There continues to be a spread of striped bass all along the Jersey coast.
There are a lot of lightweights with some middleweights mixed in.
Alex Chell is a 22-year old from Margate who was fishing with brothers Colin and Owen Brennan from Wallingford, Pennsylvania, in a striped bass contest sponsored by Maynard’s Cafe.
Alex said Monday he and Colin went 1-2 on the leaderboard with 24- and 18-pound bass.
They fished a lump off Sea Isle City where birds were working and jigged up some small fish at sunrise. Then they moved to deeper water at the edge of the lump and trolled up the two keepers a half-hour apart.
Chell said fishing has been good with a lot of fish shorter than the 28-inch minimum.
He said they had good weather and that the ocean flattened out by noon.
Chell graduated from Stockton University in the spring, and Colin recently turned 21.
Jim Farley, of the Marlton section of Evesham Township, is an early leader in the holiday-themed Fish for Toys striped bass contest run by Noel Feliciano out of One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City. He weighed in a 30-pound, 45-inch striper Wednesday while fishing off Long Beach Island.
He said he had a backup 27.9-pounder. And he provided a more timely report Monday. He went back to the same area off Barnegat Inlet on Saturday and racked up 15 bass.
The second-place striper in the contest came into One-Stop on Saturday when Kevin Weingel, of Mount Ephraim, registered a 29.9-pound, 41-inch bass.
And guess who’s boat he was fishing on? That Jim Farley magnet.
Local pro Dan Ponzio put an 18.9-pound bass on the board and resides in third place. Ponzio runs the War Dance out of Atlantic City.
The Fish for Toys contest is unique in that the sign-up is the drop-off of a new unwrapped toy or game at One-Stop. They will be donated to the Atlantic City Police Athletic League to be distributed to needy youth.
Contributions also will be accepted for donation.
The top three heaviest fish per contestant take first, second and third prizes worth a total of $1,400. There are no boundaries for the contest that continues to Dec. 15.
Carl Sheppard is the captain of the party boat Star Fish based at Morrison’s Marina in Beach Haven.
He said he had a “wonderful day” Friday with five fishers whom he called his “usual crew” that fishes with him after Thanksgiving. He said Monday they had 20 fish, and all aboard went home with a keeper.
He said almost all of them were caught on the troll at midwater, which he said indicated they were moving.
Captain Carl said he was taking Monday to winterize, and then added that it was sleeting.
Tautog are in the mix, too.
Mike O’Neal last had the Stray Cat charter/open boat out Saturday. He said his last five trips inshore have been good, with a lot of tog.
He said the spiney dogfish have eased up a lot. They have been more than a nuisance this fall.
John Nigro is the dock master for the Starfish party boat that runs out of Sea Isle City. He sent out another photo gallery of happy chilled fishers with smiling faces flashing quality tog they caught Saturday.
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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.