Quick note on NJ summer flounder regulations

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Cape May, New Jersey’s residents and tourist will benefit from a resent approval by the Atlantic States Fisheries Commission . New Jersey will now be in a separate region for summer flounder management. This will allow NJMFC to change the summer flounder size limit in the Delaware bay from 18″ to 17″ with a 4 fish bag limit. . This will put NJ closer to the Delaware size limit of 16″. However, the rest of the NJ will remain at 18″ and a 5 fish bag limit . This was a hard fought for accomplishment, credits, the NJ Federation of sportsmen , Jersey coast anglers association, coupled with a good push from our local Assemblyman Bob Anj and Senator Van Drew.

Payoff

I released this tide runner weakfish  during the summer of 2014. Hoping to find him this spring.

I released this tide runner weakfish during the summer of 2014. Hoping to find him this spring.

How did releasing this fish pay off? In June 2015, I caught a 9.01 pound weakfish, in the same general area. I kept this one, and entered the weakie in the statewide Beach-n-boat fishing tournament. I can’t be certain it was the same fish, and chances are it wasn’t. Regardless,it did paid off. They haven’t published a news release of the official tournament winners yet. However, I did get this e-mail that began with:

Congratulations on winning First Place in the Weakfish species category of the 2015 Jersey Shore Beach N Boat Fishing Tournament. Your Weakfish weighed in at Avalon Hodge Podge Bait & Tackle on 6/14/2015 was 9.01 pounds. Your prize(s) of a xxxxxxx will be mailed after you complete and return the attached W-9 form.

We appreciate you participating in the 2015 Jersey Shore Beach N Boat Fishing Tournament and hope that it was all that you expected.

Congratulations

Fish On!
SignatureMDY Cerelli_Signature
Captain Mike Young Angler Mike Cerelli
Tournament Director Assistant Director

Friends CJ Polhamus and Bill Collins also released numerous weakfish, keeping just a couple” for the table and tournaments. CJ is in the hunt with his tiderunner weakfish in the Fishermen Magazine’s dream boat coast-wide fishing tournament. Bill Collins is an artist when it comes to fishing for weakfish. Although better known for his award winning coaching record. Bill took 1st place weakfish in the wildwood challenge and is on the BnB leaderboard. Their fish were also caught in Cape May County,NJ.

CJ Polhamus  And his tournament contending tide runner weakfish.(The Fisherman magazine tourney)

CJ Polhamus And his tournament contending tide runner weakfish.(The Fisherman magazine tourney)

Bill Collins and his tournament contending weakfish.

Bill Collins and his tournament contending weakfish.

2015 tournament winner tide-runner weakfish.

2015 tournament winner tide-runner weakfish.

On the way to Cape May ♫ down striped bass way♫

December 16, 2015 CJ   readies  to boat a 42"  striped bass. Number 14 for the morning tide, all in the same size class!

December 16, 2015 CJ readies to boat a 42″ striped bass. Number 14 for the morning tide, all in the same size class!

Ken IV show his first striped bass onboard his new 21' tiderunner  center console.

Ken IV show his first striped bass onboard his new 21′ Tidewater center console.

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Adam to the right, will try striped bass , for the first time tonight.

Adam to the right, will try striped bass , for the first time tonight.

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CJ leaves them biting after number 14 during the morning tide.  He helped us out, by giving us the hot lure of the day, the correct weight !  We boated our first striped bass of the day  shortly after. Thank you CJ

December red hot stripers bass bite in Cape May co. NJ

CJ has earned a 95% catch rate on quality striped bass.  over the  last couple of weeks. He  has caught  most of them  from his 15'keywest.

CJ has earned a 95% catch rate on quality striped bass,over the last couple of weeks. He has caught most of them from his 15’keywest.

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Jeff Polhamus with a quality striped bass he caught from the surf.

Mark K. and mate with a limit  December 2015 catch

Mark K. and mate with a limit December 2015 catch

 

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I was out and about Sunday. I found lines at the fish cleaning stations, including Felix with two 48″ striped bass. How long will this excellent December Striped bass bite last?

December Striped Bass in Cape May co., NJ

 Cj Polhamus  kept one 41" December striped bass for the table. He released  numerous others in the same size range.

Cj Polhamus kept one 41″ December striped bass for the table. He released numerous others in the same size range.

The striped bass fishing finally turned on here. The rips, Delaware Bay chunking, and the Ocean trolling bite , have all produced limit plus catches.You still have to be tuned in, or you will catch nothing. Skill Sharp fishermen have been running up the numbers. The average size Striper has been running about 40″. A few forty pounders have been caught the last few days. The surf remains dead, as far as I know. This weekend looks good. I am done fishing at this point, hunting season . If you want to get in on the last bite of the year, I am sure there is a few guides and party boats running out of Cape May.

Thanksgiving” Striped Bass

Mark and CJ with a couple of  big Cape May County holiday striped bass.

Mark and CJ with a couple of big Cape May County holiday striped bass.
The blue 4×4 van again !

After an extremely slow fall striper bite here in Cape May County, NJ, the striped bass bite has turned red-hot this week. A few local sharpies had been catching them prior to this week, but failed to contain the information (words out). At this point, it is just look for the fleet. Trolling is the method of choice . These fish are on the move, at any time the bite could shut down. Now is the time, to show up late for dinner , use vacation time or call in sick. Archery deer season has my full attention, at this point. You will not find me out among the fleet. However, a few speckled sea trout have been caught over the last few days. I will save some time for them.
Happy, Thanksgiving 2015.

On the beach and in the back

CJ Polhamus with a 20 plus pound striper. He used a pencil popper to catch this beauty.

CJ Polhamus with a 20 plus pound striper. He used a pencil popper to catch this beauty.

The striped bass fishing has been red hot, if your in the right spot. However, the hot spots have been real hard to find for most, in Cape May County this year. The days of the Cape May rips producing easy limit catches for everyone onboard, are gone. The Delaware Bay chunking bite, not happening. The good news is there are some nice stripers around.  Just about the same number of striper bass we had in 1977. The upside,  it really thins out the crowds.

Charle and Chip Gruff had no trouble finding these keeper striped bass today.

Charle and Chip Gruff had no trouble finding these back bay keeper striped bass today.

November’s Striped bass bite

 Catching striped bass on light tackle. In the crystal clear and calm waters of the sounds.

Catching striped bass on light tackle. In the crystal clear and calm waters of the sounds.

Here in the Cape May’s coastal sound waters, (the cape may canal north to Corson’s inlet). The striped bass bite remains good, when you turn-up the effort. The fish are all resident fish. I haven’t seen any migratory fish, at this point. The NJ fall striper run, is occurring north of Cape May County at this time. The key to a migratory striped bass bite in Cape May co.,is one week of NW, NNW winds, before the water temperture drops out. Most years it happens, some seasons .

Big Striped bass from the beach

Linda Polhamus struggles to hold up her big striped bass. She caught this fish last night, from a top-secret beach spot. She released it .

Linda Polhamus struggles to hold up her big striped bass. She caught this fish last night, from a top-secret beach spot. She released it .

Jeff Polhamus covered  miles of beachfront this fall, in search of big striped bass. His intense effort paid off last night. Jeff and Linda landed some beautiful bass last night from the beach. These fish were caught the sportsman’s way, on plugs and lures. Chip Gruff also found some nice bass during the day. Unfortunately, he had engine issues,forcing him to leave the bite.

Chip Gruff and a hard fighting back bay striper.

Chip Gruff and a hard fighting back bay striper.

I have been fishing the flats for striped bass (light tackle), it has been a slow pick. However, the catch rate per trip is around 97% success.
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Striped bass

One of Tuesday 's striped bass

One of Tuesday ‘s striped bass

The striped bass are not holding in one place or in any pattern, in my core area. They remain in the area, but it is a seek and you will find situation, at this point. 1 % of the back bay waters including quality spots, have been producing the last couple of days.The conditions we need to catch NJ speckled sea trout have not lined up the this fall, and the window opening is getting narrow. NW wind for at least” 3 consecutive days and the dredge to move out of the inlet area, is a must for speck fishing in this area.

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