The wind certainly played a role over the past couple of days. The delightful breezes and cooler air temps gave us a touch of fall a month early.

Local fishers continued to enjoy a wide variety.

Summer flounder remains the fan favorite for visitors, for sure. We are still getting a decent number of summer flounder in the back bays and in the ocean at many of the lumps and sloughs.

Dave Showell runs a guide service from his Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon.

He had Mike Marino with him on one of his safaris Friday before the wind came up. They were fishing in and around the Mullica River environs.

Dave reported they had a 23-inch striped bass on the first drift at first light. And Marino later caught a 20-inch keeper summer flounder. They also got some bluefish and more short striped bass.

Dave said the mullet were thick and providing plenty of forage for the striped bass. Dave said they had fish “all day.”

He said bait was everywhere. He also said the water temp was a warm 83 degrees.

Dave also has an active softshell crab business with pens right there at the dock on Absecon Creek. He said they are having a good run of shedders.

Mike O’Neill took advantage of the windy conditions to take a break and catch up on some sleep Monday.

The captain of the Stray Cat charter/open boat based at Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Harbor Inlet said he has been putting his customers on a lot of dorado (mahi), bonito, Spanish mackerel and king mackerel, and starting five days ago, false albacore joined the team.

He said he also caught a needlefish. He said they are “faster than fast.”

O’Neill said that is all trolling between 51/2 to 71/2 knots with 4-inch Clark’s spoons. And, he said, you don’t have to work the pots for dorado. He said they caught 23- to 26-pound dorado.

He said there is “plenty of dark, dark blue water” inside 12 miles. He said to look for that and start trolling.

The remarkable variety of species continues inshore and in the inlets and back bays.

Quality summer flounder are still in the back bays. A report from Ray Scott’s Dock In Margate described a private boat crew that recently racked up three keepers, one weighing 3.5 pounds.

Noel Feliciano said he had a busy weekend despite the windy weather. He said they had kingfish on the beach despite the rough surf, plus nice bluefish, triggerfish and mostly small tautog.

They also have spot, porgy and croaker cruising in some of the backwaters throughout.

Sept. meetings

A round of meetings to obtain public participation concerning striped bass regulations will be in New Jersey.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has one scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 4 at the Ocean City Public Library, 1725 Simpson Avenue.

Another will be held Thursday, Sept. 12 at the Bay Avenue Community Center in the Manahawkin section of Stafford Township.

Both meetings are scheduled for 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Anyone who can’t attend can send written comment to Max Appleman, Fishery Management Plan Ccordinator, 1050 N. Highland Street, Arlington, Virginia, or go to (subject line - draft addendum VI).

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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