John Engels, a seventh grader from Newfoundland, NJ, caught his first striper while spin fishing on the Irish Fly with Capt. Ken Kelly. He later caught two stripers on a fly rod at the top of the tide off the ICW next to Jarvis Sound.
The ups and downs of fall weather patterns will really start to influence fishing trips. But really, is there ever a bad day fishing? Fall often has many surprises so don’t pack away that gear just yet.
Capt. John Sowerby on the Hooked Up out of South Jersey Marina, only got out one time overnight last week due to weather but he had a pretty decent trip. They had a group from Glassboro Auto Salvage and Storage Gas led by owner Tom Milewski and caught five tuna in the 60-80 pound range plus a boat load of nice Mahi-Mahi.
Captain John has some open dates starting Sept. 29-Oct. 5 for overnight and day tuna trips and he expects the offshore fishing to really get in high gear. He has always had great tuna fishing in early October and last year he ran for tuna until almost Thanksgiving with up to 50 tuna on some of the early November trips. He says the best is yet to come in the southern canyons out of Cape May. He’s thinking he may even do a few small party make-up trips for up to six anglers in early October weather permitting.
Captain Ray, Tide Runner, says that the fall weather and the movement of bait has started up the striper bite. This week saw a good amount of mullet movement with a couple of evenings where the stripers and blues were charging and chasing it around, providing some good action for fly and spin anglers.
Large Deceiver flies (yellow/black) and mullet shaped flies worked well on the bass. For spin anglers, bombers and mag darters did the trick. He even had a charter bring a large custom black swimming plug that caught an almost keeper bass with a littoral fish tag in it.
Bass ranged from 20 inches to over keeper size and a few of the blues were in the 4 to 5 pound size. John Lawrence of Pennsylvania, caught his first couple of bass ever on a fly rod.
The Miss Chris, Cape May, reports sea bass daily on her eight-hour trips with croakers in the mix. The Lady Chris out on four-hour trips is finding small blues, croakers and some kingfish.
Captain Fred at Harborview reports lots of sea bass on the reefs and inshore wrecks; most of these are short. There are still plenty of croakers at the Ferris Wheel and McCries Shoal. Cape May Point has small blues with croakers and kingfish and some porgies are starting to show in the Wildwood Reef.
At Wilmington Canyon there are still some yellowfin and longfin around and some bluefin and wahoo can be found at 19 Fathom.
CALENDAR: The American Legion Stephen C. Ludlam Post 331 (Stone Harbor) is having their 23rd Annual Fishing Tournament this weekend, Sept. 29 and 30, $30 per angler. Meeting for all captains and crews at the Post at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept 28. An Awards Banquet will be held at Henny’s on Tuesday, Oct. 2. Information and registration forms at Smugglers Cove or call 368-2294 between 4 and 6 p.m. or 368-3087, anytime.
The 53rd annual Pennsauken Fishing Tournament will take place Oct. 6 along the beach in North Wildwood. Call 856-231-9110 or 856-486-9180.
NEWS: Three tackle shops in Ocean City are recycling monofilament fishing line. This is a major effort to keep oceans and bays free of used line and protect wildlife. This nation-wide program is sponsored by Berkley and Pure Fishing, who supplies store displays and prepaid cartons for fishing and tackle shops who participate. You are encouraged to drop off used monofilament line at any of the three stores: Tackle Direct, 900 Pleasure Ave., Fin-Atics, 1325 West Ave., and Pappy's Fishin' Stuff, 621 Bay Ave., all in Ocean City.
The Marine Fish Conservation Network (Network) commends the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) who posted on its Web site the agency’s intent to develop regulations for quota-based fishery programs. This marks a reversal in the agency’s previous decision not to develop any regulations for the national standards that Congress legislated for limited access privilege programs (LAPPs).
Looks like they’re reviewing the summer flounder quota for 2008. I’ll let you know when there’s anything more definite.
In last week’s issue of On Deck I had a feature article on the menhaden (bunker). I hope you read it. It got over 500 hits on our Web site. The topic was suggested by a local resident. The Fishing Line column is scheduled to run all winter long, so keep your ideas and comments coming. I sure appreciate your comments.
Be sure to send your fish stories and pictures and Be My Guest reporter. Send info to email@example.com. Pictures submitted that do not appear in print can be found at www.CapeMayCountyHerald.com.
Cutline: Be My Guest - John Engels, a seventh grader from Newfoundland, NJ, caught his first striper while spin fishing on the Irish Fly with Capt. Ken Kelly. He later caught two stripers on a fly rod at the top of the tide off the ICW next to Jarvis Sound.
1. Despite nasty weather, the Hooked Up, South Jersey Marina, had a pretty good catch.
2. The end of fluke season went out with a bang for Fins&Grins with numerous keeper flukes caught on the last day.
3. Striper taken on a large yellow/black deceiver fly
4. John Lawrence of Pennsylvania with his first ever striper on fly rod. (Captain Ray, Tide Runner, Cape May)
5. Bob McMorrow of Cape May Point with a striper caught on a fly around the inlet. (Captain Ray, Tide Runner)