Windy chilly conditions have been playing a role in fishing here in South Jersey, which is not unusual in early March.
There have been numerous good reports of white perch and striped bass lurking in the bays and streams. And a couple of recent ocean trips came home with a decent variety, including codfish.
So, we are not exactly in winter doldrums, except when frigid temps combine with rigorous wind to deter fishers from getting out.
Spring is less than two weeks away, and we have a tolerable weather forecast coming up that should motivate fishers.
White perch have been steady and often spectacular.
White perch fans have been catching them in the Great Egg Harbor watershed and the Mullica River environs.
Dan Spitzer said from Bucktails Outfitters in Mays Landing that perch are not yet hanging out in front of the bulkhead in Mays Landing, but fishers in boats are picking them in Great Egg River, more downriver and moving up and down with the tide.
Over on the Mullica, Howard Sefton said the well-known location at the end of Hay Road has been producing a “good amount” of perch.
While white perch have been biting, the opening of striped bass season revs up a lot of fishers in New Jersey.
Dave Showell weighed a keeper striped bass caught March 1, the day the season reopened in New Jersey.
Myles Bosley was fishing with dad Bo on a sod bank, according to a report from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon, where the catch was certified.
It weighed 121/2 pounds and measured 30 1/2 inches.
Other reports have been sent to tackle shops, sometimes with photos, about striped bass shorter than the 28-inch minimum before being released.
The regulations in the state marine waters out to 3 miles allow for one striper daily possession measuring from 28 to less than 38 inches. In-line circle hooks are required when fishing for striper with natural bait such as bloodworm or clam.
There have been reports of just-short striper since long before the season opened.
Regulations for the 2021 summer flounder season were established at the Thursday online meeting of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council presided over by Dick Herb, of Avalon, and with key input from South Jersey representatives Bob Rush and Eleanor Bochenek.
The season will open May 22 and continue to Sept. 19 with daily possession of three fish at an 18-inch minimum. The Delaware Bay minimum is 17 inches.
Ocean fishing had a couple of highlights recently.
Captain Al Crudele ran a charter on the Bayhound out of Sea Isle City on Feb. 28 that included Paul Hanley, of Atlantic City. Hanley said they caught a 13-pound tautog to wrap up the latest tog season.
Crudele added some detail Monday about that trip by reporting they caught two codfish and a number of quality black seas bass that went back because they are out of season.
Captain Joe Bogan reported codfish on Sunday’s offshore run by the Jamaica 2 party boat that rolls from Brielle. Bogan said they also picked ling and bergall from wrecks in the 18- to 25-mile range.
He said they had a 12-pound cod and that the ling were big, in the 2- to 4-pound class. Jamaica 2 runs inshore Wednesday and Saturday and offshore Sunday.
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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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