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Your South Jersey Fishing Report: Memorial Day Weekend Edition

Can you say “drum”? How about, “Can you scream DRUM!”? That’s what you’ll be yelling if you hit Tussy’s Slough, the Pin Top and the Punk Grounds this weekend into next week.

A mother lode of black drum have moved into the Jersey side of Delaware Bay and some have migrated from Slaughter Beach in Delaware. Reports are that this may be the best drum fishing in the last 10 years as the bite is fast and furious with fish anywhere from 35 to 70 pounds.

Capt. Bob Cope from Full Ahead Sportfishing out of Utsch’s Marina in Cape May is putting clients on limits quickly and is contemplating a two trips a day schedule, and Freddy at Utsch’s banged a limit in a couple of hours earlier this week. Time of day does not seem to matter as drums are being beaten in the morning, early afternoon and late afternoon into early evening. If your clams aren’t fresh, stay home.

Grassy Channel in Great Bay is decent for keeper flounder to 20 inches, but the stretch in the ICW from marker 133 to 139 is smokin’ for flatties to six pounds. Squid/minnie (the Tuckerton Sandwich) and the three inch Gulp! Swimming Mullet in chartreuse, glow or nuclear chicken on a plain hook as a teaser over a 3/8 to 1/2 ounce white or chartreuse bucktail are producing limits.

The Absecon area is hot for flounder and weakfish. The flatties are up to 24 inches with the weaks to four pounds. Check out the beat around the 177 marker in the ICW. Also, Reed’s Bay Slough, Eagles Bay, Main Marsh, the Cross Tides and the Oasis. Live spot and a 1/2 to 1 once white Rattletail bucktail tiped with a four inch pink Gulp! Swimming Mullet or the pink Fishbites Shrimp are killers on the weaks. Fluke are inhaling the five inch Gulp! Jerk Shad as well as squid/minnow and a plain minnow.

The ICW behind Ocean City from the airport clear down to Weakfish Creek is producing legal fluke, with Rainbow and Ship’s channels giving up flatties to eight pounds. Yeah, you read that correctly. A mackerel strip or plain minnie are the limit makers. There are weakfish from 14 to 21 inches being caught on pink Fin-S smeared with BioEdge squid scent and 1/4 and 3/8 ounce white/red or white/chartreuse bucktail tipped with a minnow.

The Atlantic City, Garden State North and South, Ocean City and Townsend’s Inlet reefs are alive with sea bass, with a decent percentage of the keepers between 14 and 17 inches.

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