Tautog and striped bass are hanging tough in South Jersey waters.
A couple of recent blows have not chased them.
The Fish Around the Clock striped bass contest organized with the Brigantine Elks Lodge 2428 started Friday and wrapped Sunday. Andy Grossman was the weigh master at his Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine.
The tournament was for the two heaviest fish total weight.
The father-and-son team of John and Jack Crowley on the boat Natural Gas took the early lead with striper that weighed 9 pounds, 14 ounces, and 15 pounds.
Then they came back a day later with two more entries, this time hauling in bass that weighed 33.5 and 25 pounds for a winning total of 58 pounds, 5 ounces.
Grossman did the reporting and said the winners’ hometown was listed as Devon, Pennsylvania. He said they were trolling off Long Beach Island.
Grossman reported the contest raised about $2,000 for the Elks’ veterans programs. He said there were no entries in the surfcasting division, so they decided at the Sunday awards ceremony to donate all of the division entry fees. Grossman said they had 26 boats and 18 surfcasters sign up.
Carl Sheppard, captain of the Star Fish charter boat that runs out of Morrison’s Marina in Beach Haven, was out in the ocean when he returned a call from the local scribe Monday midafternoon.
He said his charter crew had four keeper-sized bass and four bonus slot fish, plus six they returned to the water alive. One measured 33 inches.
He said he was doing a slow troll at 1 1/2to 2 knots “halfway up” Long Beach Island.
Mike O’Neill had just gotten into the slip with the Stray Cat charter/open boat at Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Harbor Inlet on Monday when he was called.
He said he is “still on the tog.” He said the fishing was excellent, with a lot of five-fish limits of tautog, including one that went 11 pounds.
He said it was a gorgeous day on the ocean with water temperatures of 52 degrees.
He said they were not plagued by spiny dogfish, which has been a widespread complaint.
Bob Cope, captain of the Cape May charter boat Full Ahead, said tog fishing is as good “as I’ve seen it.” He said he recorded a lot of limits Monday, and a lot of tog Saturday ,too.
Noel Feliciano reported from One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City he was weighing in tog when he was called.
One of his regular rocks stars, Will Martinez, had just put a 3.4-pound tog on the scale and then entered it in the Turkey for Tog contest Feliciano is running.
But the big news out of One-Stop was a weigh-in of a 14.1 pound, 27-inch tog caught Sunday by Mike Keepings, another One-Stop regular.
Noel said it is the biggest tog he has ever weighed at One-Stop.
Here’s another reminder about the Cape Atlantic Striper Club Catch and Release Striper Contest set to run from Thanksgiving Day through Sunday.
Event regulations and entry information can be viewed at capeatlanticstriperclub.com.
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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.