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Fishing Line: May 15

Fishing Line: May 15

By Mark Robbins

Brandon with his 25-inch, 5.8-pound flounder.
Photo Credit: Boulevard Bait and Tackle
Brandon with his 25-inch, 5.8-pound flounder.

Well, as with the opening of most fishing seasons lately, and even going back to last year, the weather didn’t fully cooperate for the first day of summer flounder season. We were hoping for some of that sunny 70-degree weather we have tasted lately but instead it was raw and drizzly. It wasn’t overly windy, and it didn’t get blown out like prior openers for other species, but the day wasn’t as visualized if you pictured your best day. Another factor that allowed for some fishing to occur was that the back waters were the place to be, and anglers didn’t have far to travel. There were no concerns about wind or swell and if things went south quickly, it didn’t take long to get back to the dock. Let’s check out how things went.

The Sailor’s Delight was out on the water early Saturday but the conditions weren’t the best, which caused the afternoon trip to be canceled. However, they were right back at it on Sunday morning. Keepers, and short fish that would have gone to the cooler last year but were undersized now, kept the anglers aboard busy. The conditions were breezy, but fish were still caught.

Three happy anglers with their flounder. Photo Credit: Sailor’s Delight

The Monday trip, conducted under better conditions, though not stellar, produced some nice keepers. Short fish contributed to the action, and acted as a good warmup for the time when a keeper would grab the bait. Practice makes perfect.

The Sailor’s Delight crew was able to get out during the week and was rewarded with some nice back bay keepers. Plenty of shorts contributed to the action for those aboard during those outings.

The Sea Star III finished out their spring blackfish season. The last week of the season saw some very nice fish caught and the final days of the season were no different. The action was good, and shorts and keepers filled those days.

The final blackfish pools went to Tony Koska with a 3.25-pounder and to Frank Servocky who won with a 6-pound fish.

Harry Banna and his 7.41-pound flounder. Photo Credit: Jim’s Bait and Tackle

The Sea Star III will be hitting the bay for flounder, and other fish, until May 17 when it will switch to sea bass. They will also be sailing on selected evenings for drumfish. Call Capt. Chuck at 609-884-3421 to see when those trips are and to make your reservations.

The Miss Avalon is ready to sail on the opening day of sea bass season. The opener on May 17 is a reservations-only trip so you’ll need to call them at 609-967-7455 and make a reservation.

The Starfish is planning for the opening of sea bass season. Give them a call at 609-263-3800 to grab a seat at the rail.

The Stalker, and Capt. Skip, are busy with big bluefish. Fish weighing between 5 to 14 pounds are providing plenty of fun on light tackle. He runs morning and afternoon trips and private or open boat trips. Call him at 609-972-5218 to schedule a trip.

Grassy Sound Marina had a good opening day tournament despite the challenging conditions. The winners this year really earned their bounty.

Dave Kerr registered the first weigh-in of the new season when he came in with his 18-inch, 1.94-pound flounder. The biggest flounder of the day went to David Cohen who landed a 3.87-pound fish, which edged out the 3.86-pound flounder caught by Lee Jaconski.

Other catches to mention went to John Iacaruso with his 21.5-inch, 3.31-pounder and Jacob Wagoner who weighed in a 3.6-pound, 21-inch catch. Finally, John Dailey and crew showed off three nice keepers while they were getting some gas.

Sea Isle Bait and Tackle reported a nice limit for a lady angler named Barbara Jean. She was fishing with Capt. Robby and the biggest of her three was just under 3 pounds.

Barbara Jean and a nice flounder. Photo Credit: Sea Isle Bait and Tackle

Boulevard Bait and Tackle is reporting on plenty of recent action. They weighed in, and had pictures of flounder, striped bass, bluefish and drumfish. The Sea Isle beachfront is a good place for the striper and drumfish bite, while the backwater is good for flounder, bluefish, and even an occasional striper.

The report right before my deadline was that another “wave” of large bass was moving along the Sea Isle beaches. Reported, with pictures, was that Rob took part in the action by catching, and releasing, some really big bass.

Two keeper flounder, and a 10.1-pound bluefish, went to Ed who was fishing from his kayak, Harold and Dan each had a keeper on opening day, Cameron and Brian put five keepers in the cooler, Don, Dan, and Kenny got out Monday and had flounder to 5.78 pounds, plus a bluefish, and Brandon caught a 25-inch, 5.8-pound flounder.

Highlights from the beach were the 21-inch, 5-pound drumfish and 38-inch striper caught by Kevin, Jake’s 30-inch drum and five stripers to 32 inches, Luis’ stripers, a 40-incher, then a nice slot-sized keeper, Deano’s drumfish, Tony’s striped bass, Rob’s stripers, a 42-incher and a keeper, and Steve’s two big striped bass that were well over 31 inches, photographed, and then released.

A mid-week report saw Chef Bill catch his share of a two-man limit, including a 23.5-inch flounder, Tony pulling in a 9-pound bluefish, and Dean and John catch their limit with flounder to 22 inches.  

Hands Too Bait and Tackle reported that in spite of the conditions on Saturday, some nice catches were made. One was made by John Rossi who landed a 7-pound, 29.75-inch weakfish while the other was made by an angler named Angelo. He was fishing an oceanside beach where he caught, photographed, then released a 43-inch striper.

Regardless of an opening day with less than ideal conditions, some nice flounder were caught. Through the week, more flounder, plus plenty of striped bass, drumfish, and blue fish were caught. It shows that you just need to accept the weather, be properly prepared, put your time in, and you too can catch some nice fish. 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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