Dave Showell was getting some phone calls Friday morning at Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon and has sold some bloodworm for bait to die-hard wintertime white perch fishers.

That likely is because he got a report from Gary and Jake Adair, brothers from Lower Bank, that they caught a big pile of white perch, probably in the Mullica River close to their upriver home.

That was Sunday in the rain, according to Dave.

Some time later, Bruce Gehringer of Galloway Township fished the Mullica from his kayak in the snow. Dave said Gehringer caught a few perch.

Dave said all three fishermen sounded confident that white perch are and will be decently active despite the chilling conditions.

It seems as though it is way harder to catch tautog. First, they are in the ocean and of course fishing is dependant on the weather this time of year.

And the tog are “lethargic” according to a report from Dan Ponzio Sr. of Atlantic City. It was Friday of last week, when Ponzio went off to Deepwater Reef with Greg Goff on Goff’s boat.

They were in 102 to 140 feet of water 25 nautical miles off Absecon Inlet where they found the ocean water temperature of 41 degrees. Ponzio said they caught small fish and one nice keeper size.

The cold water, no doubt, was the main reason for slow reacting tog.

It is getting to be “go time” for bluefin tuna off the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

T.J. Ott is the captain of the well-known Hot Tuna offshore competition craft.

He was in the engine room of the 48-foot boat Friday in Wanchese Harbor on North Carolina’s Outer Banks getting ready to start shooting the newest edition of the “Wicked Tuna” series for National Geographic series.

They fish for bluefin tuna in the contest. He said they had some warm water of 72 degrees and they had yellowfin tuna offshore. T.J. reported that a few bluefin have been located but they are “not holding hands.”

He explained that the catch depends on cooler water to “tighten up” and not be as spread out.

Ott charters a smaller boat out of Key West when he is not competing on Wicked Tuna.

Ryan White at Hatteras Jack in Rodanthe has been on a trade show tour, and suggested a call to Capt. Dan Rooks of the charterboat Tuna Duck out of Hatteras Harbor Marina.

Rooks said Friday the fleet out of the marina had recent three-day weather window and recorded half-dozen bluefin.

Rooks said the conditions are getting right with water temps in the 40s down toward Diamond Shoal.

He called that the first good signs.

Meetings and more

The winter meetings of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission are Feb. 6-8 at the Westin Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia.

Summer flounder and black sea bass along with scup are on the agenda for discussion about 2018 regulations for 3-5:30 p.m. Thursday, the last items on the last day.

Members of the public can register before the final sessions for in-person comment.

Visit ASMFC.org for details and for directions on how to participate in a live webinar.

Follow Shep at:


Mike Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press.

His column appears during the winter in the Saturday print editions and online.

Can't get enough High School sports? Get the latest scores, game highlights and analysis delivered to your inbox each week!

Contact: 609-350-0388 ShepOnFishing@yahoo.com

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