Sounds as though fishing might be recovering nicely from a brief interruption.

Noel Feliciano at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City said he had three fishers in his store in the early hours Friday morning waiting for the winds to subside after the rainstorms moved out to sea.

When that happened, they headed out.

Feliciano said the conditions settled, the water cleaned up, and two of the customers reported back that they caught triggerfish.

Small bluefish have been dominating the inshore waters and back bays, while black sea bass season opened Monday with limits for just about everybody who gave it a try.

Paul Thompson said it was tough to find some fishing space for the Porgy IV party boat earlier this week, possibly because superior weather and a slow-developing striped bass season inshore combined to create sometimes crowded conditions on some of the inshore wrecks in the ocean.

He was fishing for black sea bass in the first week of the season and said Friday that some on board had limits, but everyone went home with dinner because they added triggerfish, porgy and bluefish to the mixed bag.

The Porgy IV is based at South Jersey Marina in Cape May.

Paul said he “took a walk on the golf course” Friday but expects to be back on his regular fishing schedule this weekend.

Black sea bass were thick for Monday’s opener. Many black sea bass fans racked up daily limits while fishing in 80 to 100 feet of water. Thompson said the water temperature earlier this week was still 73 degrees.

Fred Hynes said Friday from Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine that two store regulars fished for bluefish in the cove on the south end there and caught 35 and lost 35.

Hynes said that cove area of Brigantine was isolated Friday by high water at the entrance ramp.

Ryan Morse, of Cape May Court House, picked another decent tautog from the rocks in North Wildwood. Morse added a 2.1-pounder to his collection of keeper tog.

LBI Classic

The Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic is wrapping up its first week. It wasn’t huge, but a striped bass was entered to help launch the nine-week event.

Matteo Delmonico, of Little Egg Harbor Township, picked an 8.36-pound bass while fishing at Barnegat Light with a plug.

The Classic, incidentally, has an impressive 504 registered surf-casters.

It runs through Dec. 9 with grand prizes, three-week segments, weekly and daily awards for striped bass and bluefish, plus numerous other special prizes.

A report from Fish Heads charters out of Long Beach Island described “tons” of false albacore out front in the ocean.

That report also included mackerel, bluefish and weakfish, and a lot of bird play.

Derby update

The Atlantic County Surf Fishing Derby had two striped bass weigh-ins, with a 21-pounder caught from an Atlantic City jetty the early leader.

Gary Rzemyk was second with a 10.75-pound bass.

Richard Coles, of Pleasantville, caught another 1.1-pound kingfish from an Atlanic City front beach jetty.

It measured 14 inches long.

He previously had a 1.1-pound, 13½-inch kingfish he certified for the Derby, so he did not enter the most recent kingfish.

Feliciano said Friday from One-Stop Bait and Tackle that Coles caught four other kingfish and a blowfish Thursday.

The annual Derby launched Sept, 24 and runs through Dec. 2 on the beaches of Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate and Longport.

Prizes are $300, $200 and $100 for first, second and third places in striped bass, and $200, $100 and $50 in the bluefish, kingsfish and tautog divisions.

Sign up for $25 at Absecon Island-area tackle shops and marinas.

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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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