Beautiful day on the water no bugs, not to hot and very light boat traffic in the area I was fishing. I did encounter a conservation officer patrolling the area in a boat for the first time. I have been fishing and duck hunting the area my entire life. We have all seen the guy that keeps all the flounder he catches regardless of size and bag limit. That person was not fishing in this area today. There was just a few boats and everybody was law abiding.I have a couple of reports, Ed T caught two keeper flounder Dr.Gary had two also, they fished from 5:30 am to 9:30 am. I fished from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm I caught 3 keeper flounder.The time of year when limits of flounder can be caught in the back bay in a few hours is now past.If you are looking for your limit of keeper flounder it is now time to head for the old grounds or any offshore structure. Myself, when I head offshore it is for big game.I will continue to poke around the back bay for flounder all season. The water temperature was 70 degrees on the top of the tide. The water was very clean.
Cape May Ray is concerned about the lack of bait fish and oyster crackers in Cape May co.. Ray, I have not seen any bait fish in my area. The minnows are usually here by March. This is the first year in a life time, that the minnows are completely absent from my area. The oyster crackers aka Tot fish are being sold to the Asian market. This has been going on for a few years. The poaching is the problem. If you have the fish they have the cash! This is one reason we need a NJ salt water license! NO license no money.No money no studies and not enough law enforcement to make a difference. How much pressure can minnows and crabs take before the population drops out. Anybody can buy a commercial bait license.WE have minnow pots in every creek in the State. We have crab pots every so many feet in the back bay in the spring. Is this the problem? Ray thinks that heavy malathion spraying for mosquitoes is killing our back bays from the bottom up. NJ is one of the few States that it is legal to use this pestiside. I sure hope he is wrong. I sure enjoy life without mosquitoes. We will never know what the problem is without the money from a NJ salt water license!! Please do not misconstrue, NJ conservation officers do an outstanding job !, the problem is they are way under staffed.
I just got a report of keeper stripers floating on top of the water in the back bay of Stone Harbor.One was dead and the other was alive, it was brown on one side and very lethargic. It had just enough energy to stay under water. I hope this is not related to the bait problem. Note:
Cape May Ray is a fishing guide that is passionate about fishing and the marine envirorment. He also catches fish.