The movement of quality striped bass continues to migrate into South Jersey waters.
Greg Cudnik forwarded a report from Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom with a weigh-sheet of the annual Seashell Resort and Beach Club striped bass contest held Saturday.
The compilation showed the weigh-ins recorded a 51.6-pound striped bass caught by Kelline Ribson on the boat Tessa Marlene. The boats in the contest accounted for nine fish in the 40-pound-plus category, according to the sheet.
Greg said Monday this is the best sign this fall that heavyweights are headed our way.
Tautog continue to be a hot item around rockpiles, bulkheads, bridges and sod banks throughout South Jersey.
Noel Feliciano at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City registered one that was entered into the Pat Erdman Atlantic County Fall Surf Fishing Derby. It weighed 3.8 pounds and was 18 inches long when certified for Will Martinez, of Atlantic City.
Feliciano said Monday that tautog fishing is “phenomenal.”
He said some of the rockpile fishers report catching 15 to 30 tog. Green crab is usually the most popular bait. We are allowed one fish daily at a minimum of 15 inches. Those tog gatherers are returning a lot of fish back into the water alive.
Feliciano is a super promoter of fishing in the Atlantic City environs. He has put up another fun contest. This one is a Halloween-themed tautog contest. It began Monday and rolls to Nov. 3 in Atlantic City waters.
Noel has RH custom rods plus $150 for the heaviest and $50 for the second heaviest tog. Third is worth $25 plus a tog jig and a shop T-shirt. He said the prizes have pumpkin-color components.
Sign up at no cost at One-Stop Bait and Tackle.
The Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic got another striped bass entry from Brandon Pomykacz, of Williamstown. It weighed 25.12 pounds, and he caught it Saturday at Barnegat Light. It is the second entry he caught there. The first was Oct. 15, and it weighed 19.46 pounds. Despite the weight difference, the two fish measured an identical 38 inches.
The Classic now has five striped bass entries.
Fishing from the beaches has been a little slow.
The 51st Ocean City Fishing Club Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament on Saturday was ruled by sand sharks, according to a comprehensive report from Greg Borak.
Weigh-master Dan Ladik counted 107 sand sharks collected in the two-hour morning session and 17 more in the afternoon.
South Jersey Surfcasters racked up the most points (57.25).
Linda Greaves had the most fish (three), and Chris Dugan had a 14-inch bluefish. Both were on the RH Custom Rods team B.
More details to come in our next column.
Black sea bass
John Nigro is the dock master for the Starfish party boat that launches from Sea Isle City. They sailed Friday and Saturday but stayed Dockside in Sunday’s rough weather. John said Monday the excellent black sea bass catches continued unabated.
He said captain Bob Rush will initiate 10-hour offshore sorties for black sea bass Friday, when the regulations expand to a daily possession limit of 15 with a minimum length of 13 inches to be a keeper.
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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.