Good fishing.

That’s seems to sum it up based on reports from all around the area.

Tautog seem to have stolen the stage from striped bass as far as comparative size catches.

A call to Noel Feliciano at One-Stop Bait and Tackle added another surprising coincidence to the list because it occurred when he was weighing in a fish at his Atlantic City shop.

It happened Monday afternoon, and it has happened previously, too. This time, he was measuring and photographing a tautog that weighed 8 pounds, 12 ounces for Carl Graetz, of Egg Harbor Township.

Carl had his limit (five tog), and he said so did the other customers on the Osprey party boat.

Captain James Peterson “put us right on point,” Graetz said.

Graetz said that tog was his personal best.

The Osprey has been running from Gardners Basin in Atlantic City since Saturday. The first trip since returning from New York resulted in a 14-pound, 4-ounce tog caught by Rob Vallone, a well-known fisher from Tuckerton.

A couple of 13-pound tog have been reported elsewhere.

John Nigro, the DJ for the Starfish fleet out of Sea Isle City, said they “hammered” tog Saturday on the Susan Hudson. John provided lots of photo to back up that claim. Most of the tog seem to be more in the 3- to 4-pound range, topping off at about 5 pounds.

Steve Bent operates the Free Spirit from Margate said they are “doing fine” with tog. Mike O”Neill on the Stray Cat out of Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Inlet has been collecting those medium-size tog, too.

Striped bass are spread from off Cape May County to north of Island Beach State Park. A report from Betty and Nick’s in Seaside Park called the last four days “amazing,” with a lot of shorts but with keepers increasing in the surf. The bite was at first light with lures, all from the beach.

Inshore fishing for striped bass seems to be a little tricky right now.

They had some very quality bass Friday and Saturday off Cape May County, but then it seemed to slow up for some reason. One guess from Cameron Day at Sea Isle City Bait and Tackle is that there just were not a lot of fishers trying the past couple of days.

Back at One-Stop in Atlantic City, Feliciano is going to follow up with the Fishing for Toys striped bass contest he ran last year. Noel is a super promoter of fishing in the area, and his Christmas/holiday spirit contest last year was a real winner.

The theme is to collect toys and donations to be distributed to area youth. The contest last year was held in conjunction with the Atlantic City Police Athletic League. The entry requirement is to drop a toy or a donation off to One-Stop to compete in a heaviest-fish striper contest Dec. 15 and 16.

A truckload of toys were collected last year. They filled up the front of his shop. The prize for the heaviest fish is $200.

Neat nuggets

A bluefin tuna estimated to weigh 400 pounds washed up on the beach at Island Beach State Park.

A web photo was posted of the healthy looking tuna with surf-casters in waders gathered around their beach buggies. Betty and Nick’s Bait and Tackle had no explanation as to what happened.

Another photo showed a fisher off Virginia looking as if he was struggling with a sumo-sized striped bass while out on a boat.

That was posted online by Chris’ Bait and Tackle in Capeville, Virginia. The bass weighed 52 pounds, 10 ounces, and was 49 inches long when brought back to the shop.

It was caught in Chesapeake Bay by Jay Askew, of Henderson, North Carolina, on the Ken-Linn run by captain Ken Shlemen.

That is not the heaviest fish recorded at Chris B&T. They have had a “couple” 55-, 54-pounders, according to the phone report.

* * *

Follow Shep at


That is not the heaviest fish recorded at Chris B&T. They have had a “couple” 55-, 54-pounders, according to the phone report.

* * *

Michael Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. That is not the heaviest fish recorded at Chris B&T. They have had a “couple” 55-, 54-pounders, according to the phone report.

His column appears Tuesdays and Saturdays in print and Mondays and Fridays online.

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