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Fresh Fishing Reports from Cape May County

Killer start to 2024!
Killer start to 2024!
January 2, 2024
2023 went out fairly quietly. It was a decent year overall, well, as far as fishing. But that is for another post. Today is about the kick off to 2024. I had three good, hard fishing, friends lined up for a long day of chasing tog and stripers. Unfortunately, one of those friends got a bad case of Montezuma's revenge, the other had to pick up their kid and his bride to be after they parties a bit too hard last night. He was rewarded with a truck full of vomit. Suffice to say, both bailed out. So, I met Jesse at the boat ramp, we loaded up, and ran out of the inlet to see what the new year might bring. We ran to a lump that often holds stripers this time of the year. There were a few boats trolling around, and a few scattered gannetts cruising at altitude. There were a few scattered marks on the sounder that could have been stripers, but they were few and far between. So, we cruised on. We ran south in hopes of running into a school of stripers, or a big bird play, or just some other boats hooking up. Nothing to be found. Seemed everyone was doing what we were doing...searching. After about an hour we cruised out and found a little sneaky wreck, spot locked over it, and tried for tog. We got a few, lost a few, but it wasn't great. We ran back north and locked up on another wreck. Loads more action, but all short tog. We didn't land any keepers, but we're fairly certain we lost a few. Jesse was the high hook while togging. I started off with jigs to no avail. I kept losing fish, so I switched up to a rig. I started catching at least. Jesse continued his assault on the tog below. After about an hour of steady hits and misses, the tog shut down. We moved over different parts of the wreck, but it was a tough pick. Around this time I received a text that a friend of a friend had found some stripers while trolling just inside of where we were. We picked up and ran to see if we could find something worthwhile. Nope. With stripers not making an appearance we decided to go find more tog. And we did. We locked up over the structure and dropped down chunks of green and white legger crabs, which were almost immediately attacked and devoured by voracious tog below. Jesse hammered three nice, but short, tog right off the jump. I finally got my fish mojo going and started to catch as well. I was able to put the only two keepers of the day into the live well on back to back drops. I don't always catch a lot, but I catch keepers. Remember that Jesse! Jesse decided to scan the surroundings with the binoculars. He caught a glimps of white flashes inside of our position. Possibly gannetts diving on bait? We picked up and moved well inside, and sure enough, there were gannetts. And seagulls. And they were pounding the water! Death from above, and we hoped below. We dropped some jigs down and found stripers. Suddenly the sounder was lit up with hundreds of stripers, school after school swimming through chasing bunker. It was awesome! Jesse switched up to a flutter spoon. He came tight quick. After he landed a few, and my jig remained quiet, I switched up. Stripers like flutter spoons. We started to notice fish on top too. Stripers were chasing bunker right on the surface. I put on a Mag Darter, Jesse grabbed an SP Minnow. We both hooked up quickly. We had absolute striper madness for about two hours. I landed 21, Jesse landed 17. We each lost as many that somehow, unimaginably, spit the hooks. We hooked up from the surface to the bottom, and everywhere in between. It was an absolute blast! We finally called it quits as the sun began to dip below the horizon. It was really hard to leave the melee. But running g the back in the dark, with no spotlight, isn't much fun. And we were getting close to low tide which just adds to the fun. All in all, it was a killer way to ring in the new year. Loads of fun, ball busting, and laughs, with a good friend. 2024 is off to a great start. Hopefully the rest of the year goes this well...
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Finally, stripers are showing up!
Finally, stripers are showing up!
December 17, 2023
Every now and again everything comes together just the way you hoped. Today was one of those days. Jesse and I ran out into the ocean in hopes of finding a striped bass, and if not, some tog. We came out of the inlet and found a small fleet of boats aimlessly circling, dragging Mojo's or spoons, or whatever. We cruised past and kept an eyeball on them for signs of fish. Not a single bent rod. So, we pressed on. Around this time my phone began to buzz. I received texts from my friends Justin and George. Both were telling me there were some stripers being caught further South. So, we headed South. We looked for signs of life along the way; a splash, boil, birds, whales, anything. There were sea ducks everywhere. Hundreds of them. They'd erupt from the water splashing as they took flight. Every flock caught our eye. Then we saw the fleet. There were boats scattered all around, close to shore, and further out. Some were trolling, others aimlessly casting. Every now and again we'd see a small fish come over a gunnel. We poked around still searching for a sign. Then we got one. A huge bird play in tight to the beach. There was one boat already there, another raced in, and we were closing in fast. We deployed jigs to the bottom and snapped them up in hopes they would be intercepted by a cruising striper. We got our wish. I hooked up first, Jesse was close behind. We each landed 32-33" stripers. We missed a few, or had the hooks spit, and landed a few more each. We found if we hung out and let everyone else leave and chase the birds we would have school after school of stripers swim beneath us. It played well in our favor throughout the day. Once the bite petered out we cruised around looking for the next bite. It didn't take long. A cloud of birds formed a short distance away with stripers erupting from the water below. Birds and stripers were devastating bunker schools. We glided up to the melee, I put on a bone Mag Darter, Jesse switched to a silver flutter spoon. Both worked. I hooked a good sized striper on the plug and fought it to the boat. Jesse had just released a nice one. He reached over to grab the plug, which I warned him not to do. Not being one to listen, Mr. Helpful was rewarded with a 4/0 treble buried in his finger. Now I had to carefully grab the thrashing striper, avoid the plug, and keep Jesse's finger from becoming a murder scene, while lifting everyone over the gunnel. Once in the boat, I had to keep the bass from thrashing and further damaging Jesse's impaled finger. I managed to grab the pliers and took hold of the hook. Jesse was able to pull his finger free of the hook. A bit sore, but it still worked. Of course I didn't get a picture of the event. Missed opportunity. We repeated the run and gun rampage throughout the day. The majority of the stripers we landed were 32" to 47". Jesse did manage to catch a 31" keeper. Luck played a role in our second keeper of the day. As we were jigging up another school of stripers, we had a striper splash next to the boat as it drifted past. It just lazily flopped on the surface. We grabbed the net and motored up next to it and scooped it. It was fresh and healthy, but must've been exhausted from a battle and unable to swim. Regardless, he became our second keeper of the day. After we scooped the bass we noticed a huge boil on the surface. We ran up and found a school of bunker being assaulted by stripers from below. We tossed plugs and picked off a few more. Around this time the wind was begining to pick up and white caps were becoming more prominent. With our arms starting to feel the brunt of our many battles today ( we landed well over thirty stripers), we decided to leave the action to go find some tog. We ran to the reef to try some rubble. Jesse picked a short. I fought with the trolling motor. Then we ran to a wreck. Again, a few hits, more motor issues. We ran to another wreck, and it was more of the same. Every time, I would set up over the tasty structure, hit spot lock, the boat would drift off. It was definitely chopper and winder than it had been, but the motor should have held without issue. After resetting ten times I called it quits. We'll just have to come out and chase the tog another day. The early striper action was epic, and more than made up for the trolling motor misery. With luck, the striper migration will continue through Christmas break and we'll get another shot at them before they cruise down South for the winter. Fingers crossed... Tight Lines!
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Tog Action!
Tog Action!
December 3, 2023
It was one of those days. I tried to find someone to go fishing with me, but everyone had other plans, or had an ailment. Looking at the weather I started to figure fishing was probably not the greatest idea anyway. It was pretty dismal out. And besides, there were some good college football games scheduled throughout the day. I took Bubbalouie out front to check the mail. He kept looking over at the truck. So, we took a ride over to Avalon to check the inlet. The ocean looked quite inviting. There was a bit of fog, but entirely manageable. So, I hit the tackle shop and snagged a few dozen green crabs. Then ran home to prep the boat and gear. While wolfing down some left overs, I tried another fishing buddy. As luck would have it, George was available and wanted to go. So, I was no longer a solo trip. I met George at the ramp and we headed off for the reef. The fog that had been rather wispy earlier was getting thicker. We poked our way through the ICW and made it into the inlet and made our way to the reef. We looked for signs of stripers along the way, but the fog was a major impediment. We spot locked over some rubble and dropped green crabs down to their doom. It didn't take long for the tog to find their free snacks. They picked us clean the first few rounds, but then we got the hang of it. We pulled up shortie after shortie. It was nonstop action. Towards the last of our crab bits, George and I caught our only keepers of the day. His was 16", mine was just shy of 20". The fat bugger was five pounds. Around this time we noticed we could no longer see any of the other boats that were around us. The fog really socked in! And it was getting late. Time to bug out. I put the radar on and followed my track back from whence we came. Running in a heavy fog is just eerie. All sense of direction vanishes. Sounds are distorted. Thank God for electronics. We made it safely into the inlet and under the bridge. Once inside the ICW we felt constricted and disoriented. We thought about pulling into one of the other, closer boat ramps or just tying up at one other marinas for the sake of safety. Then we just figured stuff it. Let's take our chances. So we pressed on. Pretty sure the fog got even more dense as we approached the football field area. If you know it, you know it. The place is a long stretch of narrow channel flanked by mucky mud flats. The place eats boats on crystal clear days. We were running it blind. Slow and steady won the race. We made it through and picked our way back to the marina. We arrived in the dark. The fog never relented. I pulled the boat and made for home. George was good company and a solid navigator, picking the channel markers out of the pea soup. We didn't find any stripers, or any of the streaking bluefin tuna that have been rampaging through bunker schools. Maybe next time... Tight Lines!
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Epic fishing!
Epic fishing!
November 12, 2023
First, Happy Veterans Day. Thank you to all who have, and still serve. Our Veterans Day trip, unfortunately, fell through. I'm hoping to make it up next summer with a bigger and better event to give a bit of thanks to those who have given so much for us. I still managed to get out today with Jesse and Scott. The morning started off a little bumpy, but it really settled out nicely by the afternoon. There were gannetts dive bombing from above, raining terror upon hapless bait fish. We cruised past the areas to see what we might find. No stripers, but loads of bait. Hopefully they show up soon. We ran out to the reef and spot locked over some rubble. We dropped down rigs loaded with green crab pieces and were rewarded with extremely willing tog. We had our three fish limit in short order. We could've had our five fish limit per man had it been the 16th. Tog are just so much fun to catch. We bounced around to different pieces and caught at each one. When our green crabs ran out we switched up to squid, clam, and Mole crabs. The sea bass were willing takers. We managed three keeper sea bass. We poked further out hoping to find bigger fish in deeper water. Didn't happen. We came back inside and worked over some wrecks. Jesse landed the biggest, slime covered, ugly, damn eel, I've ever seen. And the best part, Scott wanted it because they're good eats. Nope. Scott managed to find a stray triggerfish on one of the pieces of wreck. A few bergals, and far too many spiny dogs rounded out the days catch. We landed well over a hundred fish today. We had nonstop action. Lots of laughs, memories, and fun. A perfect day. Tight Lines!
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What anglers said about fishing in Cape May County

Know before you go. Research your charter and have an idea what you want out of the trip.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Know before you go. Research your charter and have an idea what you want out of the trip.
Hook N Cook Sport Charter Fishing
Hook N Cook Sport Charter Fishing Rockaway, NJ
It’s an awesome time to go in July with the exception if there is any type of turbulence in the atmosphere such as what was encountered by us, some Highwinds thunder and lightning I would recommend exactly what our captain recommended. Wait an extra day if need be, and I have an amazing day the next, when things are calm, it’s the best experience ever hands-down.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
It’s an awesome time to go in July with the exception if there is any type of turbulence in the atmosphere such as what was encountered by us, some Highwinds thunder and lightning I would recommend exactly what our captain recommended. Wait an extra day if need be, and I have an amazing day the next, when things are calm, it’s the best experience ever hands-down.
Hook N Cook Sport Charter Fishing
Hook N Cook Sport Charter Fishing Nesquehoning, PA
Hire a charter with a captain eager to work hard to find fish so everyone on board catches fish.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Hire a charter with a captain eager to work hard to find fish so everyone on board catches fish.
Prime Time II Sport Fishing
Prime Time II Sport Fishing Wellsboro, PA
Be prepared for some ups and downs from the waves, and a bit of a ride out into the ocean (40-50 minutes) before you get to where the fish are. But all in all it was a lot of fun.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Be prepared for some ups and downs from the waves, and a bit of a ride out into the ocean (40-50 minutes) before you get to where the fish are. But all in all it was a lot of fun.
Tara Anne Sport Fishing
Tara Anne Sport Fishing Evanston, IL
Inshore fishing expect: flounder, sea bass, blue fish, croaker, Mahi Mahi, and ocean trigger fish. Offshore fishing expect: yellowfin tuna, big eye tuna, blue and white marlin, Mahi Mahi, and shark
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Inshore fishing expect: flounder, sea bass, blue fish, croaker, Mahi Mahi, and ocean trigger fish. Offshore fishing expect: yellowfin tuna, big eye tuna, blue and white marlin, Mahi Mahi, and shark
Hook N Cook Sport Charter Fishing
Hook N Cook Sport Charter Fishing Chadds Ford, PA
For this time of the year, we were catching a lot of fish in the morning during the tide change
Excellent
5.0 / 5
For this time of the year, we were catching a lot of fish in the morning during the tide change
Blue Collar Charters
Blue Collar Charters Sewell, New Jersey
If you might get sea sick take some Dramamime about an hour before you go. Make sure to wear sun screen and bring water to drink and some hand wash or wipes if you like to hold your own fish for pictures. ;o)
Excellent
5.0 / 5
If you might get sea sick take some Dramamime about an hour before you go. Make sure to wear sun screen and bring water to drink and some hand wash or wipes if you like to hold your own fish for pictures. ;o)
Captain Mac
Captain Mac
Be open minded to the fish you catch but with a great caption, you will have a great time and get lots of action!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Be open minded to the fish you catch but with a great caption, you will have a great time and get lots of action!
Common Sense Sportfishing
Common Sense Sportfishing Malvern, PA
For flounder: Fish in the bay when the ocean is still cold. Best to go in the morning and on non windy days (so the lures hit the bottom).
Excellent
5.0 / 5
For flounder: Fish in the bay when the ocean is still cold. Best to go in the morning and on non windy days (so the lures hit the bottom).
The Grateful Fred Charters
The Grateful Fred Charters Round Rock, TX
Go far offshore if you can. May be spotty close to the reef at this time of year. Better to spend 2x and go big than 1x and go home unsatisfied.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Go far offshore if you can. May be spotty close to the reef at this time of year. Better to spend 2x and go big than 1x and go home unsatisfied.
Captain Mac
Captain Mac Katonah, NY
Make sure you take your motion sickness pills before you go LOL but most importantly just having a good time
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Make sure you take your motion sickness pills before you go LOL but most importantly just having a good time
Fischon Charters
Fischon Charters Philadelphia, PA
Ask to see what is in season and target that. Work the location in with the targeted fish as well.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Ask to see what is in season and target that. Work the location in with the targeted fish as well.
Gone Fishin’ Sport Fishing Charters
Gone Fishin’ Sport Fishing Charters Lysander, NY
Captain Mac was a good boating experience, we did catch fish, but I was hoping for flounder.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Captain Mac was a good boating experience, we did catch fish, but I was hoping for flounder.
Captain Mac
Captain Mac Sewell, NJ
Consider bringing some sunblock and maybe some insect repellant. Check out C&M Sportfishing.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Consider bringing some sunblock and maybe some insect repellant. Check out C&M Sportfishing.
C&M Sportfishing
C&M Sportfishing Watchung, NJ