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Saturday, June 15, 2024


The Fishing Line: Stripers Tease Fall Fishers


By Carolyn Miller

Thanksgiving is around the corner, Christmas Carols are already playing, and there are plenty of fish in the sea. Don’t let the distractions keep you from getting out on the water. Bundle up. Captain Chuck on Sea Star III says the action on the wrecks is still good with sea bass, triggerfish, blues, porgies, and blackfish. The captain will be focusing on stripers this week.
Captain Dan Schafer, Insomniac Charters has been hitting the scene all week and found nice schools of fish coming through on both tides day and night. The marsh has now turned; brant geese are arriving as the oyster catchers have mostly left. Dan says larger bass replaced the earlier school fish and peanut bunker and mullet are making their way through from the north.
Captain Ray reports fishing is pretty much like it has been all summer: still catching mostly short bass with few keepers. Popper and clouser flies are producing for fly anglers and popping and swimming baits are working for the spin anglers. Lately the best action has been in the shallow back bay areas. Creeks, creek mouths are where he is finding the most fish. When the water cools down and the migratory fish will move down before the season is over.
The Starlight has had good fall fishing when weather cooperated. The 6-hour trips are producing mixed catches of sea bass, blues, porgies and a few blackfish. The pools this week were won by Jean Sussman, Pearl River, NY, for her three pound nine ounce sea bass and Jack Sheldon, Philadelphia, five pound blackfish. Most trips are producing 12 fish per angler. High Hook honors this week were claimed by Rodney Whitaker, Court House, with a total catch of 8 blues, 6 sea bass, and 2 triggers.
Ocean City Fishing Club47th annual Surf Tourney: Unruly surf, generated by far-out-to-sea Hurricane Gonzalo, may have had something to do with the lackluster tournament results recorded by 31 six-member teams and 24 individual competitors on Oct. 18. The largest fish in the men’s category was a 14-inch bluefish landed by Jim Camburn, Cape May. Renee Kelly, Sicklerville, earned a trophy for the largest fish in the women’s competition: a12-inch kingfish. The first-place team winner was Team CTS, with 178 points, followed by the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association with 131.25 points and the Surf ‘N Land B team with 131 points. J.C. Hinkle won a trophy for the most fish points as an individual.
The event attracted a number of young people. Mark Anthony, 12, Drexel Hill, Pa., won award for the biggest fish caught by someone under 14 years. Chase Kephart, 8, of Williamstown, won a trophy for the most fish points tallied by a youth who was assisted with his casts.
NEWS: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Oct. 27, report is now available at
NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife officially certified the first entry into the new Spearfishing category in the State Record Fish Program. Robert A. Davis of Bamber Lake speared the record fluke at 15 pounds 5 ounces which exceeded the minimum weight of 12 pounds. The fluke is also being recognized as a World Record by the International Underwater Sprearfishing Association. For information visit on the Division’s website.
CALENDAR: Fight Leukemia Fishing Tournament, Nov. 22, biggest striped bass and bluefish, registration $30 includes awards dinner. Register at Tackle Direct by Nov. 21, 6pm or call602-8957. Fishing is open to back bays, surf, and boats to three miles out, 7am to 4pm, Absecon Inlet to Hereford Inlet. For more and registration form go to The event honors local fisherman and surfer Chris Hagel who lost his fight with leukemia in 2005. Since his passing the tournament has raised over $30,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
The Fishing Line runs year round so keep sending your reports and pictures to Column and pictures (including some that didn’t appear in print) 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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