Another week, and another stretch of a few decent fishable days followed by a length of foul, unfishable weather. Such has been our fall.
Anglers got to boats, bridges and rock piles when it was possible. For their effort, some reaped rewards. We’ll discuss those who succeeded while leaving those who met hard times unknown. Maybe the next report will be their time to shine.
The Porgy IV had awesome action at the beginning of the weekend. Their trip saw Capt. Paul working a small wreck that had “a lot of nice fish." Limits were claimed by Jerome Allman, who also claimed the daily pool with a “large” triggerfish.
Other limits went to Matthew Lamelza, Dick Spotts and Scott Harmon.
Smaller fish ruled the action on the next trip, but keepers were "mixed in." There were limits for some, and “everyone had fish for dinner." That’s always an excellent way to conclude a trip.
The Sea Star III, with Capt. Chuck checking in, had “another good week,” with nice catches of sea bass and triggerfish. The folks aboard enjoyed their time catching dinner in the nice conditions.
Pool-winners, with weights, were John Chestnut (4.0) and Greg Simpson (4.35), who landed triggerfish, while sea bass winners were caught by Harry Theurer (2.4) and Slawek Stepien (2.25). The Sea Star III sails daily at 9 a.m., returning at 3 p.m.
The Miss Chris sailed her half-day trips on the weekend. They have been catching plenty of sea bass, and the occasional triggerfish. If you don’t have a full day to fish, their half-day schedule may be perfect for you.
Capt. Tom, from the Fishin’ Fever, had an excellent start to his weekend. His Saturday trip produced two 125-pound swordfish, another at 250 pounds, and a “bonus” 180-pound big eye tuna. Tom and his patrons have been doing great with day-time swordfishing. Let’s hope the action stays hot for them.
I swung by the Miss Avalon on Saturday, after trying land-based areas for tog. I caught some shorts, but no keepers.
Capt. Irv and his patrons had much better action, and results, as they returned with sea bass and triggerfish. They had some extra action, as some anglers hooked up with some false albacore. Capt. Irv and Capt. Brandon are looking forward to Nov. 16, when the bag-limit for tog increases. Anglers are also looking forward to that date.
Avalon Hodge Podge weighed in nice fish recently, as Brian Smith stopped in with a 34-inch, 15-pound striper that he caught at Townsend's Inlet.
Another angler who stopped in twice to weigh fish was Austin Timpson. First, he was in with a friend, and they weighed in a 15-inch, 2.5-pound tog, plus another tog that went 17 inches and weighed 3.5 pounds. A few days later, Austin was back with another tog that was 19 inches and 4.5 pounds.
Capt. Al, from the Bayhound, was out Monday for a five-hour fishing trip with the Gardners, father Joe and daughter Faith. They tangled with tog and triggerfish, and even put “a few keeper sea bass” in the box.
Sea Isle Bait and Tackle reported that an angler, Kodi, stopped by with a “massive” 23.25-inch tog. No weight was mentioned. The fish hit a green crab on a jig while Kodi was fishing from a land-based site - nice fish Kodi.
Another solid fish was brought in mid-week, as an angler named Mark stopped in with a nice striper. Where most stripers have been caught in the back water, Mark changed tactics, hit the beach, and brought this one in from the suds.
Tight Lines Bait and Tackle North, in Somers Point, reported that an angler stopped into their Marmora store to weigh in a 16-pound striper. They’re around, so you just have to put your time and effort in to get one.
Thank you, Jerry Rau, for submitting the picture of the nice sea bass you recently caught. Nice job, keep reading and also keep submitting.
The Ocean City Fishing Club held its 51st Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament Oct. 26, at two designated areas along the Ocean City beaches. Anglers were assigned to an area for two hours, then had a break period that was used to travel to the another area. Sharks dominated the day, as “we just couldn’t get other types of fish to cooperate,” said Bob Dever, OCFC head judge of the tournament.
Bob Kernan won first place in the individual angler category, while second place was a tie between Lynn Del-Pietropalo and Bob Schlear. Rob Rinier, from the South Jersey Surf Casters team, was first in two individual categories.
They had the most fish points overall and most fish points in the men’s division. He scored 33.25 points in each category. The most fish points for ladies went to Lynda Greaves.
She is a member of the RH Custom Rods Team B, and she was a repeat winner after winning the same category last year.
Brothers Ryan and Dylan O’Connell each went home after first-place finishes. Ryan claimed the top prize in the 14 to 17-year-old youth division for the largest fish, a shark, and for most total fish points. Dylan won in the youth-assisted group for the largest fish, also a shark.
Chris Dugan took home the top prize for the largest fish overall, a 14-inch bluefish, and another award for the largest fish in the men’s division.
The first-place team award went to South Jersey Surf Casters, with 57.25 points. RH Custom Rods Team A was second, with 35 points. The third-place team was RH Custom Rods Team B, with 22.25 points.
Points were earned by the anglers and their teams based on the species of the fish. No legal-sized stripers of 28-inches were landed, although a couple of shorts were caught. 190 anglers competed in the tournament.
Don’t forget, the fall blackfish season opens Nov.16. You can catch one fish per day now, but the bag limit will increase to five on that day, until Dec.31.
It’s time to go through your checklist, get your rods and reels ready, tie some new shock leader on to your braid, tie a load of spare dropper loop and snafu rigs, buy new hooks and sinkers (I like the flat-bank style), check your favorite boat to see when it’s running, and count down the days till Nov.16 .
Get ready and good fishing. Until then, get out when conditions allow, and let me know how you did. I’ll see you around.
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