Finally! That word showed up in many fishing reports over the past few days. Finally, as in a stretch of great weather. And, finally, as in captains taking the opportunity to head offshore for a shot at big-game fishing.

And a funny "finally" from Jim Moran at Moran's Dockside in Avalon. He said he finally is seeing some people coming up to the store at Avalon Sportfishing Center and asking when the 8 o'clock boat is leaving. A sure sign of summer.

With Monday's hot weather, it is feeling and sounding a lot more like summer.

Lots of smallish yellowfin tuna, a bigeye tuna or two, a blue marlin hookup and a few mahi have been caught between the Wilmington and Baltimore canyons.

Brennan Marine in Somers Point had three captains report back with yellowfin tuna in the 20- to 30-pound class caught at or near Wilmington Canyon. Captain Chazz with Charley Dolloway worked along the west wall of the Wilmington with spreader bars and ballyhoo and hooked up with 16 yellowfin. That's the same stretch of water where Chuck Weimar and Phil Giesler on Exit 30 went 8-for-12 on yellowfin. They had ballyhoo and green lures out. Jim and Steph Ward on Quantam Leap were 5 miles south of the Wilmington and recorded 30 small yellowfin.

Brennan's revealed that all three crews reported a temperature break of 5-8 degrees and the warmest temp they had was 71. It was all trolling action.

A couple of bigeye tuna were weighed at Jim's Bait and Tackle in Cape May, according to Matt Slobodjian. A 213-pound bigeye came in from Tuna Cowboy, which also had small yellowfin. The Pipe Dream started at the Wilmington and moved south to the East Well of Baltimore Canyon for a limit of yellowfin and a mahi.

Team Player with Capt. Bruce Shuman and Casey Rohan had a bigeye. Slobodjian reported it was caught by Bill Rohan - Casey's dad - and weighed 120 pounds.

Chris Lepping re-ported the first blue marlin release at Jim's. He estimated it to be 600-plus pounds.

Rob Barrett called Monday from Dolfin Dock in Somers Point with three sharks weigh-ins. John Tassone of Ham-monton had a 191-pound thresher at the 28-Mile Wreck, John Kelly of Ocean City caught a 150 mako at the Cigar; and Pennsylvanian Peter Wood had a 200-pound mako and released two others and was home from The Fingers outside the Cigar by noon.

More shark stuff

Inshore, shark fishing came back strong. Kelly Moskowitz and Al Jewitt were on the Mick-A-Do with owner Ed Gurwicz on Saturday between the 28-Mile Wreck and 750 Square.

The three Margate residents had a memorable day. They saw a thresher shark jump near their outermost flat, which had a mackerel down about 100 feet.

Then they had a run-off and Jewitt fought it to the boat, where Moskowitz cut it loose. They estimated it to be 200 plus. They had another small thresher that ran under the boat and got off on what Moskowitz described as a "prop release." They also had a small mako and a hammerhead cruising through the slick.

Brennan also had a shark report from Chis, Lisa and Morgan Shutz. They were also at 750 Square and went 1-for-4 on mako sharks and had a large blue shark. The mako they caught was 100 pounds. They also had mackerel chum and mackerel strips.

Flounder fishing is decent in the back bays on high water.

The South Jersey Carpenters Local 255 Flounder Pounder was Saturday, and a number of 4-pounders were weighed. Lou Nell of Germania had a 4.89-pound flounder for first. Tyler Purnell, a 13-year-old from Bridgeton, captured second with a 4.8 pounder, and Adrian DeDecker of Millville got third with a 4.51-pound catch while fishing on the Fish N Fun back-bay partyboat. Tourn-ament director Lee Scanny said there were other 4-pounders.

Fred Hynes of Brigantine limited out on flounder Friday, according to a report from Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine. He fishes the Absecon Inlet area. Donna and Bob Allen weighed three keepers, the heaviest 5.5 pounds, at Riptide.

Weakfish, kingfish and croaker are found in good numbers all around South Jersey, particularly around the rocks and jetties. Bloodworm, clam, squid and other cut bait are used to catch them at the T-Jetty in Atlantic City, 8th Street Jetty in Avalon, North Wildwood rocks, Cape May Point jetties, Higbee's Beach jetty and the Ferry Jetty in Cape May.

The Press Fishing Contest, which has 11 divisions and runs to Oct. 31, offers bragging-rights certificates each week during the season. We have two for the week of June 9-15.

Dallas Clevenger of Newfield caught a 249-pound mako on June 15 and certified it at Off the Hook at Hinch Marina in Cape May. Mason Farro of Harleysville, Pa., got a 5.24-pound flounder June 15. Bayside Bait and Tackle in Brigantine weighed it.

All you have to do to enter The Press Fishing Contest is catch a fish, certify it at a participating bait and tackle shop or marina - 30 are located throughout South Jersey - and enter it either online at presscontest.com or by mail.

* * *

Become a fan of Shep on Facebook at :

* * *

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:

You also can hear Shep on 1400 AM from 7-8 a.m. Saturdays, plus reports Fri-days, Saturdays and Sundays at 6:05 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and 7 p.m. on 1400 AM and on our website: