We have officially bounced back from a day or two off caused by the storm that thankfully went past us in a hurry.
Steve Palmer of Jingle’s Bait and Tackle in Beach Haven provided a live on-the-water report Monday afternoon from Little Egg Harbor reef. He said the ocean was beautiful.
And he was “crushing” summer flounder, he said. But as most fishers know, they are mostly undersized fish, shorter than the 18-inch minimum. He said they had one keeper-sized fish.
“They are here,” he said.
He reported they caught big out-of-season black sea bass that went back, plus small bluefish and one short weakfish.
The report from Jingle’s described a lot of 2- to 4-pound bluefish and some kingfish in the surf, plus the same kind of short summer flounder.
The beach at Holgate is open for four-wheel drive vehicles with a permit. Steve said there is one spot at which they need to be careful at high water.
The other sign of maybe getting into fall mode on Long Beach Island has not happened yet. He said the traffic lights are still in summertime mode.
Captain Irv Hurd was also out with his Miss Avalon party boat that rolls from Avalon Sport Fishing Center.
He said that they were “doing well” on a beautiful day in the ocean.
His crew of customers went against the trend and caught summer flounder up to 6 pounds, plus triggerfish to 41/2 pounds, small weakfish and porgy.
Irv said they had 73-, 74-degree water all day.
Paul Thompson on the Porgy IV party boat that operates from South Jersey Marina in Cape May also described a nice day on the ocean and said they got into a few quality summer flounder.
Paul said he had some fishers collect their limit of three keeper flounder, some got a couple and some struck out.
Well, that’s fishing isn’t it?
He said one of his regulars, Rob Campbell, of North Wildwood, picked 22- and 23-inch summer flounder.
Paul said they caught and released black sea bass. He also said kingfish and small bluefish are part of the inshore mix.
One of the other interesting happenings is the virtual invasion of bait fish, particularly peanut bunker and mullet.
The Mullica River is loaded with bait. Chestnut Neck Boatyard in Port Republic reported striped bass were caught Sunday in the mouth of the river.
They have had good kingfish action from Great Bay and blowfish near Graveling Point.
White perch fishing continues to be remarkable in the Mullica River environs.
Andy Grossman reported from Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine that they also have a lot of snapper blues in the 8- to 12-inch range and kingfish in the surf plus a “ton” of bait in the Brigantine surf.
Across Absecon Inlet, Noel Feliciano said from One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City that a lot of mullet are in the surf with weakfish, bluefish and striped bass chasing them.
It is exciting to witness the splashes when the predators are attacking. But it’s even more exciting to be casting lures or cut and live bait into the frenzy.
He also said the rocks stars and surfcasters are picking up bigger summer flounder and nice-sized tautog.
He said it helped that the water temps dropped five degrees.
The Officer Dennis McGurk Jr. Memorial Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs Fishing Derby is scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday on the beach in Atlantic City.
It is open for youths 6-17. Sign up by picking up and dropping off registration forms at the Atlantic City Police Athletic League, 250 N. New York Avenue.
Participants can also register at the 8 a.m. check-in time at the Albany Avenue beach. The event will run from 8 a.m. to noon and is organized by the Atlantic Council of Youth Programs Inc., Association of Surf Angling Clubs, Atlantic County Federation of Sportsman’s Clubs and the Absecon Saltwater Sportsmen.
The third and final state public comment hearing concerning striped bass management plans by Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is set for 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Bay Avenue Community Center, 775 Bay Ave., in the Manahawkin section of Stafford Township. You also can go to ASMFC.org for details on the options and to make a comment.
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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.