Hot weather! Hot fishing! What a combination. The fishing was heating up, then the weather followed suit as the heat and humidity tag-teamed us, but the fish kept coming. And that’s a good thing. We will also pass on news of an opportunity for those who like to kayak that you may want to take advantage of. Stow your gear and let’s embark on our report.

The Miss Chris is fishing for flounder, sea bass, kingfish and weakfish. Most of their pools have been going to flounder with recent winners being Mike Randall and a lady angler named Aubrey. Dave Starkweather also won a recent holiday weekend pool. There is nothing surprising there except that Dave won his pool with a 64-pound drum fish. That’s a typical month of May pool fish but not your normal early July winner. Good job Dave and way to be prepared because you never know what may take your bait.

Cape Queen Sportfishing Charters is running their Delaware Bay Sharking Trips as well as other fishing outings. The Zelina “group” decided to try their skills and was rewarded with a quality day of six catch-and-release sharks.

The Cape Queen also offers cruises for those not inclined to fish. They are licensed for groups over 6 passengers, so they are “perfect for large groups and families.” Give them a call at 609-884-0001 for more information.

The Sea Star III was at the reefs for most of the week before changing up on Sunday. They were catching fluke and sea bass but desired a change. They went “searching” around on Sunday and added weakfish, blue fish and a “couple” of Spotted Hake, plus more flounder and sea bass, to the coolers of their patrons.

Weekly pool-winners, with weights, went to Bob Costello, Sr. who had a sea bass (1.5), while all others were won with fluke. Those went to Tom Hill (4.0), Beau Moulton (2.45), Ron Bowman (2.10), Jason Peters (3.5) and Frank Servocky with a 3.10-pounder.

The Porgy IV has been focusing on flounder, with some sea bass thrown in. With that strategy, pools went to Kidd Decker and Kevin Keenan, who split the July 4th pool, as well as Terry Sullivan who also had a limit, Manny Gomez, and Bob Brett and Fred Nelson who also split that particular day’s pool. Madison Schuman, 8, and her dad Joshua totaled four keepers during their day of fishing.  

The Hooked Up II had a fun, productive holiday weekend as they had charters out that caught Yellowfin and Bluefin tuna as well as some tasty Mahi-Mahi. One charter had some young anglers making their first trip to the offshore canyons. Two highlights of their trip were catching some Mahi on light tackle, and landing three-quarters of a tuna. A hungry shark took the tail section off which made for the slightly less than normal catch.

Captains Kyle and Jay had the Risky Business out fishing for Bluefin tuna. They were able to catch their limit of “overs” while getting 2 out of their 3 “unders.” The Risky Business also took a trip to a local canyon, then returned with 7 Yellowfin “and a big bull Mahi.” Trips are still available so give them a call at 609-425-4808 to grab one. 

Things were busy at Off The Hook Bait and Tackle as they weighed in a 79.35-pound Bluefin for Alex and Rich, a 3.62-pound sea bass for Evan Riper, and a 75.3-pound Bluefin tuna for the crew of the Harvester.

Jim’s Bait and Tackle reported that Drew Cowan stopped by to weigh in a Cobia that he got while spearfishing. The fish hit 56-pound mark. Nice fish Drew.

Cathy, at Sterling Harbor Bait and Tackle, says “the weather was perfect for fishing at the Jersey Cape over the past week and holiday weekend.” The “tricky” part was getting through all the boat traffic. The back bays still had “good” flounder fishing as “more keepers” were caught. Eleven-year-old Pierce Alderman “checked in” with a 3.48-pounder. The back waters are also holding weakfish.

Elsewhere, the Wildwood and Cape May Reefs have flounder, but better production occurred at the Old Grounds and Reef Site 11 during the weekend. The 19 Buoy, near Miah Maul, in the Delaware Bay is also a good spot right now.

There are “plenty” of snapper blues off Cape May Point and in the Rips. Bluefish are also mixed in with Spanish mackerel, Bonita, and an occasional King Mackerel at the Five Fathom Bank.

Anglers are catching Bluefin tuna “on the inshore lumps around Massey Canyon.” “Plenty” of Yellowfin tuna and Mahi-mahi, plus a Marlin here and there. Tom D’Alfonso weighed in a 15.1-pound Mahi. Frank Hennigan released an estimated 600 pound Blue Marlin while fishing in the Wilmington Canyon over the weekend.

This past week’s crabbing received 4-Claws from Crabby Jack.

The Sailor’s Delight stayed busy with 2 to 3 daily trips that resulted in a number of nice keepers as well as many throwbacks. The anglers were also kept busy with sea bass, weakfish, king fish, blue fish, sea robin’s and skates. After one particular outing they said it seemed like “we were fishing in an aquarium today.” The constant action kept everyone happy.

Boulevard Bait and Tackle reports that “king fishing doesn’t get any better” with plenty of action along the local sandy stretches. Cameron also mentioned some “southern tropical fish are showing up” as “the first” Pompano for this season was beached by Todd, while Dave caught a Jack that was “mixed in with the kingies.” It’s a fun time to fish the local beaches, or inlets, as Pierce did when he caught a nice keeper flounder. The shop also has a new second-place flounder in their yearly tournament as Steve L. weighed in a 25-inch, 5.47-pound fish that he caught at a local reef. It was one of 5 keepers that he and a friend caught that day.

First Fish Adventures was staying active as they had one party that brought in bonito, Spanish mackerel, and bluefish. Some pelicans were also photographed on a bell buoy as they were returning to the dock.

Another angler with a good day was 7-year old Jacob Gornish who “had a busy day reeling in flounder in the back bay.”

To set up your own adventure call Captain Zig at 609-602-9004.

Captain Al, from Bayhound Charters Light Tackle Sportfishing had the Adam Bruno party out and they experienced “another typical day” on the Bayhound. That meant a “hot” troll that resulted in catches of Bonita and Mackerel. They also caught some “nice” sea bass, and concluded their day with a 29-inch striper.  

Avalon Hodge Podge was busy lately with some nice catches being recorded. Leading the way was Jonathan S. who stopped in with a 24.5-inch fluke he caught in the back waters. Dan was at the public dock with the family and pulled in a 19.75-inch fluke caught on a minnow, and finally Rob was at a local wreck where he caught a 17-inch triggerfish while using clam.

The Avalon Lady is sailing the back bays and the inlet picking up flounder, blue fish, king fish, and some Spanish mackerel. They also just had their first week of “summer camp” as young anglers fished, crabbed, and learned important skills that they will be able to use any time they go out on the water.  

The Miss Avalon is hitting the reefs and finding sea bass, triggerfish, and flounder. For one angler it was their “first fish ever.” Hop on, and get involved in the action.

The inaugural MidAtlantic Cup Blue Marlin Tournament, a one-day winner-take-all event was held on July 4th. The entrants ranged from Manasquan to Virginia Beach as they were allowed to sail from their home ports. Weigh stations were selected in the areas of the home ports of the 14 boats that entered. When the day concluded, Ed Katzianer’s Wish You Were Here was declared the winner. The boat, with Captain Rickey Wheeler on the bridge and based at the Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, returned to port with a 489-pound, 108-inch Blue Marlin caught by Brett Katzianer, the boat owners son. Congratulations to everyone.

On the freshwater scene, Ryan Morse landed a 16-inch, 1.6-pound channel catfish recently while out on one of his freshwater trips.                

Something different: Here an opportunity for something for our kayak owners/readers may want to get involved in. The Sunset Lake Christmas in July Boat Parade is scheduled for Saturday, July 20th “at 8:15 ish”. If you would like to register your kayak, or boat for that matter, then please email the following: christmasjulyboatparade@gmail.com. There will be prizes so come prepared to impress.

From the news desk: Applications for the 2019 Striped Bass Bonus Program are now available, but will not be valid till Sunday, September 1, 2019. Go to the NJ Fish and Wildlife web page, then go to the “What’s New?” section on the right side of the page.

Keep fishing, and let me know how you did.

Submit your fishing news and photos to mrobbins@cmcherald.com