The excellent reports just keep building.

It seems as though we have it going here in South Jersey. Even the stretches of rain have not stopped the progress.

Great black sea bass catches continued after the spring season opened last Tuesday. A few more lean 20- to 30-pound striped bass were registered.

Black drumfish might be the headliners, with great action mainly in, but not confined to, the Delaware Bay. Bluefish continue to be strong, while weakfish and white perch add to the mixture.

And, of course, Friday is opening day of the summer flounder season.

Welcome to the late spring fishing season, in time for Memorial Day weekend.

Some excellent black sea bass action is there when the captains can get out in the ocean.

John Nigro is the spokesman and dock master for the Starfisfh fleet based in Sea Isle City. The Susan Hudson party boat of that fleet had another solid day Sunday after reporting limits for all on board on another recent trip.

John provided a photo of a fisher named Jerry Rau with a couple handfuls of quality sea bass.

Summer flounder season finally opens Friday with a three-fish daily possession limit and an 18-inch minimum required to be a keeper.

Spring-training catch-and-release tryouts indicate summer flounder will start out very solid.

The local back-bay fishing scene should have some superior and much-anticipated summer flounder this weekend. Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start to the summer fishing season by many, including those who favor flounder.

Captains of the party boats and charter boats and owners and managers with rental boats suggest using mackerel and minnows on top and bottom rigs or Bucktails in the early part of the season.

Back-bay specialists and rental operations are all geared up, baited up and fired up for the expected holiday blitz. Local flounder fans get one day to enjoy Friday before the holiday weekend crowds arrive.

Most of the pontoon party boats operate twice-daily schedules that depart 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Brook Koneke has run a couple of backwater trawls on the Duke O Fluke for the students of the Fernwood Middle School in Egg Harbor Township with faculty adviser Jim Thoms a main organizer.

Brook said Monday they had an 18-inch flounder in the net they returned to the water, and he said the star of a recent haul was a mature diamondback terrapin.

Brook has a couple of more trawls with the Fernwood students this week before getting the season started from the Duke’s dock at Higbee Avenue in Somers Point.

Striped bass have been lean and hungry. We have had a number of 20- to 30-pounders weighed lately. Sterling Harbor Marina certified a 48-inch bass caught with a lure from the Delaware Bay shore.

Catherine Algard also reported that drumfish are “lit up” in the Delaware Bay and weakfish are biting around the Cape May jetties.

Follow Shep at

Mike Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column appears Tuesdays and Saturdays in print and Mondays and Fridays online.

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