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Fishing Line: June 26

Fishing Line: June 26

By Mark Robbins

Dean Dunlevy and his Sheepshead.
Photo Credit: Hands Too Bait and Tackle
Dean Dunlevy and his Sheepshead.

The summer season is now officially here. Time is flying by, temperatures are climbing, and the fluke are arriving at the reefs just as the warm weather does. Tuna are also being caught at the canyons, sheepshead are in the area with one being caught from the surf, and a real summer vibe is being felt. Let’s check things out.

The new Avalon Lady has been delivered and is now waiting on all the final paperwork, and Coast Guard approvals, before she can host the public for fishing trips and party cruises. It shouldn’t be long so stay tuned to hear when she’ll be ready.

Evan Metro with a nice fluke. Photo Credit: Miss Avalon

Meanwhile, the Miss Avalon is sailing to the local reefs to target fluke. The action has been steadily increasing as we hit late June (already). Ling are still being picked up but they should give way to more of the summer species pretty soon.

The Miss Avalon started sailing their summer schedule three days ago, on Sunday, June 23, which will include their five-hour Sunday trip for the price of a four-hour trip. Call 609-967-7455 to see exactly when they are sailing.

The Starfish, fishing out of Sea Isle City, is fishing their summer schedule. That means twice daily, four-hour trips, which will sail at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.

These trips will really be focused on fluke now that the first segment of sea bass season has ended. Bluefish, weakfish, and kingfish can also be caught and always are a welcome addition to the daily action.

The Sea Star III, with Capt. Chuck checking in, has been doing well with fluke catches. The action has been bumping up with some limits, and nice-sized fish, being caught.

Pool winners this week were all won with fluke. The winners with their weights were Chuck Schwab (5.25 pounds), Mike Jung, twice (2.75 and 4.4) and Mike also caught two limits, Scott Barndt (4.75), Frank Servocky (2.75), Biff Pein (4.75), and Jim Hornbach (5.05).

The Prime Time Drumfish Trips wrapped up for the season with Dave Dougherty claiming the final pool of the season with a 25-pound fish.

The Miss Chris reported good action on sea bass and fluke during their Father’s Day four-hour trip. Throwbacks added to the action, as did some kingfish and croakers.

The final four-hour drumfish trip of the season was conducted and now the sunset trips will be fishing for fluke, kingfish, and weakfish.

The Sailor’s Delight is staying busy catching back bay fluke. There has been a nice mix of shorts and keepers, so all the anglers are kept busy.

They also ran their first crab trip of the season. It was a “slow pick” but they were still able to catch a baker’s dozen for the dinner table. Roughly an equal amount were a little short and went back to molt and get closer to the legal size.

Cameron, from Boulevard Bait and Tackle, reported that 65 boats entered the First Annual Slack Tide (Brewery) Flounder Tournament on the Saturday before Father’s Day. Flounder, bluefish, and weakfish found their way to the scale.

The top three anglers in the flounder division were first-place finisher Sean Holten with a 24-inch, 5.96-pound fluke, while second place went to Mick Stickel (24.5 inches, 5.66 pounds), and third was claimed by Mark Taniguchi with a 22.5-inch, 4.34-pounder.

Jason Reed won the bluefish division with a 23-inch, 3.14-pound fish and the weakfish winner was Brad Hicks with a 17.75-inch, 1.7-pound catch.

Mikey B. caught a 5.02-pound, 24-inch fluke while fishing in the back bay. This catch wasn’t involved with the tournament, but was actually made the day prior to it.

Diane Shute Casey and a nice keeper fluke. Photo Credit: Grassy Sound Marina

Grassy Sound Marina recorded a 5.2-pound, 24-inch fluke for Joe Ramowski. It was his personal best fluke and it fell for a minnow and squid combo that he was fishing at the top of the tide.

Cape May Bait and Tackle reports plenty of action from different areas around the Cape. The beaches, rock piles, and back bays are the places to be.

Floating bloodworms around the bayside rock piles is producing weakfish, while small flounder are hitting pink Gulp and spearing for those anglers fishing around Cape May Point. The bridges and back bay areas have been experiencing an early morning striper bite, while kingfish are hitting Fishbites and bloodworms along the ocean beaches and in the Delaware Bay and snapper blues are hitting pieces of mullet along the Cape May beaches.

Make your choice, grab your bait, and get out and get fishing.

Hands Too Bait and Tackle reported that Dean Dunlevy caught a Sheepshead from the surf while offering a sand flea and backed it up with a photo of the nice catch.

Jim’s Bait and Tackle weighed in a bluefin tuna recently but no weights were recorded. Hopefully, this is the first of many tuna to be caught this season.

Thanks to Nick Rambo who sent in a quick report and picture of a recent trip to a local reef. The two-man crew of the All Hanked Up II returned with four nice keeper fluke. Good job and thanks for submitting.

Four nice keepers for the two-man crew of the All Hanked Up II.

The season is starting to develop nicely and should only get better as the summer weather kicks in. Good luck if you get out, take care, 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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