The variety of fish visiting for the summer is impressive, and some really quality catches have been recorded recently.
A 496-pound swordfish tops the list, and a 441-pound sword is a not-too-shabby second best.
Both were weighed at the Canyon Club in Cape May and confirmed Friday by Paul Hoffman.
The 496-pound behemoth (photo on B3) was caught Aug. 2 on the Real Teasers owned by Joe Hevener, of Somers Point. He had Tommy Rock, John Wilusz and Brian Tomlin on board.
Hevener said it took 31/2 hours to fight the big fish to the boat with all of the crew taking turns cranking. And then it took them 45 minutes to get it on board.
They left the dock at 3 a.m. and headed to Wilmington Canyon. The lines were in by 6:30 a.m. They dropped squid on 7- and 8-pound sash weights to 1,500 to 1,800 feet of water. They had four bites before connecting at 1:30 p.m.
Hevener said they have been fishing 13 or 14 years. “We are meat guys,” he said.
Hoffman weighed the other sword, the 441-pounder, Thursday night. It was brought back on The Angler by Jim Haney.
Dan Ponzio had his Atlantic City based charter boat War Dance with crew Mike Edge and Frank Marchese out trolling the 30-fathom line and working the lumps that are holding bait.
They connected with a bluefin tuna “beast” that Ponzio said was an estimated “150-ish” in weight
They had some difficulties gaffing it, so Ponz reached overboard and grabbed the fish by the gill and throat and tossed it into the boat.
“They looked at me like I was crazy!”
The Nev-R-Enuf charter boat out of Avalon Sport Fishing Center and Moran’s Dockside had what is becoming a typical catch inshore at the Sea Isle Ridge with captina Mike Smith at the helm.
A recent charter racked up a 23.5-pound cobia, 10-pound class king mackerel and various-size mahi in 76-degree water.
Boat owner Jim Lutz sent in the report.
The Canyon Club will soon be blitzed by the offshore sportfishing craft.
The MidAtlantic rolls into Cape May Aug. 18 to 23. Registration and Calcutta side pools will be taken from 1 to 4:30 p.m., followed by the captains meeting at the Canyon Club and the satellite headquarters at Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland. Fishing days are Monday, Aug. 19 to Friday, Aug. 23.
Back-bay, inlet and surf fishing continues at strong levels.
A lot of kingfish are in the surf and around the fishing piers and rockpiles biting on mainly bloodworm and Fish-Bites artificials.
Triggerfish are thick around the jetties, and they are liking small pieces of shrimp, according to Noel Feliciano at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City.
Summer flounder are hanging in there in the back bays. And recently spot have made their appearance. Tautog and mostly small weakfish are in the lineup, and striped bass mainly at night.
Michael Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column appears Tuesdays and Saturdays in print and Mondays and Fridays online.