Did you notice that autumn arrived Monday?

Of course, it got hot.

Fishing did not change much.

Well, it did change in one huge way with the wrap on this year’s summer flounder season Saturday.

And we can’t touch black seas bass until that season opens Oct. 8.

However, the variety of fish we can enjoy catching here is really remarkable with what seems like a blend of summer holdovers, more seasonable visitors and a few travelers better known for more southern climes.

Heard of a few pompano. We get them here regularly, but they are more identified for residing down South.

Carl Sheppard, captain of the Star Fish charter boat that rolls from Morrison’s Marina in Beach Haven, had a great report that covered a lot of turf off Long Beach Island.

He said Monday they have bluefish “in close,” with Spanish mackerel 4 to 6 miles off and bonito a lot farther out, from 12 to 15 miles. That is a trolling action.

Then he added a nugget that in the deep at Wilmington Canyon they are seeing “big, big” dorado (mahi-mahi) feasting on mackerel.

And, yeah, he said the back bays inside Long Beach Island have blowfish to replace summer flounder for a fun outing.

Debbie Mooers said Monday from Grassy Sound Marina in North Wildwood that her fishers are reporting catching just about every species available in the backwater there.

She listed porgy, triggerfish, blowfish, small black sea bass and sea robin, plus the favorites of kingfish and striped bass.

Debbie said one her regulars, Joe Tomlin, wrapped his summer flounder season by catching them with that Nuclear Chicken lure. They were biting on the incoming tide.

Would have been good information to have a week ago. Just have to remember it for next season.

Noel Feliciano put the summer flounder season away in style with the Flounder Finale he ran out of One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City.

He wound up with 125 contestants for the free weeklong contest that ended Saturday and offered more than $500 in cash and prizes.

Tony Pano was the winner with a 5.3-pound, 24.5-inch summer flounder.

Tourney time

The Pat Erdman Atlantic County Surf Fishing Classic launched Monday.

Surfcasters can pick up badges and regulation sheets for $25 at Ray Scott’s Dock in Margate; Ship Shop in Ventnor, One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City; Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon; Riptide Bait and Tackle and Bayside Bait and Tackle, both in Brigantine; and Tight Lines in Somers Point.

Striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, kingfish and tautog winners can earn cash prizes.

Details to come on four-wheel drive beach access.

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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.

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Contact: 609-350-0388 ShepOnFishing@yahoo.com

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