The party boat Porgy IV will resume fishing Saturday, for sea bass daily, Capt. Paul said. Fishing had been on break aboard since daily summer flounder trips ended when flounder season was closed. The trips depart at 8 a.m.
Charters for sea bass will be weathered out that were booked for Saturday and Sunday on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. Sea bass season opens beginning Saturday. George kept hearing about tuna catches, and friends asked him to sail for them, but he’s finished sailing for tuna for the year. Charters for blackfish and striped bass will sail later this season aboard.
A few small yellowfin tuna were boated between Baltimore and Wilmington canyons Sunday with Caveman Sportfishing, Capt. John said. The barely legal-sized fish, trolled during a short, half-hour blitz, made the trip, but John’s disappointed in fall tuna fishing at waters within range of Cape May and will stop sailing for the fish now for the year. A few mahi mahi were also trolled on the trip, at lobster-pot buoys. Striped bass trips will be the next charters aboard, probably beginning at Thanksgiving, when the striper migration arrived locally in recent years. He heard about better catches of tuna sometimes made farther north at Hudson Canyon, out of range from Cape May, recently. But quite a few boats from Cape May caught no tuna this weekend that fished for them. Fall tuna fishing used to be great from Cape May. Good numbers of good-sized tuna, yellowfins and longfins, used to show up. Canyon tuna fishing the past few years was best in June from Cape May. Most anglers are used to fishing for them in fall, so getting anglers to jump on the June trips has been difficult. But that was when to go lately. John was also grateful for inshore tuna fishing at places like Massey’s Canyon early this fishing season, “(or) it would have been one horrible season at least on quality tuna fishing,” he wrote on Caveman’s Facebook page.
Schoolie striped bass and small blues turned out catches, a good number, from the surf, said Joe from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. But a few large striped bass seemed to lurk the water, and a 42-pound 50-1/2-incher was beached from the town’s surf during the weekend that was the season’s first striper weighed at the shop. Plus, the store’s owner hooked and lost a large striper from the surf that was the biggest he’d ever hooked. Blackfish were bailed along jetties like at Cape May Inlet and Townsend’s Inlet at Avalon. Many were small, but some were 18 or 20 inches, and green crabs nabbed them. Nobody seemed to boat stripers from the ocean locally yet this season. A few boaters tried bunker-chunking for stripers on Delaware Bay, but none was known to catch any. The season was early for stripers locally in the ocean and in the bay. The migration arrived later in recent years. Some of the boaters on Delaware Bay reported hooking 4- to 6-pound catfish on the chunks meant for stripers at spots like around Maurice River’s mouth and the mouth of Fortescue Creek. Sharpies played schoolie stripers on the back bay, like at bridges. An average angler might not hook them, but some might hook a few. Weakfish, small but a few 22 or 24 inches, bit in Delaware Bay. A few boaters trolled the ocean at inshore lumps, fighting a few false albacore. No bluefish catches were heard about from the trolling that can sometimes run into them now or in summer. Nothing was heard about offshore fishing for tuna and other big game.