Summer is Here
The water temperatures are rising and the crowds are filling in…it must be July in Ocean City! It’s becoming full on summer here at the Jersey shore and anyone who visits can get into some great fishing. With the recent string of great weather, anglers are having great success from the bay to the offshore canyons.
Fluke are on the move in the intercostal waterways. Anglers are reporting good numbers of short flounder with a few keeper sized fish mixed in. Hot spots have been the Kennedy Park area, Ships Channel, and Anchorage Point. Don’t hesitate to fish some of the deeper channels as water temperatures rise. The baits that seem to be producing are Berkley Gulp! baits, mackerel or squid strips and minnows. Boats heading to the reefs aren’t finding large numbers of fluke yet, but are pulling up decent fish in the three to five-pound range. Jon Werley of Ocean City brought in this week’s biggest fluke with a flatty that weighed just over six pounds. Crabbing has been picking up and should only get better as the water warms up.
Brown sharks starting to tease anglers
On the beach side we are hearing of decent sized kingfish in great numbers. Surf anglers are using bloodworms to catch the kings with the artificial bloodworm beginning to work better with rising temperatures. Brown sharks have started ripping up bluefish rigs in the surf and anglers targeting them are hooking up. Use a wire leader and bring a pair of pliers for safety when catching brown sharks from the suds. The offshore action has been incredible over the past few weeks. We have heard Large numbers of small yellowfin and bluefin tuna in the spencer and Baltimore canyon. Most boats are having more success with the tuna on the troll rather than chunking.
Possible World Record?
Maureen Klause of Ocean City, NJ brought a beautiful one hundred and twenty-six pound Mako shark to the scale earlier this week. This catch is a pending I.G.F.A world line-class record, she caught it on 6lb test! It seems this summer will be great for fishing so get out on the water.
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Kingfish have arrived!
With the recent heat wave calming down, it is safe to say that summer arrived. June has been an awesome month for fishing so far with the action only heating up. The beach has come to life over the past weekend. Reports of decent kingfish in really good numbers continue to pour in. Surfcasters are even catching a few nice weakfish mixed in with the kings. The hot bait has been bloodworms as the water temps hang in the low to mid 60’s. Look for Fishbites to start producing when the ocean water temps eclipse 65 degrees. The middle of OC, beaches from 15th to 34th street have been the most consistent for the kingfish.
We are hearing daily reports of great fluke fishing in the bay and even out on the reefs! I know it’s a little early, but boats prospecting on the reefs for fluke have been pulling limits. Rick Martin from Ocean City was rewarded with a five and a half pound fluke while bouncing a bucktail on the Atlantic City reef last week. Also, Bob Pelikoski, a regular at the shop, had a banner day in the bay with two fluke taking the scale at three and a half pounds and a third pushing over four pounds. It seems these larger fluke are making a push for the ocean reefs so now is the time to get them while you can in the creeks and channels! As usual Berkley Gulp! baits, mackerel strips and minnows have produced the most bites. This year has been far different than the disappointing 2016 season, a lot more keeper fluke. Now is the time and get out and fish before the water warms up too much and the crowds move in!
Fishing Report 6/7/17
Summer has finally arrived in South Jersey and so have the summer flounder! The state has officially settled on the summer flounder regulations. The season will run until September 5th with an 18 inch minimum length and a limit of three fish per angler. Several anglers are finding keeper sized fish and even their bag limits in the bay behind Ocean City. Productive spots have been Ships Channel, Rainbow Channel and Kennedy Park on the Somers Point side. Anglers are catching fat flatties on Berkley Gulp, squid, minnows and mackerel strips.
It seems that the large, gator blues we had this spring have moved on. They have been replaced with smaller, cocktail sized bluefish hitting lures and bait in the inlets. Reports are also coming in of nice flounder, small blues and even the occasional striper off the piers on the 9th street causeway. People are using cut baits off the pier such as bunker, mackerel and clam to catch these fish. Decent sized kingfish, striped bass and three to five-pound blues continue to be caught by local surf anglers along the beachfront. Finger mullet, bunker and bloodworms have been the most productive baits on this front.
Sea bass will be open until June 18th and the action has been great. Boats heading to the wrecks in the fifteen to thirty-mile range are catching tons of fish and having no problem catching their limits of ten fish per angler at twelve and a half inches. With plenty of opportunities to fill the cooler now is the time to get out and fish! The store is stocked with plenty of bait and tackle so make sure to stop by before heading out on the water.
Debra Almeda of Corbin City weighed in the biggest fluke of the season so far at 6.23 pounds last weekend. There have been plenty of other fish tipping the scale at three to four pounds regularly. Bill Carew came in the shop to weigh a solid five-pound weakfish. He caught it while jigging a bucktail for fluke behind Margate.
Fin-atics 3rd Annual Fluke Derby – 2015 Winners
For the past three years Fin-atics has sponsored a FREE Fluke Derby for our customers to participate in for the summer season. It is a friendly competition that we encourage everyone to enter. All we require is to sign up each season and provide us with valid contact information. All winners are notified via email and below you will find this years results.
1st Place – Ken Ruckle (25-1/2″ – 5.34lbs)
2nd Place – Brian Schuler (24″ – 4.95lbs)
3rd Place – Mike Gardner (24-1/2″ – 4.64lbs)
1st Place – Chip Roman (26-1/2″ – 7.57lbs)
2nd Place – Dennis Molette (26″ – 6.02lbs)
3rd Place – Ken Ruckle (24-1/2″ – 5.56lbs)
1st Place – Bob Pelikoski (25-3/4″ – 7.41lbs)
2nd Place – Dennis Molette (26″ – 6.76lbs)
3rd Place – Phil Degliomini (25-3/4″ – 6.11lbs)
Tournament Overall Winners:
1st Place – Chip Roman (26-1/2″ – 7.57lbs)
2nd Place – Bob Pelikoski (25-3/4″ – 7.41lbs)
3rd Place – Dennis Molette (26″ – 6.76lbs)
Congratulations to our Fluke Derby winners for 2015, we look forward to next seasons tournament.
The Black Drum is a large inshore fish that can often exceed 70 pounds. They have recently been reported as far north as the Sandy Hook but Delaware Bay is where they are most commonly found in large numbers. Some black drum are caught in the surf each year, but most are caught by boat. There are many charter boats in the Cape May area that specialize in catching black drum. The best months are May and June. Equipment needed to catch them can be purchased at almost any bait and tackle shop.
Bait and Tackle Shop Tips – Catching Black Drum
- Catching Them:
- It’s best to fish from an anchored boat. Use a fish finder rig with just enough weight to hold bottom. The most effective baits are whole fresh clams or shedder crabs if you can find them at the bait and tackle shop. It is recommended to use a 3 foot 50-80 pound leader with an 8/0 – 12/0 hook. Cast your line out and let it settle to the bottom. Reel in slack until you come tight to the sinker. Set the pole in a holder in free spool with the line out alarm on. If a fish picks it up give, them a little slack. If you’re fishing a J hook click your reel into gear and set the hook sharply with a upward rod motion. If you are fishing a circle hook simply click the reel in gear and let the fish hook itself. These fish travel in tight schools so if you catch one there are sure to be many more so stay alert. The best place to find them is of the coast of the Cape May area.
- Basic Black Drum Fishing Tips:
- Use fresh clams rather then frozen if you can get them at the local bait and tackle shop.
- Shedder crabs work well too, and be purchased at almost any bait and tackle shop
- You need a fairly heavy set up; 20–50 pound class rod and reels are best.
- Fish travel in schools and move around a lot. When you get your shot you have to take full advantage so have some pre tied rigs made up so you can get back in the water quickly.
For more helpful Jersey Shore fishing tips as well as awesome saltwater fishing gear, bait, and other fishing equipment, check out Fin-atics. Serving the Cape May County area, this fishing tackle store offers quality supplies both in their Ocean City NJ store and online at good prices. Contact them at (609) 398-2248 or visit the website.
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