South Jersey Fishing Report [6/5]
Flounder (fluke) fishing in the back bay is torrid.
In the ocean it’s at a steady pick pace, and this should improve by the weekend. Rotator cuff-wrecking day ‘n night action with bluefish in excess of 15 pounds continues Stripers are being hit out front with metals and live lined bunker, and Delaware Bay really rolling with big drum. Sea bass and ling are providing decent drop ‘n reel action over the wrecks.
“Some pretty good catching of fluke going on, and there have been a few limits taken,” reports Capt. Fred Ascoli from the Miss Chris. Some of the flatties are good size, like the 5 lb. pool winner decked by Janet Lamonica from Wildwood Crest, NJ.
It’s all about small blues and weakfish around Cape May Point on the Lady Chris. The pan sized blues are perfect eating size and are a ball on light tackle, as are the weakies. Fluke should begin showing in the catches very soon.
“There are certainly fish to be caught, and we’re doing that, but it will get better when the water warms up a little more,” opines Capt. Paul aboard the Porgy IV, noting that some limits are going into the coolers and some of the flatties are in excess of 4 lbs. It was a max catch for Dan Inener (Philadelphia) who caught them with strips of squid and sea robin and Ed McGovern (Delran, NJ) was in the money via his 4.8 lb. flatfish. The skipper says that fluke are now the primary target.
Weakfish, sea bass and flounder are coming over the rails of the Starlight during both the morning (8 a.m. to noon) and afternoon (1 p.m. to 5 p.m.) trips.
The schedule for the Atlantic Star is being formulated. Call the boat for updates.
“Some keeper crabs being caught, but it’s not what it should be yet. There are a lot of little ones being thrown back. A couple of hot days, and “Boom!” the crabbing should blow wide open,” says Stumpy at Dividing Creek Boat Rentals. Bring a rod for the hot croaker and white perch fishing going on in the creek. He’s now open daily.
Capt. Mike from the Starfish is finding a decent pick of sea bass, with clam the jam for high hook catches of up to 11. The pool winning fish have been around the 3 lb. mark. It’s still a daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. schedule.
“Al White and the Men of the Sea group from Philadelphia really rocked the sea bass and ling!” enthused Capt. Vic aboard the Captain Robbins, adding that the red hake were up to baseball bat 4.8 lbs. and the sea bass to knucklehead 19-inch lengths. Another trip saw average catches of 10 ling and sea bass, and John Petit (Eldora, NJ) won that trip’s pool with a whopper 21.5 inch sea bass. It’s a daily sail for sea bass and ling through Father’s Day.
“Just unbelievable bay fishing for flounder. We had over 300 during a recent morning trip,” reports a very pleased Capt. John from the Keeper. Sure, there are far more toss ‘ems than keepers, but this is some fast and furious drift fishing and yes, there are some big ones being caught. Holly Hauser (Pottstown, PA) showed all how it was done by bringing a monster 9.3 lb. doormat in for cleaning (you read that correctly). Pete Demassi (Philadelphia) was in the money twice with fluke of 4.02 and 5.8 lbs. Margate anglers John Centanni and Bob Zacaria drained pools with flounder weighing 4.72 lbs. and 5.16 lbs. respectively. Winning fish were also caught by Bill Davis (Philadelphia, 3.86 lbs.), Chad Mullins (Upper Twp., NJ, 3.48 lbs.), Carl Sciuto (Clayton, NJ, 2.84 lbs.) John Gustaveson (Langhorne, PA, 3.65 lbs.), Greg Beebie (Ocean City, NJ, 3.14 lbs.) and Ron Boyle (Egg Harbor Twp., NJ, 3.8 lbs). Mackerel strips and the four inch chartreuse Gulp! Swimming Mullet are the bet baits.
The High Roller continues on its search and catch keeper fluke mission in the back bays and ICW, and Capt. Mike says that the High Roller Pro Cut Mackerel and the 3 inch pink, chartreuse and white Gulp! Swimming Mullet are all doing the damage to the legal length flatfish population. Paxton Holden (Pottstown, PA) put pool winners weighing 4.1 lbs., 4.14 lbs. and 3.83 lbs. on ice and Philadelphia’s Dave Braverman was in the money with a 4.04 lb. flattie. Other pool winners were John Dueber, Lester Gaskill and James Broxton, all from Mapleshade, NJ with fluke of 3.87 lbs., 4.24 lbs. and 2.78 lbs. respectively, Gene Szymkowiak (Philadelphia, 2.59 lbs.), Mark Voight (Galloway, NJ, 3.43 lbs.), Mississippi Rich (Fishtown, PA, 2.94 lbs.) and Frank Petreux with a 3.14 lb. fluke.
The Doris Mae IV has switched to fluke but will only be fishing the morning shift. Departure is at 8 a.m. with a 1 p.m. It’s a slugfest with nighttime bluefish Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m.
Capt. Ted on the Super Chic says it continues to be a fair pick with clam and squid for sea bass and ling both to 3 lbs. He’s also booking for fluke, bluefish and stripers.
Capt. Lenny from the Miss Barnegat Light tells of a good ol’ fashion beat downs with 6-12 lb. blues that are eating herring chunks in the bunker chum slick. ‘You could see them taking the baits, that’s how close to the surface they are,” relates the skipper.
While there are a few openings for striper trips on the 48 Viking, Capt. Adam on the Canyon Runner says the crew is gearing for what is looking to be a super canyon season. There are openings on the 48 Viking, but the 60 Ritchie Howell is booked through August.
“The fishing is better and the sea bass are all good size, some to 5 lbs. Not many throwbacks,” reports Capt. Willie Egerter III on board the Dauntless. Ling between 1-3 lbs. are in the mix. Average catches are between 10-20, with high hooks in the mid to upper twenties.
The 125’ Big Jamaica is in the thick of the bluefish maelstrom, with mixed sizes of choppers from 6 lbs. to over 15 lbs. slamming AVA-47, AVA-67 and Kroc metals. The skipper relates that the blues are gorging on sand eels. Hoang Luu (Lebanon, PA) put it to a money winning blue weighing 15 lbs., while Derek DeJesus (Westchester, PA) cashed in with another at 16 lbs. Starting tomorrow, it’s every night blues with a 7:30 p.m. leave time.
“It’s been a 50/50 mix of sea bass and ling, but some days there is more of one than the other,” exposits Capt. Tony Bogan from the Paramount. The bottom action has been fair to good, and rail wranglers are going home with a few good meals and then some. Joe Barlow (Willingboro, NJ) greased 8 sea bass and 7 ling, and it was a red hake take of 6 along with a dozen sea bass for Mario Arencibia (Harrison, NJ). Warrington, PA’s Art Blatman iced 10 sea bass and 4 ling.
“We’re looking at June 7 as the day the new Jamaica II starts its daily fluke and sea bass schedule,” says Capt. Joe Bogan. However, this date is subject to change, and the skipper encourages a call to the boat for updates.
“Run Off Hammer jigs, poppers, Krocs, chunk baits, all are catching all the 5 lb. to 12 lb. blues anyone could want. The fishing is excellent!” exclaims Capt. Rich from the Golden Eagle. Evening trips are almost as productive with plenty of choppers to go around.
“A day and night slaughter! It just doesn’t get any better than this!” proclaims a fired up Capt. Al from the bridge of the Miss Belmar Princess. The assaults on the AVA-27 and AVA-47 metals by the 5 lb. to 17 lb. bluefish borders on the scary, and the skipper expects the savagery to continue. In the bloody mix is the occasional striper to 14 lbs. Pool winners Jose Torres (Rockaway, NJ) with a 15 lb. chopper and Nick Codd (Long Valley, NJ) with a 17 lb. gator.