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Monday, May 20, 2024

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Fishing Line: May 10

Happy anglers.
Courtesy Avalon Lady

Happy anglers.

By Mark Robbins

Well, after a good stretch of weather that was accompanied by some exceptionally good early spring fishing, we had to know that our good luck would run out.
The stormy weekend weather, that actually featured an unexpectedly good Saturday, put a damper on most fishing.
Some anglers were quick to react to the decent conditions on Saturday but found a problem with getting bait. Most shop owners didn’t bring in extra bait for the weekend since being on the water never appeared to be an option and, if bait had been brought in and the weather was sour, they would have experienced a big financial hit. It was a tightrope most navigated by making an educated decision based on the forecast.
Sunday, on the other hand, was as forecast. Well, c’est la vie.
Before getting into the report, news of changes to the regulations of the striped bass fishery were just released. At a recent meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), the size limits for keeper striped bass were changed to a 28 to 31-inch slot. As of now, this size hasn’t been officially put into place but is expected to be finalized very soon. More news will follow as dates of this change are announced.
Let’s say goodbye to the 2023 Blackfish season. We saw some nice fish with two topping the 20-pound mark and plenty of others that topped the 10-pound line.
Other quality fish, that didn’t quite reach those weights, filled the coolers of many anglers. It’s now onto summer flounder as that season has recently dawned.
Drum fish are arriving slowly while striped bass and weakfish still are providing plenty of action for local anglers. Let’s see what went on.
Capt. Chuck, from the Sea Star III, checked in to happily report good action, with both keepers and shorts, on the final blackfish trips of the spring.
He did add that “sadly” the season is over, but he and the crew are ready to move on to the next adventure.
For now, and until the opening of sea bass season May 17, the Sea Star III will be plying the Delaware Bay in search of fluke, weakfish, and bluefish.
The Prime Time Drumfish Trips on the Sea Star III have started and some seats during the weekday trips are still available. Call 609-884-3421 to reserve a spot at the rail.
The Miss Avalon finished her blackfish season, and the crew is now preparing for the opening of sea bass season May 17. I’m sure they will be planning a special trip so make sure to call ahead at 609-967-7455 to check on reservations.
The Avalon Lady is fishing the back bays now that the flounder season has opened. They had a good day the day after the season opened even though “it was a cold one.”
Everyone on board that day was able to take some fresh filets home for dinner. They plan on fishing daily, from 8 a.m. until noon, except Tuesdays.
The Sailor’s Delight braved the Tuesday weather so they could welcome the flounder season in style. Yes, it was rainy and windy, but the anglers showed up.
Capt. Stan was able to find the flounder and helped one lucky angler catch the first keeper of the year. Let the yearly count of fish caught during their trips begin.
The local tackle shops are staying busy as anglers stop by, or call in, with news of their fishing excursions to the local beaches and backwaters.
Stripers are ruling the beaches while flounder and some bluefish are being caught in the back.
Boulevard Bait and Tackle reported that Wes Bridges checked in with a 31-inch striper from the beach. The evening shift, between the storms, proved good for an angler named Rickey, who caught a 46-incher that took his scale to its 35-pound limit. The fish was safely released after the particulars were obtained.
The first bluefish of the season was reported by Maz who caught it on the Monday before the start of summer flounder season.
Just when you thought you had enough Gulp for the flounder season, you’ll have to worry about the possibility of losing the tail of your bait every time you drop down during your drift.
The first flounder report to the shop came from the Parker boys who checked in with six keepers for the three anglers.
Sea Isle Bait and Tackle had Dennis stop by with a nice keeper striper. He earned it as he stood in the rain putting in his time on Sunday morning.
Another nice striper was brought in by an angler named Austin. He caught his while fishing in the gloom of Friday morning.
If you wanted to fish during the weekend, the chances were good that you were out in some less-than-desired weather.
Nice keeper flounder, caught on opening day, went to Travis and Kyle, who each recorded fish over 20 inches, and to Jerry I., who weighed in a 5.76-pounder. Good job to everyone who put in their time on a nasty day.
Sea Isle Bait and Tackle will hold a flounder tournament May 20 and 21. You can register up until 7 a.m. on the morning of the 20th and this will be a 100% cash payout tournament. Calcuttas for the heaviest weakfish and bluefish will also be run. Call 609-263-6540 for more information.
Hands Too Bait and Tackle recorded a nice early morning catch on the opening of the flounder season for Jeff Dilks. He caught two keeper flounder and a nice 22-inch weakfish.
Well, we had good fishing despite the bad weather that lingered in our area even after the weekend. The cold, rainy, windy days made for challenging conditions that challenged, but didn’t defeat the local anglers.
If/when, the weather cooperates, then you have to believe we’ll see some nice results. Good luck if you get out, take care, and I’ll see you around.
Submit fishing news and photos to mrobbins@cmcherald.com.

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