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Good Luck on your trip today. Fluke seems to be the only show in town for the most part. Not great but at least people are catching a few. Had to meet with a group in Strathmere on Wednesday for lunch and on the way back to Cape May I took the long cut and stopped at a few places to check out the back and the ocean from land. One thing that seem so different from Cape My was the water quality. It was much cleaner in both the back and beach front and I did see a lot more baitfish in the back. Down here in Cape May our water always seems to look brownish anymore like it never fully cleans out on a high tide.
We had a great time with fluke, though no keepers. Action galore as the bottom must have been paved with shorts. Biggest was 15 1/2". I, as the captain, barely fished as I had to do a lot of baiting and maneuvering to avoid being swamped by numerous wakes on a Friday afternoon. There were some optimal spots I could not fish due to conditions and crew (wind specifically, I think would have done better if I could have power fished along the banks rather than being out in open water, but who knows???)
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
At least you had some action. Anymore the good fishing season seems to be April, May and June, when the fish are migrating through, with not that many staying around for the summer. Seems like since the warm whether, the fishing has gotten a lot tougher, whether you are bait, fly or using artificials. With the new fluke regs it seem like it is very hard to catch a limit with that narrow slot size. With the warm waters and the fly fishing really slowed to a halt I might have to try some fluke fishing with bait. Have to see if I still know how to catch using a spin rod. Can't remember the last time I bottom fished for fluke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
It was a lot cooler today in Cape May. After lunch it was 75 degrees with a heavy overcast and light winds. Normally at this time of the year I would not do a mid-day trip, but with a very low chance of rain and the tide just starting to come in I decided to give it a try. Called buddy Larry to see if we could get the Dumb and Dumber team together and give it a try. I said. Let's give it a try. I have zero expectations, but at least it will be some what cool.

We left the dock at 1:30 pm. to head to the ocean. Just as we left the dock it started raining. Luckily we brought foul weather gear. The first half hour we fished in a light rain and never got a hit. Ocean water was 62.8 degrees. We made a move down beach and with the lighter surf action we were able to fish in tight to the beach in 5 to 7 feet of water. Water here was 62 degrees with about a foot and a half of visibility. Just as we started fishing it started raining hard, which continued for about an hour. The area that we fished had a ton of 1 inch bait fish with tons of 6 to 8 inch blues feeding on it. We would get some hits but they were too small to really hook up with our larger flies. Did see two big regular sting rays come up feeding close to the boat. It was a slow pick for us. We did scrounge up 5 keeper size weakfish to 18 inches.

At the end of the trip we fished one last spot where the water was 60 degrees and I caught a small striper that I caught on a chartreuse/white clouser that I had switched to. Water here was a little cleaner and you could see down maybe 3 feet. All fish were caught using sinking line and all were released.

At 4:00 pm. Team Dumb and Dumber headed in. Guess we were pretty lucky and maybe not all that dumb.

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Wednesday was another day with light winds. With Tuesday's fishing half decent I thought about fishing the same tide today, but it was bright and sunny and I felt with the bright light and the heat the fishing might not be as good. Instead with all the cold water coming in on the high tides I thought I would have even better conditions on the evening incoming Wednesday night.

It looked like a perfect set up for good fishing. Sundown, with and incoming tide and light winds. In past years that would of been the perfect set up for hot fishing. Larry and I left the dock at 6:00 pm. and headed to the back bay. Water was in the high 60's in the channel. On the flats where we started fishing it was 71 degrees, In the first 15 minutes Larry hooked a small striper but it came off before he could boat it. We both felt we made a good choice to fish the back. From there we moved about a mile and a half. Water there was 72 degrees and we saw a fair amount of 1/2 inch bait fish. Here Larry landed a small 15 striper and we were a little encouraged. Working the area for a good 3/4 of an hour I got two hits on my surface popping fly. I missed both fish. They both looked like 15 inch stripers as the came out of the water like missiles as the hit the popper. I think they were just too small to swallow my fairly large popper.

We tried 4 other prime spots with perfect conditions and never got a single hit. Frustrated we quit at 9:00 pm. With the tide starting to move out the water got colder and colder as we got closer to the harbor. The lowest water temp was right around 60 degrees.

Very disappointing night. Don't know it was the wide temperature ranges, or the lack of any real bait fish. I just think that the number of resident stripers is at an all time low, as I have never seen it quite this bad over the last few weeks with perfect tides and conditions. Just seems to be no real signs of decent baitfish and all the normal haunts have no fish action. When you are fishing in 3 to 8 feet of water, if you put your fly anywhere near a fish they will go after it. I just have to believe the back is just plain dead. I am not a Biologist but I have fished enough years to know when something is wrong. It is just too dead.
Water Boat Smile Vertebrate White

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Nice going, especially fishing from shore. This time of year those are fun size and on popper or gurgler, it is great action. If there is some bait fish there will most likely be some stripers. Seems like a whole different eco-system once you get past the 47 bridge and especially when you get up to Nummy Island and Stone Harbor. There always seems to be a lot of baitfish and the water quality is so much better. The water coming in from Hereford inlet is so much cleaner. For me it is a long run in the boat with all the no wake zones. I might have to try a few trips from land if I want to catch a few stripers in the back. Looking at your picture it appears that there was definitely some bait fish around with the birds along the sod bank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Sunday morning was a remote control sailing morning in Mt Laurel. We had great morning 11 boats showed up to race we had decent breeze and it wasn't too depressingly hot and we all had a fun time.

On the way home I stopped at two spots to fresh water fish. First spot that I stopped, I put on waders and tried to fish the down stream out flow below a lake. Water was about a food lower than normal with very little flow. It was so hot and overgrown I didn't even fish. Did get a picture of bird also looking for fish that landed on a log about 8 feet away from me.

Second spot was a cedar lake that was also down about a foot below normal. Did manage a half decent pickerel and two small yellow perch. Pickerel got off while lifting it out of the water. Did have one other pickerel hit, but didn't get a hook up. Caught on a small baitfish pattern using intermediate line. It was very hot there too and the wind died out to nothing. Luckily I had long pants and a long sleeve shirt as the greenhead flies were out and looking for something to eat.
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