Windy weather continues to play a role in South Jersey fishing, but we continue to hear good reports when the fishers can get out.
Michael Tabasso, captain of the popular back-bay party boat High Roller that rolls from Gardner’s Basin in Atlantic City, caught a weather window Monday morning. He had clean water inside Absecon Inlet, lots of sunshine and, for a change, light winds with 22 customers on board for the 8 a.m. departure.
They racked up 130 short summer flounder and eight keepers. The heaviest for the morning run weighed 3.3 pounds. That weight is very typical of the size of the summer flounder throughout the area.
“The fish are there,” Tabasso said.
Summer flounder, he added, are liking what he described as salmon-red and other brightly colored Gulp on bucktails.
Mike is on his summer schedule of two trips daily, leaving from Gardner’s Basin at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Mike O’Neal is the captain of the charter/open boat Stray Cat that sails from Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Harbor Inlet.
He also caught a weather window, but this one was Saturday morning. He had the Stray Cat in 90 feet of water with a temperature of 68 degrees. He had a full complement on board, and he said fishing was “pretty good.”
He said they were working on a limit of black sea bass with one fish out of every three a keeper when the wind came up.
They also had plenty of ling and some bluefish.
Mike said it is developing into an unusually good season for ling. He said they are more plentiful than he has seen in a long time. That’s a nice added attraction for inshore wreck- and reef-fishing fans, of which there are many.
The Jersey Coast Anglers’ Association ran is 25th statewide summer flounder contest Saturday.
The winner was a nice, fat 8.79-pound fish caught by Jesse McLean, of Toms River.
The JCAA has seven regions throughout the state with area prizes. McLean weighed his winner at Shipwreck Grill in the Manahawkin section of Stafford Township. McLean won the region prize of $1,000 and swept the region Calcutta pool side bets for a total of $10,870, according to a posting on the JCAA website.
Tony Mosloskie, of Essington, Pennsylvania, won the Southern region with a 5.53-pounder. The Southern region goes from Great Bay to Fortescue. Matt Sorrentino, of Ship Bottom, and Anthony Allegre, of Forked River, were 1-2 in the Long Beach Island region with 6.64- and 6.6-pound entries, respectively.
The contest had more than $30,000 in prizes.
Noel Feliciano had another popular contest this past weekend based at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City.
His two-day, free Father’s Day Summer Flounder contest had 120 fishers register. Everett Fleming was the winner with a 3.3-pound, 28-1/2 inch entry. Ron Fitzsimmons was second at 3.2 pounds. Tony Pena was third at 2.9 pounds. First place was worth $75, second $50 and third $30.
Noel said all the fish entered were “local,” meaning they were caught in the Atlantic City/Absecon Inlet area.
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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.