Pretty good fishing picked up in past days in the warm weather, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Many fish swam the back bay, and sometimes healthy-sized summer flounder in the mid-20-inches were seen from there. Minnows and chartreuse Gulps seemed hot bait, like usual. But a good amount of mackerel were sold for the angling. Some roving schools of bluefish remained in the bay, and the blues were bucktailed. Some blues and large striped bass like 40 inches were plowed from the surf. The bait to fish in the surf was the question. That depended on whether anglers wanted blues or stripers, and clams, bunker and mullet were dunked. But one angler would talk about catching on one of the baits, and another would report catching on another. There seemed no consistency. Kingfish sometimes began to appear in the surf, and all the catches were on Fishbites artificial worms that were heard about. Anglers stopped by with a blue shark, the year’s first shark seen at the store. Blues aren’t known for table fare, but the anglers were pumped. A couple of reports were heard about mako sharks. Bluefin tuna were reported, too, and anglers hoped to hear more about sharks and tuna from this holiday weekend. Those who sailed for sea bass on the ocean reported awesome fishing, since sea bass season was opened Monday. All baits mentioned and more, the complete supply, are stocked.
Boat traffic will increase during the Memorial Day weekend, and mid-day tides won’t be the best for angling, but summer flounder chewed in the back bay in past days, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Plus, weather improved, and the season was early enough that the flatfish might bite in the traffic and tides. His trips will get after them, and bluefish could pop up in the bay, but wouldn’t be a catch to rely on. The bay was about 60 degrees this week, and the water wasn’t clean during the weekend’s rough weather, but Joe wouldn’t know if he’d say it was dirty. Flounder fishing was just beginning for the year, and can be best in South Jersey’s shallow, warm back bays in the early season. The bay’s angling seemed not even to have peaked for the fish yet, after the chilly spring. Some good fishing for them could be in store now, and weather was warming. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.