It’s a good summer for fishing - Ocean City Sentinel: Fishing

It’s a good summer for fishing

by Chuck Hinchcliffe | Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 1:41 pm

Well, after I talked about the great inshore fishing last week things have even gotten better. We had some Gulf Stream Bluewater push all the way into the beach bringing with it some beautiful water and lots of life. I talked to one fisherman who was fishing Wildwood Reef and he swore he could see the reef balls in 40 feet of water. Also, we have had lots of reports of Mahi as close as Cape May reef, as well as flying fish. One of my customers, Zack Bellapigna, had what I am calling a “Cape May inshore slam,” he had 6 flounder to 24”, 2 Sea Bass to 18” and a 44 lb. yellowfin tuna at Reef Site 11, only 18 miles from shore. So, once again if you head out front fishing be prepared for anything, you never know what the warm water is bringing to the coastal waters.

On another note, offshore fishing is very good right now with lots of yellowfin tuna being caught in the canyons. The hottest bite has been between the Lindenkohl and Wilmington canyons. Trolling will produce, but chunking is much more productive. White marlin fishing has been hit or miss so far, the fish haven’t really congregated in large numbers. I have a feeling the bite will improve in the next couple of weeks, as long as conditions allow.

Overall, this has been and is a great fishing summer.

AVALON

Tammy Carbohn of the Avalon Hodge Podge Bait and Tackle reports, “Bonitas and blues at Shoots Shoal on the jig and BIG tog on the off shore wrecks. Bill Maier of Medford weighed in a 10.25 lb. and 27” Tog he speared around the TI Wrecks. Also, Fluke continue to be caught in the bay on minnows or gulp. Twelve year old Clare Jordan came all the way from California to catch her 6.57 lb. and26 ½” Fluke using white gulp drifting the back bay with her family. Finally Trigger fish continue to dominate the surf particularly around the 8th street jetty using clams.”

SEA ISLE

Mike Cunningham of Sea Isle Bait and Tackle reports, “Joe, Karl, Ricky and Frank headed off to the deep on Saturday afternoon in search of tuna and they were not let down. They started trolling late in the afternoon looking for bait and signs of life. Around dusk they set up to chunk and after a mere 5 minutes hooked in to a very nice yellow fin on a butterfish. After boating that fish, they decided to try some jigging and hooked in to a huge big eye after fighting it for over 2 ½ hours the line got tangled in the prop and the fish was lost. But the crew did not lose hope they regained their composure and reset the lines they did not know what was about to happen. Minutes after lines were back in the water another huge hit again on a jig. Geared with a 6 foot 6 Heavy Shimano Trevala and a Lx 6.0 Avet loaded with 80 pound Power Pro purchased only hours ago here at Sea Isle Bait and Tackle they knew they were capable of landing the big fish at the end of the line but it was going to be a long battle. They hooked in at 11 pm and boated the huge big eye at 10 am the next day. It was an 11 hour battle of will, talent, strength and determination. When all was said and done the crew returned to Sea Isle City with 2 yellowfins and a 6 foot long Bigeye.

Antoinette C from Sea Isle City fishing with her dad Al and had a great trip with some tuna Marlin and this Big Mahi-Mahi it was 23.8 pounds and 52 inches long. The off shore reports have been excellent lately with Mahi’s as close as 15 miles and tuna as close as 25 miles

More and more reports of bigger and bigger flounder keep coming in from the ocean mostly around the artificial reefs. Hear is Jim and his daughter they had a cooler full of nice ones with the biggest being a 7 pounder 25.5 inches. Don’t forget TI reef is only 3.8 miles out of TI boats of many sizes can get out there and get on this good fishing.”

MARGATE

Robin Scott of Ray Scott’s Dock reports, “Reefs and wrecks, weed lines and rubble. No bay angler should be intimidated by such terms according to David London of Margate. He traveled to the Atlantic City Reef with his 26 foot mako powered by 500 horsepower worth of outboards, then charged over to the Great Egg Reef where his brother Steve described the bite as “out of control.” They limited on flounder with two at nearly four pounds. They returned to the dock at the same time as Al Thatcher of Quarreyville, Pa. who also limited, but with bigger fish. The difference was that Al rented a sixteen foot garvey with a fifteen horse tiller engine and stayed within two miles of the dock. David’s remark was that he spent $200 on fuel, whereas Al spent nearly nothing. Thus the gauntlet was thrown. David took a day of rest, added a third to his crew, and blasted out to the reef again, returning with twelve hefty flounder, two at nearly six pounds. Al has a reservation for this week; let’s see what he can do. This season’s dock tournament for rental customers and slip tenants is led by Dr. Dan Greenberg of Longport with a 6.1 pounder caught in front of the dock in a seventeen minute drift. Pete Kern of Hammonton caught a 20 inch tog in the bay and a 22 inch flounder on a sabiki rig with clam. Jack Prosseda of Margate took his clan crabbing and nailed a healthy flounder during the trip back and forth to the crabbing grounds. Team Bolognone of Margate caught two fat flatties on a foray to the bay on a spectacular afternoon trip. Jodi Klein of Longport picked up a fishing pole for the first time in her life and caught a twenty-one inch flounder off her deck. She loves the sport. So if talk of offshore and inshore action is making you feel left out of the excitement, just take it to the bay where all the action begins.

Coming up this week:

MID-ATLANTIC

Over two decades ago it debuted as the “Mother of All Marlin Tournaments” and in its first year set the bar all other offshore events today are measured against. Back then, the Mid-Atlantic $500,000 raised eyebrows among big game tournament anglers with a total cash purse of well over $1 million making it the world’s first bona-fide million-dollar marlin tournament. Through the years it became known as sport fishing’s “Main Event,” annually attracting participants from Maine to Florida to battle for a share of its huge cash purse in what has become boat for boat, the richest marlin and tuna tournament in the world. That tradition continues the week of August 17-22 this year as the 23rd Annual MidAtlantic will once again be contested out of Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey and Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland.

CAPE MAY

Rusty Zeigler of Off the Hook Bait and Tackle reports, “Mother Nature was good to us this week, which resulted in some pretty good fishing in our local waters.

The offshore tuna bite was awesome in the Lindenkohl canyon on the chunk. Anglers chunking butterfish and sardines saw some epic catches of yellowfin tuna. Team Overkill was there on Saturday for a day trip, and came home with 6 yellowfin to 70 lbs., The Miss Addison crew also fished the Lindy on Saturday, chunking until noon landed them 5 yellowfin to 60 lbs. and then they trolled a bit and had a nice white marlin.

The boat Marlin Hunter had a great overnight trip to the Wilmington Canyon Friday through Saturday, with 8 white marlin releases and 2 swordfish, the biggest was 211 lbs.

The Crew aboard the “Well Done” had a great day in the Wilmington Canyon on Sunday. They found some whales in the NE end of the Canyon and set up the chunking spread and it was game on.

They ended the trip with 7 yellowfin to 50 lbs. and a 200 lb. Bigeye caught on a Diamond Jig.

Fluke fishing was just as good this week around the Old Grounds, Reef No. 11 and the Cape May Reef.

Thirteen-year-old Gregory Maccarone, Jr. brought in a 28” doormat on Saturday. This beauty weighed in at 9.25 lbs. Congrats, Greg, on a catch of a lifetime.

Paul and Joe aboard the Stars and Stripers had a 2 man limit up to 7.36 lbs. in the Old Grounds.

Fred Klug of Utsch’s Bait and Tackle said “this past Wednesday Capt. Bob Cope fished on the free spirt with Capt. Steve Bent out of Margate and they tuna for their charter. I was told some of the tuna was in the 60 to 80 lb. class. The Fishin Fever out of our marina has been catching flounder at the old grounds the past four days better than others. Tuesday he had 17 flounder which was his best day of the week. On each of his trips he also caught a good number of trigger fish each day for his charters. Various boats that fished out of our marina this week were catching trigger fish a few king fish and one boat had two nice size porgies. A surf fisherman out of our marina reported to me that he saw a barracuda caught and I told him about the one you had in the ac press last week. This is not our norm for these types of fish.”

Matt Slobodjian of Jim’s Bait and Tackle reports, “The troll bite inshore is still there although a lot more False Albacore are showing up on the inshore lumps. There were still dolphin and a few wahoo caught on Sea Isle Ridge and the East Lump; it’s hard to get past the Falsies. There were still a couple of small bluefin caught on the Lump, but not a lot. There were also wahoo caught on the Lumps inside the Elephant Trunk along with some nice Gaffer sized Dolphin and a few bluefin and yellowfin tuna. I didn’t hear anything on the chunk this week inshore.

The best Canyon bite turned out to be a daytime chunk bite in the Lindenkohl Canyon. Reports of double digit catches of 60-80 lb. yellowfin came in from Wednesday to Saturday. Surprisingly, the night bite wasn’t nearly as good with only a fish or two being picked per boat. There are still Bigeyes being caught on the night troll in the Wilmington. Most of the bites seem to be on lures that are either dark in color or that glow. The marlin bite didn’t sound too good anywhere this week; there were fish caught but no concentrations yet.

We got a few more good reports from the Cape May Reef on fluke. Lyle Rutty and his son Lyle Jr. of Philadelphia caught a limit of nice fluke and left them biting on Friday. The old grounds are still giving up some nice fish. The fish seem to be holding best in 80-85 feet of water on structure. Haven’t heard much from the Delaware Bay; I’m going to try it on Monday I’ll let you know how we did next week. We’ve gotten some good reports from the Harbor and Backwaters in Cape May Mark Christopher and his son Mark Jr. had their limit of fluke fishing the harbor Saturday.

There are still a lot of shorts in the back, but it sounds like its getting better.

The beach bite has been best around the rocks at Cape May point especially the ones closer to the Lighthouse. There are still plenty of Croakers being caught and the Fluke while mostly small are still hanging out around the rocks. Harvey Mirra of Havre De Grace Maryland brought in a 5.34lb. Fluke he caught on a white gulp mullet on a jighead at Central Ave. Jetty at the point.

WILDWOOD

Cathy Algard of Sterling Harbor Bait and Tackle reports, “Flounder fishing at the reefs is hot, hot, hot. Nice catches have been reported from the Cape May Reef, Wildwood Reef, Reef Site 11 and the Old Grounds with many boats limiting out. There are many undersize Fluke to pick through to get the keepers but the action is steady. Keep your eyes open while flounder fishing as mahi-mahi and a few cobias are swimming around the reefs also. Capt. Dan Gus of Erma checked in with a 5 pound 9 ounce flounder caught with drifting near McCries Shoal on Dan Zolna’s boat “Accipiter” out of Wildwood. Suzanne and Ken Smith of Philadelphia, PA and Scott Pierce of Drexel Hill, PA limited out on flounder to 5 pounds at the Cape May Reef while fishing on Ken’s boat Tuna Chic. Ken took his Hobie Pro Angler 14 kayak along and landed a 6 pound flounder on his kayak. Pat Sumek of Glassboro, NJ weighed in a 6 pound 4 ounce and a 5 pound 8 ounce flounder from Reef Site 11 while fishing on Nino Aversa’s boat El Nino. Lloyd DeNicolo of Paramus, NJ weighed in his first ever flounder at 5 pounds 15 ounces caught while fishing the Cape May Reef on Ray Dunne’s boat “Dunne Dreamin’” out of Wildwood. A few keeper flounder are still being caught in the back bays, closer to the inlets being the best. Lisa Matz age 13, of Washington Township, NJ caught her first ever flounder weighing 2 pounds 9 ounces on Clam in the back bay of Wildwood. Along the beachfront kingfish and croakers are being caught on bloodworms and Fishbites. The Cape May Rips is still red hot for snapper blues. Offshore action was on the slow side during the week, but seemed to have picked up over the weekend. Bigeye and Yellowfin Tuna were caught at the Wilmington Canyon and white marlin were also reported. Mahi-mahi are being caught anywhere from the inshore reefs out to the canyons. Tom D’Alfonso and crew of Elk Township, NJ reported 10 mahi-mahi caught while trolling the 30 Fathom line on his boat “Reel Trouble” out of Wildwood, NJ with the largest bull landed by son Tommy, Jr. Lee Garber of Wilmington, NJ weighed in a 74 pound yellowfin tuna caught while trolling the Wilmington Canyon on Joe Gillen’s boat “Y-Knot”. Nathan Miller of Reading, PA weighed in a 110 pound bigeye tuna also caught at the Wilmington Canyon on Joe Gillen’s boat “Y-Knot”. Kyle Killen age 16 of Wildwood, NJ caught his first ever mahi-mahi weighing in at 15 pounds caught while trolling the Elephant Trunk area on Greg Bulifant’s boat “Big Bully II” out of Wildwood, NJ. Crabby Jack gives the crabbing only 3 claws this week but says things will pick up after the full moon this coming week and should remain good through September.

According to Debbie Mooers of Grassy Sound Marina, “Flounder continue strong in the back. Kings on mackerel and clams, croakers and snapper blues 2 at a time. First flounder for 11-year-old Dylan Scollon of Philadelphia and his mom, Debbie, 23” 4 lb. and 25” 5 lb. 4 oz., respectively, on a rental boat. One hour before and after the change of high tide has been the most productive.

P.S. Watch your minnow buckets, the otters are out in full force.

Brian Marino, Pennsauken, caught a 24”, 4.4 lb. flounder from his kayak behind N. Wildwood on mackerel, incoming tide.

Mark Jones, Deptford caught a 23”, 3 ½ lb. flounder from his kayak at the mouth of turtle creek on minnows, incoming tide.

Joe Pryor, N. Wildwood had two 22” flounder on minnows & squid under the N. Wildwood bridge, incoming tide.

The EJ Pellecchia Crew from Hatboro, Pa. caught 37 keeper fluke, all 5-6 pounds at Reef Site 11. They were using nuclear chicken Gulp with 6” twister tails. He said every fish was caught on a long teaser.

RENTAL BOAT

Jerry Scollon of Philadelphia hit his old haunt in Turtle Creek and came back with two keeper fluke for his son Dylan and wife Debbie. This was their first fishing trip for the kids. They were using minnows, top of the outgoing tide. They also caught two nice sea bass and a blowfish.

Adam Meyer and crew, Lansdale, Pa. caught 56 croakers, 1 keeper flounder and some sea bass on mackerel and clam in their 2 days of fishing Turtle Creek. He reported the most luck during top of the incoming both days.

PIER

Daniel Minahan, Boca Raton, Fla. Caught a 22”, 3 1/2 lb. flounder on minnows, slack tide.