The big change in weather had some effects on the fishing, mainly because fewer fishers gave it a try in the breeze and showers Thursday.

An example is the report from Ventnor City Fishing Pier.

Pier master Sue Simon said the pier fishers had been enjoying excellent catches of spot, along with kingfish and some weakfish all week ... until Thursday. She said three fishers showed up Thursday and they did not stay long before cutting out. Fishing was very good just before that on the pier, with a lot of fishers getting in on the action.

It sounded as though fishing came back strong Friday.

The Ventnor Pier fans were back at at in numbers. Tom Hewitt reported they congregated closer to the beach “where the spot are” rather than on or toward the end of the pier.

Don Brown, who is the director of the Pat Erdman Atlantic County Surf Fishing Derby on the beaches and from land on Absecon Island and Brigantine, called Friday with the news he was surrounded by mullet in the surf, and he caught some striped bass that were keeping them company.

He did not say exactly where, but he mainly fishes Absecon Island.

Noel Feliciano confirmed the quality of catches at the pier and elsewhere in the Absecon Island area. He said pier denizens have been coming into One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City and talking about quality kingfish of up to 12 inches in length caught around the pier.

We have a lot of bait fish holding fan favorites such as bluefish, weakfish and striped bass.

Feliciano said one of his regulars cast-netted some mullet inside Absecon Inlet and one of them in a recent haul measured 10 inches.

It sounded like a positive statement when Feliciano said: “It smells like fish.”

He said tautog are plentiful, but it might take catching a lot to pick off your one allowable keeper of 15 inches or longer.

He also said the rocks’ stars were fishing in Absecon Inlet in front of the Flagship Resort on Thursday because the ocean was rough. They were picking off porgy and weakfish from the Flagship and back toward the old Captain Starn‘s area.

Feliciano said striped bass “stragglers” are still around.

Mike Adams, of Brigantine, caught a couple of keepers. The latest was caught Wednesday and went 32 inches to go with one of 29 inches he previously caught while plugging the sod banks inside Absecon Inlet with top-water lures.

Dave Showell said Thursday there was a lot of “water out there”. And he said the water is still a warm 70-72 degrees “top to bottom.”

He said he was glad he did not have to “fight it” with a day off Thursday from his Absecon Bay Sportsmen’s Center fishing safaris. He also was back at it Friday with four undersized striped bass in a quick morning investigation.

Dave posted a recent report about two 3-pound weakfish caught by Rhianon Thompson and Eian Donati on a recent trip in the bays off Absecon. Plus, they had some catch-and-release weakfish while drifting peanut bunker.

Dave, like Noel, mentioned the big mullet.

Here’s a cool item from Dan Rothman, of Northfield, about 10-year-old daughter Alexandria, who is in fourth grade at Northfield Community Elementary School. She caught and returned a koi in the morning in a local pond and later in the evening caught her first keeper striped bass that measured 31 inches.

She and brother Keegan have been recording largemouth bass when freshwater fishing, and tautog when fishing with their dad in the ocean.


Follow Shep at



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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