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.

We finally have some good fishing news to report.

Donald Bondiskey used the term "overloaded" to describe both the traffic at Captain Howard's Bait and Tackle in Egg Harbor City and the white perch and small striped bass in Mullica River.

By mid-morning Friday, Bondiskey said, they already had sold 20-30 dozen bloodworm for bait.

Latest Video

It started last weekend when Bolli Mam of Philadelphia won the Captain Howard's prize for first legal bass in the door. Mam is a regular at Captain Howard's and known for putting in his time and having it pay off. His prize-winner weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and was caught in the Mullica near Lower Bank with bloodworm.

Several spots along the Mullica are popular for anglers fishing for perch and bass. Clark's Landing Road, JRs Ranch and Hay Road get lots of attention. Howard Sefton of Captain Howard's said - maybe exaggerating to make a point - that there were hundreds of cars parked along Hay Road. When you get down to the bank of the Mullica there, the open area is maybe 100 yards wide.

Some of these areas get crowded pretty quick.

Bondiskey reported Friday that Zach Allen and Eian Donati caught 51 sizable, healthy (and good-eating) white perch on the great weather day Tuesday. Plus, he said, they reported hooking a couple of dozen short striper.

Bruce Gehringer, another Egg Harbor City resident who makes the Mullica one of his favorite areas, had a similar catch while fishing with George Ramp Sr. and his grandson George III and Steve Day. They had 32 "keeper" perch and returned around a dozen along with one short striper.

Brothers Mike and Chris Sicurella of Egg Harbor City went night fishing on the incoming tide and caught white perch.

Reports of white perch - many weighing 1 to 2 pounds - and short striped bass getting active have come from other areas such as Tuckahoe River and other streams connecting to Great Egg Harbor River and Bay.

Dave Showell paid out his first-striper bonus at Absecon Bay Sportsman Center to Richard Kutch of Northfield. Showell said Kutch caught an 11-pounder in the Great Egg Harbor River estuary with a Bomber.

Showell also had reports of excellent white perch catches. He used the term "loaded" when talking about white perch in the Mullica. He also mentioned the Tuckahoe for perch.

Regulations update

Adam Nowalsky, captain of the Karen Ann II out of Atlantic City and state chairman of the Rcreational Fishing Alliance, reported Friday that we are one step closer to establishing summer flounder regulations for this year.

A conference call was held Thursday among delegates on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission board for summer flounder, black sea bass and scup.

Nowalsky said it looks as if an 18-inch minimum for flounder is a lock.

He said there was a bit of good news in that the board left the option for New Jersey to have a daily possession limit of five keepers.

New Jersey has been placed into a region with New York and Connecticut to establish equal regulations throughout the three states. A special New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council meeting is scheduled for April 3 in Manahawkin to finalize regulations.

Also to be determined is how to apply the 128-day season.

Events and projects

The New Jersey Beach Buggy Association starts its usual impressive schedule of volunteer work by an active membership in March.

One of the most important will be held next Saturday, March 22, with the beach cleanup at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge at Holgate beach.

Non-member volunteers who would like to pitch in can meet 8 a.m. at the four-wheel drive entrance ramp at Holgate on the south end of Long Beach Island. The famous NJBBA lunch of hot dogs and baked beans is on the menu.

In addition, the Brigantine beach string line fence project is set for March 30. Interested volunteers should contact Kurt Renart at bucket1740@comcast.net.

A series of three seminars put on by Tom Daffin, captain of the Fishin' Fever, and Adam Crouthamel, captain of the Adam Bomb, starts today at the Cedar Creek Sport Clays, 499 Ramah Rd, Millville.

The next one is scheduled for March 22 at Island Marine Center, Route 9 in Woodbine, and the last one for March 29 at Pier 47 Marina, Route 47 going into Wildwood. The cost is $60, and the programs go from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They are hands-on seminars on a wide variety of topics. Both are experienced captains based in the Cape May area.

* * *

Become a fan of Shep on Facebook at:


* * *

Mike Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column appears Saturdays in the Sports section. Call 609-350-0388 or email:

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.