Well, we got one day, one night and one morning of decent conditions to take a shot at striped bass as the season opened in the inlets, back bays, rivers and streams.
Dave Showell had a couple of weigh-ins on Thursday’s opener for his contest for the first fish of the season he runs out of Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon.
Nikita Grantan was first through the door with an 8.5-pound, 29-inch striper.
Dave posted that he was walking into the shop on Absecon Creek having his morning coffee at around 6 when Grantan called from the parking lot. Dave said Friday that Grantan reported catching 20 short bass before he got the keeper.
He also said Grantan was plugging in the area of the bridge between Somers Point and Ocean City. Grantan is a repeat winner of the contest.
Second was Bobby Errickson, who caught an 18-pound striper on bloodworm in the back bays inside Long Beach Island. He also caught a 23-inch short. Dave has other prizes for his season-opening contest waiting to be claimed.
On the other side of Atlantic County, Marissa Pritzer reported from Buck Tails Outfitters in Mays Landing she had one fisher who reported catching an “almost” keeper.
She said Friday she had one diehard purchase two bags of bloodworm and claim he was headed out to go fishing in the wayward wind with rain and even snow Friday.
The bulkhead in Mays Landing had anglers using nightcrawlers picking off yellow perch and crappie, according to Pritzer. She also said Justin Marine, of Mays Landing, showed a photo of a largemouth bass he caught in a local pond.
Howard Sefton at Captain Howard’s Bait and Tackle in Egg Harbor City said he had a “very mediocre” Friday, which seemed appropriate given the conditions. In recent weeks, however, some of his regulars have had very decent white perch action.
Noel Feliciano at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City was cleaning up and organizing as he opened for the season Thursday.
He already had gone out to the Absecon Inlet to shoot his daily video, which showed a flat ocean Friday. Scott’s Bait and Tackle in Mystic Island also opened but has not yet weighed its first bass.
Striped bass and striped bass hounds are expected to be motivated again when the weather allows.
Friday’s winds put a hurt on the opening weekend, but just prior to that, short bass and lots of sizable white perch were caught in Mullica River and Great Egg Harbor River and their feeder streams.
The local tackle shops seem to have gotten a recent delivery of quality bloodworm to use as bait for both striper and perch. Grass shrimp seemingly is working better for white perch.
O.C. flea market
The forecast of threatening weather and potential flooding forced Nick Verducci to postpone the annual fund-raising fishing flea market for the Ocean City Intermediate School Fishing Club that was scheduled for Saturday in the school cafeteria. Verducci, the faculty adviser, is working to rescheduled it soon.
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Mike Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press.
His column appears during the winter in the Saturday print editions and online.