Unfortunately the windy, gloomy and occasionally rainy weather put a damper on the early part of the Labor Day weekend festivities. Prior to Friday, fishing was just chugging along. It took a short break, but then returned for most of the local boats on Sunday. A quick reminder I wanted to pass on to you is that sea bass is now out of season till Oct. 8. If you catch any, be safe and let them go. Now, letâ€™s go check out what happened.
The Cape May Lady took a weather-related break on Saturday, and then returned to the water on Sunday morning and had a triggerfish â€śbeat down.â€ť The high-hook had five fish, while â€śeveryone went home with a nice bag of meat again.â€ť Theyâ€™ve had days like this before the break, so everyone scoring a bag of fillets was nothing unusual.
The afternoon was slower on the triggerfish but active with sea bass, scup and even some flounder which included a keeper fluke.
Donâ€™t forget that their fall schedule recently started. They will be focusing on local wrecks for triggerfish, plus the one-fish bag limit of tog. It will be interesting to see what else is hanging when they drop their bait. Private charters and other special trips will be interspersed throughout the fall.
Captain Chuck from the Sea Star III reported that the recent week â€śsaw the best fluke action all season.â€ť He also noted the keeper ratio could have been better, â€śbut the action was hot.â€ť The increased flounder action â€śwas just what we needed with the temporary close of sea bass season.â€ť
Pool-winners with weights were Kathy Mulvehill , who won three times, with fluke (3.0, 4.25, 3.7), Greg Simpson (4.75), 8-year-old Olivia Walker (4.0) and John Kennedy (3.4). George Schoell won with a 1.75-pound bluefish. Anglers Chris and Frank each had three-fluke limits.
The Fishinâ€™ Fever had what was termed a â€śfluke trip gone sideways.â€ť They had fluke, mahi and tuna for a nice mixed bag. Earlier in the week, they also had a â€ścouple good offshore tripsâ€ť that produced some nice tilefish. They also had a fluke outing that had an â€śearly boat limitâ€ť and was bolstered by sea bass and triggerfish.
The Full Ahead with Captain Bob took a charter out recently and focused on â€śbottom fishing.â€ť â€śIt was a very good choiceâ€ť as they â€śmanaged a cooler full of fish consisting of fluke, ling, sea bass and a bunch of dolphin that found us.â€ť Another good trip was â€śledâ€ť by Dave who had a seven-pound flounder that was amongst their limit. They also caught â€śa bunchâ€ť of mahi, some ling and a pollock.
The Miss Chris Marina had a good week fishing as their patrons brought in nice flounder, triggerfish and kingfish. Roberta Hand won a pool with the â€śbiggest kingfish of the seasonâ€ť while Pat Conners won with a triggerfish. A 22-inch pool-winning flounder went to Jason Gerlack.
Off The Hook Bait and Tackle reports that â€śthe September bite is on.â€ť That statement refers to the marlin fishery off the coast of New Jersey. To help prove that point, the crew of the Reelinâ€™ Feelinâ€™ went out and tallied â€ś37 whites and a blue.â€ť Another catch of note went to angler Mike Niedoba who stopped in to show off his first swordfish. Good job, Mike.
Boulevard Bait and Tackle continues to weigh in nice flounder. They just weighed in a 6.73-pound, 26-inch fish for Mikey B. who was fishing with Joey G. This fish takes over second place in the yearly fishing tournament. These gentlemen finished their day by getting another keeper, plus a triggerfish.
The Miss Avalon is still bringing in some nice catches of fluke and triggerfish. They went out for a five-hour trip on Labor Day Monday and returned with three nice keepers. They were kept busy with a bunch of shorts fluke also. No triggerfish were picked up since they changed tactics and decided to drift instead of anchoring over structure. On Tuesday, they anchored up and pulled in a nice load of large triggerfish.
The Avalon Lady released their schedule for the time frame through Oct. 7. They have both crabbing and fishing trips set up, so check them out at www.missavalon.com or call (609) 967-7455 to line up a trip.
Avalon Hodge Podge weighed in a 4.9-pound fluke for Cindy Scully which she caught while fishing on the â€śOne More Drift.â€ť It was one of four keepers â€śamong the many throwbacksâ€ť they caught that day. They were fishing the T.I. Reef.
Mike Cunningham from Sea Isle Bait and Tackle reported a late day trip on Sunday for him and a buddy to the local reef. They returned being â€śjust shortâ€ť of their limit. The biggest flounder weighed in at 5.5 pounds. Not a bad end-of-the-day trip.
The Royal Flush is now running two trips daily. Their summer evening trips are done for the year. Is it that time of the year already? Regardless, they will still sail at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., so get out and fish. They will still ply the oceanfront for kingfish, flounder, weakfish, triggerfish, bluefish and croakers. Nice catches were recently made by Bill Schneider and Brian Aparicio with multiple triggerfish, Ray Vecchione with a nice flounder and Morgan Brown who caught a â€śbucket of kingies.â€ť
Cathy from Sterling Harbor Bait and Tackle says that â€śflounder fishing was good at the reefs.â€ť The best reports were heard from the Wildwood and Cape May Reefs. A lot of shorts are in the back, so you may want to hit the inlets and deeper water areas if you are fishing in close. Some small stripers also may be caught if youâ€™re in the back, so go prepared with top-water offerings or soft plastics.
The mouth of the Delaware Bay is holding flounder, croakers, spike weakfish, snapper bluefish and kingfish. Thatâ€™s a nice variety of targets for you.
Cathy mentioned that a mahi mahi bite is occurring from â€śapproximately eight miles off, all the way to the canyons.â€ť Also, white marlin fishing has been described as â€śexcellentâ€ť at the canyons.
â€śHeavy and plentifulâ€ť crabs have Crabby Jack giving four claws to crabbing this week.
Stop in and check out the â€śEnd of Summer Kayak Saleâ€ť featuring â€śthe best selectionâ€ť of leftover, demo and rental kayaks.
The Sailorâ€™s Delight passed the 1,600 mark of flounder caught for the year. They are targeting 1,700 before the season ends in a couple of weeks. If they stay as hot as they were over the Labor Day weekend, it could happen. Weakfish and bluefish have also been added to the variety of fish being caught. Sea bass are around, but now those must be returned to the water. Hop on, catch some fish and help them boost the total of flounder caught.
Take care, keep fishing and let me know how you did. Iâ€™ll see you around.