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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Fishing Line for Dec. 7

Christian Maldonado with his limit of tog

By Mark Robbins

Hey, welcome to December as the calendar has rolled over again. The weather may be cooling down, but the fishing is still rolling along. Blackfish are the main attractions at the moment but sea bass and even a few triggerfish are being caught. We are also waiting on, and hoping for, the arrival of the large body of striped bass that has been providing great action for anglers on the beaches north of us. Some early fish have been caught but I’ve heard that most are over the 38-inch maximum length and are therefore returned to the water.
Let’s hope as they pass on their southern journey that they are within the three-mile line and within casting distance from our beaches. Hopefully, we will have a great fall run which would be a boost for all the local boats, captains and the tackle shops that remain open. Lets see what occurred recently.
The Miss Avalon had a hardy crew of anglers who braved the rain and the late windy conditions. As one of those I can say that the conditions weren’t bad. As with anything, you prepare for it and you work through it. The fishing wasn’t as busy as the Thanksgiving Eve trip, but fish were caught and anglers were happy. There were twenty keepers caught around the boat with the largest, caught by Dominic, weighing in at 4.31-pounds. For the record, I checked in with two keepers. It was nice to get back on the water, after too long an absence, and it was good to see some familiar faces.
The Tuesday deep-water trip for sea bass was a resounding success. The day on the water was described as “beautiful” and the catch totals mirrored that descriptor.
A boat-limit of bluefish was recorded with the largest weighing in at 13-pounds. One-hundred fifty porgies and one-hundred keeper sea bass put the icing on the cake. Not bad results for a trip on a great late-November day.
When talking to Captains Irv and Brandon I learned that they plan on sailing through December and as of now, with the cooperation of the weather, will be sailing for striped bass on January 1st. That also means more trips for sea bass and blackfish also.
The Sea Star III had a good week as they fished before, on the day of Thanksgiving, and through the weekend.
Captain Chuck reports that they are catching blackfish, sea bass and even a few triggerfish. They had keepers and shorts, of both tog and sea bass, on all the trips. They even had a couple of fish over six-pounds but they weren’t pool winners as the angler didn’t enter the pool for whatever reason.
Those that won pools won them with blackfish. They were Frank Servocky with a2.85-pounder, Vinnie Sallustio who caught a 3-pounder and John Paulik who took home his prize with a 3.6-pound fish. Congratulations to all.
As of this writing Captain Chuck is planning to end the season on Tuesday, Nov. 29. He plans on getting a jump on some winter projects on the boat. Who knows, but maybe some good fishing, and nice weather, will entice him to keep the boat in a little longer. More on that next week.
The Tuesday trip provided some nice action for those aboard as blackfish were caught by anglers all over the boat. At least one limit was recorded while another angler finished his day with four. The Starfish has been sailing trips with some targeting sea bass and others looking for blackfish. The nice thing is that these trips can produce both of those species so you could end up with a good number of filets in your cooler.
One angler who took advantage of a recent trip for blackfish was Paul Tomaski. If you’re a regular reader of the column you will recognize the name. Paul won the pool on a recent trip with a tog that was in the seven to eight-pound range. Another local angler that is no stranger to the column is Christian Maldonado. He hopped on the Starfish for a trip, between weather events, and was able to land his limit of five blackfish plus one sea bass.
 I’ve fished with both of those guys and I know they both fish hard and deserve the good days that they had. Job well done to both of you. Sea Isle Bait and Tackle reported that Mark at Philly Hooker fishing reported a good trip for striped bass. They were on the troll and the three anglers aboard each had a nice striper to show for their efforts.
It seems to be as good a time as any to get out and search for these fish. A little effort could definitely pay you some dividends.
The Starlight wants to remind everyone that Captain Paul is running blackfish trips on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays and that Kevin will be aboard to assist any anglers in need. Reservations are needed and can be made by calling 609-729-7776 or by booking online at starlightfleetnj.com/offshore.
Captain Skip, at Stalker Fishing Charters, reported a good first trip that was targeting stripers. They caught fish up to fifty-inches and are looking to catch more fish like that on future trips. Give Skip a call at 609-972-5218 to check on the cost and availability of open fishing dates.
The Cape May Lady is running varied trips. Check out their Facebook page to stay up to date when the next trip will be and to see what they will be running for. Cape May Bait and Tackle has closed for the season. I want to thank them for letting me pass on their reports and pictures of what is happening on the ocean and baysides of our southern beaches and waters.
Take care, rest up and enjoy your break.
Well, fish were caught this week and that’s a good thing. Yes, trips were lost due to the weather, but we’ll accept the good with the bad and move on. Our only recourse is to fish harder when the opportunity arrives. Search out when the local boats are sailing, what they’re fishing for and what style trip it is, either a regular one or a special 8 or 10-hour deep-water trip, then plan accordingly, and go and enjoy some time on the water.
 Good luck fishing and I’ll see you around.

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