Dave Showell said Friday he had a “little bit of activity” over the past couple days at Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon from fishers looking for white perch.
And there are some white perch out there, according to a report from Captain Howard’s Bait and Tackle in Egg Harbor City.
Blackwater Fishing Center in Vineland said there is a “lot of talking” going on but not a great deal of catching.
There have been a few recent reports of decent white perch catches in and around the Mullica, Great Egg Harbor and Tuckahoe rivers. Patcong Creek has given up a few white perch. Bloodworm seems to be in good supply for bait, along with netted grass shrimp.
With the opening day of striped bass season March 1 in state waters, a few bait and tackle shops are running season-opener contests.
Showell has been operating his Absecon Bay S.C. contest for years, and he is doing it again. Noel Feliciano has one going out of One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City, and Michael Cunningham has dived in with a weekend event at Sea Isle City Bait and Tackle.
Noel and Michael also are opening their shops for the season, while Dave has remained available around the marina on Absecon Creek.
Noel has an effective approach for snapping out of any winter malaise: He’s eager to get back to work at his Atlantic City shop. He and wife Awilda just returned from a trip to sunny Puerto Rico, and he seems ready to get going.
Cunningham joins the opening weekend club with a contest that requires no registration or entry fee. It starts at 6 a.m. March 1 and continues to 2 p.m. March 3. Top prize is a $250 gift card for heaviest fish weighed at the store at 4114 Park Boulevard in Sea Isle.
Feliciano has a weeklong white perch contest hooked up with his striper contest. He is putting up $100 for the first legal striped bass to be weighed at One-Stop and $100 for the heaviest white perch of the week. There is no fee, but contestants are asked to sign up at One-Stop.
Showell offers $200, $100 and $50 gift certificates for the first-, second- and third fish weighed at Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. Dave has added an innovative catch-and-release first-fish gift certificate of $100. Go to his Facebook page for more information.
A.C. Boat Show
The Atlantic City Boat Show from Feb. 27 to March 3 at the Atlantic City Convention Center has a number of well-known local fishers presenting seminars: Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Association, and Jim Hutchinson Jr. are scheduled for 1:30 and 3 p.m., respectively, Wednesday; Dante Soriente and Jim Caputi are up at 12:30 p.m. Thursday; Steve Bent has 4 p.m. Friday; while on Sunday (March 3), Adam Nowalsky is scheduled for 11 a.m., Scott Newhall at 1 p.m. and Hutchinson wraps it up at 4 p.m.
Show hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. next Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $16 for adults and no charge for kids 12 and under.
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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.