Jerry Coombs of Egg Harbor Township had another interesting offshore catch. Last week, he weighed a 190-pound bigeye tuna while fishing in his 20-foot boat at the Lobster Claw.
According to Ed Bronstein, that was heaviest fish ever weighed at Fin-Atics in Ocean City.
This week, it is an 81.2-pound wahoo. Bronstein said Coombs was fishing east of the Claw on Monday. The wahoo was 71 inches in length.
Bronstein said Coombs trolls ballyhoo and spreader bars.
Fin-Atics also had another nice weigh-in from offshore. It was a 53.8-pound mahi caught by Greg Smith of Malvern, Pa., on Saturday at Lindenkohl Canyon.
There were many other reports of excellent big-game action from Saturday. While big fish from offshore grabs headlines, there are lots of other things happening.
Bronstein said flounder fishing in the surf and from the banks in the inlets picked up.
Charley Killian of Erial, Pa. pulled a 10.98-pound flounder on to bank at Corson Inlet. Killian was using a Gulp 4-inch newpenny shrimp on a lead-head, and casting out and dragging it back.
Bronstein said flounder have been caught from the sand inside the Ocean City Bridge. He said they are close to the beach there.
Like just about everywhere else, there are not a lot of keepers but there sure seem to be a lot of fish.
That's also true in the surf at Long Beach Island, where Gulp and minnow are used for flounder. Margaret O'Brien at Jingle's Bait and Tackle in North Beach Haven reported flounder in the surf, inlets and starting to move into the ocean at the lumps and wrecks.
Back-bay fishing is a way of life for many anglers. Big-game fishing does not get them motivated and surf-fishing is not their thing. But drifting or anchoring in back waters appeals to them.
Gregory Gregory, who owns Gregory's Restaurant in Somers Point, had an experience Sunday that typifies an excellent bay excursion.
He was fishing with daughter Kelly and brother-in-law Joe Lynch in the waters inside Great Egg Inlet. Kelly hooked up a 22-inch weakfish to get the day started. Gregory called it the last weakfish in Great Egg in an e-mail report.
Lynch followed with an 18-inch bass. Then they hooked up with a ray Gregory estimated to weigh 150 pounds. They pulled the anchor and chased the ray. Kelly took a photo with an underwater camera, and the ray spooked and nearly spooled Gregory's line off the reel.
They also caught white perch, sand sharks, sea robin, toadfish, bluefish and two undersize 17-inch flounder. Plus they saw blueclaw crabs, ospreys, skimmers, oyster catchers and a bald eagle.
Pleasant way to spend a day.
Pat Damiani called from Polly's Dock in Beach Haven to rave about excellent crabbing going on in Great Bay. He said every boat that went out for crabs Monday, caught them. Dan Roland of Mahwah headed a crew that had four bushel. Jeff Parker Wells had a bushel and a half plus 18 and 21-inch flounder.
1) Long Beach Island/Great Bay
Flounder are in surf, inlets and spreading to ocean reefs and wrecks. Try drifting off Mordecai Island near intracoastal 112 on the south end of Long Beach Island. Margaret O'Brien at Jingle's Bait and Tackle in North Beach Haven advises Gulp and minnows on hi-lo rigs for flounder in the surf. More kingfish are moving into the suds on Long Beach Island.
2) Atlantic County
Flounder are plentiful from Absecon to Great Egg inlet. Kingfish are scattered throughout but primarily Brigantine and Atlantic City. Triggerfish and tautog hug T-Jetty in Atlantic City. Striped bass cruise sod banks in back bays of Margate. Keepers weighing 13 and 14 pounds took plugs in the evening recently. A keeper bass chased a popper cast by Victor Reals of Northfield in the surf off a Margate beach Sunday a.m.
3) Cape May County
Flounder turned on in the surf at Corson Inlet and along the stretch of beach inside Ocean City Bridge. A 10.98 flounder hit a jig head with Gulp. An 8.2-pound flounder inhaled cut sea robin in back bays of Townsend Inlet off Avalon Yacht Club. A 9.61 flounder was caught at T.I. Bridge on bucktail and Gulp. Cape May Point surf has flounder and croaker.
4) Delaware Bay
Flounder and croaker are in The Rips off Cape May in the mouth of Delaware Bay. Reef site 11 and Old Grounds off Delaware have flounder.
Big-game fishing is excellent when conditions permit. There are all kinds of great reports. Many are from Lindenkohl Canyon and just inside. But tuna, marlin, mahi and sharks are reported by sport fishermen from Poorman's to Hudson Canyon. Wilmington, Spencer and Toms canyons have lots of life. It is still a trolling action with ballyhoo, spreader bars, plastics, and being there at first light seems to improve chances.