Unfortunately, Sept. 21 marked the official end of Flounder season.
The season had its typical ups and downs, with a positive note being that nice Flounder were still in the back bays up until the end of the season. This gave many people the opportunities to fish for them when the windy weather made going out front a less desirable option.
It’s now time to focus on the fall run, wait for the next Sea Bass season to open, and to look forward to November when the Blackfish limits increase from the current bag limit of one fish. Let’s see what occurred recently.
The "Miss Avalon" gets us going with word that they had a successful weekend by catching fluke, Triggerfish, Bluefish, and Weakfish. They are experiencing the mix that our area gets in the late summer, and now early fall. Soon, but not soon enough, we can add Sea Bass back into the mix.
Give them a call at (609) 967-7455 to see when they are running.
First Fish Adventures, led by Capt. Zig, had Tom Green and his son Tyler out fishing over the weekend. They caught “two nice Flounder," some throwbacks, and some small Bluefish on their trip to the T.I. Reef. Zig hopes to get out a few more times if the conditions allow before the season ends. He termed the ending of the season as a “bummer.”
The "Sailor’s Delight" is still going at it as the Flounder season winds down. Weakfish, Bluefish, sea robins, and sharks are keeping them busy too. Striped Bass, plus Bluefish and Weakfish will be the main targets after the Flounder season ends.
Cathy, with Sterling Harbor Bait and Tackle, reports that as the last of the Flounder season stares us in the face, the Flounder are still plentiful “in the back bays and the ocean.” Joining the Flounder in the backwaters are keeper Weakfish and “plenty of Snapper Bluefish.”
The Cape May Reef and Reef Site 11 “produced nice sized Flounder,” while “a few nice fish” were caught at McCrie Shoal. Ernie DiVincenzo and James Pierce checked in with a limit of fluke, all over 20-inches. One of James' fish weighed 6.32-pounds.
Bluefish are “thick around the inlets,” while schoolie Stripers have been hitting topwater lures, swim shads, and soft plastics around the bridges, sod banks, and docks.
Anglers heading offshore did “very well” with White Marlin, plus there were “plenty of nice Mahi-Mahi.” Dave and Jesse Bowman caught and released five White Marlin, but returned home with “plenty” of nice Mahi-Mahi for their tables, which they caught “while trolling the canyons.”
Notable catches were made by Ashley Bakely who caught a 4.31-pound Spanish Mackerel, Shawn Bulifant who landed a 6.13-pound Spadefish from a local rock pile, and by Charles Breon who defeated a 12.32-pound Sheepshead while angling from his kayak at a local bridge.
Crabbing picked up over the past week and should remain good through September.
The "Sea Star III" and Capt. Chuck faced weather that “presented us with more challenges” during the past week, but that didn’t stop his fares from catching Flounder. He is preparing for the final week of Flounder season - as we all are - and hoping the weather cooperates.
The just-completed week saw nice fluke, Triggerfish, croakers and small Bluefish being caught. The pool-winners, with weights in pounds, were Bob Malone with a Triggerfish (3.45), Paul Bodkin with a Bluefish (1.5) and a trio of fluke for Chuck DeSantis (3.40), Randy Hannings (3.60), and Wayne Ryan (4.25). The final winner of the week was Judy Unger who landed a 0.80-pound croaker.
The "Porgy IV" is still catching fluke even as Capt. Paul says days can be slow. Our recent weather, plus some days with minimal drift, can cause those slow stretches.
Regardless, recent pools were won by Darrell Thomas who had two keepers to 22-inches, Mike Ruhr who also used a 22-inch specimen to get his trips pool, and Brian Pichalsky who won with a 20-inch fluke.
Capt. Mike has been finding fluke, Triggerfish, Kingfish, Weakfish, and Bluefish for his patrons on the "Miss Chris." He lets the weather decide if he is bay or ocean bound, which determines what is caught. Mike states that, “September fishing has been decent.”
Even after Flounder season ends, other species mentioned are still cruising our local waters.
The "Fishin’ Fever" had a great day recently as Capt. Tom put his party on the fish. The group, led by Frank Land, caught two Swordfish and a Wahoo. As Frank put it, “what a day it was.”
The "Full Ahead" took out a weekend charter that was looking for Flounder. They found some quality fish, topping out at 6-pounds and finished two fish short of a boat limit.
Jim’s Bait and Tackle reported that the first keeper striper of the season was caught Sept. 15 from the Cape May beachfront on a piece of fresh mullet. The angler who landed the fish wasn’t identified.
A special catch to report, although not in our area, was recently made on the "Miss Montauk," which sails from the Montauk Marine Basin in Montauk, New York.
Angler Walter caught a respectable 11.16-pound Flounder. Indeed nice, but not the largest fish of the day. That honor went to Daniel (no last name provided) who caught a “doormat fluke of a lifetime” that weighed in at the amazing weight of 17.90-pounds - nice job on two great catches gentlemen.
The 10th Annual JCKF Cape May Kayak Fishing Jamboree will be held Oct. 18-20. Please register ASAP, so you can have your long-sleeve performance shirt made. Registration ends Sept. 30.
Registration is $60 and includes a dinner Sept. 19 at 6 p.m., and your shirt. Those interested can call the Kayak Fishing Store at (609) 522-5969.
Good luck if you get out and let me know how you did.
Submit your fishing news and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org