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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Fishing Line: March 27

Fishing Line: March 27

By Mark Robbins

The local fishing scene is steady, but not spectacular. Stripers are being caught in the back waters, but the recent extremely high tides have left the anglers standing in the water along the marshes. Along with the stripers, white perch are also on the list of fish being caught. If we were to have an extended stretch of sunny, warm weather, then you have to feel that things would really break out.

As you read this we are closing in on the next milestone on the yearly fishing calendar. The blackfish season will open on April 1st. Many anglers, including yours truly, look forward to this date. This is when the first signs of life show at the local marinas. Sure, some people have been taking their own boats and looking for stripers, but the bigger boats, both open or charter boats, are ready to hit the ocean and head to the local reefs and wrecks looking for the challenging to catch, hard fighting, and good tasting blackfish. If you’ve never fished for them, or only casually tried for them, then consider hopping on a local boat and getting involved. You won’t regret it.

One local captain who has ventured into the back is Captain Skip from Stalker Fishing Charters. He and his son were out over the weekend on a recon trip. They caught stripers to 28 inches, plus other quality fish. As the water warms, and he reported it was already up to 52 degrees, the fishing should only get better. As of this writing he had some openings through the end of March. To book a trip, and get in on the early stripere action, call him at 609-972-5218.

Other local open boats that will be targeting blackfish are the Miss Avalon that will be sailing an April 1st, Opening Day trip. Reservations will be required for that trip. If you’re interested give Captains Irv or Brandon a call at 609-967-7455 to reserve a seat. The Sea Star III will also be sailing soon, but I’m waiting for an official date for the first trip so I can pass it on. The Starfish, out of Sea Isle, will also be sailing for blackfish. They have been ready since January and were filling their time by doing some work in their cabin so it’s ready for some spring fishing. The Sailor’s Delight, and her sister, the Sailor’s Delight II, are also ready to go fishing. The Miss Chris, and Captain Mike, are also finishing their preparations as ocean fishing arrives. As more boats release their spring schedules, I will pass the information on.

Some charter boats in the Cape May area that are also ready to pull away from the dock are the Fishin’ Fever, Full Ahead, and Gone Fishing. Your best bet would be to decide what you want to fish for, and when, then give them a call and set up your trip.

Two local boats will be offering fishing camps this summer. The Avalon Lady and the Miss Sea Isle will both be offering camps for anglers as young as 8-years old. These are a great opportunity for kids to learn new fishing skills, then to apply them out on the water. You can check out each opportunity by going to the Facebook page of either Avalon Lady Fishing or Starfish Boats, which has information for the Miss Sea Isle.

If you plan on fishing for blackfish, well, it’s definitely time to get your gear together. That is, if you haven’t done that already. If you like to tie your own rigs, then that’s a good way to use the remaining days before the season starts. You can never have enough spare rigs on hand so

it never hurts to have a few more spares on hand. And don’t worry if you don’t fish for blackfish, because it’s only a little over a month till the summer flounder season opens. Use this time to prepare for that.

For anyone who wants to follow along, or participate in, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will meet April 9th through the 11th in Atlantic City. The meeting will occur at The Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel. This is an in-person meeting but includes a virtual option.

You can go on-line at mafmc.org to see the meeting’s agenda and to get other information you may desire.Go to the April 2024 Council Meeting heading, tap it, and look for the Webinar Link information.

Thanks to Shay Roddy for sending me an update on this meeting and for following our column.

Good luck if you get out and go fishing for stripers or perch, take care, and I’ll see you around.

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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