Light-heavyweight striped bass have crossed the line at Barnegat Inlet.
The first 30-pound-plus striped bass to be entered in the 65th Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic was caught Thursday. Mike Curtin, of Little Egg Harbor Township, caught the 35.75-pounder. The striper swallowed an eel in Barnegat Light.
The Classic has nine striped bass entries. Mike Pomyczak, of Williamstown, owns three of those entries at 25.12, 19.46 and 28.16 pounds. Six of the first nine were caught in Barnegat Light.
The Classic continues through Dec. 8. No bluefish have been registered.
Pete Shearer caught another 30-weight in Barnegat Light. It was 38.36 when weighed at Surf City Bait and Tackle. Ít was not a Classic entry.
Dave Showell had a fishing safari from Absecon Bay Sportsman center out in the wind Friday morning, and they picked off another bonus-tag bass and one short before it got too rough.
Dave said he had a great day Thursday. His safari recorded a dozen striper with eight of them in the bonus slot zone. They had what he said was a “bonus limit.”
He has been fishing in the back bays inside Absecon Inlet with live bait. He said the water is not too dirty behind Atlantic City.
Dave said “it is starting to happen,” meaning the movement of bass in from other areas. He said the arrival of striped bass with sea lice attached is a sign a new school has migrated here.
Noel Feliciano reported from One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City that he weighed two keeper striped bass caught at night from land inside Absecon Inlet.
The tautog run continues to be remarkable around the rockpiles, bridges and sod banks throughout the area.
Feliciano had just weighed a “nice-sized” tog when the local scribe called Friday late afternoon.
It was caught by Carl Graetz, of Egg Harbor City, and weighed 4.4 pounds. Graetz said he fishes every weekend. He said he caught a lot of tog Sunday with one keeper among the 14- to 141/2-inch fish, just under the 15–inch minimum.
We are allowed one fish daily until Nov. 16, when the daily possession limit jumps to five fish daily through the end of the year.
Matt Slobodjian reported from Jim’s Bait and Tackle Shop in Cape May on Friday that tautog are “all over” the rocks there, too. He said they also have some speckled trout and kingfish hanging in the surf around the Cape.
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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.