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Saltwater Fishing Report

Report from Thursday, July 31.

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Cape May
Capt. Frank from Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters had just gotten back from offshore fishing when he gave this report at 8 p.m. Wednesday in a phone call, he said. Two bigeye tuna 171 and 160 pounds, a 90-pound yellowfin tuna and a couple of mahi mahi were trolled at Wilmington Canyon. No white marlin showed up, though trips aboard usually hooked a white or more lately, and many boats targeted whites at the canyon during the day, because of tournament fishing coming up. Ballyhoos, lures, spreader bars and a splash bar were trolled, and the water was good-looking. Seas were a little snotty inshore on the way out but improved offshore. Another trip was supposed to sail for bluefin tuna inshore aboard today.

A trip fished for triggerfish at the reef Wednesday on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. The anglers, the Keith Johnson family, loaded up on the fish, keeping 18, releasing probably three or four times as many. They were big fish, and the trip caught more fish than a summer flounder trip probably would. Trips aboard are slated to fish for flounder on Saturday and probably triggerfish on Sunday. Another trip might flounder fish on Friday. Trips that flounder fished at the Old Grounds probably caught in past days. Bluefish schooled off Cape May Point and 5-Fathom Bank. A few bonito reportedly showed up at the bank. Nothing was heard about tuna fishing, but the boat is also tuna fishing. Tuna trips aboard were covered in recent reports.

A few good-sized summer flounder were eased aboard Wednesday on the party boat Porgy IV, at the Old Grounds on the ocean, Capt. Paul said. But conditions wouldn’t drift the boat, so the fishing was tough, though a big crowd fished aboard. They fished hard, and some bagged a few keepers, but many didn’t pick up a keeper. When the lines hang straight up and down, many of the anglers understand that there’s no drift, knowing that slows the angling. Anglers kept saying what a beautiful day it was. But the fishing couldn’t help but be troubling for Paul. He saw anglers sometimes catching better on private boats that day, and one boat that scored a good drift that caught on the day. Still, a few flounder were bagged on every trip on the Porgy IV, and some days fished better than others. Tuesday’s trip fished the reef on the ocean, and hardly any flounder bit at first. But the anglers picked at some by the end of the outing. No trip sailed on Monday because of weather. Weather was rough in the morning on Sunday’s trip, so a small crowd jumped aboard. A few flounder were belted at the reef. The Porgy IV is sailing for summer flounder at 8 a.m. daily.

Fishing for summer flounder sounded good at the Old Grounds in the ocean, good reports rolling in from there, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Flounder were also boated at Cape May Reef in the ocean, and the ocean fishing seemed to begin improving. Flounder were boated on Delaware Bay at the 9 and 10 buoys and Miah Maul. Flounder, lots of throwbacks, but a few keepers, still bit in the back bay, along the Intracoastal Waterway. Tons of croakers crammed the back bay and surf. Kingfish chewed in the surf, and a few weakfish did in the surf at Cape May Point and along the jetties on Delaware Bay. Bluefish sometimes popped into the surf at the point, and schooled off the point, where boaters could get into them, and off Cape May Inlet. Cape May Channel should hold a mix of kingfish, croakers, flounder and spike weakfish that usually gather there in summer. Back in the surf, blackfishing was okay along the jetties, and a few triggerfish stuck around the jetties. In the ocean, 5-Fathom Bank was home to blues and lots of life, including bonito, mahi mahi and skipjacks. Offshore fishing appeared pretty good for bluefin tuna and sometimes yellowfin tuna at the Hot Dog and Massey’s Canyon. The bluefins were mostly chunked, and the yellowfins were mostly trolled.