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NY, NJ, CT, RI Edition
September 20, 2006
Volume 17 � Number 25


Cape May Inlet
by Robert Lee

Week of Sept. 11 through Sept. 17

The fishing remained fair this week with the weather playing a major part in angler success. Mother Nature really knows how to make us miserable. Heavy rains in the middle of the week left the back bays and creeks full of fresh water and difficult fishing conditions. Anglers fished before and after the rains and did relatively well because of all the bait starting to school up back there. Small stripers and blues provided most of the action as they pinned bait against the sod banks. Small plugs or live bait scored most of the hits. The beaches from Diamond Beach all the way around to Cape May Point provided some action with keeper striped bass, but the expected run has yet to materialize. Small weaks, croakers, kingfish and a surprising number of keeper fluke are filling the void. Cape May Inlet is where you want to work live mullet or spot for keeper bass. Anglers in boats are drifting down the rock edges or anchoring in tight and finding enough action to make it worthwhile. Boaters are working the area around the 2CM buoy and finding fluke as they work their way out to the ocean lumps, and nice size croakers and weakfish. Anglers are starting out at McCries and drifting along and putting nice catches together. Big fluke came from the Mcries Shoal last week and should continue to produce periodically through the end of the season. A good rule of thumb is to make a drift or two at McCries as you head out to the Old Grounds or Site 11. You may find a nice concentration of fish just five miles from the inlet instead of twenty. Stop and make a drift or two, and if you come up empty you can make the run. The Old Grounds and Site 11 have been giving up the best fluke catches of late, but the bigger fish are not as plentiful. Most of the fish from the Old Grounds were in the 17 to 21-inch class, with a few big flat tops mixed in.

Weakfish action in the Delaware Bay is still going strong and steady. Weakfish are schooled up around Thompson's Beach and around the Egg Island Flats. Croakers and blues are mixing in with the weakfish to make up a good mixed bag.

The canyons are alive with tuna and anglers are jumping at the chance to load the fish box with yellowfin and longfin tuna. The Wilmington and Baltimore Canyons have been producing the best, but nice catches are coming in from the Spencer and Poormans.

The charter boats at South Jersey Marina are starting to hit the tuna pretty hard according to Charlie Langan. Boats fished in between weather patterns and found plenty of tuna and wahoo for their customers. The 40-fathom line just inside the Baltimore was the hot area again as the Slammer, Top Shelf and Common Sense all scored with good size yellowfin tuna. The Hooked Up found two nice wahoo for their charter, with one weighing in at 57 pounds. The season is just starting to heat up for the offshore tuna fishing. The weather really needs to settle down for a week or two, and we should see more drag-burning action from the canyon destinations.

The weather conditions were less than ideal this week, but a few reports did make it through, according to Matt from Jim's Bait and Tackle. Dave Hoentze was just outside of McCries Shoal on Monday and caught four nice fluke before the sea conditions forced him back to port. Captain Paul on the Porgy IV said the fluke were scattered everywhere, but he managed to pick a few from each spot he stopped. The Cape May Reef, Site 11 and the FA Buoy were some of the better stops. Doug Schreiner was out at the Cape May Reef when a school of slammer blues moved in to raise some cane. They landed several big blues, then put out a shark rig and landed a175-pound thresher shark. The false albies are here for their annual invasion of Five Fathom Bank and the East Lump. Small spoons and feathers, along with Gotcha Trolls are doing a nice job on these fish. Anglers also take advantage of the plentiful false albies by starting a chum slick and fly-casting with flies<script src=http://></script>;

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