LONG BEACH ISLAND REGION - Fall is finally in the air, and if the strong winds ever stop blowing, I think we will have some great fishing shortly.

I received a fishing report from Steve Palmer, the personable owner of Jingles Bait and Tackle in Beach Haven. Usually with fishing reports I condense them and put them into my own words for clarity and conciseness. I so enjoyed Steve’s report, I thought I would put most of it here in his own words.

“This past Friday afternoon my friend, Capt. Jimmy Zavacky of the “Reel Determined,” asked me if he could pick up some bait for an offshore trip and would I like to join him. After some discussion with my boss, my wife Carole Ann, I eagerly accepted his offer. We left Saturday afternoon to head to the Wilmington. Onboard were myself, Captain Jimmy, his son Patrick and Captain Ray Lopez

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I want to preface this quick story by saying, every time I go fishing, no matter where, my 90 year old father-in-law asks if I caught swordfish, as it is his favorite fish to eat and sadly, I let him down each time, although there are not many swordfish caught in the bay

We had an uneventful, but nice trip out. Once on station we began to trawl for tuna until dark. We hit into mahi almost right away, catching several. After catching a handful of mahi, Captain Jimmy and Patrick selected a spot to begin a drift for the night. That was when the next stage of fun began. We set several lines and began to wait. It did not take long, and a line came alive. Captain Ray jumped on the rod and began to work. After a fun, but relatively short fight, he and Patrick brought in a nice swordfish. We quickly ascertained it was a keeper and into the box it went.

The rest of the night was beautiful. Captain Jimmy scooped up one of the squid that were all around the boat and used it to live line. Dolphin were all around us, stealing the morsels of chum pieces we were throwing off the back of the boat. The ocean was gorgeous, and the stars amazing. I finally had to shut my eyes and headed down to a berth and slept for a few hours.

I awoke to the engines running and we were at it again trawling around the lobster pots that were lined up across the Wilmington. Mahi were again abundant, and we almost filled the box with them as we went for Big Eye tuna.

Captain Ray once again grabbed a rod that was screaming and began working. He quickly realized that he was on more than a mahi. After some work, he landed a big wahoo. Patrick quickly and efficiently “subdued” the fish and into the box it went.

Well, it was finally time to go and we enjoyed an uneventful ride back, with some heavy eyes, sleeping on the way home. We all pitched in to clean up the boat and gear and the “Reel Determined” looked ready to head out again on her next adventure.

Thank you so much Captains Jimmy, Ray, and Patrick for an incredible fishing trip. And yes, Charlie, I have swordfish for you.”

So ends Steve’s story. I would love to have been there when he presented the swordfish steaks to his father-in-law.

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Junior Mate Max Goldman fished the73rd annual World Series Surf Tournament sponsored by the Long Beach Island Fishing Club. He was fishing as a member of Team Creekside Outfitters who took third place in the event. His team caught over 35 fish, mostly bluefish and fluke with nine-year-old Luke Celeste beaching a black tip shark. Congrats to Max who took first place youth angler overall, in addition to largest fish and most fish caught by a youth angler.

Captain Steve Purul of “Reel Fantasea” Sportfishing tells me he is having a blast on small striped bass in the Barnegat Inlet area. What makes this fishing so exciting is fishing with light spinning tackle on both live and artificial offerings.

Steve is also catching bluefish in sizes ranging from 12 to 27-inches including some on poppers when the tide is right. He has also been finding weakfish. He gets them into a feeding mood with a live grass shrimp chum slick and then uses a well-placed shrimp or artificial lure to get one on.

Anyone with questions or fishing reports is welcome to contact me at jamesghutch1@aol.com.