Al Rocks of Egg Harbor Township has a hectic weekend lined up. His son Al gets married today and other son Joe graduated from Egg Harbor Township High School on Friday night.
He also was busy Sunday of this past week when he hauled in keeper flounder that weighed 7.89, 6, 5, 4 and 2 pounds, and a “bunch” in between.
He was alone, which is unusual because his sons and three daughters all like to go fishing with him. They asked what he wanted to do to celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday. He busted on his own family when he said: “Go fishing alone again!” He was just kidding, of course.
Rocks said he was drifting in his classic 1966 Boston Whaler “Brutus” inside the channel buoys just off Kennedy Park in Somers Point last Sunday, jigging shad darts and small white bucktails with Gulp. He weighed the flounder at Dolfin Dock in Somers Point, where he said a game warden checked him out.
Rocks is 54 and has been fishing “every bit of 45 years.” He started with his great-uncle Walt Gregory Sr. Al said Walt had an unprintable (but only mildly inappropriate) nickname for him because the young Al caught all the big ones when Walt took him.
It does not slow down for Rocks. As usual, he will be in The Brutus Fluke Tournament next Saturday, June 23, with his son Joe and George Stapleton.
The contest is held in the memory of his great-uncle Walt Sr. The headquarters is Somers Point VFW Post 2189, 500 Bethel Road. The sign-up fee is $25 per person and will be accepted at the VFW until 9 p.m. Friday, June 22. The captains’ meeting is 6 p.m. Friday and the weigh-ins are noon to 3 p.m. next Saturday, all at the VFW post.
Al and Joe have both won The Brutus, Joe just two years back.
The Brutus benefits the charitable works of the Somers Point VFW and the Egg Harbor Township Elks Lodge 2563. Call 609-513-6219 or 609-412-7769.
Flounder fishing was good last weekend in Absecon and Hereford inlets, too. But the winds of this past week seemed to slow it.
Mike Tabasso runs the High Roller back-bay pontoon partyboat from Gardner’s Basin in Atlantic City. He had decent fishing until Tuesday when he scored 14 keepers and about 60 throwbacks in Absecon Inlet. He’s been “carrying” — which means he has had customers. On his first two drifts Friday afternoon in superior fall-like weather, he had three keepers.
Mary Anne Anagnou at Dad’s Place in North Wildwood had one of the rental boats return to the dock with four keeper flounder and two bluefish last weekend. Jacki Staska of Philadelphia came back later in the week and she caught another keeper inside Here-ford Inlet.
Anagnou said she had only one boat with a crew of two brave it out in the rain this week, and they came back with a keeper.
Dave Showell said Friday from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center that he and Ian Donati caught plenty of flounder in the back bays of Absecon Inlet last Saturday. He said to head for the shallow back waters off Absecon and inside Brigantine with minnows and Gulp on light backtails with a teaser because those flounder are still around, and that’s where they are likely to be.
A couple of young anglers recorded their milestone first catches recently. Taylor Stiteler, a 21/2-year-old fishing with dad Al Jr., got a 19-inch flounder in Broad Creek behind Brigantine. They are from Absecon. Beth McNamee, 13, of Somers Point, also caught a 19-inch flounder in the bay behind Margate.
The Brutus is just one of several contests scheduled for next Saturday.
Another popular event is the 25th South Jersey Carpenter’s Flounder Pound-er. It benefits the South Jersey Cancer Fund. The entry fee is $20 per person at Chestnut Neck Boat Yard in Port Republic, North Point Marina in Brigantine, Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon and Dolfin Dock. Call tournament director Lee Scanny at 609-653-8995
The 26th Ocean City Exchange Club has bluefish and flounder divisions, and the registration is $175 per boat.
It benefits charities that fight child abuse. The contest has $1,000 first-, $500 second- and $200 third-place prizes for single-heaviest fish in each category. Call 609-398-7199, 609-399-3889 or 609-437-3388. A captains’ meeting will he held at 7 p.m. Friday at All-Seasons Marina in Marmora.
The Brigantine American Legion Post 396 has its flounder contest the same day. The cost is $60 for four anglers to a boat and it is open to the public.
Sign up at the Post, 3218 W. Brigantine Ave., after 11a.m. daily, at the captains’ meeting 7 p.m. Friday or by calling 609-266-0423 or 609-264-0631.
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Mike Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His Shep on Fishing column and Shep’s Hot Spot appear Tuesday and Saturday in sports and daily on-line. Call 609-350-0388 or email: email@example.com
You can also hear Shep’s Fishing reports Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 6:05 and 9:45 a.m.and 7:05 p.m. on WOND 1400 AM and at PressofAtlanticCity.com