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A nice striper. 

If I told you we had great weather this week, all the boats were on the ocean, and loads of fish were caught, you might think I was covering the fishing scene farther south, or you were down south reading the report from that area.

Truth be told, I’m still in South Jersey, and you know where you happen to be while reading this report.

The weather around the Cape is as nasty as we have been experiencing recently. Despite the poor conditions, which caused the loss of the opening weekend of the fall blackfish season, we still have action to report, thankfully.

Jim’s Bait and Tackle had a nice report from the Miss Yipp. They were off of Cape May, trolling inside the 3-mile line, when they hooked a thresher shark.

After stopping by the shop and having it weighed, it topped out at 253 pounds. You never know what you may pull out of the ocean.

Capt. Chuck, from the Sea Star III, reported that they occurred slower action with sea bass than in previous weeks. A major reason for this is that the “dogfish have invaded” the inshore areas, where Chuck has been fishing. Because of this situation, the Sea Star III will now focus on blackfish.

The trips run daily through November. For Thanksgiving, they will be running a special trip that leaves the dock at 6 a.m. and returns at noon. They are eagerly awaiting the arrival of striped bass, and could adjust their plans as needed.

Neil Kosilla won a pool this past week, with his 2.5-pound blackfish. It’s nice to see that they are here, so all we need now is favorable weather.

Since we are closing in on the holidays, the Sea Star III is getting in the spirit. They have gift certificates available in any denomination.

They can be purchased now, and will be mailed free of charge. Let them help you with your holiday gifts.

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Neil Kosilla and his pool-winning blackfish.

The Friday before the wind kicked up, and the opener of blackfish season was scraped, the Starfish had a “good day” of sea bass fishing. The bounty included sea bass, porgies, bluefish, and blackfish. As soon as the weather allows, they plan on heading out for blackfish, as most local boats will be doing.

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Jerry Rau with part of his catch.

The Porgy IV was able to book trips around the windy days. Their Friday trip produced sea bass, blackfish, and triggerfish. None had limits, but all had dinner.

Their first post-wind trip was a challenge, as could be expected by anyone who has fished after a storm passes. Conditions haven’t fully settled, and a swell is present.

For the day, they were only able to amass 11 or 12 keepers. Those aren’t high numbers, but I’m sure they felt strong, as they put a tug on the line.

The Cape May Lady was out on Wednesday, and had a nice day of catching blackfish. They “found hungry fish,” and if you’re fishing, that is all you can ask for. They recorded a few limits, which included fish to 6 pounds.

Boulevard Bait and Tackle reported some great catch-and-release striper action for the guys from Intent Tackle. They were out on Friday, before the windstorm arrived, and were fishing outside of the Townsend's Inlet area. The smallest fish was 34 pounds - let’s hope these fish take their time while passing by our area.

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Steve and Bobby with a 40.5-pound striper.

Sea Isle Bait and Tackle reported that two anglers, Steve and Bobby, were trolling south of Townsend's Inlet on a recent trip during a break in the weather. They only landed one striped bass, but it was a quality fish, weighing in at 40.5 pounds.

The Starfish, and Capt. Mike, also fished during the weather window mentioned above. They had a “great day,” as many blackfish were caught.

Some regular tog fishermen, namely Adam Sneathen, were on the trip, and they did well. The big fish of the day, and the pool-winner, was an 8-pounder, caught by a young angler named Gabe. Congratulations go out to him.

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Adam Sneathen and 3 keeper tog.

It’s great to see some nice fish being caught, as they make some excellent table fare.

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Gabe and his pool-winning 8-pound blackfish.

A reminder arrived from the Division of Fish and Wildlife. It concerned the changes that will occur for the 2020 striped bass regulations. They wanted to remind everyone that for the remainder of 2019, you may harvest, per individual, one fish at 28 inches to less than 43 inches, and a second fish at 43 inches or greater.

If you possess a bonus permit, you may harvest one fish at 24 inches to less than 28 inches. The permit must be secured through the mouth and gills of the fish. You must also report your harvest of this fish within 24 hours, either by on-line submission or by phone call.

Contact information is available at the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife website. There is also a fishing log that needs to be submitted at the end of the season.

One last important fact to remember is that fishing is permitted from the beach to 3 miles offshore. The area past three miles is closed.

Another message to pass on concerns the recent stocking, on Monday and Tuesday, of approximately 4,800 2-year-old rainbow trout, that average 14-18 inches. 20 ponds and lakes across the state were included in this restocking. Since there are no closures, these fish are immediately available to be caught.

This represents the final stocking of 2019. The map of the lakes and ponds was unavailable, due to an error on the link provided by the Division of Fish and Wildlife.        

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. If your schedule allows, and you don’t want to go shopping, remember that Black Friday is a great day to go fishing. Get out if you can, either then or sometime during the holiday, and let me know how you did.

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