The anticipation and the weather are tantalizing for striper hounds waiting for that big push down from north to south.

A few more quality bass have been reported as the days, nights and water temps chill down.

A light-heavyweight was caught Sunday inside Absecon Inlet.

Tom Mossman, of Absecon, weighed a 35.7-pound striped bass at Absecon Bay Sportsman Center.  

 Dave Showell posted a photo on the shop's Facebook and proclaimed it the first local monster bass of the fall season.

Tom started fishing as a young teen with his late dad, Ron, a well-known and respected local fisher.

Tom said Monday he was fishing with Bob Kepley on Mossman's boat Blue Goose. Mossman was drifting live eels.

Tom, who runs Mossman Business Machines in Galloway Township, said it was the only fish they caught that day because the wind strengthened. They started drifting too fast, so they headed back to the dock.

One fish, but Mossman sure sounded like it was a good day.

Tom said it was the biggest bass he ever caught in the back bay. He said he initially counted three boats around where they were fishing. But shortly after they got the big bass in the box, they "must have had 20 boats" arrive as the fishing social media pipeline went to work.

He also goes for bass, trolling in the ocean.

One fish, but a good day.

Showell continued his streak of catching bass in the backwaters mainly between Absecon Inlet up to the Great Bay and Mullica River environs.

He had a blowout low tide that exposed more sod bank nooks and crannies than usual Sunday. Forced to take a different route than usual, he did some exploring and located another back-bay sod bank he said looks good and that he plans to investigate.

Showell has a bunch of productive spots he has been working, and he's picking bass every time out.

"Fish are here," Dave emphasized Monday when yet another blast of lovely weather blew through.

Surf-fishing got somewhat more active.

The Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic got two more entries Sunday.

Jimmy Worobetz, of Tabernacle, caught a 10.74-pound striper that moved him into second place in that category. He was using clam at North Beach.

Wendy Essinger, of Manahawkin, caught an 8.12-pound striper for the first women's entry. Both catches were registered at Jingle's Bait and Tackle in North Beach Haven.

T.J. Loughran Jr., of Manahawkin, is the leader with a 10.98 bass. No bluefish have been entered. The Classic runs to Dec. 9.

There are plenty of keeper-size tautog on the rocks throughout South Jersey. Will Martinez, of Atlantic City, caught keeper tog from the T-jetty in Atlantic City, according to Noel Feliciano at One-Stop Bait and Tackle.

It was not happening Monday, however.

Here is another call for fishers to join the movement to affect change in fishery management.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which controls recreational and commercial fishing on the East Coast, will hold a series of hearings to get public input about summer flounder, black sea bass and scup regulations.

The New Jersey meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 26 at the Stafford Township Administration Building, 260 E. Bay Ave. in Manahawkin.

The ASMFC management board seeks input on options. Here is a great opportunity for South Jersey stakeholders and fishers to participate.

Attend the hearing in person or go to to participate online by 5 p.m. Nov. 28.

Caitlin Starks is the fishery management plan coordinator.

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Follow Shep at


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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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Contact: 609-350-0388

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