Fishing is hitting an early peak right now in South Jersey.
Summer founder and black sea bass are strong to go with striped bass, kingfish, weakfish, black drumfish and an occasional bluefish.
The Starfish party boat came from its offshore run Sunday with “happy people” and a gang of quality black sea bass, according to dockmaster John Nigro.
Almost all on board had their limit of 10, and the few who did not caught at least eight, Nigro said Monday.
He said they were all big fish, measuring from 13 to 15 inches. They were fishing about 20 miles off Townsends Inlet and will head offshore again Wednesday.
Catherine Algard at Sterling Harbor Bait and Tackle in Wildwood provided some news about decent summer flounder action in the ocean happening now in addition to the continued excellent catches in the back bays.
Scott Wheeling and crew picked off 10 keepers at Reef Site 11 off Delaware Bay.
Algard said some of the inshore reefs are giving up black sea bass and summer flounder.
Noel Feliciano at One-Stop Bait & Tackle in Atlantic City weighed a 5-pound summer flounder mid-afternoon Monday that was caught in the back bay inside Absecon Inlet.
Brian Houf caught it, and it was among four keepers on a three-fisher crew of Galloway Township residents that included captain Bill Emmel and his daughter Ashley.
Brain said it was his first time out for flounder this season but that the captain has been doing very well.
The surf also gave up quality summer flounder in Brigantine.
Arlene Perkowski pulled two out of the suds that weighed 2 pounds, 15 ounces and 2-10.
Perkowski is a well-known surfcaster in Brigantine, and those fish are 1-2 in the early going of the Riptide summer fishing contest, according to owner Andy Grossman.
Mike O’Neill returned the Stray Cat party boat to the dock at Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Harbor Inlet on Monday afternoon with another great sea bass haul. He had six fishers on board, and five had their limits of 10. The other picked off nine.
They also had a few ling. He was fishing the rock piles 10 to 12 miles off.
Tourney talkThe unabated catch of summer flounder is great timing for an annual contest this Saturday.
The Brutus summer flounder and bluefish tournament benefits the charitable works of the Egg Harbor Township Elks Lodge 2563 and the Somers Point American Veterans Post 911.
The entry fee is $35 per person, and contestants can fish from boat, beach or pier. First place earns $500, second gets $250 and third takes $150. First-place junior gets $100. The bluefish winner is awarded $100.
The application deadline is 9 p.m. Friday at the EHT Elks Lodge located at 1815 Somers Point-Mays Landing Road in EHT.
Email Brutusboy6665@aol.com for more information.
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Michael Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column appears Mondays online and Tuesdays in print.
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