This midwinter fishing report has a variety of subjects.
There is often a good message from locals in Florida this time of year. Joe Hughes has been running one of his two Jersey Cape Guide Service craft out of Islamorada. His operation is headquartered here in Sea Isle City.
A week ago, he had another super weekend in the Florida Keys, including what he described Friday as the “catch of a lifetime” for Ron Gionta, of Media, Pennsylvania. It was a 40-pound permit Gionta defeated with 10-pound test line (photo with this report at PressofAC.com).
Hughes said fishing has been “just awesome” on the light gear he employs. They caught snappers, jacks, blue runner and a “cuda.” They also went sight fishing on the flats and hooked up with lemon and bonnethead sharks.
Hughes said he will work weekends out of Islamorada until Easter, and he will start concentrating on striped bass back here when that fishery gets rolling.
We have a few South Jersey fishing reports that describe good white perch catches at times but not-so-good results at other times.
Boli Mam is a well-known fisher from Paulsboro who visits the rivers and streams of South Jersey, particularly the Mullica River and environs. He said Friday he has been fishing in the Mullica area once or twice a month since he returned from North Carolina in the fall.
He said he has been catching a lot of “nice big perch,” some in the 2-plus-pound range. He said he did not make it out during the recent stretch of warm weather.
Mam uses grass shrimp and bloodworm while fishing out of a kayak. He checks in with Howard Sefton at Capt. Howard’s Bait and Tackle in Egg Harbor.
Bruce Gehringer, of Galloway Township, also fishes in the Mullica out of his kayak. He said he caught just two white perch on his most recent trip Tuesday. He said one of his fishing buds got blanked the same day when the temps were 67 degrees.
Marissa Spitzer reported from Bucktails Outfitters that a couple of fishers caught some white perch in the Great Egg Harbor River from the bulkhead in Mays Landing.
That is one of the popular fishing spots on the river.
John Phister said from Hook Up Bait and Tackle in Egg Harbor Township he has heard of some white perch action in Patcong Creek, but the shop and marina are closed until a soft opening Feb. 23.
Dave Showell said Friday from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon he had some decent activity in the tackle shop at the marina on Absecon Creek, but he had not heard back from any of his regulars about how they did.
One fisher reported to the local scribe, who was making an early-week visit to Absecon Bay S.C.
Under intense questioning, that fisher revealed a friend of his had a good catch of white perch at an undisclosed location in a stream connected to the Mullica River area, and that he was headed out in a kayak to give it a try.
And now we go from Islamorada and South Jersey to Brielle in Monmouth County. Captain Joe Bogan last got a trip Sunday after blowouts Saturday and Wednesday of this week on the Jamaica II party boat.
They caught codfish, ling and tautog. Bogan said they were going to bag it again Saturday because of potential rough conditions, but he expects to sail a 14-hour offshore trip launching at 3 a.m. Sunday.
An example of the catches on the Jamaica II is a 16-pound cod caught by Bob Plasket, of Medford.
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Michael Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column appears Saturdays in print and Mondays and Fridays online.