We still have those pesky 10- to 12-inch bluefish and a lot of short tautog interspersed with a rare keeper to keep us going as we make the transition to the anticipated fall-fishing mode around South Jersey.

A couple of interesting catches surfaced recently. Matt Slobodjian reported from Jim’s Bait and Tackle he weighed the biggest wahoo he’s ever handled when Clint Clement, captain of the Cape May-based Common Sense, hauled a 106-pounder up on the outdoor scales in Cape May.

The Common Sense also racked up 20 mahi and one yellowfin. That is one of the better offshore catches recorded recently, and according to Slobodjian, Clement was fishing the 30-Fathom Line inside the Baltimore Canyon.

Tammie Carbohn had a couple of nice weigh-ins at Avalon Hodge-Podge despite a week of windy conditions.

Leaming Ewing, of Goshen, picked a 6.67-pound, 21 2/1-inch sheepshead with green crab as bait around the Townsends Inlet bridge. An unnamed fisher caught a 4-pound weakfish from a dock at 43rd Street in the back bays of Avalon.

Slobodjian reported red drumfish in the surf around Cape May. They were biting on green crabs offered as bait for tautog.

Here is an example of what’s going on in the surf: The Women’s Surf Fishing Club of New Jersey ran its Association of Surf Angling Club contest Saturday on the beach in Brigantine. Club treasurer Arlene Perkowski said Monday they caught almost nothing but bluefish in the 11- to 14-inch range and one lonely kingfish.

The biggest fish was a 15 1/2-inch herring. Perkowski said 24 teams and 15 individuals competed in good ocean conditions. RH Custom Rods was the team winner.

An inshore report from Irv Hurd, captain of the Miss Avalon party boat, about his last outing from Avalon Sport Fishing Center last week described three triggerfish, five kingfish and six porgy. The heaviest fish was a 6.1-pound, out-of-season sea bass that went back in the water. Irv said he is running Saturdays and Sundays until sea bass season reopens Oct. 22.

Paul Thompson said he had a lot of throwback sea bass and a few triggerfish to keep his customers busy on the Porgy IV party boat ouf of South Jersey Marina in Cape May. He said he had no porgy keepers. Thompson is also running a weekend schedule right now.

Early results

The Atlantic County/Atlantic City Surf Fishing Derby wrapped its first week Sunday.

There was at least one fish registered. It went to Wilfredo Martinez, of Atlantic City. Martinez had been focusing on summer flounder until that season closed. Now, he concentrates on tautog.

The first entry was his tog that weighed 5 pounds. It was caught on the rocks in Atlantic City and registered at One-Stop bait and Tackle in Atlantic City. The Derby also has divisions for striped bass, bluefish and kingfish.

Helping Puerto Rico

Noel Feliciano is running a Plug for Puerto Rico surf fishing tournament this weekend to benefit relief efforts for Puerto Rico.

The contest offers donated prizes for largest striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, tautog, triggerfish and kingfish. He is signing up fishers at One-Stop for $20 all week.

Money raised from the entry fees and from other donations will go to a fund connected with the Puerto Rican Civic Association in Hammonton. He has also set up a drop-off point to collect other necessities such as water, canned goods, clothing and toiletries.

The contest runs from 12:01 Saturday night to 1 p.m. Sunday. Weigh-ins will take place anytime One-Stop is open to the final deadline of 4 p.m. Sunday.

Felliciano has received several cash donations, including from local tackle shops Ray Scott’s Dock in Margate and Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon.

Tog are gathered at the south jetty in Barnegat Inlet, along the seawall in North Wildwood and around bridges throughout.

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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.

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Contact: 609-350-0388 ShepOnFishing@yahoo.com

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