With the fall sea bass season's first weekend behind us, it feels like the brief hiatus some anglers took is over.
The opinion was that some anglers felt a letdown after flounder season concluded, a feeling expressed to me more than once recently. That frustration led to a period of lesser-than-normal attendance on most local fishing boats, and when coupled with the trips lost to the wind, there was quite a drop in activity.
Everyone hopes that the blasé attitude is behind us, especially since a nice mixed bag of fish is still available and another species was added to the list.
When fishing took place right before the season started, reports conveyed that some keeper-sized sea bass were being caught and released. All are hoping that the pattern of large sea bass continues and increases.
Some nice weakfish also made the report. It is nice to see these that fish seem to be returning to our waters.
The Sea Star III recently didn’t get out as much as Capt. Chuck desired, but they caught a “good amount” of fish when they were out. Triggerfish, croakers and weakfish led the list of species caught. They also caught plenty of sea bass released for another day. That day was the recent opening of sea bass season Oct. 8. The crew is waiting for anglers to come, catch and keep tasty sea bass.
The pool winner, Andrew Bealer, of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, was, unfortunately, the only one for the week. He won with a 3.25-pound triggerfish.
The Miss Chris is also sailing for sea bass and other species in the area. They will sail four and eight-hour trips. Check out their schedule, at capemayfisherman.com, and remember to reserve a spot.
Hands Too Bait and Tackle reported that Chris weighed a 6.25-pound, 27-inch weakfish after a recent outing. Eddy also caught a nice weakfish that weighed 4.25 pounds. It was one of many weakfish he caught during his morning outing.
The Sailor’s Delight is running their October “Black-and-Blue Trips" targeting blackfish and bluefish. Five bluefish can be harvested due to a “for-hire vessel," along with one blackfish. That is the bag limit for these fish through Nov. 15, when the limit will increase to five. Trips leave at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., so call Capt. Stan, at 609-827-8309, for reservations.
The Sailor’s Delight also recorded an exceptional catch recently. Ultimately, it was all for naught, but it will live within the angler's memories and in pictures. The angler caught a 30-inch, 9-pound, 5-ounce flounder, which was returned to the water. Thankfully for the fish, it was caught out of season, but it will be one for anglers to target next season. Hopefully, it will breed again and pass on that good gene line.
Grassy Sound Marina reported that Joe Tomlin caught a nice 20-inch weakfish. He caught it on the outgoing tide using bloodworms as bait. Don’t forget that the pier is still open and provides access to productive waters. There’s lots of enjoyable fall fishing forthcoming, so don’t miss the chance to check it out.
The Miss Avalon has been catching triggerfish, blowfish, weakfish and even a smooth pufferfish, which was photographed and released. They are sailing for sea bass and the other fish that have been hanging around the local reefs, therefore there are plenty of chances to catch something good to eat for dinner.
Through October, the Miss Avalon will be fishing Saturdays and Sundays, sailing at 8 a.m. on both days. The Saturday trips wrap up at 4 p.m., while the Sunday trips end at 3 p.m. They will also sail Tuesdays, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Capt. Al, from Bayhound Charters Light Tackle Sportfishing, has been catching a lot of the same tasty fish as others during his recent trips. His charters have now added sea bass to their options, which will help to increase their mixed bag at the end of the day.
First Fish Adventures had the family out, as Capt. Zig, Paul Jr. and Little Paul caught “a whole bunch of fish," particularly blowfish, keeping enough for their dinner. Another active charter on a good morning, where blowfish, sea bass, porgies, bluefish, grunts, flounder, sea bass and sharks were caught, was shared by Mike Conticello and his boys.
The Ocean City Fishing Club’s 52nd Annual Surf Fishing Tournament returns this year after a one-year hiatus. Save the date of Oct. 23.
This tournament is divided into two equal time segments, and fishing is held on pre-selected beaches. Fifteen to 20 clubs, each with up to six anglers, are expected to take to the beach for the tournament's exciting return. Clubs, individuals and young anglers are encouraged to sign up Oct. 21. Late participants may sign up Oct. 23, between 5:30 a.m. and 6:45 a.m., at the Ocean City Library. A tent will be located at the corner of 16th and Haven Avenue. Parking is available at the library’s parking lot or the city lot between 15th and 16th streets.
Six-member teams may enter for a fee of $60, and individual anglers are $15. Checks should be made payable to the Ocean City Fishing Club, then mailed to Ed Parkinson, 324 Hidden Creek Dr., Hatboro, Pennsylvania, 19040.
Anglers will be assigned different beach locations for the first of two fishing sessions. They fish from 7 a.m. until 9:30 a.m., then have a half-hour to travel to the second area, where fishing commences at 10 a.m. until the tournament ends at 12:30 p.m. Beaches for fishing, designated by the city, run from 34th to 48th streets.
The city has also given one-day passes to participants, so they can drive on the beach to the fishing areas. Prizes will be awarded to the top-three teams and the individual and youth category winners. The angler who catches the largest fish will win a Slime 2X Tire Inflator. For more information, contact Ed Parkinson, at email@example.com, or 215-680-6652.
The week was quieter than expected, but that was fine because fall sea bass season arrived, bringing with it some buzz to local boats. There are still plenty of fish to catch, so good luck if you get out. Take care and I’ll see you around.
Submit your fishing news and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.