Good reports about fluke fishing tumbled in from the Triangle on Raritan Bay, actually, said Rich from Dockside Bait & Tackle. Solid catches were also boated on the bay just off Raritan River, off Perth Amboy. Striped bass were trolled on the ocean, and bluefish swam nearly everywhere, like usual during the fishing season. Baits stocked include killies, all frozen baits for fluke like spearing and smelts, and fresh clams and bunker. Dockside, on Smith Creek, a tributary of the Arthur Kill just north of Outerbridge Crossing, is accessible from the water at the fuel dock and from land.
Fluke fishing, on Raritan Bay and the ocean, was kicked off with the Down Deep Fleet, and some days fished better than others, Capt. Mario said. Many throwbacks bit, and an 8-1/2-pounder was the biggest keeper. Open-boat trips are fluking daily, and fluke charters are available. Striped bass fishing’s been good on open trips that are sailing for them Wednesday through Saturday afternoons. He emailed photos of a 41-pounder and a 37-pounder from the angling. Open trips are also fishing for ling, winter flounder and cod daily, and lots of ling bit. Charters are available for any of this fishing, and join the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about open trips. See available dates on the site’s calendar. Down Deep runs two 40-foot boats.
Fishing for fluke was so-so Wednesday on the Vitamin Sea, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. One angler limited out, and some days fish better than others for the flatfish, like in any fishing. Bait caught better than Gulps, and Frank was surprised. Gulps mostly hooked throwbacks. All areas fished gave up fluke, but throwbacks dominated. Space is available for trips Friday, Saturday and next week, and the trips next week include a Workingman’s Special 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing, and telephone to reserve.
Navesink River at the Oceanic Bridge turned out fluke fishing, pretty good, said Joe from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Striped bass were hooked there once in a while, and Shrewsbury River at Sea Bright Bridge turned up stripers pretty well, and fluke once in a while. Some fluke were boated at Reach Channel on Raritan Bay, not bad. Striped bass were trolled at Reach Channel and Romer Shoal, but especially well at Ambrose Channel, all the way on the far end, on bunker spoons and Mojos. One angler showed a spoon with the hook straightened from a striper that got off. That must’ve been some fish. Ocean surf fishing wasn’t so good. But shore angling from Leonardo wasn’t bad for cocktail blues on the bay. Crabbing was really good on Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers. All baits are stocked.
Boating for fluke was fair on Raritan Bay, dropping off a little, not a lot, said Tom from Fisherman’s Den North. Still, fluke 9 and 10 pounds were seen from party boats, and the shop’s rental-boaters bagged fluke. The rental boaters found fluke in the channel right off the shop. But places that gave up the fish also included off the Ammo Pier, at Reach Channel and off Sandy Hook. Striped bass were trolled at Reach Channel, across the bay from the store and at Romer Shoal. Some anglers drilled them well. Sometimes bluefish were hooked during the trolling. Stripers 30 and 40 pounds were whacked, and the run of big stripers was good this year. At the store’s sister shop, Fisherman’s Den in Belmar farther south, seven stripers 50 pounds or larger were weighed-in from the fishing, more than in a long time. A couple of 50-pounders usually are. Surf anglers on the ocean at Long Branch, farther south, tied into lots of throwback stripers but keepers mixed in. No customers mentioned crabbing yet, but the blueclaws were seen holding on, every time the store’s bait-holding pen was pulled up. Crabs were around, no doubt. The store’s rental boats are available. The shop, new this year, is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina, home of party boats, charter boats and private boats, and near plenty of surf or shore angling from the bay to the ocean.
Catches of fluke weren’t as good as last week, but still came in on the party boat Atlantic Star, Capt. Tom said. Sometimes more keepers were swung in than at other times. For instance, on Wednesday morning’s trip, fewer fluke gave up action, but more keepers were bagged than at other times. And on the afternoon’s trip, throwbacks put out lots of action, but fewer keepers showed up. Conditions never drifted the boat well for the fishing on the morning trip, but drifted the boat well on the afternoon trip. The afternoon trip didn’t fish along the channel, where fishing for keepers can be better, because of ship traffic. Sometimes ship traffic disturbs the water and would slow the angling, so the boat is moved elsewhere. On this morning’s trip, anglers picked away at fluke, including a few keepers, so far, Tom said at 10 a.m. on the outing, when he gave this report in a phone call. One angler landed two keepers already, and the boat drifted well. When conditions are right, the fishing catches better. Not a lot of people joined the trip, because of weather forecasts. The sky was cloudy, but wind was calm. The boat’s been making every trip, no matter. Plenty of fluke filled the water, and sometimes fishing for keepers was better than at other times. Sometimes conditions never drift the boat well, and then catching throwbacks can even be slower. The Atlantic Star is fluke fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.
Friday it’s going to snow! a report said on the party boat Fishermen’s website. If you believe that, “then listening to the weather (forecasts) yesterday,” you stayed home from today’s daily fluke trip, it said. For those who braved the forecasts, today ended up beautiful on the water, no matter clouds in the morning. Fluke fishing was picky on the trip, once again, it said. Conditions failed to drift the boat at the first area fished, and drifted the boat too fast at the second. When the tide finally changed, offering a better drift, ship traffic nixed fishing at the channel. The trip picked away at fluke at a couple of places, and the high hook bagged four. A couple bagged three, “and so on,” it said. A 4-pounder won the pool. Frustrating day. Back at it tomorrow. Bring a shovel! it said. The Fishermen is sailing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and for striped bass 6:30 to 11 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.
Conditions failed to drift the boat and fluke fishing was tough Monday on Raritan Bay with Lady M Charters, Capt. Steve said. A few areas were tried, and a few fluke chomped at each, but the angling was slow. Trips sea bassed aboard until that day, the final day of sea bass season. Open-boat trips and charters are now fluking on the ocean and bottom-fishing at the Mudhole for ling, winter flounder, cod and whatever bites. A few haddock even snapped last year at the Mudhole aboard, and anglers love those trips, because they never know what’ll bite next.
Phillip and Will Rowe subdued a 142-pound thresher shark and three blue sharks at Ambrose, Marion from Twin Lights Marina wrote in an email. Al Petraco heaved in a 45-pound striped bass from Swash Channel. 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. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card. Baits stocked include all for offshore.
Annual individual-reservation trips for fluke, sailing every Tuesday on the ocean, were launched this week with Last Lady Fishing Charters, Capt. Ralph said. But the angling was slow. Big, out-of-season sea bass bit and were released, and two will be able to be kept per angler beginning July 1. Kids under 12 sail free on the weekly fluke trips, limited to one per adult host. Lots of striped bass remained in the ocean, Ralph knew, and buddies boated them. Individual-reservation trips for cod are set for July 13 and 27 and August 3, 17 and 31. But some of the cod trips might be full, because Ralph for the last report here said two spots were left for July 27, and one remained for August 3. Book the trips, because they’re filling. Charters are available daily.
On the Big Mohawk on the ocean, fluke fishing was pretty steady, Capt. Chris said. The angling wasn’t that good Wednesday, but overall was good on trips. Catches included a 10-pounder a couple of days ago. Ninety-percent of fluke on trips were axed on jigs with Gulps, and all the big were cracked on that. The Big Mohawk is fishing for fluke at 8 a.m. daily.
Bluefish swarmed all over the water surface, and fishing for them Wednesday was excellent again on the Golden Eagle, a report said on the party boat’s website. The 6- to 14-pounders were hooked on Run Off hammered jigs and crocodiles and on popper lures. Fishing for similar-sized blues was sensational Tuesday and absolutely super Monday on the boat, the report said. A few striped bass were also caught on Monday’s trip, and the blues crashing hooks along the surface has been fun to see. The Golden Eagle is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Afternoon fishing and sunset cruise trips are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 Fridays through Saturdays, reservations required.
Blues were a little wild on Wednesday’s trip on the Miss Belmar Princess, an email from the party boat said. Shots of 2- to 4-pounders were caught, and during some drifts, up to 14-pounders were nailed, and the angling was decent at times. Ava 47 jigs caught best, like on previous trips. On Tuesday’s trip, bluefishing was great for 8- to 14-pounders and some 2- to 4-pounders. Sometimes the fish fed along the water surface, boiling water. On Monday’s trip, bluefishing was epic in the morning for 12- to 15-pounders, and a 42-pound striped bass was iced. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Family fishing and sunset cruises are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday through Sunday.
Ocean striped bass fishing was hit or miss, but the bass were still there, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. The fish bit in early mornings or before dark. Fluke fishing was so-so on the ocean, and Parker Pete’s will mainly focus on fluke beginning July 1. Fluke trips will include On the Water Seminars that teach bucktailing in a non-threatening environment. Inexperienced anglers can learn the skill, and experienced can hone the fishing. The seminars sailed last year for the first time and were a hit. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s anyway about individual spaces on charters. Sign up for the email blast on Parker Pete’s website to be kept informed about the spaces. Pete’s also been running party boat trips on another vessel that liveline bunker for stripers with a limited number of anglers. See info on the Parker Pete’s site.
Little change of pace: a fluke report, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. He’d often been reporting about a steady stream of large striped bass boated from the ocean previously. Fluke bit in Shark River yesterday. Laird Smith from Neptune limited out on the flatfish to 6 pounds on the river on one of the shop’s rental boats. Marty Westerfield from Wall grabbed three fluke to a 3-pound 3-ouncer on the river. The store’s rental boats are available for fluking on the river.
***Update, Saturday, 6/25:*** A fresh batch of fluke seemed to arrive, because yesterday morning’s fluking was the best of the year so far on the party boat Jamaica II, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. Lots of throwbacks bit, but so did a good bunch of keepers, and some anglers limited out. Fluke trips are sailing 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday through Sunday and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday. Monthly pool winners on the fluke trips win the money but also a whopping free year of unlimited trips on the boat. Beautiful spearing have been provided aboard, but 4-inch Gulp swim baits or mullets in Nuclear Chicken on a teaser fished above a ½-ounce Spro have caught best, especially when the boat has drifted slowly.
Point Pleasant Beach
None of today’s fluke trips fished on the Norma-K III, because forecasts kept anglers from showing up, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. Tonight’s bluefish trip will shape up to fish, and weather looks fine. Fluking was slow the past two days aboard, and Matt hoped the west wind that began would get them in the mood to bite. Yesterday afternoon’s trip locked into a few keepers and throwbacks. Last night’s bluefish trip got into 1- to 3-pounders, and all anglers left with some. Lots of bait schooled the water, and Matt hoped that would hold the blues there a while. Lots of fun on light tackle, and he hopes bigger blues “show up behind these ones.” The Norma-K III is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and for blues 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
Some fluke have been around, said Capt. Bob from the party boat Gambler. The fishing wasn’t great, but wasn’t bad, and lots of throwbacks bit, but some keepers did. A 7-1/2-pounder was pasted on this morning’s trip. A customer yesterday boated three keepers 4 to 6 pounds. Fluke definitely held in the water, and fishing just needed favorable conditions to catch. The boat drifted too slowly this morning and too fast yesterday. But even during this morning’s slow drift, fluke were angled, though lots of skates were, too. Last weekend’s nighttime striped bass trips fished slowly, but the crew hopes that will be different when the trips resume tonight. Fluke trips are fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Striper trips are running 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. every Thursday through Saturday.
Surf anglers still beached striped bass, said Virginia from Murphy’s Hook House. The biggest were 28 inches to maybe 19 pounds. Fresh bunker, fresh clams and sometimes swimming lures and popping plugs hit them. Anglers really had to wait out the bass, and lots of dog sharks bit, and a couple of brown sharks did. Boaters had still been scoring well on stripers on the ocean, mostly north of Manasquan Inlet. Party boat fluke fishing improved on the ocean, since the water warmed somewhat. Single-hooked fluke rigs caught. So did S&S Bucktails, and 3 ounces was probably most popular. Chartreuse and Nuclear Chicken were the most popular colors for Gulps fished for fluke. Fluke were boated on Manasquan River on high tides near Route 70 Bridge, the old hospital, Clark’s Landing and the Brielle party boats. Fluke bit in Barnegat Bay behind Barnegat Inlet on small jigs like Spros. A couple fluke chewed in the inlet. Blowfish nibbled toward the BI and BB markers in the bay. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.
A couple of blowfish were nabbed from the dock the last couple of days, said George from The Dock Outfitters. A couple of small fluke were, too, and in the surf, small blues and fluke were banked. A couple of small striped bass were beached in mornings. Crabbing was picking up and pretty good from the dock and on the store’s rental boats. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, a café, a dock for fishing and crabbing, boat rentals and jet-ski rentals. Bait stocked currently includes killies, fresh clams, fresh bunker and frozen local spearing.
Fluke were boated at the 40 can and the research buoy in 7 to 9 feet of water on Barnegat Bay, said Brian from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. Blowfish reportedly hovered near the Barnegat docks in the bay, and blowfish were seen from off Berkeley Island Park in the bay. Grizz from the shop saw bluefish near the research buoy while fluking the other day. Fluke were sometimes boated at ocean reefs. One customer bagged two on the ocean off the bathing beach at Island Beach State Park. Ocean striped bass fishing kind of shut off beginning this weekend. Anglers said they marked the fish but didn’t hook any. They had been catching from Seaside to Lavallette. Crabbing was good, including for some 4-1/2- to 5-inchers. Fresh, local spearing was stocked for the first time this year two days ago. Baits carried also include killies and frozen local and Canadian spearing. Shark baits are still stocked, and Brian heard nothing about sharking recently.
Barnegat Bay’s fluke fishing wasn’t bad, and maybe 2 or 3 in 10 were keepers, said Rob from Van’s Boat Rentals. The back side of the Dike and Double Creek Channel gave them up. Bluefish could always pop up in the bay, and no fish like kingfish were heard about yet. No weakfish were reported. On the ocean, striped bass or bluefish were trolled here or there, but very few. Crabbing should begin locally in a couple of weeks, beginning later than at some places, because of cool ocean water from Barnegat Inlet locally. Clamming’s usually good locally. “We have delicious clams,” he said. Bait stocked includes minnows, fresh clams when available, fresh bunker when available, frozen spearing, all the different types of frozen squid, and practically all bait fished locally, including chum for blowfishing on the bay. All tackle and supplies are carried, including minnow buckets, chum pots and so on. Van’s rents boats from tillers with a 9 h.p. engine to center consoles with a 50 h.p. for three to five people for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure. Kayaks are also rented, and facilities include a complete tackle shop and a complete marina with slips, gas and full boat servicing.
A few more keeper fluke were belted today than during the previous few days on the Miss Barnegat Light, a report on the party boat’s website said. Plenty of throwbacks, some skates and some sizable, out-of-season sea bass were tossed back on today’s trip. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for fluke at 8 a.m. daily.
Fluke fishing’s been good on Barnegat Bay, and lots, including many sizable, were docked at Bobbie’s Boat Rentals, Vince Sr. said. The fish were boated including between the shop and the Dike, at Double Creek Channel and at High Bar Harbor. Bluefishing slowed, but some were landed. Blues might’ve swum Barnegat Inlet, but rental boaters fought the blues on the bay. Two boats returned with good catches of big striped bass from the ocean yesterday, even if that was surprising, because the fishing was slower recently. Crabs began to be trapped, and nobody clammed recently from the shop. But the clamming’s usually good. 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 bait in season.
Similar to last week, the bay’s summer flounder fishing was mostly slow, said Brandon from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. The fishing was hit and miss, good one day, bad another. A few flounder were bagged from the ocean, no numbers. No striped bass were heard about from the ocean, really. Maybe anglers would find one under a pod of bunker. Bluefish 2 or 3 pounds were sometimes found in the bay under birds working baitfish. A few spike weakfish were around, but anglers who find them don’t tell where. None of the small fish like baby sea bass schooled the bay yet, really, that sometimes make up a fishery in summer. Those catches can include the sea bass and weakfish, blowfish, croakers and snapper blues. Boaters anchor and chum for them. Lots of sharks haunted the bay, and Brian tried for blues on the bay last evening, and hooked a 20-pound brown shark. Browns are prohibited and must be released, and many of the bay’s sharks are prohibited like that, but anglers let them go, and some of the sharks are large sand sharks that aren’t prohibited. Boaters chum for them in evenings to fight big fish. Lots of bait schooled waters like a creek Brian fished that came alive with herring and peanut bunker at dusk. But only sharks bit. Crabbing’s been “real fair,” he said. Some were big, too, like a 7-incher trapped in the pot in the lagoon behind the store. One crabber reported trapping two 8-inchers. That’s huge. Plenty of minnows are stocked. Bloodworms, live grass shrimp, fresh clams and fresh bunker are carried.
For summer flounder anglers on the back bay, catches still steadily increased, said Capt. Dave from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. The anglers still hoped for better, but the average angler caught pretty well. They fished the tide, tackling a few keepers, usually including a sizable over 4 pounds, in a trip. So flounder fishing was pretty good. Weakfish still “snuck around” back waters, and most trying for them kept quiet about details including location, but a quite a few shedder crabs were sold for bait, and that’s how Dave knows they caught. Plenty of shedders are stocked from Delaware Bay, and that also means plenty of soft-shell crabs for eating are carried for the moment. The shop raises them, and get them while they’re in, and click the link and Like the store’s soft-shell Facebook page to keep up on when they’re available. Eeling for striped bass was good at night at bridges and other structure. Stripers and weaks were winged from the mouth of Mullica River, like previously. From the surf, kingfish gave up good catches, and one angler landed more than 70 from Ventnor Pier yesterday.
Kingfish moved into the surf pretty well, said Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle. Pretty steady pick, and bloodworms were the bait to soak, because the water was 65 degrees, cool for Fishbites artificial worms. Brown sharks, a prohibited species, also moved into the surf, and anglers release them, fishing with a kingfish head, a mackerel head or any kind of head. A chunk of mackerel or similar bait can be fished, but heads are choice. Drum were beached from the surf here and there, but mostly moved on, like they do this time of year, after good catches recently. The annual Team America Tackle Sale will be held Saturday at the store. The sale is buy-one, get one free for all Team America tackle and gear, like rigs, hats, koozies and everything. An angler can buy 100 rigs, and get another 100 free.
Anglers on foot bailed kingfish, numbers and good-sized, from the surf near Absecon Inlet and from the inlet, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. They sometimes yanked summer flounder from the same waters. They banked an occasional striped bass, not many, from the inlet at night. Sometimes a weakfish came from all these waters. For the kings, bloodworms and head-on shrimp, both stocked, were fished. A Fluke Candy Rig the shop stocks worked well on the flounder, like last year. The rig features a floating jighead that floats bait 18 or 19 inches off bottom, trailed behind a bucktail. All baits, a large supply, are stocked. Two dozen bloodworms are $20. Fresh clams are $6 a dozen, and fresh bunker are three for $5.
For anglers on the party boat Keeper, back-bay summer flounder fishing was sometimes spotty, and a little slow yet, but was much better than a couple of weeks ago, Capt. John said. The fishing kept improving, and the keepers were all sizable, often 19 to 21 inches, and 4- to 6-pounders were taken each week. No other fish bit, except sharks and sea robins. Lots of bait schooled the bay, including lots of peanut bunker. That looked promising for flounder fishing. Flounder bit minnows and mackerel that’s provided and Gulps that anglers brought. All worked, and anglers should bring Gulps. The Keeper is fishing for summer flounder 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 5 p.m. daily. The trips are only $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $20 for kids, because fishing is near port, and the pontoon boat is economical on fuel. Rental rods are free.
Egg Harbor Township
The back bay’s summer flounder fishing was picking up, actually, said Austin from 24-7 Bait & Tackle. “Getting better as days go on,” he said, and usual areas produced, but Rainbow Channel was one of the best. Minnows and squid hooked most, and Gulps failed to land so many. Sometimes the bay’s boaters ran into a school of bluefish, fish that were “average-sized,” not as big as earlier this year. Sometimes boaters in the know – about how, when and where – reeled in striped bass from the bay, mostly toward Longport. Crabbing was improving, and was good whenever a day’s weather was. The shop’s rental boats are available for fishing and crabbing from Patcong Creek, running past the shop, where they’re docked, to the bay and Great Egg Harbor River. Patcong is one of the best places for crabbing and is a tributary of the Great Egg, meeting the river at the river’s mouth on the bay. Minnows are a whopping half-price at the store throughout the fishing season: $3 for a half-pint, $6 for a pint and $12 for a quart. Shedder crabs are stocked, and fresh bunker and fresh clams were arriving today. The company also owns 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora.
Anglers will resume fishing Friday through Sunday on trips for summer flounder on the ocean on the Stray Cat, after the vessel was repowered, Capt. Mike said. Trips for up to six anglers will sail then, and the Coast Guard is supposed to inspect the vessel Monday for up to 22 passengers. If nothing unforeseen happens, the boat then will be back to fishing at full capacity. Mike fished on the vessel the other day, hanging a few good-sized sea bass and ling, before sea bass season was closed beginning Monday.
Eight-hour charters for up to six people are available on the party boat Captain Robbins, said Capt. Victor from the party boat Miss Ocean City. The company also owns the Captain Robbins, and will also run another party boat beginning next week that will fish on open-boat trips for summer flounder on the bay in mornings and on the ocean in afternoons.
Back-bay summer flounder fishing turned on a little, said Pat from Fin-Atics. The keeper ratio was low, but the flounder were found at Ships Channel and off the islands off 17th Street. Flounder swam the surf in numbers, and anglers fished for them with bucktails with Gulps or strip baits, sometimes with a trailer. Surf fishing was pretty good, including for blues and kingfish. The blues were 12 to 18 inches, and the kings bit bloodworms or Fishbites artificial worms. A couple of schools of weakfish in the surf were heard about. From the ocean, no mako sharks were talked about in a week or so. Not much was mentioned about tuna. Many customers crabbed, trapping a slow pick, Brian thought.
Sea Isle City
Many reports about the back bay’s summer flounder fishing said that while there were keepers, not a lot of flounder bit, not the droves of small that the fishing usually beats up all day, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. That was unusual, but some good flounder fishing was reported from ocean reefs and other bottom structure in the ocean, on a regular basis. Sounded like kingfish moved into the surf pretty well. Decent numbers of striped bass were played at night under lights, like at docks and bridges, on soft-plastic lures like Fin-S Fish and Bass Assassins. A couple of sharks were heard about from the surf. Good catches of tuna and mako sharks had been reported from Wilmington Canyon. Not a lot of reports rolled around about boating for sharks closer to shore. But sharks including makos and threshers were still around in those waters.
One of the inshore shark trips sailed Monday afternoon aboard with a family, releasing three dusky sharks and two brown sharks, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. The fish were fought on mackerel fillets on conventional rods, and Joe also fly-fishes for them. The trips, usually within 10 miles from shore, anchor over structure known to attract sharks, and chum for them. Duskies and browns are required to be released, and the trips are a chance to fight big fish without the long haul offshore. Joe hasn’t fished for them much this year, but the sharks are in. A charter fished for summer flounder on the back bay aboard Wednesday, pulling in 10 including one keeper 20 inches. The flounder fishing’s been slow compared with other years, but is improving, and Joe’s trips are “grinding it out.” A flounder trip with an angler Monday morning on the bay caught and released a bunch of throwbacks aboard. Tides weren’t ideal for striped bass fishing this week on the bay with popper lures that Joe specializes in. High tides at dusk, ideal, happen every two weeks. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.
***Update, Friday, 6/24:*** Fishing for summer flounder was spotty on the back bay, and weather didn’t help, said Mike from Canal Side Boat Rentals. The fish were there, but maybe were hunkered down in weather. Yesterday was windy, but not bad, better than forecasts. Crabbing was pretty decent, steady, on the bay. Another nice weakfish, he said, was brought in from the bay. No bluefish were seen from the bay, but a few blues around were heard about. Baits stocked include plenty of minnows, and they’re good-sized. The supplier said catching minnows became somewhat more difficult. Maybe that was because of weather, but a healthy supply of good-sized is stocked. 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. A large supply of bait and tackle is carried. Crabs for eating are sold, and the price changes according to market price. Crabs were currently $35 per dozen live and $40 per dozen cooked for No. 1s. No. 2s were currently $20 for the first dozen live or cooked, and $15 for each additional dozen live or cooked. Customers enjoy the crabs at picnic tables with umbrellas on the water at the store, or enjoy them at their own location.
Five yellowfin tuna 30 to 35 pounds, some mahi mahi and a bunch of false albacore were boated at Baltimore Canyon in 100 fathoms Monday with Caveman Sportfishing, Capt. John said. Some boats caught bigger or smaller yellowfins, and the catch with Caveman, all trolled, wasn’t as good as he expected. The yellowfin fishing had lit up earlier in the morning, from 4:30 to 7 o’clock, mostly before the boat arrived at 6:30 a.m. After 7 o’clock, a yellowfin would be picked here and there. John expects to arrive long before daylight, departing at midnight, on the next day trip, he wrote on Caveman’s Facebook page. Boats that overnighted and met the early morning fishing scored better. He doesn’t know how many times he’s seen excessive boat traffic scatter or sound tuna, he wrote on the page. A friend the next day arrived at 9 a.m. on the tuna grounds, catching one yellowfin in morning, a bigeye tuna that evening, and 12 yellowfins the next morning at daybreak. Bigeyes showed up this weekend for the first time this year, really. Loads of pilot whales swam the Baltimore, usually the first sign of bigeyes, he said. A strong, fish-attracting temperature break from 66 to 73 degrees was seen on satellite charts before Caveman’s trip arrived at the area. The fish-holding water had shoved 40 miles south on arrival. Goodness knows where it’ll be now. Forty miles farther south was extremely south for boats from farther north in New Jersey, like from Manasquan Inlet and Belmar. It was far for Cape May, too, but the angling from Cape May was way better than for boats farther north that fish places like Lindenkohl, Toms and Hudson canyons. Tuna fishing’s been best from Cape May this time of year in recent years, and Caveman is taking advantage. Caveman specializes in big tuna, too. Bigeyes. In 2014, almost 22 trips in a row landed at least one bigeye aboard.
Tuna fishing was weathered out because of wind Wednesday on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. More tuna trips are slated for the weekend, and shark fishing is still possible, if anglers want sharks. The ocean remained in the 60 degrees, a temperature for sharks, and sharking usually lasts until the end of the month. Ocean summer flounder fishing is available. Private boaters were known about who scored well on flounder at the Old Grounds on Sunday on the ocean. Some put together good catches at Cape May Reef on the ocean. Some scored well, and some didn’t. The wind that weathered out the tuna trip was only supposed to blow 10 to 15 knots, kicking up 3- to 4-foot seas, in Monday’s forecast. Then the forecast changed to 10 to 25 knots and 6- to 10-foot seas. Wind must’ve blown 20 knots on land Wednesday in Cape May, though skies were sunny, and weather was warm.
Some rough, northeast weather barreled through at times, including strong wind Friday and fierce wind Tuesday that near Cape May snapped telephone poles and knocked out electric that was still down 24 hours later, said Capt. Paul from the party boat Porgy IV. That seemed to scatter summer flounder that the boat fished for on the ocean, making catches hit and miss. The angling was better earlier in the month, but some of the fluke were around, and they’ll bunch up again. Maybe that could happen this weekend, but anglers will see. The number of good-sized flounder that were decked previously didn’t bite. A big swell remained on the ocean Wednesday from the wind, and not many of the fluke bit on the day’s trip. On Tuesday, one of the anglers bagged four flounder to a 4-pounder, winning the trip’s pool with the fish, not big. Another angler also bagged four on the outing. On Monday’s trip, conditions failed to drift the boat, never good for flounder fishing. Craig Constantino from Voorhees sacked three keepers to a 6-pounder on the outing. Sunday’s trip also had no drift. “You had to make a bite,” Paul said. “You couldn’t wait for a bite.” Few flounder were landed, but John Riccardi from Williamstown limited out on five to a 5-pounder that won the trip’s pool. The Porgy IV is fishing for summer flounder at 8 a.m. daily.
The ocean’s summer flounder fishing seemed really to turn on, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Good catches were reported from the Old Grounds, Reef 11 and Cape May Reef. The back bay’s flounder fishing was pretty slow, but the flounder bagged were quality-sized there. Rumors began to be heard about flounder from Delaware Bay. Weakfish, good-sized, schooled at Delaware Bay’s stakes, and shedder crabs hooked them. Kingfish, spike weaks, some flounder and croakers swam Cape May Channel off Cape May Point. Kings and blues were beached from the surf. Weakfish were angled along surf jetties, and sharks were fought from the surf at night. Use mackerel for the sharks, and sharks in the surf are often prohibited species that must be released. Shark fishing picked up in Delaware Bay, and those are usually prohibited species that are released, too. But they can be sizable and full of teeth. Nothing was heard about sharking on the ocean, and anglers who do that seemed to turn to tuna. Tuna fishing had been great for yellowfins and a few bigeyes between Wilmington and Baltimore canyons. Baits stocked include plenty of minnows. Bloodworms, fresh clams, shedder crabs and eels are on hand.