Fishing is going to be a challenge this week as there are small craft warnings up through Friday, and a gale watch will be posted for tomorrow.

Northeast winds at 20-25 knots with gusts to 35 are forecast for Wednesday along with showers and 7-10-foot seas.

It wasn’t too bad this morning as I hid from the wind a bit in Shark River to release five bluefish in  the 3-4-pound class on poppers. Vinnie D’Anton had a friend up from Sarasota , Florida who enjoyed a similar pick of small blues on Chug Bugs later in the morning. Bob Frech, originally from Michigan, was also able to hook the 8 1/2-pound chopper pictured from among the smaller blues. Vinny also took him to the beach, but they couldn’t hook up in the rough surf.

Bob Frech blue

Capt. Vinny Vetere was able to take advantage of the relatively calm early morning, and put his party on Katfish from Great Kills into 12 stripers on live bunters, They kept their limit up to 30 pounds, and were back by 10:30. Vetere noted that the water temperature had dropped to 65 degrees.

This was the opening day of the sea bass season in N.J. , but sea conditions certainly weren’t favorable. The Big Mohawk from Belmar cancelled their special limited trips for today and tomorrow, and will reschedule them as soon as possible.

Bob Correll of Bay Head had much better conditions in Southport, North Carolina as he fished with a friend to catch his first red drum plus a flounder, croakers and spot. His redfish was abut 17 inches, but he had a shot at a much bigger one chasing bait in shoreline weeds that ignored his lure.

The deadline for entering Nick Honachefsky’s Barrier Island Beach Brawl shore fishing tournament this weekend is upon us. To enter the $40 contest which offers thousands of dollars in prizes visit — or sign up at such shops as Fisherman’s Supply, Gabriel Tackle and Charlie’s.



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