The variety of fish has something for every taste and tactic.
Summer flounder continue to be the fan favorite. Kingfish are in the surf, weakfish are around the rockpiles, black sea bass are excellent well offshore, black drumfish seem to be hanging in there, striped bass are still biting and we had another report of bluefish moving around.
It is not summer yet, but it does sound a lot like summer fishing, including reports of tuna out in the deep.
A couple of local summer founder contests show there are plenty of quality catches in the back bays.
The popular Brutus Summer Flounder and Bluefish Tournament, headquartered at the Egg Harbor Township Elks Lodge 3536 plus Somers Point American Veterans’ Post 911, had some impressive numbers, including 149 contestants, according to tournament coordinator Walter Gregory.
He said they had 36 fish weighed in at the EHT Elks. The heaviest went 6.75 pounds and measured 25 inches. It was caught by Harry Cattrill on the boat C- Phase. Joe Brito was second with a 5.38-pound entry.
Stephen Berge was the youth division champ with a respectable 2.75-pound, 20-inch fish.
Walter also reported that no bluefish were registered.
The contest, in its 23rd year, honors the memory of Walter “Brute” Gregory and benefits the charitable works of the EHT Elks and the Somers Point AmVets.
The Yacht Club of Pleasantville ran its two-day contest over the weekend. Tournament rep Kirk Heiland said fishing was better Saturday in less favorable weather, but the winning fish was caught Sunday.
Brian Will caught the winner that weighed 4.76 pounds, and he took the team captain award with a total of 10.24 pounds for the three heaviest fish. Mike Keeping registered a 3.35-pounder.
Bob Martin won the mystery weight award of a free shrink wrap provided by JJ Boat Works.
“It was a good couple of days,” Heiland said Monday.
Here’s report of another cool catch: Alex Cioffi is 88 and caught a 25-inch summer flounder on his nephew’s boat behind Atlantic City on June 6. Stephen Voso provided a photo along with the message that his uncle got him started fishing 55 years ago. They are from Margate.
While the Brutus did not have any bluefish entered Saturday, Andy Grossman reported from Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine that they “came in” Absecon Inlet on Sunday. He said the fishers on the Brigantine jetty said they were decent 3- to 4-pound blues, and they slammed cut bait.
And just to pile it on about summer flounder, Debbie Mooers reported from Grassy Sound Marina that 12-year old Sofia Fusco, of the Smithville section of Galloway Township, caught two keepers to 20 inches, and Jake Nau, an 11-year-old from Landingberg, Pennsylvlania, caught a 19-inch fish in the back bays of North Wildwood.
The popular Grassy Sound Marina Summer Flounder contest is set for June 26. Details will follow.
Noel Feliciano weighed and photographed a beautiful 6.2-pound, 26-inch weakfish at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City. One of his rock stars, Will Martinez, caught it.
Howard Sefton called from Captain Howard’s Bait and Tackle in Egg Harbor City and handed the phone to Jason Chapman, of Hammonton, who described a 4-pound, 3-ounce flounder he caught on his boat in Great Bay.
The outstanding Junior Mates program organized by the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association has its first meeting of the year June 24 at the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club.
Captain John Lewis is president of the BHCFA.
Information provided by Jim Hutchinson Sr. stated that the meeting will start 7 p.m. on the lower level of the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club.
The Junior Mates program is open to youth who will reach the age of 12 by Aug. 1, according to the information.
For more info, go to BHCFA.org or call Lewis at 609-670-5980.
Irv Hurd, captain of the party boat Miss Avalon had three sellout trips for black seas bass. Wednesday will be his last day for offshore sea bass. He will switching to half-day runs from Avalon Sport Fishing Center.
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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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