Good striped bass fishing is very consistent from Brigantine to Delaware Bay.
It looks as through a lot of anglers gave it a try in outstanding conditions on Thanksgiving Day and Friday.
Joan Barrett said one of the highlights of Thanksgiving was weighing a couple of nice striped bass at Dolphin Dock in Somers Point. Ron Atkinson caught one from the new fishing pier at Circle Liquor in Somers Point. It weighed 24 pounds and went for bunker. Ron Hoker of Ventnor hauled a 44-pounder into Dolphin that he caught in Delaware Bay.
Friday's highlight was husband Rob's 59th birthday. And in keeping with the good-natured teasing tradition of Dolphin Dock, Joan said she had to remind Rob how old he is.
Dolphin is obviously up and running.
Delaware Bay catches are not only consistent, they are consistently excellent, according to every report.
And they are talking about up in Delaware Bay rather than The Rips off Cape May, where fishing is described as off and on - more off than on, according to one veteran.
Fred Klug at Utsch's Marina in Cape May said he went chunking Wednesday on the south end of 60-Foot Slough and picked off 18- and 25-pound bass. He reported that the water in Delaware Bay is still above 50 degrees. About where it should be, he said.
He described The Rips as "really nasty," with dirty water from recent winds, and maybe still churned up from Sandy. He said the water in Delaware Bay is not totally cleaned up, but that does not seem to stop the bass from biting.
Longreach Marina on Maurice River in Cumberland County weighed a 35-pound catch Thursday that took the lead in the marina's fall fishing contest.
Everett Pierson of Port Norris was the angler. Tim Smith, captain of Bodacious charter boat out of Longreach, had 11 striper Thursday for his crew.
The stretches of Delaware Bay mentioned as holding fish are the edges of 60-Foot Slough, 20-Foot Slough, Tussey Slough; and Brandywine Light and Oyster Grounds to the north. Anchor and chunk with bunker on all the ledges in 20-25 feet of water.
Andy Grossman said from Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine that a lot of surfcasters were out on the Brigantine beach Friday and he got some calls about fish being caught.
Nothing was weighed by mid-day, however, but he said it sounded as if there were a lot of small bass.
He said the best action seemed to be around the bottom of the tide, which is mid-morning today.
What's happening on Long Beach Island is more difficult to assess, mainly because getting information is difficult even weeks after Sandy, plus access to some of the beaches is limited.
Scott Albertson will open Scott's Bait and Tackle in Mystic Islands today and next Saturday, and maybe one more Saturday.
Sandy slammed Mystic Islands and Scott's shop and house were major-league damaged, but he said the Penn parts segment of Scott's will be operating and they do have bait - green crab, eels and minnows.
Gene Slaughter said Margaret O'Brien might be able to open Jingle's Bait and Tackle in North Beach Haven soon because they are "pretty much" done the major rebuilding. Gene said they are selling gift cards for Christmas, and they recently had a guy call from California for a $17 T-shirt.
OK, striped bass fishing is more than decent. So what else is happening?
Tautog catches are described as petty good, but anglers are limiting out with the six fish they are now allowed. And ling are suddenly decent around the rockpiles in the inlets.
Noel Feliciano at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City, said the T-Jetty, Melrose Avenue and Caspian Avenue jetties are producing both. Tog take green crab and ling are being caught by anglers going for striped bass.
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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 Saturdays in the sports section. Call 609-350-0388 or email:
You also can hear Shep on 1400 AM from 7-8 a.m. Saturdays, plus reports Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 6:05 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and 7 p.m. on 1400 AM and on our website: