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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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Fishing Line: July 3

Fishing Line: July 3

By Mark Robbins

Ray Rubeo and his pool-winning fluke.
Courtesy of the Sea Star III
Ray Rubeo and his pool-winning fluke.

The past week had some nice action, although reports mentioned some cold water that slowed the flounder bite at the reefs. Regardless, some nice reports came in. It just makes you hope that the water warms back up and the bite follows. The back bays also gave up some good flounder, and a big sheepshead, at a local tournament. Let’s check things out.

Grassy Sound Marina held its 18th Annual Flounder Tournament recently, and for the third time since its inception, the heaviest flounder prize was won by an angler entered in the kayak division.

Matt Marino won both the kayak division and the heaviest flounder title with a 3.86-pounder. Matt also won the Sheepshead Calcutta with a 10.5-pound fish.

Matt Marino, left, with an assist from Jim Mooers, displays his winning flounder and sheepshead. Courtesy of Grassy Sound Marina

Other winners, with their divisions listed, were Ken McDermott (1st place, Boat, 3.76 pounds), Billy Manuella (2nd, Boat, 3.51) and Quinn Overcash (3rd, Boat, 2.97). The 2-Heaviest fish category was won by Charlie Gould (7.28), while the Women’s Division was won by Veronica Barbiero (2.26) and the youth division winner, with a 3.16-pound flounder, was Jon Dougherty.

Captain Chuck, from the Sea Star III, reported some nice flounder were caught during the recent week. The bite was good before the southerly winds caused a cooling in the ocean temperature and a drop in the action, but Captain Chuck is hoping for a return to westerly winds, warmer water and a corresponding increase in the flounder bite.

The recent pool winners included Les Lawler with a 1.5-pound sea bass, and (all with fluke), Ray Rubeo (3 pounds), Frank Servocky twice (4.25 and 3.25), Jim Hornbach (2.55) and Tom Collins with a 4.8-pounder.

The Miss Chris sails from the same dock as the Sea Star III. They have two 4-hour trips daily and also offer a 6 p.m. fishing trip. Check out their Facebook page and follow the links or go to CapeMayFisherman.com to check out their schedule.

The Sailor’s Delight Back Bay Fishing fleet has busy patrons who are catching fluke (both keepers and throwbacks), croakers and spot. Some nice blueclaw crabs are being caught during the combo crab/fish charters. Call 609-827-8309 to reserve a spot at the rail.

No Bones Bait and Tackle is right in the marina near the Sailors Delight fleet, and they can help you with all your fishing and crabbing needs. Stop in, get your bait and gear, rent a skiff, then go fishing.

The Cape May Lady will now be sailing its summer schedule. It will be sailing twice each day, with two 4-hour trips, which leave at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Fluke will be their main target, but you could also catch kingfish and croakers.

Sterling Harbor Bait and Tackle is open six days a week (closed Tuesday) and can help you if you’re in need of any fishing items or information. Stop in, say hi to Cathy, George and Bill, and check out their selection of fishing items.

Captain Skip, from Stalker Fishing Charters, Cape May, is running deepwater fluke trips. His charters have been catching some nice fluke that are nearing the 7-pound mark. He runs trips for six-person charters or open boat trips handling up to six individuals

The Starfish is now running two 4-hour trips daily at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. They have been catching plenty of sea bass (all thrown back) and some ling. An uptick in water temperature should increase the number of flounder being caught.

The Miss Avalon is sailing to the reefs for fluke and other edible reef inhabitants. Warming water should make for even more action on the two daily 4-hour trips. Call ahead at 609-967-7455 to confirm a day and time for fishing. Sunday trips are five-hour trips, from 8 a.m. till 1 p.m., for the cost of a weekly 4-hour trip.

The Avalon Lady is almost ready for fishing, as she awaits her approval paperwork to arrive. She’s passed all her Coast Guard requirements and is ready to go, but is in a waiting pattern at the moment. Hopefully, by the time you’re reading this column, the captain and crew will be taking out some eager anglers.

First Fish Adventures,with Captain Zig, has been out working the back waters for fluke. His patrons have been catching plenty recently, with a highlight being a 2-hour trip that produced three keepers. First Fish Adventures is based out of Sea Isle City.

Boulevard Bait and Tackle wants to thank everyone who donated to, and competed in, the First Annual Slack Tide Flounder Tournament. Through the donations, $3,600 was raised for the Strathmere Fishing and Environmental Club. These funds will be used for their artificial reef program, which helps to sustain our local reefs.

The fishing isn’t bad, but if we get some warmer water it should be even better. The fish were biting, so we just need something to get them going again. Take care, good luck if you get out, and I’ll see you around.

Submit fishing news and photos to mrobbins@cmcherald.com.

Columnist

Author of The Fishing Line, a regular column published in the Cape May County Herald covering the local fishing scene.

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