Shep Hot Spot croaker Atlantic City T-Jett

Fish for spot, croaker and kingfish from the T-Jetty in Atlantic City with bloodworm, Fish-Bites and medium heads-on shrimp as bait.

It seems as if Shark Week mania has showed up on some South Jersey beaches, which likely is not something the local beach patrols or chambers of commerce want to hear.

Andy Grossman at Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine said he has brown sharks all over the beach, and he said some of them weigh 80-100 pounds. Grossman said he "must have had 150 reports" of sharks.

Gene Slaughter at Jingle's Bait and Tackle in North Beach Haven had the same kind of reports from Long Beach Island. He said the tourists are having a ball catching them.

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He reminds us that it is illegal to keep them, so they have to be returned to the water alive. They are actually sandbar sharks. Fish for them with a chunk of meat such as bunker on a bluefish or fish-finder rig with 9/0 or 10/0 hooks with wire leader, Grossman said.

Brown sharks are known for being active mainly at night, but Slaughter said they were hitting during the day last week and now are back to showing up just before is gets dark or at night. Slaughter said some of the brown sharks off Long Beach Island are more in the 30- to 50-pound class.

They are in the surf at Ocean City, too, according to Ed Braunstein at Fin-Atics in O.C. He described the brown shark fishing as "pretty cool up and down the beach". He said some of the Ocean City surfcasters are catching the ever-present spot and cutting them up for bait. He also said a few have been caught during the day, but most of the surfcasters try for them at night.

Quite a coincidence.

They put Betty Raimondo to work Thursday on the Sea Mistress out of Avalon. She and Debbie McCann of West Chester, Pa., each caught a white marlin Wednesday in the Ocean City, Md., White Marlin Open. McCann's was brought back to the dock at Harbour House Marina to be weighed. It went 77 pounds and was tied for second with two other white marlin going into Friday's final day.

Owner John Raimondo reported from dockside Friday that white marlin fishing is good and the crew of Sea Mistress is having a great tournament. Betty Raimondo took over the fighting chair Thursday and hooked up three more white marlin that they released. That gave her four releases for the week-long classic and put her in 15th on the leaderboard for top angler.

Viking 70 out of New Gretna was one of the top boats on the points leaderboard going into the final day with nine white marlin releases: four by Pat Healey, three by Eric McDowell and one each for Drew McDowell and Justin Healey.

Final results will be posted in Tuesday's column.

This news sets up with great promise the other offshore classic of great interest to local anglers and national offshore fishing crews: The Mid-Atlantic $500,000 headquartered at Canyon Club in Cape May from Aug. 18-24 with fishing days Monday through Friday of that week. Captains can still sign up for a base fee of $6,000 from 1-4 p.m. this Sunday with the captain's meeting following at 4:30 at the Canyon Club. The Mid-Atlantic $500,000 has a satellite weigh station at Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Md.

Last year's total payout was a big number: $1,596,240 ... that's right, one-and-a-half-million-plus!

Bob Glover is the tournament director. Contact him at 609-883-2400.

Flounder action

It seems as though there are more reports of more keeper flounder in the inlets, surf and inshore reefs and wrecks. There are still plenty in the deeper channels of the back bays.

Some are right in the wash of the surf in Ocean City, Braunstein said. Rachel Scott said from Ray Scott's Dock in Margate that flounder are still right in the same back-bay areas they have been all summer. Mike Tabasso on the High Roller out of Gardner's Basin in Atlantic City had a nice keeper day recently with nine.

There are a lot of little fish in the back bays. Spot seem to be thick everywhere, along with croaker, small sea bass, sea robin and porgy. Small bluefish weighing up to 1 pound also are moving in to the surf. Tabasso said he has been running the High Roller in the back bays for 11 years and never caught croaker as far back as Crosstides and in the sticks inside Absecon Inlet. He had two trips recently that produced croaker in those stretches of water. Braunstein said Friday that there are also a lot of peanut bunker in the back waters, too.

Noel Feliciano at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City said you have to fight through spot and croaker from the T-Jetty, but kingfish have made a return appearance with four or five in some of the catches. He also said small bluefish and the occasional flounder are caught from the William B. Demones Jr. Recreational Fishing Center at the seawall in A.C. He said he certified a nice weakfish that was 20 inches caught by a young angler in the rain this week.

Inshore trolling has not been super so far this summer. Fred Klug at Utsch's Marina Bait n Tackle in Cape May said small bluefish moved into Five-Fathom Bank and nearby 4FB this week. And, he said, decent-size weakfish are visiting the waters around Cape May Point. Klug said they go 22-24 inches. You can keep one per day at 15 inches.

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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 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 6:05 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and 7 p.m. on 1400 AM and on our website:

Shep's Hot Spot

Fish for spot, croaker and kingfish from the T-Jetty in Atlantic City with bloodworm, Fish-Bites and medium heads-on shrimp as bait.

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