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.