Fishing has bounced back from the other blasts that seemed to take a slice of just about every weekend lately.

But reports from around the area indicated it was soggy toast Saturday and Sunday because of the latest bout with wind, cold and rain, and rough ocean.

And it sounded as though few fishers were motivated on Monday.

Even Noel Feliciano‘s cadre of dedicated rocks fans seemed to take it light on Monday. Noel, however, enjoyed a rewarding day as he wrapped up his Fishing For Toys contest Monday that he had scheduled for Saturday and Sunday headquartered at his One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City. He did not weigh a fish because nobody went out in the sorry elements.

He knows how to pick a good weekend doesn’t he?

But it did not seem to matter. He had a successful contest anyway because area citizens got caught up in the Christmas and holiday spirit and their contributions piled up a colorful array of packages at One-Stop.

The entry for the contest was a toy or a game or a donation for the Atlantic City Police Athletic League. They were collected by Atlantic City Police Sgt. Will Santiago on Monday morning.

This event is becoming a nice Holiday tradition for fishers in the Atlantic County area, Fishing was fairly decent on Friday before the blow, according to reports from around the area.

Mike Cunningham said Monday from Sea Isle City Bait and Tackle that some of his fishers had striped bass in what he described as waves of differing sizes from very small fish to a few 30-40 pounders at the end of last week. He said tautog fishing was more consistent with quality fish in the 4-5 pound class with some bigger mixed in.

Mike also said there was a scarcity of fishers over the past few days, and he said other demands connected with the upcoming Christmas celebrations had something to go with that, too.

He also said that he has reports of life in the backbays, but none of his crew has figured it out.

There were a couple of other OK reports from Friday, obviously a fishable day.

Fisherman’s Heaquarters in Ship bottom posted a report about a surfcaster casting bucktails at the north end of Long Beach Island and having a decent day with striped bass.

That same day, Fish Heads reported that well-known fisher Paul Haertel went on a solo tautog run and had what he described as his best day togging with 9.67- and 7.2-pound fish.

There have been reports of very good white perch catches in the back bays, rivers and streams in the area.

An earlier report indicated they were biting in the Great Egg Harbor River environs and a more recent report put them in the Mullica River area.

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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