Saturday, December 2, 2023

Fishing Line: Nov. 8

Fishing Line: Nov. 8

By Mark Robbins

A nice Red Drum.
Courtesy Stalker Fishing Charters, Cape May
A nice Red Drum.

Wow! It felt like we were back in August with the warm weather we had at the end of the week. Don’t forget though that the beginning of the week was cold with frost warnings. It was a crazy week weather-wise but it didn’t stop those who wanted to fish. The fishing was challenging, but not impossible. Let’s check out what went on.

Three happy anglers and their stringers of sea bass. Courtesy Miss Avalon

The Miss Avalon had a great Friday and Saturday during the warm end of October weekend.

Friday provided a “good day” of fishing. The action started early and lasted throughout the trip as lots of sea bass and porgies were caught.

Saturday was even busier and saw plenty of sea bass, porgies and bluefish caught. The final tally for the day was 24 bluefish, 125 porgies and a few sea bass short of a boat limit. The anglers went home tired, but happy.

The November schedule for the Miss Avalon has been posted. Highlighted days are the Veterans Day special on Saturday, Nov. 11. Veterans and active-duty military get 50% off their fare. The other special day is Nov. 16. That’s the day of the opening of blackfish season. The trip will run from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and reservations will be required.  

The Starfish also shared in the great weather and the fishing bounty. Over the course of the weekend, they recorded many limits around the boat as the sea bass kept coming over the rail.

You can book a trip online or give them a call to grab a seat. Regular trips leave at 8 a.m. while the longer trips leave at 7 a.m.

Sea Isle Bait and Tackle reported that there was more action in the surf over the weekend. Bluefish were in the inlets and were hitting on mullet while a nice striper was caught from the surf by an angler named Chris. The striper hit on salted clams.

Hopefully, this is the start of a nice fall run for stripers along our local beaches. They are being caught from the North and Central Jersey beaches so we just need them to stay tight to the shoreline as they migrate south.

The Sailor’s Delight is running trips to the local rock piles for Tog. They have been getting plenty of action with some keepers mixed in amongst the throwbacks.

Capt. Chuck, from the Sea Star III, reported a good week as he and his patrons benefitted from the warm weather.

Tony Koska and his pool-winning sea bass. Courtesy Sea Star III

Sea bass and some triggerfish, which are still hanging around, were the main fish that were caught. A nice blackfish was also caught and won a pool. Fishing was good with a nice mix of keepers and throwbacks.

Pool winners were Kevin Campbell with the previously mentioned blackfish (2.85 pounds), Tony Koska with a 2.25-pound sea bass, and two anglers with triggerfish. Those fishermen were Vinnie Sallustio (3.25 pounds) and Larry Brunton with a 3.3-pounder.

Capt. Chuck will continue to target sea bass until the opening of blackfish season Nov. 16. Daily trips sail at 9 a.m. and return at 3 p.m.

Capt. Mike, from the Miss Chris, checked in to mention that Saturday was the final day of their season. They sailed two four-hour trips and their patrons did well with sea bass. Dean Bidwell was the final pool winner of the year and he also limited out. Thanks, Mike, for contributing weekly to our column, have a safe winter, and let’s do it again next year.

Capt. Skip, from Stalker Fishing Charters, Cape May has been running trips to the backwaters looking for, and catching, some nice stripers. Recently, he also caught his first Red Drum of the season. That would be a really nice bonus if we could get a local population of those fish. Hopefully, he’ll have more of those fish to report on soon as well as Speckled Trout, which also are caught during this time of the year.

Where the stripers are concerned, some trips had up to 25 fish caught, with fish up to 31 inches. With the temperatures dropping, Skip is expecting the action to get even better.

Skips’ premonition about the correlation between cold temperatures and increased action was accurate. On Thursday morning, with cold temperatures in place, the morning charter caught enough stripers that the count was lost. Many though were right around that magic 28-inch number. That’s a nice way to spend a morning.   

Capt. Skip will be running his backwater trips until Thanksgiving, so give him a call at 609-972-5218 to get more information.

Capt. Mark, from Gone Fishin’ Sport Fishing Charters, is sailing for sea bass through the end of the year. He’ll add blackfish to the list Nov. 16. You can get your name on his call list or book your own private charter by calling or texting him at 609-425-8302.

Well, what a difference a few days makes. The weekend, and Monday, was summer-like and very fishable, while the following few days were raw and windy. Could they have been fished? Sure, but not many ventured out. The weather forecast for the following weekend was good, so we still have opportunities on the horizon. Good luck if you get out, take care and I’ll see you around.  

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

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