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Any ideas on the best areas, bait and times of year for weakfish in the bay? :confused: I was told to try around Fortescue and down by the Cape May jetty. I would be fishing mostly the NJ side.

Any help is appreciated. :)
 

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I start in early may. Jetties at Cape May point are my favorite spot. Blood worms floated 2-3 feet under a bobber are a good bet, but most people including myself do best fishing a fin s or bucktail and worm combo close to the rocks. Bring corkers! The rocks are dangerous. It only last until the holiday, then you can only fish before 10 am or after 5 pm or you will get kicked off. Fishing is best during those times anyway. The fishing there was absolutely sick last May. During peak times there were full on weak fish blitzes with a fish on every cast and water boiling with feeding weakies, while the guys fishing up the bay in boats complained about a bad year.

Fortescue is mostly for the boaters.
 

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Thanks for the help Duke. Was the fishing better the first 2 weeks of May?

I'll give the point a try. I tried the ferry jetty last year with mixed results. A lot of croaker. Shedder crab worked well, but doesn't last long and gets expensive. I can borrow a small boat, but I have no problem catching from the jetty.

What color Fin-S were you using?
 

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The whole month was good, but it gets crowded the later you wait, plus you can only fish certain hours. Crab is too expensive especially if there are croakers around, same goes for bloods. They work well, but you will probably catch as many or more on bucktails and soft plastics.

Bubble gum is the standby color for fin s. It is the go to color for most experienced weakfisherman, but other colors work at times. I like pearl too. Zooms, bass assasins, shads, wildeyes, they all work too. I like a 1/4 ouce head and a ml action rod with 8-12lb line, preferrably yozuri hybrid. Sometimes I tie my baits in tandem, spec rig style or tie a bucktail teaser above my jig. If you use bucktails, tip them with a short(4"+-) firetail jelly worm. The extra bulk helps keep the shad away in addition to adding attraction for the weakies. There are usually a ton of hickory shad around, and they can be a bit of a nuisance on the teasers or small jigs though. They are fun to fish for when the weakies won't cooperate though.
 

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I used to fish in Fortescue a lot off the Bulkhead 4 years ago. The fish are either there or they are not. Personally I think Fortescue is one of the worst places to fish if you're fishing from the bank. Boating is a different story though. Usually after getting skunked on the bank I drive by Higbee's Marina and see all the boaters back in from the bay cleaning their great catches on dock. Jealousy sucks. But now i can afford a boat, but im no where near any saltwater. Hopefully Ill get stationed at Mcguire or Dover airforce base sometime in the near future.

Coop
 

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You can rent a wooden skiff with an outboard pretty cheap in fortescue. Split the cost with a buddy, and you can get in the game. Too bad weakfishing is not what it used to be. The funny thing is that everyone I know says the weakfishing was horrible this year, but I had my best year ever. I think it is mostly because I finally figured out how to catch weakies consistently rather than how many were around. I can't imagine how the fishing would have been had I known what I was doing when there were still large runs of tiderunners.
 

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Greetings Duke of Fluke!

I have an old grainy B&W Polaroid taken in 1976. Shows me and my buddies holding up 10 to 12 lb blues and weakies caught out of Fortescue. Been waiting for that kind of fishing to return, but it doesn't look like its gonna happen. (Did you ever see that mounted weakie in Higbees? Think it went 22 lbs!) Last year was horrible for the party boats, but the guys in small boats found enough small pockets of keepers to keep things interesting. Supposedly the VA boats netted a lot of the big fish at the mouth of the bay before they made the spawning run. That's a double whammy -- hurt that year plus wiped out a good chunk of future year classes... In addition, Salem Power Plant is killing up to 100,000 weakie fry PER DAY in their intakes. Sure, only one in a thousand fry make it to adults, but that's 100 future tiderunners a day literally down the drain! In the mean time, it looks like rec fisherman are going to have an eight fish limit at 15 inches. Something just don't add up....

(OK -- putting my soap box away!)
 

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The netting is not just in VA. There were several boats working the mouth of the DE bay last spring. I did well around both Cape May and Cape Henlopen last year, but did not get anything bigger than about 4 pounds. I did great on the numbers though. I did see one guy get a solid 10 plus pound weakie at CMP.

I don't mind the new limit for recs, but I think it is unfair that none of the cuts came out of the commercial catch. Weakfish are great fresh, but they have enough oil that they don't freaze well. I kept most of the fish I got this past year, and they were great fresh but not as good after being frozen. This year I will only keep a few fish per trip. There are other fish which are more plentiful and freaze better, those are the ones I will stock the freazer with.

Jamey
 

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I fished from a rental boat in Fortescue early October this year. My cousin and I had a good time catching some nice sized croaker. The stripers were supposed to be in but i only managed to catch a 14incher and thats it. The rest were croaker and one 16" bluefish. I really couldnt tell you the best bait for weakies cause every time i went to the bait stores during the summer Fortescue they tell me they're biting an array of baits. Usually their most expensive.
Coop
 
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