If a book is ever written about the early days of fishing along the northern N.J.Shore, Joe Julian will surely be among the leading characters, The owner of Julian’s Tackle in Atlantic Highlands passed away last week at 94.

Untold numbers of anglers have stopped at Julian’s Tackle for decades on their way to fishing the Shore, and Joe was almost always there to set them up with the bait and tackle they needed. Joe, who also had a big ice business across the road, popularized his Montauk bunker spoons which feature a single large Siwash hook that was a big improvement over the huge built-in hook on standard bunker spoons which required the addition of a large treble hook to be effective– but damaged a lot of stripers and blues that were to be released.

Joe had many other interests as well as fishing. In his earlier days, he flew a single engine airplane, and competed in Jersey Skiff speed races which he often won. He was the first to build one of those skiffs in fiberglass. and his My Way was a familiar sight across highway. In his later years, Joe became an accomplished artist, and I treasure sketches he gave me of the Twin Lights and the Highlands Bridge.

Publicizing Shore fishing was a priority for Joe, and he was a big help when I was running the Metro Fishing Classic and the Harbor Festival Fishing Rodeo.

Julian lost his wife Margaret last year, but leaves two daughters plus his son Joe who’s running the business.

Miss Belmar Princess had a breakthrough with big blues today. Bait was best, with up to five on at a time, but jigs also worked on the 6-12-pounders as many fares limited. Some also had sea bass limits.

More big stripers seem to be moving into range of N,J, striper trollers. Chuck Many put Dave Glassberg into a 48-pounder yesterday morning on Tyman from Highlands — and also a thresher shark.

The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant only found a “handful” of bass on Tuesday’s first Striper Marathon, but they were ;large.

The Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands reports bottom fishing has remained slow. Anglers who for blackfish today caught their one keeper, but only a couple of porgies were boated along with as many keeper sea bass from among many tiny ones. Capt. Ron Santee Jr. is anxious to start striper fishing, but hasn’t seen schoolies from the east as yet.

Small craft warnings are up from tomorrow through Friday afternoon for increasing seas. The morning forecast is only for west winds at 5 knots before shifting to south in the afternoon. Fog is possible.

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