Striped bass rose up again Friday afternoon at some of the same locations they have been inhabiting for some time, plus they may have spread out even more along the ocean off South Jersey. It looks as though it is a quick-hit there and gone action for stripers.
Bob Jeminey and Mark Elliott are co-captains working the charterboat Gone Fishin' out of Utsch's Marina in Cape May. They had another super day Friday that just about matched what they did Monday for two separate charter crews. They missed their over-under limit Friday by one with five that measured more than 43 inches and six that measured between 28 to less than 43 inches, plus two "slot" bonus tag bass between 24 and 28 inches.
On Monday, they did not miss the over-under limits for all on board. They were fishing off Sea Isle City on Friday and further up the coast on Monday. Stripers were also off Great Harbor Inlet on Friday complete with birds working over them.
The same thing happened last Sunday in the same area about 2 1/2 miles off well within the legal three-mile state zone.
Linwood residents Andrew Lee and Adam Walcoff each hooked up with keepers on Friday. Angelo Di Bartolo of Linwood and Paul Guinta of Somers Point each put one keeper, including a 42-inch bass, in the boat from the same area last Sunday.
Tom Daffin took Fishin' Fever back to Utsch's Marina in Cape May from a temporary berth at Sen. Frank S. Farley State Marina in Atlantic City and made a tautog trip.
He was catching striper off Brigantine and Atlantic City. Now he is catching tog out of Cape May. He had a charter Friday that racked up 13 keeper tog, including 16-, 10- and 9-pound toughies.
Bob Cape on the Full Ahead also docked at Utsch's had a similar report. He said tog fishing was good Friday with his biggest going 6 1/2 and 7 pounds. He had reports of good striper action off Wildwood.
The Atlantic County/Atlantic City Surf Fishing Derby concluded its nine-week run on Dec. 3.
Isidro Valentin of Atlantic City picked up another tautog title with the 7.2-pound fish he caught on the T-Jetty in Atlantic City. Another Atlantic City rockpile regular, Wilfredo Martinez, was second with a 5-pounder. Both were weighed at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City. Tom Van Duyne of Ventnor was third with a 4.1-pound tog certified at Ship-Shop in Ventnor.
Kingfish went to a surfcaster who has won the title several times before. Richard Coles of Pleasantville had a 1.1-pound kingfish among others that he caught this season. It was weighed at One-Stop.
Frank Howardell of Brigantine was second with a 13 1/2-ounce king weighed at Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine. Both of those categories carried $300 for first, $200 for second and $100.
The big winners were Joe Nigro of Ventnor with a 29 1/2-pound striped bass certified at Ship Shop that earned him $500 and perennial winner or contender Linda Davoli of Brigantine with a 12 1/2 pounder weighed in at Riptide.
Nice, and well-deserved, Christmas packages for all.
Organizer Don Brown, who provided the stats, said there were no bluefish entered.
The combined confab of Atlantic States Marines Fisheries Commission and Mid-Atlantic States Fishery Management Council in Annapolis, Maryland, this past week produced no specific regulation proposals for two of the main topics: summer flounder and black sea bass.
Adam Nowalsky, one of the active New Jersey delegates, spotted what could have been a problem for managers to deal with over the next few weeks before another important ASMFC meeting scheduled for Feb 6-8 in Arlington, Virginia. He requested an addition to the summer flounder proposal to include language that could allow for an expanded harvest of up to 17 percent, and it was passed by the other delegates.
More details on those meetings will appear in upcoming columns.
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Mike Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column appears in the Tuesday and Saturday print editions and online.