BY DONALD WITTOWSKI, OCNJDAILY
Unlike some of the summer tourists who visit the shore, the fish don’t suddenly leave after the Labor Day weekend.
They like to hang around for a few more months. And that’s awesome for anglers.
Michael Doebley, of Mighty Heron Charters, notes that the fishing is great through the fall and can last up until the Christmas season.
“My expression is, fall fishing is the best fishing,” said Doebley, a professional charter captain known as “Captain Mike.”
Mighty Heron Charters is based at Smith’s Marina at 910 Bay Avenue in Somers Point.
Doebley is inviting anglers to find out for themselves just how great the off-season fishing can be by offering fall charters for as little as $150 per person for an eight-hour ocean trip for sea bass, tog or striped bass.
Sea bass fishing, in particular, is enjoyable and easy.
“It’s not hard to catch them. I tell folks that sea bass fishing is the only fishing where you have a rod in one hand, a hoagie in the other, a drink in the cup holder and you go home with filets,” Doebley said with a laugh.
Sea bass season kicks off in early October. Tog, striped bass and flounder are other highly prized fish that can be caught with Mighty Heron Charters.
Six-hour fall charters for sea bass are $675 for six people, striped bass $625 for six people and tog $750 for six people. There is a $50 charge for each additional hour.
Another affordable option are eight-hour sea bass, tog or striper charters that will run every Saturday from Oct. 8 to mid-December for $150 per person. Trips are limited to the first five people who sign up.
“I’m responding to popular demand. I think it’s pretty darn reasonable,” Doebley said of his fall charter prices.
Now in its third season, Mighty Heron Charters specializes in family-friendly charters that range from leisurely fishing trips around the back bays to ocean excursions to catch tuna.
Doebley has a 28-foot Steiger Craft powered by quiet, twin Yamaha 250-horsepower motors. The boat, cleaned daily, is maintained to the highest standards and has a current U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel Safety Check sticker.
Amenities include an 8-foot-by-8-foot cockpit that features plenty of room for six adults to fish comfortably or socialize. There is also a private toilet.
“The open boat is important to locals and folks from the Philly area,” Doebley said.
Although the summer tourism season is a peak time for fishing trips, Mighty Heron Charters runs charters from April 1 all the way to Christmas.
In addition to fishing trips, the company also offers cruises, dolphin tours, bird watching excursions and whale watching trips.
For more information on Mighty Heron Charters, visit mightyheroncharters.com or call (609) 513-4427.