It sure is looking and feeling a lot more like summer fishing. We had a few visitors from the south join some already very good fishing in and around South Jersey.

Jim Moran reported Mike Smith, one of the captains of the two-boat Nev-R-Enuf charter boat operation based at Avalon Sport Fishing Center, added cobia to the list of recently reported interesting catches.

Moran said Friday it weighed 55 pounds at Moran’s Dockside in Avalon, and it was caught by 13-year-old Eric Otto, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Moran said members of that family are regulars on the Nev-R-Enuf.

Moran also said Smith said he caught that cobia near an inshore buoy with live eels, but that was all he was revealing.

And, then Moran said, in an almost “oh, by the way” style, that another local fisher weighed in a 10-pound summer flounder caught in the back bays of Avalon. Moran said Gary Twiggs, of Avalon, had some live spot delivered and caught the old-fashioned doormat with one of them.

Moran also said other captains are reporting bonito and small bluefish at 2FB off Townsends Inlet, probably trolling.

Noel Feliciano at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City has provided reports about summer flounder, kingfish, spike weakfish and striped bass caught around the Absecon Inlet rockpiles and beaches. He also added a Spanish mackerel to the list with a photo posted on the shop’s Facebook page.

There have been increasing reports of tuna with mahi mixed in at relatively close locations such as Poor Man’s and Massey’s. A few white marlin have been reported.

But for many locals and visitors, summer flounder is the fan favorite, as always.

Dave Showell weighed in a nice 6-pounder at Absecon Bay Sportsman Center for a local youth, 10-year-old Zach Davis, of Absecon. It was caught in the back bays off Absecon.

Another back-bay report comes from captain Brett Taylor of the Reel Reaction, one of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association fleet. According to the info from Jim Hutchinson Sr., Taylor had trips that recorded 30 fish with three keepers, 25 fish to 6 pounds and 40 fish with four keepers.

All are strong indications that summer flounder are residing in the back bays.

There also are signs they are hanging at some of the inshore lumps and reefs off Cape May.

Sterling Harbor Marina in Wildwood reported very decent catches at Cape May Reef, Reef Site 11 and the Old Grounds. One report described Frank Henninghan “and crew” on the Avalanche out of Wildwood recorded 14 keeper summer flounder at Reef Site 11.

Looks like some steamy but mild weather will continue. That’s all good for the start of the summer season.

Follow Shep at

Michael Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column appears Tuesdays and Saturdays in print and Mondays and Fridays online.

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