We can add a couple of more to the list of fish that have been caught recently.

Vince Reale, captain of the Reelizer charter boat that operates from Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Harbor Inlet, was at the Atlantic City Ridge on Wednesday and trolled up some little tunny (false albacore) and bonito.

Reale said he used an old trolling lure he called No Alibi that goes way back to his days at Captain Andy’s Marina with Ralph Stork in Margate. He said he was headed farther offshore Saturday.

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Bob Cope on the charter boat Full Ahead out of Utsch’s Marina in Cape May said Friday he had a good day Tuesday. He recorded six tautog that weighed more than 10 pounds each for his customers, and the biggest went a fat 12.1.

Tautog are thick around rockpiles, bridges and docks throughout the area. Consistently good catches have been reported from the Barnegat Inlet and Absecon Inlet jetties.

Eric Petricca, a Brigantine resident and member of the U.S. Coast Guard, was fishing for tautog from the T-jetty in Atlantic City on Monday when he hooked up.

Tog often give an immediate strong tug when hooked, followed by a nice fight, but Petricca said this one put up no real fight. When he got it up on the rocks, it had stripes and was identified as a striped burrfish.

Petricca sent a photo to Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine.

Andy Grossman of Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine relayed the photo. Petricca estimated the fish weighed 2 to 4 pounds and measured 12 inches. He almost did not take a photo of it before releasing it back into the water because he did not want to harm it.

Bill “Bucktail Willie” Shillingford, who tags fish for the American Littoral Society, had a couple of interesting mornings in the back bays around Sea Isle City when he caught, tagged and released 22 summer flounder.

He reported that Wednesday he caught 11 fish, with four that measured more than 19 inches long.

On Thursday, he had 11 more, but they were a touch smaller, with only one of more than 18 inches long. Shillingford reported all were caught on the last two hours of the outgoing tide, It shut down when the tide started back in.

Bigger blues

Summer flounder season is over for the year, of course, so it is catch-and-release for all fishers.

Shillingford also said a ton of 14- to 25-inch bluefish are tearing up tackle.

That message is another strong indication that bluefish are starting to gain some weight and length because they are foraging on the plentiful baitfish in our waters, such as peanut bunker, finger mullet and spot.

Blues are all over South Jersey waters in the back bays, inlets and inshore.

They are a lot of fun when chasing metal lures cast and retrieved. They also bite on cut bait rigged on hooks with wire leaders.

Riptide’s Fall Striper/Bluefish Derby is well underway on the Brigantine beaches. The contest continues all the way through Dec. 23. Signups are $25 at Riptide, 1201 W. Brigantine Ave.

It is a largest fish contest with $500 for first, $300 for second and $150 for third for striper, and $300 for first, $200 for second and $150 for third for bluefish. A valid Brigantine four-wheel drive access permit is required for surf-casters to drive on the Brigantine beach.

The Atlantic County/Atlantic City Surf Fishing Derby starts Sept. 25 and the entry badges are ready for $25 from participating weigh stations. That longtime classic runs through Dec. 3.

Fish can be caught from the beaches, piers, bridges, banks and jetties of Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, Longport and Brigantine.

The entry fee is $25 and can be purchased at Ray Scott’s Dock in Margate, Ship Shop in Ventnor, One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City, Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon, Point Tackle and Tight Lines, both in Somers Point, and Bayside Bait and Tackle and Riptide, both in Brigantine.

The contest offers single-heaviest prizes of $500, $400 and $300 for first, second and third places in striped bass and $300, $200, $100 for first, second and third in bluefish, tautog and kingfish. A $300 prize is available for the heaviest fish entered by a youth 16 or younger.(tncms-asset)5444e0a4-94e1-11e7-a602-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)

Grossman said Friday afternoon the barrier fence has been taken down on the north beach of Brigantine, so the beach is open to Brigantine Inlet for permitted four-wheel drive vehicles.

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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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609-350-0388 ShepOnFishing@yahoo.com

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