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Thursday, June 20, 2024

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The Fishing Line: The Fish to Fish For

 

By Carolyn Miller

Fish and fair weather, perfect together. It’s May and the action has started, reports and photos are coming in again. But first, the latest reminder for regulations. (These were reported before in this column but wanted to be sure everybody had the correct information.) NJ Marine Fisheries Council approved the following measures for 2014: Summer Flounder: 18-inch size limit, 5 fish possession limit; 2014 open season May 23 to Sept. 27. NOTE: The Summer Flounder season dates on page 12 of the 2014 Marine Digest are incorrect and should be May 23 – Sept 27. Anglers should note that Winter Flounder opened March 1 and will run through Dec. 31.
Regulations for Black Sea Bass: 12.5-inch size limit, 15 fish limit May 19 to June 30; 3 fish limit July 1 to Aug. 31; 15 fish limit from Sept. 1 to Sept. 6; 15 fish limit from Oct. 18 to Dec. 31. Remember, tog is now closed.
You can submit fishing reports after each saltwater trip to the NJ Volunteer Angler Survey. Reports, whether you caught zero or 50 fish, can help improve saltwater fishing opportunities in NJ. You can have a real impact on our resources and how they are managed. Submit reports ww.njfishandwildlife.com/marinesurvey.htm.
Glad to say that the fishing season has begun for the Starlight Fleet in Wildwood Crest. Atlantic Star ran an offshore trip for golden tile. Tony White, Cape May, had the pool honors with a hefty 52 pound golden. Gary White, Toms River, had 5 of them to 47 pounds and Art Strassler, Downingtown, caught 5 to 25 pounders. Trips are scheduled for every Saturday and Sunday, reservations required.
The Starlight started off with a trip for blackfish and Tucker Baker, visiting from Madison, Wisconsin had his limit that included an 8 pound pool fish. The Starlight sails 2 open boat trips each Saturday and Sunday, 8 and 11 a.m.
Captain Ray got his boat Tide Runner in the water and all set for the season. Ray reports the water temperature in the ocean is finally above 50 degrees. His first fly charter was tough with water in the 40s and had no hits. The next trip, with the water 50.2 found some sea herring to about 17 inches that were taking chartreuse/white clousers fished on sinking fly line. Same fly that they were hitting usually catches stripers or weakfish, but saw none of them. With each sunny day the water should get warmer and the fishing should improve. On windy days Ray has been doing some personal freshwater fishing and getting pickerel and largemouth bass on baitfish fly patterns with some flash.
The SEA STAR III actually got out a few days and although the stripers did not cooperate, they fished a few nearby wrecks and found blackfish. Water temperature in the Bay was between 49 and 52. Captain Chuck is hopeful some stripers and drumfish will show up soon.
The doors are now open at Sterling Harbor Marina. A few schoolie sized striped bass have been reported in the Cape May Point area along with a few weakfish, but when the water temps dropped again, things slowed. Stop by the shop for more information or come see us at the Stone Harbor Seafood Festival on May 3.
NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has deployed 19 acoustic receivers in Delaware Bay to track migration patterns of Atlantic sturgeon. With the endangered species listing of Atlantic sturgeon, effective April 6, 2012, research on this species has gained significance. Those fishing inshore waters may encounter white buoys marking the receivers which are set at depths generally less than 20 feet. Buoys are labeled “NJDEP Research” and should be avoided. Information on the research and buoy location go to www.njfishandwildlife.com/news/2014/sturgeon_research14.htm
Classes on boating safety will be held May 10, June 7, July 12, Aug. 9, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in Price Hall, Academy and Seashore Roads, Cold Spring. Students receive Safe Boating Certificate required by law for anyone 16 years of age or older, to operate a vessel 12 feet and over, or personal watercraft. Instructors are from U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 86, Lower Township. Fee $45. To reserve your spot, call 889-7160.
Jersey Shore Beach N Boat Fishing Tournament is a statewide, season-long, inshore, saltwater fishing tournament that challenges fishers of all ages to compete for over $100,000 in cash and prizes. Participants can fish in saltwater from beach, boat, jetty, canoe once or everyday for stripers, fluke, weakfish, black drum, bluefish, kingfish, tog and sea bass. The interactive website, www.BeachNBoat.com is designed for fun and information.
The Fishing Line runs year round so keep sending your reports and pictures to cmiller@cmcherald.com. Column and pictures are posted online at www.capemaycountyherald.com and on Facebook. Check out Miller’s new children’s book “Counting the Fish in the Sea: The Story of the NEAMAP Trawls” on www.epektales.com

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