It finally appears that the offshore storm is moving off, and will be followed by a week of good fishing weather.
The forecast still includes a gale warning through tonight., but only 15-20-knot north winds in the morning which should diminish to northwest 5-10 in the afternoon. Light northwest winds Sunday will usher in a week of light west winds.
Unfortunately, that big swell isn’t going to go away for a while, and its effect on bottom fishing may be a problem for a couple of days. The surf is very dirty now, and it may take a couple of tide changes to put it back in fishable shape. Bob Correll reported that Bay Head had surf coming over the beach to the stairs this morning.
Good luck to anglers fishing the Barrier Island Beach Brawl starting in the morning after a delay due to the gale forecast. Fortunately there are plenty of protected waters to fish, and you never know when stripers may attack a school of mullet even in a rough and discolored surf.
Anglers should check with skippers before coming down. At Belmar, the Big Mohawk has cancelled through Saturday, but the Golden Eagle will sail for blues at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, and again at 7:30 p.m. for night blues.
I did get a boat report from yesterday as Joe Blaze fished Manasquan River with his Boston Whaler and fly rodded two 3-4-pound blues. He noted that there were spearing and peanut bunkers in the river.
Vinny D’Anton tried Shark River this afternoon, but found that the wind held the water in the river and delayed the change of tide. He couldn’t wade very far, and had no hits.
It was pleasant again in Point Pleasant Canal, where I gave casting a brief try during the end of the incoming. I only saw one small blue caught before switching to blackfishing on the slack. That wasn’t as good as yesterday, though I released a couple of shorts. One rocked me out twice before coming out when I slacked the line. Castaways Tackle had been out of green crabs, but got a shipment later in the morning. Joe Melillo noted that the Spring Lake Live Liners are still open for new members. That’s a great opportunity for surfcasters to learn from some of the best anglers on the Shore — and to get in the “loop” with fishing info. Call Joe at Castaways (732 899-1363) or talk to Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina.
At Seaside Park, John Bushell Jr. noted that his father passed away on the beach at IBSP 14 years ago yesterday. It seemed like just yesterday that I was fishing with that great angler as we battled big blues in the surf shortly after I started doing my column in The Star-Ledger.
Grumpy’s Tackle will be running an ODM casting demo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow.