they wanted, and everybody had a great time, the email said. Wednesday’s trip also fished hills east of the inlet, and a couple of drifts latched into decent catches of blues, another email from the boat said. Next, the trip bottom-fished along the Mudhole, catching a few fish, it said. Afterward, the trip bluefished again, picking some. The trip’s angling was a little slower than it had been aboard, but was still good. 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 Friday and Saturday.

“Decent pickings today,” Capt. Ryan from the party boat Jamaica II wrote in an email at 9 a.m., so he seemed to mean yesterday aboard. Most of the “hardcore” decked a few keeper fluke. “Found decent life” at most deep places fished, he said. Joe Baczynsi from Willingboro won the pool with a 9-1/2-pound fluke, but hadn’t entered the monthly pool. “Many missed a beautiful day on the water and a bag of fillets to take home,” Ryan said. Fluking was decent aboard most of the week, when conditions drifted the boat reasonably. Customer’s catches included Pete Talevi from Trenton’s limit of fluke to a 6-pound 3-ouncer, Young Park from Fort Lee’s 5-pounder and Ed Nolan from Manasquan’s 4-1/2-pounder. The Jamaica II is fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday.

Point Pleasant Beach
Lots of action with fluke was knocked around this morning on the party boat Gambler, Capt. Bob said early this afternoon, but not a lot were keepers. A few were, and a few sea bass were also bagged. Fluking aboard trips, on the ocean, was kind of off and on, and seemed halfway decent when conditions were. When south wind blew too much, that put the angling down some. South wind cools the ocean close to shore, because of upwelling. On nighttime bluefish trips, a few of the fish were zapped Saturday, and some anglers dropped to the bottom with bait, catching ling. The bluefishing was pretty good on Friday, and the blues on the trips were 1 and 2 pounds. On the boat’s Thursday night wreck-fishing trips, catches were good. Ling, a few cod, a few winter flounder and some squid were sacked. The Gambler is fishing for fluke twice daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. Nighttime wreck-fishing trips are sailing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Thursdays for cod, pollock, ling, winter flounder and squid. Bluefishing trips are running 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Great action was copped on Wednesday afternoon’s fluke trip on the party boat Norma-K III, despite strong south wind, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Many shorts and a few keepers to 5 pounds came in. Tuesday afternoon’s fluking was tough because of south wind and strong current that drifted the boat too fast. But wind now was coming around to northwest, a better direction for the ocean fluke fishing. Tuesday and Wednesday mornings’ fluking aboard was decent. Some good-sized keepers and some throwbacks were toggled in, and on Wednesday morning’s trip, Harvey Weinstein from Point Pleasant creeled a 7-pound fluke. That was the second largest aboard this month. Some sizeable fluke are around, so come on down, Matt said. On nighttime trips, the boat was back on the blues Wednesday, after fishing for them was slower aboard Tuesday in the dark. A healthy population of the 1- to 2-pounders, lots of fun on light tackle, some a little bigger, seemed to hold in an area. So Matt expects to catch them a while. Weather is great, and fishing is a little better, so join the boat’s trips, he said. The Norma-K III is fluke fishing on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m., and is bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

Toms River
Snapper bluefishing really took off in the Toms River, said Dennis from Murphy’s Hook House. The fish averaged 4 inches, and some were 5, and mostly spearing, sometimes small killies, were fished for them. An oddball, 6- to 10-inch fluke bit in the river. The river held eels and crabs. A few croakers, not a lot, were hooked in the water along bottom. Crabbing was fantastic, super good, he said, at Good Luck Point along Barnegat Bay and at Island Heights on the river. Good Luck Point is near the river’s mouth. In the bay, fluke swam around the BI and BB markers. One customer in the area boated six keepers and 10 throwbacks on Wednesday. Plain killies or a combo of a killie with squid caught best there. A few blowfish, not many, hovered in the bay. At Barnegat Inlet, small bluefish raced through. On the ocean, at places like the Tire Reef, a few fluke and sea bass were boated, but the fishing was mostly quiet, though the water warmed. Fluke fishing in the surf was actually pretty good. A plain rig baited with Gulp or a bucktail baited with Gulp jabbed them. A few kingfish and croakers floated around the surf, and bloodworms, instead of sandworms, are now stocked, because of fishing for them. Murphy’s, located on Route 37 in Toms River, bought Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in the town this year, and is running both shops now.

Seaside Heights
From the dock, snapper blues were tackled, Kevin from The Dock Outfitters said. They were small, and snappers grow throughout the season. Small fluke were angled now and then from the dock. Crabbing was good, improving from the dock. Lots skittered around, and crabbing was even better from the rental boats. They were sailed to Good Luck Point across Barnegat Bay for the blueclaws. Surf fishing was slow, easing in fluke on occasion. 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.

Forked River
A lot of fluke, a lot of throwbacks, crammed Barnegat Bay, said Grizz from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. He fished for them this morning, totaling 20 throwbacks, no keepers. No blowfish to speak of arrived in the bay yet. Dogfish bit in the bay. At Barnegat Inlet, small bluefish and small striped bass were around. So were houndfish, and on the ocean, sea bass, some, were caught. Ling were lifted from ocean wrecks. Fluke were boated from the ocean at the Tires and off the Seaside Heights Ferris wheel.

Barnegat Light
A bunch of fluke were creamed today on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light, the vessel’s Facebook page said. Most were shorts, but enough were keepers to make the angling interesting. On Wednesday’s trip, not as many keepers were pitched in as would’ve been liked, but action with shorts kept anglers busy. Weather forecasts look great for joining trips in the next few days. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.

Fishing’s been trolling bluefish 1 to 2 pounds and bonito 2 to 4 pounds on the ocean on the Super Chic, Capt. Ted said. “At Barnegat Ridge or something?” he was asked. “Yeah, they’re not in any one spot,” he said. A trip Saturday was forced to fish Barnegat Bay, because of rough weather for ocean fishing. The half-day trip reeled up a bunch of throwback fluke, no keepers. The next trip will sail on Friday, and the targeted species was unsure, but Ted hopes the anglers troll for the blues and bonito. A trip Saturday is slated to fish for bluefin tuna on the mid-shore ocean. “Sounds like a pretty good little bite,” he said about the tuna fishing, and he was excited to fish for them. Another trip will probably fluke on the ocean Sunday.

Barnegat Bay’s fluke fishing became better than last week, said Lauren at Bobbie’s Boat Rentals. Weather was often stiff last week, and not many fluke came from the ocean currently. Blackfish were snatched from along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks on green crabs. Nothing was heard about bluefish. Crabbing wasn’t that good, and doesn’t pick up locally until later in summer, because of cold water from the nearby inlet. No customers clammed in past days that Lauren knew about. 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. Baits stocked currently include live spots, green crabs and minnows.

Surf City
Surf anglers banked kingfish, not a lot, somewhat fewer than before, said Joe from Surf City Bait & Tackle. Fluke, mostly shorts, but a few keepers, were beached at times. In the bay, snapper blues swarmed, and pilot fish showed up along the Causeway Bridge that weren’t seen before. They foraged on spearing. Crabbing was good, and some crabbers said they trapped none. But Joe nabbed eight keepers in an hour last week. Many crabs were undersized, but maybe one in five was a keeper. The store’s annual
Free Surf Fishing Seminars, held 6 to 7 p.m. every Sunday in the parking lot in summer, are under way. Hosted by Bob Massa, the classes are now being called Sundays with Bob. Bring a lawn chair. Like Surf City Bait & Tackle’s Facebook page.

Mystic Island
Fishing was the same as reported last week, said Ryan from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. The store’s report last week said tons of croakers and white perch filled the bay and rivers. Kingfish swam along Graveling Point for shore anglers and boaters. Blowfish began to show up in the bay, small summer flounder blanketed the bay, and fishing for flounder turned on in the ocean by now. Plenty of sharks, including browns, required to be released, haunted the bay. Snapper bluefish and baby sea bass schooled the bay and back waters. The year’s first peanut bunker were seen. Nothing was heard about blackfish.

Tides were off for summer flounder fishing on the back bay this week, said Capt. Dave from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. But now, high tides will coincide with mornings, and the angling should be good this weekend, he thinks. The fishing was great for 16- or 17-inch throwbacks, but plenty of keepers, 18 inches or larger, swam. Wind direction warmed the ocean – to 70 degrees, according to television – and wind is supposed to blow northwesterly and light today and tomorrow. That’s favorable for good flounder fishing on the ocean, and should be perfect for the angling this weekend. Flounder hugged the ocean wrecks, Dave knew, and the cold ocean had been “holding the fishing back.” Panfishing was good, or croakers schooled the mouth of Mullica River, and more kingfish swam the surf than before. “Summer fishing,” Dave said, and the fish are small, but good-eating. More and more anglers played with sharks in the surf. Weakfish were occasionally yanked from the bay but were relatively scarce. Considering the amount of bait in the water, the bay should become “bait soup” by August, when the baitfish grow. That and warming water should draw weakfish in. The bait included mullet and peanut bunker that were small but seen. A few anglers blackfished, since one blackfish could be kept starting last Thursday, and the angling was good. They found the fish without much difficulty at bridges and jetties. Triggerfish hovered along jetties and sod banks, another catch that anglers could pick up, when targeting structure like that. A few sea bass were keepers that swam along some structure in the bay. Crabbing was popular among customers, even during the week’s low tides. High tides, often better for catching anything, will coincide with better timing for crabbing through the weekend. The new moon was coming up that could trigger crabs to shed, and that can slow crabbing. But plenty of crabs to eat should be trapped in the tides. Great-quality, live spots are stocked, and anglers traveled from as far as Cape May to pick them up for tuna fishing, talking about good results. Minnows became abundant again, after they were scarce before, and Dave was able to net them well, so the price of the baitfish could be dropped down to a somewhat normal rate at $10 per pint. Look for a special on minnows on Absecon Bay Sportsman’s Facebook page, offering a $2 discount per pint for Liking the page.

Surf casters sometimes beaned kingfish, said Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle. Surf fishing was kind of in between seasons, and the anglers waited for bluefish to show up. Big sand tiger sharks, required to be released, were fought from the surf. In the back bay, lots more summer flounder were throwbacks than before. For six or seven weeks, at the beginning of flounder season, fishing for keepers was good. Anglers now sometimes said they made off with keepers, and others talked about the throwbacks. One customer checked in two 32-inch striped bass from bay that were among six stripers he landed on a trip he ended by 7 a.m. That was covered in the last report, but for this report, Andy said all six were keeper sized from 28 to 32 inches. That was unusual, and his stripers are usually throwbacks, and normally one might be a keeper in a trip. He catches them on lures on the bay year-round. A photo was posted on the store’s Facebook page showing another angler with a striper from the bay that was bitten in half while the fish was reeled in. Something big mauled it. Blackfish were around, including at the old Brigantine Bridge, surprising, because the fish hadn’t held there in some time. Blackfishing was okay, and none of the fish was big. The Hooked on Fishing Tournament will be held Saturday at Brigantine, and the first 100 kids will receive a free rod-and-reel combo. Registration is at 8 a.m. at the 16th Street beach entrance, and see more info on Riptide’s Bait & Tackle’s Facebook page.

Atlantic City
Customers fishing on foot plucked kingfish, croakers, spots in between, summer flounder and triggerfish at Absecon Inlet, and fishing was definitely on, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. The fish were all mixed together from the sea wall at Gardner’s Basin to Melrose Avenue to the T-jetty. Bloodworms, clams and minnows were often fished for them, and green crabs were dunked to smack blackfish along the inlet’s jetties. Many of the tautog were throwbacks, but some were healthy-sized keepers. The inlet, located near the shop, is lined with jetties. Green crabs are $4 per dozen or three dozen for $10. Minnows are $8.50 a pint, and bloodworms are $10.75 per dozen. Baits stocked also include fresh bunker, fresh clams, all the frozen baits, like mackerel, mullet and all the different types of squid for flounder fishing, and more, a large supply. A vending machine dispenses bait afterhours. One Stop, at 416 Atlantic Avenue, also owns a shop with the same name at Atlantic City’s Gardner’s Basin that stocks the same baits and also rents rods. Sign up for the DO/AC Beach N Boat Challenge, set for August 22 to 24, for free, by using the number 5072. Without the number, entry is $20. The tournament will award $1 million if an entrant breaks the New Jersey record for largest summer flounder, and will award exceptionally lucrative prize money for the rest of the heaviest fish caught from Atlantic City. Watch a video about the DO/AC Beach N Boat Challenge shot at the shop, including footage of Noel in the shop and at the counter. One Stop on Facebook.

The back bay’s summer flounder fishing shoveled up lots of small ones on the party boat Keeper, Capt. John said. The angling could be fun, including for kids, and sometimes a keeper, not many, was grabbed. A trip might total a couple, and lots of small sea bass now bit, like every summer. A few sea robins and an occasional shark took off with baits. The anglers fished minnows and mackerel, provided aboard, and Gulps they brought. Gulps always work well, and are good to bring. One more load of mackerel will probably be carried aboard, before trips stop carrying the bait. The sea bass prefer the mackerel, and that can become a problem when sea bass become too abundant. The bay began to warm on Wednesday, and John didn’t know whether that will be good or bad for flounder fishing. The Keeper is fishing for summer flounder twice daily from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 5 p.m. The trips are only $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for kids, because the fishing is near port, and the pontoon boat is economical on fuel.

Trips trolled blues and bonito, lots, at Atlantic City Ridge on the Stray Cat, Capt. Mike said. A couple of tuna broke off, offshore of the ridge, including on Wednesday. The ocean in those areas was gorgeous, 75 degrees and held lots of life. Mahi mahi swam along practically every lobster pot flag, and triggerfish held along buoys. So did buoy jacks and “Cape May goldies,” a small, yellow jack, he said. A trip summer flounder fished Tuesday, and a 6-pounder won the pool. Sulley, Mike said, caught that, and angler Mike Murray came in second with a 5-1/2-pounder. Cruiser, another angler, almost bagged a 50-pound cobia at the Avalon Shoal buoy on the trip. The knot slipped, and some seriously good fishing’s going on, Capt. Mike said. Trips were going to flounder fish today and Friday. The boat is chartered through the weekend, and the next open-boat trips are set for Tuesday and Wednesday. Open trips, sailing daily, even with one angler, when no charter is booked, are bouncing around, looking for the best angling. If flounder fail to cooperate, the trips switch to blues and bonito, and so on. The next open-boat tuna trips with space available will fish August 16 and 24. Telephone to reserve while openings last.

Ocean City
The back bay was full of summer flounder, lots of them small, said Pat from Fin-Atics. To catch a keeper, anglers often fished deeper, and with Gulps. Gulps have been bagging them all season. Small striped bass 20 inches were played on the bay, usually at dusk and dawn, on soft-plastic lures. Nobody mentioned weakfish, like weaks that can be in the mix with stripers at night in the bay. In the surf, kingfishing was decent, and picking up. Not many spots were reported from the surf, though spots could be expected this time of season. Sometimes flounder were slid from the surf, though usually not so many are. Bucktails or jigs with Gulps were fished for them. On the ocean, a few flounder caught were talked about from Ocean City Reef, and not really from other reefs. A few sea bass were around at the O.C. Reef, but mostly flounder were. Not much was heard about tuna fishing. Not many trips seemed to sail for them, and when trips did, not many tuna caught were mentioned. Weather was often rough to reach the water during the weekend, and participation can be down on weekdays.

Sea Isle City
Several of the inshore shark trips fished aboard in past days, and caught, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with
Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. One, Jim Reilly’s trip on Wednesday, beat good fishing for dusky sharks on bait. Another was Jim Harvey and wife Mimi’s trip Tuesday that fly-rodded 10 sharks to 60 pounds, another good catch. The other was the Joe Carvell family’s trip on Monday that fought nine sharks to 70 pounds to the boat – six duskies, two spinners and a brown – on bait. The trips catch and release species like these, some of them required to be let go, usually within 10 miles from shore, on chum flies or mackerel fillets. The fishing is a chance to fight big fish without the long trek offshore. Glen Fisher and family aboard Wednesday morning fished the back bay, tying into 30 throwback summer flounder and a 5-pound keeper. The bay’s flounder fishing, Joe explained in previous reports, is family fishing. Most of the flounder were throwbacks this time of year, and there were lots, when anglers wanted action, with an occasional keeper. Flounder fishing on the ocean currently gave up a few sizeable, and was okay, and a few sea bass also chomped there. But the numbers of flounder swam the bay. Flounder eventually migrate to the ocean for cooler water. High tides at dusk coincided with dusk this week on the bay, ideal for popper fishing for striped bass, a specialty aboard. Joe did some of the angling with his family, and the angling was good, and fun. The trips fish with either popper lures or flies, and the tides come around about every two weeks. Joe poles his flats boat in the shallows for the bass, like fishing a tropical destination. Jersey Cape is also fishing offshore for tuna, and the trips were covered in recent reports. The angling currently was typical for the time of season. Bluefin tuna fishing was good in 30 fathoms, and some good catches of mahi mahi could be made in the area.

Striped bass fishing, on the back bay, became good, because of good tides for the angling this week, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. High tides at dusk and dawn are ideal, and 90 percent of the bass were rustled up on popper lures, mostly Rapala Skitter Pops. Good-sized, keeper flounder came from the bay sometimes, but were tough to come by. But when a keeper was caught, some were large. A 5-pounder was seen this week. A trickle of keepers were had all week, keeping anglers busy chasing them. Ocean flounder fishing was nothing overly exciting. But anglers fishing for them wrangled up a couple of keepers in a trip, none huge. A few nice blackfish were green-crabbed at Townsend’s Inlet, and diehard blackfishers angled for them, since one of the tautog could be kept starting last Thursday. The fish haven’t been pressured in some time. A few anglers inshore shark fished, and Capt. Joe Hughes ran trips for them, covered in the report above. Farther from shore, tuna seemed spread along the entire coast, from Virginia to Massachusetts, both at the canyons along the Continental Shelf, and at the inshore spots. Mike throughout the whole week heard about a couple caught at practically every inshore spot he knows. The fish didn’t seem to school anywhere, and all trips usually picked a couple, but none mugged them. A trip would be heard about that bagged two yellowfin tuna, and another would that gaffed one bluefin tuna. Back in the bay and back-waters, crabbing was excellent.

The temperature of the back bay dropped last Thursday to Saturday, said Mike from Canal Side Boat Rentals. One family landed 14 flounder from the bay, and the fish were throwbacks, but there were 14. Still, friend Mike Budnick and wife ran into big flounder, throwing back 19-inchers, on the bay on a trip Saturday, believe it or not, Mike from the shop said. The wife boated a 25-incher, and then the husband axed a 7-pound 9-ouncer. Flounder were the only fish reported from the bay, and baby sea bass that school the water sometime in summer were yet to show up. Porgies were heard about from Hereford Inlet. The bay’s crabbing was improving, and crabbers averaged two to three dozen keepers per trip. One family totaled five dozen. Baits stocked include minnows and frozen herring in three per pack, great-looking spearing from Virginia, peeler crabs, mackerel fillets, whole mackerel, mullet fillets, whole bunker, bunker fillets, salted clams in quarts and pints, bags of fresh-frozen clams, all the different types of squid, like tube squid, trolling squid, strips of unscented and scented squid, green strips, pink strips and more. Frozen sand eels are no longer carried, because of no demand. They’re popular in the northern state, but it took a year to sell them here. Strips of frozen clams can’t be obtained that were carried before. No bloodworms are stocked. Canal Side rents boats for fishing and crabbing and kayaks.
***Get a $5 discount*** on a rental boat if you mention Fishing Reports Now. Crabs, both live and cooked, are sold for eating, and picnic tables were set out this year to enjoy them. The crabs are currently from Maryland, and crabs still aren’t available from local suppliers this year. Crabbing was slow locally this year for commercial crabbers. The crabs were currently $32 to $36 per dozen, and $6 additional for the first dozen cooked, and $4 additional for each additional dozen cooked. But prices could change, because they depend on the market.

Cape May
Two bluefin tuna, unders, were trolled aboard Tuesday between Massey’s Canyon and the Hot Dog on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. The fishing was sort of slow, and anglers complained on the radio, but the trip on the Heavy Hitter, Ross Restuccio, owner of South Jersey Well Drillers’, charter, managed two of the bluefins. No mahi mahi were hooked like they were on previous trips. Some boats scored better, like a friend’s that landed 10 bluefins, smaller fish, about 30 inches. But some scored worse. Also, on one day, a trip would be heard about that ran into a load of yellowfin tuna at a spot. Boats would sail there the next day, finding none. George heard about wahoos caught for the first time this season. Nothing specific was heard about summer flounder fishing in past days. But George knew flounder bit lately, including in Delaware Bay and at the Old Grounds in the ocean. Flounder also bit at Cape May Reef in the ocean, but everybody George talked with who fished there said the flatfish were all throwbacks. Trips at the Old Grounds would come back with 10 or 12 keepers, depending on how good the anglers were. Throwbacks were let go. The Heavy Hitter is also fishing for flounder.

Lots of summer flounder were around, said Capt. Frank from Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters. Two trips fished for them at the Old Grounds on the ocean aboard, and flounder also swam Cape May Reef. But lots of tackle would be lost in the rubble at the reef. On the trip Tuesday at the Old Grounds, 35 flounder were pumped in, but only seven were keepers. A nearby boat was on the fish better, so a trip with Melanie on Wednesday sailed to that spot at the Old Grounds, cranking up 14 keepers out of 25 landed. The fluke were “hanging on the edge,” he said. Trips will fish offshore on Saturday and Wednesday, and a friend’s trip this week on Wednesday whaled catches offshore, going 5 for 8 on yellowfin tuna and catching a whopping 50 mahi mahi and two wahoos. All the fish were trolled, except one of the tuna was boated on the overnight chunk. The trip got up on the troll the next morning, and bailed the rest of the fish. Mahi swam all over, and two were large, and the rest were small or 10 or 12 pounds. When the trip crossed the 30-fathom line on the way home, the two wahoos were trolled at once. They were good-sized or 40 pounds dressed.

Wind blew strongly from east several days in the past week, and the ocean held a big swell, said Capt. Paul from the party boat Porgy IV. But summer flounder were picked the past couple of days aboard, when conditions were good. Those catches included some sizeable flounder on Tuesday and decent catches on Wednesday afternoon. The boat wouldn’t drift that morning, never good for flounder fishing. The boat drifted better in the afternoon, and one angler bagged four flounder, and another bagged three. Throwbacks were also hooked on trips. After the blow on Saturday and Sunday, few flounder bit on Monday’s trip. A few were scraped up. The fishing seemed to start improving on Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s flounder fishing: wind, tide, drifting conditions, Paul said. Conditions were awfully tough a few days on the ocean. In the wind Sunday, many boats probably didn’t even sail. Not all customers bagged a keeper, but at least they were in the game, had a chance, he said. No especially large flounder were taken. A 5-pounder won the pool Tuesday, and a 6-1/2-pounder did on Wednesday. The 6-1/2 was one of three keepers for the angler. The Porgy IV is fishing for summer flounder at 8 a.m. daily.

Some big croakers were nipped from Delaware Bay, off Cape May Point and on the back bay along the Intracoastal Waterway, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Large summer flounder to 26 inches were sometimes wrenched from the back bay. Thirty or 40 flounder hooked in a trip might be throwbacks there, but there was action. Jigging Gulps was effective on the back bay’s flounder. Delaware Bay’s flounder fishing kind of tapered off in past days. Nick would say look for them in deep water along the channels. Ocean flounder fishing sounded similar, like it tapered off recently. Some of the shop’s customers fished for the flatties at Miah Maul on the bay and Cape May Reef on the ocean, catching none. They dinged the fish on the back bay, though. But weather is supposed to be good this weekend, probably boding well for good boat drifts to put up some of the fish from Delaware Bay and the ocean. Striped bass were soft-plastic-lured at bridges at night. Kingfish roamed the surf, and a couple of redfish were heard about from the beach. Those were the first reds reported on this site this year, and the southern species showed up in the water in recent summers. Tailor blues 2 to 3 pounds sometimes popped into the surf, and big brown sharks, required to be released, were fought from shore at night. One blackfish could be kept starting last Thursday, and divers said the jetties were loaded with the tautog. Triggerfish sometimes gathered along jetties. Sheepshead were banked along Delaware Bay’s jetties in the town. Nothing was heard about offshore fishing. Minnows, green crabs, fresh clams and bloodworms are stocked.

Last Monday's Report

Fluke fishing became a little slower since last week’s moon and south wind that cooled water, but 10 keepers to 6 pounds were totaled Saturday aboard, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. Twice as many throwbacks were released, so there was good action. Ambrose Channel should hold fluke soon, and that will be an opportunity to catch some really big ones. Peanut bunker began to appear, and livelined peanuts make great bait for fluke. A trip Sunday was cancelled because of a faulty fuel pump. That should be repaired early this week, and charters are fishing, and open-boat trips will fluke this week and on Sunday. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!”

Kevin O’Malley’s trip beat a good pick of blues on Raritan Bay on Friday aboard, and the anglers had a good time, said Capt. Joe from Papa’s Angels Charters. They fished with chunks of bunker, and the bay was in the low 70s, if Joe remembered, and weather was beautiful. Open-boat trips are available twice daily, for fluke in the morning or blues in the afternoon, when no charter is booked. Telephone to jump aboard.

On the Down Deep, ling and cod fishing was very good on the ocean, Capt. Mario said. Fluke fishing was up and down aboard, but many of the keepers were large, including a 9.1-pounder and a healthy number of 7-pounders this past week. Don’t miss marathon, open-boat fluke trips, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., that will fish the ocean 30 miles from shore. Charters are fishing, and sign up for the Short Notice List on the Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about open-boat trips for either fluke or ling and cod.

Atlantic Highlands

Trips, fishing Raritan Bay, landed fluke, and the angling wasn’t good, wasn’t as good as Capt. Tom would like, but most of the keepers were well over the size limit, on the party boat Atlantic Star, he said. None of the fish was larger than 8 pounds yet this season, but larger came from the bay this year, and some aboard weighed 4, 5 and 6 pounds recently. For the throwbacks released, the size limit that’s a half-inch larger than last year made a big difference. Lots more of the fish would’ve been keepers. All the twice daily trips sailed in past days, and the bay was calm in the easterly wind that sometimes roughed up the ocean. Sometimes the weather was a little chilly aboard. Some trips caught better than others, and the outings fished different parts of the bay, depending on conditions. Both of Saturday’s trips were tough. Sunday’s fluking was a little better, and a few more keepers were bagged than in previous days. Throwbacks gave up more action than before, especially on the afternoon’s trip. A load of 13- to 16-inchers bit. Tom hopes more fluke begin to be bagged, and neither bait nor Spros seemed an advantage for catching. When a trailer was fished above a Spro, that was better, and probably caught as well as anything. A Gulp with a killie or a spearing was fished on the trailer. Anglers who fish Spros sometimes tend to work harder at the angling. But rental rods fished with spearing, the bait provided aboard, also hooked the fish. 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.


Last Lady Fishing Charters was busy fishing since early last week, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Fluke fishing was some of the worst in a few years on an individual-reservation trip Wednesday, because of cold water, so trips had switched to bottom-fishing. But on a fluke trip Saturday, water had warmed, and a good number of large fluke to 4 ½ pounds were iced, and so were sea bass. The bottom trips bailed winter flounder, sea bass and ling, lots. On a bottom trip Friday, 11 winter flounder, all big, to more than 4 pounds, and ling and sea bass were shoveled up. Bottom-fishing on Saturday zapped ling. Two bottom trips caught mahi mahi 10 to 15 pounds aboard, and blue, clean water wasn’t far from shore. Bonito were also latched into in the water aboard. Bluefish were the size of mackerel currently, but that’ll change. Fishing aboard Sunday was cancelled, and wind blew 15 to 20 knots, not good for fluking. The wind blew from northeast. Weather looks good for Tuesday’s individual-reservation trip for fluke, and Ralph expects good fishing. Four spaces are available, and seven spaces are available for an individual-rez fluke trip next week on Tuesday, July 29. The trips will also fish every Tuesday until fluke season is closed on September 28. “Then we will switch to something else,” Ralph said. A few spots are available for a fluke charter this week on Wednesday, because some anglers dropped out. Space is available for individual-reservation trips for cod on August 7 and 28. One of the trips sailed last week and was a success, and one angler won the outing’s two pools for cod and pollock with a 22-pound cod and a 26-pound pollock. Charters are available for daytime and nighttime.


Bluefin tuna fishing limited out with an over and two unders, and released another bluefin, on Saturday with XTC Sportfishing, Capt. Scott said. A mahi mahi was also bagged, and all the fish were trolled 50 or 55 miles from shore. Farther offshore at Hudson Canyon, an overnight trip Wednesday to Thursday decked four yellowfin tuna, 15 or 20 mahi and a dozen tilefish. Two of the tuna and all the mahi were trolled, and two of the tuna were chunked overnight. Closer to the coast, anglers aboard Friday limited out on sea bass, landed a couple of keeper fluke, and released throwbacks. Another trip pumped in a couple of cod, a couple of pollock and a handful of sea bass and ling on Sunday. Trips today and Tuesday are supposed to fish for sea bass and fluke, and an overnight trip Tuesday to Wednesday is supposed to shark fish in the dark and then fish for bluefins during the day.

We’re still in fluke mode, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. Fishing for them was good, and Tom Mibail from Newton, N.J., axed a 6-pound 8-ounce fluke and a 3-pounder on Shark River from one of the shop’s rental boats. Brian Kean from Yardley, Pa., rental-boated a 4-pound 8-ounce fluke from the river. Bob joined Tony Saunders and Jerry Taylor on one of the rentals on the river, “and we had several fish,” Bob said. Tony and Jerry landed most, and Tony’s included a 4-pounder that pounced on a Gulp on a jighead. Kingfish were reported slid from the surf, and clams and worms were best baits.

Catches of bluefish and bonito were excellent from the start on daytime trips Saturday through today on the party boat Miss Belmar Princess, an email from the boat said. All the fish anglers could want were jigged on Ava 27s, and a large body of blues schooled, east of Shark River Inlet. A thresher shark was even eased aboard Saturday. If you’re thinking about fishing, now’s the time, the email said. On nighttime trips Friday and Saturday, small blues, bunker, a few sharks and small mahi mahi were seen, but not much bit, except a handful of the blues and mahi. There was lots of life. 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 Friday and Saturday.

Excellent fishing for bluefish and some bonito Sunday on the party boat Golden Eagle, a report on the vessel’s Facebook page said. Customers could catch all the fish they wanted, and plenty of blues, very good fishing for them, 15 to 20 bonito and a few albies were fought aboard Saturday. Bluefishing was a lot slower on Friday aboard, and some were picked. The Golden Eagle is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

With Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters, fishing for fluke was tough on the ocean Friday, but the fluke bagged were sizeable, including a 7-1/2-pounder, Capt. Pete said. The angling aboard Saturday picked up more keepers than on the previous day, including good-sized to 5 ½ pounds. Some especially healthy-sized sea bass were tied into that day, and the anglers pretty much limited out on them, he said. That’s only three sea bass per angler, but adds to the catch, and all the anglers left with a good bag of fish apiece. A bunch of snapper blues were also around on the fishing grounds, for anglers who wanted them. A big cownosed ray was hooked and fought 45 minutes. Fluking was cancelled aboard Sunday, because of forecasts for strong northeast wind. Northeast wind should keep warming the ocean, after south wind cooled the water close to shore, because of upwelling, previously. The cool water can slow fluking, and the ocean reached 68 degrees on Saturday. The trips fished deeper than before in 65 to 75 feet. Bluefin tuna seemed to start arriving in range, and Parker Pete’s will fish for them. Friends boated the tuna. Here’s an opportunity: Parker Pete’s this season is hosting “on the water seminars” on bucktailing for fluke. An email about that said: “Are you tired of reading reports of people catching big (fluke)? Do you usually ‘drag’ bait and hope for the big one? Are you being out-fished when you go out fluking? Are you ready to get hooked on bucktailing in a non-threatening way?” The trips are inexpensive, and a couple of spaces are available for one of the trips Tuesday, and room is available on another the following Tuesday, July 29. August dates will be announced, and email Pete for more info. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Jump on Parker Pete’s website to subscribe to the emailed newsletter to be kept informed about last-minute, individual spaces available to fill in charters. Look for the place to sign up on the right side of the page.


Good fishing for fluke at mid-week on the party boat Jamaica II, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. Numerous customers limited out, and some sea bass were thrown in, and there were lots of bites. The angling was tough during the weekend because of winds and tides. Bob Brave from Philadelphia took over the lead in the monthly pool with a 6-pound 8-ounce fluke. He and Allen Brave, also from Philly, limited out. Customers and their catches also included Ed Nolan from Manasquan with a limit to 6 pounds, and Chris Molinari from North Haledon, N.J., with a limit to 5 pounds. The Jamaica II is fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday.

Manasquan River’s fluke fishing picked up Saturday, and weeds had cleared out some, said Eric from The Reel Seat. Many throwbacks bit, but so did a few keepers, and chartreuse Gulp 4-inch swimming mullets on jigheads caught well. A few striped bass were played on the river at the bridges and at Point Pleasant Canal. Four-inch Fin-S Fish in Arkansas Shiner on a jighead, popper lures and small swimming lures clubbed the river’s bass in early mornings. Ocean fluke fishing seemed up and down, depending on the angler giving the report. But Axel Carlson and Sea Girt reefs finally gave up the fish this season, and fluking on the ocean seemed most consistent to the north off Monmouth Beach in 50 or 60 feet of water. Lots of small bluefish schooled at Sea Girt Reef and the Klondike wreck. Bonito were mixed in at the Klondike, and boaters could target them on the troll. Nothing was heard about bonito yet at places like Manasquan and Barnegat ridges. But whether anglers tried for them wasn’t heard. Ling fishing was good on the ocean, especially on Gulp Ghost Shrimp. A handful of sizeable sea bass and some large winter flounder were hooked among them. Bluefin tuna, not a huge population, but good-sized fish to 80 and 100 pounds, swam in the Atlantic Princess wreck and Chicken Canyon area or around 30 fathoms. Lumps in the area held bait. Mahi mahi were also around, and a customer during the weekend talked about trolling some at the Mudhole on jets and feathers. So, there was fishing for inshore pelagics. Farther offshore, boaters sort of split time between fishing Hudson and Toms canyons. They trolled good catches of yellowfin tuna, many trips totaling 8 to 15, and lots of white marlin. Fishing for tuna at night on the chunk didn’t seem phenomenal. But trips could at least fish for sharks in the dark for something to catch overnight at the canyons.

Point Pleasant Beach

An overnight trip fished the canyons offshore Friday to Saturday with Mushin Sportfishing, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. Great water, bait and tuna were found. Chunking at night for tuna was a little slow, though some boats caught on the chunk. But trolling during daytime more than made up for that. Trolling for yellowfin tuna to 80 pounds was solid in four different areas, at least, of one canyon. “That is a very positive sign for future trips,” he said. Offshore and inshore trips are still being booked. Mushin means a relaxed state of readiness.

Throwback fluke and a good number of keepers were scooped from the ocean on Saturday morning’s trip on the party boat Norma-K III, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Brian Vida from Bayonne jumped into the lead in the monthly pool with an 8-pound 2-ounce fluke on the outing. Northeast wind picked up through the afternoon’s and Sunday’s trips, shutting down fluking. But not to worry now, he said, because that wind usually warms the ocean and clears the water close to shore. That should make fluking good as the week goes on. This is the time of year the big ones move in. On nighttime trips Saturday and Sunday, bluefishing picked and plucked 1- to 1-1/2-pounders, fun on light tackle. Ling were also swung aboard during the final hour of Sunday night’s trip, and quite a few squid were around during the trips. Bring squid jigs if interested. Matt hopes the northeast wind will have pushed bigger blues into the area. The Norma-K III is fluke fishing on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m., and is bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

Seaside Heights

Small bluefish 2 to 5 pounds “have found their way into the surf,” John from The Dock Outfitters wrote in a report on the shop’s website. Fluke could be bagged from the surf, for anglers “willing to seek them out,” he said. Sharks and rays took off with bait in the surf at night. In Barnegat Bay, snapper blues were growing larger, and boaters trapped terrific catches of crabs at Good Luck Point, on the mainland side of the bay. 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.

Barnegat Light

Fishing improved Saturday on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light, a report on the vessel’s website said. Fifteen keeper fluke were pitched aboard, and some sea bass were also bagged. That was the most recent report, and throwbacks also kept anglers busy. The ocean had warmed to 70 degrees, great for fluking. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.


***Update, Wednesday, 7/23:*** From an edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier: “I am running an open-boat trip on Thursday from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. We will start with a few hours of fluke and/or bluefish in the bay and inlet. By 4 p.m., the tide will be perfect for throwing shrimp at the inlet jetty for short stripers and all size blackfish, with the 10-pound spinning rods. If you’ve never done this, it is something to see. Catching stripers and tog in the middle of summer with just a hook baited with shrimp, no sinkers or terminal tackle. Every once in a while we catch a bass that measures 28 inches or better, but most are 20 to 26 inches, big enough to scream line off the light spinning outfits. We do catch quite a few houndfish throughout the season, too, when we use this technique. Houndfish are 36- to 40-inch needlefish that jump and greyhound like billfish, when you set the hook. (The rate is) divided by however many people sign up. I also have an open-boat to Barnegat Ridge for bonita on Monday from 6 a.m. to 12 noon. (This is a set rate per angler.) (Three people max on either trip.) All fish are shared.”


In the surf, kingfish ruled, a report on Riptide Bait & Tackle’s website said. Sharks were fought from the surf, and surf casters waited to see whether spots and bluefish would show up “to really heat the surf up,” the report said. For one group of anglers, summer flounder fishing was good on the back bay all day Saturday. They boated the fish to 4 ½ pounds, and another group also scored a good day, coming in with five keepers to 5 pounds.


Trolling whacked the heck out of bonito and small bluefish at Sea Isle and Atlantic City ridges on the Stray Cat, Capt. Mike said. No trips fished for summer flounder, because the trolling was so good, but an open-trip for flounder and sea bass is sold out Tuesday that will fish the ocean, and space is available for more of the trips Wednesday and Thursday. A trip Sunday trolled bluefin and yellowfin tuna and mahi mahi in 30 and 40 fathoms in 8 foot seas and 25-knot winds that weren’t forecast. One large bluefin snapped a rod in half that was in the holder. Fishing in this range from shore on the two types of trips has been great. “I mean, it’s really good,” he said. The ocean was gorgeous, the perfect color and 74 and 75 degrees on both the bonito and tuna trips, and full of life, including sand eels. The tuna trip caught fish in the middle of nowhere, he said. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips for tuna with space available will fish Saturday, August 16, and Sunday, August 24.


Fishing for summer flounder on Delaware Bay totaled six keepers, including a 30-incher and a 29-incher, none smaller than 20 inches, among probably four dozen of the fish landed, on Saturday with Fins and Feathers Outfitters, Capt. Jim said. Great trip, he said, and the rest were throwbacks, and the anglers fished at the stakes near Fortescue. Even the 17-inch throwbacks “had shoulders,” and Jim started using a 4/0 hook to try to prevent the throwbacks from swallowing the bait. Small bluefish were also hooked, and the trip fished a double-hooked rig Jim ties with a 36-inch leader with a plain hook on bottom and a 12-inch leader with a dressed hook on top. A Gulp with a minnow was fished on bottom, and a minnow was fished on top, and the fish grabbed both equally. A trip Friday tried for flounder at Cape May, Wildwood and Ocean City reefs on the ocean. But the angling was slow there, and only three flounder were landed at a spot Jim knows offshore of Ocean City Reef. So the trip came back to the back bay, reeling up two keeper flounder among 30 or 40 landed, the rest throwbacks, along the Intracoastal Waterway. The angling wasn’t as good on the back bay and ocean, and the trip the next day fished Delaware Bay. The two days were great. The ocean was clear and beautiful, and Jim will scope out inshore fishing for mahi mahi, wahoos and bluefin tuna there this coming weekend, ahead of a charter that’s supposed to troll for those fish afterward aboard. Clear water is key to the angling. Fins and Feathers offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including duck and goose hunting on Delaware Bay during the waterfowl seasons. Anglers can even enjoy a combo of striped bass fishing and duck hunting on the bay in fall during a series of days. Trips also fish for salmon and steelhead on upstate New York’s Salmon River from Jim’s lodge. The salmon run is coming up, can start as early as late August. Trips also fly fish for trout on Pennsylvania’s streams like the Yellow Breeches.

Cape May

A 56-inch bluefin tuna and three mahi mahi, two larger, and one smaller, about 10 pounds, were whaled Saturday with Ryan Moore’s charter on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. The trip fished near the Elephant Trunk in 30 fathoms along hills. All the fish were trolled, and the trip chunked a little in the morning. When no fish bit on the chunk, the trip got up on the troll at 8:30 a.m. Bluefin fishing was good for the fleet Thursday and Friday around Massey’s Canyon to the Hot Dog and the Tea Cup. On Sunday, a bluefin charter aboard sailed 10 miles from shore then returned to port, because of rough seas. George let the anglers know about forecasts the night before, discouraging them, if they were uneasy about the seas, but they wanted to try. They said they wanted to try again another time, after returning. The seas were possible to fish, but a couple of other boats also turned around. Go fishing for bluefins now. George hopes they stick around. The ocean began warming in the change of wind direction, after southerly wind cooled the ocean close to shore previously. The water was 69 degrees at the inlet Saturday, and 65 previously. The Heavy Hitter is also fishing for summer flounder, and anglers picked away at the fish on Delaware Bay at Flounder Alley. None of the flounder was huge, and keepers were maybe 18 to 22 inches, but catches were pretty good, and there were keepers. Nobody was known about who fished for flounder on the ocean at the Old Grounds, and George thought the water held a big swell. Kingfish and a few small croakers schooled off Cape May Point. No bluefish appeared there that sometimes do in summer.