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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Decided to hit the Delaware Bay for some fishing the other day. It was nice out started with the incoming tide.
Started out at the lighthouses. Anchored up in front of one and there were some nice weakfish being taken. All were above 20 inches, or thereabouts. I didn't get one. I couldn't get my bait into the strike zone. I was about 20ft away lol. But the 6 guys who could get there bait into the strike zone did great! LOL. Gotta get there early.
I was unprepared for weakfish. I was prepared for fluke fishing. I adapted, but didn't have a proper rod for casting, which was needed.

Headed down the bay for some flukin later in the day. Very slow. I landed a short, but there were Kingfish and spot caught more than anything else. I didn't have any bloods, so I kept trying for fluke with meat and a bucktail. I hooked a Brown and it tangled everyone up. Then my bucktail slips free as the rest of the gang was in a knot, lol.

First boat trip of the year. I had a fun time. I should have brought some beer.
 

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I fish for Kingfish in front of the beaches off the lower Crest approx 1/2 mile off the beach. I don't like the price of Bloodworms so I use Gulp Bloodworm with a very small squid strip. When the action gets going, I can keep the Kingies coming over the side on a very consistent basis. Buy the Gulp at Walmart for a decent price and a pack will easily last you one to two trips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I fish for Kingfish in front of the beaches off the lower Crest approx 1/2 mile off the beach. I don't like the price of Bloodworms so I use Gulp Bloodworm with a very small squid strip. When the action gets going, I can keep the Kingies coming over the side on a very consistent basis. Buy the Gulp at Walmart for a decent price and a pack will easily last you one to two trips.
Today was the first time I saw a Kingfish caught at the Miah Maull. To use bloods for these little fish doesn't make sense to me. I'm not really interested in catching them. But once we started catching them it was nonstop small fish. Spot, Kings and spikes.
I fish mostly for sport. In the dead of summer apparently saltwater panfish are the quarry on the Del Bay boats.(I was told) I figured I have a few more weeks to get some fluke, then I'll start the reefs. I'm not interested in catching spot and croakers. lol.

I think I observed 6-7 boats all day fishing. My first time in the bay in years. A dead sea compared to a decade ago.

I was told the lighthouses hold fish. Drum, weaks and fluke.

Semper Fi.
 

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Years ago there were lines to get one party boats and if you didn't get one on, you tried to get on another. That was a regular occurrence. Now I don't even want to get on one of them, let alone drag my own boat down there to fish. Sad. Lot of good memories filling up on fluke, weakies, and croaker..kings..you name it. I still occasionally go for nostalgia but the fishing is just not what it was.
 
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Not only Party Boats, but when I went down to get a slip in 1984 in Boat World Marina [Marina on the Maurice River], I was put on a WAITING LIST. Got a call 2 months later that someone did not mail in their deposit and I was in if I got my money down to him in 7 days. Was on the Maurice River from 1984 to 2011. Caught Thousands of weakfish out of Delaware Bay. Can also remember there was a Huge Sign right before Port Norris, BUY WEAKFISH FOR $1.00 / POUND. I never sold any fish since I started in1971 with my first boat, but I knew of a couple fisherman that would load up on Weakies, run in, sell their catch and go back ,fish and sell another cooler full. This was especially prevalent when the night weakfishing at the Lighthouses with generators and lights on the water could result in one boat catching 100+ in one evening with very little effort or technique.. I thought that is was wrong then and now it seems criminal considering the drought we are in with Weakfish.
 

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Yes the bay is far from what it was but I really don’t think overfishing is the major reason. This year for example the striper fishing up river was very good. Bay fishing for them -eh. No one is keeping lots of striped bass but your not catching them in the bay. I think it’s a cyclical thing with weakies combined with environmental impacts. The fish just don’t seem to want to hang out in the bay. This could also impact reproduction success. The spawn could great but poor environment can wipe out entire year classes. Example - smallmouth on the susky and stripers in the Chesapeake. I read a study where striper fry hang in the very top of the water column for a period of time. Storms or droughts change the chemistry quickly. Ph,temp, pollution change in hours dramatically. This causes massive die offs we never see. Some fish can handle things better than others. Just like people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
6000 dolphins wait off Cape May for the Spike weakfish to return. Eat 50lbs of fish each a day.

That's a lot of fish.

And even in the 90's we were filling up coolers of weaks.
 
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