Absecon Bay Sportsman Center

Home of Fish Guatemala @ Parlama Sportfishing


South Jersey's One Stop for all your Fishing and Boating Needs as well as Capt. Dave's Back Bay Fishing Safaris and the Gateway to Guatemala with Parlama Sportfishing

Fishing Reports, Tips, News, Opinions and More

March 1st, 2015, Happy New Year!

I started writing an opening day report this morning and it is already old news.  Striped Bass #1 and #2 have already been caught and presented here.  The story is at the top of the page and more on the "First Stripers of the Season" can be found here. Here's the start of todays report:

It's Opening Day of Striped Bass Season ... it's also the middle of an Artic Deep Freeze, something I never expected and have never seen on March 1st. Whatever the weather I'm Here and expect to be Open every day until Christmas. Because of the freeze up I did not rush to put Bloodworms and Surf Clams in stock. I do not expect local fish to bite this week, except there is a decent White Perch bite thru the ice at the dredge hole on Bass River next to the Parkway. I do have LIVE Grass Shrimp TODAY if you want to head up there. I will continue to have grass shrimp when I can get them throughout the spring season, but that is a hit or miss proposition.
I will watch the weather and get a feel for local reports and I probably will stock Bloodworms by next weekend. Everybody wants them Live and wiggling, and you know how expensive it is to buy a dozen. Imagine how expensive it is to buy twenty or forty dozen and end up feeding them to the seagulls. Looking for a lunker? I did manage to overwinter a good number of LIVE EELS. I have a few customers that do extremely well with them early in the season in the Tuckahoe, Great Egg Harbor and Mullica Rivers. A few days of sun on the flats and it could be worth a try.
This week is a big one for the NJ Striper and Flounder Fishermen since the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council will hold their meeting at the Galloway Public Library. The Fluke size and limits will be the same as last year, 5 fish @ 18", and the only option we have is the starting date. From what I understand the earliest we can start is May 17th. If it doesn't start then we will be looking at another year of opening for Memorial Day Weekend which is a disaster for Bait and Tackle Shops like this one and makes it extremely tough on the Flounder Aficionados who are faced with a busy Holiday crowd besides the Opening Day Maniacs.
The other important item going on at the NJMFC meeting is the finishing up of the 2015 Striped Bass Regulations. It looks like out bonus fish just may be a slot fish this year. The talk is for a fish 24" to 28". To keep this fish you will have to apply for a bonus permit. I think this is a good idea, HOWEVER, instead of just printing your permit off the computer as is done now, I think that there should be more control by providing one time use tags to be attached to any bonus fish kept. I will be at Thursday's meeting to give my opinion on this bonus fish and the Flounder Season. I hope to see opinions here and see lots of my Fans at the meeting.
Speaking of Facebook Fans as always I make resolutions every year to keep up with the fishing reports and incentives to stop by the store, such as Sales, Tournaments, General Prizes and just plain Good Information. Facebook has made it easy and I plan on posting plenty on here. If you want to get ALL the information that I put out, PLEASE LIKE my page if you haven't already and to see all of my POSTS please CLICK the LIKE button on all of them. The more you CLICK, the more you will see, If you think what I'm putting up is at all worth while please SHARE with your Friends and participate because I want to make Absecon Bay Sportsman Center a better Bait and Tackle Shop and a community of South Jersey Anglers as well.
Happy New Year to All,
Capt. Dave Showell

2015 February Mid-Winter Blues, the longest Month of the Year
February 2, 2015
If you are a Recreational Fisherman in New Jersey. without a doubt February is the cruelest month on the year. At least in January we came thru the holidays and the very first taste of serious winter is really a welcome change. Even for t...hose that don't get emotionally involved in team sports, the NFL Football playoffs do offer some diversion.

Today according to the calendar is Groundhog day and as always the Groundhog has forecast six more weeks of winter. I don't know how he saw his shadow on this rainy dreary day, but just maybe he can read a calendar and goes by that. In any case the Super Bowl has been played and the biggest thing on the television seems to be the Politico Talking Heads getting ready for a primary election that is over a year away.

With a few exceptions like the AC Boat Show that goes off this week there really isn't much of interest on the fishing horizon. My biggest worry is that the NJ Legislature won't have it's act together enough to get the necessary changes in the Striped Bass Regulations passed before March 1st deadline when the first really important date on the fishing calendar is set to start. If the new Regulations aren't in place by opening day the ASMFC can and will shut the season. We should accept the NJMFC

My opinion on the proposed regulations was that NJ should have gone with the ASMFC recommendations of one fish 28" or over. As a Bait and Tackle Dealer and a Back Bay Guide that specializes in Striped Bass I feel that one fish is enough for the vast majority of my customers and that even though I do not personally believe that the total population of Striped Bass is any way in danger. That being said there is no reason whatsoever to base the recreational harvest on the maximum allowable take, but to set rules based on what is reasonable, and one good sized fish over 28" or about 8 pounds is plenty to take home for any one day. Staying with the same idea, just imagine how good the Striped Bass fishing could be if the Striped Bass was made a Coastwide Gamefish.

Summer Flounder or Fluke, or just plain Flounder for us South Jersey Anglers is the other fish that will get some attention this month, but like the Striped Bass it appears that we won’t get much say in the formation of this years Flounder regulations. There may be some comments to be made before hand, but the ASMFC again has our hands tied. The final decision will be in March as to seasons and limits and I'll probably be there asking for something reasonable, but that will be March and hopefully by then we will already be on the water fishing for Stripers.

All this still leaves us with a long month of February to get thru. (I guess that's why they picked February to have 28 days, it still seems the longest.) I personally did escape some of the cold by spending most of January in Beautiful Guatemala. I hope you saw some of my reports and If not I suggest you take a few minutes check back on this page or jump to www.facebook.com/parlamasportfishing and www,fishguatemala.com . If you have some time and yes a little money I can still get you in the middle warm weather and the Best Sailfishing in the World.

Now that I am back I am working to do my best to make this year here at Absecon Bay Sportsman Center the best ever. I am going over my inventory and talking with my suppliers to make sure that I am stocked up with everything you need. I plan on keeping some FUN in the FISHING and as I have for the last several years I will be offering rewards for the first Keeper Stripers brought into the store. As you can see from the pictures Richard Kutch was last years #1. No mater if it was skill, luck or something else that helped him catch that fish it will not be denied. That didn't happen until March 8th, but we did have an exceptionally cold winter in 2014 so maybe, hopefully we will see a March 1st blitz like we did in 2013. And YES I do consider Atomic Fish legal, but please don't show up in the lot before 6am.

I will also continue my BEST CATCH, Facebook Contest which anyone can win by bringing in their catch or sending in a picture of their catch and I post it on this page. Every week YOU will pick a winner by Clicking the LIKE button on the picture. At the end of the week the picture with the most LIKEs will be the winner. BTW if you have read this far and aren't completely familiar with how Facebook works, please pay attention. If you think I am giving you some good information, use your Mouse and CLICK that LIKE button. The more you do the less likely you will be to miss something good. Even better come back to the page once in a while just to make sure.

Until the Striper Season opens I will not be running regular hours, however I am usually here. The walls are always full of all the tackle you need so if you are looking for something special give me a call to make sure I'm here and I will have time to give you some personal attention and even though I am not "Monty Hall" I probably can make an off season deal that you won't find anywhere else.

So with twenty six days to go until we can put the lines in the water to catch the elusive Striper, feel free to stop by the store, send your ideas here to this Facebook page and generally let's keep thinking Fishing, because as sure as the Groundhog saw his shadow the season will be back.

Capt. David Showell
2014 Striper Season starts March 1st
 The 2013 Striper season was off to a gigantic start and on March 1st the parking lot was loaded with Striper Bearing Anglers hoping to cash in on the first striper of the year Gift Certificates.  While it always seems to bring on some controversy the winners came from the canal at the Forked River Power Plant.  The winner was: 1st Legal Striper Adam Zakamarek a $200 Gift Certificate
That Bass also weighed in over 20# and Adam picked up that Certificate as well. 
       The Stripers in the Canal had been C&R targets all winter and were well known when the season opened at 12 am. on March 1st.  This winter has been a different story.  When the water cooled down in late November and December there were very few Striped Bass swimming inside Barnegat Bay.  The winter has been much colder than the winter of 2012-2013 and I haven't heard of any activity there. 
       There has been activity with shorts in both the Mullica and Great Egg Harbor Rivers.  If we are lucky enough to get a warm week leading up the opener and some sunny days to warm up the flats I think that is where an early keeper or two could come from.  Also don't count out the shallow flats on the Delaware Bay.  With a Super Cold Delaware River, a lot of resident fish could have been pushed down to the mouth where they will stage and put a hungry nose into the warming water.
       In any case I'll be here with all the bait you need and Gift Certificates for the first three Legal Stripers brought into the store from ANY New Jersey waters.

2013 Fall Striper Season ...  All Over but the Shouting?

Larry and Dave fished this morning, 11/5/2013 and Larry put this 22# Bass in the Boat.  Hard to believe that this was the largest fish we put on the boat this season.  Once the initial flurry burned out the stripers seemed to disappear.  With the exception of a few hit or miss schools inside the 3 mile EEZ it seems like the majority of the Stripers passed us by well outside the legal line of demarcation.  If you have any ideas on this situation please stop by my Facebook pagewww.facebook.com/abseconbay and post them on my timeline.  I hope to have time to put some of my own opinions here very soon.
May 7, 2013, Stripers are Biting, Grand Slam Season is Here !

It has been a cold windy spring so far and it doesn't seem to want to let up yet.  The water temperature still hasn't crossed the mid-50's so the fish are just making their way in.  Right now I have the boat back in it's Absecon slip and I've made the last couple trips out of here.  Monday April 30 the first legal striper hit the deck on a bunker chunk in Meadow Cut and the bluefish in Great Bay weren't real active in the cold, but they were chomping Chunks and Finger Mullet until we ran out of meat and put about 25 in the box with a couple going over ten pounds. 


The best news is that last Tuesday I got in a load of LIVE SPOT that had been overwintered in Virginia.  Unfortunately the wind was howling all week and I didn't get to give them a try until Friday's charter with Dr. Foster and Rich.  I was hard on the trolling motor all day but they managed three Fat Shorts and a bunch of Blues that had to join the party.  Some customers have been picking them up and doing a decent job as well.  Yesterday it looked like the wind was giving a break, (I was wrong) but I did manage a couple drifts in Broad Creek and one 28" bass found a Spot and I ended up with yesterdays dinner.


I am now officially ready for the season and if the weather gives a break you can expect a great fishing trip if you decide to come on one of my Back Bay Safaris.  Jump on over to the SAFARIS page if you want some more details.  To see photos and results of this and past years Safaris go to www.facebook.com/fishabsecon

Here in the shop it has been all about getting everything organized for the current Striper Season and stocking up for the BIG Grand Slam Customer Appreciation Sale .  This is my biggest SALE of the year as I am completely stocked up and NOW is the time for you to fill those tackle boxes and pick up those Rods and Reels you will need for the upcoming battles.  The SALE runs from Friday May 10th thru Friday May 17th and almost everything is at least 25% off the regular price and I have many specials and close outs that are 50% off and more. 
After the Sale comes the Fishing and once again I am running my FREE Grand Slam Customer Appreciation Tournament.  This is the opening weekend of Flounder season so I will be giving prizes for Flounder, Striped Bass, Weakfish (which are showing up this spring all over the place), Bluefish and Black Drum.  Jump to the Tournament Page for all the information.  All you have to do is stop by the store to sign up or go to my Facebook Events Page and CLICK Join https://www.facebook.com/events/152670104897623/ 
April 22, 2013, It looks like Spring Fishing is Breaking Loose

It's a buzy time at the tackle shop and I realize I haven't kept up with the fishing reports here on the web page as much as I should , but I've mentioned it before and here it is once again, please go to my FACEBOOK PAGE www.facebook.com/abseconbay and "CLICK' on the "LIKE"  button and you will get daily reports, pictures and important local fishing news in your news feed.  If you aren't signed up for FACEBOOK I suggest you give it a try.  There is a lot of BS that will show up, but their is a lot to see particularly in the fishing community.


Now back to the Absecon Bay Fishing Scene.  The picture on the left is Tom McGreary with his 45# bass caught while perch fishing somewhere in the Mullica River on April 11.  A great catch anywhere any time, but this one was special.  Speaking of the Mullica River I ran several early trips hunting bass and perch and we caught plenty of both, but all the Stripers brought to my boat were short of 28 inches so all released.  We did put a few nice meals of white perch on board and the early season action was good.


The last few days there have been real good reports coming out of the local back bays and beaches with keeper Stripers and lots of fat  shorts eating clam baits.  Only yesterday it seems that Bluefish invaded and came into the mix.  I will definately be making a move back into the bays for my next trip, but I will be keeping the trailer ready because I know those eel eating bass will show up in the Mullica.  At the same time I am searching for the first SPOT available since I know that the stripers will gobble them anywhere. 


I'll try and get back here sooner for my next report, but once again head over to FACEBOOK and you'll see what happens every day.


I'm also still keeping an eye out for bunker, swimming in the bays or ocean would be best because there will be bass following them and I always carry the big Cast Net on board to catch the freshest live baits.  Next would be to buy them from any netter and at least have them in the shop.  That should happen real soon, but please call for availability.

March 3rd, 2013... The Season is Open...
and the 1st three fish have been weighed in.
The 2013 Striper Season Started out with a BANG.  The night time definately proved to be the right time to catch these early season stripers.  The first group actually spent a lot of time waithing in the car until it was time for me to open.  I guess it was worth while since they had the first three fish, were Face Book Fans and had fish over tweenty pounds.  That was worth a total of $550 in Gift Certificates, which they used in a shopping spree so they can get out and catch some more. 
Here is the run down and then I will Jump ahead since I've missed a week or so on updates.
  • 1st Legal Striper Adam Zakamarek a $200 Gift Certificate
  • 2nd Legal Striper  Anthony Tremarco a $100 Gift Certificate
  • 3rd Legal Striper Joe Knolmajer a $50 Gift Certificate
  • 1st Striper over 20# Adam Zakamarek  a $100 Gift Certificate
  • 1st Striper over 30# a 100 Gift Certificate (Still Available)
  • 1st FaceBook Fan to weigh a Legal Striper Anthony Tremarco

February 18, 2013... Ten Days and Counting

It's President's Day and only ten days to Striper Season by the calender.  However outside the temperature has plummeted and the NW wind is howling.  The good news is that  this looks like a one day event and starting very soon I have some fishing events that everyone can enjoy.  Starting when I open up Friday, March 1st, I will be looking for the first legal striper of the season to come thru the door.  Last year that Honor went to Nick Nastasi Jr. who caught this 16 pounder before dawn and was here with the fish when I opened up.  I hope someone reading this will do the same. 


I will be kicking off the season with the same prizes that I gave away last year, so I hope that will be incentive to stop by. I'm listing them here first:

  • 1st Legal Striper Weighed in a $200 Gift Certificate
  • 2nd Legal Striper a $100 Gift Certificate
  • 3rd Legal Striper a $50 Gift Certificate
  • 1st Striper over 20# a $100 Gift Certificate
  • 1st Striper over 30# a 100 Gift Certificate

Besides the regular prizes, just like last year I am offering an additional $100 Gift Certificate to the first Facebook "Fan" that also is registered at the Facebook "Event", 1st Striper 2013 and brings in a Legal Striper Bass.  Last year Nick also got this one so make sure you go to www.facebook.com/abseconbay and "LIKE" the page, Then go to the "EVENT" and sign up. 

I also am definately running a White Perch Tournament this Spring.  It will be a two month event starting March 1st and running thru April 28.  This will be based on a five fish limit.  The biggest five fish you catch throughout the entire time period as well as a weekly prize based on the biggest one day five fish stringer caught during the week.  I've got the basic information on this LINK  so Jump over and take a look.  As soon as I get the details worked out I hope to have a Pay Pal link on the page so you can register on line.  So keep checking back or stop by the store.  If you have any ideas or comments on the tournament you can call me any time send an EMAIL or leave a message on my Facebook page.  In any case please keep stopping by for the latest developments.


February 11, 2013 Nor'Easter on the Horizon

Looks like a day at the computer. We've come thru a "Seasonal" period and in South Jersey that means a miserable winter week. Nor enough Ice for Ice Fishing, no open water on the fresh water lakes and cold windy conditions on all the tidal areas. Right now the Weather Man has a full blown Nor'Easter coming in from the south to dump a days worth of rain on us and another storm coming from the west with cold that will turn the rain to snow and leave us a couple inches by the time the sun rises tomorrow. Definately not a fishing senario.


I dug up my videos that I shot for the World Fishing Network since they are still occassionally showing up if you watch the WFN now that Comcast is carrying it.  Check out My Town, Absecon New Jersey and see a little bit about why this area is such a great fishing destination.  Fish Facts, South Jersey Blue Crabs is another good minute to break up the winter blues.

January 30, 2013 Guatemala Dreaming

Right now we are about as deep into the winter season as you can get.  It's been thirty days since the end of December and it's thirty days until the season starts up again on March 1st. We just came out of an artic blast that gave us a real taste of winter, but at least today is relatively warm even if the strong south wind is blowing the fog in off the ocean.  I've been using the time to catch up on getting the store ready for the upcoming season and working on my web site.  Both the Absecon Bay section and as a winter escape I've been trying to really get my FishGuatemala section together.


The picture heading up this section is that of a Guatemalan Sailfish, caught January 24th on the Parlama Sportfishing boat, Ballena, a 36' Pacemaker ready to take you and your crew out on the placid Pacific Ocean in search of these beautiful fish as well as an assortment of other big game fish and exotics found in the local waters.  If you have a few minutes please take the time to go thru the FishGuatemala section and see all that we have to offer with Parlama Sportfishing and follow some of the links to find out about all the travel possibilities that await you.


It looks like I'll be doing my Guatemala visiting this year here on the internet so I hope you follow me in that endeaver, but I will be here and availalle to help get you out fishing as soon as possible.  White Perch will start getting more active as the days get longer and the water temperatures begin to climb.  Over the years I've had plenty of requests for live grass shrimp and right now I do have them in stock.  I will give it my best shot at keeping them this spring as they are by far the best perch bait going.  I know it will be tough going to get enough, but I will keep going until the effort becomes too much and makes it economically impossible.  I already do have Bloodworms and Dave the Bloodworm Guru said he will have them from now on as long as the diggers can get to the mud flats up in Maine.  Besides being a great bait for the White Perch they are definately #1 for the early Spring Striped Bass that will open up on March 1st.  


Last year the Striper Season busted open right in the beginning of March and there was no looking back.  That last cold snap may have put a little more chill on the water , but from the River Perch Fishermen I've been getting reports of a lot of short bass right thru the winter.  Since I won't be catching the Herring again this spring due to the moritorium and I've passed all the spring boat work to M & B Marine, I plan on starting  Striped Bass Charters as soon as I get any kind of consistant reports.  Since the very best early fishing starts up in the Mullica and 
Great Egg Harbor Rivers, I'll be getting the boat rigged for trailering and will go where the fish are.  Since my knowledge of the rivers is limited I will be running an exploration special thru the month of March.  I will take up to three anglers for my Long Half Day trip for only $200.  I'll include two dozen bloodworms and whatever other bait I can come up with.  Definately no garrantees on what we'll catch, but I promise a great day casting lures and soaking baits in a variety of areas and of course have a lot of fun.  Get the full details on the Fishing Safari Page, and reserve your date soon because once the cows move into the river and we're catching every day this offer will end, but you can still go if you have a reservation with a paid deposit.


A Mid-Winter Freeze Up


January 22, 2013, Up until last night we have been relatively lucky with moderate temperatures. Last night an artic blast blew in from the north pole with a dusting of snow that is really cooling everything down.  It looks like we might even have some serious snow by the weekend.  That being said we are only 37 days from March 1st and the official start of Striper Season.  How that pans out will depend a lot on if this is a blurp or a major deep freeze.  Personally I'm hoping that we are late enough in the winter that this will only be a short time deal and we will be able to be back on the open water by next week. 

Actually if you want to fill up on White Perch this may even be a help because it should push them back into their deep water haunts where they can sit out the cold.  That makes Collins Cove on the Mullica the go to hot spot.  That's where we used to be able to catch them thru the ice, an interesting prospect, but something that hasn't happened much in the last few years. 







A January Thaw Already

January 5, 2013, We barely got thru New years Day and the weatherman is already forcasting a rise in temperature. Since I have so much to do around the shop here I already went out and loaded up with Grass Shrimp. They seem to be in good supply so I expect I'll be able to keep them around and alive whenever the weather co-operates. i've been getting some good perch reports from the Mullica River and there seem to be some real nice ones in the Mouth of the Great Egg Harbor River where the Parkway crosses. Besides eating sized white perch the Mullica is giving up a lot of short stripers which of course have to go back in the water, but give you a great fight and lots of ACTION which is what we all need this time of year.

I will use this relatively warm streach to winterize my boat and generally have it ready to fish as soon as the Stripers start to show in the back after the March 1st opener. If you haven't finished putting your boat away for the season may I suggest that you give Mike and Bob of M & B Marine a call to get it winterized right, and if your wife is complaining about that boat in the driveway there is still storage space available here at the boat yard.

My other big project will be to get the web site for Parlama Sportfishing, www.parlama.com up and running again. Right now this link probably won't work, but with a little luck by next weekend it will take you to all the information about the worlds greatest Sailfishing in Guatemala and how you can make that trip at affordable prices. Right now I have lots of information and all the daily reports and updates on Facebook. Please go to the Parlama Sportfishing Page www.facebook.com/parlamasportfishing While your there be sure to "LIKE" the page so you will get the updates right on your news feed.

December 31 was the last day of Striped Bass Season in the back bays, but the nor'easter that just blew thru probably ended any realistic chance at stripers already. If you are a diehard striper fisherman like me it has been an extremely tough fall. Absecon Bay Sportsman Center made it thru Hurricane Sandy, but the non-striper season has made it an extremely hard time to be in the bait and tackle buisness. I am keeping everything together as much as possible and am looking forward to the future which is only two months away.

It won't be long until I am looking forward weighing in the first keeper striper of the season, which I expect will show up at my door on March 1st as it has done the last two years. Until then there are other fishing possibilities out there. Sea Bass is open as of January 1st and the cold loving anglers will be out there, a great time to jump on a party boat so that you can enjoy the trip. There are also Tog out there and right now I do have some Green Crabs stashed in cages out in the crteek and if we don't see super cold ice conditions I expect them to stay alive.

White Perch will bite all winter in the Rivers and even thru the ice. Unfortunately the bloodworm man can't get any of the wigglie critters until Maine warms up, but they will bite small minnows and Grass Shrimp are the ultimate Perch bait. Unfortunately I've never figured how to keep a good supply of Grass Shrimp around, but as the popularity of perch has increased I may give that a try this winter.

Unless of course I get down to the warm in Guatemala and chase Sailfish and Dorado for a month or so. If you are interested in the very best fishing in the world please get in touch I can get you down there to the best boats at the best prices. Go with the "Parlama Fleet" and my own boat the 'Tijereta" get all the updates at www.www.facebook.com/parlamasportfishing