Fluke bagged included one heavier than 10 pounds, two heavier than 9 and three heavier than 8 on an open-boat trip Tuesday on the Vitamin Sea, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Fluking was on the upswing aboard, and more than 20 keepers were pasted on the trip. On a trip Wednesday, at the same grounds, 14 keepers to 6 ½ pounds were clutched. The keepers now were all quality-sized. Anglers who knew how to bucktail, and didn’t get lazy, he said, limited out. Looks like summer fluking is shaping up, he said. Though most anglers want to fish on weekends, those who fish on weekdays usually catch best, because of less boat traffic. Jump aboard on a weekday. Charters are fishing, and two spots are available for an open trip Friday, and weather looks great. Open trips next week will fluke Monday through Wednesday and Friday and Saturday. Check out photos of the catches on Vitamin Sea’s Facebook page.
Fishing for fluke began with a bang at the beginning of the week, said Capt. Mario from the Down Deep Fleet. Lots of big fluke to 8 pounds, including many 5- and 6-pounders, were creamed, and many anglers limited out aboard. “No measuring,” he said. Ling, cod and winter flounder fishing was excellent on trips this week. The ling weighed up to 3 ½ pounds, and the cod weighed up to 10. The flounder were huge on trips, and lots of flounder to 4 or 4 ½ pounds were smashed on the last trip. Charters are sailing, 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. Open trips include 12-hour marathons for fluke or ling and cod. Up to 15 passengers can be accommodated.
Customers boated fluke here and there, mostly toward Verrazano Bridge on Raritan Bay, but the angling was slow, said Joey from Joey’s Bait & Shack. They caught one day, and not the next. Many cownosed rays swam the bay. Crabbing began to improve, and snapper blues started to show up. Killies, fresh bunker and a large supply of frozen baits is stocked.
The party boat Fishermen’s trip Tuesday went in search mode, after the angling was slow on the bay, Capt. Ron wrote in an email. Tom the Vet won the pool with a 7-1/2-pound fluke, and landed a bunch of 16- to 17-inch throwbacks, putting on a clinic, Ron said, in the bow. A couple of the trip’s fluke weighed 5 to 6 pounds. One crew hit some good-sized fluke, and so did another angler, all on bucktails. Not a great bite on the trip, and the fishing took work, but was much better than where the trip left. On Wednesday’s trip, another sizable fluke, a 7-pound 6-ouncer, was hammered. Two anglers copped a fluke heavier than 6 pounds apiece, and Never Quit Eddie smoked a 5-pounder. Two anglers fishing in the bow slapped three good-sized keepers apiece on deck. Weather’s been hot, but a breeze on the ocean kept the fishing cooler. Bob Bott provided two beautiful, custom-made fluke jigging rods that will be awarded to the first- and second-place winners in the season-long fluke pool. The Fishermen is sailing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Trips are fishing for fluke, porgies, croakers or whatever bites 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.
A 7-pound fluke won one of the trips’ pools Tuesday on the party boat Atlantic Star, Capt. Tom said. On Wednesday’s trips, no big fluke were angled, but more keepers were socked than lately. Lots of throwbacks and some keepers bit on trips, like usual, and the boat fished on the bay, including at the Navy Pier and Reach Channel. Not a lot of people joined trips, because of heat advisories, and that was unnecessary. All trips sailed, and weather was good on the water, especially in afternoons, when a southerly breeze picked up. Mornings could be a little stuffy, until the breeze, but people felt the heat more on land, surely. 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.
Bigger fluke came from the ocean in 60 to 100 feet, but fluke were still boated on Raritan Bay, said Jimmy from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Fluking was fair, rounding up some keepers and lots of throwbacks. Fluke were still hooked in the rivers, and keepers were known about from Shrewsbury River early in the week. Nothing was heard about Navesink River, but fluke must’ve swam the Navesink, if they swam the Shrewsbury. A mess of snapper blues schooled back waters, and were growing to good-sized. Spearing were around for the snappers to forage on for the first time since Hurricane Sandy. Bluefish, some large, some smaller, schooled near the Mud Buoy. Boaters could chum them up. Nothing was reported about striped bass, but some were probably trolled at Shrewsbury Rocks during evenings. Ling fishing was great. “All you want,” he said, and a few cod were mixed in. A few porgies had been reported from Sandy Hook Reef, and Jimmy guessed some could be searched out. The porgies that had been caught were large, and photos were seen. Bottom fish like that and others didn’t show up this year like some years.
Motoring from Twin Lights Marina, Paul and Maddy Hess on the Boudicca boated seven fluke between the channels today, Marion O’Neil wrote in an email. On Friday, John Cuozzo on the Elsea Nora bucktailed fluke to 23 inches at Reach Channel. Also on Friday, customers and their catches included: Greg Hanna on the Annie H, limit of fluke to 24 inches at Sandy Hook Channel; Paul and Maddy Hess on another trip on the Boudicca, four keeper fluke to 22 inches at Ambrose Channel; and Paul and Becky on the Second Home, two keeper fluke at the Range Towers. Killies, Gulps and squid tackled all these fish that day. Wayne O’Neil from the marina and crew on the Old Gray Mare on Friday caught five longfin tuna, three skipjacks and five mahi mahi at the 100 Square at Hudson Canyon. Four of the longfins were trolled during daytime on cedar plugs, and other longfins were lost on the troll, and dusk fished best during the trolling. The other longfin bagged was chunked just before dawn. More would’ve been hooked at night, Wayne thought, but the other anglers slept. Wayne saw three bigeye tuna chunked at night on the boat nearest them, the reason he thought that. The other anglers on his trip were Bobby, Robert and Daniel Whitehead and Rich Mikutsky. Twin Lights, located on Shrewsbury River near Raritan Bay and the ocean, with no bridges before them, includes a marina with boat slips, dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait and tackle shop and ship’s store. Baits stocked include the full offshore selection. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card.
On the weekly individual-reservation trip for fluke Tuesday, fluking was horrible, said Capt. Ralph from Last Lady Fishing Charters. Quite a few sea bass were sacked, but sea bass season will be closed starting Friday. Two keeper fluke were totaled, and anglers filled the boat. Lot of throwback fluke? Ralph was asked. Not enough, he said. The boat drifted well, and there was no apparent reason fluking was slow. Space is available on an individual-reservation trip for cod September 2. Another one of the trips is full August 5, and the last one of the trips nailed cod to 40 pounds, covered in a previous report here. Three spaces are left, Ralph thought, for an individual-reservation trip August 9 that will fish inshore wrecks. Plenty of spaces are available for another that was recently added for August 30. Individual-reservation trips are fishing for fluke every Tuesday, and kids under 12 sail free on those outings, limited to two per adult host.
On the party boat Big Mohawk, fluke fishing was good Wednesday and not Tuesday on the ocean, Capt. Chris said. But the fishing’s been consistent, not as good as a couple of weeks ago, not great, but decent. Some bigger fluke 6 or 7 pounds were bagged Wednesday, and seven or eight anglers limited out that day. Some boats might consider that good, but Chris doesn’t. Almost all fluke were bagged on Gulps. The Big Mohawk is fluke fishing 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
Bluefish 15 to 22 pounds gave up action on most drifts Tuesday on the Miss Belmar Princess, at hills north of Shark River Inlet, an email from the party boat said. The fishing was better than previously, and there was no lack of readings. The trip caught best at readings stacked on bottom. Readings looked like that at times, and sometimes blues were seen along the surface chasing bunker. On Wednesday’s trip, blues weren’t seen like on Tuesday, north of the inlet, so the trip caught fluke and sea bass. On today’s trip, blues were read inshore of the rocks north of the inlet, but refused to bite. Chumming and jigging were tried, and the day was tough. The crew hoped storms tonight would get the blues biting. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. every Saturday. Family Fun Days are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday and Sunday for fluke, sea bass, blues or whatever bites. The trips enjoy a sunset cruise on the way home.
A few huge bluefish 18 to 20 pounds were canned Tuesday on the Golden Eagle, a report on the party boat’s website said. Blues 3 to 5 pounds were picked in the afternoon. On Wednesday’s trip, blues 18 to 20 pounds were sometimes beaten, and many big blues were lost. The fish broke the water surface, but were difficult to catch, and 3- to 5-pound blues were also mustered up. Bluefishing was slow on today’s trip, and a few were managed. So were sea bass and fluke. The Golden Eagle is fishing at 7:30 a.m. daily. Fishing and sunset cruises are sailing at 4:30 p.m. daily, and reservations are required for those outings. Family Fun Days are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday and Sunday for fluke, sea bass, blues or whatever bites. The trips enjoy a sunset cruise on the way home.
From XTC Sportfishing, Capt. Scott had been away, and he guessed the boat sailed for fluke and sea bass while he had been, he said. But he’s back now, and trips are supposed to fish for fluke Saturday on the ocean and bluefin tuna Sunday at the middle grounds or the Texas Tower and the Bacardi wreck.
Fluke fishing was up and down on the ocean, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. Throwbacks inundated the water on some days, including double-headers. The throwbacks measured 16 and 17 inches, just under the 18-inch size limit. But better life was starting to be seen while fluking, and that was good. The keepers were good-sized, averaging 5 pounds, and 6- to 8-pounders won pools. The fish were there, and anglers had to work for them. Trips searched for better water clarity. Fluke trips include On the Water Seminars that teach bucktailing for big fluke, and room remains for one of the trips August 5. August 17 and 25 were just added for the trips. Charters can also book the seminars on other dates. Anglers should contact Parker Pete’s, even if they don’t have enough anglers for a charter. That’s because individual spaces are 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.
Point Pleasant Beach
Bottom-fishing went fairly well on the party boat Dauntless, Capt. Butch said. Pretty decent, he said. Good catches of sea bass were made, though sea bass season will be closed starting Friday. Trips were able to make a couple of stops, limiting out on two sea bass apiece per angler. Ling fishing was steady – Butch wouldn’t say good, but steady. Anglers averaged 10 to 25 ling apiece. Ling fishing was a little tough Tuesday, when anglers averaged 10 to 15 apiece, and good Wednesday, when some caught 25 or more apiece. Throw in a couple of sea bass or winter flounder per angler on trips, and … Butch said. Lots of flounder were around. All anglers limited out on two flounder apiece Tuesday and Wednesday, Butch thought. Quite a few cod were clocked Tuesday, and only a few were on Wednesday. Every day was different, but there were fish to catch. A few fluke were in the mix when the boat sea bass fished. Trips sea bassed shallow in 80 feet, and ling fished in 120 to 170 feet. Fishing was dead, deeper. The ocean temperature fluctuated. It was 62 degrees Tuesday in south wind. The ocean was as warm as 75 degrees Wednesday. Those are surface temperatures, and the bottom was chilly. Divers said the bottom was 50 degrees close to shore and 44 to 45 in 70 and 80 feet. The boat is trying to fish for bluefish at night on Fridays and Saturdays. That angling was slow, and the few blues caught were small or ½ pound to 3 pounds, and not many weighed 3 pounds. On some nights, mackerel were landed during bluefishing. Sometimes the night trips also fished for ling, but ling fishing wasn’t so great at night this year. The Dauntless is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Trips are bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday.
Fluke seemed spread out, not schooled up, so fishing for them needed ½ knot or a knot drift to cover ground, said Capt. Bob from the party boat Gambler. The fish could be hooked from near the beach to 3 miles off, and some good-sized sea bass were in the mix on yesterday morning’s trip, but sea bass season will be closed starting Friday. On the most recent nighttime bluefish trip, on Saturday, angling was great for small, 1-pound blues and 1-pound mackerel, lots of action. On the last nighttime ling trip, on Thursday, fishing was good, not as good as the previous week, but some good ling catches were barreled up. A few cod and a few big winter flounder were decked. The Gambler is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Trips are fishing for ling 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 .m. every Thursday and for blues every Friday and Saturday during those hours. Tuna trips will begin on September 21, and weekends are filling, and a good number of spaces remain on weekdays. See the tuna schedule online.
Barnegat Bay gave up fluke between the BB and BI markers, said Mario from Murphy’s Hook House. A couple of other spots in the bay did, too, and if anglers knew a couple of spots, they boated decent fluke fishing. Blowfish hovered the bay nearer to Barnegat Inlet than farther north. Boaters fishing the ocean scored okay on fluke last week, the last news that was heard about them. Off Island Beach State Park in 45 feet was a good spot. The Tires was another. Three anglers at the Tires totaled nine keepers 6 to 8 pounds on a trip that week. Fluke were sometimes banked from the surf at Island Beach, and anglers took advantage of the park’s bag limit of two fluke 16 inches or larger. Five fluke 18 inches or larger is the limit in the rest of the state. A 17-incher and a 19-incher were known bagged yesterday at the park. A very scattered number of bluefish ran the surf. Cownosed rays haunted the surf. Surf-fishing for brown sharks, required to be released, slowed a little. The fish were fought at night on bunker and mackerel. Crabs and snapper blues were nabbed from the Toms River, on both the Island Heights and Ocean Gate sides. Many of the crabs were small recently, for some reason. But keepers were trapped, if crabbers weeded through throwbacks. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.
Crabbing from the dock was good at night and okay during daytime, said Anthony from The Dock Outfitters. Crabbing during daytime was good for rental-boaters. Snapper blues began to be hooked from the dock, growing large enough. Blowfish were landed from the dock, and one angler flung in 15 or 20 yesterday. In the surf, small fluke were sometimes dragged in during daytime. Brown sharks that must be released by law were beached at night. Nothing was heard about blackfish. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, boat and jet ski rentals, a café and a dock for fishing and crabbing. Baits stocked include killies and fresh bunker and clams.
Fluke were reeled from Double Creek Channel on Barnegat Bay, said Mike from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. They also came from the bay at the BI and BB markers, but mostly south of the BI. A few blowfish, very small, gathered toward the BB. On the ocean, fluke were toggled in from the Tires and north of the pipe at Seaside Heights in 30 feet. Crabbing was great. Baits stocked include killies, fresh spearing and all the frozen selection, including spearing, sand eels and the different types of squid. Offshore baits including ballyhoos are carried.
Trips on the Super Chic began fluking for the season, Capt. Ted said. The catch on a trip Sunday was “pretty good, considering,” he said. Some keepers and quite a few shorts were reeled up. Not as many keepers were taken on a trip Wednesday. Trips Friday evening and Saturday sea bassed first, and bluefished afterward, and the angling was good for both. The blues were small, but quite a few hit. No bonito showed up during the boat’s bluefishing yet this season.
Good action with fluke was axed today on the Miss Barnegat Light, a report on the party boat’s website said. More throwbacks than keepers were lit into, but the keepers were good-sized. The fishing in previous days was up and down, because conditions drifted the boat well on some days, not on others. “Normal fluking scenario,” the report said. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. The trips also fished for sea bass through today, but sea bass season will be closed starting tomorrow.
Deeper water, maybe 20 or 30 feet, attracted fluke in Barnegat Bay, said Jack from Bobbie’s Boat Rentals. So the big channels, really. But the bay’s fluking was a little slow. Still, some good-sized could be found, like two 8-pounders from the bay this week. Fluke began to be boated off Island Beach State Park in the ocean. A few blackfish were pulled in from along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks. An angler stopped by with a 16-incher yesterday. Few anglers fished for the tautog yet. Bluefish, mostly 3 to 6 pounds, could always pop up in the inlet. No large numbers did, like earlier this season. A few throwback striped bass were plucked from the submerged rocks off the inlet’s north jetty. Baitfish school there, attracting the bass, and anglers toss lures like Bombers, maybe sometimes diamond jigs, to the stripers. Live grass shrimp can be fished for them, though few anglers do that. Crabbing was tough, but reportedly better on the mainland side of the bay. The water can be chilly for crabbing locally until late in summer, because of Barnegat Inlet. Clamming was good, and a clammer could rake more than a 100 at Clam Island. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and boat and kayak rentals. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure. The store is known for bait supply, including live baits in season. Baits stocked currently include killies and green crabs. Contact the store to order live grass shrimp ahead of time. Live spots are yet to be available.
An open-boat trip will fish Barnegat Inlet’s jetty Friday afternoon, Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier wrote in an email. Pick up will be at Barnegat Light, not the usual Barnegat, and the trip will target schoolie striped bass, blackfish and blues. Live grass shrimp will be chummed for the bass and blackfish. No sinkers. Just a baited hook, drifted back to the jetty, on 10-pound spinning gear. If anglers never tried this, “it is something to see,” he said. Most of the stripers are 20 to 26 inches, but a keeper is caught once in a while. The blackfish weigh 1 to 4 pounds. Lures can be thrown for blues at the inlet, while the trip waits for the tide to shape up for shrimping. Three people max. All fish are shared.
Bluefin tuna fishing is booked for Monday on the June Bug, Capt. Lindsay said. That will be mid-shore, and offshore tuna fishing sounded fairly good. Bigeye tuna swam the water, and fishing for yellowfin tuna was hit or miss offshore. Yellowfins 30 to 70 pounds were boated, but no quantities. Closer to shore, a trip Monday caught and released throwback fluke and sea bass at Little Egg Reef, Garden State Reef South, and wrecks between. The water was 72 to 74 degrees, like it was for weeks.
The high hook during summer flounder fishing on the bay landed four throwbacks, said Scott from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. The fishing was slow when he gave a report last week, too, and the reason was unknown. Flounder bit like crazy last year in the bay. Cownosed rays and skates chomped in the bay. Baby sea bass schooled the bay. Other small fish, including kingfish, blowfish and croakers, were yet to show up that make up a fishery in the bay during some summers. During some summers, boaters chum to reel in sea bass, kings, blowfish, croakers and snapper blues from the bay. Scott wasn’t asked whether snappers were around. Few anglers fished in the heat, actually. White perch were the one fish that gave up good news. The perching seemed good on Mullica River, and anglers seemed to begin fishing for them, while other angling was slow. Not a lot of the perch were big, and anglers weeded through small to catch big, but caught. Shedder crabs pasted the perch best, and bloodworms also caught. Neither bait was stocked, but shedders were available at another local shop that Scott mentioned. On the ocean, trips boated three keeper flounder in 5 hours, if the anglers were fortunate. One trip landed 55 blackfish to 7 pounds, keeping a limit of three for the three anglers, releasing the rest, on the ocean. Crabbing trapped lots of small, struggling to nab keepers. The moon was full currently, and crabs often shed to grow on full and new moons, so maybe crabbing will give up keepers in the next week. Scott sent a father and son crabbing at a couple of creeks that produce, and they telephoned to say thanks, saying they picked up tons of throwbacks and a few keepers to make dinner. Minnows and green crabs are stocked. Scott quit netting grass shrimp to stock live, because the heat would kill them. No fresh, shucked clams are on hand this week. None was ordered for Tuesday, when they’d usually arrive, because low demand was expected, including because of the heat. Sure enough, there was no demand.
Wind blew now, but the back bay’s summer flounder fishing had been picking up, definitely, said Capt. Dave from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. The wind was southerly, never a good direction for fishing locally. Ocean reefs to the north and south seemed to fish better than Little Egg and Atlantic City reefs for flounder. But the angling was improving at the reefs north and south. Weakfish were scarce locally in the bay. Though blackfish season opened July 17, with a one-fish bag limit, nothing was heard about the tautog. Not many boaters seemed to try for them, but blackfishing was okay at jetties, he heard. Green crabs are stocked for bait for the slipperies, and not many were sold. Live spots from Maryland are finally stocked, in mixed sizes. Some of the spots were small enough for flounder bait, and most were larger, good for tuna fishing. Jay from the shop and another angler boated five bigeye tuna and two yellowfin tuna Tuesday. Good tuna fishing seemed available, though wind should prevent fishing for them this weekend. Mullet began appearing in the bay and back waters. Dave netted some, stocking them live, and they sold out, and wind blew too strongly to net more the past couple of days. Minnows weren’t easy to catch, but plenty were stocked. Shedder crabs started to become available at the store for bait, and should be on hand for the weekend. A few soft-shell crabs for eating are in supply, and Dave expects more to be available in the next week or so. The shop raises the crabs.
Egg Harbor Township
Summer flounder mostly departed the local bay, said Collin from 24-7 Bait & Tackle. A few throwbacks remained, and good flounder fishing could be boated at ocean wrecks. Weakfish were tugged from the bay. White perch fishing was awesome in brackish rivers. From the surf, brown sharks were fought. So were sand tiger sharks from the Ventnor pier, and both those sharks are required to be released. Collin joined a tuna trip that fished 19-Fathom Lump and the Cigar on Tuesday, but the fishing was dead, though the water looked beautiful, and everything seemed “correct.” Yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna had been bagged at places like the 19 Lump previously. Farther from shore, bigeye tuna were trolled at the canyons in evenings. Mahi mahi schooled the ocean thick. Blues did, too, and if trips trolled 15 miles from shore, they’d catch blues or mahi. Crabbing somewhat improved, and wasn’t so good. The shop’s rental boats are available to fish and crab from Patcong Creek to Great Egg Harbor River and the bay. Patcong, running past the store, is a tributary that meets the Great Egg near the bay. Baits stocked include minnows, bloodworms and green crabs. The crabs are blackfish bait, and water was warm for blackfishing. All offshore baits are carried, like ballyhoos and butterfish. The company also own 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora.
Brown sharks and kingfish swam the surf, said Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle. The browns were released when caught, by law, and the kings began to move into the surf a little, though not many landed were reported. Summer flounder fishing, in back waters, was spotty, and shorts were picked through for an occasional keeper. Andy would fish for them more toward Absecon Inlet.
Anglers fishing on foot banked good-sized summer flounder, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. They began to latch into kingfish pretty well yesterday and today at the T-jetty. Customers fishing on foot worked the T, the Vermont Avenue jetty and off Massachusetts Avenue. In addition to flounder, they banked blackfish, lots of throwbacks, but some keepers, triggerfish and croakers, more triggers than croakers, occasional porgies, and some snapper blues and herring. They picked up a big variety of fish, and the Vermont Avenue jetty is along the ocean, the next jetty south of the T. The T is at the ocean end of Absecon Inlet, lined with jetties. Massachusetts Avenue is adjacent to the inlet. Lots of life swam along the inlet rocks, including abundant spearing and finger mullet 1 ½ inches. The anglers fished minnows, bloodworms and green crabs. Fluke Candy, a floating jighead that suspends bait, available at the shop, fished best. Flounder weighed-in included a 26-inch 6.1-pounder, a 25-inch 5.3-pounder, three 24-inchers that weighed 5.5, 5.2 and 4.9 pounds, a 21-1/2-inch 3-1/2-pounder and a 21-inch 3.3-pounder. Crabbing was great along Routes 30 and 40. “So everything’s in,” Noel said. Bloodworms are two dozen for $20 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Minnows are only $8 a pint or $15 a quart. Catch the special on bucktails at $1.79 for 1/8 ounce, $1.85 for ¼ ounce, $1.89 for 3/8 ounce, $2 for either ½ or 5/8 ounce, $2.20 for 1 ounce, $2.29 for 1 ½ ounce, $2.99 for 2 ounce and $3.49 for 3 ounce. The bucktails come in white, pink-and-white, yellow-and-white, chartreuse-and-white and red-and-white. One Stop also has a shop at Gardner’s Basin.
Lots of small summer flounder were released, and keepers were tougher to come by, on the back-bay trips on the party boat Keeper, Capt. John said. Not many keepers were seen, but the keepers were fairly sizable or 3 and 4 pounds. The bay was dirty on incoming tides, so outgoing tides fished somewhat better. Baby sea bass bit. Sea robins and dog sharks chewed. No bluefish, not even small, were seen. Maybe they’ll show up once the water cleans up, and blues appeared some weeks ago. A few small peanut bunker began to be spotted. Silversides rained the bay everywhere. All bait was small in the bay, and will grow this summer. Minnows and mackerel provided aboard caught the flounder. Gulps that anglers brought did, too. The Keeper is fishing for summer flounder 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 5 p.m. daily. The trips are only $28, because the fishing is near port, and the pontoon boat is economical on fuel. Rental rods are free, too.
Plenty of small summer flounder gathered at inlets, said Nick from Fin-Atics. Boaters needed to find deeper water to locate the fish, and a few keepers were mixed in, like 1 in 20 or 25 flounder. Flounder fishing wasn’t great at ocean reefs. It was off and on, or sometimes decent reports rolled in, and other times, anglers said not many bit at all. Snapper blues and baby sea bass schooled inlets. High tides in evenings were currently perfect to fish for schoolie striped bass along sod banks with top-water lures. The tides in mornings could also fish well for them, and conditions like this draw baifish against the banks that attract the bass. The stripers were 15- to 20-inch throwbacks, maybe 23 inches. Triggerfish were sometimes hooked along piers. In the surf, a few kingfish and croakers roamed, but not many, because of brown sharks. Browns, required to be released, bit anywhere from the island’s north to south ends. Nothing was heard about offshore fishing. Customers just didn’t report about that.
Sea Isle City
***Update, Saturday, 8/1:*** A couple of summer flounder trips fished the bay in past days aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service. One, with a father and son, banged out a keeper and some throwbacks, and the other, with a family, rustled up more than 40 throwbacks. Flounder fishing on the ocean currently was off and on or good when conditions were right. Another family aboard wanted to inshore-troll the ocean during the week, snatching up blues and false albacore. Peter Rotelli and friend during the week trolled, live-baited and fly-rodded blues and a 10-pound mahi on the inshore ocean. The mahi bit a live bait, and the blues in the ocean have been 1 to 3 pounds. Two trips fished for sharks inshore with Joe this week. One landed four spinner and dusky sharks to 100 pounds, and the other waffled a dozen spinners and duskies to 100 pounds. The inshore shark trips, usually within 10 miles from shore, fishing with either bait or flies, release the sharks, and some of the species are required to be let go. The angling is a chance to pull on big fish without the sail offshore, and usually lasts until Labor Day. High tides at dusk were ideal for popper fishing for striped bass on the bay this week, and Scott Williams took one of those trips, releasing six stripers to 27 inches and a blue. The stripers were hooked on Skitter Popper lures, and the blue was hooked on a Crease fly, a popper, a version that Joe ties with a bigger cup to throw more water. The ocean near shore turned over and became cold in past days. The water was warmer or 75 to 76 degrees several miles off. Joe this fall will run annual traveling trips to Montauk to fish the migration of stripers, blues and false albacore in September and October. In winter, he’ll run annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys, and see Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.
Fins & Grins Sport Fishing kept shark fishing on Delaware Bay, like before, Capt. Jim said. The fish, like sand tigers 200 to 300 pounds, remained in the bay, and the angling was good. Sand tigers are required to be released, and Fins tagged them for NOAA and let them go. The fishing was a chance to fight a big catch without the long haul offshore. The shark trips tried to bluefish first, when possible. Plenty of blues 2 to 3 pounds, good-eating sized, schooled off Cape May Inlet and Cape May Point, fun on light trolling tackle. So the trips tried to fight them first, then shoot up the bay for sharks, when time was available. Trips could focus on blues at 5-Fathom Bank, farther from shore. Sometimes other catches including bonito and mahi mahi could be mixed in. Fins also fished for sea bass and summer flounder on the ocean. The sea bass fishing was good, and the flounder fishing was okay. Anglers with skill could catch the flounder better than others. The ocean seemed to come alive lately. The ocean was crystal clear, and bottom could be seen in deep water, like an aquarium. Fins fishes every day, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.
Many summer flounder were throwbacks from the bay, but a few were keepers, and the flounder fishing was alright, pretty good, said Ian from Canal Side Boat Rentals. Croakers began to appear in the bay’s catches. Snapper blues jumped everywhere. Lots of baby sea bass were hooked and released, rental-boaters said. Many crabs were throwbacks, but many crabbers trapped keepers, and crabbing was good lately. Canal Side rents boats for fishing, crabbing and pleasure and kayaks. ***Get a $5 discount*** on a rental boat if you mention Fishing Reports Now. Baits stocked include minnows, scented and unscented squid strips, trolling squid, tube squid, spearing, sand eels, herring, mullet, whole and filleted mackerel, clams in quarts, pints, a pound or nine ounces, whole or cut bunker, and Gulps. Tackle and supplies carried include bucktails, rigs, hooks, minnow boxes, minnow buckets, minnow traps, nets, different crab baskets and more. Crabs, both live and cooked, are sold for eating, and picnic tables are set out to enjoy them, with umbrellas. The crabs are currently No. 2’s for $20 per dozen live and $25 per dozen cooked. The crabs are cooked in advance in the morning. The shop will clean and cook crabs that people catch. That’s $5 per dozen to clean. The cooking is $10 for up to two dozen and $5 for every additional dozen.
Capt. Paul from the party boat Porgy IV has been telling anglers that summer flounder fishing’s inconsistent aboard, he said. The angling had some good days, and bounced back with not a good day, and so on. Saturday’s trip put up a good catch, lots of sizable flounder. On Sunday’s trip, not many flounder were bagged. No trip sailed in Monday’s rainstorm. Tuesday’s trip sailed to the Old Grounds, fishing in heat and wind against tide that failed to drift the boat. Only a handful of keepers came in. When conditions fail to drift the boat, flounder fishing’s off. Wednesday’s trip fished Cape May Reef, and the boat did drift, but only 17 or 18 keepers were caught, among 50 anglers. Some boats might consider that okay, but not many keepers were spread around the vessel. Paul knew that if that trip had fished farther south at the Old Grounds, the boat would’ve failed to drift. Catches included Anthony Bianco from Lansdale, Pa.’s, four keepers to a 6-pounder that won the pool Saturday. On Friday, Dave Brehm from Parkesburg, Pa., won the pool with an 8-1/2-pound flounder. On Tuesday, Fred Nelson landed only one keeper but won the pool with the 6-pounder. On Wednesday, Matt LaMelza from Ocean City only caught one keeper but the right one, Paul said: the 5-pound pool-winner. The Porgy IV is fishing for summer flounder at 8 a.m. daily.
Ocean reefs held good numbers of summer flounder, said Joe from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Flounder also gathered around inlets and in main channels in the back bay. Little was heard about flounder fishing on Delaware Bay, except one angler on Tuesday reported fishing the bay for flounder, finding none. But whether the angler was experienced was unknown. Large croakers swam Cape May Canal, and Nick, the shop’s owner, and a friend returned with a 15-incher from the canal. That’s big, and surf anglers fished for croakers. Fewer anglers fished for brown sharks in the surf than before, or the craze passed. But surely the sharks swam the surf. Be sure to release browns by law. Kingfish were nipped from the surf at Cape May, Sea Isle City and Ocean City sometimes. No triggerfish were reported caught along jetties, though Joe would normally expect triggers to come from there this time of year. Triggers were boated at reefs. Blackfish should hug jetties, but nobody was known to try for them. Not a lot of green crabs were sold for blackfishing. Occasional striped bass were bagged, though that was unusual in summer. Two anglers beached a keeper apiece along jetties. A girl took a keeper down the street from the shop. Another angler winged a keeper in the canal. Bluefish 4 to 6 pounds schooled 20 miles from shore. Lots of mahi mahi filled water like that. Crabbing was good, though might’ve been slower around the recent full moon. Full and new moons can trigger crabs to shed. They won’t feed while shedding, but the shed only lasts days. When the blueclaws shed, crabbers can use a dip net to scoop crabs from along pilings. In addition to green crabs, baits stocked include minnows and jumbo bloodworms, the largest Joe ever saw.