Welcome to May. We have a lot of activity around the area and quite a variety starting to develop.
Striped bass are mostly shorter than the state’s 28-inch minimum, but a few middleweights to light-heavyweights have been reported, including a couple of 40-inch plus bass caught recently.
Mark Schrenk is the captain of the Jessie James charter boat out of Brigantine. He was fishing in the ocean off Little Egg Inlet on Friday afternoon and sent in a photo of a 30-pound striped bass just caught by charter customer Tony Supernavage of Washington Township. Schrenk said he was bottom fishing “right now” with bait when the local scribe called.
Schrenk said he has also been catching some black drum in the ocean.
A photo taken Thursday night on an Atlantic City jetty showed Josimer Dominguez showing off a 48-inch striped bass before releasing it in another display of sportsmanship by another responsible area fisher.
Dave Showell said his last solo trip resulted in a few fat short striped bass, and young bayman Eian DiNoto had the same kind of result, both recently out of Dave’s Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. Dave said he had the itch to get out, so he took a short ride out of Absecon Creek to Absecon Inlet. He said DiNoto reported they were eating eels.
Showell is giving demonstrations Saturday during the Absecon Outdoor Sportsman Show at Pitney Park in Absecon, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is a full program on a variety of subjects and programs. All proceeds benefit the South Jersey Life Skills Lab.
Jim Moran weighed in a couple of slammer-class blues recently at Moran’s Dockside in Avalon. Joe Kadany, of Philadelphia, caught a 9-pound, 1-ounce blue and followed that up with one that weighed 16-8. C.J. Polhamus defeated an 11-pounder. All were caught in the Avalon area.
Moran has launched his popular Moran’s Dockside Spring Fishing Tournament. He offers hoagie trays for bluefish and striped bass, and a $50 gift certificate for weakfish. The entry fee is $25 with a t-shirt or $10 with no T-shirt, and all fish must be weighed at Moran’s. The boundaries are Corson Inlet Bridge south end to Hereford Inlet toll bridge north side. Moran has a popular hoagie shop at his dockside establishment at Avalon Sport Fishing Center.
Kadany and Polhamus are one-two in the early race for bluefish. Moran said Friday he knows of other blues caught, but none have been brought in over the last couple of days to be weighed.
Noel Feliciano had a few more bluefish chilling before taking them over to the Atlantic City Rescue Mission as part of his latest promotion out of One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City. He is running a contest/donation event he is calling “Fish to Feed.” The cool idea is to donate your bluefish to the Rescue Mission by bringing them into One-Stop and weighing them. There is no entry fee, and Noel is putting up a $125 prize for the fisher who racks up the most total poundage for donation.
He already has taken blues to the Rescue Mission that weighed a total of 18 pounds. By midday Friday, he had another 18 pounds of blues primed to be dropped off. It is easy to enter: no fee, no signups, just take your blues to Noel to be registered and donated.
Quality weakfish are arriving, too. Gunnar Fox, of Mullica Hill, picked one from Corson Inlet with an artificial lure on a bucktail. He weighed it at Ray Scott’s Dock in Margate, where it was certified on Tuesday by Robin Scott at 5 and a half pounds.
Black drumfish are stirring in Delaware Bay. Blowfish are concentrated in some area, such as around jetties. And it would not be a surprise to hear about some preseason summer flounder arriving. The season does not open until May 24 so they have to go back in the water.
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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.