What a difference one week makes.
The two weeks before Oct. 8 were lax, with some anglers almost seeming indifferent to fishing. This sentiment was passed on to me more than once.
Obviously, fishing continued, but the spark wasn’t present. Then, that date arrived, with its anticipation and excitement going through the roof.
The anglers came to the docks in “droves,” as one captain put it. Everything was great in the fishing world that Friday, then the reality of windy weather and a storm off the coast returned us to the realm of “hurry up and wait,” as those wishing to catch sea bass endured a less-than-pleasant weekend.
Anglers had to take a break since boats didn’t sail while the captains waited for the system to vacate the area.
The Miss Avalon started sea bass season off with a bang. A boatload of anglers thrived on a “beautiful” day resulting in some “amazing fishing," with many sea bass limits around the boat. For the day, there were over 350 keepers caught. A load of large porgies joined those sea bass, too.
The Miss Avalon is fishing a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday schedule, starting each day from the dock at 8 a.m. The boat returns at 3 p.m. Thursday and Sunday and at 4 p.m. Tuesday and Saturday.
A recent Thursday trip resulted in another “beautiful” day that was “fun” for all the anglers. Why? Because of the 200 keepers and numerous limits that were recorded that day. Those numbers sound beautiful, and fun.
Bayhound Charters Light Tackle Sportfishing opened the fall sea bass season with a great trip for their charter. They loaded up on sea bass and added weakfish and bluefish to their haul.
First Fish Adventures reported that grandson Paul Black III, or PB3, was fishing with the family when he landed his first striped bass on a topwater plug. I’m sure he was excited to see the fish hit that bait on the surface. Congratulations, PB3.
The Starfish, out of Sea Isle, was as successful as the other boats while fishing for sea bass. They had an opening day crowd that caught plenty of them. Other fish are also being caught, which is providing a nice mix for anglers.
Capt. Chuck, of the Sea Star III, was prepared to welcome the anglers who wanted to go fishing for sea bass. Just like other boats, they were loaded with eager anglers who caught a “ton of fish."
The action was great, with plenty of sea bass, triggerfish, blowfish, croakers and bluefish landing in the coolers aboard. Just as things were moving along, however, they quickly ceased when the weather turned unfavorable.
The heavy seas Oct. 9 forced the Sea Star III to fish the Cape May Point area, where they were able to catch bluefish. The pool winners for the week were Bill Morrison, with a 4.2-pound triggerfish, and Andrew Wyllie, with a 1.6-pound bluefish.
The Miss Chris, Sea Star III's neighbor, is sailing for sea bass and the other fish swimming in our waters. Their trips leave at 8 a.m., so be ready to go fishing.
Every angler reached their sea bass limit during the Oct. 13 trip. Bluefish and triggerfish were also caught. Congratulations go to Damian Moody, that day's pool winner, who won with a big triggerfish.
The Gone Fishin’ IV, with Capt. Mark, was back at it when sea bass season opened. The charter of Ed, Elaine and Jerry had a great day of fishing, enjoying the sunny skies and calm seas. The fish box filled with sea bass didn’t hurt either, helping to complete the day.
There are a few open dates available. Those interested can call 609-425-8302 to talk to Capt. Mark and get their special trip set up.
Cape May Bait and Tackle reported snapper blues, weakfish and schoolie striped bass were being caught along Cape May's beachfront. Mullet, clams, bloodworms and bunker all worked well as bait.
Local jetties were bearing nice weakfish in the 3-to 5-pound range. Some inshore wrecks were also holding weakfish.
If you want to fish at night, the beaches and harbor areas saw some keeper striped bass being caught. Offshore anglers reported catching yellowfin tuna and wahoo that weighed in the 40-to 60-pound range.
The Cape May and Wildwood reefs were hot spots for the local boats fishing for sea bass. Bigger sea bass were caught at the offshore wrecks, and anglers made quick work of their 10-fish limit. I thank Cape May Bait and Tackle for this report.
The Sailor’s Delight had a great trip opening day, but instead of pursuing sea bass, they chose other species. That morning, their sailors caught 30 blackfish, plus pufferfish, spot and croakers. They will run trips targeting blackfish and bluefish. Give them a call to check out what days they have available for you or your group. They sail morning and afternoon trips.
The Cape May Lady, too, had a successful start to sea bass season, achieving plenty of limits opening day. They will sail special trips, so those interested should contact them to see when and where they sail. One that just passed was a 10-hour trip for sea bass and ling. That trip left at 4 a.m., carrying 25 anglers. Reservations are needed for their special trips.
Don’t forget that the Ocean City Fishing Club’s 52nd Annual Surf Fishing Tournament is Oct. 23. Be at the tournament tent, at the corner of 16th and Haven Avenue, between 5:30 a.m. and 6:45 a.m., to register if you haven’t already, and to be assigned the beach where you will fish first.
At 9:30 a.m., the first session ends, and participants will proceed to their second area. For more information, contact Ed Parkinson, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 215-680-6652.
The opening of sea bass season has brought some life back to the local fishing scene. Captains are happy with the influx of anglers, and, in turn, anglers are happy with the amount of fish they caught. Now, we need the weather to cooperate so those wanting to fish can get back on the water.
Good luck if you get out and I’ll see you around.
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