LONG BEACH ISLAND AREA -  As I sit here gathering some information on this week’s local fishing report, I am struck by the poor weather we have been experiencing. Right now, there are winds out of the northwest at over 20 miles per hour. At least the sun is out, however, even though the temperatures are in the low 70’s.

We have gone through a period of storms complete with thunder, lightning, and copious amounts of rain. It is very difficult to come up with positive fishing reports with weather like this. As I take a look at the weather for next week, that of June 17, I see temperatures are slated to increase dramatically. That should warm our water temps while bringing some summer ike thunder and lightning storms.

Captain Steve Purul of Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters reports small stripers, bluefish from 2-9-pounds, and just undersized fluke have been making up the bulk of his catches recently. While this does not provide for a lot of filets to take home, he says it provides excellent light spinning tackle opportunities for all trips within the safe confines of the bay regardless of how bumpy the ocean is.

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He adds that most trips are seeing a mix of 25-40 of all the above species. When the ocean cooperates, wreck fishing has also provided excellent drop and reel fishing with sea bass and ling taking center stage.

Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom reports that the Barnegat Bay has much to offer from fluke to blues with stripers, blowfish, and blue claw crabs. The say the blowfish are roaming the bay, and anglers fishing the Ship Bottom bayside have caught medium sized ones using squid for bait.

A week ago, the prestigious Manhattan Cup Striper Tournament was held out of Jersey City to benefit wounded veterans. In case you are wondering why this contest is mentioned here, it is because two local men dominated. (And they are related to me)

My stepson, Clark Harris won the trophy for the largest bass caught with his 44-pounder. He also won the prize for the largest fish caught by a celebrity and the largest on natural bait. Clark is a professional football player for the Cincinnati Bengals. Fishing with Clark was my son, Jim Hutchinson Jr.

Jim, who is editor of “The Fisherman” magazine, boated the second largest fish, a bass tipping the scales at 34-pounds. Congrats to both anglers, and I guess you could say, “the apples don’t fall far from the tree.”

The High Point Volunteer Fire Company in Harvey Cedars held its annual striper tournament last Saturday. Taking first place was Michael Greene with a bass weighing just four ounces more than that of the second-place fish caught by Captain Kenny Nutt. Congrats to the organization for another great event.

Comments, questions, and fishing reports are welcome at www.jamesghutch1@aol.com