The ocean was running with a strong current and high waters in the surf Tuesday that affected surf-fishing at least.
The consensus from recent reports indicate fishing should be pretty good when it all settles down and we head into the final days of August and into Sept-ember.
Several correspondents believe kingfish should be dominant in the surf. Just before the latest interruption, kingfish were thick along some of the beaches.
Noel Feliciano at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City said they had a six-day run of kingfish on the oceanfront beaches in A.C. He said some of the locals fishing from the ocean jetties and strand in between caught up to 30 kingfish.
Plus, they are picking croaker, flounder and small bluefish when conditions allow.
Ed Bronstein at Fin-Atics in Ocean City said sloppy seas and a full-moon high tide put a hurting on fishing. Bronstein has been angling local waters since he was a kid in Atlantic City and he expects kingfish to start back up and continue for awhile just like they usually do.
He said more and more bluefish in the 1 to 1 1/2-pound class should start arriving. He said spot are so plentiful at Ocean City that surfcasters had to get through them to catch kingfish.
Croaker moved in waters off Cape May County a week or so back, and had spread to off Atlantic City by the weekend. When they first arrived off Hereford Inlet a storm came through but croaker were still there when it cleared.
So, they likely will still be off Ocean City, Margate and Atlantic City when the weather allows boaters to get out again.
The strong current was a bother along the Brigantine beaches, too. Fred Hynes said surfcasters use multi-hook Sabiki rigs with Fish-Bites or bloodworms to catch spot, sometimes four at a time. Then they hook them up live with 5/0 hooks and cast them out into the surf to catch flounder and
18-inch bluefish. Some surfcasters also filet the spot and put them out on bottom rigs.
Fishing around Townsend Inlet and Sea Isle City-Avalon should be pretty much the same. Wesley Bandy at Gibson's Bait and Tackle expects 18 to 20 inch bluefish to increase in addition to kingfish. Bandy said kingfish are in the back bays for their spawning runs.
Croaker are right out front, Bandy reports, and should stay there as long as the water stays warm.
Bandy added an exotic touch to what he expects to show up. He said boaters might try trolling around inshore buoys with spoons, feathers and plugs for cobia.
Bandy and some of the others report flounder are moving out to the inlets and reefs, but the season is open only to Sept. 6.
We can look for kingfish in the surf on the southern end of Long Beach Island, plus croaker just showed up. A couple had been caught in the surf and they are also being caught in 30-32 feet of water with clam.
We sometimes first start hearing of striped bass schools moving in from Long Beach Island. Margaret O'Brien at Jingle's Bait and Tackle in North Beach Haven said she often hears about bass around Sept. 15 or when the mullet run starts.
1) Long Beach Island/Great Bay
Kingfish are biting until the sun starts to set behind the sand dunes on the south end of Long Beach Island and then croaker start. Bloodworm and Fish-Bites are the bait. Croaker are in 30 to 32 feet of water off LBI when conditions permit skippers to get out. White perch, kingfish and small flounder have been caught in Mullica River.
2) Atlantic County
There are a lot of kingfish in the surf off Brigantine and Atlantic City. Croaker, spot and small bluefish are sometimes with them. Flounder are moving into deeper channels and ocean at the reefs. On Brigantine, they are catching spot with Sabiki rigs in the surf. There are still plenty of mostly-small flounder in back bays biting Gulp shrimp, minnows, squid, spearing and cut bait. Mullet are starting to move in waters.
3) Cape May County
Spot dominate the surf, stealing bloodworm and Fish-Bites from kingfish. Back bays have lots of flounder, and they are migrating to channels, inlets and inshore reefs. There are a few doormats still around, including a 10-pounder caught by Mike Callahan while fishing from a boat in Corson Inlet and reported by Gibson's Bait and Tackle in Sea Isle City. Kingfish are in back bays.
4) Delaware Bay
White perch are very decent in "ditches" off Maurice River cove. Les Berry of Haleyville got seven big white perch and Kim and John Plummer of Millville caught 14, half of them more than 14 inches, according to Ross Del Rosso at Longreach Marina. Lots of throwback flounder, plus croaker, are in Bayshore Channel to Cape May Point.
When weather allows, reports are good. An example from Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine: Jeff Alaburda and son Nick from Brigantine on A Team with Rob Vavala caught 30 mahi, topped by a 25 pounder, while trolling the 40-Fathom Fingers. Wahoo have been caught at the 28-Mile Wreck. 4FB and East Lump have mahi and occasional wahoo. Croaker are inshore in 14 to 30 feet of water.
Bigger flounder are on the reefs.