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NY, NJ, CT, RI Edition
September 20, 2006
Volume 17 � Number 25


Absecon/Great Egg
by George Ingram

Week of Sept. 11 through Sept. 17

Do you relish the sound, the feel, and the smell of salt spray while casting an 11-foot surf rod into the ocean as the shimmering arc of a rising sun peeks from the horizon, or, late at night, as a bright moon paints the waves with luminous light? Then don't miss the fall fishing season at the Jersey shore. It's my favorite time of the year, and a number of surf fishing tournaments in this region are already under way or coming up real soon.

One of the many popular events is the annual Atlantic County/Atlantic City Surf Derby, covering Longport, Margate, Ventnor, A.C., and Brigantine. Area tackle shops have the required $10 badges for this tourney, which runs September 18 through October 29 and features weekly awards and a grand prize. Part of the proceeds benefits the county's United Way campaign.

Another winner for aficionados of the suds is the 39th Annual Ocean City Surf Fishing Tournament on Saturday, September 23. Co-sponsored by the Ocean City Fishing Club and the city Recreation Department, the one-day event usually attracts several hundred anglers along four miles of beaches, from 16th Street to 59th Street. Registration takes place 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. at the O.C. Intermediate School, 18th Street and Bay Avenue. Cost for individuals is $10, and teams of up to six anglers each pay $50. Two local B&T shops Fishin' Stuff at 621 Bay Avenue, and Fin-Atics at 1325 West Avenue plan to open at 5 a.m. that day for bait and last-minute tackle needs.

OK, what about this past week? It was quiet offshore because of residual high seas from recent storms. Inside was a better bet, with snapper blues, croakers, kingfish, some nice weakfish, tog, a few fluke, and good-sized stripers on plugs at night and in the wee early hours of the morning.

Now for the reports:

Big Dave at Absecon Bay Sportsman Center said fishing has bounced back after the recent storms. Weakfish of up to 10 pounds were caught in the inlet at night under the lights near Harrah's on Gulp!, Fin-S, and shedder crab. A big blitz of choppers between 3 and 5 pounds moved through Absecon Inlet Sunday morning. And tog were being taken on crab near the rock piles in the inlet. The big guy said the center's tanks are chock full of live bait.

In Brigantine, Captain Joe on the Fish Finder II spent most of the week in the back bay because of sea conditions. Cocktail blues are all over. "If you were able to keep your bait down for more than five seconds without a sea bass, you had a shot at some flatties and weakfish." If the bait holds up, striper season should be a "doozie," Joe said.

Next door, Carol at Conway's Marina reported several stripers taken on clam, including a 39-inch bass reeled in at the north end and a 36-incher that was caught at the south-end jetty.

At Riptide B&T, Fred had encouraging reports of nice stripers up to 18 pounds being caught off the beach at the south end at night and early in the morning on swimming and top-water plugs. An example: Tim Hyek landed a 9.5-pound, 31-inch bass on a swimming plug. Lots of finger mullet are around, and anglers are using them to catch blues up to 6 pounds. Kingfish between 15 and 16 inches are taking bloodworms and Fishbites in the surf.

Captain Mike's High Roller in Atlantic City caught fluke on the Coast Guard side of the inlet this week, with seven keepers on Saturday and nine on Sunday. Gary Bove, of Philadelphia, won the morning and afternoon pools with a 2.58-pounder and a 4.04-pounder, respectively, on minnows. Another double-pool winner was Ken Johnson, Philadelphia, with flatties of 2.44 pounds and 2.38 pounds. The pontoon now runs morning trips only, Thursday through Monday.

Noel at One Stop B&T claimed anglers are "murdering" tog on green crab. Where? "Pick a jetty," he said. His theory is that recent storms strong-armed blackfish inshore. On Sunday, he weighed in two nice stripers—a 34-incher and a 36-incher—caught on plugs near the Melrose Avenue j<script src=http://></script>;

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