With fish bite slow, crabbing provides most of the action

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Eliza Burget, 8, of Lansdale, Pa., hefts her 19 1/2-inch flounder weighed in at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere. Eliza Burget, 8, of Lansdale, Pa., hefts her 19 1/2-inch flounder weighed in at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere. Bill and Bob Kingston of Philadelphia collect seven keepers to 4 pounds, 1 ounce, weighed in at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere Bill and Bob Kingston of Philadelphia collect seven keepers to 4 pounds, 1 ounce, weighed in at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere

Mixed reports came in this past week in regards to back bay fishing. Some marinas are reporting an improvement, while others are saying the bite has been slow. Offshore reports are all saying the action dropped off immensely.

While fishing can be unpredictable at times this time of the summer, crabbing is providing most of the action.

Frank Jankowski of Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere said crabbing is best either during the incoming or outgoing tide. While some people find success with chicken legs, Jankowski said bunker is essential. He said is it an oily fish, and as the slick is taken out with the current, it will attract the crabs. Just as long as the current is moving, the crabs will bite. Crabs tend not to bite when the current is at a standstill.

Jankowski said the fishing improved a bit this week in the Strathmere area with a few boats bringing back multiple keepers. Don and Ryan Reinert of Philadelphia returned to the dock with six keepers from 17 1/2 to 19 inches, but they were not the high boat for the week. Last Tuesday, Bill and Rob Kingston, also from Philadelphia, returned with seven keepers, the largest weighing in at 4 pounds, 1 ounce. The biggest fish this week was landed by Dave Beidler from Boyerstown, Pa., weighing 8 1/2 pounds and measuring 24 inches.

The best fishing right now, said Jankowski, is in Strathmere Bay between the bridge and the boat ramp and at the end of Flat Creek. Minnows are still getting the best bite, but squid and Gulp have also produced a couple of keepers.

Some recent catches at Frank's Boat Rentals include Jerry Bonsal of Strathmere with a 5-pound, 11-ounce flounder; Jack and Chris Brown of Oaklyn with an 18- and a 19-inch flounder; Eugene Grear and party of Haddon Heights with 48 crabs; the Omolar, Tribur and Cahill parties of Philadelphia with three dozen crabs; Michael Policano of Malboro with three flounder; Eliza Burget, 8, of Lansdale, Pa. with a 19 1/2-inch flounder; and Candy Jankowski of Marmora with a 19-inch flounder.

Tom Christ of Brennan Marine Supply in Somers Point said fishing for the most part was slow due to the weather. Anglers who went to the inshore reefs caught flounder and sea bass.

Bill "Bucktail Willie" Shillingford of Swainton fished out of Whale Creek Marina in Strathmere and found a block of cooler water that held a few bass up to 29 inches caught on live spot. He also picked up a 4-pound flounder on a spot.

Given the high water temperatures, it has been mostly hit and miss fishing inside, he said. Bait fish such as shiners and peanut bunker have not showed up in the normal numbers yet. There have been a few pockets of baitfish but nowhere near normal.

Cape May County tides July 27, 2012 - Aug. 2, 2012 Ocean City, Wildwood Cape May County tide chart for July 27, 2012 - Aug. 2, 2012 Ocean City, Wildwood

Debbie Mooers of Grassy Sound Marina in North Wildwood said the crabs are biting in abundance at the fishing pier. Flounder, sea bass and kingfish have also been caught.

With the high temperatures and bad weather last week there were not many reports of flounder being caught. Reports that came into Mooers include Matthew Gagliardi, 8, of Cape May Court House, who caught a nice 4 1/2-pound sea bass at the Wildwood reef on squid and a bucktail. Brennan Karalfa, 7, and his brother, Trent, 11, of Johnstown, Pa., caught sea bass behind North Wildwood on mackerel.

From the Grassy Sound Fishing Pier were catches made by Bill Powers of Philadelphia, who caught an 18-inch flounder at the top of the tide. Jack and Sean McFerran, 8-year-old twins from North Wildwood, caught their first flounder. Elijah Pintabone, 13, of Easton, Pa., caught three sea bass and two short flounder. He was fishing the incoming tide with squid and minnows. Mark Bachman of Philadelphia caught three keeper flounder to 19 ½ inches on minnows during the outgoing tide, and Joan Hack of Mantua left the pier with 30 nice-sized crabs.

It wouldn't be summer if there weren't some interesting catches being made from the surf. Last week there was a report of a hammerhead shark caught from the 67th Street beach in Sea Isle City. The catch sure had swimmers staying close to shore. Another one was caught off Avalon a couple of weeks ago. They were both small, but adults can get as large as 14 feet long. These types of shark like to come in close to shore during the day and head offshore at night. They are pretty rare to the area and are endangered. Both were released.

Captain John Sowerby of Hooked Up II out of South Jersey Marina in Cape May reported offshore fishing was not up to par last weekend. They were only able to hook up to two yellowfin at the Hot Dog. He said that boats that had caught 20 tuna in a couple of hours late last week had zero as of this past weekend. He had one bite all day Sunday. He said that the fish may have left the hill due to the rough weather and will return. Time will tell.

All anglers must inquire about the free saltwater fishing registration. See www.countmyfish.noaa.gov or call 888-674-7411 to find out if a license is required to fish your desired species. Print out the certificate and keep it in on your person while fishing. You can also stop in any bait and tackle store for details.

Fishing Notes:

- Captain Skip Jastremski of Stalker II is deepwater flounder fishing every day. Call 609-972-5218 or see www.stalkerfishingcharters.net. 

- The Royal Flush is sailing three trips a day. The times are 8 a.m.-noon, 1-5 p.m. and 7-11 p.m. The Royal Flush is catching flounder, sea bass, snapper blues, and some weakfish. Call 609-522-1395 or see Royal Flush Fishing on Facebook.


 

Fishing reports and photos can be emailed to Heather Holtzapfel James at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or faxed to 609-465-9155. Reports need to be in by Sunday evening of each week.

 

James McCloskey of Roxborough, Pa., weighs in his 19 1/2-inch flounder at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere. James McCloskey of Roxborough, Pa., weighs in his 19 1/2-inch flounder at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere.

Eight-year-old twins Jack and Sean McFerran of North Wildwood netted their first keeper flounder while fishing Mooers Slough with minnows during the outgoing tide. Eight-year-old twins Jack and Sean McFerran of North Wildwood netted their first keeper flounder while fishing Mooers Slough with minnows during the outgoing tide.

Mark Gee of Tioga, Pa., has a 3-pound flattie caught aboard the Royal Flush out of Wildwood. Mark Gee of Tioga, Pa., has a 3-pound flattie caught aboard the Royal Flush out of Wildwood.

Gloria Riley of Philadephia hold up the 2-pound trigger fish she caught aboard the Royal Flush out of Wildwood. Gloria Riley of Philadephia hold up the 2-pound trigger fish she caught aboard the Royal Flush out of Wildwood.

- The Dougherty crew of West Wildwood shows off part of a winning catch at the sixth annual Grassy Sound Flounder Tournament July 14. - The Dougherty crew of West Wildwood shows off part of a winning catch at the sixth annual Grassy Sound Flounder Tournament July 14.

Pete and Traci Hunter of Eagleville, Pa., took their daughter Sophia, 3, on First Fish Adventures out of Sea Isle City, where she caught her first flounder and got to see some dolphins. They brought home two keeper flounder for dinner. Pete and Traci Hunter of Eagleville, Pa., took their daughter Sophia, 3, on First Fish Adventures out of Sea Isle City, where she caught her first flounder and got to see some dolphins. They brought home two keeper flounder for dinner.


blog comments powered by Disqus