Delaware River Hot For Smallmouth Bass

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Sorry about missing last week but by the time I got back from the mountains and took care of all the work for the store it was already Monday morning. Vacation was extremely hot. Out the first day to the golf course with a hunting buddy to shoot an 84. The next day my buddy John showed up so we hit the river for a 4-mile drift on the river of water I have never seen before. I really was not expecting much and was very happy to end the day with 93 smallmouth bass, 2 rock bass and a river chub. The bass ranged from 8 to 15 inches and all were caught with watermelon grubs fished on a chartreuse grub. We tried minnows several different times without a single hit. The next day we got out late due to rain all morning long. Problem is getting out late you have to deal with the speedboats, water skiers and tubers. Fishing the shoreline with these guys running back and fourth is a chore. We fished till about 5 and picked up 88 fish between bluegills and yellow perch. We had a few smaller bass mixed in but were looking for panfish to stock the pond. Getting up the last morning early to beat the crowd we fished Duck Harbor for 4 hours and put 111 bluegills and yellow perch in the pond and had several smaller bass mixed in. Pretty good week. Yesterday I was out on the lower river to find it muddy, full of grass and 85 degrees. In 4 hours I boated 10 catfish 1 to 3 pounds and lost 15 to 25 either dropped by the boat or missed hooked.

Core Creek really slow with just a few bluegills and perch hitting along the shoreline. Jim at Fall’s Township is catching a bass or two each morning with plastic worms but said over all the fishing is slow. Penn Warner a bit slow with tons of perch hitting minnows along the shoreline and a few mid size bass being picked up by the boat fisherman. FDR park one fisherman picked up a 15 inch largemouth bass on Monday with a top water frog. He was looking for snakeheads with no luck. Marsh Creek one fisherman picked up a bunch of small pickerel, perch and bluegills fishing worms and minnows off the docks. Nockamixon really slowed down for bass but the perch and crappies fishing has been hot fishing late in the day and after dark. Minnows, twister tails and tubes are working best. John picked up over 35 crappies 12 to 14 inches last weekend.

Some of the best fishing has been the smaller streams for smallmouth bass, rock bass and bluegills. The Pennypack has been very good anywhere from Veree Road up to Pine Road. The Neshaminy Creek in the Tyler State Park and Playwicki Park sections has been very good. I always like to fish just below the Boulevard but getting access is hard. The Perkiomen in the Collegeville and Skippack sections are always good. My favorite here is fishing the bridge where 73 crosses the creek down to the Skippack Creek. All these places small twister tails, spinners, small crankbaits and top water lures always work best. Minnows are also very good. Charlie is still fishing the Tohickon doing well on bigger bluegills fishing dry flies and poppers with his fly rod. He said the river has been too high and off color for him the past 10 days.

King fishing off the beach in the Cape May to Brigantine hitting bloodworms and Fish Bites. At night plenty of brown and tiger sharks with bunker, mackerel and kingfish heads. Plenty of flounder are being caught all up and down the coast with quite a mixed report on size of fish. I would say most of my customers have been catching 15 to 40 fish a trip with 1 to 3 keepers to bring home. Now there are a few guys doing well on fish up to 10 pounds. Most of these guys are fishing bucktail rigs with Gulp grubs, mullet or strip baits. I saw a few picks from Lou’s Face Book page on his flounder trip with several fish 20 to 23 inches. Don fished out of Fortescue over the weekend picking up 11 flounder with 5 keepers all over 4 pounds. He caught most of his fish with flounder belly and Gulp grubs. Crabbing has been great down the shore but again size has been a problem. Most guys are catching 1 to 2 bushels each trip with 2 to 3 dozen keepers in the mix. John was up at Long Beach Island fishing the beach last weekend with only a few skates. Off the jetties a few smaller sea bass and flounder are being picked up. The stripers have seemed to moved off the Long Beach Island jetties the past couple weeks.

Jersey reports have been slow. John still doing very well with pickerel, smaller bass, crappies and perch fishing the shorelines of Union Lake. Minnows, twister tails, tubes, spinner baits and top water have been working best. Jerry said the south jersey lakes have been pickerel, pickerel and more pickerel. Minnows working best with spinners and twister tails working second best. Richie said Lake Lenape has died with water temperatures reaching over 85 degrees. He told me the river has been fair for smaller pickerel and perch fishing live minnows or grass shrimp. Further down the river plenty of white perch and smaller stripers hitting bloodworms, minnows, crankbaits and smaller bucktails.

I know this is short but all I heard this past week. Good luck and enjoy as summer is coming to a end. Fall stripers are not that far away. Bill

I fished back bay of Wildwood July 31st near Grassy Sound. We used killies and squid with top and bottom rigs. It took less than an hour to catch about 5 flounder but all were about 14 inches…looked like the same fish each time. The day before it was 2 to 3 ft seas so we went out Cape May inlet about 10 miles out to a reef. 2 hours of chum and and bunker for bait we had 2 hits but no hook ups… there were lots of bunker schools out there. Brian

I was in your shop on Tuesday for makerel, clam, and squid. We fished sunrise on an incoming tide on Belmar beach.  The wind was blowing inshore and the surf was nasty.  I caught a short 15″ to 18″ striper on clam around 6:15, and that was it for the beach until we left at 9.  We moved to the bulkhead on Shark River and the snapper Blues were hot. My buddy landed a little fluke on a diamond spoon tipped with a mackerel clam combo. There were lots of throwback fluke being caught until 2PM when we left. Thanks for the fresh bait and tips. We will be sure to check out Sandy Hook as you suggested. Sincerely,Damien

Anthony’s weekly report

Well last time I wrote a report I was getting ready to fish the cape may flounder tournament. Well I’m happy to say we took first place. Josh , Roy Andrew and myself hit some local spots down cape may and was able to put an impressive bag together. We had a 3 fish bag at 17lbs. Not next weekend we have a huge tournament out of Delaware which the payout is incredible . So wish us luck. The fluke fishing has been great up north with many guys getting limits and big fish. In south jersey it’s not as hot seeing that u have to work your butt off to put a catch together.  Most guys have been doing great on gulp and buck tails . That’s been the hot ticket this year.

In the river the small mouth fishing has been great. Many guys heading up with allot of minnows and grubs and producing big number days with some quality fish mixed in. Talked to a guy yesterday who baught 10 dozen minnows and was headed up today with his kayak . He said he’s been catching north of 50 smallies each trip . With some nice 19 in hers in the mix . There’s also still some really nice schoolie stripers at the wing Dam . Joe has been catching a few fish each trip up to 29 inches . Theese fish are all caught on live eels. You get a good top water bite first thing in the morning, or on cloudy days . But once that sun comes out its over.

The lower Delaware has been producing allot of good catties, perch and small stripers. No were specific . It’s the summer time you can catch catfish anywhere on this river . Bunker, shrimp and mackerel have been working best for the bigger fish . And if you want to catch a bunch of baby catfish with some bigins mixed in I suggest night crawlers . Well that’s all I have this week . Wish us luck in the tournament next week ! Tight lines Anthony

Fisherman Magazine Update

If you’ve been looking for the perfect window to the offshore grounds, the Friday through Sunday forecast from NOAA Weather could be to your liking. Following a few scattered showers and thunderstorms on Thursday, fair winds and calms seas are forecast from the Hudson to the Baltimore through Sunday. Bigeye and yellowfin are popping up along the offshore grounds, and with over 1,300 white marlin releases in last week’s White Marlin Open, this summer is also proving to be one of the finest billfish seasons in our region in recent memory. Closer to shore, the usually more dependable summer flounder bite has been a bit hit or miss depending on where you’re ported, but in recent days the more consistent catches of big fluke have come from the Raritan, Axel Carlson, and the deepwater sites at spots like the Cape May Reef and the Old Grounds. If you’re hitting the reef and wreck sites this week, keep a spinning outfit rigged with a light bucktail or some live peanuts in the live well as a few mahi have also shown closer inshore in recent weeks; in the surf, it’s bucktails and Gulp! for the flatties, smaller baits and light tackle for kingfish.

Dolphin, dorado or mahi, however you refer to this tasty and brilliantly colored fighting fish, just remember a bull of a fish could put you in the running for great prizes in The Fisherman’s Dream Boat Challenge! A 19-pounder is currently tops in that category for the month, and in addition to the other great prizes being offered to Fisherman subscribers this season, just an ounce heavier this month could also earn you a pair of Costa polarized sunglasses. We have one report this week of dolphin being trolled up along with bonito from 12 to 18 miles off the Jersey coast to boot! August is also time for doormats, particularly in the North Jersey region where we’ve had several reported 10-pound-plus fish hit the scales in the past several days. Try peanut bunker or live snappers in the tournaments this weekend; pink colored Gulp! is working too which may be indicative of more inshore squid. While a one-fish bag limit has limited most of the directed effort, quite a few weakfish catches are being reported throughout the range, especially along the South Jersey waters. Triggers and sheepshead round out the catch along local rockpiles from the Delaware Bay north along the coast, while the white marlin bite at the canyons has been described in this week’s offshore report as “epic!”

The Heat Has Finally Broke (for a bit)

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Out one morning this week looking for some catfish for our pond up state. Anchoring up with bunker, shrimp and nightcrawlers we ended up the day with 30 catfish 1 to 8 pounds. Most of the fish were in the 1 to 2 pound range. Best fishing was right below the Burlington Bristol Bridge. Lots of other guys have been out catfishing with bunker, clams, nightcrawlers and chunked eels. Most guys are picking up 5 to 15 fish a trip. Nothing really big unless they are having tournament where there are a few 8 to 12 pound fish caught. Down river by the Commodore Barry Bridge one fisherman is catching catfish 6 to 10 pounds with lots of stripers 24 o 30 inches all with live eels and bloodworms. He is fishing in the Raccoon Creek area. The upper river this week has been high and muddy so I had no reports back. Kevin said up at the Water Gap is high and muddy but that has helped the stripers fishing.   This past week he picked up 11 fish 25 to 32 inches all with live eels. He talked to several other fishermen all doing well with eels, poppers and 1-ounce jigs with 6-inch white and green twister tails.

Lake reports are coming in slow. Only one fisherman with his kids fishing Core Creek catching plenty of bluegills and white perch with earthworms and mealworms. Jim said the fishing at Fall’s Township is getting tough with only a few smaller bass with plastic worms. Another fisherman at the shopping center lake picked up a bunch of bluegills and a 2-pound largemouth bass all with nightcrawlers. Several different guys fishing Magnolia Lake picked up several smaller largemouth bass with spinners, smaller buzz baits and plastic worms. Frank out at Blue Marsh had a fair weekend picking up a bunch of pickerel, smaller bass and bluegills all with live minnows and worms. John said he had his worse fishing at Nockamixon in the past 5 years last weekend. He fished the upper end for bass catching a half a dozen fish 6 to 8 inches with slider worms. Then he headed to the ledges fishing deeper jigs and crankbaits not having a single hit. So he headed to the bait shop for some smaller shiners to fish the docks for crappies. 4 hours later he picked up 5 yellow perch and a crappie all caught on trout magnets. Ron called to tell me that Hickory State Park was fair for trout in the morning with lots of rock bass, chubs and bluegills during the afternoon hours. These fish were all picked up on different flies.

Saltwater action has not changed in the past couple weeks. Plenty of kingfish still hitting on the beaches from Cape May up to Brigantine. These fish are hitting bloodworms and Fish Bites the best. Mixed in have been some smaller flounder, sharks and skates. But fishing the evening hours with chunked bunker, mackerel and kingfish head there have been some 4 to 7 foot tiger and brown sharks caught. On the news I saw a film of a kid pulling in a shark a bit over 200 pounds in south jersey. Back bays of Wildwood Marc and his brother picked up 43 flounder with bucktails and gulp mullet. Problem was only 1 keeper fish. They also had 7 weakfish again all throwbacks and a couple smaller sea bass. John fishing behind Hara’s doing great with flounder and sea bass with minnows, squid and Gulp mullet. Couple guys fishing the Manasquan inlet landing some bigger flounder with bucktails tipped with Gulp grubs. Now the striper fishing slowed down but still several guys have been hitting the Long Beach Island jetties with live eels picking up a few keeper fish. Up at Brick one fisherman hit the beach looking for blues or bass. He fished all day on Saturday only catching a few smaller sharks and skates. The past couple weeks several guys have been heading to the Chesapeake doing well with croakers, spots, smaller weakfish and smaller stripers. Bloodworms and Fish Bites working best.

Mercer County Park slowed up with just a few bass and pickerel hitting minnows, worms, spinner baits and plastic worms. Two different reports from Newtown with both fisherman catching some bass and snakeheads with Zoom horny toads, Spro weedless frogs and poppers and Live Target mouse. One fisherman in the Cooper River picked up several 15 to 25 pound carp with cornmeals, corn and boilies. I talked to John at Union who has taken the past couple weekends off with all the hot weather. But one fisherman at Elmer picked up a nice 21-inch largemouth bass that weighted just under 5 pounds on Monday. He caught this fish with a golden shiner. Sand Pits in Wildwood several guys picking up smaller bass with top water plugs just before dark. If your fishing these waters makes sure you take tons of bug spray. Manasquan Reservoir one fisherman last weekend picked up over 25 pickerel with live minnows along the shoreline. He was out looking for bass but was happy with pickerel.

Well that is all I have for you this week. Well be away next week so it will be a couple weeks before the next report. Good luck and enjoy a decent weekend coming up.

Bill

Anthony’s weekly report

Well I’ve been flukeing on my days off and it has been good and bad . The further north we fish the better the fishing . The further south the worse the fishing. Your probably wondering why I would even fish south . Well I have multiple tournaments coming up and we are just trying to locat the fish in south jersey . We have been fishing the old grounds, and the local reef and only managing to pick up 6 or so keepers each trip . Last wee we were out and did very well up north with limits and big fish. This weekend I have the cape may flounder tournament and right now I’m praying the weather holds out. 

 Allot of guys are doing really good up north on fluke . They are jumping on the party boats and allot of guys are getting limits . Gulp 6 inch grubs seem to work the best . They are fishing these on a round head jig and another one as a teaser .
The river has still been great. The further north you go the better. Joe and Justin were out up around the wing Dam area today with live eels picking up some nice stripers . They landed 8 and two of the fish were 28inchss . He said eels worked the best. Small mouth have also been biting well on the river. Fat Albert grubs have been working best and second are live minnows.
The lakes are producing plenty of bass and pike . Allot of guys are doing great up penn Warner club. They say the fish are biting well and if u can stand the heat you will do good . The penny pack also has tons of small mouth in it. They aren’t the quality that the river holds but the quantity is there . So get out and get some fish . That’s all I have for this week. Tight lines. Anthony

 

Fisherman Magazine Update

This Saturday, August 6 is the 22nd Annual JCAA Fluke Tournament with a top prize of $1,200 in each of nine different New Jersey ports and a super Calcutta prize of $50,000 for one angler taking the biggest fluke over 12 pounds. With Garden State fluke action becoming quite a bit more consistent in recent weeks and some of the best fluking in decades in some South Jersey locales, the tournament timing is nearly perfect. Raritan Bay doormat reports continue to lead the way in deep water, but in this week’s video report we see more 10-pound-plus fish coming from other areas too including Barnegat Bay on down as far south as Indian River Inlet in Delaware. Big sharks continue to keep the catch and release surf crowd busy by day and by night, while a few of the recent offshore charters have been zeroing in on both cod and tuna, sometimes on the same trip! NOAA’s offshore forecast has seas 2 to 4 feet on Friday up to 3 to 5’s through Sunday from the Hudson to Baltimore Canyons, though action is getting good for those who find their window. This week’s offshore report in The Fisherman puts the yellowfin and bigeye in the Toms, bluefin around the Bacardi and along the 30 fathom line, while the Mud Hole is giving up some Spanish mackerel for those trolling and scouting for bigger game.

 

Saltwater Fluke on Fire

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Little late this week getting an extra day off to hit the golf course for a nice round of 82 in one of the hottest days I have ever golfed. Wednesday I hit the river early with bunker and shrimp catching 28 catfish 1 to 4 pounds. Talking to most guys the fishing has slowed with the river hitting 84 degrees this past week. John had a big tournament this past weekend catching plenty of fish 1 to 5 pounds but the winners were in the 8 to 10 pound range. Another bigger flathead picked up at the railroad bridge 27 pounds on a live eels. This customer also had 4 stripers that same night 24 to 26 inches. Bob fishing in the Raccoon Creek catching catfish up to 10 pounds and stripers up to 30 inches. He is catching most fish with bloodworms and live eels. One bass fisherman up at Tullytown Cove is catching 5 to 8 bass 1 to 3 pounds each trip out. Senko worms and rattle traps working best. Another river bass fisherman hitting different structure on the main river picked up 8 bass 2 to 3 pounds all on bright colored crankbaits.

Plenty of smallmouth bass still hitting in the upper river with live minnows, Zoom grubs, power grubs, Blue Fox spinners and even smaller rattle traps. Most of these guys have been catching 8 to 25 fish a trip. Now we did have some decent rain which brought the river up but I only think that will help the fishing in the near future. Off the New Hope wing dam plenty of smallmouth bass are still hitting minnows. Also stripers 15 to 28 inches have been hitting twister tails, crankbaits, rattletraps and live eels. Kevin up at the Water Gap said the river is low and full of smaller bass hitting any grub or spinners. Most of these fish have been 8 to 12 inches. Some bigger fish hitting in the evenings on top water lures 12 to 15 inches with some 15 to 22 inch stripers mixed in.

All the streams have been pretty good for smallmouth bass, rock bass and bluegills. The Pennypack, Perkiomen, Neshaminy and Tohickon have been the better places to head. Best baits smaller minnows, mealworms, 2 and 3-inch grubs, spinners, and smaller top water lures. Charlie has been fishing the Tohickon from the river up to the 32 bridge catching tons of rock bass and bluegills with trout magnets and C P Swings.

Lake fishing has been slow. Some smaller bass hitting in Core Creek with tons of bluegills and white perch. The bass hitting plastic worms and jigs the best with the panfish hitting smaller minnows, mealworms and marabou jigs. Fall’s Township just a few smaller bass being picked up by Jim all on 4-inch power worms. Most guys I talked to fishing Nockamixon have been catching yellow perch and crappies with small jigs, tubes and smaller minnows.

Saltwater action has been very good this past week. Anthony was down over the weekend picking up 54 keeper flounder out of Barnegat with bucktails and gulp. They also fished for tuna the day before having 4 fish on and getting spooled one time and loosing the other 3 fish. Frank was out of the Highlands catching 27 flounder with 9 keepers on Monday all with Gulp and bucktail combo. Another great spot for bigger flounder has been Fortescue with Mike and his buddies boating 11 keepers with 24 throwbacks this past Tuesday. He did best with bucktails, Gulp grubs, strip squid and mackerel. Now there has been tons of reports from the back bays with 10 to 25 fish per day with very few keepers mixed in. Here smaller bucktails, squid, minnows and spearing have been working best. Cape May up to Brigantine has been great for kingfish 10 to 14 inches. Bloodworms and Fish Bites are working best. In these same waters fishing at night with bunker and mackerel the shark fishing has been great. Brown and Tiger sharks 3 to 6 feet are being caught. Also the striper fishing has slowed up but there are still some decent fish being caught off the Long Beach Island jetties with live eels. One fisherman off New York has been doing very well with sea bass, blackfish and flounder. Lots of guys are still heading to Massachusetts for sea bass and porgies doing quite well. Clams, squid, strip mackerel and 4 inch Gulp mullet in chartreuse have been working best.

Short report this week with few customers talking anything up. But the weather is looking better for next week so let’s hope for some better fishing.

Bill

Yo Bill,

Fished Atlantic City out back yesterday, got out 3:25pm immediately after flash of thunderstorm.  Water was calm and clear, almost no wind.  Gulp swimming mullet teaser above a tsunami fluke ball tipped with gulp swimming mullet, was using both pink and chartreuse.  Drifted same general spot on ICW (15 – 30 feet of water) until 6:45, had one keeper fluke @ 19″, about 12 shorts, 3 small sea bass, 2 sea robins, and 2 WEAKFISH.  Nibbles and hits literally the whole time, lots of gulp tails stolen.  I switched to the shrimp style gulp and it seemed to hold up better and produce bigger fish, since i was ripping through the 3″ swimming mullets. Dan