It does not seem to matter where you enjoy your favorite style of fishing because the reports are good inside, outside and in between.
Maybe the most interesting stretches of water are inside, in this case meaning the inlets and back bays.
Brook Koeneke is the captain of the back-bay specialist Duke O Fluke pontoon party boat that operates from Higbee Avenue in Somers Point. He called from out on the water on a beautiful Friday to report another of his regulars had a nice catch in Ship Channel off Somers Point.
Jodie Perri is a school teacher from Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania. Brook said she usually takes away four or five summer flounder each season.
The latest was a 3.2-pound, 23-inch keeper she caught Thursday. Brook said the one disappointment for her was she did not get a good photo because she was so excited.
Many a fisher knows that adrenaline rush.
Joe Fumo runs the Fish Finder pontoon party boat and a 28-foot charter boat out of Brigantine. He said Friday the back-bay trips have been racking up 100 to 150 short summer flounder (less than the allowable 18 inches) with “two, three, four” keepers each trip.
That ratio is typical of what has been happening just about everywhere. And we still have other big summer flounder hanging in the back bays.
Robin Scott reported from Ray Scott’s Dock in Margate that two of her dock hands went fishing from the dock there on Amherst Avenue and caught 58 short summer flounder. The first one caught was 18 inches, and the others were all 17 inches to 173/4 inches — tantalizingly close to the keeper minimum.
They weighed a 71/2-pound flounder recently at Ray Scott’s.
And Robin reported that Sky Glenn took a rod and reel and went fishing from his personal watercraft and hauled in 41/2-pound summer flounder.
Mike O’Neill took the day off Friday and reported that summer flounder are scarce where he usually fishes inshore, within about 8 miles of the coast. He was at Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Inlet where he docks his Stray Cat charter/open boat, so he was not entirely off.
Mike said he’s lost only three days to the weather. He has been concentrating on a variety of inshore favorites. He is trolling up bonito, mahi, Spanish mackerel and bluefish just outside the popular Cigar lump.
He said he had a couple of wahoo bites and had a white marlin up to the boat.
He said the water is “gin clear” with a light swell and just enough breeze to keep the black flies off on a recent run. The had to stretch out another 19 miles on one trip to get into 72- to 74-degree water. The water temp because of a southwest wind was 67 degrees where he intended to set up. He said other well-known spots such as 2FB and Sea Isle Ridge are “teeming.”
Dan Ponzio also had some time off from the War Dance that rolls from Atlantic City. But he provided a report from his cadre that described “really, really good” bluefin tuna action along the 20-fathom and 30-fathom lines. He said they were trolling in the morning and jigging in the afternoon.
The action “has not stopped” around Absecon Inlet, Noel Feliciano said Friday from One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City. Andy Grossman said very much the same thing from from Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine.
Noel said surf-casters are catching kingfish and summer flounder in the “wash” at the Vermont Avenue jetty in Atlantic City. He said triggerfish and the occasional weakfish are also in the mix at the other A.C. rockpiles. Grossman said the blues are starting to hit the 10-inch range.
The water is so clear around the jetties the fishers say they can see the fish all the way down to the bottom. Sounds like midsummer perfect conditions coming up over the weekend.
Michael Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column appears Tuesdays and Saturdays in print and Mondays and Fridays online.