Summer flounder season launches Friday in state waters, and that could be considered the unofficial start of summer for South Jersey fishers.

We have had some very good spring fishing, and many in the fishing coalition are already actively enjoying the fresh air in the outdoors and putting some fresh food on the table.

Black sea bass season opened Friday and there have been reports of real good action on wrecks and reefs in the ocean. Black sea bass up to 4 pounds are reported, with lots of limits. Fishers are allowed to keep 10 fish daily at 12.5 inches to June 22.

Here’s a neat story about a father and son having a memorable fishing trip in the midst of these tough times.

Randy Townsend took his dad, Ed, on a striped bass run for his 71st birthday Thursday. They trolled MoJos off Harvey Cedars on Long Beach Island for striped bass behind Randy’s 23-foot Iris Marie.

Ed tied into a heavyweight at 6:15 a.m. and brought it into the boat. They weighed it at 52 pounds and then released it alive and kicking.

That surely was an awesome way to celebrate a birthday for a long-time fisher. It was the biggest bass he has ever caught.

“A great gift!”

And, oh, by the way, Randy picked off a 40-weight striper.

Ed lives in West Creek, and he said they fish the Barnegat Light area bay and ocean.

The report of this super catch also was reported by Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom on its website.

All right, back to summer flounder and the other outstanding variety of fish that have been residing in our waters.

Beginning Friday and continuing to Sept. 19, the daily possession limit for summer flounder is three fish at a minimum of 18 inches in state marine waters and with a 17-inch minimum in Delaware Bay.

The rental boat fleets are no doubt sanitized and ready to launch.

Robin Scott at Ray Scott’s Dock in Margate has 11 rental boats aching to get rolling. Robin said she has gotten some 200 phone calls about the upcoming boom.

That 62-year family tradition located at the same location on Amherst Avenue should be lively this weekend. Call 609-822-6819.

Another area rental boat marina, this one in North Wildwood, also has a great tradition. Grassy Sound Marina has an opening-day contest that is very easy to join.

Catch a quality summer Friday and haul it to the marina for curbside weigh in, and win a prize. Call 609-846-1400 for details.

Debbie Mooers said her regulars are reporting “nice” preseason summer flounder.

She also said they had some decent reports of black sea bass plus bluefish and striped bass.

Noel Feliciano provided another upbeat report from One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City.

He added what he described as a “blitz” of kingfish to highlight the fishing scene in and around Absecon Inlet. He said he weighed one that went a pound and a half.

They join weakfish, striped bass and bluefish there.

Noel also has a promotion going for summer flounder. He colorfully dubbed it “Fluke Till You Puke.”

Gotta love it!

Sign up at no charge at One-Stop. It is a heaviest single-fish format for Atlantic County waters and continues for three weeks.

It offers cash prizes, MagicTail lures, “Banging Rods” custom made by RH Rods and Fluke Candy lures.

Call 609-348-9450 for details.

Follow Shep at


Michael Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press.

His column appears Mondays online and Tuesdays in print.

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