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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Cape May Poverty Beach Fish Report

Thanks everyone for the tips. Just got back from an incredible weekend fishing from the beach in Cape May with my dad.

The weather was sunny despite the rain forecast, and we ended the day with two keeper striped bass 27-28 inches each, a bluefish and a couple of skates we threw back. We were fishing with mackeral on 9/0 hooks and 5 oz. pyramid sinkers.

Catch of the Day

ps. FYI on the beachtags: They're required for Poverty beach (when the lifeguards are on duty) even if you're only fishing... $4.00 per day. Parking is free for that area so I guess it evens out.
 

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Cut bait will land you all the blues you want, but I would personally target weakfish with either jigs or bloodworms under a bobber. They are here now, and from what I saw on Sat before the rain started they are running large this year. Fish averaged 6pounds and I saw one that had to be close to 12! The numbers were not fantastic, compared to this time last year but the size is way up. If the weather was a little nicer it would have been fantastic. Search this site using the words Cape May and you will find plenty of info from previous posts.
 

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Oh yeah, best bet is a spinning rod in the 6-8' range with line anywhere from 8-12 pound test. The fish are quite large, but you can whip them on light stuff no problem if you take your time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sounds like the rod my dad uses. My problem is that all my rods are shore fishing rods (Shakespeare 15 footers - 3 piece) with Penn reels, spooled with 50# or 60# line (I don't mind the loss in casting distance, and I can cast good enough distance with the 50# mono and 5 ounce weights... I have to admit, the 60# snags a lot, but I've gotten used to casting with it with minimal tangles)...

I have some ready made Mustad bottom rigs with I use with #7 hooks, and some homemade 80# leaders.

Is this too heavy to catch anything there? Is the loss of distance due to heavy line going to restrict me from casting far enough out into the "fish zone"? Are there breakers or sandbars I need to get past in that area to get to the fish?

I fish on the Potomac for rockfish on a regular basis and have no problems with my setup (I also rarely lose a fish regardless of weight if I hook it successfully, or a setup if I get caught in the rocks and yank it out).

By the way it sounds, "too heavy" rather than "too light" could be a problem?

btw- What kind of hooks do I need for the blues? and are the longer rods allowed on the piers (15 ft.)?
 

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Your gear is probably overkill, but if that's what you have use it. If you want to bottom fish, there should be kinfish in the surf that will fall for tiny bits of clam or bloodworm on small hooks. Another option is to use whole surf clams on a fishfinder rig for stripers.

If I were you I would say the best bet is to hit wal mart and pickup a cheap light outfit that can cast a 1/4 to 1/2 ounce jig and pickup some bucktails and firetail worms along with fin s type plastics, a couple of floats, and some bait holder hooks and try for the weakies. See my previous posts on Cape May for more details.
 

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Sea Critter,
The rods will do alright for pier fishing as long as you check behind you before casting. As far as the line...GOOD GREIF! 50lb test is DEFINATE overkill. What kidn and size reel are you using? A line that large will dramaticly reduce your casting distance and leave you very little capacity on the spool. You're doing more harm than good. I would recomend respooling with 20lb test, you can get away w/ lighter but I like the 20 because its stronger and thus has less stretch when hauling fish up the side of the pier.
Tight lines and popped riggers
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Duke of Fluke said:
Cut bait will land you all the blues you want, but I would personally target weakfish with either jigs or bloodworms under a bobber.
What kind of bait should I use for the blues and what size/type hooks? I just replaced my penn with a shimano 6500 B reel with the baitrunner feature. Any chance I can use live bait? (spooled with 40# w/t 60# leader and 4 ounce sinkers... same 15 foot shakespeare ugly stik).

Also, my dad is thinking about squid as bait (smaller bottom rig, shorter cast) ... what fish is he likely to catch?
 

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SeaCritter,

Mackerel Strips, bunker chunks, you name, the blues will eat it.

The pre-fabbed blue fish rigs (wire with a #5/0 hook) work, but make sure you sharpen the hook, I've never seen one that had any kind of decent point out of the bag.

I used #4/0 and #6/0 circles and regular bait hooks over Memorial Day weekend on 30 pound leaders and got away with changing my leader after any bluefish got done fraying it (check often anyway).

I usually fish an 11 ft Daiwa rod with a Penn 704Z spooled with 20# Mono and top it off with a 30# or 40# shock leader, preferably Fluorocarbon. Make sure you get at least 5 turn around the spool.

20# is plenty for any fish your likely to run accross, the heavy shock leader is to keep your rig from breaking you off. I can cast a pretty large piece of bait plus a 6 oz sinker with no problem

I also fish a 7ft Penn Powerstick with a Penn 945 Levelwind spooled with 20# Fireline (Smoke Gray) and a 30# leader, again preferably Fluorocarbon.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Need a License?

I almost forgot to ask... do I need a saltwater fishing license to fish off the pier or beach in Cape May?

If yes, any ideas how much and where to get them for a non-resident. This is only for this upcoming weekend... weather permitting.
 

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No License necessary.

There was a proposal to institute salt water fishing licenses but it was shot down.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Anyone know where Poverty Beach is in Cape May? I was told this would be a good spot to fish. Since a license isn't required, are there any beach regulations that would govern fishing there?
 

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Don't even think of fishing between 10am and 5pm off the beach or most of the jetties for that matter. The beach tag nazis will give you the boot...Darn swimmers!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks!!!

Thanks everyone for the tips. Just got back from an incredible weekend fishing from the beach in Cape May with my dad.

The weather was sunny despite the rain forecast, and we ended the day with two keeper striped bass 27-28 inches each, a bluefish and a couple of skates we threw back. We were fishing with mackeral on 9/0 hooks and 5 oz. pyramid sinkers.

Catch of the Day

ps. FYI on the beachtags: They're required for Poverty beach (when the lifeguards are on duty) even if you're only fishing... $4.00 per day. Parking is free for that area so I guess it evens out.
 
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