Strong summer fishing in South Jersey continues after Labor Day

Michael Shepherd for the press

Looks like we’re getting back to decent fishing here in South Jersey waters.

The variety became interesting before the ocean conditions moved me and this mixture of fish seems to continue.

Summer flounder are hanging out in the channels of the back bays as they move to the nearshore cliffs and reefs.

Sheepshead, tautog and croaker create a strong group around piers and bridges.

Scattered rains that fell on Monday did not succeed in dissuading fishermen from returning to hunting in inland waters.

It’s as if the weather is bad, as the fishermen go back to work.

Mike O’Neill I kept my Stray Cat rental/boat dock open at Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Harbor Inlet on Monday due to windy ocean conditions.

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He sailed on Sunday and caught a “bunch” of summer flounder with nine keepers in the box.

He said the water was clear and the weather was good. C.J. Walsh Moran’s Dockside at Avalon said Monday that the mullet run is strong in the back bays inside Townsend Inlet.

CJ said small striped bass and summer flounder are suspending in the back bays and channels while sheepshead and togfish are biting on sand fleas around the bridges.

The backwaters in that area have spot and croaker.

Noel Feliciano One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City reported Monday that it certified a 23-inch summer flounder pulled from an Atlantic City dock and another 18-incher caught Sunday night.

He also said that the nice-sized tautog “went crazy.”

The Atlantic County Fall Classic/Atlantic County Pat Erdman Memorial Surf Fishing Derby opens Monday at Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate and Longport beaches.

Badges, police cards and regulation sheets are available at Scott’s Dock Derby headquarters in Margate, Ship Shop in Ventnor, One-Stop in Atlantic City, Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine, Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon and Tight Lines in Somers Point.

Entrance cost is $25. Contestants will compete for cash prizes in four divisions. Striped bass rewards will be $500 for first, $200 for second and $100 for third. Bluefish, tautog and kingfish will each get $30, $100 and $50 for first, second and third heaviest.

4WD beach permits can be obtained through competition badges and vehicle identification at Ventnor and Margate Police Headquarters. Brigantine has its own permits for beach buggies throughout the season. Longport does not allow access to beach buggies.

Atlantic City has an online system at as a starting point for this process or go to the Atlantic County Surf Fishing Derby page on Facebook.

Dave Showell It is in the early stages of organizing the Battle of the Back Bays tournament scheduled for Veterans Day and based at the Absecon Bay Sportsman Center.

He has already signed four of the boat crews.

Call him at 609-484-0409 for details.

Follow Shep at

Michael Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column usually appears online on Mondays and on Tuesdays in print.

To contact Michael Shepherd: 609-350-0388.

(Tags for translation)Ichthyology

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