Fishing Report ATLANTIC CITY TO WILDWOOD The weather over the holiday weekend wasn’t the best, but anglers found time to catch some nice fluke and tuna.
Striped bass are still making headlines this far into the summer. Usually the stripers are gone, but varying water temperatures are keeping them around and the surf anglers aren’t complaining.
Ray at Absecon Bay Sportsman said the eels are flying out of the store faster than they can stock them. Ray said that if the water temperature at the beaches and inlets gets to 70 degrees or above the kingfish move in thick. If the water temperature stays below the 70-degree mark, the bass are very active and the kings disappear, comfort zone fishing at its finest.
Getting back to the eels, anglers are livelining them in the evenings under the bridges and around the inlets and catching plenty of bass. The fish are ranging from slot fish up to 40 inches.
One customer came into the store with a 40-pound striper that he caught while anchored up within a mile of the beach in Atlantic City. The big bass ate fresh clam on the bottom.
Ray did some evening plugging over the weekend and caught two bass in the 25-inch range and a 20-inch fluke. The fluke came up and ate a plug, believe or not. The action has been steady around 10 p.m.
Plenty of fluke are in the back bays, but you have to pick through a lot of shorts to get your limit. Plan on throwing back 30 shorts to catch five nice ones. Bluefin tuna are taking trolled baits and lures around the 28-Mile Wreck and some big dusky and brown sharks are providing action close to the beach.
The kingfish are providing the dependable action off the Ocean City beaches according to Finatic’s Bait & Tackle. Bloodworms, Fish Bite bloodworm alternative and the Berkely Gulps are taking plenty of the tasty kings. Kings usually stack up in the trough just beyond the first breakers and are easy to catch. A spinning rod rigged with a kingfish rig is an easy way to put dinner on the table.
Have a stringer to hold your catch and a pouch or fanny pack to hold some tackle and bait and you can enjoy the action.ADVERTISEMENT – CLICK TO ENLARGE OR VISIT WEBSITE
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Big fluke were caught from the back bays this week. Jim Ryan from Ocean City wrestled a 9.3-pound fluke to the net Sunday. Bass returned to the surf this week and made 10-year-old Justin Burner’s day. Justin, from Roxboro, Pa., dunked a mackerel bait off the beach and caught a 38-inch, 14-pound striper.
Kevin McGlocklin of Ocean City got in on the action with a 16.10-pound bass taken from the suds on clam. Bill Oar from Seaville weighed the only weakfish, an 8 1/2-pounder.
Bigger fluke are out in the ocean hanging around the lumps and wrecks. Wes at Gibson’s in Sea Isle City had a 7.3-pound fluke weighed in by Phil Waznuck from Ocean View.
He also mentioned that the fluke were active in 65- to 70-foot depths in the ocean. The back has been sporadic at best for fluke.
Nice stripers are still around the inlets and jetties. Bunker and clam is the best bait. Plugging at dusk and dawn is catching some nice bass as well.
Plenty of kingfish are being caught off the surf and rockpiles; bloods and any bloodworm alternative will work. Wildwood anglers are sticking to the reef plan as long as the weather allows.
Big fluke were taken from the Wildwood Reef and Cape May Reef this weekend. The back bays and creeks around the Wildwood area are active with school-size bass and some trout, but the action is best at night or at first light. Watch for surface activity during low traffic times and cast artificials.
CAPE MAY TO DEL. MEM. BRIDGE: Despite the crowded conditions at many of the more popular bay locations, anglers seemed to find enough room to get their bait in the water.
Reports from the lower bay wrecks, reefs and rock piles indicated excellent catches of blackfish for most fishermen, with several fish over 5 pounds in the mix.
Most of the action was on green crabs, followed by sandfleas and bait shrimp. Trout reports continued to be relatively slow for most fishermen, especially those fishing during the day with peelers, squid and shedder oil-scented chicken strips.
Night fishing reports have been a little better, but not what could be considered good. The most productive baits for weakies between sunset and sunrise have been Storms, Sassy Shads and Bass Assassins. Some fishermen also are reporting trout on the jumbo saltwater Rat-L-Traps fished around the lighthouses, walls and rock piles.
While trout action has been relatively slow, fluke reports seem to get a little better every week, with more and more keeper fish being caught. During the past week, fishermen have scored on legal flatties at Brown Shoal, Broadkill Slough, 34 Buoy, 14-Foot Light, the Anchorage, the Crossover buoys, the stakes off Fortescue, No. 1 Buoy, Miah Maul, Flounder Alley, the Elbow and Crossledge.
Anglers fishing Aqua Clear rigs baited with bluefish or croaker belly strips have had the best luck, with fluke reports also showing good catches on frozen or fresh spearing, squid strips and live bullhead minnows.
Catches of 15 to 30 croaker per trip are fairly common for mid- and lower-bay fishermen.
The upper end of Broadkill Slough has been especially hot for fishermen targeting hardheads, with some of the fish in the 2- to 3-pound range going into the cooler. There also have been reports of good croaker fishing from the Punk Grounds, Anchorage, Horseshoe and Crossledge.
Top-and-bottom rigs with small, No. 6 or 8 hooks are the best choice for fishermen trying for hardheads.
Bait with small squid strips that have been soaked in shedder oil, bloodworms or the bloodworm-flavored Fish Bites.
Bluefish in the 1- to-3-pound range also are providing good action up and down the bay, with most being caught by anglers bouncing the bottom for croaker, trout or flounder.
Fishermen who are actually targeting blues will increase their odds if they bait with chunks of fresh bunker.
Reports from anglers fishing the Delaware River off Augustine Beach and Reedy Point for channel catfish included a number of fish over the 6-pound mark during the past week.
Reports from the Delaware River also included snapper bluefish, croaker and short fluke. – Gannett New Jersey