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Posted By Jim Hutchinson, Jr., May 13, 2019
The 2019 black sea bass season gets underway again in New Jersey and Delaware on Wednesday, May 15. Check the Regulations page under the Resources tab above here at TheFisherman.com for the up-to-date season, size and bag restrictions on a state-by-state basis. Photo by Jim Hutchinson, Jr.
While many party boats running along the Central and North Jersey coast are reporting some of the very best ling fishing in recent memory, the start of the black sea bass fishery on Wednesday, May 15 will undoubtedly switch focus in whatever port you turn. On the striper front, smaller boats found better striped fishing early in the week along the north coast last week, while party boats found the best fishing from Wednesday through Friday. “Still in all some stripers in the 30s, 40s and even a few in the 50s were caught,” said field editor JB Kasper on Sunday, reporting that bluefish continue to infiltrate the waters of Raritan Bay, rivers and inshore waters. Several big black drum were also caught and entered into The Fisherman’s Black Drum Battle (www.blackdrumbattlecom) along the Raritan Bay this week. Of course, the epicenter of the black drum bite is down on Delaware Bay, where field editor Anthony Califano said this week that a few real whoppers have been reported in the past week, with more expected heading into May’s full moon. “Blowfish, bluefish, drum, stripers, perch, weakfish and even crabs are all on the menu in South Jersey,” Anthony writes for The Fisherman this week, adding “Perch, blowfish, stripers and blues from Tuckerton down to Sea Isle are keeping anglers busy.” A few good surf stripers are in the LBI surf and moving into the Seaside to Point area too; lack of angler participation on Sunday with heavy seas and rains could mean that bite materializes just about anywhere this week. “The great news for our region is the old reliable “Jersey yellow eyed devils” have shown up,” writes Capt. Frank Bovasso this week in our weekly edition printed first things this morning. “Bluefish have invaded Manasquan Inlet and are spread out to Mantoloking in size and numbers,” he added. Anglers are having a blast with artificials and bunker chunks with fish up to 17 pounds. These are Dream Boat contenders, so don’t forget you subscribers could use a first on the board! Delaware’s Eric Burnley said the fishing was good down his way last week, with shore-bound anglers getting the best of it. “Broadkill Beach continues to see good black drum action with fish to 30 and 40 pounds caught on sand fleas and clam,” Burnley writes, adding “Blues to 10 pounds and more showed up from Broadkill Beach down to Fenwick Island on cut bunker, mullet or metal.” The occasional keeper striped bass was also caught from the Lower Delaware River down to Indian River Inlet.
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