We got to enjoy a short stretch of decent winter weather and ocean conditions, and winter fishing fans on the Susan Hudson workhorse of the Starfish fleet out of Sea Isle City got in a couple of very decent days out on the ocean.
John Nigro reported from Starfish fleet headquarters that captain Mike Weigle said Thursday’s catch was “really, really good.” They were mainly catching tautog, Nigro said. Nigro said the trip was a long one, departing 8 a.m. and getting back to the dock at 6 p.m. So Weigel likely took the Susan Hudson a little farther off than they went Wednesday, when the catch was something less than on Thursday.
Nigro said they reported lots of tautog keepers on Thursday and Weigle reported “some other stuff” but did not elaborate. They are going to make another offshore sojourn Sunday, leaving 8 p.m.
There was a second-hand report of a captain observed with a striped bass at a dock in Somers Point on Thursday. Dan Rothman of Northfield was the reporter, but he had no details.
Don’t forget striped bass are off limits in the inlets, bays and rivers and streams in New Jersey in January and February. We can fish for striped bass in the surf on the front beaches and in the ocean out to the three-mile state legal zone. The season re-opens March 1.
The current striper regs are a daily possession limit of one fish measuring 28 inches to less than 43 inches and one fish measuring 43 inches and above.
There was an observation of three people fishing out on the ice near New Gretna this past week. Noel Feliciano was enjoying some time off from One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City and saw the spectacular wintry scene. He stopped and took some photos.
One of the fishers came off the ice and told Noel that he caught 14 white perch but offered no other details.
The warm weather and rain of the past few days surely softened the ice, so real care is needed on what likely is thin ice. Might be wise to stay home and warm, and safe, and wait for open water to fish for white perch from the bank or a boat.
Two fishing equipment shows that benefit youth fishing clubs at local schools are scheduled.
The Southern Regional High School Fishing Show is 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Southern Regional Middle School cafeteria. New and used fishing gear and services will be available from vendors. This show will also present seminars by local experts. Admission is $4 with children under 12 free when accompanied by an adult. Call Jason Hoch at 609-597-9481, ext. 2120.
Farther away on March 3, the popular and annual Ocean City Intermediate School flea market will be at the school cafeteria, 1801 Bay Ave. It runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is $4.
We have a few other seminars and shows coming up with details to come.
No better time than now to apply for your required state saltwater fishing registry. There is no charge, and it is easy to do with the prompts provided. The web address is saltwater registry.nj.gov. I signed up Friday.
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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.