The Fishing Line: Feb. 20 | Fishing & Boating – Cape May County Herald

Instead of “The Times They Are a Changin’,” like Bob Dylan sang about, a better title for us would be, “Our Times are Slowing Down.” That is what we are experiencing while waiting for the March 1 opening of the back waters. That will at least bring us the opportunity for change. Otherwise, it’s just a case of hurry up and wait. So for now, limited is the best word to describe our local fishing scene. That’s not to say that nothing was going on. The Cape May Lady was active, and productive, so let’s see what they were able to accomplish.

The Cape May Lady took advantage of a calm Sunday to get an offshore trip in for a group of their regulars. They were targeting some of our local reef and wreck dwellers and were rewarded with a tasty variety for the table. As they said, “they left early and went far and deep with hopes of something special”. Big blackfish were the desired target but they were not cooperating. However, other species were waiting, and hungry. Monkfish, Hake, Pollock jumbo Bergals, and lots of Ling filled the coolers of Linda, Kenny, Teddy and others who made the trip. As they started their return trip, they hit a few other choice spots to try once more for Blackfish. They were “able to pick a couple tog but the cold water definitely had them extra sluggish.” That’s the bad side of fishing for blackfish this time of year, but as with any fishery you need to put your time in and it eventually pays off.

In addition to the good fishing and February conditions, those on the boat also “saw lots of whales and some giant seals.” Sounds like the kind of day to be remembered for a long while.

The Cape May Lady will be doing it again as soon as a weather window allows. Follow them to find out when these trips occur, because they come up quick and fill up just as fast.

The 2019 Black Sea Bass Recreational Management Measures were recently released. Four separate seasons, sizes, and bag limits were established and are as follows: May 15 to June 22, 12.5 inches, and 10 fish; July 1to August 31, 12.5 inches, and 2 fish; October 8 through the 31, 12.5 inches, 10 fish; and finally November 1to December 31, 13 inches, 15 fish. Word on striped bass and flounder regulations is yet to come.  

March 1 will also serve as the opening date of a contest at the Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. It concerns striper fishing and can be won by being the angler who catches the first legal striper of the season. A nice gift certificate will be your prize. If you happen to be the second or third angler to register a legal striper, don’t worry. You will also be able to claim a nice gift certificate. There will also be prizes for the first boy and girl who catch and weighs in a striper over 28 inches and for the first fisher-lady who weighs in a legal fish. This category will be open even if your fish is not one of the first three. Check out the Facebook page for Absecon Bay Sportsman Center to find out all the details for the contest.

Sea Isle Bait and Tackle is also running a contest appropriately named the Opening Weekend Striper Tournament. It is free to enter, you don’t need to sign up, and there are rewards. All you need to do is catch a legal striper, bring it in, and you get a $25 gift card. You will get three weigh-ins per angler and the person who weighs in the heaviest fish over the Friday through Sunday format gets a $250 gift card. That’s not a bad way to start the season.

The Atlantic City Boat Show takes place from February 27 through March 3 at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Some of the highlights for the show will be 500 boats for every budget, a new Fishing Friday Event, a Touch-a Boat Tour for Kids, a Fishing Simulator, Virtual Reality Boat Races, and a new event, the AC Boat Show Scavenger Hunt. This includes new fishing rods, lures, boating gear and accessories that are hidden around the Show. Get clues to on Instagram @acboatshow each day, find the prize, and win. Other attractions are also featured so go to to get complete details on ticket prices, new information, giveaways and more. You can also check them out on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

South Jersey Yacht Sales will have a “prominent presence” at the show. Stop by booth D-23, say hello, and check out all they offer, including two new models that are set to make their debut in Atlantic City. They will have their experienced staff on hand to assist you when boarding any of the boats and in answering all your questions.     

The 22nd Annual IGFA New Jersey Representatives Annual Banquet will be held on Friday, April 5, at Doolan’s Shore Club in Spring Lake Heights, New Jersey. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the IGFA’s Junior Angler and Conservation Programs.

A cocktail hour precedes a deluxe hot and cold buffet dinner which is followed by the popular Fishing Tackle Bonanza which features rods, reels, lines and lures donated by major tackle manufacturers and local tackle shops. Fishing trips, jewelry, marine artwork and other fishing related items are also available during the auction. The “Grand Raffle” includes two Maxel OceanMax rod and reel combos, plus several other valuable prizes. A “Tricky Tray” raffle will also be held. Every attendee will receive a commemorative gift from IGFA.

Take care, and I’ll see you around.

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