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Cape May Midwinter Fishing Doldrums? No Way!

Posted 01/16/05
By Paul Kerlinger
Outdoors Editor

The January thaw seems to have come and is now gone. Although most anglers have hung up their waders, there are fish to be caught.

Surf temperatures have hovered in the mid-40s, suggesting that the water isn’t too cold for some fish. If those temperatures remain, catching fish may be possible throughout the winter.

Offshore, Captain Adam of the AdamBomb has been having good luck with the tog.

He reported fish to 15 pounds in the first half of January - as seen in these photos. Most charter boats aren’t running now, but Captain Adam is going out when the weather permits.

Apparently, there are still striped bass in the surf. Reports of fish being caught on clam have come in recently from Cape May beaches.

Captain Skip of Stalker Charters reports fish being taken on clam as recently as January 11, 2005.

This is unusual, but the warmer temperatures in December have kept the fish hanging in. Warmer water up the beach from the mouth of Delaware Bay seem to be producing better.

Captain Skip is also now booking charters for this spring’s striper fishing. For the best dates for 2005 charters for charter boats make your arrangements early with any of the boats listed on our charter boat page.

I’m not sure what is happening with ground fish inshore, but I do know that small spotted hake, one of the ling species, frequent our inshore waters after the striped bass generally shut down for the winter. Only thing is, nobody tries for them. They are good, when eaten fresh, but they rarely are larger than about 14”. Like other ling, they also don’t freeze well. I’ve caught them when water temperatures have been in the high 40s, mostly on cut mullet, although like other ling they will probably take pieces of clam.

Problem is, at this time of year, so few people are out fishing that nobody really knows what might be going on. The moral of the story is, don’t discount the possibilities of January fishing. The weather sometimes cooperates and has been rather mild so far this winter. Why not give it a try.

Have a fishing question??
Go to the Cape May Fishing Forum.

 

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