Fishing certainly has been controlled by the weather, or more precisely cold, windy days.
That might change over the next few days, and indications are that fishing will improve. There are some small striped bass and often jumbo white perch showing up in our rivers and streams.
Report after report from around the area describe good white perch action some days and slow on others. Striped bass are cruising, but that opening-day 28-inch leadoff hitter certified by Dave Showell at Absecon Bay Sportsman Center is possibly still the only legal catch in the area.
It also sounds as though the local bait and tackle shops are stocked with bloodworm, the prime bait to catch both striper and perch.
Howard Sefton said from Captain Howard’s Bait and Tackle in Egg Harbor City he has had nothing to weigh but indicated that fishing from boats in the Mullica River around the Green Bank or Lower Bank bridges might work. He said the best bait seems to be bloodworm over grass shrimp in this colder weather.
Violet Meyer at Chestnut Neck Boat Yard said Friday they have had a few people stirring.
One of the popular spots there is under the Garden State Parkway bridge over the Mullica River. She also mentioned Nacote Creek and Wading River as locations to try when the weather allows. Chestnut Neck will open for the season next weekend.
White perch have been caught in Great Egg Harbor River from the bulkhead at Mays Landing, according to a report from Bucktails Outfitters in Mays Landing.
One of the better reports came from Husted’s Landing in the Bridgeton area. Ken Hildreth said Friday they have been busy with offseason projects, and recently at least one of their regulars has been racking up some good numbers of white perch in Back Creek on the few nice days.
Hildreth also said the local fishers there have what he called “great expectations.” He said he has had more inquiries this year than he’s ever had about an upcoming season.
A report from Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park put winter flounder in the mix with small bass in the back bays behind Long Beach Island.
Winter flounder was a traditional back-bay fishery back in the day. The fact that we can keep just two fish daily at 12 inches likely has limited the the numbers of fishers who make the effort.
Noel Feliciano is working another creative promotion from One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City. This one is trendy and noteworthy.
It is a release striped bass contest that requires participants to take videos of their catches with a date and measurement with a tape measure clearly visible and then putting it safely back into the water to swim again.
He is calling it the One-Stop Bait and Tackle CPR Catch and Release contest. Call Noel at 609-348-9450 for details.
Noel has not weighed a striped bass but recently reported some ling were caught at the William “Bill” Demones Jr. Atlantic City Seawall Fishing Complex.
The last trip by the Jamaica partyboat out of Brielle racked up jumbo porgy, ling, hake, codfish and pollock, but what was interesting about that not-so recent offshore run was the catch of a weakfish. A 21-pound cod caught by a fisher from Washington, D.C. was the pool winner.
One of the things that happened at the sparsely attended regular meeting of New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council on Thursday in the Manahawkin section of Stafford Township is that a special meeting will be held in mid- or late April to discuss summer flounder regulations that will go into affect in late May.
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Michael Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column appears Saturdays in print and Mondays and Fridays online.