The heat wave did not entirely shut off the fishing.
Brook Koeneke called Friday morning while piloting the Duke O Fluke back-Bay pontoon party boat that launches from his “new digs” at his same-old location at Higbee Avenue and the bay in Somers Point. He said the main weather problem he had to deal with was thick fog that made for one-eighth of a mile visibility at times.
He said jokingly the fog turned off the summer flounder, but his customers were catching sea robin, 30 to 40, he estimated. While on the phone with the local scribe, he said what looked like a bird emerged from the fog. It was another boat.
“Spooky,” he said.
The purpose of the call was to report a cool catch recently on a four-hour morning trip in Ship Channel, the home turf for the Duke. It occurred last Saturday. The Duke recorded three keepers that morning, and all three were by one customer. Carlos Law, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, got his limit with summer flounder that went 2 pounds, 7 ounces; 2 pounds, 2 ounces and 1 pound, 8 ounces.
They were the only keepers that morning. That’s a little spooky, too.
Captain Brooke runs the standard back-bay twice-daily four-hour trips at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Another personal-limit catch of summer flounder was provided by Tim Davis, of Avalon. He reported John Werley picked fish that measured 22, 19 and 18.5 inches long. They were caught at the Townsends Inlet reef. Tim added they were caught on a Century 7-foot fishing rod. Tim is the local Century Rods distributor.
Robin Scott was enjoying what she described as a “lovely breeze” when she was out on Ray Scott’s Dock in Margate on Friday morning.
She was taking photos of three youngsters of the Pasquini family from Honesdale, Pennsylvania, with a quality keeper summer flounder. Ellie, 9; Luca, 7; and Marco, 5, combined to display a 2-pound summer flounder.
Robin said one of the kids revealed that minnows were working as bait.
Robin said they were watching one of the Scott’s staff clean the fish, and Ellie remarked that the fish smelled good during the process.
There are a load of summer flounder shorter than the 18 inches we are allowed in state marine waters with few keepers and with a frustrating amount of almost keepers.
We continue to enjoy a summer with a wide variety.
Kingfish are sometimes plentiful in the surf and inlets, with some also on the inshore reefs and wrecks. Triggerfish and bluefish from snappers to medium-size patrol the area. Weakfish seem to be having a resurgence.
Noel Feliciano has a photo on his Facebook page for One-Stop Bait and Tackle of a keeper caught in Absecon Inlet from the rocks in front of the Flagship. It was caught Wednesday night by Anton Korotkov, who regularly visits A.C. from Philadelphia to go fishing.
He was casting a quarter-ounce bucktail with a Fish Topper against the incoming tide and jigging it back. He said Friday it fought like a striper. He estimated it to be about 25 inches long.
The summer variety inshore continues to be remarkable. Reports include plenty of keeper black sea bass on the wrecks and reefs, and striped bass mainly being caught at night.
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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.