Well, we are now in the lull that exists after summer Flounder season is put to bed. Bluefish, Weakfish, Kingfish, Blackfish, and stripers can still be caught, but we do so with an eye to the start of Sea Bass season.
That bump in action, caused by the addition of another angler favorite, will get us rolling into another fall season of South Jersey fishing.
The Flounder season went quickly, as it feels like it was just starting prior to Memorial Day. The festivities of the Fourth of July passed, Labor Day rolled around, and the season ended on a summer-like Saturday. It left us wanting one more opportunity to fish for a summer favorite.
With that in mind, let's check out how the final week of the 2019 Flounder season went.
Capt. Chuck on the "Sea Star III" reported their efforts were “hindered” by the weather, but regardless, they “did catch some nice ones to round out the season." They had anglers that caught their 15 fish limit of blues.
The pool-winners, which included the final Flounder of the season, with weights, went to Frank Servocky (5.30), Danny Rekos (6.20), and Ari Peterson (5.15). Anglers who won with Spanish Mackerel were Harry Theurer (2.5), Danny Sedlack (2.5), and Jon Stewart, also with a 2.5-pounder.
The Sea Star III will still be sailing daily at 9 a.m., as the weather and number of anglers dictate.
Jim’s Bait and Tackle reported that on Wednesday, Capt. Tom Daffin and the crew of the "Fishin’ Fever" stopped by with a fish to weigh. What they brought to the scales was a 445-pound Swordfish.
Frank Land, the angler who “fought this beast,” was in a harness for four hours before Capt. Tom “stepped in to help,” and the battle progressed another thirty minutes before the fish succumbed. They also had another smaller fish, “around 90-pounds, in the box."
The "Sailor’s Delight" was busy doing their specialty of fishing the backwaters. They were catching keeper Flounder, as well as other species, through the final day. In fact, on the first day after the season ended, they caught what may have been their largest Flounder of the season at 28 inches.
The fish must have looked at the calendar and realized it was now illegal for an angler to keep it. It was returned safely to the water, which means it has a chance to breed again. I'm sure if was bittersweet for the angler to release it, but also valuable for the fishing community.
It was also pleasing to realize that fish of that quality are still in our local back bays.
Capt. Al of the "Bayhound" was out on Saturday, as he and his charter wrapped up the season on a high note. Al reported angler Frank Mihalic was “doing it right” as he landed “a nice 6-pounder.” Al will be getting ready to run charters for Sea Bass, so give him a call at (609) 602-2662.
Grassy Sound Marina had great weather on Saturday when they hosted the Heroes on the Water event. There was “an awesome” gathering of women and men who represented our nation's armed forces and first responders. They enjoyed a day of kayaking and fishing “on Grassy Sound.” The staff at Grassy Sound Marina would like to give “a huge thanks” to everyone who volunteered to make “this day possible.”
Boulevard Bait and Tackle reported that once the surf settled down, the Bluefish started to hit. An angler, Mike, was on the beach tossing mullet - which is a favorite bait of Bluefish - and he was able to land “some” nice fish.
Nothing big, but they were nice-sized eating fish. Go to your local shop, buy mullet, and hit your beach of choice. Better yet, you can get adventurous and buy your own cast-net, and catch your own bait.
Peace Token Fishing Tackle reported that Hit the Surf Charters had a successful day of offshore Mahi-Mahi fishing recently. They were using some of Peace Token’s own PBL 2/0 Octopus hooks. They were thrilled with how the hooks “did the job.”
It may seem early, but it’s never too early to announce that the date has been set for the 2020 version of the Wildwood Fishing and Boating Expo. Circle April 4-5, and set your GPS for the Wildwoods Convention Center. Doors open at 9 a.m. each morning and close at 5 p.m. on April 4, and 2 p.m. on April 5.
Over 60,000 square feet of space is available for vendors and displays.
Visit their website at fishingexpowildwood.com for more information. They are currently seeking a limited amount of new vendors, so if you’re interested in setting up an exhibit, don’t wait.
Try to get out, and if you do, good luck and let me know how you did.
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