It has been an interesting few days on the local fishing scene, hasn't it?

If we look back to Tuesday before the winds and rains decided to vacation in South Jersey and complicate things, there was some action.

The first entry into the 59th Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic was a 15.44-pound striped bass weighed at Jingle's Bait and Tackle in North Beach Haven. It was caught Tuesday at Holgate by Russ Dentoni of Beach Haven. The Classic opened Monday and goes to Dec. 1.

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Linda Davoli of Brigantine put a 2.8-pound bluefish into the Atlantic County/Atlantic City Surf Fishing Derby. Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine was the weigh station. Noel Feliciano at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City weighed kingfish for Richard Coles and David Calloway of Atlantic City as they continue their duel. They were the second kingfish entries for both.

Feliciano took a ride on the Atlantic City beach Friday to check out the conditions. He said the beach looks "really good," and that this storm has uncovered some of the pipes that the sand was hiding.

He said some of the local surfcasters have been hoping for a storm to chill the water and change the contour of the beaches to get the fall run of striped bass and bluefish started.

"This is what they have been waiting for," he said.

Feliciano said there were several surfcasters "dressed for the occasion" in waders and rain gear casting inside the T-Jetty, where they could get some protection from the wind. He talked to a couple of them, and they said nothing was caught by late afternoon.

Earlier, he said a couple of diehards gave the Flagship jetty inside Absecon Inlet a try. They had to be fishing right into the wind and rain, and maybe getting splashed. That's dedication!

Sea bass fishing seemed to have picked up as of last weekend, anyway. Bob Cope on the charterboat Full Ahead caught 70-80 sea bass on two trips, according to Fred Klug at Utsch's Marina in Cape May.

The Press Fishing Contest has a just under three weeks to the Oct. 31 wrap. The contest offers weekly best-catch certificates. For the week of Sept. 22-28, Matt Walker of Egg Harbor Township caught a 7.4 tautog in Rainbow Channel to take the honors. Brennan Marine in Somers Point certified it. Betty Ann Van Duyne of Ventnor was a contender for the week with a 5.9-pound tog weighed at The Ship Shop in Ventnor.

Adrian Avena is a touring FLW Outdoors pro from Vineland. He is in his second year on the freshwater bass circuit with two titles. He is sponsoring a youth fishing tournament today at South Vineland Park on Elmer Road in Vineland. Registration is $7 and begins at 8 a.m. Fishing will start at 9 a.m. and continue to noon. Avena said Friday that they have divisions for 6 and under, 7-10 and 11-13. Trophies will be presented. Money raised will go to the Challenger League. Contestants get bait, bobber and hooks, and raffle tickets.

And the big surf-fishing tournament for the 100th anniversary of the Ocean City Fishing Club is next Thursday through Saturday. Fishing days will beFriday and Saturday, and check-in and welcome activities are Thursday. A fishing tackle show is planned for 7-9 p.m. Friday at the Ocean City Civic Center, 5th Street and the Boardwalk. Teams from all over the East Coast are expected to compete. The cost to enter a six-person team is $450, and the total purse is $25,000.

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Mike Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column appears Saturdays in the sports section. Call 609-350-0388 or email:

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