We have a lot of things going on in mid-July, including a possible state spearfishing record for triggerfish.
The 26th Duke of Fluke tournament run by Cathy and George Algard out of Sterling Harbor Marina on Saturday was a success, as usual for that Wildwood-based contest.
Cathy said Monday they had 111 boats, 37 kayaks and “lots” of fish.
And the results showed big summer flounder can be found in the ocean and in the back bays. Two 7-pound plus doormats went 1-2.
Lyle Rutty had the heaviest at 7.16 pounds on his boat She Likes It Russ while fishing inshore. Dan Schafer of the Insomniac was a couple of ounces off with a 7.09-pound entry caught inside.
Tom Daffin on the Fishin Fever out of Cape May had the heaviest five fish with a total of 19.35 pounds.
Patricia Dameron on the Patricia Lynn was the women’s winner with 4.65-pounder.
Isaac DeHaven, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, was the junior champ with a 3.18 catch. Mike Brier, of Villas, took the kayak title with a 2.36-pounder.
Eric Mease’s 5.67-pound catch was good for third place.
The contest, which included an awards party, is a strong indication that despite the ton of small summer flounder residing in our waters there are quality keepers out there.
Another example of a fat flounder is the 8-pound, 28-inch beauty Richard DiCiocciio Jr. caught and had weighed at Ship Shop in Ventnor.
Triggerfish are showing up in good numbers and size.
Nick Alaburda, of Brigantine, weighed one he captured spearfishing that went 4 pounds, 12.8 ounces and was 20 inches long at Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine. Riptide’s Andy Grossman certified it as a potential state spearfishing record.
It was a family outing on the A Team boat with Alaburda’s 6-year-old son, Colton, Nick’s brother Greg and their dad, Jeff, on board for a ride to Wilmington Canyon on Saturday.
They caught mahi but left to come inside where Nick and Greg took turns free diving the surface around a buoy in 80 feet of water. They each got two triggerfish.
Nick said he just got into spearfishing the past couple of years. He said Monday afternoon he will submit the paperwork to the state Tuesday.
Isidro Valentin is one of the rock stars of the Atlantic City jetties. According to Noel Feliciano, the Atlantic City resident is “giving clinics” on catching triggerfish.
Valentin caught nine jumbos recently with shrimp and clam as bait. Feliciano reported that Valentin said he can see the triggerfish hanging around the rocks.
Kingfish are plentiful in the surf, inlets and inshore reefs. They move up and down and in and out. Sand fleas, bloodworm, Fish-Bites artificial bait and small chunks of shrimp are working as bait.
Small bluefish and spike weakfish are mixed in with Spanish mackerel for the land-based and back-bay boat crews.
The first of two tours of the Ocean City Fishing Club Pier will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Visitors are asked to bring no-perishable food to be donated to the Ocean City Community Food Cupboard. Cash donations will be accepted.
The two-day combined contributions last year were 453 pounds of food and $678 from 1,346 visitors, according to OCFC president Greg Borak.
The second open house is set for Aug. 1. The pier is located at 14th Street and the Boardwalk.
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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.