Wednesday, February 21, 2024


The Fishing Line: Fishing is Alive and Well


By Carolyn Miller

Can you hear it? That’s the sound of the drum, plenty of drum. Flounder is open; sea bass, and weakies, too. No tog, though. June is upon us and the season is on. Come join in.
Captain Frank Schafer, Insomniac Charters, hit the night scene. The phosphorescent water just began moving out and the fish started their feed. He started off hitting them with plugs, dragging one after another from the school. Most of the bass were in pairs with an occasional third wheel in tow. After catching one or two surface fish or plugs and flies an Old Bayside shrimp took any stragglers that were left from the bunch. That’s a good night’s work.
Offshore trips on the Atlantic Star have been bringing back golden and blue line tile. One of the pool winners was Noel Otto, Manasqan, for his 26 pound golden. High Hook was claimed by Bruce Lee, NYC, for a combined catch of 8 golden and 10 blue line tile. On another trip, Artie Strassler, Pa., caught 8 golden and 12 blue line tile.
Four-hour trips have begun aboard the Starlight. The boat will run 2 trips daily, 8 AM and 1 PM. Sea Bass are being targeted and Joe “Hit Man” Gallagher had the pool with one at 3 pound 2 ounces. Tom Whitehead, Wildwood, was High Hook with 6 nice bass.
Sterling Harbor Marina reports surf action slow along the Wildwood beaches, but very good from Cape May Point to the Villas for striped bass, some black drum and weakfish. Drum fishing on both sides of the Delaware Bay has been very good and about as good as it gets around Tussey Slough. The back bays are producing plenty of tailor blues, schoolie stripers and weakfish to keep anglers busy.
Over at Grassy Sound Marina, Eric DeLellis, Aston, Pa., Tanner & Dave Wetten, Brookhaven, Pa. caught a 32 inch striper and three bluefish on pink Zoom on the N. Wildwood beach. The Joe Patriarch Crew, Morton, Pa. caught and released a number of flounder with the largest at 24 inches in Grassy Sound. They were fishing the incoming tide with mackerel and spearing. There are weakies being caught on the North Wildwood beach on plastics and plenty in the back bay also. Average size is 4.5 pounds. Nice.
Fishing off the Grassy Sound Pier, Nicholas Ragonese, Wyomissing, Pa., caught a puppy drum using clam at the bottom of the outgoing tide.
Captain Ray, Tide Runner, Cape May, is seeing more bait fish and more fish species. Along with stripers and sea herring, folks are catching bluefish, weakfish and fluke. Chartreuse/white clousers fished on sinking line has been catching all species.
Sea Star III has found the drumfish in the Bay on both sides. Captain Chuck plans to fish them 2 days a week 4PM – 10PM. Wednesday and Saturday. He’s looking for sea bass and fluke daily at 9 a.m.
NEWS: The public is invited to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting, June 10 – 12, Radisson Hotel Freehold, 50 Gibson Place, Freehold, 732-780-3400. All briefing materials posted at Today is the deadline for public comments to be included in the briefing book. Comments submitted by June 4 will be printed and distributed at the meeting. For online access during the meeting, enter as a guest at:
The 23rd Annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament was held May 18, at Island Beach State Park. A nice bluefish blitz had tournament judges on the move as they measured nearly 200 fish. Chris Follmer of Hasbrouck Heights, took the grand prize and NJ Governor’s Cup with a 36 inch bluefish. For the complete list of winners, visit on the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife website.
The Fishing Line runs year round so keep sending your reports and pictures to Column and pictures are posted online at and on Facebook. Check out Miller’s new children’s book “Counting the Fish in the Sea: The Story of the NEAMAP Trawls” on

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