Offshore fishing for sea bass has been very decent, when weather allows.

Actually Cindy Eble described it as "really good" on the Doris Mae IV partyboat that operates out of Barnegat Light. She said Friday that Doris Mae IV made three trips recently, and on two of the three almost everyone on board limited out with their 20 keepers. She also said they picked up a couple of porgy and ling.

Some of the sea bass went 6-7 pounds.

The Doris Mae IV with captains Ron (Cindy's husband) and Charles Eble have offshore trips Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It is reservation-only, so call ahead.

And Cindy reminds: sea bass season closes at the end of the month, so that deadline is not far away.

Paul Thompson, captain of Porgy IV out of Cape May, said fishing for tautog was great up to Sunday. He "caught them good" in the wind last Saturday and in the snow Sunday. It got cold since then, but Thompson sounded confident he could find them again inshore. He is berthed at South Jersey Marina.

Jim Cicchitti was scheduled to take Atlantic Star out at around midnight today from its dock in Wildwood for the first time this month. He's going offshore for sea bass and tilefish. He has Atlantic Star scheduled for reservation-only offshore excursions Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Mike O'Neill on the Stray Cat is creative. He will be fishing inshore today for striped bass and on Monday he will have one of his "cast and blast" fishing and duck-hunting trips. He runs the Stray Cat out of Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Inlet.

Adam Nowalsky is back at the helm of the Karen Ann II after a few days of attending the Mid-Atlantic Marine Fishery Management Council meeting. Karen Ann II is docked at Kammerman's Marina. The Starfish out of Sea Isle City will be working from 42nd Street and the bay at least through this month.

Surfcasters and jetty anglers took advantage of almost-decent weather Friday and went fishing. Wind, rain and even snow have ganged up on anglers recently. Fishing was pretty good up to last weekend, according to several reports.

Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park reported a few surfcasters had fun with short bass under the 28-inch minimum Thursday with clam and metal lures at Island Beach State Park. Fred Hynes at Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine said that a couple of surfcasters headed to the north end of Brigantine on Friday.

Here is an example of what's going on: Hynes said the best-seller at Riptide is Stock's pound cake at $12 a loaf. Well, it is a great holiday gift!

Incidentally, the Riptide Striper Derby continues to Dec. 23 so there is some incentive for anglers. It's a surfcasting contest on the "front" beach of Brigantine. Mike Ferrara of Brigantine is the leader, and his 49-pound, 13-ounce bass will be hard to knock out of first. Linda Davoli of Brigantine has been on fire this fall and is second and third with 26-14 and 24-10 bass. First place earns $500, second $300 and third $150.

Josh Falcone reported from Viking Outfitters in Barnegat that surfcasters were picking up small bass and anglers fishing the Barnegat Inlet jetty and were still doing well with tautog. He said the tog are a mix of keepers and undersize fish. Hope the anglers were dressed warm against the cold and spray.

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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: