Mike Shepherd

Longtime fishing columnist Mike Shepherd tells you what's biting, where to find them and how to catch them. His column appears Saturdays in The Press.

The Miss Atlantic City and Capt. Collet are charter boats berthed at Atlantic City Fishing Center on Maryland Avenue. Ed Collet and Cindy Meloy are the captains.

They operate three or four days a week, and Ed reported from the dock late Friday afternoon after returning that it was "picture perfect" out on the ocean Friday. He said his charter crew was busy all day and that they were treated to "lots of life" with whales and porpoise cruising around the 65-foot Capt. Collet. They caught tautog.

Cindy said Friday that Wednesday's catches were decent, too. Earlier in the week, Collet said weather had been a persistent problem so far this winter, which has provided us with wind, some rain and rolling ocean.

Latest Video

Collet said they have been fishing 15-18 miles off, but they sometimes have had a 30-mile run out of Absecon Inlet along the beach to get to one of the wrecks or reefs. The tog, also known as blackfish, are generally in the 5- to 6-pound class, Meloy reported.

Paul Thompson went for a walk Friday instead of steering the Porgy IV party boat away from South Jersey Marina in Cape May, and Tom Daffin took the day off from the Fishin Fever charter boat at Utsch's Marina in Cape May to practice target shooting.

Thompson said he was planning to sail today, Sunday and Monday. Daffin said a strong ground swell can make it difficult to keep the boat anchored effectively.

Daffin has had some nice results lately, including an 18.7-pound tog. That is just one example of the expected arrival of bigger tog this time of the year. He also said he has heard the first reports this winter of cod, pollock and ling off South Jersey.

The North Star party boat is booked for Monday, which is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. That is also the day that Capt. Tim Barrus will continue a tradition with a 12-hour offshore trip off Ocean City commemorating the world record tautog caught on the North Star by the late Tony Monica on Jan. 20, 1998. That International Game Fishing Association tautog record is 25 pounds, and was certified at the then Campbell Marine.

The North Star is docked at Ocean City Fishing Center and will try to get out this weekend, but rough weather continues to affect ocean conditions, and as late as Friday some captains were still not sure what to expect.

Codfish and pollock have taken up residence in the offshore waters to the north of here. The party boat Jamaica II had a 12-hour Mudhole run Friday. An early report from the fishing center in Brielle, Monmouth County, listed a 27-pound cod and a 15-pound pollock by mid-morning. That's been going on for a couple of weeks. They had good catches of ling, but that seems to have slowed down recently, according to the report.

The Lacey Township High School fishing club has its fisherman's flea market from 8 a.m. to noon today. The admission is $3. LTHS is at 73 Haines St. in Lanoka Harbor. Lacey Marine, which has fishing gear for sale there, provided the email note.

Daffin and Steve Purul, of the Real Fantasy charter boat out of Barnegat Inlet, will be among the captains providing seminars at the Saltwater Sportsman National Seminar on Jan. 25 at Long Branch Middle School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $55.

Recommended for you

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.