The big-league Mid-Atlantic $500,000 offshore classic is next week, Aug. 15 to 20, out of the Canyon Club in Cape May. Local captains go up against anglers from all over the East Coast in this one.
The Mid-Atlantic $500,000 is not open to the public - you need credentials to get to the weigh-in scales. But sportfishermen.com provides daily live webcasts beginning 5 p.m. on fishing days (Monday through Friday) of weighmasters hauling big marlin, tuna, mahi and wahoo to the scales.
Rick Weber at South Jersey Marina said interested viewers can link to sportfishermen.com from the tournament website ma500.com ... and, by the way, he reminds you that T-shirts are available for purchase there.
One of the features of this tournament, aside from fishing, is public appearances by artist Guy Harvey. He will be at South Jersey Marina Ship Store on Aug. 16 and at Nature Center of Cape May on Aug. 17, both 1 to 4 p.m.
Crews sail from Cape May and Ocean City, Md. out of Sunset Marina. Last year, $1,761,600.00 was awarded to 15 winners in a fleet of 136 boats entered.
The up-and-down water temperatures seem to be having an effect on fishing. It has been fluctuating from 70 to 60, and even dropping in the upper 50s last week. Some locals think conditions have slowed the flounder migration to inshore lumps and reefs, and they have also scattered kingfish. On the plus side, there are some decent striped-bass reports, mainly at dawn and dusk and under the lights at night.
Joe LaTorre at Absecon Bay Sportsman Center said captains are catching striped bass under Brigantine Bridge with live spot, and close to sod banks such as Mankiller inside Absecon Inlet with plugs at dusk and dawn.
Mary Ann Schutz at Chestnut Neck Boat Yard in Port Republic said kingfish and white perch are biting in the mouth of the Mullica River. Anglers anchor up and put out a clam chum pot and use bloodworm and small pieces of clam for bait. Crabbing is excellent all over the back bays throughout the area, according to numerous reports.
The title for the Kelly's Corner Pub was decided by one ounce Saturday. Atlantic City firefighter Tom "Buzz" Smith caught a flounder that weighed 4 pounds, 11 ounces on Hot Pursuit. Werner Klein of Atlantic City brought one in that was 4-10, caught on Opera Ghost. Todd Mossman, Galloway Township, was third at 3-11.
The 31st Atlantic County Carpenters Local 623 Fishing Tournament on Aug. 28 benefits the South Jersey Cancer Society. Cash prizes of $325, $200, $100 for first, second and third are available in flounder, bluefish and weakfish. Call 609-345-0016 or 609-653-8995 for entry forms or sign up at North Point Marina in Brigantine, Dolfin Dock in Somers Point, Chestnut Neck Boat Yard in Port Republic and Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon.
1) Long Beach Island/Great Bay
Crabbing is excellent in Great Bay area - the best in five years, according to one report. Perch and kingfish are in the mouth of the Mullica River. Anchor up with a clam chum pot and use bloodworm and small pieces of clam on small hooks. Flounder are still all over the back bays of Long Beach Island and Great Bay. Try Intracoastal Waterway marker 112 to Little Egg Inlet for flounder and sea robin.
2) Atlantic County
A lot of nice flounder are off the Coast Guard Station and Harrah's Marina in Absecon Inlet, according to Joe LaTorre at Absecon Bay Sportsmen Center in Absecon. Back bays of Margate and Longport have a ton of flounder. Striped bass are going after live spot near Brigantine Bridge. Bass are also hugging sod banks inside Absecon and Great Egg inlets. Storm Chug Bugs, Smack-Its and Zara Spooks work. Young angler Eian Donati of Absecon catches spot and white perch off Absecon Bay Sportsmen Center dock with bloodworm.
3) Cape May County
Now that the "fog and a half" that socked in Great Egg Inlet early this week cleared, a few flounder have been caught "out front," reports Ed Bronstein at Fin-Atics in Ocean City. The back bays are still loaded with flounder, mostly small as usual. The 8th Street Jetty in Avalon has flounder, kingfish, tautog and triggerfish, according to one report. A 7-pound-plus flounder was caught recently in Grassy Sound inside Hereford Inlet. Mary Ann Anagnou at Dad's Place in North Wildwood said crabbing is excellent there, too.
4) Delaware Bay
Flounder are spread out all over Delaware Bay off Maurice River. Many skippers are fishing off EP Tower, near No. 1 out to Miah Maul, Elbow and Bug Light. They drift with minnows and squid. Small bluefish have shown up.
Inshore trolling is gaining steam. A 29-pound wahoo and 18- and 12-pound mahi came from 4FB near Wildwood Reef, and two 15-pound mahi were trolled up near East Lump. Five-Fathom Bank produced 2-3 pound bluefish. Sea Isle Ridge and other inshore lumps have Spanish mackerel, bonito and little tunny. Troll small feathers and Clark spoons. Dave Frost of Barnegat went out twice Sunday and won both pools.