Op­er­a­tors fi­nally with some­thing to cheer about

The Southern Berks News - - SPORTS - By Jim Loe For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

After a long dry spell — be­gin­ning with the clos­ing of the sum­mer floun­der sea­son in New Jersey on Sept. 5 — bait and tackle shops and char­ter and par­ty­boat op­er­a­tors fi­nally had some­thing to cheer about be­gin­ning with this past week­end.

That good news came in the form of the re­open­ing of the black seabass sea­son, which had closed at the end of Au­gust.

An­glers knew there were plenty of the pop­u­lar fish about be­cause they were catch­ing them con­tin­u­ously since the sea­son shut down. Of course, all of those fish had to be re­leased.

So the word was around and an­glers were lined up be­fore the shops opened their doors, and for two hours be­fore the head­boats were sched­uled to sail. If any­one was dis­ap­pointed with the re­sults I don’t know who it could have been be­cause the ma­jor­ity of those tar­get­ing the fish came home lim­ited out.

Adding to the en­joy­ment was some ab­so­lutely spec­tac­u­lar weather ... much more like mid-Au­gust than late Oc­to­ber.

But there was more than just black seabass out there.

A num­ber of peo­ple re­ported catch­ing a va­ri­ety of other species, in­clud­ing nu­mer­ous trig­ger­fish, blue­fish and por­gies. There also were quite a few big sum­mer floun­der hooked and that was a dis­ap­point­ment when they had to be re­leased.

A cou­ple of the par­ty­boat skip­pers told me their pool was won by a trig­ger­fish, since they tend to be much larger that most seabass.

All of that great ac­tion came to an abrupt halt Tues­day, when a weather front moved through the area and made the ocean a wash­ing ma­chine. How­ever, by Wed­nes­day things were calm­ing down, and the an­glers were ready to go again.

I know sev­eral an­glers who fish for noth­ing but seabass. In fact, once the sea­son closed, they did not fish again un­til this past week­end.

Th­ese peo­ple all have their freez­ers well stocked with the fish, and they all brag about the nu­mer­ous recipes they have for en­joy­ing them through­out the win­ter.

As the wa­ter tem­per­a­ture con­tin­ues to fall, the striped bass ac­tion con­tin­ues to in­crease. It still is nowhere close to be­ing hotand-heavy, but the num­bers are get­ting bet­ter and so is the size.


Salt wa­ter fish­ing in Delaware re­ally has taken off with the drop­ping wa­ter temp.

There are some stripers be­ing taken in the Roo­sevelt In­let, and black drum now are turn­ing up on some of the Delaware Bay wrecks. This has not been an es­pe­cially good sea­son for black drum, so it is nice to see that the ac­tion is pick­ing up. None are the gi­ants, but they seem to be av­er­ag­ing about 20-pounds.

Seabass seem to be ev­ery­where; and from what I have heard from those tar­get­ing them, the bait you use is not that im­por­tant. They are hit­ting hun­grily on ev­ery­thing from squid to sand fleas.

In­dian River In­let has been the home to some nice mid-sized blues av­er­ag­ing about 10-pounds.

Be­cause of their car­niv­o­rous nature, blue­fish tend to school with oth­ers blues of the same size. Smaller ones know if they try to mix in with their big brethren, they will get eaten. In Re­hoboth Bay, I am get­ting reports of nice sized sheepshead.

One sur­f­caster fish­ing Cape Hen­lopen Point last week got quite a thrill when he hooked into a five foot thresher shark. I’ll bet that fight at­tracted a crowd of on­look­ers.

In the ocean, the DelJer Reef and Sites 10 and 11 have been loaded with seabass, as well as nu­mer­ous sum­mer floun­der up to about six pounds.

And to end this week’s re­port, I am pleased to say the crab­bing re­mains su­per hot. Check your fa­vorite bait shop for hints on where to drop your crab lines and traps.

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