Monday, October 2, 2023

Fishing Line: Sept. 13

Fishing Line: Sept. 13

By Mark Robbins

Bentley Hurd and his blowfish.
Courtesy Miss Avalon
Bentley Hurd and his blowfish.

If you want to get involved and enjoy those last opportunities to go fluke fishing, well, then now is the time. The end of the summer fluke season is sadly approaching and it’s time to get going. The dreaded date is Sept. 27, which means we have two weeks from the date of this article. The fishing is still good, so don’t hesitate. Other fish are still being caught at the reefs, namely sea bass and triggerfish, which means you’ll have a good chance to bring home some fresh fish for dinner. Let’s check out what happened recently.

The Miss Avalon continues to sail to the reefs for fluke, seabass, and triggerfish. Capts. Irv and Brandon plan on running these trips through the end of the season Sept. 27. Some private charters, as well as some “exotics trips,” will be mixed in through the month, so make sure you call ahead at 609-967-7455 to see what the day’s plans will be.

The Avalon Lady, the back bay pontoon boat on the Avalon fleet, will be wrapping up their season, probably before you get to read this column. They were still catching fluke in the back, and near the Townsend’s Inlet Bridge as of Labor Day, but it seems like it’s time now to focus on the ocean and prepare for late summer and fall fishing that awaits.

With that, the captains and crew will focus on flounder, the “exotics trips,” sea bass, and then blackfish through the fall and into December. It’s time to start prepping your rigs, and other gear, for the fall.

The Starfish is sailing four-hour fishing trips, leaving at 8 a.m., daily until Oct. 1. At that point, they will transition over to eight-hour sea bass trips. Also in September, the Starfish  will be running 18-hour tilefish trips, which are scheduled to leave at midnight on various days. Check out their online calendar, then schedule the trip of your choice.

Boulevard Bait and Tackle had Pat check in after his trip to a local reef. Why? Because he wanted to weigh in his nice flounder. It weighed 5.8 pounds and was 25.5 inches long. Nice catch, Pat.

The Fin Advisor crew with their wahoo. Courtesy Boulevard Bait and Tackle.

Later in the week, the crew of the Fin Advisor stopped in to show off the wahoo they picked up while trolling around “the pots” for mahi. Not what they were targeting, but definitely a nice catch. 

Sea Isle Bait and Tackle reported some nice catches from around the area for the anglers who checked in.

Both BJ and Wes caught sheepshead. BJ’s was 22 inches and 6.29 pounds, while Wes’ was just shy of the 4-pound mark. Another catch of note went to Jonny T., who checked in from the inlet where he was fishing for tog. Instead, he caught a really nice red drum that was probably in the 10- to12-pound range.

Jonny T. and his red drum. Courtesy Sea Isle Bait and Tackle.

Nice efforts, guys, as all of you caught fish that remain on my bucket list. I need to get out there soon.

Two nice fluke were also recorded, as Gene weighed in a 5.42-pounder, while Ed G. stopped by with a 25-inch, 6.66-pound fish, which he caught during a morning trip to a local reef.  

Capt. Mike, from the Miss Chris, had a “good week.” He reported plenty of bird play this week. He scoped it out, worked the edges of it, and was able to put his fares on plenty of blue fish action, which led to many limits.

Multiple anglers from “Philly,” such as Vince, Ethan, Sean, Matthew, Chris, and Brayden, along with Amy and Tony (Wrightstown), Yvonne and Rick (Succasunna), Kyle, Rob, and Patty (Pittsgrove), Elias (Swedesboro), Niko and Cy (Baltimore, Maryland), and Graham (West Chester, N.Y.) returned to the dock with their limits.   

The Sea Star III, with Capt. Chuck, had a slower-than-hoped-for week. The swells that were in our area recently made fishing tougher than wanted, but it’s a hazard we live with. Regardless of the challenging conditions, fish, namely fluke, sea bass, and weakfish were caught, which made the anglers’ efforts worthwhile.

Rich Mercino and his 4.7-pound, pool-winning fluke. Courtesy Sea Star III

Pool winners for the week were Chris Diamond, with a 1.55-pound sea bass, Frank Servocky, with a 1.25-pound weakfish, and two anglers who won with fluke, Bob Monroe (3.3 pounds) and Rich Mucerino, with his 4.7-pounder.

The Sailor’s Delight continues to catch keeper fluke, bluefish, sea bass, and crabs. The boat traffic in the back over the holiday didn’t deter them from making their desired catches. One group, Bryan and his family, caught fluke, sea bass, and sharks after starting their day with a crabbing trip that produced four dozen tasty crustaceans.

Capts. Andrew and Stan will have daily availability for September flounder fishing through the rest of the summer flounder season, so give them a call at 609-827-8309 to arrange a trip.  

Grassy Sound Marina had some good action over the weekend, as anglers got out and enjoyed the holiday weather.

Shane, 4, and Emmett Townsend, 8, enjoyed their day on a rental pontoon by catching croakers, fluke, and crabs from Turtle Creek.

Matt Doman and Richard Stead fished behind Wildwood Crest. They came home with a 23-inch, 4-pounder that fell for a squid and minnow combo.

David Dunleavy struck again, as he landed a 25-inch, 6-pound, 8-ounce fluke while offering a New Penny Gulp. He also caught some other flounder and some bluefish during his trip.

Finally, the Gill family had a nice outing that was highlighted by them catching their first sheepshead.

We concluded another good week with the usual fish, namely flounder, but also with a number of sheepshead, a red drum, and a wahoo. That variety keeps it exciting. Good luck if you get out, take care, and I’ll see you around.

Submit fishing news and photos to


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

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