Thursday, February 29, 2024


The Fishing Line: Memorial Day Weekend & Great Fishing


By Carolyn Miller

Mid-May is making mayhem with unpleasant winds and spotty reports followed by beautiful spring sunshine and great photos. Aw, fishing, gotta love it.
Sterling Harbor reports weakfish are being caught in the back bays on Gulp! and Mirr-O-Lures. George Danley of Wildwood, checked in with a 3 pound 15 ounce weakie caught near Cold Spring Inlet. Schoolie stripers can be caught at night around bridges and dock lights with top water lures. The gnats, dogwoods, and drumfish in the Delaware Bay.
Jesse Bowman, Wildwood, landed a 40 inch striped bass for his 30th birthday near Cold Spring Inlet. Crabby Jack reports that the crabs are emerging from the mud. Cheryl Bulifant, Court House, had a dozen or so nice crabs after a few hours along Richardson Channel.
Captain Ray says that with the warmer weather and the ocean temps in the mid-50s, the fishing picked up. Weakfish and bluefish along with small striper and sea herring saw action on the fly. Weakfish were small 15 to 17 inches, and the blues were up to 19 inches and just nice for a fresh fish dinner. With four species available it is providing fly fishing action. Chartreuse/white clousers fished on sinking line was catching all species. The blues and sea herring preferred the fast strips, and the stripers and weakfish liked the slower strips closer to the bottom.
South Jersey fishing at local lakes has been pretty good. Ray has been fishing with the fly rod on days too windy to saltwater fish. Largemouth bass, crappies, pickerel and sunfish have provided fun on light weight rods. A number of baitfish patterns have been catching, especially those with some flash in them. For the sunfish, smaller bead head or popping flies are taking fish.
BILL ( bucktail willie) Shillingford fishing out of Whale creek Marina had a tough week fighting wind ,fog and cold water. He did manage to find a few short bass and small fluke along with bluefish. Blast of colder water seem to shut down the bite but the fish are here and once the water temps settle down the fish will be hungry.
Our friends at Stray Cat Charters say the fish are here. Sea bass and blues are on the wrecks , and a night charter, the Norton group, bagged some large croakers. A summer fluke on GE reef went back over the side. Bunker are swimming just off the GE bell Buoy, too.
Canyon Clipper Charters are doing really well on drum fishing. The Dave Mills group we went 6 for 9 on the drum. Call them to book your trip.
Offshore, the Atlantic Star has had great tile trips producing plenty of big fish. Some of the pool winners were: Brian Priest, Bucks County, Pa., 35 pound golden plus a 110 pound bluefin tuna; Elliott Beinfest, Linwood, 40 pound golden and also caught 6 more, and Tony White, Cape May, had the week’s biggest golden, weighing in at 52 pounds.
On four-hour trips, Starlight has been catching a mixed bag of sea bass, blackfish and some blues. Starting Friday, the boat will be sailing daily at 8AM and 1PM.
Mark your calendars: June 4-7, South Jersey Shark Tournament, 884-2400; June 7, RFA Fluke Tourney, Bass River, $75 per boat before May 24, $90 after. Boundary lines have been extended this season, south to Absecon Inlet and north to Barnegat Inlet. Info at
“The Wildwoods Beach N Boat Fishing Challenge” is a three-day tournament and Fishing Expo along with a one-day “Family Fish Festival,” June 13–15, will take place on the beaches, bays and ocean of Wildwood Crest, City of Wildwood and North Wildwood. It’s FREE. Have a ball and win your share of $8,000.00 in cash and prizes. It is very easy to sign up to fish. Just visit to register for FREE using CODE 9502 or call 423-4002. More info right here next week.
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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