A group of 10 determined winter fishing fans filed onto the Susan Hudson party boat, and captain Mike Weigle took them offshore at 7 a.m. Friday.

They were not back by 5:30 p.m.

John Nigro is the dock manager at the Starfish fleet located in Sea Isle City, where the Susan Hudson is berthed. John got on the phone, and Weigle texted him back as they headed home.

Nigro said the captain reported that fishing was slow, with a lot of small fish, no doubt because the water temps have been cold.

Nigro said the catch of the day and the pool winner was a 12-pound, 9-ounce tautog reeled in by Richard Hertz, of Haddonfield.

Nigro said Weigle reported there were a few other keepers.

Last week, the Susan Hudson recorded a couple of 15-pound plus tog. Nigro said he was getting calls from fishers who expressed interest in going out Saturday.

A couple of second-hand reports from reliable sources hinted about very decent white perch catches.

Howard Sefton of Capt. Howard’s Bait and Tackle in Egg Harbor City said Friday one fisher had some action in the Mullica River.

Last week, Howard said white perch were caught near Sweetwater in the Mullica.

Blake Griffiths at Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom on Long Beach Island said he heard of white perch caught around New Gretna.

Grass shrimp is the best bait for white perch, but bloodworm works.

Summer flounder

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission winter meetings were this past week in Arlington, Virginia.

Three options were proposed for 2018 summer flounder regulations for New Jersey, and all call for a minimum of 18 inches to be a keeper with a three-fish daily possession limit.

There are season variations that can be implemented within each state. New Jersey can adopt a season of May 25-Sept. 22, May 22 to Sept. 20 or May 15 to Sept. 16.

These basics were provided by Paul Haertel of the Jersey Coast Anglers Association and confirmed by Bill Shillingford, who tags fish for the American Littoral Society while fishing mainly in Cape May County.

Paul and Bill participated in the forum online and reaffirmed that New Jersey is no longer encumbered by being part of a region with other states, as it was a few years back.

Another bit of good news, according to Paul, is that the proposal for scup, aka porgy, would make them legal for the entire year with a 50-fish daily possession limit and a 9-inch minimum.

The updates Paul and Bill provided were further confirmed Friday by Kirby Rootes-Murdy, senior fishery management plan coordinator at ASMFC.


The Southern Regional High School fishing club fundraiser that offers new and used fishing equipment and seminars from local pros is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Middle School cafeteria in Manahawkin.

The cost is $4 for adults, with youth under 12 admitted for free.

The Saltwater Sportsman’s series of national seminars arrives at Linwood Country Club on Feb. 24.

It offers seminars by local pros, including Tom Daffin, captain of the Fishin’ Fever charter boat out of Barnegat. Call 1 800-448-7360.

The Atlantic City Boat Show is Feb. 28-March 4 at Atlantic City Convention Center.

It offers a lot of seminars, and, of course, boats of all sizes and fishing-related equipment. The cost is $16. Kids 12 and under are free with a paying adult.

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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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