It looks like it is official: Fishing in South Jersey has pretty much made the expected comeback after the recent stretch of offshore storms and heavy seas and surf.
A Thursday-to-Friday overnighter at Toms Canyon on Unanimous with Capt. John Baumgardner and the heavy-hitter crew of Bill Lewis, Lee Scanny and Don Brown had 50- and 89-pound yellowfin tuna and hooked up with three white marlin, according to a report from Corey Solomon at Capt. Andy’s Marina in Margate.
Capt. Andy’s also weighed a 60-pound wahoo caught by Carmen Rone of Margate. Rone was fishing by himself 15 miles off the beach out of Great Egg Inlet.
Joe Gillen and Y Knot trolled Wilmington Canyon and had “loads” of mahi, according to a report from Sterling Harbor Marina in Wildwood.
Ron Reignor had a 16-pound mahi, and David Raub had a 57-pound yellowfin. Both men are from Boyertown, Pa.
Jeff Ambrose of Telford, Pa., caught a 39-pound, 7-ounce mahi with a small red squid lure while fishing inside Atlantic City Ridge on Friday. It was entered into The Press Fishing Contest at Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine.
Jim Lutz, captain of Nev-R-Enuf charterboat out of Avalon, had a flat, calm beautiful ocean off Townsend Inlet on Monday morning. He had a charter working over a wreck two miles off the beach and they were catching triggerfish and porgy. He first tried for weakfish in the back bays, where they caught one “nice” flounder, and then Lutz moved into the ocean and started to get more action for his customers.
The multi-tasking captain was reeling in a fish while talking on the phone about a tournament he is running this weekend.
Capt. Jerry Hurd also had flat, calm conditions. He had the Miss Avalon partyboat on Townsend Inlet Reef on Friday targeting triggerfish and croaker and also catching some “not very big” flounder.
The surfers had some great waves and great rides on a great weather day around the Ventnor Fishing Pier on Sunday, and the pier crew was picking lots of small fish. Surfers and anglers were in close proximity but managed to avoid any entanglements.
Robin Scott was enjoying the touch of fall weather and a relaxing transition from one season to the next. “I love fall,” she said while watching a bald eagle soar just over the water behind Ray Scott’s Dock in Margate.
Her son, Scott, has pulled a few rental boats while keeping some in the water. She said they can breath again for a while anticipating things picking up for October and fall fishing.
She said dock-tenant Lee Rubin has been out along the sod banks of the back bays there catching triggerfish. Triggerfish have a tough hide, so Rubin showed them how to use the skin as kind of a plate. Scott said they put a triggerfish “steak” skin-side down on a grill with salt, pepper and spices but no oil or foil; and it curled up and puffed up in the center when it was cooked.
Howard Sefton called Monday mid-day to provide an up-to-the-minute report via the magic of cell phone. He said Bruce Gehringer of Galloway Township called from his kayak in Mullica River to tell Sefton that he caught a load of white perch and a 15-inch striped bass off JRs Ranch.
And while Gehringer was doing that, he hooked what he told Sefton was a bigger striper.
The Ventnor Pier hosted the fourth Able Anglers event on Sunday and 25 people with disabilities had what piermaster Pat Curran described as “just the best day” with great weather and fishing. Caring Inc., an adult medical day-care center in Pleasantville, sponsored the outing.
They caught kingfish, spot and ocean perch, Curran said.
The Ventnor Pier will have a free fishing day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday for veterans and active military personnel. Curran said anyone with a military ID can fish, and rods and bait will be provided to any who need them, all at no charge. Call 609-823-7944 for details.
The American Legion Post 331 in Stone Harbor runs its 29th open fishing tournament Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tournament coordinator Lutz said it is more of a fun tournament to raise money for the Legion post. It costs $20 to enter and anglers can fish for anything legal from boat or land-based. Sign up at the captain’s meeting 6 p.m. Friday (Sept. 21) at the Legion post, 117th Street and Second Avenue in Stone Harbor.
The contest starts immediately after the meeting and continues to 2 p.m. Sunday. Weigh-ins are 3-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Smuggler’s Cove.
The Weekend at Kelly’s Corner Pub tournament marks the final weekend of this year’s flounder season. Sign up for $15 at Kelly’s, 2721 Arctic Ave. in Atlantic City (609-348-4925). It also has divisions for bluefish and striped bass.
The tournament is held in memory of Joe “Bear” Clark and Michael Foley and benefits juvenile diabetes programs.
The 66th annual World Series of Surf Fishing is Saturday on Long Beach Island in North Beach, Surf City, Loveladies and Harvey Cedars. Teams and inviduals can register for $60 and $15 from 5:30-6:30 a.m. at the clubhouse, 6 E. Cape May Ave. in Harvey Cedars.
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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 Tuesdays and Saturdays in the sports section and daily online. Call 609-350-0388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also hear Shep’s on-air fishing reports Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 6:05 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and 7 p.m. on WOND 1400 AM and on our website: