Tank Matraxia reported that strong west winds made for miserable blackfishing conditions even on the sturdy Tagged Fish from Highlands as the short chop almost made him seasick for the first time in decades. The fishing was also no good at Sandy Hook Reef and Shrewsbury Rocks. Tank said only a striper and a couple of tog were caught, and they were all shorts.

Ironically, he got word that a tog he tagged in May was caught on the same boat he was fishing on that day — Lock N Load. They were anchored very close to shore in calm conditions and had both keeper and short blackfish. It’s most unusual for those fish to be in shallow water on Jan. 1.

Small craft warnings are coming down tonight, and the morning forecast is for southwest winds at 10-15 knots with gusts to 20. Rain is expected after midnight tomorrow.

The west winds were good for Ocean County surf stripers this morning, and Jerry Lasko reported that he started the New Year off right with two  stripers while Maren Toleno released four. New Years bass

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