Played the weather card and called several captains who used discretion and stayed dockside with strong winds blowing out in the ocean.

Bob Cope turned the Full Ahead around and headed back to the Dock at Utsch’s Marina in Cape May on Monday because of what he called “the heave” in the ocean.

He had a great day Sunday with a charter that racked up 11 keeper summer flounder. He said everyone was happy with that result.

He has also been catching triggerfish.

Mike O’Neill on the Stray Cat open/charterboat out of Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Harbor Inlet said he has been catching mahi and false albacore with spinning rods.

“Fun to catch,” he said Monday.

He was out Sunday and recorded three keeper summer flounder.

Steve Bent on the Free Spirit that rolls from Margate also said fishing is very good for summer flounder and triggerfish with “quite a few” false albacore.

He was redoing some spinning rods Monday morning and then was going to go play golf.

Carl Sheppard on the charter boat Star Fish based at Morrison’s Marina in Beach Haven said fishing has been “absolutely great.”

He has been trolling Spanish mackerel and false albacore inshore off Long Beach Island.

He said 1½- to 2-pound bluefish are cruising, and they have been picking some weakfish.

Sheppard reported catching a ribbon fish on the bottom, and they also had a 3-pound, 1-ounce needlefish.

Each of the captains mentioned how they don’t keep false albacore, aka little tunny, because they are not great table fare.

“Even the cats won’t eat them,” Bent said.

The Starfish party boat went out on a half-day trip Monday from Sea Isle City. Dock master John Nigro reported they also caught triggerfish, and captain Mike Weigle said they had some big ones.

These captains have a few more days to try for summer flounder. The season for that fan favorite runs through Saturday.

Summer flounder have been solid in the back bays and on the lumps and sloughs in the ocean.

Striped bass also continue to be strong.

Dave Showell had one of his fishing safaris from his Absecon Bay Sportsman Center out in the back waters of the Great Bay/Mullica River environs Sunday. They had one keeper and two bonus tag slot fish.

“The fish are here,” he said Monday.

Tourney talk

Several fishing tournaments are already started or about to start.

The Fluke Finale to wrap up summer flounder season is underway, headquartered at One-Stop. It is a free contest for the three-heaviest fish total weight. First place is worth $300 and a custom RH rod. Second earns $150, and third is $75. A pile of lures and other prizes are also among the booty. Sign up at One-Stop in Atlantic City.

The badges for the Pat Erdman Atlantic County Surf Fishing Derby are available for $25 at area tackle shops: Ray Scott’s Dock in Margate, Point Tackle in Somers Point, Ship Shop in Ventnor, One-Stop, Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon and at three spots in Brigantine: Riptide Bait and Tackle, Tight Lines Bait and Tackle and Bayside Bait and Tackle.

Cash prizes are offered for striped bass, bluefish, kingfish and tautog. The contest opens Sept. 21.

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Follow Shep at


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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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