The Vitamin Sea will next fish today, for fluke, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. He’ll try to give results during the trip that will be posted here as an update, if he does. The boat is booked Friday and Saturday, but space is available Sunday on an open-boat trip for fluke. Follow the Vitamin Sea’s Facebook page for real-time reports and open-trip dates. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!” ***Update, Thursday:*** The trip today limited out on fluke, Frank wrote in an email at 12 noon. “All quality fish,” he said, and at least six weighed 5 pounds.
With Papa’s Angels Charters, fishing will next sail on Friday and Monday, for fluke, Capt. Joe said. Open-boat trips are available twice daily, for fluke in the morning or blues in the afternoon, when no charter is booked. Telephone to jump aboard.
After tough fluke fishing previously, Wednesday’s trip took a long ride to try elsewhere, Capt. Ron from the party boat Fishermen wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Twenty-six keepers, all good-sized, were bagged on the first drift, and the good fluking lasted the whole trip, and some sizeable sea bass were socked, including a 6-pounder. Nine anglers limited out, including regular customers on Wednesdays. Those with limits were Hammer Tom and brother Gerry, Brett, Larry, Uncle Luna, Never Quit Eddie, Scooter Scott, Rob Pags and Tom the Vet. Tom the Vet won the pool with an 8-pound fluke, just missing the season-long pool-leader, an 8-pound 3-ouncer. Most of the anglers aboard read Ron’s report the previous day about the tough fishing, and still joined the trip, and he was amazed. He thanked them for hanging in there, and they were rewarded that day. “Now, if we can only do it again tomorrow!” he said. The Fisherman is fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and for croakers, porgies and bottom fish 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. daily except Sundays. However, charters are booked this Friday and Saturday mornings, so no open-boat trips will fish then.
One of the party boats, the Fishermen, ran into a heck of a catch of fluke on Wednesday, many keepers, said Joe Sr. from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Another one of the head boats picked up a pretty good catch of the flatfish at the Mud Buoy. One of the charter boats kept smashing ling, loads, on the ocean. Paul Murphy from Atlantic Highlands trolled a 32-pound striped bass at the 2S buoy on a bunker spoon. A bunch of croakers schooled the rivers. Snapper blues swam the rivers and along places like bulkheads. Crabbing picked up a little. The full selection of baits is stocked.
More throwback fluke bit than before and some keepers were clutched on Tuesday morning’s trip on the party boat Atlantic Star, and then the boat’s drift was lost, Capt. Tom said. On the afternoon’s trip, the drift was good, and lots of throwbacks hit. “I mean a lot,” he said. Action was non-stop, mostly with throwbacks, and all customers caught at least the shorts, and some of the keepers were sizeable. Three anglers in the bow landed almost 20 fluke apiece, including four keepers total. So the fishing was okay that day, but fell apart on Wednesday. The difference was crazy. Shorts and not nearly as many keepers were angled as on the previous day. Fishing for keepers was pretty darn tough on the outing, actually. “We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” he said. The Atlantic Star is fishing for fluke on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m.
Running from Twin Lights Marina, Bob Drumm and sons subdued a thresher shark, 145 pounds dressed, at 17 fathoms on the family’s 20-foot Angler, Marion wrote in an email. Patty Studzinski bagged a 20-inch fluke, her first-ever fluke, at Ambrose Channel on the Old Gray Mare on a killie with squid. Twin Lights, located conveniently on Shrewsbury River near Raritan Bay and the ocean, with no bridges before them, includes a marina with boat slips and dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait and tackle shop and ship’s store. The full supply of bait is stocked for inshore and offshore. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card.
Wind forced fishing to be cancelled Wednesday afternoon with Last Lady Fishing Charters, Capt. Ralph said. On a trip Tuesday, fluke catches weren’t as good as on Saturday morning, he said, and only eight keepers to 6 pounds were bagged. A bunch of sea bass and 20 ling were boxed, and south wind came up by 1 p.m., causing the trip to depart early for home. More trips will fish inshore on Saturday and Sunday, and a trip will fish offshore for tuna at the canyons on Monday. If anglers want to fish for cod, a few spaces remain on an individual-reservation trip for them on August 7, the only spaces left before September. One of the trips for cod became full on August 28. Charters are available, and individual-reservation trips are fishing for fluke every Tuesday.
XTC Sportfishing mostly sea bassed recently, and the angling was excellent, Capt. Scott said. Small bluefish were also tugged in. More trips will fish inshore Saturday and Sunday, and a tuna trip will fish the offshore canyons Monday.
After the last blow, the ocean was somewhat cleaner and warmer, and trips fished for fluke a little deeper aboard, and not a lot were landed, but the ones caught were definitely larger, up to 8 pounds, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. One of the On the Water Bucktail Seminars sailed aboard Tuesday, and went well. Most of the anglers had never bucktailed for fluke before, and most bagged fluke 3 to 5 pounds, and an 8-pounder was largest. The trip first fished shallow, so the anglers could get the hang of bucktailing. By the end of the trip, the deep was fished, and the anglers were “bucktail pros,” Pete said. See more info about the seminars below. Pete hopes fluking will amp up once the ocean temperature levels off and becomes steady. Fishing for small bluefish with bonito mixed in was good on the ocean. Pete spoke with nobody recently who sailed for bluefin tuna on the mid-shore ocean. But friends previously were limiting out on the bluefins, one over and two under, and Parker Pete’s will sail for the tuna. Here’s info on the seminars: Parker Pete’s this season is hosting “on the water seminars” on bucktailing for fluke. An email about that said: “Are you tired of reading reports of people catching big (fluke)? Do you usually ‘drag’ bait and hope for the big one? Are you being out-fished when you go out fluking? Are you ready to get hooked on bucktailing in a non-threatening way?” The trips are inexpensive, and the next will sail on Tuesday, and August dates will be announced, and email Pete for more info. Also, don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Jump on Parker Pete’s website to subscribe to the emailed newsletter to be kept informed about last-minute, individual spaces available to fill in charters. Look for the place to sign up on the right side of the page.
Fluke fishing was hot and cold on the ocean and in rivers, mostly because of weather, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. Bluefishing improved a lot on the ocean, but the fish were small. Still, they were perfect for the frying pan. Bonito, fun to catch, good to eat, were spread around in the ocean. In the rivers and back-waters, snapper blues schooled. They were fun for kids to catch, and great for fluke bait for adults. In the surf, kingfishing was good. Small blues and striped bass were around in the surf, if anglers fished during low light. Some anglers were ticketed for undersized fish and exceeding bag limits this week. “You don’t want to be one of them,” Bob said. Have fun, he said, but follow the regs.
For anglers on the Big Mohawk, fluke fishing, on the ocean, was good, not bad, not too bad, Capt. Chris said. The angling could’ve been worse, and could’ve been better, surely, but was decent, and some of the fish were sizeable, so that was also nice. Most of the fish were jigged, because the water warmed. Mostly Gulps hooked them, and very few were hooked on bait. That was also because the water warmed, so that was good. The Big Mohawk is fishing for fluke 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
Bluefish, a super catch, and some bonito mixed in were smoked today on the party boat Golden Eagle, a report on the vessel’s website said. Blues and false albacore were wrestled aboard Wednesday, but catches were a little off, compared with the previous several days. Fishing was decent for blues on Tuesday’s trip, and excellent for blues and bonito mixed in on the previous two days’. Trips aboard caught on hammered jigs, Krocodiles, teasers and popper lures. The Golden Eagle is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
Excellent fishing was drilled today on the party boat Miss Belmar Princess, at hills and lumps on the ocean east of Shark River Inlet, an email from the boat said. Super readings of fish were marked top to bottom, and sometimes the fish were hooked along top. The email didn’t name the species, but apparently meant bluefish, the species mostly targeted this season aboard. Experienced anglers caught all they wanted, and everybody had a great time, the email said. Wednesday’s trip also fished hills east of the inlet, and a couple of drifts latched into decent catches of blues, another email from the boat said. Next, the trip bottom-fished along the Mudhole, catching a few fish, it said. Afterward, the trip bluefished again, picking some. The trip’s angling was a little slower than it had been aboard, but was still good. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. every Friday and Saturday.
“Decent pickings today,” Capt. Ryan from the party boat Jamaica II wrote in an email at 9 a.m., so he seemed to mean yesterday aboard. Most of the “hardcore” decked a few keeper fluke. “Found decent life” at most deep places fished, he said. Joe Baczynsi from Willingboro won the pool with a 9-1/2-pound fluke, but hadn’t entered the monthly pool. “Many missed a beautiful day on the water and a bag of fillets to take home,” Ryan said. Fluking was decent aboard most of the week, when conditions drifted the boat reasonably. Customer’s catches included Pete Talevi from Trenton’s limit of fluke to a 6-pound 3-ouncer, Young Park from Fort Lee’s 5-pounder and Ed Nolan from Manasquan’s 4-1/2-pounder. The Jamaica II is fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday.
Point Pleasant Beach
Lots of action with fluke was knocked around this morning on the party boat Gambler, Capt. Bob said early this afternoon, but not a lot were keepers. A few were, and a few sea bass were also bagged. Fluking aboard trips, on the ocean, was kind of off and on, and seemed halfway decent when conditions were. When south wind blew too much, that put the angling down some. South wind cools the ocean close to shore, because of upwelling. On nighttime bluefish trips, a few of the fish were zapped Saturday, and some anglers dropped to the bottom with bait, catching ling. The bluefishing was pretty good on Friday, and the blues on the trips were 1 and 2 pounds. On the boat’s Thursday night wreck-fishing trips, catches were good. Ling, a few cod, a few winter flounder and some squid were sacked. The Gambler is fishing for fluke twice daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. Nighttime wreck-fishing trips are sailing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Thursdays for cod, pollock, ling, winter flounder and squid. Bluefishing trips are running 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Great action was copped on Wednesday afternoon’s fluke trip on the party boat Norma-K III, despite strong south wind, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Many shorts and a few keepers to 5 pounds came in. Tuesday afternoon’s fluking was tough because of south wind and strong current that drifted the boat too fast. But wind now was coming around to northwest, a better direction for the ocean fluke fishing. Tuesday and Wednesday mornings’ fluking aboard was decent. Some good-sized keepers and some throwbacks were toggled in, and on Wednesday morning’s trip, Harvey Weinstein from Point Pleasant creeled a 7-pound fluke. That was the second largest aboard this month. Some sizeable fluke are around, so come on down, Matt said. On nighttime trips, the boat was back on the blues Wednesday, after fishing for them was slower aboard Tuesday in the dark. A healthy population of the 1- to 2-pounders, lots of fun on light tackle, some a little bigger, seemed to hold in an area. So Matt expects to catch them a while. Weather is great, and fishing is a little better, so join the boat’s trips, he said. The Norma-K III is fluke fishing on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m., and is bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
Snapper bluefishing really took off in the Toms River, said Dennis from Murphy’s Hook House. The fish averaged 4 inches, and some were 5, and mostly spearing, sometimes small killies, were fished for them. An oddball, 6- to 10-inch fluke bit in the river. The river held eels and crabs. A few croakers, not a lot, were hooked in the water along bottom. Crabbing was fantastic, super good, he said, at Good Luck Point along Barnegat Bay and at Island Heights on the river. Good Luck Point is near the river’s mouth. In the bay, fluke swam around the BI and BB markers. One customer in the area boated six keepers and 10 throwbacks on Wednesday. Plain killies or a combo of a killie with squid caught best there. A few blowfish, not many, hovered in the bay. At Barnegat Inlet, small bluefish raced through. On the ocean, at places like the Tire Reef, a few fluke and sea bass were boated, but the fishing was mostly quiet, though the water warmed. Fluke fishing in the surf was actually pretty good. A plain rig baited with Gulp or a bucktail baited with Gulp jabbed them. A few kingfish and croakers floated around the surf, and bloodworms, instead of sandworms, are now stocked, because of fishing for them. Murphy’s, located on Route 37 in Toms River, bought Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in the town this year, and is running both shops now.
From the dock, snapper blues were tackled, Kevin from The Dock Outfitters said. They were small, and snappers grow throughout the season. Small fluke were angled now and then from the dock. Crabbing was good, improving from the dock. Lots skittered around, and crabbing was even better from the rental boats. They were sailed to Good Luck Point across Barnegat Bay for the blueclaws. Surf fishing was slow, easing in fluke on occasion. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, boat and jet ski rentals, a café and a dock for fishing and crabbing.
A lot of fluke, a lot of throwbacks, crammed Barnegat Bay, said Grizz from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. He fished for them this morning, totaling 20 throwbacks, no keepers. No blowfish to speak of arrived in the bay yet. Dogfish bit in the bay. At Barnegat Inlet, small bluefish and small striped bass were around. So were houndfish, and on the ocean, sea bass, some, were caught. Ling were lifted from ocean wrecks. Fluke were boated from the ocean at the Tires and off the Seaside Heights Ferris wheel.
A bunch of fluke were creamed today on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light, the vessel’s Facebook page said. Most were shorts, but enough were keepers to make the angling interesting. On Wednesday’s trip, not as many keepers were pitched in as would’ve been liked, but action with shorts kept anglers busy. Weather forecasts look great for joining trips in the next few days. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.
Fishing’s been trolling bluefish 1 to 2 pounds and bonito 2 to 4 pounds on the ocean on the Super Chic, Capt. Ted said. “At Barnegat Ridge or something?” he was asked. “Yeah, they’re not in any one spot,” he said. A trip Saturday was forced to fish Barnegat Bay, because of rough weather for ocean fishing. The half-day trip reeled up a bunch of throwback fluke, no keepers. The next trip will sail on Friday, and the targeted species was unsure, but Ted hopes the anglers troll for the blues and bonito. A trip Saturday is slated to fish for bluefin tuna on the mid-shore ocean. “Sounds like a pretty good little bite,” he said about the tuna fishing, and he was excited to fish for them. Another trip will probably fluke on the ocean Sunday.
Barnegat Bay’s fluke fishing became better than last week, said Lauren at Bobbie’s Boat Rentals. Weather was often stiff last week, and not many fluke came from the ocean currently. Blackfish were snatched from along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks on green crabs. Nothing was heard about bluefish. Crabbing wasn’t that good, and doesn’t pick up locally until later in summer, because of cold water from the nearby inlet. No customers clammed in past days that Lauren knew about. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and boat and kayak rentals. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure. The store is known for bait supply, including live baits. Baits stocked currently include live spots, green crabs and minnows.
Surf anglers banked kingfish, not a lot, somewhat fewer than before, said Joe from Surf City Bait & Tackle. Fluke, mostly shorts, but a few keepers, were beached at times. In the bay, snapper blues swarmed, and pilot fish showed up along the Causeway Bridge that weren’t seen before. They foraged on spearing. Crabbing was good, and some crabbers said they trapped none. But Joe nabbed eight keepers in an hour last week. Many crabs were undersized, but maybe one in five was a keeper. The store’s annual Free Surf Fishing Seminars, held 6 to 7 p.m. every Sunday in the parking lot in summer, are under way. Hosted by Bob Massa, the classes are now being called Sundays with Bob. Bring a lawn chair. Like Surf City Bait & Tackle’s Facebook page.
Fishing was the same as reported last week, said Ryan from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. The store’s report last week said tons of croakers and white perch filled the bay and rivers. Kingfish swam along Graveling Point for shore anglers and boaters. Blowfish began to show up in the bay, small summer flounder blanketed the bay, and fishing for flounder turned on in the ocean by now. Plenty of sharks, including browns, required to be released, haunted the bay. Snapper bluefish and baby sea bass schooled the bay and back waters. The year’s first peanut bunker were seen. Nothing was heard about blackfish.
Tides were off for summer flounder fishing on the back bay this week, said Capt. Dave from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. But now, high tides will coincide with mornings, and the angling should be good this weekend, he thinks. The fishing was great for 16- or 17-inch throwbacks, but plenty of keepers, 18 inches or larger, swam. Wind direction warmed the ocean – to 70 degrees, according to television – and wind is supposed to blow northwesterly and light today and tomorrow. That’s favorable for good flounder fishing on the ocean, and should be perfect for the angling this weekend. Flounder hugged the ocean wrecks, Dave knew, and the cold ocean had been “holding the fishing back.” Panfishing was good, or croakers schooled the mouth of Mullica River, and more kingfish swam the surf than before. “Summer fishing,” Dave said, and the fish are small, but good-eating. More and more anglers played with sharks in the surf. Weakfish were occasionally yanked from the bay but were relatively scarce. Considering the amount of bait in the water, the bay should become “bait soup” by August, when the baitfish grow. That and warming water should draw weakfish in. The bait included mullet and peanut bunker that were small but seen. A few anglers blackfished, since one blackfish could be kept starting last Thursday, and the angling was good. They found the fish without much difficulty at bridges and jetties. Triggerfish hovered along jetties and sod banks, another catch that anglers could pick up, when targeting structure like that. A few sea bass were keepers that swam along some structure in the bay. Crabbing was popular among customers, even during the week’s low tides. High tides, often better for catching anything, will coincide with better timing for crabbing through the weekend. The new moon was coming up that could trigger crabs to shed, and that can slow crabbing. But plenty of crabs to eat should be trapped in the tides. Great-quality, live spots are stocked, and anglers traveled from as far as Cape May to pick them up for tuna fishing, talking about good results. Minnows became abundant again, after they were scarce before, and Dave was able to net them well, so the price of the baitfish could be dropped down to a somewhat normal rate at $10 per pint. Look for a special on minnows on Absecon Bay Sportsman’s Facebook page, offering a $2 discount per pint for Liking the page.
Surf casters sometimes beaned kingfish, said Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle. Surf fishing was kind of in between seasons, and the anglers waited for bluefish to show up. Big sand tiger sharks, required to be released, were fought from the surf. In the back bay, lots more summer flounder were throwbacks than before. For six or seven weeks, at the beginning of flounder season, fishing for keepers was good. Anglers now sometimes said they made off with keepers, and others talked about the throwbacks. One customer checked in two 32-inch striped bass from bay that were among six stripers he landed on a trip he ended by 7 a.m. That was covered in the last report, but for this report, Andy said all six were keeper sized from 28 to 32 inches. That was unusual, and his stripers are usually throwbacks, and normally one might be a keeper in a trip. He catches them on lures on the bay year-round. A photo was posted on the store’s Facebook page showing another angler with a striper from the bay that was bitten in half while the fish was reeled in. Something big mauled it. Blackfish were around, including at the old Brigantine Bridge, surprising, because the fish hadn’t held there in some time. Blackfishing was okay, and none of the fish was big. The Hooked on Fishing Tournament will be held Saturday at Brigantine, and the first 100 kids will receive a free rod-and-reel combo. Registration is at 8 a.m. at the 16th Street beach entrance, and see more info on Riptide’s Bait & Tackle’s Facebook page.
Customers fishing on foot plucked kingfish, croakers, spots in between, summer flounder and triggerfish at Absecon Inlet, and fishing was definitely on, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. The fish were all mixed together from the sea wall at Gardner’s Basin to Melrose Avenue to the T-jetty. Bloodworms, clams and minnows were often fished for them, and green crabs were dunked to smack blackfish along the inlet’s jetties. Many of the tautog were throwbacks, but some were healthy-sized keepers. The inlet, located near the shop, is lined with jetties. Green crabs are $4 per dozen or three dozen for $10. Minnows are $8.50 a pint, and bloodworms are $10.75 per dozen. Baits stocked also include fresh bunker, fresh clams, all the frozen baits, like mackerel, mullet and all the different types of squid for flounder fishing, and more, a large supply. A vending machine dispenses bait afterhours. One Stop, at 416 Atlantic Avenue, also owns a shop with the same name at Atlantic City’s Gardner’s Basin that stocks the same baits and also rents rods. Sign up for the DO/AC Beach N Boat Challenge, set for August 22 to 24, for free, by using the number 5072. Without the number, entry is $20. The tournament will award $1 million if an entrant breaks the New Jersey record for largest summer flounder, and will award exceptionally lucrative prize money for the rest of the heaviest fish caught from Atlantic City. Watch a video about the DO/AC Beach N Boat Challenge shot at the shop, including footage of Noel in the shop and at the counter. One Stop on Facebook.
The back bay’s summer flounder fishing shoveled up lots of small ones on the party boat Keeper, Capt. John said. The angling could be fun, including for kids, and sometimes a keeper, not many, was grabbed. A trip might total a couple, and lots of small sea bass now bit, like every summer. A few sea robins and an occasional shark took off with baits. The anglers fished minnows and mackerel, provided aboard, and Gulps they brought. Gulps always work well, and are good to bring. One more load of mackerel will probably be carried aboard, before trips stop carrying the bait. The sea bass prefer the mackerel, and that can become a problem when sea bass become too abundant. The bay began to warm on Wednesday, and John didn’t know whether that will be good or bad for flounder fishing. The Keeper is fishing for summer flounder twice daily from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 5 p.m. The trips are only $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for kids, because the fishing is near port, and the pontoon boat is economical on fuel.
Trips trolled blues and bonito, lots, at Atlantic City Ridge on the Stray Cat, Capt. Mike said. A couple of tuna broke off, offshore of the ridge, including on Wednesday. The ocean in those areas was gorgeous, 75 degrees and held lots of life. Mahi mahi swam along practically every lobster pot flag, and triggerfish held along buoys. So did buoy jacks and “Cape May goldies,” a small, yellow jack, he said. A trip summer flounder fished Tuesday, and a 6-pounder won the pool. Sulley, Mike said, caught that, and angler Mike Murray came in second with a 5-1/2-pounder. Cruiser, another angler, almost bagged a 50-pound cobia at the Avalon Shoal buoy on the trip. The knot slipped, and some seriously good fishing’s going on, Capt. Mike said. Trips were going to flounder fish today and Friday. The boat is chartered through the weekend, and the next open-boat trips are set for Tuesday and Wednesday. Open trips, sailing daily, even with one angler, when no charter is booked, are bouncing around, looking for the best angling. If flounder fail to cooperate, the trips switch to blues and bonito, and so on. The next open-boat tuna trips with space available will fish August 16 and 24. Telephone to reserve while openings last.
The back bay was full of summer flounder, lots of them small, said Pat from Fin-Atics. To catch a keeper, anglers often fished deeper, and with Gulps. Gulps have been bagging them all season. Small striped bass 20 inches were played on the bay, usually at dusk and dawn, on soft-plastic lures. Nobody mentioned weakfish, like weaks that can be in the mix with stripers at night in the bay. In the surf, kingfishing was decent, and picking up. Not many spots were reported from the surf, though spots could be expected this time of season. Sometimes flounder were slid from the surf, though usually not so many are. Bucktails or jigs with Gulps were fished for them. On the ocean, a few flounder caught were talked about from Ocean City Reef, and not really from other reefs. A few sea bass were around at the O.C. Reef, but mostly flounder were. Not much was heard about tuna fishing. Not many trips seemed to sail for them, and when trips did, not many tuna caught were mentioned. Weather was often rough to reach the water during the weekend, and participation can be down on weekdays.
Sea Isle City
Several of the inshore shark trips fished aboard in past days, and caught, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. One, Jim Reilly’s trip on Wednesday, beat good fishing for dusky sharks on bait. Another was Jim Harvey and wife Mimi’s trip Tuesday that fly-rodded 10 sharks to 60 pounds, another good catch. The other was the Joe Carvell family’s trip on Monday that fought nine sharks to 70 pounds to the boat – six duskies, two spinners and a brown – on bait. The trips catch and release species like these, some of them required to be let go, usually within 10 miles from shore, on chum flies or mackerel fillets. The fishing is a chance to fight big fish without the long trek offshore. Glen Fisher and family aboard Wednesday morning fished the back bay, tying into 30 throwback summer flounder and a 5-pound keeper. The bay’s flounder fishing, Joe explained in previous reports, is family fishing. Most of the flounder were throwbacks this time of year, and there were lots, when anglers wanted action, with an occasional keeper. Flounder fishing on the ocean currently gave up a few sizeable, and was okay, and a few sea bass also chomped there. But the numbers of flounder swam the bay. Flounder eventually migrate to the ocean for cooler water. High tides at dusk coincided with dusk this week on the bay, ideal for popper fishing for striped bass, a specialty aboard. Joe did some of the angling with his family, and the angling was good, and fun. The trips fish with either popper lures or flies, and the tides come around about every two weeks. Joe poles his flats boat in the shallows for the bass, like fishing a tropical destination. Jersey Cape is also fishing offshore for tuna, and the trips were covered in recent reports. The angling currently was typical for the time of season. Bluefin tuna fishing was good in 30 fathoms, and some good catches of mahi mahi could be made in the area.
Striped bass fishing, on the back bay, became good, because of good tides for the angling this week, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. High tides at dusk and dawn are ideal, and 90 percent of the bass were rustled up on popper lures, mostly Rapala Skitter Pops. Good-sized, keeper flounder came from the bay sometimes, but were tough to come by. But when a keeper was caught, some were large. A 5-pounder was seen this week. A trickle of keepers were had all week, keeping anglers busy chasing them. Ocean flounder fishing was nothing overly exciting. But anglers fishing for them wrangled up a couple of keepers in a trip, none huge. A few nice blackfish were green-crabbed at Townsend’s Inlet, and diehard blackfishers angled for them, since one of the tautog could be kept starting last Thursday. The fish haven’t been pressured in some time. A few anglers inshore shark fished, and Capt. Joe Hughes ran trips for them, covered in the report above. Farther from shore, tuna seemed spread along the entire coast, from Virginia to Massachusetts, both at the canyons along the Continental Shelf, and at the inshore spots. Mike throughout the whole week heard about a couple caught at practically every inshore spot he knows. The fish didn’t seem to school anywhere, and all trips usually picked a couple, but none mugged them. A trip would be heard about that bagged two yellowfin tuna, and another would that gaffed one bluefin tuna. Back in the bay and back-waters, crabbing was excellent.
The temperature of the back bay dropped last Thursday to Saturday, said Mike from Canal Side Boat Rentals. One family landed 14 flounder from the bay, and the fish were throwbacks, but there were 14. Still, friend Mike Budnick and wife ran into big flounder, throwing back 19-inchers, on the bay on a trip Saturday, believe it or not, Mike from the shop said. The wife boated a 25-incher, and then the husband axed a 7-pound 9-ouncer. Flounder were the only fish reported from the bay, and baby sea bass that school the water sometime in summer were yet to show up. Porgies were heard about from Hereford Inlet. The bay’s crabbing was improving, and crabbers averaged two to three dozen keepers per trip. One family totaled five dozen. Baits stocked include minnows and frozen herring in three per pack, great-looking spearing from Virginia, peeler crabs, mackerel fillets, whole mackerel, mullet fillets, whole bunker, bunker fillets, salted clams in quarts and pints, bags of fresh-frozen clams, all the different types of squid, like tube squid, trolling squid, strips of unscented and scented squid, green strips, pink strips and more. Frozen sand eels are no longer carried, because of no demand. They’re popular in the northern state, but it took a year to sell them here. Strips of frozen clams can’t be obtained that were carried before. No bloodworms are stocked. Canal Side rents boats for fishing and crabbing and kayaks. ***Get a $5 discount*** on a rental boat if you mention Fishing Reports Now. Crabs, both live and cooked, are sold for eating, and picnic tables were set out this year to enjoy them. The crabs are currently from Maryland, and crabs still aren’t available from local suppliers this year. Crabbing was slow locally this year for commercial crabbers. The crabs were currently $32 to $36 per dozen, and $6 additional for the first dozen cooked, and $4 additional for each additional dozen cooked. But prices could change, because they depend on the market.
Two bluefin tuna, unders, were trolled aboard Tuesday between Massey’s Canyon and the Hot Dog on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. The fishing was sort of slow, and anglers complained on the radio, but the trip on the Heavy Hitter, Ross Restuccio, owner of South Jersey Well Drillers’, charter, managed two of the bluefins. No mahi mahi were hooked like they were on previous trips. Some boats scored better, like a friend’s that landed 10 bluefins, smaller fish, about 30 inches. But some scored worse. Also, on one day, a trip would be heard about that ran into a load of yellowfin tuna at a spot. Boats would sail there the next day, finding none. George heard about wahoos caught for the first time this season. Nothing specific was heard about summer flounder fishing in past days. But George knew flounder bit lately, including in Delaware Bay and at the Old Grounds in the ocean. Flounder also bit at Cape May Reef in the ocean, but everybody George talked with who fished there said the flatfish were all throwbacks. Trips at the Old Grounds would come back with 10 or 12 keepers, depending on how good the anglers were. Throwbacks were let go. The Heavy Hitter is also fishing for flounder.
Lots of summer flounder were around, said Capt. Frank from Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters. Two trips fished for them at the Old Grounds on the ocean aboard, and flounder also swam Cape May Reef. But lots of tackle would be lost in the rubble at the reef. On the trip Tuesday at the Old Grounds, 35 flounder were pumped in, but only seven were keepers. A nearby boat was on the fish better, so a trip with Melanie on Wednesday sailed to that spot at the Old Grounds, cranking up 14 keepers out of 25 landed. The fluke were “hanging on the edge,” he said. Trips will fish offshore on Saturday and Wednesday, and a friend’s trip this week on Wednesday whaled catches offshore, going 5 for 8 on yellowfin tuna and catching a whopping 50 mahi mahi and two wahoos. All the fish were trolled, except one of the tuna was boated on the overnight chunk. The trip got up on the troll the next morning, and bailed the rest of the fish. Mahi swam all over, and two were large, and the rest were small or 10 or 12 pounds. When the trip crossed the 30-fathom line on the way home, the two wahoos were trolled at once. They were good-sized or 40 pounds dressed.
Wind blew strongly from east several days in the past week, and the ocean held a big swell, said Capt. Paul from the party boat Porgy IV. But summer flounder were picked the past couple of days aboard, when conditions were good. Those catches included some sizeable flounder on Tuesday and decent catches on Wednesday afternoon. The boat wouldn’t drift that morning, never good for flounder fishing. The boat drifted better in the afternoon, and one angler bagged four flounder, and another bagged three. Throwbacks were also hooked on trips. After the blow on Saturday and Sunday, few flounder bit on Monday’s trip. A few were scraped up. The fishing seemed to start improving on Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s flounder fishing: wind, tide, drifting conditions, Paul said. Conditions were awfully tough a few days on the ocean. In the wind Sunday, many boats probably didn’t even sail. Not all customers bagged a keeper, but at least they were in the game, had a chance, he said. No especially large flounder were taken. A 5-pounder won the pool Tuesday, and a 6-1/2-pounder did on Wednesday. The 6-1/2 was one of three keepers for the angler. The Porgy IV is fishing for summer flounder at 8 a.m. daily.
Some big croakers were nipped from Delaware Bay, off Cape May Point and on the back bay along the Intracoastal Waterway, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Large summer flounder to 26 inches were sometimes wrenched from the back bay. Thirty or 40 flounder hooked in a trip might be throwbacks there, but there was action. Jigging Gulps was effective on the back bay’s flounder. Delaware Bay’s flounder fishing kind of tapered off in past days. Nick would say look for them in deep water along the channels. Ocean flounder fishing sounded similar, like it tapered off recently. Some of the shop’s customers fished for the flatties at Miah Maul on the bay and Cape May Reef on the ocean, catching none. They dinged the fish on the back bay, though. But weather is supposed to be good this weekend, probably boding well for good boat drifts to put up some of the fish from Delaware Bay and the ocean. Striped bass were soft-plastic-lured at bridges at night. Kingfish roamed the surf, and a couple of redfish were heard about from the beach. Those were the first reds reported on this site this year, and the southern species showed up in the water in recent summers. Tailor blues 2 to 3 pounds sometimes popped into the surf, and big brown sharks, required to be released, were fought from shore at night. One blackfish could be kept starting last Thursday, and divers said the jetties were loaded with the tautog. Triggerfish sometimes gathered along jetties. Sheepshead were banked along Delaware Bay’s jetties in the town. Nothing was heard about offshore fishing. Minnows, green crabs, fresh clams and bloodworms are stocked.