Fall is officially here, but the temperatures normally associated with the season have yet to arrive, and anglers are enjoying the extended “summer” with warm temperatures and early morning flat water as they try to hook up to anything with some size to it.

The fishing piers and sod banks continue to be popular meeting grounds for anglers as they patiently await the return of the larger stripers. Many head boats and charters have reduced their trips since flounder and sea bass seasons have closed.

John Wilkinson of Babu Charters in Brigantine is awaiting the return of the stripers hoping business will pick back up.

“We did one trip last week in the bays behind Atlantic City hoping for tautog, but only caught sea bass and sea robin which were released,” he said. “There were a lot of small fish to be caught that at least kept the children aboard happy.”

Small snappers have ruled the waters just about all summer and are even more prevalent now. They are enough to keep anyone who is looking to hook something happy. Black sea bass are hitting some lines, but the season doesn’t reopen until Oct. 22, with a 15-fish limit. Weakfish have been few and far between in most areas, and flounder continue to strike but must be released.

Crabbing is still as hot as the temperatures these days. There are plenty to be caught in the back bays. It is recommended to head out two hours before high tide for best results. Chicken drumsticks or bunker are great for bait, and hand lines and patience are recommended for best results.

Many head boats are still running trips. The Royal Flush out of Wildwood is now only sailing on the weekends. The boat fishes out front in the ocean and is catching plenty of snapper blues with occasional triggers and weakfish. Some notable catches last weekend include triggerfish caught by Bette Dructor of Philadelphia and Tom Bradigan of Leon, New York. Victor Popovkim of Philadelphia caught a weakie, and snapper blues were netted by Pat McGrath and Sam Lange from Media, Pennsylvania.

Stan Stankiewicz charters his pontoon boat, Sailor’s Delight, and is still catching bluefish in the back bays of Wildwood with some smaller stripers in the mix. As soon as the bigger ones arrive he will be making two trips a day.

Local anglers are reminded that there will be a meeting to discuss the upcoming flounder season and other topics 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Strathmere Fire Hall. There will be several local politicians attending the meeting.

Before casting a line this fall, all anglers must inquire about the free saltwater fishing registration. See countmyfish.noaa.gov or call 888-674-7411 to find out if a license is needed to fish a desired species. Print out the certificate and keep in on your person while fishing. Stop in any bait and tackle shop for more details.

Fishing reports and photos can be emailed to Heather Holtzapfel James at heatherholtzapfel@yahoo.com. Reports need to be in by Sunday evening of each week.

Tide Chart

Week of Sept. 29


AM Low AM High PM Low PM High

Friday 8:52 2:57 9:53 3:22

Saturday 9:51 3:58 10:43 4:18

Sunday 10:45 4:51 5:08 11:27

Monday 11:34 5:37 none 5:53

Tuesday 12:09 6:20 12:21 6:36

Wednesday 12:48 7:00 1:06 6:36

Thursday 1:28 7:40 1:51 8:00

Ocean City

AM Low AM High PM Low PM High

Friday 9:21 3:21 10:22 3:46

Saturday 10:20 4:21 11:12 4:41

Sunday 11:14 5:13 11:56 5:31

Monday none 6:00 12:03 6:16

Tuesday 12:38 6:42 12:50 6:59

Wednesday 1:17 7:23 1:35 7:41

Thursday 1:57 8:03 2:20 8:23


AM Low AM High PM Low PM High

Friday 8:47 2:52 9:48 3:17

Saturday 9:46 3:53 10:38 4:13

Sunday 10:40 4:46 11:22 5:03

Monday 11:29 5:32 none 5:48

Tuesday 12:04 6:15 12:16 6:31

Wednesday 12:43 6:55 1:01 7:13

Thursday 1:23 7:35 1:46 7:55

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