We get a break after another blast of wind and rain, and fishing makes a comeback.
That was the pattern for what seemed like all month.
Goodbye, November. Here’s hoping December brings us some continued decent action.
Striped bass seem to have been relatively unaffected by the latest lousy weather we endured.
Reports from South Jersey and elsewhere have described striped bass in numbers all along the New Jersey coast. There seem to be fewer light-heavyweights to heavyweights around. Keepers more than 28 inches are making it interesting.
Weather conditions Friday morning when Noel Feliciano made the daily video he puts online for One-Stop Bait and Tackle showed a beautiful day from an Atlantic City jetty in Absecon Inlet.
Noel said lots of boats with captains and crews charged past his camera position headed for the inshore waters. He said there was a fleet already building when he got cranked up.
Noel said they were “right off Atlantic City,” probably some at Showell’s Shoal and elsewhere inside the state’s 3-mile legal zone. Striped bass are off limits beyond that line.
Noel said the weather was “zero” early Friday morning, meaning little wind and “super calm” ocean conditions.
He said later in the day the action seemed to have drifted north to as far as off the red towers on Long Beach Island, which is one of the popular landmarks boat captains know well.
While that fleet seem to head north, Travis Dauria at Sea Isle City Bait and Tackle was excited to report that big striped bass have moved into the waters off Cape May County.
The local captains suddenly do not have to travel from there to off Atlantic City and even farther north. He said the fleet sailed Friday, and it was the first day bigger bass showed up. He said bass that went up 35 to 40 inches were reported.
Travis, who answered the phone at Sea Isle Bait and Tackle, was also in the middle of the action with a 37-inch bass caught trolling a white Mojo off Corsons Inlet.
Travis, who lives in Sea Isle City, also reported a 48-inch, 38-pound striper caught outside Corsons Inlet.
What that means, according to various reporting stations, is that striper are spread from Cape May County all the way north to off Monmouth County.
Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park posted a report that described good fishing off Island Beach State Park to Monmouth Beach.
Betty and Nick’s, also in Seaside Park, said it was “on again” from Bay Head to Island Beach. Captain’s Quarters in Surf City reported a “big body” of fish north of Barnegat Inlet.
These are solid indications that striped bass might be around for some time.
Surf-fishing for striper continues, but it seems not to be at the same pace as inshore.
The Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic got another entry Friday when Richard Bergman, of Atco, put an 8.10-pound striper on the beach at Loveladies.
The Classic continues to Dec. 9. The Classic striped bass count is up to 38.
Don’t forget tog
Tautog is the next important happening.
Mike O’Neill said late Friday afternoon that he is “togging” rather than going for striper on the Stray Cat charter/open boat that is headquartered at Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Inlet.
He said he had a lot of bites with tog, mainly in the 3- to 4-pound class and up to 5 pounds. He has a charter Saturday and an open boat Sunday.
John Nigro said late Friday afternoon that he talked to the crew of the Susan Hudson earlier in the day, and they were catching tautog. The party boat had not returned to the dock in Sea Isle City by 5 p.m., so he could not provide an update.
They are going for tog again today Saturday, so something must be happening.
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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.