August arrives in a couple of days, and a couple of added attractions have joined the midsummer fun.
Eddie Collet is the well-known and respected captain who runs the Top Knot party boat from the Ocean City Fishing Center.
He said Monday they are enjoying nice summer flounder fishing in the back bays inside Great Harbor Inlet. They also are catching kingfish and, surprisingly, a lot of keeper weakfish.
He said there are more weakfish now than he has seen in the past four or five years combined. And he said they are all keepers, more than the 15-inch minimum. We are allowed a one-fish daily possession limit.
His contribution to the continuing appearances of new players is an Atlantic cutlassfish. He said about a week and a half back they caught five in 30 seconds. He said they also are known as ribbonfish because of their narrow body.
Eddie said that while they were drifting for summer flounder at Ocean City Reef on another recent trip, the water was so clear they saw small bonito swimming around. They took the weights off some of the flounder rigs and floated them out and caught some sight fishing.
Ed runs a diverse schedule. He goes into the ocean from 8 a.m. to noon and into the back bays or inlet from 1 to 4 p.m. on a daily basis. He also runs a varied nightly schedule that starts at 5 p.m.
Anyone interested in getting on board for any of those fishing trips should call the O.C. Fishing Center at 609-391-8300.
Mike Tabasso runs the High Roller back-bay pontoon party boat out of Gardner’s Basin in Atlantic City. He posted online a photo of what he described as an Atlantic pufferfish caught in Absecon Inlet. it weighed 7.94 pounds, which he said is two pounds shy of the world record.
Hopefully, we will have more details forthcoming from Mike.
He did flash a photo recently of a cast of fishers with keeper summer flounder, including two people proudly showing off two each.
That Atlantic puffer is another addition to the melange we have developing in our waters.
Collet is not the only captain or fisher who has remarked about the “gin-clear” quality of the local waters.
Some of the rock stars who focus on fishing the jetties and rockpiles say they can see the bottom and can watch the fish swimming around.
Those jetty jockeys are catching triggerfish they can clearly see, plus summer flounder, kingfish and weakfish.
Bonito, Spanish mackerel and dorado (mahi) are inshore, where they are chasing trolled lures.
A report from Dave Showell of Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon on his ever-growing FishAC Facebook page for recreational fishing put small dorado and bonito in close at 3 miles out.
John Sowerby is the captain of the offshore charter boat Hooked Up 2 out of Cape May. He targets mainly tuna for his customers. He said you have to go “way out deep” for bigeye tuna. He said Monday they got two on a recent trip.
Way deep to him meant 90 to 150 miles off and into 1,200 to 1,500 fathoms of water.
John will compete in the upcoming White Marlin Open in Ocean City, Maryland.
The just-concluded Beach Haven Marlin and Club 50th White Marlin Invitational had a very decent catch.
According to information Dave Ridley provided, they had 28 white marlin, 27 released; four blue marlin, all released; 11 tuna; 7 dorado; and no wahoo or bluefin tuna.
The summer meetings of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will be held Aug. 6 to 8 in Arlington, Virginia.
Fishers and other stakeholders have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to submit comments to be distributed electronically to the commissioners.
The session on summer flounder, scup and black sea bass is set for 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7, followed by tautog from 4 to 5.
One interesting session on the agenda is a wind-power workshop.
The web addresses to participate in the meeting online are a yard long. Just go to ASMFC.org.
Tina Berger, director of communication for ASMFC, provided this info in a news release.
To submit a photo of yourself or a customer with the latest nice catch, go to PressofAC.com/photosubmissions.
Simply fill in the required information and upload the photo.
Michael Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column appears Tuesdays and Saturdays in print and Mondays and Fridays online.