Tide Chart

Week of April 14

Wildwood

AM Low AM High PM Low PM High

Friday 4:22 10:19 4:21 10:37

Saturday 5:02 10:57 4:56 11:15

Sunday 5:44 11:38 5:34 11:57

Monday 6:30 12:24 7:12 none

Tuesday 7:22 12:45 7:12 1:18

Wednesday 8:18 1:41 8:16 2:20

Thursday 9:15 2:43 9:21 3:24

Ocean City

AM Low AM High PM Low PM High

Friday 4:49 10:47 4:48 11:05

Saturday 5:29 11:25 5:23 11:43

Sunday 6:11 12:06 6:01 none

Monday 6:57 12:25 6:45 12:52

Tuesday 7:49 1:13 7:39 1:46

Wednesday 8:45 2:09 8:43 2:48

Thursday 9:42 3:11 9:48 3:52

Downbeach

AM Low AM High PM Low PM High

Friday 4:17 10:14 4:16 10:32

Saturday 4:57 10:52 4:51 11:10

Sunday 5:39 11:33 5:29 11:52

Monday 6:25 12:19 6:13 none

Tuesday 7:17 12:40 7:07 1:13

Wednesday 8:13 1:36 8:11 2:15

Thursday 9:10 2:38 3:19 9:16

The winter is behind us, and it was not as bad as predicted. Minimal snow, a flood or two … in fact, it was quite interesting. There were several wind storms. Barrier islands faced the brunt of hurricane-force winds on occasion, more so this winter than any other in recent memory. Sustained winds of 40-plus miles per hour were recorded, as well as gusts as high as 65.

Winds ranging 15 to 30 mph are the onshore norm throughout the spring, creating an obstacle for many anglers. Keeping with tradition, last weekend’s 20- to 30-mph winds held many fishermen at bay. Those lucky enough to get on the water during the week were finding some calmer conditions. Some ventured as far as Salem County to find the first of this year’s stripers.

Skip Jastremski of Stalker Fishing Charters began his striper fishing season last week in the Delaware Bay. He was finding fish to 26 pounds. The Stalker II sailed three days and caught fish each day and is only going to get better, he said. The water temps are also beginning to rise. Jastremski also hooked up to some big blues last week and said they should make a strong showing again in the Cape May waters. He smashed huge bluefish on his backwater skiff (two-man trips) last spring and will again run these trips from the end of April through May. See Jastremski’s Facebook page, Stalker Fishing Charters, Cape May for open boat slots.

Robin Scott of Ray Scott’s Dock in Margate reported that there are birds working the water behind Margate. She is seeing osprey, eagles and other birds eating up a storm. The crew worked last weekend putting the rental boats in the water and had a soft opening.

Living on the water, Scott always has a story to tell. Last week she said she experienced an odd phenomenon when a school of baby skate ended up on top of her floating spot tank.

“It has been suggested to me that a large change in water temperature will bring them to the top,” she said. “Apparently they got trapped. A couple of them fell prey to the ever-vigilant gulls.”

Scott mentioned this year’s summer flounder regulation and said she is “hot on the trail” of making it more favorable to the stock and anglers.

New Jersey representatives to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission have filed an appeal asking the commission to reconsider its decision to significantly reduce the state’s recreational-fishing quota for summer flounder this year.

The agency approved a 34-percent quota reduction was in February. DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said in a press release that they are appealing the decision because of the numerous process, data, policy and regulatory issues that will impact New Jersey’s fishing industry.

Under the new regs the minimum size limit for summer flounder would go from 18 to 19 inches in most state waters. Secondly, the number of fish an angler can keep woule be reduced from five to three.

Scott and many area anglers were planning to attend the Fisheries Council meeting Thursday, April 13 in Galloway, after this newspaper's deadline. The flounder issue was not on the agenda, but many planned to speak about the repeal.

Meanwhile, freshwater fishing has turned on in recent weeks. Trout season opened last weekend. Ray Szulczewski, a Cape May fly fisherman who charters trips on his boat Tide Runner, took to the local lakes of South Jersey on foot with friends Paul Kerlinger and Peter Cole, both also from Cape May. They had much success on the fly rod, catching pickerel, crappies and largemouth bass. Szulczewski said he used all black wooly bugger fly for the colder fish on a sinking line.

Szulczewski will be working to get his boat ready for stripers, sea herring and bluefish. He said he has already heard of striper action along the beachfront.

John Sowerby of Hooked Up II out of South Jersey Marina in Cape May said he and wife, Diana Stover-Sowerby, have spent the last five months at their winter home on Hutchinson Island near Stuart, Florida. They will be returning on May 9 to start their 30th year of spring black drum fishing May 10, which is the full moon. Sowerby said he has always done well on the new and full moons on drum up until late May.

While the Sowerbys have been away, the Hooked Up II crew has been giving the boat a face lift with new paint, varnish and carpets.

Paul Becker, an avid fisherman from Petersburg, said he has fished all winter for tautogs with mixed results.

Before casting a line this season, 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 must be in by Sunday evening of each week.