LONG BEACH ISLAND - Finally, the long wait for a keeper striped bass at Graveling Point is over. Vincis Kudirka earned the $100 gift certificate from Scott’s Bait and Tackle in Mystic Island with a 10-pound striped bass caught on April 3 at 7:45 a.m.

Vincis was fishing with fresh clam in water estimated to be about 48-degrees. The fish measured out to a full 30.5-inches long. Now we must wait for the first bluefish of the year there.

Andy Tonnesen at Tony’s Bait and Tackle in Manahawkin tells me that white perch fishing is improving in the waters of Beach Haven West. He adds that there are small stripers throughout all the local bays. Andy has gotten word of a few shorts also being caught on bloodworms at the end of West Creek Dock Road and around the Causeway bridges in Manahawkin and Ship Bottom.

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Adam Sherer from Sherer’s Marina in Barnegat has been getting the word out concerning several unmarked hazards near the ICM from the Causeway bridge south to Beach Haven. It appears that the ice flow over the winter has cut the old steel pylons holding the channel markers off right at the water line.  While these can be seen on a low tide in daylight, they become near impossible to locate at mid tide or higher or in low light or dark conditions. 

Some of the hazards are marked by buoys but some of the buoys are located a goodly distance from the cut off pilings. Until these can be dealt with by the Coast Guard, it is important to use care when traveling up and down the channel. Adam asks everyone to share this warning with anyone you know who travels the waters locally.

Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom reports that winter flounder reports are few, but striped bass reports are plentiful. Local anglers are getting out and finding fish here on LBI as well as local mainland spots. Worming and clamming bayside locations will produce. 

One of my favorite fishing clubs in the Southern Ocean County area is the Village Harbor Fishing Club out of Manahawkin. Meetings are held the second Friday of each month, April thru November, at 7:45 PM in the Stafford Community Center on East Bay Avenue.  

Non-members are always welcome to come to the meetings to see what the group is all about. The first meeting of the year will be Friday, April 12. The guest speaker at this meeting will be Dr. Doug Zemeckis is involved with marine science with Rutgers University. 

Dr. Zemackis will share some of his expertise related to New Jersey’s fisheries and the impact of climate change on our marine fishery resources, commercial and recreational fishing industries and fisheries management. I was told to invite every one of you to stop by to check out this great group of anglers. Doors open at 7:30PM.

The Red Men Lodge #61 in Tuckerton will be conducting its 12th annual Spring Perch Derby on Saturday, April 27. As with so many of this group’s great events, all proceeds will be donated to charity. The festivities begin with a captains’ meeting on Friday at 7pm, and there is a fish fry Saturday at the awards ceremony.
There will be cash prizes for the largest fish. The entry fee is $50 per 2-man team. For information please contact James at 609-709-6528.

Questions on local fishing and fishing reports for future articles can be directed to jamesghutch1@aol.com