We are starting to hear of a wide variety of species over a wide range of water, and conditions and weather Friday morning were as good as it gets.
Tom Daffin on the Fish N Fever based at Utsch’s Marina said summer flounder fishing is “really good.”
Limits for all on board during his last several trips seem to fit that description.
The biggest flounder they caught went 7 pounds. Daffin said fish are spread out. He has been going 20 miles up and 20 miles down the beach.
Daffin said keepers average 20 to 22 inches with a few up to 25.
He said they are “nice, fat” fish feeding on sand eels.
He has been sailing offshore, too, and picking off quality yellowfin tuna in the 50- to 60-pound class. They were jigging them up, but Daffin said it is going back to a trolling action.
He said they are inside the 40-Fathom line about 40 miles off. Daffin also said sand eels and squid are thick around the dropoffs and structures.
The Susan Hudson of the Starfish fleet in Sea Isle City is having a great week in two ways.
It had one of the busiest business days in recent years Wednesday, when it loaded 68 fishers on the morning trip, 70 in the afternoon and 50 for the night sortie.
And the reason for that is they are catching flounder, some in the 19- to 20-inch class, sizable sea bass, triggerfish, porgy, kingfish and sea robin.
They were packed again Friday for another night outing.
Mike O’Neill, captain of the Stray Cat at Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Harbor Inlet, said Friday he is catching lots of 21- to 24-inch flounder and sea bass weighing 3 to 4 pounds.
When they have their limit, they troll for bluefish and Spanish mackerel and pick off some chickie dolphin. He said the familiar lumps at the Hot Dog and Table Top are good spots to try.
And, farther up the beach, captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association report limits.
Gary Dugan, captain of the Irish Jig, had flounder limits with sea bass and tautog, according to the BHCFA report provided by Jim Hutchinson Sr. Rascal with Larry Rosico had five limits recently with a doormat of 24.5 inches. Miss Liane with Ray Lopez also picked off weakfish and bluefish on the troll.
The BHCFA captains are active with youth programs, and the latest was an outing on the Reel Determined.
Captains Jimmy Zavacky, Lewis and Lopez took Boy Scouts Troop 112 of Jobstown, Burlington County, out on a trip and caught plenty of summer flounder and sea bass.
And to continue with the youth theme: Victor Harttley, captain of the Miss Ocean City party boat, has been fishing mainly in Ship Channel inside Great Egg Inlet.
Sam Lopata, a 9-year-old from Philadelphia, had the pool winner on the Friday afternoon back-bay trip with a 20-inch summer flounder. Hartley said they have been catching flounder and the two-fish limits of sea bass.
Noel Feliciano posted on his One-Stop Bait & Tackle website a photo of a man and his son showing off what appeared to be a cobia.
The photo was taken Friday at the William “Bill” Demones Jr. Atlantic City Seawall Fishing Complex near Gardner’s Basin in Atlantic City. Seems unusual for a cobia to stray into that back-bay location.
Dan Rothman, of Northfield, has super outings with young fishers, mostly with his 11-year-old son, Keegan, who has been catching them up in salt water and fresh water for years.
Keegan was fishing with 12-year-old Adam Levy, of Northfield, on Aug. 6. They collected summer flounder, triggerfish, sea bass, bluefish, a dusky shark, a giant silver eel, and Keegan fought a black-tip shark.
The next day, Keegan’s 7-year-old sister, Alexandria, caught six triggerfish, two summer flounder and a tog.
A reminder about the 40th Overnight Billfish Tournament sponsored by Ocean City Marlin and Tuna Club: The captain’s meeting is 6 p.m. Sunday.
The available fishing days are Monday through Friday. Big-game anglers can opt for one overnight or two day trips. Boats can sail from any port from Manasquan to Cape May.
The per boat entry fee is $950. The contest requires the release of all billfish. They also have tuna, wahoo, dolphin and swordfish divisions.
Call tournament director Brian Logue at 609-827-0820.
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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.