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Saltwater Fishing Report

Report from Thursday, May 21.

| Staten Island | Keyport | Atlantic Highlands | Highlands | Neptune | Belmar | Point Pleasant Beach | Toms River | Seaside Heights | Forked River | Barnegat Light | Surf City | Mystic Island | Absecon | Brigantine | Atlantic City | Egg Harbor Township | Margate | Longport | Ocean City | Sea Isle City | Wildwood | Cape May | Last Monday's Report |

Staten Island
Bluefish, lots, and a few striped bass were drilled Tuesday evening with Outcast Charters, Capt. Joe said. A 20-pound striper was largest, and the blues were big, up to 15 pounds. Outcast’s been fishing from the back of Raritan Bay to the ocean. “All over,” he said, and the fish swam all the waters. Outcast offers fishing from both Staten Island, N.Y., and Sewaren, N.J., and will begin sea bass fishing when New Jersey’s seas bass season is opened starting Wednesday. ***Update, Friday, 5/22:*** Striper fishing exploded on the bay Thursday aboard, a banner night, Capt. Rob from Outcast said. He’s Joe’s brother, and the angling took off from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., and the trip limited out, on all good-sized stripers, 15 to 25 pounds. A few blues, not many, bit, and the fish were all hooked on bunker chunks.

Striped bass fishing was picky on Raritan Bay, Capt. Frank from the
Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. That was because tons of blues swarmed the bay, including on grounds that usually hold stripers. When an angler got a bite from a striper, capitalizing was critical. When the bites were missed, the catch wasn’t good. Plenty of stripers swam the bay, but the fishing needed the blues to back off a little. Trips will target stripers through the end of the month. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips for stripers will sail next week from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Open trips fill fast, so reserve as soon as possible. Fluke fishing aboard will begin with an open trip on Saturday, June 6, and one space is available. Bring bucktails and Gulps on fluke trips on the boat. Or bucktails and Gulps will be available for sale aboard at a very reasonable price, he said. Bait will be provided, for those who want to fish bait. Open fluke trips will sail daily when no charter is booked.

Bluefish dominated, and a handful of striped bass bit, said Capt. Mario from the Down Deep. “Lot of blues,” he said, and the crew’s looking forward to the openings of fluke season Friday and sea bass season Wednesday. Charters are fishing, and join the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about special open-boat trips. Also see the site’s open-trips page for available dates.

Room is available for open-boat trips or charters Friday and Saturday, said Capt. Joe from Papa’s Angels Charters. A trip is booked for Sunday, he believes, that’s supposed to fish for a combo of bluefish and fluke. Fluke season will be opened starting Friday, and several people said fluke were around. Trips with Papa’s most recently tackled lots of blues and some striped bass in the Sandy Hook area, covered in recent reports here. Telephone to climb aboard.

Shore anglers cranked blues to 15 and 20 pounds from nearby Raritan Bay, said Joey from Joey’s Bait Shack. The bay’s boaters also wrestled the fish, and both the shore anglers and boaters fished bunker. Pretty much bunker now, he said. No striped bass caught were heard about. Customers all waited for fluke season to be opened starting Friday, and the flatfish were already hooked from the bay. Crabs were yet to be trapped. Killies, a preferred fluke bait, are stocked, but the supply was tight, and Joey didn’t know whether they’d last. Customers were already buying them. The whole selection of frozen baits for fluke is stocked, like spearing and squid. Fresh bunker and fresh clams are on hand.

Atlantic Highlands
Weather became rough Monday on the party boat Fishermen, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Three keeper striped bass, three shorts and a good catch of bluefish were totaled on the trip. Blues bit right away during the outing and were big, on a quick drop close to port. The trip took a ride before weather became too nasty, fishing shallow water, and blues bit right away again. The day looked like the weather would be good. But by 7 a.m., the harbor’s flags began to blow northeast and then east, and fog developed. Ron felt bad because many of the anglers wore shorts and T-shirts. On Tuesday’s trip, Rich Appert from Pennsylvania won the pool with a 16-pound striper hooked on a Crippled Herring. Blues and a couple of keeper stripers were taken on the outing, a great day on the water, Ron said. On Wednesday’s trip, the bite wasn’t hot, for whatever reason. A 22-pound striper was the pool-winner, and Rich Appert connected with a big striper again, boating a 23-pounder. Many of the blues caught were smaller than the previous couple of days. Lou, Ron said, has been bleeding the smaller blues and putting them on ice for customers. “Burlap bags are a thing of the past,” Ron said. When filleted, the bluefish meat was perfect. A couple of customers said what a difference in the meat when taken care of like that, how well it cooked and how good it tasted. If taken care of correctly, the blues were excellent, blackened, quick-fried or grilled. Capt. Dan, who runs the boat’s nighttime trips, makes a salad with lemon juice, garlic and fresh dill that’s out of this world, Ron said. The Fishermen is sailing for striped bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Trips are also striper fishing 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Some trips fished for bluefish better than others on the party boat Atlantic Star on Raritan Bay, Capt. Tom said, but the trips will switch to fluke fishing Friday. That’s opening day of fluke season, and the bluefishing was weathered out on Monday. On Tuesday, bluefishing was no good on the morning’s trip, but very good on the afternoon’s. On both of Wednesday’s trips, bluefishing was slow, and the weather turned rough. Wind probably blew 20 knots, from northwest, seas were lumpy, and the day was cold. Was amazing how quickly the weather could turn. Starting Friday, the Atlantic Star will switch to fluke fishing, after bluefishing through today, on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. ***Update, Friday, 5/22:*** The year’s first fluke trip this morning was kind of pleasant, met good weather, decent conditions, Tom said. Throwbacks gave up decent action, and some keepers were bagged. The start was pretty good, considering the water was 59 degrees. The fishing was somewhat tougher on this afternoon’s trip, and wind blew much stronger. A few throwbacks bit on each drift, and one keeper was bagged, so far, when Tom gave this update in a phone call aboard, a couple of hours after the trip began.

The rivers gave up striped bass, said Jimmy from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Striper fishing was a little tough on Raritan Bay, because many bluefish schooled. A few stripers were boated there and on the ocean. But lots of blues were boated. From the ocean surf, stripers were hooked, if anglers fished worms. If the surf casters fished bunker or clam, they beached blues, an odd striper. The bay’s shore anglers fought lots of blues. But they landed plenty of stripers at night, even if news about that is always scarce. Fluke season will be opened starting Friday, and the summer flounder were hooked and released on the bay already. Back on the ocean, ling were decked at Scotland and south of there. Looks like a good weekend for fishing, and anglers should catch, he said. All baits are stocked.

Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing located striped bass on the ocean, at Shrewsbury Rocks, on Tuesday, Capt. Pete said. The trip caught well, and boats have usually been fishing Raritan Bay. Tons of bluefish schooled, and should begin to depart soon, but whether that was desirable was tough to say. On one hand, blues gave up lots of action for anglers aboard. Now was an especially good time to fish, because three species will be able to be targeted – stripers, blues and fluke – now that fluke season will be opened starting Friday. That’s not typical, and if anglers wanted to catch, this was the moment. An angler who fished with a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old aboard this week telephoned, saying how much they enjoyed. Pete couldn’t say how fluking would be, until fluke season was opened. But trips could fight blues and then switch to fluke. Or could switch to fluke if striper fishing turned out challenging, because of blues. Or trips could strictly target stripers. Whatever anglers wanted. Trolled Mojos and livelined bunker caught most stripers aboard. Blues attacked trolled Stretch lures and shad umbrella rigs. Space became available for this Saturday, because of a cancellation. A couple of other spots are available this holiday weekend, and charters and open-boat trips are fishing.

Sailing from Twin Lights Marina, Ed and Tony on the Hammerhead trolled striped bass and blues at Reach Channel on Raritan Bay last Thursday, Marion wrote in an email. Rich Blarr and crew on the Sara Ann on the same day trolled blues on Navesink River and Sandy Hook Bay. On Friday, John Cuozzo and Bob Luzzi on the Elsea Nora limited out on stripers to 37 inches and caught 14 blues while trolling at Flynn’s Knoll and the West Bank. During the weekend, J.R. and Dan Shield and T.R. Dempsey trolled blues to 12 pounds off Sandy Hook Point on Stretch 25 lures. On Wednesday, Rich Sherer trolled a 40-inch striper at Flynn’s. Tony and Rob today trolled stripers and blues at the West Bank. 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. Bait stocked includes live bunker when available and in demand. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card.

Slow fishing for striped bass today, but bluefish and one good-sized striper were decked aboard, Capt. Ralph from Last Lady Fishing Charters wrote in an email. Space is available on an individual-reservation trip for sea bass next Thursday. Another is full on Wednesday, opening day of sea bass season. Individual-reservation trips will sail for sea bass and fluke every Tuesday in June. Fifteen sea bass will be the bag limit from opening day through June. Two will be the limit in July, and the season will be closed afterward, reopening from October 21 through the end of the year, with a 15-fish limit. Charters are available daily.

***Update, Saturday, 5/23:*** Fluke fishing was great on Shark River on Friday, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. That was opening day of fluke season, and on some of the store’s rental boats on the river, scores of the flatfish, including a half-dozen keepers to 4 pounds, were landed. Striped bass fishing was good that day for boaters on the ocean. The bass, many 30- to 40-pounders, were on bunker, and Ed Andrejack from Allentown’s 43-pound striper, bagged on the party boat Golden Eagle, was the “big bass” that day, Bob said. A 42-pounder was cracked on the Miss Belmar Princess, and stripers to 36 pounds were weighed from the Big Mohawk. Those are all Belmar party boats. Good reports rolled in from private boats and charter boats about the angling. Tom Cook from Shark River Surf Anglers banked a 15-pound 15-ounce striper from the surf. ***Update, Sunday, 5/24:*** Two anglers on the river Saturday totaled scores of fluke including an 8-pounder and two 4-pounders on a trip, Bob wrote in an email. Big fluke, good action, he said. ***Update, Monday, 5/25:*** Gene Amato entered the largest striper, a 29-pounder, in the Asbury Park Fishing Club’s tournament, Bob wrote in an email. The club won the event with 104 pounds, and Shark River Surf Anglers came in second with 94 pounds. The Spring Lake Live Liner Fishing Club won third with 15 pounds, and other clubs in the event failed to score.

Four sizable striped bass to 35 pounds and a bluefish were trolled on the ocean to the south Wednesday with XTC Sportfishing, Capt. Scott said. A trip Tuesday steamed to Wilmington Canyon, trolling a yellowfin tuna. Then the trip caught tilefish, a great catch, and stopped at a wreck on the trip home, pumping in some cod. The canyon’s best water, he said, was 67.25 degrees, somewhat cooler than the 70 to 71 degrees offshore boaters found Friday. Only a gradual temperature break was found on the trip, and the water was blue, but not Caribbean blue, he said. One whale and a handful of working birds were seen, and no weeds were. More trips aboard were fishing today and Friday, and XTC is pretty much striper fishing now.

Some larger striped bass moved into the area, in the ocean, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. Not a lot were nailed aboard yet, but the ones caught were large, in the 30 pounds. He’s looking forward to the season’s bunker showing up strongly. Then the striper fishing will be game on. Trips on the boat trolled the bass on bunker spoons. When bunker could be found, they were livelined, hooking stripers immediately, aboard. The bass bit finicky, and more were lost than landed, only because of that. Big bluefish also swam the water in large numbers. Fluke season will be opened beginning Friday, and Parker Pete’s will probably begin fluking sometime in June. That depends on factors like water temperature and when striper fishing slows. But Pete’s looking forward to “drifting and dreaming,” he said, and anglers should start booking fluke trips for July, for sure. Fluke trips aboard will include bucktailing seminars that sailed last year. That’s a chance to learn or refine bucktailing for large fluke in a non-threatening environment. 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.

“Stripers to 35 (pounds) today,” a report on the party boat Golden Eagle’s website said. Anglers aboard picked at stripers and a few blues on the trip, spending most of the day livelining bunker. Stripers and bunker looked like they began to move in. Weather looks good for Friday and the weekend, and the Golden Eagle is fishing at 7:30 a.m. daily.

The party boat Miss Belmar Princess resumed fishing today, after a Coast Guard inspection Monday, and rough weather in the next days, an email from the vessel said. A big area of bunker schooled off Shark River Inlet all day. “A couple to a handful” of bluefish were jigged on each drift on Ava 27s and 47s, it said. A couple of keeper stripers were even boated. A 37-1/2-pound striper was the pool winner, and was the angler’s first-ever striper. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. ***Update, Saturday, 5/23:*** A good catch of 8- to 14-pound blues was made in the morning, on the ocean off southern Belmar, on Friday’s trip, an email from the boat said. But striped bass 25 to 35 pounds bit in the afternoon, mostly on Krocodiles and Ava 47s. The stripers showed up among bunker that also schooled when the blues were caught. Stripers began to move in, “so if you have been thinking about coming fishing, now is the time!” it said.

A charter is booked Friday on the party boat Big Mohawk, the vessel’s Facebook page said. But the boat will fish for fluke this weekend through Wednesday, Capt. Chris said in a phone call. Fluke season will be opened beginning Friday, and those fluke trips will continue daily through Tuesday. The trips will sail for sea bass daily starting Wednesday, opening day of sea bass season, and for fluke again the following weekend. A special striped bass trip will fish 3:30 p.m. until dark on Saturday, the Facebook page said. Daytime trips sail 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the boat. Sometimes they sail at different times on certain days like season openers and days afterward, so check the boat’s website or Facebook page or telephone it to confirm. Striper trips, like the one scheduled for Saturday, sometimes fish in afternoons to evenings this time of year.

Point Pleasant Beach
Fluke fishing will be kicked off Friday, opening day of fluke season, on the Norma-K III, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. The crew is ready to start the season with a bang, and weather looks great for this Memorial Day weekend. The fluke trips will fish 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily starting that day. That’s the annual half-day schedule, and the crew thanks everybody who fished on the annual ¾-day trips this fall until now. That schedule will resume this coming fall. Bluefish trips will sail 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday through Sunday, and will run every night, during those hours, beginning May 29.

Toms River
The surf tossed up bluefish, different sizes, said Mario from Murphy’s Hook House. Sometimes they were big gators, and sometimes a 3-pounder might be hooked. Anglers ran into them before dark, often. Bunker, metal, swimming lures and popping plugs caught the fish, and a few striped bass were mixed in. A 25-pound striper was weighed-in that was reportedly bunker-chunked in the surf in Monmouth County a few days ago. A 38-pound striper was trolled on the ocean on a bunker spoon. Boaters sometimes bagged stripers on the ocean. They sometimes fought blues. In Barnegat Bay, blues gathered more toward Barnegat Inlet. Some straggler blues 3 to 5 pounds remained in the Toms River at Island Heights and Ocean Gate, and were popper-plugged before dark and during dark. All the baits are stocked for the opening of fluke season Friday, including killies and the entire frozen assortment. Murphy’s also owns Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Seaside Heights
Five- to 8-pound blues were knocked around from the dock, said George from The Dock Outfitters. Crabs began to be nabbed from the dock, and surf anglers mostly dragged in blues, a couple of striped bass between. The blues weighed up to 16 pounds all week, and were walloped on bunker chunks. Blues probably schooled Manasquan Inlet, and fluke probably swam the inlet. George mentioned them previously, saw them caught, but hadn’t been back to the inlet recently. The blues then ran the inlet at dusk and dawn. Fluke season will be opened beginning Friday, and besides being hooked at the inlet, many were landed in Barnegat Bay behind Island Beach State Park, while anglers waded for blues and stripers, fishing plugs. The shop is stocking the Double-O Fluke Rig, and anglers might be unaware about the rig. Killies will be stocked for fluke bait on Saturday. Baits stocked include fresh bunker, fresh clams and bloodworms. Check-in catches to enter the free tournament awarding a $50 gift card to the shop each month for the biggest entered that month. 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
Boaters on the radio talked about catching striped bass on the ocean throughout this morning, despite rough weather, said Kyle from
Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. The fishing’s been pretty good,
toward Barnegat Inlet, and the bass have been decent-sized. A 29-pounder and a 17-pounder were weighed-in earlier this week. Bluefish schooled Barnegat Bay, closer to the inlet than earlier this season. The blues were smaller than previously, but still 8 pounds, and fishing for them was good. Fluke season will be opened beginning Friday, and a couple of reports came in about the flatfish hooked and released, between the BB and BI markers in the bay, on spearing. Not much was heard about weakfish, but one kid said he’d been landing them at the mouth of Oyster Creek from shore. Offshore boaters began to fight sharks. Crabs began to be trapped a little. All the fluke baits like killies, spearing and squid are stocked. Fresh bunker will arrive today or Friday. Shiners are carried.

Barnegat Light
Fishing will be launched this weekend for the season with bluefish trips on the Super Chic, Capt. Ted said. Good-sized blues 6 to 10 pounds were heard about from Barnegat Bay and Barnegat Inlet, and nobody was known about who fished for blues on the ocean at places like the Mudhole. The boat usually fishes on the ocean, and a striped bass trip is booked aboard for Sunday. Stripers were trolled on the local ocean or not far from port. Stripers didn’t seem to be caught in the inlet, like on clams that are common to fish for them there this season. That was because of too many blues. Sea bass trips will begin aboard after sea bass season is opened starting May 27. Sea bass trips are booked aboard that Friday to Sunday, he thought.

Lots of blues were already docked today, said Vince Sr. from Bobbie’s Boat Rentals at 9:30 a.m. in a phone call. Where’d the blues come from lately? he was asked. One customer this morning boated them at Barnegat Inlet, for instance, Vince said. Or rental-boaters ran into the blues lately while drifting off the tip of the Dike on Barnegat Bay or anchored at places like that, when the blues swam past. Was nice for the rental-boaters to be able to catch something like that. A fair share of striped bass were docked during the week. Boaters bagged the fish on the ocean off the bathing beach at Island Beach State Park or the ocean near Barnegat Inlet. They mostly trolled the catches on bunker spoons or Stretch lures. Some landed the bass on bunker snagged and livelined for bait. Anglers waited to see how fluke fishing went in Barnegat Bay, when fluke season would be opened starting Friday. Nobody who clammed was heard about. The season was early for crabbing in the area, because of cold water from the inlet. Minnows will probably be stocked Friday. Spots to stock were reportedly scarce down south. The shop is waiting for the call saying the baitfish are available to stock live. 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.

This was posted in the last report but is being posted again in case
anybody missed it: Fishing will be kicked off this weekend on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light for the fishing season, the vessel’s website said. Trips will bluefish 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday through Monday, Memorial Day. Afterward, the trips will sail every Friday through Sunday, during the same hours, through June 21. Starting June 22, trips will fish for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.

Surf City
Mostly blues were lit into from Barnegat Inlet and the surf, said Sue from
Surf City Bait & Tackle. Not the quantity like before, but catching. More striped bass were hit from the surf than before, and four were weighed-in, including two entered in the Simply Bassin tournament. Skates appeared in the surf, and crabs stole bait from beach casters. Most customers fish bait, and mostly dunk bunker for the blues. But the supply of Avas, Kastmasters and Krocodiles had to keep being replenished. For the stripers, the anglers are soaking bunker or clams or casting plugs. Fresh bunker and fresh clams are stocked. Minnows are carried for the opening of fluke season starting Friday.

Mystic Island
Lot of anticipation for the opening of summer flounder season, said Scott from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. The season will be opened beginning Friday, and he thinks the angling won’t set the world on fire. But some will probably be caught, and 1-1/2-pound bluefish schooled Great Bay. Big blues, 10 pounds and heavier, plenty, schooled the local ocean. Somebody said big stripers gathered toward Wreck Inlet, but the accuracy was unknown, and nothing else was heard about that. Scott thinks some drum are around, though people aren’t saying. Grassy Channel in evening is probably the best chance at them. Not a lot of effort was put into fishing Mullica River. Scott would think stripers could be landed from the river or that anglers could eel for them. Eeling had been almost fruitless, because a blue would grab the bait first. Crabbing was okay, not really started. Crabbing wouldn’t feed a picnic, but could nab a snack, was worthwhile. All baits are stocked except spearing. That’s a flounder bait, and so are minnows. Minnows are on hand, but the supply looks like it’ll be tight. Three suppliers are providing the shop with the baitfish, but whether that will be enough is questionable. The supply had begun plentiful this year, and whether minnows were spawning now or some other reason was responsible for a shortage was unknown. Baits carried include fresh, shucked clams, no longer clams in the shell, and live grass shrimp.

Striped bass, many, were slammed Wednesday on boats on the ocean off the Brigantine Hotel and from the surf along Atlantic City’s jetties, said Jay from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. A 32-pounder was the biggest weighed at the shop, he thought, and he knew about five that were larger than 40 inches. On the boats, the fish were trolled on bunker spoons and Mojos. From the surf, clams and Fin-S Fish caught. The back bay was full of bluefish and summer flounder. Flounder season will be opened starting Friday. The blues could be hooked as fast as popper lures could be cast near the 139 marker in Great Bay. The blues weighed 8 to 15 pounds, averaging 10 to 12. Blues and bunker also swam Mullica River. Capt. Dave, the shop’s owner, castnet the bunker to keep carrying the freshest at the shop. Fresh clams are on hand, and so are minnows, a favorite flounder bait. All the bait, like mackerel and squid, and supplies are stocked for the flounder opener. Live spots might be carried starting next week, Jay would think. The store’s annual Grand Slam Customer Appreciation Sale started Friday and runs through today, and its Grand Slam Customer Appreciation Tournament takes place this weekend.

Some big striped bass were slid from the surf, and a 30-pounder was the largest known about, said Joe from Riptide Bait & Tackle. But fishing for big stripers hit the wall at Brigantine Shoal, a half-mile from shore, for boaters. That was the best fishing for them, and the fish up to a 52-pounder that was reported were smashed there the last three days. Bunker schooled the water, and boaters snagged and then livelined the baitfish to the stripers. All the fish swam less thickly today, but five of the bass were brought in, that Joe was aware about. Bluefish were beached from the surf, but the bluefish population thinned out, compared with before. That seemed a reason the stripers showed up heavily. A few drum were beaten from the surf here and there, but were last reported during the weekend, not during weekdays this week. Fresh clams and fresh bunker are stocked. Minnows arrived today for the opening of summer flounder season Friday.

Atlantic City
Big striped bass began to be weighed-in more than before, said Jeremy from One Stop Bait & Tackle. Anglers on foot took the fish from nearby jetties like off the Flagship and from the T-jetty. Places like that, he said, and bluefish were zapped from the same spots. Some of the blues were smaller than before, but big were mixed in. Four stripers were weighed-in by this afternoon alone, and someone had just posted photos of six on the shop’s Facebook page. Photos of large stripers kept being posted this week, and friend One Stop on Facebook to keep up. Some of the stripers caught were crazy big, he said, and a 43-inch 25-pounder was weighed-in. The anglers fished with clams, bunker and lures like pink Fin-S Fish. The lures, not just bait, could catch the big stripers, he said when asked. Customers were readying for the opening of summer flounder season starting Friday, and the shore anglers already hooked flounder at Harrah’s, off Melrose Avenue and places like that, also nearby. Minnows, mackerel, squid, stuff like that, could be fished for the fluke. Weakfish were heard about that were caught at night along the jetties. Most of these spots are along Absecon Inlet, lined with jetties, blocks from the store. Minnows, fresh bunker, fresh clams and all baits, a large supply, are stocked.

Egg Harbor Township
Like before, bluefish swam almost everywhere, pretty strong, said Chris from 24-7 Bait & Tackle. They plowed through the surf, back bay and Great Egg Harbor River. Just a few striped bass were seen, all from the surf. Not many stripers were talked about from boats on the ocean. Summer flounder were hooked and released in the bay, and flounder season will be opened starting Friday. Crabs began to be trapped from Patcong Creek, running past the shop. Patcong is one of the best crabbing spots, and customers crab and fish from the shop’s rental boats, docked on the creek. Patcong is a tributary of the Great Egg, and the catches fished for on the boats include flounder on the bay. The blues are rental-boated on the river to the bay. Baits stocked include minnows, especially for flounder, fresh bunker, fresh clams, live grass shrimp and all the offshore baits. The company also own 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora.

Summer flounder trips will be kicked off Friday, opening day of flounder season, on the party boat Keeper, Capt. John said. The boat specializes in flounder fishing on the back bay the whole season every year, but sailed for bluefish on the bay last weekend. A few blues were caught, but so were flounder, including sizable, that were released. Photos were posted on the boat’s Facebook page. “Time to catch some flounder,” John said about the trips that will begin now. Starting Friday, the Keeper will fish for summer flounder 8 a.m.-12 noon and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. daily. The trips are only $28, and rental rods are free.

On the back bay, open-boat trips will fish for summer flounder 8 a.m. to 12 noon Friday through Monday on the Stray Cat, Capt. Mike said. Flounder season will be opened starting Friday, and open trips will fish for sea bass on the ocean Wednesday and Thursday. Sea bass season will be opened beginning Wednesday. Telephone to climb aboard, and charters are booked the following weekend. Mike’s got minnows, instead of crabs, in the crab hotel, for flounder fishing. He was busy tying the Stray Cat’s killer flounder rigs. The boat will fish for tuna next week, probably at Wilmington Canyon. The vessel will do some sharking now, and everybody began talking about sharking, since the 820-pound mako was weighed at Cape May’s South Jersey Marina last weekend.

Ocean City
Trips will fish for summer flounder this holiday weekend starting Friday on the party boat Miss Ocean City, said Capt. Victor, who’s also from the party boat Captain Robbins. The trips will sail three times daily from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., and flounder season will be opened beginning Friday. Miss Ocean City will fish for sea bass on the ocean 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting Wednesday, opening day of sea bass season.

Fewer bluefish swam locally than before, but blues were still in, said Bill from Fin-Atics. They were angled from the back bay to the surf and remained big. Blues to 16 pounds were weighed-in. Some bigger striped bass were beached from the surf than before. They were hooked during mornings and evenings more than in the middle of the day, and small stripers, more than previously, were played on the back bay, now that blues became somewhat less abundant. Summer flounder skittered around the bay, and the flounder season will be opened starting Friday. Few weakfish were heard about. One was reported here and there, and some big were weighed-in last year during this time. Tuna fishing was actually good offshore for 25- to 30-pound yellowfins. Mahi mahi were sometimes reported from the waters, though the season was early for them. A large warm-water eddy, reaching 76 degrees, with a 15- or 20-degree temperature break, attracted the fish. Bill was unsure about the location now, but suspected the eddy moved between Lindenkohl and Spencer canyons. No sharks caught were reported, except the 820-pound mako that was weighed at Cape May’s South Jersey Marina that made the news. Shark reports will probably pick up this Memorial Day weekend, because boaters will begin to fish. A whole new crowd, i.e. boaters, always shows up, starting with the holiday weekend. Until now, most customers were shore anglers. Minnows, a favorite flounder bait, and a huge supply of baits is stocked for the weekend. Probably too much, Bill guessed. The baits include fresh clams, both in the shell and shucked, fresh bunker, bloodworms and eels.

Sea Isle City
Rich Duffy aboard popper-plugged two striped bass on the back bay Sunday morning, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service. A bunch were also missed, and these weren’t the first stripers on poppers this season with Jersey Cape, but the top-water fishing is starting, so that’s nice, Joe said. Trips aboard toss Rapala Skitter Pops and Crease flies, a version Joe ties with a larger cup to throw more water, for the angling. One bluefish was jigged on the trip, Joe thought, and the bay’s bluefishing aboard slowed somewhat, sometimes running into a mess, other times none. This was about the time for the blues to become less abundant in the bay, though they’re found in the bay throughout the fishing season. Joe’s about to transition for summer flounder fishing on the bay anyway, because flounder season will be opened starting Friday. The early season fishes best for flounder in South Jersey’s shallow, warm back bays, and plenty of the flatfish have been swimming the water. Joe will see how fishing for them goes this weekend, and book those trips without delay. On Sunday evening, fishing for the bay’s blues was tougher aboard, and the angler fly-rodded two small ones and caught another on a spinning rod. The angling slowed on that tide. On Saturday evening, Rich Duffy was aboard, this time with his son and nephews, and blues, lots, 7 to 16 pounds, were nailed on jigs on spinning rods. A 16-pound 37-incher was largest. Those are big blues anywhere, but exceptional-sized in the bay. Mike Spaeder and son that morning fought blues to 14 pounds on jigs aboard. They released a couple of flounder, too, Joe thought. Inshore shark trips are coming up, starting in late June. Sharks like duskies and browns are released close to shore, usually within 10 miles. The annual angling aboard is a chance to fight big fish without the long trek offshore. Offshore fishing gave up great catches of yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna at the canyons, and Joe would like to get out there, between a busy schedule of other trips, like for flounder. A buddy popper-plugged bluefins from the water, really good fishing. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.

We’re crushing drum, said Capt. Jim from Fins & Grins Sportfishing. Drum fishing was very good on Delaware Bay aboard, all at the same place, not a long run, 45 minutes from port. The angling was the best in years, and should last, including because of cooler weather recently. The fish were somewhat smaller when Jim worked on another boat Monday. But the drum that night aboard with Fins & Grins weighed 45 and 50 pounds, and a couple were larger. These are good-sized drum, not pups. The drum lately had crabs in their bellies, interestingly. Another trip aboard would drum tonight, and Fins & Grins is trying to fish for them twice daily. Trips are available every day, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability. Sea bass fishing will become available aboard the ocean starting Wednesday, opening day of sea bass season. Fishing regs, like the current closed season for sea bass, are becoming tougher. Write to your congress members online to make a change while on the computer during the day.

A strong population of summer flounder filled the back bay, said Mike from Canal Side Boat Rentals. He released eight or nine on a trip last week, and a friend stopped counting after letting go 10 or 12 that were 20 or 22 inches on a trip. The opening of flounder season, starting Friday, should fish well. Small bluefish 2 or 3 pounds swam the bay, but how many was difficult to say, because nobody targeted them from the shop. That’s because the shop’s been closed since fall, but will be opened for the season starting with the flounder opener. It’ll be open full-time through Memorial Day, and telephone about hours during weekdays for now. Mike didn’t know how crabbing was, because customers were yet to crab this year. 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 during the season. Minnows were ordered for flounder bait, and Mike would see whether the suppliers arrived with the orders. Crabs, both live and cooked, are sold for eating, in season, and picnic tables are set out to enjoy them. The season was too early to carry the blueclaws currently.

Cape May
Space is available for a drum charter Saturday, because a charter rescheduled to Friday, on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. The fishing’s been good, and he hopes it holds up a couple of weeks. Trips aboard smoked them during the weekend, covered in the last report here. Telephone if interested.

On the party boat Porgy IV, drum were heaved from Delaware Bay on every trip aboard, Capt. Paul said. The bay looked like chocolate milk in 20 m.p.h. wind on Wednesday, when he gave this report in a phone call at 6 p.m. aboard. Only one drum was landed, so far, on the trip. But 14 or 15 were, during the other night, and 26 were, on Tuesday night. The fish were good-sized, mostly 35 to 60 pounds, and few were small. The boat had some good drum trips, and the fish were nice. He’ll try to run drum trips 2 to 10 p.m. daily through Tuesday. Telephone for availability that can depend on demand and weather. Clams for bait weren’t easy to obtain recently. Trips will sail for sea bass at 8 a.m. daily starting Wednesday, opening day of sea bass season.

Delaware Bay’s drum went crazy, insane, said Joe from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. If anglers want drum, they better go this weekend. They better go for striped bass, too. The drum were boated just a couple of miles off the Cape May ferry. The stripers were banked from the surf, at places like Higbee’s Beach and at that vicinity, but were also boated on the bay, at some of the shallows like 7 to 10 feet in the area. Many of the stripers met the 28-inch minimum size, and few were small. A couple were 40 inches. Fishing couldn’t get better than now. Mostly clams and bunker were fished from the shore, and if anglers used clams along the bay’s surf, they had a chance at drum. Bluefish were like “peek-a-boo” in the surf and bay. They showed for a day, disappeared on another or three days, then reappeared. Summer flounder season will be opened beginning Friday, and flounder bit well in the back bay. Many were throwbacks, but many were sizable.

Last Monday's Report
Staten Island

Tons of big bluefish attacked along Reach Channel on Raritan Bay, said Capt. Chuck from Angler Sportfishing Charters. No striped bass were caught, because nothing could be fished without blues jumping on the hook. The fishing was like that anywhere on the bay, like at Old Orchard Lighthouse, where the boat also fished. Chuck suspects nighttime is best to fish for stripers at the moment, and is up for night trips. The bluefishing was good, though. The five anglers aboard Saturday fought the slammers until worn out. A couple of strong runoffs seemed to be stripers, picking up and dropping the bait. Bluefish were marked under the boat, and fish were read under the blues that seemed to be stripers. But a hook couldn’t be dropped to reach the stripers, before a blue engulfed the hook. New York’s fluke season was opened starting Sunday, and Chuck will fish for them along channels like Ambrose, but any of the channels will hold the flatfish. The boat is drifted along the shallows on one side of a channel, into the deep, then up to the shallows on the other side. Fluke stack up at those changes of depths. Angler Sportfishing is also fishing for stripers on Hudson River from Saugerties, and that angling went fairly well, if the trips were willing to fish baits different than usual. Bloodworms caught, and the fishing is for stripers migrating the river to spawn. That can be the best chance to land large stripers. These are mature, breeding fish.

A load of blues and a 22-pound striped bass were wrenched from Raritan Bay on Saturday with Outcast Charters, Capt. Joe said. Another load of blues and some stripers to 20 pounds were cranked from the bay Sunday aboard. So many blues, he said. Yes, they were big, up to 15 pounds, he said. The trips fished with chunked and livelined bunker. More of the trips are slated for evenings this week. New York’s fluke season was opened Sunday, but Outcast will fish for them later in the year. Outcast will fish for sea bass when New Jersey’s sea bass season is opened May 27. Outcast offers fishing from both Staten Island, N.Y., and Sewaren, N.J.


Bluefish invaded Raritan Bay the past couple of days, so the bay’s striped bass fishing slowed, said Capt. Mario from the Down Deep. Previously, the striper fishing began to pick up, because the bluefish population began to drop off. Trips will keep striper fishing, and Mario’s looking forward to the openings of fluke season on Friday and sea bass season on May 27. Charters and open-boat trips are available for both, and stripers. Join the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about upcoming, special open trips. Also see the site’s open-trips page for available dates.

An open-boat trip that Ken Critchloy hosted cranked in bluefish and four keeper striped bass Thursday in the Sandy Hook area on bunker chunks with Papa’s Angels Charters, Capt. Joe said. Bob Visenesky’s charter on Friday, Walter Leika’s on Saturday and Cody Farrel’s on Sunday all fought bluefish in the Sandy Hook area on the chunks. The blues weighed 9 pounds on all the trips. Open-boat trips will be available daily for blues or stripers 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and for blues 3 to 8 p.m., the Working Man’s Special, throughout this week, when no charter is booked. Telephone to climb aboard.

Striped bass fishing “pulled back” during the weekend, and just a handful were caught, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. But bluefish provided exciting, non-stop rod-bending. Some were large, and blues are the best-fighting fish in the sea, pound for pound. Better striper fishing will continue, once this next round of spawning was finished. One space is available for an open-boat trip Thursday morning, and the vessel is booked through the weekend, otherwise. Fluke season will be opened starting Friday, and the first open trip for fluke will run Saturday, June 6. Telephone to reserve.

Atlantic Highlands

For trips on the party boat Atlantic Star, bluefishing was good at times, Capt. Tom said. Customers had good action with that, and lots of fun. The blues weighed 5 to 18 pounds, and this was just good fishing. The Atlantic Star through Thursday is fishing for striped bass and blues on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. Starting Friday, opening day of fluke season, the boat will sail for fluke during the same hours.

Lots of blues were drilled during the weekend on the party boat Fishermen, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Some big striped bass were nailed aboard Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the blues were pasted on bait, jigs and anything you could imagine. Several moves were made during the weekend to try to find a couple of good-sized stripers, but there wasn’t much luck. Blues would take over, no matter where was fished. A few nice stripers were bagged on the vessel’s nighttime trips during the weekend, all on bunker. Stripers seemed to turn on after 7 p.m., when blues shut down. On Friday’s daytime trip, a few large stripers turned on when the tide changed, like clockwork then and the previous couple of days. On that trip, Greg Groff from Northampton, Pa., won the pool with a 25-pound striper. Rob Rizzo from Boonton smashed a 23-pounder, and Vaughn Burkholder from Manville heaved in an 18-pounder. A few more stripers were lost, and some more big blues bit, before the trip ended. Though fluke season will be opened starting Friday, the boat won’t fluke fish yet. Ron’s not throwing in the towel on stripers, and believes the trips will catch them. The Fishermen is sailing for striped bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Trips are also striper fishing 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.


Many bluefish were tackled this weekend with Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing, Capt. Pete wrote in an email. Four striped bass were beaten, and the blues, big, should move out within a couple of days. Live bait and trolled Mojos, Stretch lures, Tournament Grade Tackle bunker spoons and M&M shad umbrella rigs were fished. Fluke season will be opened beginning Friday, and two of the boat’s mates scouted the fishing, catching and releasing the summer flounder. The fish, including a few keepers, bit, Pete was happy to say. Combo striper and fluke trips could be an option. Charters are fishing, and space is available on open-boat trips this weekend.


***Update, Tuesday, 5/19:*** Getting ready for fluke season – looks good right now, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. The season will be opened starting Friday, and customers fluke on Shark River, including on the store’s rental boats. Plenty of fluke, some large, blanketed the river, and they’re great eating, he said. “Bluefish are the most abundant fish,” he said, but the number of striped bass caught increased every day. For boaters on the ocean, trolling bunker spoons was the prime way to catch the bass. But Bob got reports about some caught on livelined bunker that were snagged for bait. Some stripers boated weighed in the high 40 pounds. The shop’s ready for business to bust open. Memorial Day weekend and the opening of fluke season are busy times.

Cod and pollock were socked Sunday with XTC Sportfishing, Capt. Scott said. A decent number were keepers, and the cod weighed up to 10 pounds, and the pollock weighed up to 20. A trip Saturday on the boat fought blues 6 to 10 pounds, no striped bass, toward Sandy Hook Point. A trip Friday aboard smoked lots of cod, not big, 10 pounds, and one pollock. The vessel is supposed to steam offshore for tuna on Tuesday. The fish, mostly yellowfins, sometimes bluefins, reportedly bit the last two weeks, so the crew wants to check that out. Charters are booked aboard Wednesday through Friday and Sunday.

On most days, bluefishing was great aboard, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. A trip did catch good-sized striped bass to a 36-pounder on Sunday on the boat. The fishing, on the ocean, seems like it’s going to happen for striper catches, and this was a gradual start. Trolled Tony Maja’s bunker spoons scored the bass best. The ocean temperature fluctuated wildly, and was in the mid-60 degrees, when Pete gave this report at 6:45 p.m. aboard in a phone call. Fluke season will be opened starting Friday, and Parker Pete’s will home in on fluke later. The boat flukes on the ocean when the water warms. ***Update, Monday, 5/18:*** Striper fishing was shaping up nicely, Pete wrote in an email. The fishing was slower on some days than others, but things were lining up. The ocean temperature was slowly rising, and the fish were moving in. “We just need some more bunker to show up,” he said. The last few trips trolled sizable stripers or jigged big, gator blues. “Now is the time to get the kids out fishing,” he said. The new moon is tonight, and northeast winds are sometimes blowing, and both will get the bass “fired up.” Check the boat’s website for available dates. Plenty of dates are available in June for charters or individual spaces on charters. Parker Pete’s will focus on stripers most of June, but afterward, look out fluke, he said. Fluke trips will include bucktailing seminars aboard, like last year, an opportunity to learn or sharpen skills to bucktail large doormats.

On the party boat Golden Eagle, bluefishing picked throughout Sunday’s trip, ending up with a decent catch, a report on the vessel’s website said. The fish weighed up to 15 pounds and were jigged. Wind blew against current, tough conditions, on Saturday’s trip, but a decent catch of blues to 15 pounds was managed, after putting in the time, on jigs and Krocodiles. Friday’s trip had to work for blues, but banged away at the fish to 10 pounds most of the time, on jigs and Krocs. The Golden Eagle is fishing at 7:30 a.m. daily.


A few big striped bass were boated on the ocean, said Alex from The Reel Seat. He knew about a 40-pounder, and the catches picked up somewhat, became much better, compared with the previous couple of weeks. The stripers were trolled on bunker spoons, and fewer bluefish schooled the water than anglers might think. Tons of blues swam Manasquan Inlet at dawn and dusk. Blues swam the surf from Sandy Hook to Island Beach State Park. Small striped bass roamed the inlet and the surf around the inlet. Small plugs like Daiwa SP Minnows and Bombers could hook them. An Ava jig couldn’t go wrong. Surf fishing was best at dawn and dusk, but the angling could blow up during daytime. Anglers never knew, and should just find the catches. Many fluke were released in the inlet and Manasquan River, including a 28-incher from the river. Fluke season will be opened starting Friday. On the ocean, cod fishing was fair, at best, and ling began to swim inshore, giving up a slow pick. Warmer water was needed for ling fishing to improve. Nobody was known about who fished offshore for tuna in past days. The tuna catches were heard about, here and there, previously this season. Catch the shop’s big Memorial Day weekend sale from Friday through Monday, Memorial Day. Score discounts on items including clothing and offshore and inshore tackle.

Point Pleasant Beach

Bluefishing was great to the north on the troll and on jigs for anglers aboard a trip with Mushin Sportfishing, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. Some boaters who ran south trolled some good-sized stripers, and striper fishing should break open soon.

Another great weekend on the water, Capt. Matt from the party boat Norma-K III wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Bottom-fishing was tough, serving up a few ling and small cod. Bergals and eels “kept you busy,” he said, and all different depths were fished, from 80 feet to 240. Some spots gave up a little more life than others. Bottom trips, sailing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for ling and cod, will continue daily through Thursday. “We will give it our best the rest of the week!” he said. The trips will switch to fluke fishing on Friday, opening day of fluke season, sailing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Nighttime bluefishing trips began on Friday and Saturday aboard. The angling was slow, apparently because of cold water, but Matt hopes blues will be ready to bite for the vessel’s night trips this weekend. The water was 55 degrees at night, and in the low 60 degrees during daytime, in the same area. On Saturday night, some blues were read, and a few were even seen along the surface, but refused to bite. Bluefishing trips will sail 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. this Friday through Sunday.

Seaside Heights

Fishing conditions weren’t great for the Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament on Sunday at Island Beach State Park, John from The Dock Outfitters wrote in a report on the shop’s website. The surf was “up,” and holding bottom was difficult. Not many fish were beached, and that was too bad, considering the excellent bluefishing lately from the surf. Good angling was anticipated. More striped bass started to be dragged from the surf than before, on cut bait and clams, and the bite was at night. Boaters on the ocean had a slow pick of stripers or only caught a few small keepers. In Barnegat Bay at the shop, crabs finally began to be trapped from the dock. Several small were nabbed, a good sign for “things to come,” he said. 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 will be kicked off this weekend on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light for the fishing season, the vessel’s website said. Trips will bluefish 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday through Monday, Memorial Day. Afterward, the trips will sail every Friday through Sunday, during the same hours, through June 21. Starting June 22, trips will fish for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.


From an edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier: “Bass fishing is starting to heat up. Twenty-five to 40-pound fish in 55 to 65 feet of water, from the bathing beach to Lavallette. Trolling bunker spoons is the best bet right now, but we always bring the snagging rods, just in case we happen upon some pods of bunker. Running open boat 1 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Three people max. All fish are shared. Going to run outside, make a left, head for the 60-foot range off Island Beach State Park, and put the spoons out. I’ll also bring the 10-pound spinning rods, in case we feel like ending with an hour of blues on top-water lures in the bay. I like to be inside the inlet while it’s still light out. My next available day for charter or open-boat will be 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 26, the day after Memorial Day. Also Thursday and Friday afternoons, May 28 and 29. Rates and details the same as above. Here’s a video of one of my customers on Saturday, shot with his cell phone. The fish was a 48-inch 35-pounder.

Mystic Island

Mixed reports rolled in on Saturday about bluefishing, and the fish now were more “spread out” than earlier this season, and needed to be hunted, a report on Scott’s Bait & Tackle’s website said. Good bluefishing was talked about from Grassy Channel, on the end closest to Little Egg Inlet, and from the ocean near Holgate that day. Also that day, slower fishing for them was the word from the ocean farther north, toward Barnegat Inlet. Multiple anglers on Friday reported good bluefishing at the same end of Grassy and in the inlet, on jigs. An angler posted a report on the site about a trip that trolled for striped bass on the ocean Friday, north to Brant Beach, in 40 feet of water, with bunker spoons. The trip fished in the morning after sunrise, and huge schools of bunker swam throughout most of the time. Many fish were marked along bottom, but only large bluefish were caught. Tackle was lost to the blues, “and I’m sure Scott’s crew will be pleased to replace that,” the angler wrote!


A couple of striped bass were weighed-in from the surf Friday, but this was an off day for catches, a report on Riptide Bait & Tackle’s website said. The fishing was easy the past three weeks, the shop’s Facebook page said today. “Now we have to go back to the old ways and put (in) your time,” it said. Schools of stripers will move in and out, and anglers just need to be there. Bluefish and drum will also move in and out, the store’s website report said.

Atlantic City

Customers from One Stop Bait & Tackle reeled up blues, some smaller than before, like 1 foot, but mixed with large, Jeremy said. They hooked striped bass, starting to land more keepers than before. A 20-pound striper was weighed-in yesterday, and a 17-pounder and a 12-pounder were today. Customers also scored well on weakfish at night. All these catches came from places like the T-jetty, the Melrose Avenue jetty, other jetties and off Harrah’s. Many jetties line Absecon Inlet, near the shop. The blues were taken on bunker or any cut bait. The stripers bit bunker, clams and lures, and the weaks hit lures and bloodworms. All these baits and more, a large supply are stocked.


Out-of-season sea bass, large, 3 pounds, bit at an ocean wreck Sunday on the Stray Cat, Capt. Mike said. No ling or cod did, but the outlook seemed good for sea bass fishing when sea bass season is opened starting next week on Wednesday, May 27. The bottom-fishing is a favorite aboard, and open-boat trips for sea bass will sail that day and the next day, Thursday, May 28. Telephone to reserve, and the following weekend, May 30 and 31, is booked with charters. Open-boat trips will fish for summer flounder 8 a.m. to 12 noon Friday through Tuesday on the back bay, until the sea bass fishing begins. Mike previously said the flounder trips were $25, and rental rods were free, but wasn’t asked, for this report, whether that was still the case. Telephone to confirm, and to jump aboard any of these trips. The ocean was 59 degrees and gin clear on Sunday’s trip. Conditions look like the fishing season should be really good. If anglers want to fish for mako sharks, that angling becomes available now. Yellowfin tuna caught were heard about, and seemed to come from between Baltimore and Poorman’s canyons. Tuna fishing’s also available.


Fishing whaled drum on Delaware Bay aboard, said Capt. Jim from Fins & Grins Sportfishing. Nine were decked Saturday, and six were on Sunday, so far, when he gave this report at 7 p.m. aboard the trip in a phone call. A drum was hooked as he spoke, but got off. The angling, right off North Cape May, was pretty consistent now. Hardly any junk fish bit, except one shark on Saturday. A couple of horseshoe crabs were hooked. If anglers got a bite, that was a drum. The fish all weighed 50 pounds on Sunday’s trip, so far. Some puppies were mixed in on Saturday’s trip, but so was an 85-pound drum. The water was 60 to 62 degrees, and weather was good. Clams for bait were scarce from suppliers during the weekend, but Jim managed to obtain a bunch. Fins & Grins is trying to drum fish every day, and the fish schooled not far away. Fishing is available daily aboard, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.

Cape May

Lots of drum bit, and fishing for them was good on two trips Saturday and Sunday on the Heavy Hitter, on Delaware Bay, Capt. George said. The boat fished on the New Jersey side of the bay, and the catch was good on Saturday’s trip with Jay Guarneti’s party. Most of the trip’s drum weighed 45 to 55 pounds, and one weighed 70. The catch was also good on Sunday’s trip, with Bill Clark and crew, and the size of the fish was about the same: mostly 45 to 55 pounds, and one 70-pounder. Bill himself landed six, and George hopes the fishing holds up.