Tag: Cape May fishing

A June Monday on the water

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A summer flounder fishermen’s wintertime  daydream, that describes today.  A blue sky, no humidity, no bugs, light wind  and a good flounder bite . I fished for 2 hours and 20 minutes today. I caught 4  keeper flounder  the biggest was 24″.  The water temperature was 67 degrees.  The conditions are excellent for back bay flounder fishing from Corson’s  inlet down to Cape May Harbor.

 

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Snakebite with keepers

Saturday's four keepers. The largest fell .2 oz short of first place in the Beach and Boat Wildwood  fishing tournament.

Saturday’s four keepers. The largest fell .2 oz short of first place in the Beach and Boat Wildwood fishing tournament.

Wayne shows one of Sunday's weakfish.

Wayne shows one of Saturday’s weakfish 

Summer Flounder Limit Catch

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The  fishing conditions kept me at the helm of the skiff for most of the day’s trip. The water temperature dropped  significantly  the last couple days  . With a  water temperature swing, a flat barometer and a poor wind direction, it would have been  a  perfect day to skip fishing. I burned a lot of  fuel and we went periods without any action at all. However, 2 hours and 45 minutes later,  Wayne had his limit of summer flounder. Wayne travels in from Kentucky annually  to fish the  back bay waters for summer flounder. The new 18″ minimum size limit  pushes reasonable to the maximum in our back bay waters .  Regardless of the increased size of the flounder stock the majority of the large summer flounder are not found in  our back bay waters or the Delaware Bay.  The State of Delaware has  a 16″ size limit and we fish the same bay.  All things considered, 16″  is the  appropriate  size limit for  flounder in Cape May County, NJ . The NJ Outdoor Alliance and the NJ federation of Sportsmen are prepared to fight to have Cape May County included in the Delaware region next season.

Saltwater fly fishing for Summer flounder

 Jack with a 26" summer flounder. He caught it with his  flounder fly.

Jack with a big summer flounder. He caught it with his flounder fly.

Jack was fishing in the back bay waters when this hard fighting summer flounder rose for his fly.  Jack holds the Cape May County saltwater fly fishing record for  speckled trout 8.5 pounds.  Looks like he is also  in the hunt for the summer flounder fly fishing record.

Bill with a nice size weakfish

Bill with a nice size spring 2014 weakfish

 

 

 

Today’s Back bay summer flounder trip

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The best area based on wind direction and resent reports was far from the spots I fished today. I did not have the time to fish the hot/correct location. However, after spending an hour and a half on the water, three keepers were flopping  in the cooler. The fishing pressure was none existent . The water temperature was 65 degrees. Water clarity was good – fair. The special ingredient during this fishing trip was patience‎.

 

First light weakfish bite

 

First weakfish of the morning

First weakfish of the morning

The early rise was tough but quickly forgotten.  The sun peeked from the  crystal blue atlantic. The outgoing tide formed an eddy in front of me.  Moments later I felt the distinct thump of a weakfish hit. Great way to start the day! Flounder fishing on tap this afternoon. Update to follow.

Hot back bay summer flounder bite today

 

 

 

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The key today was  the right bait (artificial) , and the   presentation. I found the  flounder  in very shallow water. I reached the bag limit in less than one hour. Captain Gary on the double touch also limited out today fishing in deeper back bay water. Today was an excellent day for flounder fishing for sure. The water temperature was 61 degrees on the top of the tide. The wind was SSW. The fishing pressure was very light .

Weakfish,  during yesterday evening’s weakfish trip I targeted a new spot with friend CJ .  CJ caught and released a nice weakfish. I had one spit the hook. We fished for about 45 minutes.

CJ as he released his weakfish.

CJ as he released his weakfish.

Today’s back bay summer flounder trip

19"keeper one of four.

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I made my first flounder trip today. The water was 55 – 59 degrees  with a 5-10 NNE wind. Two hours of fishing produced 4 keeper flounder and 7 shorts.  Planning on fishing for weakfish during  both sides of  the low tide later today. I am on a quest to catch weakfish from different spots around the Cape and peninsula  of Cape May County, NJ .  Some spots are holding good numbers of quality weakfish, due to baitfish and water clarity, other historically good areas  are missing the conditions .   Knowing the indicators of productive saltwater can save time and  bypass frustration.

Black drum bite is hot on the Jersey side, Summer flounder

 

Summer flounder season 2014 is underway.

Summer flounder season 2014 is underway.

Slaughter beach on the Delaware Side of the bay is still producing black drum. That spot is a 12 mile run from the Cape May canal. The good news for fishermen docked in NJ is the black drum have set up on our side of the bay. Bob Lasko and crew boated nine black drum on a recent trip, some  topped out at  over 60 pounds. Jason and crew won the middle twp. drum fish tournament with a 89 pounder. If you want to catch a black drum now is the time.

The summer flounder opener was good. However, here in Cape May County most of the flounder caught were under the  18″  size limit.  Gary had  three nice size keepers. Reeves and crew boated 7 keepers .  Debbie from the Grassy Sound marina reportedly weighed in a nine pounder. I have been busy catching spring  weakfish. I will make my first flounder trip this week and I will post the results. The water temperature in the back bay today was 62 degrees on the top of the tide.

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The amazing Weakfish come back, On The Water Magazine May issue

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What is unbelievably  refreshing is how resilient  the weakfish have proved to be. Considering in 2009 Dr. Jamie Geiger of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, suggested that the weakfish stock may have fallen to such lows that managers might wish to consider invoking the provisions of the Endangered Species Act as one of the management tools.  The listing seemed like  a sure bet. As  any fish stock  experiencing  decades of unlimited  commercial and recreational  harvest would surely end  up that way. A timely weakfish recovery was not expected by the ASMFC under any circumstances.

The good news is  they were wrong.  With only three years of historic weakfish regulations  (limited harvest) they are showing up in numbers not seen in decades along the entire east coast.

The return of the weakfish in  this month’s (May )issue of  On The Water magazine covers it well.

http://www.onthewater.com/issues/

Update: 2014 weakfish season was the best for me in a decade.

Beautiful spring weakfish I caught from the sand.

Beautiful spring weakfish I caught from the sand.


CJ Polhamus  with his 30" spring tide runner weakfish

CJ Polhamus with his 30″ spring 2014 tide runner weakfish


Wayne McDermott and a summer 2014 weakfish

Wayne McDermott and a summer 2014 weakfish


Bill with a nice size spring 2014 weakfish

Bill with a nice size spring 2014 weakfish