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How about that everyone? A weekend without wind or rain. With those two elements out of the way, it was also a weekend that allowed for some fishing, and fish people did.  

There were some nice fish caught, but nothing as big as we had during the first couple days of the season, but that’s alright. We did have one angler make an interesting catch that we’ll report on, plus we’ll see what else occurred since the last report. Get on board and let’s get going.  

Let’s get started with the highlight, or catch, of the week. I’ve seen it before, but the size of the fish involved makes it special.  

Jerry Rau, an angler I know, was doing some blackfish fishing on the Cape May Lady on Sunday. He was fishing a snafu rig. This is a rig that has two individual hooks that can each have a piece of bait on them or both hooks can be buried into a large piece of crab giving you two hooks to catch one fish.  

He was using a piece of crab on each hook, which presented two attractive baits to any blackfish in the area. As luck had it, there were at least two fish attracted to Jerry’s offering.  

Each fish picked a different bait and Jerry probably felt he had the potential fish of his dreams. Both fish are pulling in different directions for the safety of the local structure.  

That action, which many anglers have felt when fishing a high-low rig for other species, makes it feel like you are reeling in a definite pool winner.  

Now, amplify that action for the strength of a blackfish. Well, Jerry got the fish to the surface. It was then he saw that he had not one, but two fish, at the end of his line.  

After getting the fish into the boat, he could immediately tell that he had two keepers. Then, after weighing them, he realized he had caught 14 pounds worth of fish.  

One blackfish weighed 8 pounds, while the other was a 6-pounder. I’ve never caught a 14-pounder, but can imagine what it was like since my largest, so far, is one-quarter pound short of 10. Adding a little over four pounds, plus the additional strength, means that was one heck of a fight.  

It was a great catch for Jerry and one that will provide him with some great memories. One more thing to add is that the 8-pound fish won the pool for Jerry, and Jerry, thanks for submitting the news of your catch.  

The Cape May Lady is sailing 10-hour trips on Sundays that will require you to get a reservation. Call ahead to make sure they are sailing and to see what other days they are heading out. Call 609-780-7900 for assistance and information.  

The Miss Avalon went out for two nice trips over the weekend. Both trips had nice results, but the Saturday trip had a nice little story to go with it.  

After producing a nice number of keeper blackfish, plus some sea bass and even a stray triggerfish, the largest fish caught that day were weighed up to see who won the daily pool.  

The winner was the 9.4-pound blackfish caught by Gabe Chiarelli. It turns out that this was Gabe's second time fishing for blackfish. Taking it to the next level, it was revealed that this was Gabe's first keeper blackfish. Not a bad case of beginner's luck.  

The crew told Gabe not to get used to catching fish like that on every drop, or even every trip. Congratulations, Gabe, on a great catch.  

The Sunday trip was just as good, even if the largest blackfish wasn’t quite as big, but just as respectable. The trip started slow for the Camden Catholic Fishing Club, which had a large contingent aboard, as well as the other anglers present.  

The lack of wind in the morning was actually a detriment, as it made it tough to stay on anchor. As the day went along, and the wind stirred stronger, the fishing followed suit, and plenty of fish up to 5 pounds were caught. The pool-winner that day, which was caught shortly before the trip ended, was a 7.4-pounder.  

The Miss Avalon is sailing a varied schedule, with some weekday trips, followed by trips through the weekend. Call 609-967-7455 to confirm the exact days when they plan to sail, then try to arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the departure time.  

The Starfish also got into the rhythm of catching blackfish, as they had some good trips over the weekend. They returned with plenty of blackfish and smiles. Call 609-263-3800 to check on their schedule, or you can book online at 

The Sea Star III is plying the reefs and wrecks daily targeting blackfish. They reported that the first full week was very good. That means plenty of fish around the boat, which led to multiple five-fish limits.  

They also caught some sea bass and a couple of triggerfish. The keeper ratio has also “been pretty good.” The pool-winning fish were all blackfish. The winners, in ascending order, were Diana Tatem with a 4-pounder, Frank Servocky (5.75), Wayne Rapine (6.25), Chris Gardner (7.5), and with the biggest of the week, John Weaver and his 9.2-pounder.  

The Sea Star III sails a six-hour trip daily, leaving at 9 a.m. and returning at 3 p.m. Call 609-884-3421 for more information.  

The Miss Chris, with Capt. John at the helm, reported that they had good action with blackfish, which included various anglers who caught their limit.  

Check out their schedule at The link to the site is also available on their Facebook page.  

Cape May Bait and Tackle reports that blackfish are at the Wildwood Reef in good numbers. They are taking both green crabs and white leggers.  

At those same locations, you can still catch some nice sea bass if you use some clam for bait. Sea bass up to 5 pounds and bluefish in the 5 to 7-pound range can be caught a little farther offshore.  

They also reported that there are some stripers in the Delaware Bay and in the rips, but that not too many anglers are pursuing them. Stop in and check them out for all your bait and fishing needs.  

Well, it was another good week, with some nice, hefty blackfish being caught. Throw in the stray triggerfish and the occasional sea bass and you can accumulate a nice haul for your table. Take care, good luck if you get on the water and I’ll see you around. 

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