1) Great Bay/Long Beach Island
Bluefish, flounder, croaker and drum showed up in Great Bay. Violet Meyer at Chestnut Neck Boat Yard in Port Republic said a youth bluefish tournament held there May 4 resulted in an 8.63-pound winner for Mark Giberson of Port Republic. Meyer said the contest was for youth under 16, and all contestants caught blues. Flounder are a little bigger and top spots are off the old Coast Guard Station and Intracoastal 139 in Great Bay. Chestnut Neck weighed drum of 59.1 and 57 pounds for Ken Hayek of Galloway Township. They were caught in Grassy Channel. Croaker showed up "super early." Crabbing has started. Skipjack with Capt. Bob DeSantis recently trolled umbrella rigs out of Barnegat Inlet and got two 20 and two 30-pound striped bass.
2) Atlantic County
Stripers are aggressive at low water and the start of the incoming around T-Jetty in Atlantic City. Nice-size kingfish are taking bloodworm from Atlantic City Boardwalk and around Pacific Avenue Jetty and T-Jetty, and sometimes off the sea wall near Gardner's Basin. Flounder and bluefish are in Absecon Inlet off Harrah's Resort, according to One-Stop Bait and Tackle in A.C.; and in back bays of Great Egg Harbor Inlet off Kennedy Park off Somers Point, off Drag Island and by Parkway Bridge. Flounder fishing is good in the back bays off Absecon at Crosstides and Absecon Bay. Same in back of Ventnor, Margate and Longport. Don Brown at Captain Andy's Marina in Margate said a week ago mackerel was working as bait but now that the water has warmed up, Gulp, minnows and squid have taken over.
3) Cape May County
Striped bass and drum have been mixed for weeks in the surf around Cape May, Cape May Point, Higbee's Beach and the ferry jetty. Poverty Beach has good access and at times good catches with clam as bait. The same thing is true at Cape May Point. Bass are chasing Bombers around jetties. Croaker just showed up in the Cape surf, and a couple of weakfish made a first appearance around some of the Cape May Point jetties. Bass and drum are sometimes in the surf at other beaches along the oceanfront from North Wildwood to Townsend Inlet and Ocean City. Kingfish bite on bloodworm in the surf at Sea Isle City, Whale Beach and Strathmere. Flounder are in back-bay shallow waters. Grassy Sound Marina recently weighed an 11-pound, 8-ounce flounder caught by John Austin of Cape May Court House on white bucktail and squid at top of tide near North Wildwood Bridge. Paddy's Hole behind Avalon and back waters of Strathmere to Sea Isle also have flounder.
4) Delaware Bay
Black drumfish are moving into some of the well-known locations on the Jersey side at Tussey Slough, inside Pin Top, Brandywine and 60-Foot Slough. As usual, clam is the best bait. A sizable fleet was out Saturday night when weather and conditions were super. The boat noise seemed to scatter the fish, so anglers fishing away from congested areas seemed to do better. Striped bass are taking up the bay, which could mean they are still moving down toward Cape May.
Bluefish were trolled up by Charlie Dollaway on Captain Chazz at Atlantic City Ridge. Brennan Marine in Somers Point reported he got a dozen up to 13 1/2 pounds with Stretch 25 and ponytails in 55 feet of water. Matt Slobodjian at Jim's B&T reported the first bluefin tuna at Wilmington Canyon on the troll. They are in the 30-40 pound class.