"Fish are here, everything's fine, and we get dumped on like this!"
That's how Dave Showell wrapped up the storm and its aftermath for some fishermen. And the fish are here, according to reports from around the area.
Showell said Monday that he got his power back around midnight Sunday at Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon. He said he sat up reading to stay awake to make sure the generator kept running.
"I didn't lose anything, but I didn't gain anything either," he said.
He did admit to losing some business, however. He said people who were coming from out of town Saturday did not know about the extent of the power outages, downed trees, powerlines and poles, crushed cars and damaged homes and properties.
"They wove their way through to get (here)," he said.
And the few who got out fishing Saturday caught. Then, he said, the locals took their shot Sunday, and they too caught. They had to "fight their way through" the big cownose rays in the bays and inlets. When they did, they brought up nice flounder, he said.
On Monday, he heard from a group of anglers up from Maryland who caught kingfish in the sloughs along the Brigantine surf.
Don Brown said Monday from Captain Andy's in Margate that he was "knee deep" and had gone through a "hard 48 hours." They were back to pumping gas at Margate Sportfishing Center and had what he described as bandages on some busted-up docks.
Brown said drifting the reefs for flounder and sea bass is the best action right now. Great Egg, Ocean City, Townsends Inlet, Wildwood and Little Egg reefs were all mentioned in reports as having flounder and sea bass.
Margaret O'Brien said from Jingle's Bait and Tackle in North Beach Haven that you have to fish for what's there right now around and off Long Beach Island.
She said boat captains are forced toward the inlets and out to Little Egg Reef to escape thick grass and cownose rays, sting rays and smooth butterfly rays in the back bays.
O'Brien added triggerfish to the mix on the wrecks in 80-85 feet of water and 10-20 miles off the beach.
She said kingfish are in the surf with some anglers getting four or five fish, and small bluefish are plentiful.
Tim Davis at Moran's Dockside in Avalon also mentioned kingfish making an appearance. Davis said some of the kings he's seen lately are 15 inches in length.
He said Jerry Hurd has the Miss Avalon partyboat fishing either Townsends Inlet or Wildwood reefs for flounder, sea bass and triggerfish. A recent Miss Avalon trip from Avalon Sportfishing Center picked up a 3.93-pound triggerfish pool winner at Wildwood Reef. And an 8.43-pound flounder was taken on the Miss Avalon on another inshore outing.
Davis also reported continued good tuna fishing from the Elephant Trunk out to Wilmington Canyon. He said yellowfin, bluefin and bigeye tuna are still being trolled, but Davis added that some of the offshore captains have picked up sardines and butterfish to start chunking for tuna.
Davis said Jim Rozkowski on the Islander out of Avalon Sportfishing Center had yellowfin to 46 pounds on a recent offshore journey.
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Mike Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His Shep on Fishing column and Shep's Hot Spot appear Tuesdays and Saturdays in the sports section and daily on-line. Call 609-350-0388 or email
You can also hear Shep's on-air fishing reports Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 6:05 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and 7:05 p.m. on WOND 1400 AM and on our website:
Drift for flounder with sea bass mixed in at Little Egg Harbor Reef. Minnows, squid and clam are good baits.