We have some decent summer flounder action in the last week of the season.
Mike O’Neill is the captain of the charter-open boat Stray Cat that launches from Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Harbor Inlet.
He said Monday they had “a nice flounder bite” for about 40 minutes Sunday while fishing in 70- to 75-feet of water off Great Egg.
That flurry wound up with five keeper summer flounder in the box.
Mike said he doubled up on squid that he salted to toughen up for bait because out-of-season black sea bass were tearing it up. He said they also employed 7- to 9-inch salmon-colored artificials.
Mike had been working on the Stray Cat, and he has it back in the water and running open boat trips Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, plus weekend charters.
He is looking forward to black sea bass season reopening Oct. 8. Sounded as if there were plenty of black sea bass where he was fishing Sunday.
A couple of old-fashioned doormat summer flounder were caught and certified recently.
Tom Zumetitis, of Ocean City, caught the biggest Saturday in Corsons Inlet. It weighed 7.4 pounds and was 253/4 inches long, as reported by Nick Verducci from Fin-Atics in Ocean City.
Another weighed 6.32 pounds and was caught among five keepers racked up by Ernie DiVicenzo, of the Sewell section of Mantua Township, and James Pierce, of Wilmington, Delaware. The report from Sterling Harbor Marina in Wildwood put that catch at Reef Site 11 across the mouth of Delaware Bay.
A report from Jingle’s Bait and Tackle in North Beach Haven described seven keepers with three that weighed more than 5 pounds recorded on the party boat Miss Beach Haven on Sunday.
We have until midnight Saturday to fish for summer flounder, and the weather is forecast to be really decent. Could be a “wow” wrap to the season.
Noel Feliciano is running a Flounder Finale out of One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City. There is no entry fee to sign up at One-Stop and fish in Atlantic County waters from land or boat.
Noel did not have a weigh-in by midday Monday, the opening day. But he did hear of short summer flounder in the surf and in Absecon inlet.
There also are several interesting reports that continue to highlight the variety of fish we have here in South Jersey as we start to think about fall fishing.
A quality sheepshead was weighed at Sterling Harbor. It went a hefty 12.32 pounds and was caught by Charles Brown, of the Villas section of Lower Township, while fishing in his kayak.
And Sterling Harbor added another species to the mix with a 6.13-pound spadefish caught from a rockpile with clam by Shawn Builifant, of Cape May Court House.
Striped bass are biting mainly at night, and there are widespread reports of small bluefish combined with undersized weakfish. Kingfish remain strong sometimes mixed with spot in the surf. Small tautog also are hanging around the rocks.
One of the most notable aspects of fishing right now is the thick schools of bait that we have here. Finger mullet, peanut bunker and spearing are no doubt the attraction for those stripers, blues and weakies.
It does sound somewhat like fall fishing, except for the sometimes 80-degree weather and sometimes 70-degree water temps.
The Women’s Surf Fishing Club of New Jersey will run its 35th surf-fishing tournament Saturday in Brigantine.
The Association of Surf Angling Club-sanctioned event is for women, men and youth with signups of $60 for six-person teams or $10 for individuals from 6 to 7 a.m. at the Community Presbyterian Church, 1501 Brigantine Ave.
One-day four-wheel drive beach-access permits are available, along with transportation to the beach for those who need a ride.
Call Reggi Vasta at 215-901-2474.
The Tony Eble King of the Bay Tournament will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday from the Yacht Club of Pleasantville.
The heaviest-fish contest for the back bays only from Somers Point to Absecon Bay is also-known as the “trash fish” classic.
The single-heaviest fish of any legal species except for sting rays or skates are eligible.
Tournament director Jake Glassey said he has a lot of awards to give out. He will be at the club Friday afternoon to handle the $10 entries. Call Jake at 609-385-3705.
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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.