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Fishing slows a bit after strong last week to 2020

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Fishing was good in the ocean right to the end of the year, but reports were scarce to start 2021.

Wednesday was a good day for tautog, black sea bass and some porgy offshore.

White perch are strong, and at least that popular fishery continued through the weekend into the new year in the rivers and streams throughout the area.

It is winter, of course, but likely there still is some decent fishing just ahead.

Jason Kleinschmidt guided the Cape May Lady party boat from its berth at South Jersey Marina in Cape May, most recently Wednesday. His crew of customers had numerous limits of tautog with the heaviest weighing 8½ pounds.

He is scheduled to make a run Tuesday morning and said Monday he “will stay at it” through January.

Mark Schrenk also made his most recent trip with the charter boat Jessie James out of Brigantine on Wednesday.

They caught an eight-man limit of black sea bass and some porgy in 30 fathoms of water off Absecon Inlet. He said it was a beautiful day on the water. The crew started out wearing parkas and gloves and wound up fishing in sweatshirts with 57 degree temps.

White perch are consistent in the streams with schoolie shortie striped bass mixing it up. Marissa Spitzer said Monday from Bucktails Outfitters in Mays Landing that the fishers are out there. The well-known fishing spots on the Mullica River and the Great Egg Harbor River are seeing some action.

Bloodworm and grass shrimp take both.

She also said pickerel are chasing Rattletraps in more freshwater spots such as Lake Lenape.

Adam Nowalsky is a well-respected activist for recreational fishers of this state. His newest role is a liaison for New Jersey recreational and commercial fishers and stakeholders with ocean wind turbine farm development.

In conjunction with Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, Adam is seeking comments and input from area fishers concerning the proposed wind energy farms off New Jersey.

Two forums are scheduled for this month: Jan. 13 and 20, both from 6:30 to 8 p.m. by webinar. The first is an introductory session, and the second will be to review feedback and identify areas of interest.

To participate, go to, or contact Adam at 609-618-0366. This is an excellent opportunity for local fishers to participate and gain some insight in the process.

The New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, also by webinar. This one starts at 5 p.m. Go to the to join the meeting.

Follow Shep at


Michael Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column appears Mondays online and Tuesdays in print.

Contact: 609-350-0388


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