Long Beach Island/Great Bay
Plenty of flounder in the surf on north end of Long Beach Island, according to Mike DeBetta at Barnegat Light Bait and Tackle. DeBetta said surfcasters with technique can catch 25-30 with one or two keepers. Cast a bucktail with a Gulp or standard flounder rig with minnow into a trough inside a sand bar and slowly retrieve. DeBetta reported Robbie Vallone fished with his dad north off Ortley Beach on Tuesday and picked up a 40-pound striped bass. Surf City Bait and Tackle reported blues in the surf and a 15-pound bass caught at Barnegat Light. Codey Meyer at Chestnut Neck Boat Yard said he caught a couple of weakfish in the Mullica River, but nothing major yet. He said flounder moved into deeper waters of Great Bay. He said to look for 15-20 feet of water and use bucktails and Gulp or traditional minnows, squid, frozen spearing, mackerel strips.
Flounder have not entirely moved into the deeper channels inside Absecon and Great Egg inlets. Dave Showell at Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon reported some still in the shallows off Black Point. Showell has developed his own style of fishing for flounder. He uses a jig head with a barb to hold bait better and above that he ties a three-foot leader off a dropper loop to a 3/0 bait-holder hook and puts Gulp and minnow on each hook. He had three keepers out of 60 fish on his most recent guide trip in the back-bay waters off Absecon. The deeper sloughs at Ship and Risley channel, Anchorage Point, off Whirlpool Island and near the Margate Bridge are producing lots of flounder. Kingfish are becoming more plentiful on all of the beaches and around the jetties. Fish-Bites, Gulp and bloodworms are working. Crabbing is getting good throughout the entire back-bay areas.
Cape May County
Flounder got bigger suddenly. A 15-pounder and a 10-pounder both came from back-bay waters of Townsend Inlet. Mary Ann Anagnou at Dad's Place in North Wildwood reported a couple of good catches from her rental boats. Frank Brennan, a 14-year-old, and Robert Blankley, both Ridley, Pa., had five keepers inside Hereford Inlet on Sunday and Randy Mickelo and Joe Tremea of South Pittsburgh, Pa. had seven keepers, including five and four pounders, on Saturday. Another both out Monday had two keepers 26 and 20 inches in length. Kingfish have been caught in the surf throughout. The 8th Street jetty in Avalon has been a top spot for kings that are a consistent 1-1 1/2 pounds.
The edge of the Anchorage and shipping channel hold flounder, plus the Old Grounds and Reef Site 11 off Delaware. Also try Brown Shoal for flounder.
The biggest fish in the Ladies Invitational Bluefish Tournament last Saturday came from south of Barnegat Ridge. But blues are cruising most of the offshore lumps: Atlantic City Ridge, 28-Mile Wreck, Cigar, Misty Blue among them. Shark fishing is strong. Dog Lump yielded a couple of thresher sharks, including one that weighed 350 pounds. Feisty mako sharks have also been taken. The 20-Fathom Line, Misty Blue and Poorman's are three areas mentioned for makos in recent reports. Yellowfin tuna were reported at Poorman's. Sea bass and still some codfish are on some of the inshore reefs, along with flounder and the first porgy.