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Tuesday, April 23, 2024


Fishing Line for Nov. 16

A 49-inch striper.

By Mark Robbins

Hello, and let me wish you a happy, productive fall 2022 blackfish season. Yes, it’s mid-November already and the bag-limit of blackfish is increasing today. You may keep 5 fish that must be at least 15-inches in length. While they are moving into the category of most targeted now, there are still some keeper-size sea bass, porgies, bluefish and triggerfish around. Those, though, are becoming harder to find. And we are always hoping that striped bass make their presence known along our beaches and off our coast, but not too far off. Let’s hope they stay within the three mile line and add some more excitement to the local fishing scene. Alright, now let’s see what happened recently.
Captain Irv has the Miss Avalon primed and ready for blackfish. Today they will be fishing a nine-hour opening day special trip. These trips require reservations so please be prepared to call ahead for any special trips that will be scheduled. A recent weekend excursion, before a windy stretch kept the boat at the dock, saw alight crowd fishing inshore. Plenty of sea bass were caught with the average sea bass totals being about eight per angler. The high-hook for the trip caught their 10 keepers. The action was reported to be good, but you had to “work hard” to get through the shorts to find the keepers.

The Miss Avalon posted their schedule on their Facebook page, and it is loaded with plenty of opportunities to head out for blackfish. They will be enjoying an off day on Thanksgiving but most weeks have trips starting on Wednesdays then running, other than Thursday, through the weekend. 

The Starfish, sailing from Sea Isle City, has been doing well recently as they have been catching sea bass, porgies and some big bluefish. They, as the other boats in our area, are preparing for the upcoming blackfish season. They are sailing 10-hour trips where you can catch any of the species listed above, plus others that haunt the reefs and wrecks. You can call or book your trip online. 

Sea Isle Bait and Tackle reported that C.J. was having “lots of fun” catching striped basin the 20 to 26-inch range on the incoming tide. Larger fish were active during the afternoon outgoing tide. You’ll need to adjust those tides for the days that you fish. Live Spot seemed to be a bait that all sizes of stripers liked. 

The Sea Star III focused on weekend fishing recently. The anglers made the most of the decreased weekly trips as they had “steady” action with sea bass, triggerfish and some nice blackfish. The pool-winners were Frank Servocky who won with a 2-pound sea bass and Matt Farmer who claimed his prize after besting a very respectable 5.25-pound blackfish. Remember that the Sea Star III will be sailing through November. The arrival of bigger blackfish is a nice sign for the approaching season.

Along that line, Captain Chuck will also be running his special Thanksgiving Day Trip for blackfish. The trip runs from 6 a.m. till noon. Do some fishing and get home in time for your holiday dinner. Hands Too Bait and Tackle posted news of a nice 49-inch striper that was caught on the recent summer-like Saturday. The angler remains anonymous as no name was listed. 

Other nice surf catches were experienced by Josh Halburner, who landed a nice striper that hit a bunker chunk and by Mike Williams who picked up a 20-inch blackfish, a fish not usually caught in the surf. The Sailor’s Delight is busy anchoring in tight to the local rock piles where their patrons have been pulling in some nice blackfish, as well as some occasional se bass.

There is a new leader in the Togzilla Progressive Pool Contest as Judi has taken over the top spot. There is still time if you want your chance to catch a big one and take over the lead, but beware that there will be others who will be trying to bump you from the top perch. Thanks go to Jerry Rau for submitting a report and picture of a Haddock he recently caught during a weekend trip on the Starlight. During that trip he was also able to limit out on sea bass and add a couple of triggerfish to his cooler. He finished by saying that you could catch all the bluefish you are able to legally land. Thanks for the good report Jerry and please continue to submit to the column.

Well, good fishing trips and results can still be found. You obviously just need to put your time in as with any worthwhile endeavor. Sadly, the crowds that have the captains and mates happy and busy are dwindling, which has caused some boats to change their days of operations. The best advice is to call your captain of choice, then adjust accordingly to their times of operation. Good luck if you get out, take care and I’ll see you around.

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