Crabs continue to be the catch of the day

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Kaylee Davis, 7, of Ocean View snags a shark on light tackle while fishing with captain Zig Black of First Fish Adventures out of Sea Isle City. Kaylee Davis, 7, of Ocean View snags a shark on light tackle while fishing with captain Zig Black of First Fish Adventures out of Sea Isle City.  Flounder now showing up at wrecks, reefs

Keeper flounder are now showing up in the ocean at the wrecks and reefs. It took a couple of weeks for the flat fish to settle in, but they are now biting the lines. Occasional keepers are being taken in the back bays but they are few and far between. Many shorts that are slow to make their move out front are still being caught and released from the back.

Joan Barrett of Dolfin Dock in Somers Point said the Ocean City Reef was a hot spot last weekend for flounder. She said anglers are using live spots and whole squids for bait.

Tom Christ of Brennan Marine in Somers Point said some keeper fish were taken from the Atlantic City Reef recently. Chris Guiliani and party caught numerous flounder. His daughter, Adrienne, had five flounder from 21 to 25 inches. The group was using a combination of spearing, Gulp, squid and minnows. Marty Yususko and gang fished the Ocean City Reef aboard Big Ol and came back with six keeper flounder with the largest one measuring 28 inches and weighing 7.81 pounds.

Frank Jankowski of Frank's Boat Rentals reported that a few of his customers came in with keeper flounder this past week. He said the water is still warm and the bite has been slow. He said the slightly cooler water from Flat Creek to the bridge in the Strathmere area has produced some flounder action.

Matt Abrams, 8, Medford has his 18-inch flounder weighed in at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere. Matt Abrams, 8, Medford has his 18-inch flounder weighed in at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere.  Jankowski suggested using a medium to light rod measuring 6 feet or less. He said it will give you the right feel when the bite comes. His wife, Candy, managed to out-fish Frank last Sunday and pulled in two nice 18 1/2-inch flounder. He said they are almost neck and neck for the season in the number of keepers they have caught and will enjoy a flounder dinner most every week through the winter.

There are a lot of small black sea bass biting behind Strathmere, giving little anglers plenty of action.

The highlight of the past week at Frank’s Boat Rentals has been the crabbing. There are plenty of crabs out there this year, and as they shed and get larger so does the number of keepers the boats are bringing in. The best catch of the week was Ed Brown and party from Mount Royal, who returned to the dock with 75 keeper crabs, which filled a bushel basket.

Some recent catches include a half bushel of crabs by Mark and Brandon Edwards of Garnet Valley, Pa.; 2 1/2 dozen by the McKinstry party of Cherry Hill; 35 crabs by Ron Riker and party of Mount Laurel; an 18-inch flounder by 8-year-old Matt Abrams of Medford, and a 21-inch flounder caught by Greg Campbell of Philadelphia.

Captain Frank Breakell of Brynnie-B Inshore Fishing LLC out of Dennis Township hosted Roy Green of Ashland, Pa., his son Jake, and friends June Bug and Emma for a back-bay trip. They drifted and anchored on a few spots using herring, mackerel, squid and clams for bait. Jake landed two short flounder and a sea bass, June Bug managed a short flounder, small dogfish and a few sea bass; Emma was the sea bass queen for the trip. They also landed several oyster crackers.

Breakell took Pat Murphy of Dublin, Ohio, and friend Bill out for a trip. They visited some wrecks just offshore, a few lumps, and then some spots in the Intracoastal Waterway behind Stone Harbor, Avalon and North Wildwood. They had a large shark swim up to the boat while on a lump. There was also a large school of herring in the area, and then several schools of bunker came through. He said the bait is out there; now some decent fish need to find it.

Tammy Carbohn of Avalon Hodge Podge reported that the back bays of Stone Harbor and Avalon continue to be slow; however, some fluke are still being caught. Bud Thalman of Avalon weighed in a 2.03-pound fluke that measured 18 inches, caught at the Townsends Inlet Reef using minnows. Some black sea bass and small bluefish are also being caught from docks and boats.

Kingfish have moved into the back bay and can be found in areas like the Pig Pen as well as Paddy’s Hole using clam or bloodworms. Also, she said triggerfish are being pulled from both inshore and at the reefs. Angler Dylan Robertson caught one that measured 16 inches and weighed just under 3 pounds using clam at the Townsends Inlet Reef. Cobia have also been reported at the Townsends Inlet Reef by several anglers. 

Ed Brown and party of Mount Royal caught 75 crabs while crabbing from a Frank's Boat Rental boat. Ed Brown and party of Mount Royal caught 75 crabs while crabbing from a Frank's Boat Rental boat.    - Brynn Cunningham, 1, of Swainton watches as her father Joe Cunningham brings in a shark while fishing with captain Zig Black of First Fish Adventures out of Sea Isle City.  - Brynn Cunningham, 1, of Swainton watches as her father Joe Cunningham brings in a shark while fishing with captain Zig Black of First Fish Adventures out of Sea Isle City.

Carbohn's offshore report includes tuna fishing that is plentiful on the chunk. She said butterfish and sardines are working best, but some anglers are trolling ballyhoos with some success. It appears that the word is out about the Hot Dog – everyone is out there looking for yellowfin. Debbie Mooers of Grassy Sound Marina in North Wildwood said crabbing has been the hit of the fishing pier and back bays in the Wildwoods. Some anglers taking to the sod banks have caught stripers at the top of the tide using poppers, and others are catching spot on Sabiki rigs with Fishbites. It was a slow week for flounder, but a few were caught in the area.

Some notable catches from Grassy Sound Marina include Erin Meng of Secane, Pa., who caught three flounder with one at 21 inches. She was fishing in a rental boat during incoming tide with minnows in Great Flat Thorofare. Jude Piskorick of Hazleton, Pa., caught a 20-inch flounder and some sea bass. He was fishing the outgoing tide with mullet near the Stone Harbor toll bridge. Brian Tierney of Cape May Court House caught an 18 ½-inch flounder off the pier at the top of the tide on minnows. Steve Nowelski of Philadelphia caught an 18-inch flounder at the top of the tide on minnows and squid off the pier. Joe McAllister of West Chester, Pa., caught some sea bass and an 18-inch weakfish in Turtle Creek. He was fishing the outgoing tide with pearl white Gulp.

In other news, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife has postponed the deployment of the 47-foot concrete horseshoe crab sculpture on the Axel Carlson Reef, according to its website. Created by scuba instructor and marine biologist Chris Wojcik, the sculpture is set to be sunk into the ocean as part of the division's artificial reef program and is expected to provide a habitat for more than 150 species of marine life, a fishing ground for anglers and a unique area for scuba divers to explore.

The target location for the deployment of the sculpture is about 40 degrees latitude and 73 degrees longitude, or about 2 nautical miles off Mantoloking in Ocean County.

Once immersed, the sculpture is on track to be recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest underwater sculpture in the world.

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 needed to fish a desired species. Print out the certificate and keep it on your person while fishing. For details stop in any bait and tackle store. Cape May County Tides Week of Aug 3 2012

Fishing Notes:

- Captain Skip Jastremski of Stalker II is now 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 weak fish; 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.

Matthew Gagliardi, 8, of Cape May Court House hoists the 4 1/2-pound sea bass he caught at the Wildwood Reef on minnows and squid. The fish was weighed in at Grassy Sound Marina. Matthew Gagliardi, 8, of Cape May Court House hoists the 4 1/2-pound sea bass he caught at the Wildwood Reef on minnows and squid. The fish was weighed in at Grassy Sound Marina.

Kraig Redmond, 8, of Marmora lifts the 6-pound fluke he caught while fishing with his mom and dad on their boat behind Somers Point. Kraig Redmond, 8, of Marmora lifts the 6-pound fluke he caught while fishing with his mom and dad on their boat behind Somers Point.

Charles Martin of Lansdale, Pa., shows off the 3-pound triggerfish he caught aboard the Royal Flush out of Wildwood. Charles Martin of Lansdale, Pa., shows off the 3-pound triggerfish he caught aboard the Royal Flush out of Wildwood.

Dylan Robertson’s 16-inch triggerfish came in at just under 3 pounds. He caught it using using clam at the TI Reef and it was weighed in at Avalon Hodge Podge. Dylan Robertson’s 16-inch triggerfish came in at just under 3 pounds. He caught it using using clam at the TI Reef and it was weighed in at Avalon Hodge Podge.


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