Anticipation is building toward February ending and the start of striped bass season in all state marine waters March 1.
But we continue to be in a holding pattern with this latest visit of wintry weather.
Reports about fishing are sparse, but fishers are taking advantage of the slowdown to get geared up.
Dave Showell reported Monday morning from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon that he had one fisher who got out over the weekend and caught white perch.
He said white perch continue to be more in the middle of the streams rather than upriver or more downriver. And he said white perch fishers seem to be liking grass shrimp as the favored bait.
He said striped bass key on bloodworm. Striped bass are off-limits for a few more days in the state’s inlets, bays and streams. Starting next Monday, striped bass are legal in all state marine waters out to 3 miles.
We can keep one striped bass daily measuring from 28 inches to less than 38 inches.
Showell said he had a busy Sunday in the sunshine. He expects to be back to “regular” store hours by March 1.
Jeff Taniguchi at Blackwater Sports Center in Vineland said they have had some activity at the store but few reports of actual fishing.
The message from Bucktails Outfitters in Mays Landing was similar.
There is some other news. Howard Sefton said Monday he expects to reopen Captain Howard’s Bait and Tackle in Egg Harbor City by Friday. He said he has gear and equipment in stock to get started.
His report was that he heard of good white perch catches at the familiar locations in the Mullica River region.
Showell reminds striped bass hounds they are now required to use inline circle hooks in New Jersey waters when using natural live or cut bait.
This down time is a good time to register for the state’s required free saltwater registry on the N.J. Fish and Wildlife web page.
The next meeting of the state Marine Fisheries Council is 5 p.m. March 4 online. Council chair Dick Herb said Monday that 2021 summer founder regulations will be decided.
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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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