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Sunday, July 21, 2024

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The Fishing Line: Heating Things Up

 

By Carolyn Miller

The heat wave is changing some fishing patterns but those determined are still finding keepers of every variety.
Grassy Sound Marina reports weakfish in the Channel and triggerfish showing up off the pier. Fewer flounder overall but more keepers reported in the back-bay. Five-year-old Lucy Michels, Mullica Hill, caught her first flounder fishing off the dock with chartreuse swim mullet Gulp and Larry Finken, Stroudsburg, Pa. caught 2 flounder to 19 ½ inches and a weakfish using pearl white Gulp, outgoing tide. Bob Cabrelli, Broomall, Pa. caught a great 23 inch flounder during outgoing tide on minnows and squid.
Crabs are caught consistently during incoming and top of the tide. The Neiman Crew, Levittown, Pa., caught 3 dozen in Turtle Creek.
Sterling Harbor says nice sea bass have been mixed in with the flounder from Reef Site 11, the Old Grounds and the Cape May Reef. Flounder fishing in the Back-Bays remains good. Kingfish and croakers are being caught in the surf along the Wildwood beaches. Crabby Jack reports the crabs are large and plentiful.
Casey Roohan at Sterling Harbor sent us this Offshore Report: Yellowfin trolling bite on the 100 fathom line has slowed, however overnight chunking at the Canyons with butterfish has been good to excellent with boats reporting double digit catches. Bigeye tuna are being hooked early in the morning.
Marlin, both white and blue are starting to make an appearance and dolphin are being taken around lobster pots. Inshore bite has heated up with bluefin taken on the chunk and jig down on the Hotdog and Hambone as well as other inshore lumps like the 19 Fathom Lump.
Fluke fishing on the reef is very productive. Stray Cat Charters’ pool winners are in the 3 pound range. Ocean City reef has been very productive. The Neilson Party put 8 fluke in the cooler with a heavy fish 3.8 pounds. The Brownrige Family had loads of sea bass and fluke.
Captain John Sowerby, Hooked Up II, South Jersey Marina, had a spectacular day with the jig and chunk bite on bluefin tuna in the 80-100 pound class. “Best I have seen in years fishing the Hot Dog which is a short 2 hours from Cape May,” says the captain. Yellowfin tuna in the 45-50 pound range mixed right in with the bigger bluefin. Captain had two and three on at a time for almost 5 hours on both jigs and butterfish.
The troll bite is almost nonexistent now compared to a few weeks ago so they are hoping the chunk bite continues. The night chunk bite was on fire but died a quick death in the Wilmington Canyon. The Hooked Up II released over 17 bluefin with most pushing the 100 pounds. “Just flat out great fishing for those that like jigging and chunking.”
Over at Frank’s Boats, fishing rebounded nicely after the storms with multiple keepers caught. Crabbing is in full swing with most boats bringing in a couple dozen or more blue claws. Leonard Iacono Sr. and Jr. hauled in four dozen.
Save the Date: NJDEP’s annual Wild Outdoor Expo will be held Sept. 15-16, at Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area, Jackson Township, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, rain or shine.
This fun-filled event is designed to discover ways to enjoy New Jersey’s great outdoors by providing a blend of conservation education and hands-on opportunities to learn more about fishing, kayaking, hiking, shooting sports, rock climbing, camping skills, orienteering, wildlife watching and more. Free. Some activities require pre-registration.Visit www.wildoutdoorexpo.com .
Flounder Tourney results from Sterling Harbor Marina and Grassy Sound Marina in next week.
Send your fishing reports and pictures to cmiller@cmcherald.com. There are terrific pictures coming in but not room in print for all of them. All pictures submitted are posted online at www.capemaycountyherald.com.

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