Memorial Day weekend treated South Jersey anglers very well: Shep on Fishing | Fishing and boating


What a memorable fishing weekend we enjoyed in South Jersey.

Reporting stations contacted on Monday had similar enthusiastic descriptions of excellent variety and quality catches.

Marie-Anne Schutz at Chestnut Neck Boat Yard in Port Republic said Monday weak fish are back to join guardian striped bass and several large blue fish in the Mullica River and surrounding Great Bay.

She said the summer plaice fishery is “slow but good”.

They also weighed a weak 4 1/2 pound fish in Chestnut Neck.

More good news from Chestnut Neck is the resumption of the fishing contest for young Ann and Nuncio Bruno, scheduled for Saturday.

After a two-year absence, the tournament added summer flounder to the traditional bluefish division. The contest is open to youth 16 and under. The entry fee is $15. Area boys and girls can register in person at Chestnut Neck or online before the 7 a.m. start time. The contest runs until noon.

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Personalized trophies will go to winners and leaders, and t-shirts, door prizes and food will be part of the awards ceremony. The Absecon Saltwater Sportsmen’s Club is the official sponsor.

Christmas Feliciano reported a 28-inch weak fish, a 36-inch bluefish and a 49-inch oversized striped bass at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City. He was so busy on Monday when the local scribe called that he hadn’t been able to post any of the photos and videos he takes for his fishermen online.

He also reported that one of his boat crews said he had “maxed out” black bass. We can keep 10 black bass per day at 13 inches minimum. Noel said the crew only kept jumbos.

Ray Scott Bonar, known as Scott, was busy with charter boat customers over the weekend and into Monday at Ray Scott’s dock in Margate, catching what he described as a lot of summer dab.

He also mentioned that big blue fish arrived and pointed out a boat customer James Texada and his son picked up two bluefish and two winter flounder.

Bruises are in the 6 to 7 pound range.

Scott said the new summer flounder rule that allows two fish measuring 17 to 17.99 inches and one over 18 inches makes a big difference in the number of keepers coming home for dinner.

Mike O’Neill runs the Stray Cat charter/open boat from Seaview Harbor Marina to Great Egg Harbor Inlet. The captain fished for bass in the 10-12 mile range and said everyone had their limit of 10 fish.

He said they are all beautiful 3-4 pound fish. O’Neill, who will pilot an open boat this week, said the water temperature off the beach soared to 64 degrees on Sunday.

Dave Showell has been heavily involved in setting up his enclosures at the Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon for blueclaw crabs.

He said the summer flounder is as good as it gets and the spring striped bass catches in the inner bay are great at high tide with a spot as bait. Dave also mentioned weak fish in the 3 pound range.

Catherine Algard sent a report from Sterling Harbor Marina in Wildwood which described the same type of variety.

They weighed a summer flounder of 3 pounds, 14 ounces and 25.5 inches for Michele Derer, of Wildwood. She caught a live minnow and reported it was the biggest summer flounder she had ever caught.

The Sterling Harbor report also mentioned weak fish around the Wildwood piers and striped bass in the North Wildwood waves.

An open summer plaice tournament is scheduled for June 11 by the Strathmere Fishing and Environmental Club. This is a members-only event and youth 16 and under free and the public for $20.

Check in at Whale Creek Marina by 5 p.m. June 10. Fishing will take place from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Weigh-ins will take place from 2-4 p.m. at Whale Creek, followed by an awards ceremony.

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

Contact Michael Berger: 609-350-0388

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