Water is clearing a bit for last weekend of flounder fishing

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Wilbur Ostrander of Wildwood adjusts the belt on the waders of his grandson, Elijah Ostrander, 4, of Marmora at the Ocean City Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament Saturday. In the surf behind Elijah is his father, Lewis.  Wilbur Ostrander of Wildwood adjusts the belt on the waders of his grandson, Elijah Ostrander, 4, of Marmora at the Ocean City Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament Saturday. In the surf behind Elijah is his father, Lewis.

Flounder season will wrap up Sunday, Sept. 25. Anglers are surely disappointed that the end is upon us, especially since there was another small burst of keeper flounder being caught this past week in certain areas. The water is finally beginning to clear up in some areas, more to the north than at the southern end of Cape May County.

Brennan Marine Supply in Somers Point reported some catches of small bluefish and kingfish in the surf. Bridge anglers are beginning to catch more fish as a result of the clearing water. They are seeing tautog, sea bass and small blues. Tautog is usually caught with green crabs, but since they are hard to come by these days many anglers are catching them with clam. Brennan Marine reported that the blues are taking almost anything, even spearing.

Kingfish are showing up in the surf off of Ocean City. Bloodworms seem to do the trick for bait.

Large catches of white perch have been reported near the Beesleys Point Bridge. It seems the briny water has moved down from the rivers, and the fish are moving along with it. Bloodworms are also catching these fish.

The Ocean City 44th Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament was held last Saturday. Some small fish were caught including blues, kingfish and a lot of sharks. There were 171 men, women and young anglers competing in this year's tournament.

George Ingram of the Ocean City Fishing Club shared the results. In the women’s division, Sharon Otto of Southampton took home a trophy after reeling in a 13 1/4-inch blue. She was fishing with the Women’s Surf Angling Club. Her counterpart was Ralph DiLucca of Philadelphia, who won with a 15.25-inch bluefish. He was a member of a team from the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association.

DiLucca’s catch also earned him the second annual Tom Hayes Memorial Trophy for the largest fish. The award is named for a former president of the Ocean City Fishing Club.

The six-member team that placed first in the tournament, based on the total number of points received for the fish caught, was Surf N Land’s B group, with a score of 181. Surf N Land is based in Browns Mills.

Among the other top winners were Lynda Greaves of Upper Township, who had the most points for a woman, and Gary Born of Brigantine with most points among the men. Greaves fishes with the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association, and Born is a member of the Surf N Land B team.

Winning an award for the most points scored by an individual was J.C. Hinkle of Philadelphia.

In the youth category, Josh Biondi, 14, of Brigantine won a trophy and a fishing rod for the most points after catching three blues and four sharks.

Sponsored by the Ocean City Fishing Club and the city’s Department of Recreation, the tournament is under the aegis of the Association of Surf Angling Clubs.

Fishing took place along the beach between 34th Street and 50th Street.

Chairing this year’s tournament was Mike Hayes, a trustee of the Ocean City Fishing Club.

Frank Jankowski of Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere will remain open throughout the weekend, with his last day of the season being Sunday, Sept. 25. Check www.franksboatrentals.com for his opening day in the spring.

Jankowski said there are still plenty of small fish in the Strathmere area. Plenty of action remains with black sea bass (season open until Oct. 11), small blues, blowfish, sea robins and dogfish – all typical fish for mid-September.

Jessica Clemmons of Arlington, Va., rented a boat from Frank's Monday, Sept. 12 and caught a 20-inch flounder in the back bay. She came back for a second outing Thursday, Sept. 15 and landed a 21-inch flounder.

Some other notable recent flounder catches include a 20-incher reeled in by Tony Caputo of Northeast Philadelphia and an 18 1/2-inch flounder caught by Herb Hollinger Jr. of Strathmere, who was also the winner of the Glenn Cunningham Memorial Tournament held last Saturday.

Frank's Boat Rentals hosted the annual Anthony DePiano Invitational Crab Derby Thursday, Sept. 15. There were 18 participants this year, competing in two-person teams comprised of men and women. The winners were Kyle Kielinski and Michael Miller, both of Philadelphia, with the winning crab measuring 6 5/8 inches point to point. Overall the tournament brought home more than 150 crabs.

Crabbing remains good to very good, and the crabs continue to get larger. Jankowski reported catches including Steve Kane of Levittown, Pa., with 60 of the big blue claws and Frank Bruno and party of Lansdale, Pa., with 48.

Debbie Mooers of Grassy Sound Marina in North Wildwood reported stripers being caught during the incoming tide off the pier and before sunup on the beach on bucktails and metal. She said the stripers being caught off the beach looked to be bay stripers by the color of them. The big push hasn’t come down from up north yet. These are resident bass. Sea bass, bluefish, flounder and crabs have been consistent catches from the pier. Weakies are also being caught in the back bay.

Some catches coming in at Grassy Sound Marina included Larry Marshall of Philadelphia, who caught a 20 ½-inch flounder at the top of the tide on minnows off the fishing pier. Kathy Sandefur of Philadelphia caught some short stripers during the incoming tide on clams. She also had some sea bass.

Tom McCullough of Stone Harbor caught a 17-inch weakie, sea bass and some bluefish at the top of the tide in Great Flat Thorofare on minnows, and Matt Bruns of Langhorne, Pa., reported four keeper stripers to 30 inches caught on the beach in Stone Harbor. He was using a bucktail with a white twister and metal.

Dylan Sangmeister, 11, and Nick Martino of Glenolden, Pa., had a great day of catching sea bass off the pier for Dylan’s birthday.

Fred Uhlman of No Bones Bait and Tackle in Wildwood reported that fishing has been and continues to be slow. He said there has been a lot of sea bass action in the Wildwoods areas. Flounder fishing has been hit or miss depending on your luck at locating some clear water, he said. Bluefish are abundant but on the small size in the back bay. Striper action is picking up in the back, but many have been small fish under the 28-inch legal size. John Hearn of North Wildwood had two stripers on Saturday measuring 24 inches while using clam. Hearn was also thick in sea bass that wanted the clam even more than the stripers.

Uhlman said that since the weather changed gears, so have many of the anglers he has been talking to. Many have turned their attention to the stripers. He said there are still plenty of flounder around, but nature needs to cut some slack and let conditions improve.

No Bones Bait and Tackle, because of the lack of a flounder bite and after talking it over with the fisherman who signed up for its End of Season Flounder Tournament slated for this weekend, has decided to cancel the tournament this year. All entry fees will be returned.

Sharon Otto of Southampton displays the 13 1/4-inch bluefish that won her a trophy at the Ocean City Surf Fishing Tournament. Otto is a member of the Women's Surf Angling Club. Sharon Otto of Southampton displays the 13 1/4-inch bluefish that won her a trophy at the Ocean City Surf Fishing Tournament. Otto is a member of the Women's Surf Angling Club.

Fishing News Notes:

- When heading out to fish, don’t forget to inquire about a saltwater fishing registration. See www.countmyfish.noaa.gov or call (888) 674-7411 for details. Local bait and tackle stores can also provide detailed license information.

- Avalon Hodge Podge at 2389 Dune Dr., Avalon is offering discounts on inflatable inventory.

- The Royal Flush is sailing three trips a day: 8 a.m.-noon, 1-5 p.m. and 7-11 p.m. Call (609) 522-1395.

- There are many fish in Cape May County waters with a yellow tag  from the American Littoral Society on the tail. Anglers are asked to record data and turn the information ion to the address on the tag.

- Sterling Harbor Bait and Tackle on Route 47 outside of Wildwood is an official state licensing station for fishing, hunting and shellfish licenses.

 

Fishing reports and photos can be emailed to Heather Holtzapfel James at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or faxed to (609) 465-9155. Reports need to be in by Sunday evening of each week.


Tides - Week of Sept. 23


Wildwood
                     AM Low    AM High    PM Low    PM High
Friday            11:19        5:13        none        5:31
Saturday        12:14        6:08        12:19        6:25
Sunday          1:02        6:59        1:15        7:16
Monday         1:48        7:47        2:09        8:05
Tuesday         2:34        8:35        3:01        8:54
Wednesday    3:20        9:23        3:54        9:43
Thursday       4:07        10:12        4:47        10:34

Ocean City (Ludlam Bay area)
                   AM Low    AM High    PM Low    PM High
Friday          11:21        5:12        none        5:30
Saturday      12:16        6:07        12:21        6:24
Sunday        1:04        6:58        1:17        7:15
Monday        1:50        7:46        2:11        8:04
Tuesday        2:36        8:34        3:03        8:53
Wednesday   3:22        9:22        3:56        9:42
Thursday      4:09        10:11        4:49        10:33


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