Great Bay/Long Beach Island
The report from Great Bay is similar: lots of flounder. Jingle's Bait and Tackle in North Beach Haven and Chestnut Neck Boat Yard in Port Republic both reported good action at Intracoastal 139 in Great Bay. Jingle's added Middle Grounds and Chestnut Neck added off the old fish factory. Jingle's certified a 27-incher while the biggest at Chestnut Neck was 23 inches. A few drum were taken recently in Grassy Channel and a couple of weakfish showed up in the Mullica River.
The attention of most anglers is on flounder here, too. Back bays of Great Egg Inlet and Absecon Inlet are prime flounder grounds. Ship Channel and shallower waters off Somers Point get a lot of action. Ditto back waters of Longport and Margate such as Methodist Ditch and Risley Channel. Absecon Inlet has several streams that hold big flounder. Broad Creek is one of them. It seems as though the biggest flounder taken from area waters on opening weekend came from inside either inlet. Dolphin Dock in Somers Point weighed 9 and 7 pounders, and a 7.35-pounder won the flounder division of the opening weekend tournament run by Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. A lot of 3-5 pound flounder have been reported. Striped bass are still residing in county waters. Surfcasters are picking them from the beaches and jetties, and skippers an anchor up for them off the beach and in the inlets.
Cape May County
Excellent catches of 20-30 pound striped bass are common and 40-pound plus heavyweights pop up in Cape May surf. Surfcasters are sometimes lined from Poverty Beach to 2nd Street, the cove and Cape May Lighthouse. The best bait for stripers in the surf is fresh clam and bunker. Flounder season opened and they are carpeting back-bay waters: inside Hereford Inlet, Flat Creek at Ludlam Bay behind Sea Isle City, Paddy's Hole behind Avalon, the Ocean City back bays off the airport and the south side of Rainbow Channel. There are a lot of different combinations anglers use for flounder. Minnows and squid is a tradition, but mackerel may work better. Multiple frozen spearing on a hook is also popular. Top and bottom rigs, 1/2-1/4 ounce bucktails and shad darts with chartreuse twister tails, and Gulp are all in the arsenal of flounder fans.
Black drumfish are being seen more at Tussey Slough and Pin Top. Fish in the 60-plus range plus a few bigger bruisers have been registered. Delaware veterans anchor up with fresh clam as bait.
Sea bass are inshore with codfish lingering. Ling join the mix. Sea bass are generally 1 1/2-3 pound with a few topping 4 pounds. Fishing in 75-80 feet of water should improve as water temps rise. Sea bass and cod are mixed with flounder at Reef Site 11 off Delaware. June is traditionally good shark fishing. Jim's Bait and Tackle in Cape May reported a 167 1/2-pound mako and two blue sharks caught at South Paw. Bluefish up to 16 pounds were trolled recently at Atlantic City Ridge, according to Brennan Marine in Somers Point.