Dan Rothman of Northfield has been fishing the rocks, reefs and wrecks off Great Egg Inlet for a few decades. He says it more enjoyable now because he takes his son Keegan with him. And he said the 7-year-old is a dedicated angler.
That was apparent Tuesday when they were fishing with Jerry Coombs on structure four miles off GE Inlet.
They caught a few porgy and all of a sudden got into some bigger fish that bent the rods
Keegan fought one and then went to work on another. Rothman said Keegan's rod had 15-pound test line they were using to fish for flounder, and the rod was bouncing off the gunnels.
Keegan caught 11.79- and 11.2-pound sheepshead. The bigger of the two took 15 minutes for him to boat and was entered into the Press Fishing Contest at Fin-Atics in Ocean City. And both topped the old Youth Division record by a ton.
Coombs also had two sheepshead, including one that weighed 13.42 pounds. Rothman said he was standing right between them and did not get one. Hey, it happens.
Rothman was not at all bothered. He said is was "more fun watching" his son bring them in.
Rothman said the structure they were fishing over might be something that Sandy uncovered or moved. Rothman is a long-time wreck fisherman, so they had some green crab with them, and that's what the sheepshead took.
Rothman said they went away as fast as they showed up.
"What a fun day," Rothman
And a nice end to a summer vacation from school for Keegan, who is going into second grade at Northfield Community School.
The entry is on The Press Fishing Contest website PressContests.com with a neat photo.
The inshore reefs and wrecks are producing some nice flounder.
Fred Klug reported from Baitn Tackle at Utsch's Marina in Cape May that one of the boats that docks there picked 15 keeper flounder off Cape May Reef, and the charterboat Fishin Fever had another good journey across Delaware Bay to Reef Site 11 and returned with 21 keepers, mainly from 4 to 6 pounds.
Offshore trips were limited this week by weather.
Big-game veteran John Sowerby filed another report of an excellent catch on Hooked Up II charterboat based at South Jersey Marina.
He had to cancel a 24-hour overnighter to Washington Canyon, so he took a charter on a 15-hour "day" troll Monday. The change of tactics paid off with a 259-pound bigeye tuna, which he reported is the heaviest bigeye so far this season at South Jersey Marina.
He said they found some blue water, and also caught two yellowfin tuna and one mahi. Sowerby reported that Philadelphia Flyers team dentist Dr. Nick Rouse was the angler of record, but the rest of the crew took a turn at the bigeye, so it was a team effort.
Bill Lloyd of Avalon reported from Moran's Dockside, where he happened to buying bait when the local scribe called. Jim Moran put him on the phone to describe a recent catch. Lloyd said the crew of the Kimberly Jo "got lucky" Wednesday at Wilmington Canyon when it trolled up six longfin tuna in blue water it found. Lloyd said 13-year-old Michael Galdi caught and released his first white marlin.
The highly anticipated King of the Bay Trash Fish Tournament in memory of Tony Eble was last weekend out of the Yacht Club of Pleasantville. Jake Glassey Sr. said 63 anglers competed and the money raised will be used to help rebuild the club.
The contest was limited to Lakes Bay. Glassey said he weighed a lot of flounder and sea robin, a striped bass, plus a "giant" eel. Glassey said he crowned Sandy Baran of Egg Harbor Township as King of The Bay for a 6-11 striped bass. Toby Collins of Galloway Township had the top flounder, 4.3 pounds. Dave Sellitsch, a yacht club member, caught the 2.7-pound eel from the club dock, Glassey said. He said all of the prizes were donated.
Nice catfish catches
Here's a change-of-pace report.
Howard Sefton said "very" big catfish are moving upstream in Mullica River. He's seen some 5-8 pound catfish come from between JRs Ranch and Green Bank. He reported some large crappy with pickerel and largemouth bass off Sweetwater. Sefton said they are all taking minnows on top and bottom rigs.
Elsewhere, actually just about everywhere, spot and croaker rule the waves.
Cliff Higbee said Higbee's Marina in Fortescue is having its best season in five years. The reason? Croaker and spot have been caught off Fortescue and in the surrounding creeks all summer since May. He said he has been promoting that fishery, and he has had a new group of anglers coming out to Fortescue for the plentiful pan fish. He has been selling a lot of bloodworm they are using as bait for them.
"You've got to go for what's there," Higbee said Friday. "Glad to see them. They are good for business."
The flounder and weakfish fans are fewer, but a different crowd is showing up, including a lot more small-boat anglers and surfcasters.
Noel Feliciano at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City also talked Friday about croaker and spot around the jetties and rocks of Absecon Inlet. He said striped bass are increasing at night for those anglers who cast bucktails and teasers. The occasional weakfish chases them, too.
Croaker and small bluefish are stretched from the concrete ship around Cape May Point. Klug said to look for the birds.
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Mike Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column appears Saturdays and Tuesdays in the sports section. Call 609-350-0388 or email:
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