Hot Spot flounder

Fish for flounder with big bucktails or top and bottom rigs with squid, minnows, mackerel and Gulp as bait at Great Egg Reef.

The Press Fishing Contest is going strong, with several interesting entries received recently.

Bob Krzynowek of Galloway Township entered the heaviest flounder so far. It weighed 10.65 pounds and was caught Thursday.

A 9-pound, 7-ounce flounder was entered by Paul Bennett of Egg Harbor City. Gabbi Corchiani of Mays Landing submitted a 5.02 flounder in both the Youth (and Women's) Division. Both were caught Aug. 11.

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In addition to 13 prizes of $100 gift certificates from participating weigh stations, The Press Fishing Contest bestows weekly bragging-rights certificates for the best catch of the week. For the week of Aug. 4-10, and the big catch of the season, it was the 237.5-pound bigeye tuna by Jon Forys of Rahway caught Aug. 6 and certified at Moran's Dockside in Avalon.

Other noteworthy catches entered that week: 1.15-pound white perch by Christian Henchy of Egg Harbor City weighed Aug. 4 at Captain Howard's in EHC, and a 7.15 flounder by Richard Greger of Petersburg weighed Aug. 5 at Moran's.

In addition to the 10-pound flounder, two other nice entries were received from last week: Frank Tucci, of Villas, a 28-pound striped bass on Aug. 12; and Riley Blankenship, of Egg Harbor City, a 2-pound, 3-ounce ling for the Youth Saltwater Division on Aug. 11.

The Press Fishing Contest continues to Oct. 31.

Inlets, wrecks and reefs

Flounder reports are still coming from the back bays and inlets, but more and more are coming from the inshore wrecks and reefs, and the surf which is typical of how that fishery goes in August.

Mary Ann Anagnou said Monday was her busiest day of the year at Dad's Place in North Wildwood, which at first sounded odd for a Monday.

She was busy at the end of last week and Saturday but slow Sunday because of the wind. She speculated that the reason is that we are getting to the time of the year when vacationers, particularly those with children, have the opening of school just a couple of weeks away and they are getting in their last outings before heading home.

She said fishing and crabbing from the rental boats and Dad's Place Pier is excellent. On Saturday, Jackie and Bruce Behner of Towson, Md. caught three keepers. Jackie caught 5- and 2-pound flounder, and Bruce had a 3-pounder from a rental boat, which she said was typical of the recent back-bay flounder action.

Grassy Sound Marina, also in North Wildwood, had similar reports but also included sheepshead around the bridge with clam and shedder crab as bait and porgy with minnows.

Ashleigh McHenry of Grassy Sound picked a 4-pound flounder off Cape May Reef with minnow and squid and Gary Errickson of Goshen had three keepers at ICW 442 on Gulp at the top of the outgoing. Debbie Mooers also reported that two firsts were registered by young anglers when Mia DeJesse, age 6, of Philadelphia and Jake Carroll of Swedesboro caught 20- and 19-inch flounder, respectively, from the Grassy Sound Pier.

The inshore/back bay flounder reports pretty much were from all along the coast.

Brennan Marine in Somers Point reported Kevin Seeger and Ted and Tim Fitzick had 15 keepers, including a 9.37 doormat, with heavy bucktails and Gulp at Great Egg Reef; and Bob Heins on K's Krew had two 3.5-pounders in the bays inside Great Egg Inlet, and Mike and Kathy Gallagher had a 4.66-pound flounder in the back bays of Ocean City.

Mid-Atlantic begins

The Mid-Atlantic $500,000 is the heavyweight fishing tournament each summer on the Jersey coast. It's no different this year.

First, the purse is $1,808,910.00 raised through entry fees and side-pool Calcutta wagers. The week-long competition began Monday and wraps Friday at Canyon Club in Cape May and Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Md. Incidentally, access to the tournament is by credentials only, but weigh-ins can be viewed daily from both sites at the website, and click on the link, according to spokesman Jeff Merrill.

Boats from all over the East Coast, including several based in Florida, and one from Texas are in the fleet of 117. Local boats and captains will be in there pitching, too. Two come off successful tournaments a couple of weeks ago in the White Marlin Open in Ocean City, Md. The Viking 70 with owner Pat Healey and Capt. Ryan Higgins out of New Gretna has had a great tournament season, including the overall points championship for nine white marlin releases.

Higgins said Monday the Viking 70 will be fishing today, and then he'll figure out based on that outing what to do next in the Mid-A 500. Captains can pick any three of the five fishing days to compete.

And on the other end of the fishing world but important nonetheless, the Absecon Saltwater Sportsmen ran its annual South Jersey Field of Dreams outing for children on Aug. 12. The money the club raised with its Roy Kerstetter Open held in July was used to charter the Brigantine partyboat Fish Finder with Capt. Joe Fumo. According to Ed Goldman, there was lots of "catching" with some nice keeper flounder. The Brigantine Elks Lodge was the host for a barbecue after the outing. The participants all received a medal and T-shirt.

A memorial Mass in memory of those lost at sea in the Atlantic City area is set for 5:15 p.m. Friday at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, 2641 Atlantic Ave. Then at 6:30 p.m., a memorial service will be held at Fisherman's Park, Rhode Island and Melrose avenues in Atlantic City. Call Steve Jones at 609-233-9774.

The Jersey Coast Anglers' Association runs its Fluke Tournament this Saturday. This one offers prizes that total $4,000 for each of 10 ports: Atlantic City, Great Bay, Cape May, Ocean City, Fortescue, Long Beach Island, Barnegat Bay, Shark River, Sandy Hook, Manasquan River. The entry fee is $150 per boat. Call 732-506-6565.

And it is not too early to start looking ahead to the fall. The Atlantic County/Atlantic City Surf Fishing Derby has set the dates of Sept. 23 to Nov. 3. The badges and signups start Sept. 9. The entry fee is $25. The grand prize for heaviest striped bass has been raised to $500, with $300 going to overall winners in bluefish, weakfish, tautog and weakfish, plus $50 weekly prizes in each category. Beach-access permits will not be available before Sept. 16.

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