There have been lots of 4- to 6-pound summer flounder throughout South Jersey, but not many "doormats."
The Press Fishing Contest just got its heaviest flounder of the year. Of course, there is no real standard for qualifying as a doormat, but the 9-pound flounder caught Monday by Bob Gorbig of Egg Harbor City seems to be a fit in that old-time cliche category. It was caught with a minnow and Gulp combination in Absecon Bay, according to an entry by Capt. Howard's Bait and Tackle in EHC where it was certified.
Check out the photo below. The T-shirt Gorbig is wearing is classic.
Another significant flounder catch occurred last Saturday in the South Jersey Carpenter's Flounder Poun-der. Tyler Parnell, a 13-year-old from Brigantine, was fishing with dad Ken and "Pop-Pop" Ron Coiro in the back bays of Brigantine.
Tyler hooked up the first flounder of the day and it wound up almost winning the title. It weighed 4.8 pounds and was second by 9-10ths of an ounce.
According to his "Pop-Pop," Tyler is a straight-A gifted and talented student going into eighth grade at Brigantine North School. His dad started to teach him how to fish when he was 2.
He "loves to fish," Coiro said.
They had three keepers and one throw-back that trip.
One main tip for flounder fishers over the next few days comes from a consensus of several of the back-bay experts such as Lee Scanny on the Fish N Fun and The Keeper, both out of Margate, and Brook Koeneke on Duke of Fluke in Somers Point.
They said to catch high tide when the water cleans up on the incoming fish from the ocean.
The weather is hot and muggy and the water temperatures are creeping up to 70-71 degrees along the beaches and the mid-70s in Delaware Bay.
With the warmer water temps in Delaware Bay, maybe it is no real surprise that the first cobia of the year was entered into The Press Fishing Contest.
It weighed 40 pounds and was caught by Eric Chew of Millville on June 21. Higbee's Marina in Fortescue weighed it.
Black drumfish seem to have slowed in Delaware Bay, but they have not disappeared. Fred Klug at Utsch's Marina said Phil Winners of Cape May Court House reported 10 drum Wednesday. Klug said not many captains are fishing for drum, but he emphasized that catch shows they are still there.
Steve Bent and Bob Cope on Full Ahead out of Utsch's hung a big bluefin tuna Wednesday at the 20-Line.
Bent said he estimated it to be 325 pounds when they released it.
Bent, who also operates the Free Spirit from Capt. Andy's Sport Fishing Center in Margate, said it looked like a Volkswagen in the water. They caught it trolling.
Curt Rott, who had the duty Friday at Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon, said spot and croaker are in Absecon Creek, which is probably why striped bass linger in the area and there are some decent weakfish.
Rott also said high water is a key factor in catching them inside Absecon Inlet.
Linda Davoli of Brigantine is catching spot and using them as bait for flounder and weakfish.
She just put her boat in the water, and the first fish she caught from it was a 26-inch weakfish followed by a 4-pound-plus flounder. She wound up with six other keeper weakfish, all on spot.
Not a bad way to start.
She also said she watched a school of what appeared to be sizeable dusky sharks boiling on bait fish in Absecon Inlet on the Brigantine side.
Shep on Fishing on Air and Ray Scott's Dock in Margate partnered up to offer a free 5-hour back bay fishing trip each month on one of Scott's Dock rental boats.
Enter by calling Shep Talking Fishing on Air at 609-927-1100 from 7-8 a.m. today on 1400 AM or Ray Scott's at 609-822-6819 or email: shep
The June trip has been awarded and we already have entries for the July drawing to be made by Robin Scott in the next week or so.
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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:
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: