Longtime fishing columnist Mike Shepherd tells you what's biting, where to find them and how to catch them. His column appears Saturdays in The Press.

Mike Tabasso tied his pontoon partyboat up to his dock at Gardner's Basin in Atlantic City and left it there during the super storm of all-time last week and the subsequent northeaster of this week.

"We made it," Tabasso said.

In fact, he and his 23-year-old son, Chris, took the High Roller on a fishing trip between the maelstroms to see if there were any fish hiding in Absecon Inlet. They got one keeper striped bass.

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"I know they are there," he said Friday.

He said there were a dozen or so boats in Absecon Inlet that day and he saw four or five others catching bass.

Tabasso was encouraged enough to schedule 8 a.m. to noon trips this weekend and Veterans Day, and he plans on running weekends for stripers.

Paul Thompson said almost the same thing about the Porgy IV partyboat he docks at South Jersey Marina in Cape May.

"We made out well," Thompson said Friday.

He said he has not been fishing in a while. But he put his situation in perspective compared to what happened elsewhere.

"Not going fishing and not catching fish is not that big a deal," he said.

The storm (Sandy) sped up and went north, he said.

"It got here before the (evening) tide," he said. "The morning tide was the bad one."

He said they were "very, very lucky" in Cape May.

Thompson resumes operating today and will try for striped bass. Then he will switch to tautog Nov. 16. The sea bass season was closed Oct. 14, he said.

Bob Duckenfield reported from Jim's Bait and Tackle in Cape May that a few striped bass have been caught in The Rips off Cape May, a few up in Delaware Bay in 20 feet of water and a few in the surf.

Bob Cope, captain of Full Ahead also gave it a try between storms and picked off 10 stripers, Duckenfield said Friday.

Mike O'Neill said the fuel dock at Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Harbor Inlet is open. O'Neill said he was pulling away from the dock after fueling up Friday morning.

He was going for a ride to check things out because he has an open-boat fishing trip scheduled for today that is filled up.

Jim Moran was sitting at Moran's Dockside in Avalon reading the paper about ice hockey.

He said he is "missing his hockey," and keeping track of the negotiations between the players and the owners and hoping they can salvage part of the season.

He said his fall fishing tournament is over Monday, and then he talked about an angler with super dedication that took the lead.

Moran said "Trooper" John Kadany got power back at his house in the Poconos, and then made the trip to Avalon. That determined effort paid off in a 17- and 16-pound bass he caught Tuesday at the 3rd Avenue Jetty. He was using a Bass Assassin.

They were very healthy, nice fat fish that had been feeding well with lots of bait around.

Moran said there is a lot of chatter from anglers who were calling about fishing. He said some of them felt guilty about asking about fishing in light of the problems.

Moran said he is getting a vibe that anglers are starting to return to a sense of normalcy, and he is telling them to "come on down, it looks like a nice weekend."

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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 sheponfishing@yahoo.com.

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 at PressofAtlanticCity.com.


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