Summer flounder made a rally after a slow stretch caused mainly by a few days of windy, rainy weather after the season started.
The big story is about the big winner of the Brutus Fluke Tournament, won Saturday with the second-fattest summer flounder catch in the 21-year history of the popular event.
Joey Rocks is a member of a well-known Atlantic County-based fishing family. His dad, Al Rocks, a long-time fisher.
The younger Rocks hooked into a 10.03-pound flounder while fishing from the boat Humdinger. It measured 30 inches long when certified at the Elks Lodge.
The second- and third-place catches were quality, too, and both were caught on the same boat. Ralph Girard hooked up with 6.-pounder, and Brian Will reeled in a 5.84-pounder while on the Will Bill.
Gunnar Elbertson won the junior division with a 2.29-pound entry. The Junior Division (14-under) is a new category. Another new division is bluefish, won by Charles Elwell with a 1.96-pounder.
According to information from Fred Vineyard, the Brutus had 146 contestants sign up, including seven juniors.
They weighed 27 keepers.
The heaviest fish in contest history weighed 12.05 pounds and was caught by Bill Weeks in 2007.
The tournament, co-sponsored by the Egg Harbor Elks Lodge 2563 and Somers Point Somers Point AM Vets Post 911, is held in memory of Walter “Brute” Gregory Sr.
Proceeds benefit charities supported by the Elks and AM Vets.
A number of other notable summer flounder were caught in the past few days.
Tia Bucci is a successful fisher, and her latest is a 4.9-pounder caught Sunday in Ship Channel between Great Egg Inlet and Somers Point. It was certified at Point Tackle.
And in the same area, Brook Koeneke, captain of the back-Bay pontoon party boat Duke O Fluke, had a 4-pound, 11-ounce summer flounder win the pool for fisher Bill Wilson late on Saturday’s morning drift.
Brook said he will run weekends for another week or two before returning to his twice-daily schedule, leaving at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Brook said Monday construction at his launch site at Higbee Avenue and the bay has limited the Duke.
Noel Feliciano had a 4.7-pound catch by Pat Tang win his just-concluded summer flounder contest at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City.
The important aspect of Noel’s latest event is the $335 that was donated to the Atlantic City Police Athletic League through $5 contributions from each participant. We will have more details in a subsequent column.
We have a lot of other things going on, including black drumfish in Delaware Bay.
John Sowerby, captain of the charter boat Hooked Up II based at South Jersey Marina in Cape May, had a super report. Lili Amaroso, a 12-year-old from Bergen County, caught her first black drumfish Saturday. They had a total of 12 and released them all.
Cathy Algard at Sterling Harbor Marina in Wildwood reported Bill Collins, of the Glendora section of Gloucester Township, recently weighed 5.61- and 4.92-pound weakfish. She also reported tuna along the 20-Fathom Line, along with a few magi and white marlin.
The American Legion Stephan C. Ludlum Fishing Tournament is Saturday.
Fish for summer flounder, weakfish and bluefish. Sign up at the angler’s meeting 6 p.m. Friday at Post 331 in Stone Harbor.
Fishing can be from a boat within 12 miles of shore, or from a beach, jetty or bridge.
Call Dick Herb at 609-602-0047 or Spence Jones at 609-780-2168.
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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.