cape may fishing



June 2004 Fishing Best Bets

Posted June 2004
By Paul Kerlinger
Outdoors Editor

Fishing can best now be described as a mixed catch. There is a steady pick of some species, while other action is hot.

  • Bluefish in the ocean, inlets, and back bays continues to be strong. Larger fish are offshore, while smaller fish are running the back bays regularly. Trolling offshore and topwater in the back
  • Summer flounder/fluke are starting to pick up after a slow start in May
  • Striped bass in the back continues, although there are signs of slowdown in the Bay
  • Summer shark action has commenced with some thresher and others being taken
  • Drum action has been good and continues, with good numbers exceeding 60-80 pounds
  • Herring or hickory shad are providing some action for flyrodders.
  • Weakfish haven’t really taken off yet, but a steady pick can be had at jetties. They’ve mostly been small, although some jumbos have made things interesting
  • Large sea bass on the inshore wrecks have not been uncommon and both sea bass and tautog action continues.
  • Kingfish have arrived along the surfline and action should pick up through the summer

Click here for local fishing charter boats.

Fishman Answers Your Questions

Ernie DiS – Wants to know about up to date, online fishing info – for flounder and sea bass.

Predicting 3-5 days in advance is tough because weather can change things dramatically. Sea bass have been pretty good on the wrecks. Flounder are picking up, but haven’t really gotten hot yet. In the next week when you are down in Cape May the best bet may be bluefish or sea bass.

Gordon C – Wants to know about pier and shore fishing in the Cape May area.

Shore fishing isn’t easy during the daytime because of swimmers and restrictions. Before 8AM and after 5PM fishing becomes easier. There aren’t many piers near Cape May, but there are jetties around that have some decent fishing. Those can be dangerous, so metal cleats (corkers) are an absolute must. The jetties at the ferry terminal usually have some fish and are fairly safe. Always exercise extreme caution on jetties as they can be dangerous. Fishing from the sand is sometimes just as productive – the weakies can be caught from the sand without rockhopping.

George K – Wants to know if the sea bass and bluefish action is good during the third week of June.

This year the bluefish action offshore has been really good – including some decent sized fish. There are plenty of charter boats that will put you on those fish. The sea bass have been good on the wrecks and should hold for a while, with some tautog mixed in. One of the boats on our charter boat page may be able to provide a mixed day of bluefish and wreck fishing? Give them a holler.

Andrew S – Fly fishing last week of June, wants the name of a fly fishing guide and other info. He’s new to saltwater fly fishing.

Check out our charter boat page. There are a couple of captains who do fly fishing - call them to ask for details. On the days you want to try yourself, try a 8 or 9 weight rod. Try poppers from any of the sod banks near where you will be staying or the inlet nearby (from the sand). Use a large popper and make lots of noise and splashing with it. Make sure you use a 20 pound or more leader (or steel wire). Small blues should cooperate and destroy your flies. Use a sinking line to get down with a clouser (1/0 hook) in chartreuse, red over yellow, pink over white, or other colors. Small bass, blues, and even fluke may cooperate. A stripping basket can be made for a few bucks using a small laundry basket and a bungee cord. You have to have a basket for salt water. (also read our article on salt water fly fishing for more details)

Joe S – Coming to Cape area in mid-late July and wants to surf fish with son.

The surf can be hit or miss in mid summer. You may wish to try the inlets at dawn and dusk. There are several inlets up and down the shore that have good access. After it gets light, things get much slower. Fish near the jetties on beachfront using small popping plugs and bucktails/bait tails at dawn and dusk. After dark and at dawn, you may also try clam fished on the bottom – near jetties or where you have nice troughs at high tide along the beachfront. Kingfish can also be in the surf at anytime along the beachfront and at places like the big jetty in Avalon. Try blood or clam/sand worms for them on small hooks.

Steve P – Asks about catfishing in Cape May.

Sorry Steve, there’s no catfishing in the ocean down here.

Kelly J – Asks about a trip with a flyfishing guide as a gift for her spouse.

Great idea! When I travel I hire guides or charter boats and there is no better way to have a great time fishing in a strange place. There are a few guides who do fly fishing down here. Try our charter boat page and you will see that there are a couple who you can contact. I suggest calling them for details. They are friendly and knowledgeable.

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



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