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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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Fishing Line Aug. 31

A nice haul for Team Claw Hammer.

By Mark Robbins

The recent hot, humid conditions we’ve been experiencing continue to roll on. The one difference is that the water temperatures at the local reefs have been reported to have increased a bit recently. Consequently, the quality of flounder fishing experienced a good bump also. We can only hope that those trends continue. Let’s check out what happened recently on the local fishing scene. 

Boulevard Bait and Tackle reported a couple of nice catches over the weekend highlighted by a 5.7-pound, 24-inch fluke for an angler named Tim. He was fishing on a local reef and using a 6-inch mackerel colored Gulp as bait.  

Two young anglers, Brett and Joey land their eighth keeper fluke from the beach during their recent outing. They were fishing at the Corson Inlet beach and using minnows as bait. 

Cameron, the owner at Boulevard and a fellow angler, got out for a morning trip recently. 

They fished hard and managed to catch three keeper flounder with the largest being 23-inches.    

First Fish Adventures hosted Dan Fenimore and Rick Shetler for a day of Mahi fishing. They caught two nice sized specimens. They also caught a number of smaller fish that helped to fill their cooler.  

Trips for these, plus other species, are available for charter. Call Captain Zig and see what days are available so you can target the species you desire. 

Sea Isle Bait and Tackle reported about an early morning trip to the Townsends Inlet reef for the crew of Team Claw Hammer. They had five keepers during their outing with the best bite occurring between 6 and 7 a.m.  

The Starfish had a full weekend of four-hour trips. They recorded plenty of sea bass and triggerfish being caught.  

They are sailing two 4-hour trips daily as the weather, mainly the wind, allows. They leave at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.  

The Miss Avalon has been venturing to the local reefs to catch flounder, sea bass and triggerfish. They have been catching a good mix of each consisting of shorts and keepers included. 

The Miss Avalon will sail two deep-water reef trips targeting big fluke. The trips will sail from 7 a.m to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 18th, and Saturday, September 24th. Reservations are required so make sure to call 609-967-7455 to secure your seat. 

A mid-week trip saw some young anglers getting in on the action as well as winning the pool. Captain Brandon was even able to toss in a line. For his efforts, he was rewarded by catching a 4.5-pounder.  

The Avalon Lady is hitting the backwater and looking for the decent flounders that are still in the area. They are sailing daily till Labor Day and are also sailing on Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m. till 9 p.m.  

The Miss Chris, led by Captain Mike, split their time by fishing between both Cape May Point and the Cape May Reef. The Point was providing croakers and some kingfish while the reef was giving up sea bass and fluke. Plenty of sea bass, with a fair share of keepers mixed in, allowed anglers to go home with some fish in the cooler. Flounder, with both keepers and shorts, added to each trip’s excitement. The biggest fluke was a 21-incher caught by a Radnor, Pennsylvania angler while Mike Huff caught a 16-inch sea bass.     

Captain Chuck, of the Sea Star III, reported that water temperatures at the local reefs “finally started to warm up”’. That increase led to one of the “best trips” in a while as the fluke bite really turned on. A lot of the regulars caught their share plus others also contributed to the total haul. Also, a number of anglers caught their limit of sea bass which only added to a great day.   

Cape May Bait and Tackle reported that weakfish, fluke, croakers and kingfish were being caught from the Cape May beaches over the past week. Kingfish rigs tipped with shedder crabs or Fishbites are a popular option to use. The fluke that were caught liked minnows or Gulp on bucktails. Most were under the 17-inch minimum size limit. 

Striped bass could be caught by those fishing in the back bays, around the jetties and near the local bridges. Live-lined Spot were the best option to try. 

The reefs had sea bass and fluke but, unfortunately, the cold water slowed the action for the anglers who ventured there. The recent uptick in temperature though, reported by others over the weekend, has helped to increase the activity for those at the reefs. 

If you want to try crabbing, the results in the back bays have been “excellent” lately. Hand lines and traps, baited with bunker chunks, are both producing good sized crabs.     

Jim’s Bait and Tackle reported that “Captain Frank” had a good day recently. He caught an 8.8-pound fluke while others in his crew caught two others that weighed over 7-pounds. They were there at the right time as the fishing really turned on. 

The Sailor’s Delight, with Captains Andrew and Stan have been busy with crab and fishing trips. Both have brought in the desired catch so the trips have been successful. 

The highlight of the recent trips was the 4-pound flounder that a young angler caught while fishing through some Monday morning raindrops. The rain didn’t last long but the memories of that nice catch will. 

Later, during two mid-week trips one angler caught a keeper that weighed 4.5-pounds during the morning trip then the afternoon trip produced a 3-pounder for a happy angler. It’s nice to see that there are still some nice flounder around in the back waters. 

The 53rd Annual North Wildwood Surf Fishing Tournament will be held on Friday, September 9th through Sunday September 11th. Friday and Saturday will run from 7 a.m. till 5 p.m. and from 7 a.m till 11 a.m. on Sunday. You can register throughout the tournament at the Gazebo at 3rd and J.F.K. Boulevard. For additional information call 609-522-2955 or go to northwildwood.com. 

Congratulations go out to Captain Scott Wheeler, of the Big Bone, who caught a 28.5-inch fluke while fishing in the flounder tournament based at the Paradise Grill in Long Neck, Delaware. Scott’s catch helped him, and the rest of the crew, into a solid second-place finish. The tournament had over 285 boats entered so finishing second was quite an accomplishment.    

Let’s hope the water temperature continues to climb because we saw some nice flounder, maybe the best so far this summer, over the last week. Also, with the flounder still in the back bays many anglers with smaller boats still have a chance to catch some nice fish. Good luck if you get out, take care and I’ll see you around.  

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