The wind has been a player recently in the local fishing scene. Brisk breezes did not shut it down completely, however.
In fact, striped bass catches on the Brigantine beach at least had a breakout Sunday night and Monday morning, according to Fred Klug at Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine.
"It's over!" Klug said of the striped bass bounty run by Riptide.
The bounty was for the first 43-inch striped bass through the door. After months of the contest building up to $2,005 through signup fees, Charley Michalek of Egg Harbor was waiting at the door Monday morning when the Riptide crew showed up and opened up. It measured 46 inches and weighed 32 pounds, 6 ounces when they put it on the scales out in front of the shop.
It just so happens, according to Klug, that Zack Misero had a qualifier that was 43 inches and 35 pounds, also caught Sunday night.
Misero went home to change out of wet clothes and by the time he got back to Riptide, Michalek had already been there and gone with the prize money.
Sorry, Zack, don't mean to break your wagon, but it is an interesting story.
Klug said they weighed a half-dozen bass to start Memorial Day, including a 17-pounder that was the first one ever caught by Cristian Laskoski.
Striped bass are not just around Brigantine. Sterling Harbor Marina in Wildwood weighed a 25-5 bass caught in the back bays by Charles Parker of Wildwood trolling a Gulp from his Hobie Pro Angler kayak. John Kubhee of East Lansdowne, Pa., caught a 27-pounder with a bucktail on the Wildwood beach. Avalon Hodge-Podge weighed it.
Another story is the development of outstanding black drumfish action in Delaware Bay.
It started to improve big-time earlier last week. After a slow couple of days caused by the wind, Monday was shaping up to be a beautiful "beach day" and an active fishing day.
A dispatch from Matt Slobodjian at Jim's Bait and Tackle in Cape May called it "red hot" at Tussey Slough and Pin Top on the Jersey side of Del-aware Bay. Slobodjian reported that 14-year-old Carly Sanborn of Mahwah had a 75-pound drum at Pin Top.
Low water blown out by strong west winds affected back-bay flounder fishing on occasion recently after an outstanding opening day May 18 and very decent first week.
Press contest catches
The Press Fishing Contest had a great start with 24 entries received either online, some with photos, or by mail. It is time to catch up the Best Catch of the Week. That part of The Press Fishing Contest offers weekly bragging-rights certificates for deserving catches.
The first week was May 5-11. An entry into the Other Than Boat Division from the first day went to Mark Koochembere of South Seaville with a 7.98-pound weakfish. Moran's Dockside in Avalon was the weighmaster.
The heaviest fish by far so far this year dominated the second week, May 12-18. It is a 253-pound mako shark caught by Jimmy Crudele of Sea Isle City.
It measured 79 inches in length and had a girth of 41 inches. Crudele caught it with light tackle after an hour battle at Wilmington Canyon. It was entered for the Offshore Division at Sea Isle City Bait and Tackle.
And recognition also goes to a 6-pound, 8-ounce weakfish caught by angler Dylan McGraw of the Villas. It was entered into the Youth Division at Budd's Bait and Tackle in Villas.
Teddy Gill of Ventnor hauled two striped bass off the Longport Jetty and Gary Goll of Cape May Court House picked a 20-pound bass off the 8th Street Jetty in Avalon, both on May 21, to highlight early returns for the third week, which ended Sunday. Goll is the winner of last year's Senior Division and is an early contender in that 65 and older club.
Another senior entrant came from Arthur Lintgen of Perkasie, Pa., who had the unfortunate timing for Catch of the Week with a 32-pound black drumfish the same week as Crudele's mako. Lintgen was fishing the Avalon Fishing Club Pier on May 18 and weighed it at Moran's.
Check out PressContest.com to enter and for more information. The contest offers $100 gift certificates in 11 categories at participating bait and tackle shops.
Here's a reminder that the competition season gets active Saturday.
The 26th Greater Atlantic Bluefish has its captain's meeting 7 p.m. Thursday at Elks Lodge 400 Shore Dr. in Brigantine. The entry fee is $250 per boat, and three-heaviest fish count. Weigh-ins are at Kammerman's Marina in Atlantic City, Seaview Harbor in Great Egg Inlet and Shelter Cove in Tuckerton.
The Buddy Devlin Memorial flounder contest is run by the Margate Log Cabin. Sign up for $35 ($30 for members) at Capt. Andy's Marina and Ray Scott's Dock, both on Amherst Avenue, and at the Margate Log Cabin on Jerome Avenue. A captain's meeting is 6 p.m. Friday.
Jim's Bait and Tackle in Cape May runs its shark tournament Saturday. Enter at Jim's. The cost is $275 for boat crews up to six. Fishing is 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weigh-ins 4-6. Call 609-884-3900.
All three are scheduled for Saturday.
Shep on Fishing on Air and Ray Scott's Dock teamed up to offer a free back-bay fishing trip for up for four each month. There are four ways to enter.
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Mike Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column appears Saturdays 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: