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Saturday, July 20, 2024

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Fishing Line: Happy New Year! 

Three nice keepers for Denny Mattei

Three nice keepers for Denny Mattei, courtesy of the Miss Avalon.

By Mark Robbins

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year’s celebration. I also hope you were able to get out and enjoy some fishing during the past week. Yes, it was cold but that should not be a surprise this time of year. 
As it worked out, the local boats weren’t planning on running over the weekend and that is when the brunt of the wind and cold visited our area, so no planned trips were lost to the weather. The conditions during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day were pretty good for December, so fishing was able to resume.
With that in mind, let’s check out what happened…
The Starfish resumed fishing Dec. 27 and had a good day of targeting blackfish. Some nice fish were caught during what was a very nice day when you consider it was late December. Most of the fish appeared to be in the three-plus pound range. No giants, but some nice, eating-sized fish.
Dec. 28 featured a 14-hour deep-water sea bass trip. The day saw multiple limits being caught all around the boat. Some bluefish were also caught which added a little excitement to the day.
The Starfish is sailing longer trips for sea bass, like the one Dec. 28, as well as other trips looking for blackfish. You can check online to see what they are fishing for, and when. Reservations are recommended particularly for the offshore sea bass trips.
The Miss Avalon had a private charter Dec. 27. The Century Rod company, and guests, had the run of the boat that day. For the day, twenty-five keepers, with some bigger-sized fish amongst those, were caught. A good day was had by all.
The Dec. 28 open boat trip, which included my son, who was home on leave, and myself, was a beautiful day on the water. The weather conditions couldn’t have been better for December if you set them up yourself, but it seems the tog didn’t get the memo. 
The chew was slow and light. Still though, nice fish were caught as a 4.51-pound fish won the pool. Denny Mattei was high-hook for the day with three keepers. For the record, my son won our contest, one keeper to none. But it’s not all about the final tally, it’s about the time spent together and the competitive nature that drives us.    
The Starlight had a productive trip for blackfish on Dec. 27, with many anglers enjoying the bounty. They were back at it Dec. 28 and were checking numerous spots looking for the elusive blackfish.
Calling ahead or booking your trip online is the best idea. They will be sailing for sea bass and tog but it’s best to call ahead. Trips will vary at this time of the year and, as always, will be subject to the weather. Trips form quickly as weather windows allow, so check their website and their Facebook page often to stay up to date.  
The Cape May Lady is also sailing assorted trips. As always, keep up with the schedule of the boat of your choice as many variables go into the times they sail and the species they target.
Last Chance!
The chances to fish are dwindling as the weather and the season tighten their grip on our opportunities. More captains are concluding their seasons and preparing to take their boats to drydock. Those winter repair schedules must be kept so we can again set out in search of our quarry in April. 
Wood needs painting and engines need to be serviced, but all is not lost yet. Check the schedules of any boats still sailing, keep an eye to the sky, and good luck if you get out. Take care, and I’ll see you around.  

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