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Higbee’s Bait and Tackle’s first keeper striper. 

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If you want to talk about slow weeks, this one is shaping up as a major one.  

There is still fishing news to address, including reminders, kids' summer camp news, and disappointing news about a local fishing show.  

Higbee’s Bait and Tackle, in Fortescue, reported their season's first keeper striped bass, after many fell into the 12-to 27-inch range. This one measured 28.5 inches and was caught on a bloodworm. 

Nice perch are also being caught alongside stripers, so be prepared for those. Both species are being snatched from the surf area. The action is expected to increase as the water warms.  

Those wishing to test their luck should stick to the beach area, as the fish are reported to be staying close to shore. Grab some bloodworms and get a spot on the beach. Good luck if you give it a try.  

Cape May Bait and Tackle opened March 12. They are stocked with new gear and are receiving more daily. They also have needed bait, whether you're looking for something for the salt or nightcrawlers. 

Remember to get in touch with any of the for-hire or six-pack boats. It may be the beginning of spring, but these captains have been taking reservations throughout winter. Don’t wait too long because you may get stuck at the dock while your desired boat is sailing with another group.  

While you’re making plans, don’t forget to include a chance to take a sunset or evening cruise or enjoy time on a boat while you celebrate your important event. Birthdays, graduations or family outings are great for a few hours on the water.  

Many of the area's larger fishing boats offer these trips for larger parties. Sit back, enjoy the ride, and let someone else drive.  

Don’t forget to modify your setup for blackfish, as the season's start date, April 1, is approaching. Change your braid, add new shock leader to top it off, and grab tog jigs or tie some rigs.  

Also, while you’re getting gear together, remember that Capt. Andrew, a local angler from the Sailor’s Delight, launched a line of soft baits called "Bay Treats." He recently completed his orders for several local stores and has some extras to sell. Contact him if you are interested. 

Speaking of the Sailor’s Delight, it was recently painted for the new season. It remains an eye-catching bright orange and was described as hitting “maximum orange." It will remain easy to spot for those cruising North Wildwood and Cape May's backwaters.  

Andrew is also staying busy by hosting a new boating, fishing and marine report airing Wednesday and Friday, at 8:35 a.m., on 98.7 FM The Coast.  

The Avalon Lady is taking reservations for its popular summer fishing and crabbing camps. Four weeks of camps have trips on four evenings (no Wednesday trips). There are two weeks of camps July 12-16 and 26-30, and two Aug. 9-13 and 16-20. Fishing, crabbing, navigation and boating safety skills will be taught. Campers receive a t-shirt, certificate for a trip on either the Miss Avalon or Avalon Lady, where new skills can be practiced, and a certificate of completion.  

Capt. Brandon, a fourth-generation skipper, runs the camps with his first mate and wife, Jennifer. Those interested can call 609-967-7455 to learn more.  

Sadly, the Wildwood Fishing and Boating Expo has, again, been postponed, with new dates Jan. 8-9, 2022. The show's coordinators thank everyone for their patience and understanding.  

Despite facing a slow week, a lot of fishing news was reported. Not all columns consist of just fishing reports and pictures, but here’s hoping those start rolling in soon.  

Take care and I’ll see you around. 

Submit your fishing news and photos to mrobbins@cmcherald.com. 

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