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Fishing Line: July 12

Kevin Orcutt and his 5.75-pound fluke. 
Courtesy Sea Star III

Kevin Orcutt and his 5.75-pound fluke. 

By Mark Robbins

Summertime is here and the fishing is good. All the usual summer species are here, and they seem to be in a feeding mood. Thankfully, there are no cases of lockjaw in the area.  

Flounder are at the reefs, croakers roam the back bays, and tuna are cruising at their offshore haunts. Other species also abound in those areas. Let’s see what happened recently.  

The Miss Avalon is sailing to the local reefs where they have been catching flounder, weakfish, triggerfish, and, again, sea bass. Those are producing many limits as the bag limit is just one fish.            

The Miss Avalon is sailing their summer schedule, which means two four-hour trips at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.  

Ladies have half-price fishing on the afternoon trips on Monday and Friday. Saturday has one trip at 8 a.m. and the Sunday trip is five hours from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. As Capt. Irv likes to say, “Fish on.”  

Two young anglers had a flounder duel recently for the daily pool during a holiday fishing trip, and Christian Santorello was able to better Matt Burnes. Christian’s was a little larger, but Matt made him work hard for first place.    

The Miss Avalon also has Tuesday and Thursday evening Sunset and Nature Cruises that depart at 6:30 p.m. and return at 8 p.m.  

The Avalon Lady is still picking up some flounder in the back bays, as well as plenty of croakers. The croakers are a favorite of the anglers because they are perfectly sized for a good fish taco.  

The Starfish has been busy at the local reefs, as they have been catching flounder, triggerfish, and sea bass.  

They are sailing at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily but call ahead to confirm those times. Also, Monday and Wednesday five-hour night fishing trips are now offered. Every boat’s schedule is always in flux due to weather, private charters, and special holiday trips, so, again, call ahead to confirm when planning to sail on any boat.  

Capt. Mike from the Miss Chris had a good week catching flounder and then sea bass as the next season for them opened. With the one-fish bag limit in place, many anglers have been catching their legal limit.  

Pool winners during the week were Madison Grigg, with a 19.5-inch fluke, and Dennis Arthur, who caught a 20-inch fluke.  

Capt. Chuck aboard the Sea Star III reported his patrons had “another solid week of fluke.” That means multiple three-fish limits around the boat, as well as those who had two fish but couldn’t get that elusive third fish. It also translates to some nice fluke that cleared the 5-pound mark. 

The return of sea bass season also meant that most anglers were able to take home a little extra meat with their flounder filets.  

Pool winners this week, all with flounder, were Ryan Wagner, with a 2.2-pound fluke, Frank Servocky (3.5), Mike Maziarczyk (5.55), Dan Kilcoyne (5.7), and Kevin Orcutt, who caught a 5.75-pounder.  

One other catch to note was made by Mike Jung, from Peace Token Bait and Tackle, as he caught a solid 5.5-pound fluke during a recent trip while using one of his own Peace Token Fluke Salt Bug Jigs. Nice catch, Mike.  

Cape May Bait and Tackle reported that plenty of croakers, kingfish, and small flounder are swimming along our local beaches. Grab some bloodworms, Fish Bites, or minnows and toss out a line.  

Both the Wildwood and Cape May Reefs are providing “excellent” flounder fishing. That has resulted in many limits for anglers fishing in those areas.  

Trish H. was out fishing from a local head boat and was rewarded with a 21-inch fluke for her efforts.  

If you want to go crabbing, the catch of blueclaws has been “good.” Get your bait, some traps, and even some handlines for an old-school option and get out to the back bays.    

The Sailor’s Delight is busy taking advantage of the good weather, as they stay busy catching plenty of flounder from the back bays. Some of their keepers are reaching up to 21 inches.  

The Sailor’s Delight is also running crabbing trips if that is more to your liking. There are three time slots daily for these trips. Reach out to Capt. Andrew at 215-582-6539 to arrange your outing.  

No Bones Bait and Tackle reported good crabbing for those who are renting boats. You can rent a boat and enjoy some time on the water while you catch some tasty blueclaws. Call 609-522-3017 with any questions.  

Tara Anne Sport Fishing left the No Bones dock and had a good trip where they kept everyone busy by catching “eating size” bluefish. One of the trips the captain offers is a trolling trip that was just perfect for catching bluefish.   

Sterling Harbor Bait and Tackle reported that flounder are being caught near Hereford Inlet, where a lot of shorts can be caught. Some nicer fish can still be pulled from the deeper holes. Ralph Shaw checked in with a 4-pounder that fell for a minnow offering.  

The Cape May Reef has good flounder fishing, as Capt. Rick from the Capt. Carlson can attest. He was catching fluke up to 9 pounds, which were attracted to the big Gulp Grubs.  

Night fishing has produced some striped bass, while smaller fish are keeping anglers busy when they fish off the local docks. Small sea bass, Spot, croakers, and bluefish are providing plenty of practice for the young anglers who toss out the Fish Bites Bloodworm baits.  

Crabbing, which remains good, received three out of five claws recently where it was noted that more female crabs were caught.  

Sea Isle Bait and Tackle reported good fishing at the local reefs. That would include flounder, which an angler named Austin was able to limit out on, and sea bass, which are back in season now. Weakfish are also being caught and triggerfish should hopefully start appearing in greater numbers soon.  

Boulevard Bait and Tackle was full of information about some nice catches recently.  

The surprise catch went to Tony, who was fishing in the back water during a recent weekend. He caught a 29-inch striped bass.  

The rest of the good word pertained to fluke, which was headlined by the 6.5-pounder that Joey G. reeled in during an early morning trip to a local reef. Prior to that trip, Joey was out with JT and Jimmy. They returned with four good-sized keepers.  

Others who did well were the Lashleys who also caught four keepers, with the biggest being a 25-inch, 5-pounder. Finally, the Schad family had nine keepers, with the largest weighing 5.1 pounds, plus one of the anglers limited out with their one sea bass.  

The new, much talked about, striper regulation is now in effect. On July 2, it became official that the adjusted size regulation for a keeper striped bass is one fish at 28-31 inches. This is for all state waters from the already known timeframe of March 1 through Dec. 31.  

The Delaware River and various tributaries are closed from April 1 until May 31. Check ahead for more information on those before venturing out.  

As the good weeks continue, try to get out and enjoy some fun times on the water. Good luck fishing, take care, and I’ll see you around.  

Submit fishing news and photos to mrobbins@cmcherald.com. 

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