It’s hard to think about it, but September is here.
Even though summer doesn’t officially end for three weeks, it seems like it’s over since some anglers are returning to their regular, daily grind. The easier days are done for another year. Hopefully, the weekends will be nice, allowing for more fishing. I’ll welcome cooler weather and fall fishing when they arrive, but this summer flew by.
Recently, Capt. Chuck led the Sea Star III on another busy week of flounder action. Some croakers and triggerfish also found their way into his customers' coolers, creating a nice mixed bag for them. There were also some three-fish flounder limits scattered throughout the week.
With nice action during the week, it's not surprising that flounder won most of the daily pools. The one winner with something different was Trisha Bennett, with a 1.5-pound sea bass. The winners with flounder were Bob Leonard, with a 3.05-pounder, Harry Theurer (3.75), Pam Hood (4.0), Bill Adams (3.25), John Donley (5.55) and Chris Iannucci, who landed the week's biggest winner, at 6.3 pounds.
The Miss Chris' captain, Mike, reported “a very nice week,” with lots of sea bass and flounder at the local reefs. Notable catches went to Noelle Shelly, who won a pool with a 20-inch flounder, Veronica Brown, who won with a 22-inch fluke, Bob Callvetto, who won with his 21-incher, and Zackery Beach, who caught two flounder, at 20 and 21 inches, plus two sea bass. Many other anglers during the week caught their daily two-fish limit of sea bass.
Capt. Andrew, from the Sailor’s Delight, reported that productive back bay fishing continues. His charters are still catching plenty of flounder, with some nice keepers mixed in, too.
When flounder season officially ends, Andrew will be targeting bluefish, weakfish and kingfish during his open-boat trips. Tog fishing is available for those who charter the boat.
As bluefishing wanes, the Sailor’s Delight will target tog during their trips. They offered tog trips for the first time last fall and followed those with trips this past spring. Their success means everyone at the Sailor’s Delight is excited about the fall 2021 tog season.
Grassy Sound Marina had some nice action to report for a couple of young anglers. Leading off was the first-ever flounder, a 20-inch keeper, for Gracie, which was caught from her mom-mom’s dock, at Grassy Sound.
The other noteworthy catch went to a young man, Matt Dever, fishing from a local bridge during the top of the tide and using artificial baits. He caught some bluefish and some short stripers, then landed a keeper striper, swinging by the marina to get photographed. The fish appeared to be in the 30-to 32-inch range.
The Cape May Lady, sailing daily, is putting patrons on plenty of triggerfish and flounder. They sail at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. and are planning a tilefish trip that will be concluding as of this column, but their Facebook page has information on more upcoming trips. I'll also put the word out as I hear about them.
The Miss Avalon continued to investigate the local reefs, where they have been putting their fares on flounder, sea bass and triggerfish. Greg Hill was a recent pool winner with a nice-sized flounder in the four-pound range, while Julio Rosado caught a nice-sized flounder, too.
One couple who knows how to fish, proving so by each catching limits, is Don Fagen and Kathy Mulvehill. This was Don’s second limit in a few days - a job well done to both of you.
A mid-week morning trip was successful for 8-year-old Sophia Rossetti. It was her first time fishing in the ocean, and she caught the day's first fish. She also finished with two triggerfish and secured second place in the pool for the trip - nice job, Sophia.
First Fish Adventures, in Sea Isle City, had a busy week, with a solid mix for everyone. Young anglers had fun with the sea bass, spot and small sharks inhabiting the backwaters, while the older anglers, as well as some young ones that hit the ocean, returned to the dock with “lots” of flounder, bluefish and triggerfish. No matter where they fished, a great time was enjoyed by all.
Bayhound Charters Light Tackle Sportfishing was busy with charters for the Traver family and Amy Messeck, Sean Reilly and Adam Bruno. They caught plenty of fluke, triggerfish, sea bass and kingfish. This nice “August mixed bag” provided plenty of fresh fish for the anglers' dinner tables.
The Starfish, in addition to catching the normal summer species - flounder, triggerfish and sea bass - had an unidentified angler who landed an unexpected small cobia. After a few pictures, the fish was released.
Boulevard Bait and Tackle reported that Kevin, a local angler, was fishing along the beach after the storm. During his time on the sand, he caught bluefish, kingfish and spot. The storm, although brief, pushed some of these fish into the surf. Let’s take advantage of that benefit of the storm.
I thank Mike Basileo for photographs and a report about the crab tournament sponsored by the Saltwater Outpost, at Hereford Inlet Marina. Nineteen families participated Aug. 14, and prizes were awarded for the most caught, which was won by Adam Jacobs, with 83, the biggest from the dock, Morgan Hurley, the biggest caught by a competitor under 12 years old, won by the Murray’s and Delaney’s, and the biggest overall, which was won by David Michl, with a 6.5-inch crab.
Last week, I reported on the record-setting blue marlin caught during the 30th Mid-Atlantic Tournament. That record lasted less than one day.
Billy Gurlach Aug. 20 battled three and a half hours and caught a new tournament record 1,135-pound blue marlin. This fish is also a pending Maryland state record, as the current record blue marlin is 1,062 pounds.
For winning first place in this category, the crew claimed a prize of $1,167,762. The tournament's total purse was $5,929,050, which bettered last year's total of just over $4 million.
Lots of big fish ruled the week. Flounder season's time is dwindling, so get out if you have the chance.
Take care and I’ll see you around.
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