Small striped bass are showing no signs of leaving the N.J. surf. Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina says the volume is greatest to the south in Ocean County and in Island Beach State Park, but there are also bass in local areas hitting slim lures such as the A17 diamond jig with green tail. He also noted that blackfishing remains good for boaters in the ocean.

Jerry Lasko reported the southwest wind shifted to west and provided good Ocean County striper action despite somewhat stained waters. Many of their fish were hooked in very skinny waters, but Maren Toleno released 53, Will Fredricks 28 and Jerry 18.

The Jamaica from Brielle has room for additional reservations on the trip sailing to far offshore wrecks at 11 p.m. The calming weather looks perfect for jumbo sea bass fishing out there tomorrow. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.

The gale warnings for west winds to 35 knots go down tonight, and by morning the forecast is only northwest at 5-10 knots before going north in the afternoon with 2-4-foot seas. There is a chance of snow in the morning, and rain or snow in the afternoon.

The weather during our winter is always good in Panama, and you can count on fishing every day for a great variety of species ranging from roosterfish and cubera snappers up to black marlin. Capt. Mike Augat is almost sold out at Pesca Panama, but has a few dates left to fill in — and is offering $1,000 discounts for the following periods: Jan. 12-17; Jan. 19-24; Jan. 26-31; and Feb. 2-7. Call Augat at 716 868-4432.

The impressive teeth of the cubera snapper are tough on poppers, but their surface strikes are the most thrilling I’ve experienced — especially when they leap far out of the water to blast a plug.

Pesca Panama cubera

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