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Hurricane Arthur’s winds cause upwelling, pushing fish out - Ocean City Sentinel: Fishing

Fishing Report Hurricane Arthur’s winds cause upwelling, pushing fish out

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Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 11:11 am

Thankfully, Hurricane Arthur stayed offshore of our area this week, but it did put a damper on many activities this past week.  Arthur brought with it some heavy winds, keeping most boaters shore bound.  So after such good fishing recently, it was a slow week for reports.  We are still in a pattern of heavy wind as I write this, but things are looking up for the end of the week and the weekend. So I’m sure the fish are still waiting, we just need to get back out there.

An interesting phenomenon that occurs around this time every summer is a coastal upwelling. 

If you have ever gone to the beach a couple days in a row and noticed a chilly drop in temperatures in the surf, you have experienced an upwelling.  Normally, when we have a prolonged period of southwest winds, an upwelling will occur.  In simple terms, what happens is the wind pushes the top layer of water offshore and the colder water on the bottom replaces it. The benefit of upwelling is that it brings nutrients from the ocean bottom to the surface. This can mean lots of grass and murky water.  Along the surf this can push fish further from the shore as the temperatures drop.  Eventually, the water temps will blend and temps will find equilibrium, and the fish will move back in to the surf zone.  Interestingly, on the West Coast north winds along the beaches cause this effect.

For a more in depth look into upwelling check the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminastration website:  



Cape May


Rusty Zeigler at Off The Hook tackle reports, “Well, Mother Nature wasn’t too kind to us over the past week. With Hurricane Arthur beating up the coast it made for some great surfing conditions, but that doesn’t fare well with the boating and fishing community.  Some anglers were able to make it work early in the week and on Sunday.”

Fluke fishing was the main target for most with wanting to stay closer to home because of the changing weather. The Delaware Bay was the most productive area this week, anglers fishing near Miah Maul light and through Flounder Alley seem to have great success with minnows and squid or spearing and a strip bait of mackerel or Gulp.

Those who fished on the ocean side and made it to the Old Grounds and Reef Site 11 seem to do quite well jigging 4-6 oz. bucktails with their favorite strip bait/or Gulp. The Backwaters of Cape May County still are giving up a few nice fish. The throwback to keeper ratio is around 10-1 so if you’re looking to have some fun and catch some fish and don’t mind the throwbacks the sounds are a good place for you.

The croakers have showed up in good numbers in the ocean close to shore less than 3 miles and in the southern part of the Delaware Bay. Clams and squid strips on a top and bottom rig is all you need to catch those tasty fish.

The weakfish seem to have left their spawning ground and have distributed themselves along the coast of the Delaware Bay and around the bridges of the intercoastal. Shedder crab is the bait of choice on a top and bottom rig. Or you can use jigs up to an ounce in pink or chartreuse.

We shall see what the weather has done with the Offshore Canyon waters for anglers in search of tuna and marlin. Arthur should have mixed up the water and created some nice eddies of warm water to get the bait balled up for tuna to school up and feed on them.


Matt Slobodjian from Jim’s Bait and Tackle, said, “Hey guys, not a lot of reports this week due to the weather. Early in the week we did get good reports from the Delaware bay in the area around Flounder Alley (Miah Maul light, No. 19 buoy). There was plenty of action with short fluke with some keepers mixed in. The Cape May reef is giving up more nice fish, but the storm turned the bite off on Saturday, hopefully it will pick back up as things calm down.

There are good numbers of croakers in the Canal around the West Cape May bridge. These fish will take just about anything you offer them on top and bottom rigs with small hooks (size #1 to maybe 2/0).

After Monday offshore fishing was pretty much shut down we did get some bluefin reports from the lumps inside the Elephant Trunk on the troll. To the north we also received a good bluefin report from the Lemke’s Canyon area on the troll. We haven’t as yet heard of a decent chunk bite on any of the lumps It should happen soon if it’s going to.

The main action in the surf is croakers, especially along the Delaware Bay side. Higbee’s Beach, Sunset Beach, and around the Cape May point rock piles are good places to try for the croakers. Along Sunset Beach and around most of the Point jetties there are some fluke being caught. Most of these fish are short but every now and then we see a really good one come in. Marty Handscomb of Deptford brought in a 6.22 lb. fluke he caught on a bucktail and white Gulp swimming mullet at the Cape Ave. jetty. Casting and slow retrieve is the best technique for either bait or lures to catch these fish.




From Cathy Algard from Sterling Harbor Bait and Tackle: “Flounder fishing was great at the Old Grounds, Reef Site 11 and also in the back bays before Hurricane Arthur came barreling up the coast for the Fourth of July weekend.”

Early in the week, the Cape May Reef was also showing increased numbers of keeper Flounder. Ryan Matejik of Levittown, Pa. weighed in a 4 pound 4 ounce flounder measuring 28 inches, caught near 2 mile Bridge on a Gulp! Swimming Mullet. Thursday and through the weekend most boats remained dockside due to the winds associated with Hurricane Arthur. The flounder were hovering around the inlets before the storm, but since the water temps have dropped we should see continued action in the back bays where the water is still warmer. The back bays are also producing schoolie-sized stripers for those throwing top water lures or jerk baits. Offshore action was good prior to the storm with blue marlin, white marlin, yellowfin tuna and mahi-mahi. Crabby Jack gave the crabbing 4 Claws this week and said the crabbing picked up tremendously. Sterling Harbor’s 21st Annual Duke of Fluke Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, July 12, 2014 and as of this writing, the weather and the fishing are looking great for an awesome tournament. Call the store at (609) 729-1425 for more information or visit www.sterlingharbor.com.

Jim Mooers from Grassy Sound Marina, reports croakers are showing up in great numbers and the crabs have arrived.  Flounder still top the list of catches with 23” the norm.  The Fishing Pier is producing some excellent catches of blue claws.  Croakers are being caught in Turtle Creek on minnows and a bucktail top of the outgoing, sea bass and weakies on hot pink bucktails top of the incoming.  

Joe Patriarch, Phila., Pa. caught two nice fluke to 23” near the spoils site behind Stone Harbor on minnows and a bucktail, incoming tide.

Carol Boyle, National Park, out- fished her husband with two nice fluke at 21 and 21 ½” in Jenkins, top of the incoming.

PIER: Joe Walder, Jr., Magnolia,  caught a 22” flounder on minnows, incoming tide.

Joe Zielonka, Pittsburgh, Pa.  caught two flounder at 23” on minnows, outgoing tide.

Hank Zimmerman, Phila., 22.5” flounder on minnows, outgoing tide.

RENTAL Boats: On his spider man fishing rod, 9-year-old Nick Pizagno, Cape May Court House, caught a 23.5”, 3.75 lb. flounder on a minnows near the W. Wildwood train trestle, incoming tide.

Matt Harris, Phila., reports croakers plentiful in Turtle Creek with a weakie and a sea bass and some fluke in the mix.  Minnows and hot pink bucktails, both tides.

FIRST FISH: 5-year-old Mark Moulder, Erma, caught a 19” flounder on a minnow in Jenkins Channel, outgoing tide; Lily Nichter, 8, Chambersburg, Pa. caught her first flounder.  It was a beauty at 21”, 3 ½ lbs.  She caught it in Turtle Creek on a rental boat with pearl white Gulp, top of the incoming. Bryce Furek, 14, Hatfield, Pa., caught a 23”, 4 lb. fluke, his first. He was fishing near the Stone Harbor toll bridge with minnows, outgoing tide.




Tammy Carbohn from Avalon Hodge Podge Bait and Tackle, said the fluke fishing this year has been very good according to most anglers. We continue to see fluke in the 4-5 lb. range and the largest this week was caught by Dolores Turanckas (pic) of Philly. Her fish weighed in at 5.69 lbs. and measured 25”, caught using live minnows. However, honorable mention is 7-year-old Hunter Pettorossi from Maryland with a 3.45 lb. and 22” fluke also caught on minnow.




Robin Scott from Ray Scott’s Dock, talked about flounder and fireworks, blue claws and barbecue. Those in the know split their holiday time between Fourth of July festivities and fishing the Margate Bay. Many caught major components of their holiday meals. The Jones family from Ocean City and Kennett Square hand lined seventy-one keeper blue claws during their annual two boat competition on the bay. They reported over two hundred throwbacks of the fast-growing crustaceans. The increase in crab catches bodes well for those planning a trip in the upcoming weeks. 

Flounder catches remain strong with bay temperatures dipping to 59 degrees in the wake of Hurricane Arthur. With crystal clear water conditions, the Preto family of Philadelphia caught four fish, two over 3 lbs. Chris Tabasso shows off his skill on both ends of the island while working on the High Roller in Atlantic City and alternately fishing the bay behind Margate. Albert Thatcher of Philadelphia is on a roll of fat fish, adding two, then four to his track record in the past two weeks with buddy Frank Boninu. The two met ice fishing this past winter and found they are both masters of the catch regardless of the outside temperatures or conditions.

Team Texada from Villanova recently lost the boat they docked in Margate when a tree fell on it over the winter in their yard. They havenʼt missed a trick in angling skill though with two keeper flounder over the Fourth. 

The Rashatwar family of Margate and Voorhees took advantage of the bay for the first time since living here and boated a keeper. They have lived here for eleven years and said they had always talked about going out on bay. They had a ball. The most rewarding part of earning a living on the bay is sharing the magic with others.


Chuck Hinchcliffe is the proprietor of Off The Hook Tackle at 989 Ocean Drive, Cape May. To send fishing reports or for more information, email chuck@offthehooktackle.com or Twitter@OffTheHookTkl





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