One fish, two fish, red fish, BLUE FISH! The blitz of gator sized bluefish is something we haven't seen in the spring in this region for quite some time. These blues are a ton of fun to catch and fight harder than most fish in their size range. It is refreshing to see many anglers only keeping a couple of fish and releasing the majority of these fish for future generations. While it is more than ok to keep a cooler full of these fish for bait or the smoker, loading the boat with bluefish trip after trip usually leads to wasted fish as we all know this size of bluefish is not the best table fare. Now on to the report!
Yellowfins are being caught in multiple local canyons in the region. Specifically I heard last week the Spencer canyon was holding some fish. As we get more good weather days we should see reports come in from all different ports in the region. May and June have been producing great trolling bites for yellowfins the last couple of years and it looks like this year will be the same.
Tog fishing closed in Delaware and other states in the region. Fishing was reported to have been very good up until its closure.
Mako sharks are also being caught out in the canyons as well. I expect to hear more reports from the 20 and 30 line sharkers soon as well. Threshers should also be found in these 20 and 30 line locations.
Stripers and those big bluefish mentioned above are being caught along the New Jersey coast. Trolling, and eeling for stripers are producing the most fish. The blues will hit anything and everything thrown at them.
We should start hearing reports of thresher sharks around the inshore bunker schools as well.
We should see Sea Bass being caught as well with the Federal season opening today (May 15th).
While trophy season on the bay started slower than normal, the reports through the last couple weeks report good fishing. I have noticed many reports are mentioning throwing back a good number of fish in "the slot." I was unsure about this slot limit at first, but it does seem that a lot of breeder sized fish were released this season that may not have been in years past.
The trophy season regulations end today (May 15th). Starting tomorrow anglers are permitted to keep 2 striped bass per person over 20" only 1 of those fish per angler may be over 28"
More boats will switch over to chumming and eventually live lining to target this smaller class of fish, however, the good trolling bite on big fish should last a few more weeks. Once the smaller fish show up in force you can also catch these fish by downsizing your trolling spread to smaller bucktails, spoons and plugs in place of the big parachutes and umbrellas used for trophy season.
Bottom fishing reports from the lower bay region should start coming in from anglers targeting croaker, perch, and spot.
As of last week the striper fishing in the northern bay region was still very good. Augustine Beach was a popular spot for those fishing the upper bay.
Mid bay anglers reported a few stripers caught along with dogfish and skates.
We did see a few black drum boated last week. Most of these drum were caught by anglers fishing the DE bay surf on both the NJ and DE sides. The popular NJ and DE lower bay drum sites should start seeing more action and more fish caught. I will be out chasing them next week.
Trout fishing is still very good in the stocked streams and ponds in the area. Many anglers have given up on these fish, but good fishing can be had until at least June.
Pond and lake fishing in the area has been good with bass, pickerel, and crappies all being caught. As the water warms we will settle into the summer pattern of early morning and late evening being the best time to target bass in the area.
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