Anglers along the N.J. Shore were shocked to hear last night that Capt. Chris Hueth of the Big Mohawk from Belmar had passed away from a heart attack.

Hueth has long been famed as a blackfish and doormat fluke specialist, but was just as skilled with all bottom fish plus stripers and tuna. The info I’ve had so far indicates that Chris was driving home on Rt. 71 when he had the attack and pulled over to call 911. Help arrived too late to save the 59-year-old skipper.

Bob Matthews said everyone at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina was shocked by the loss of the relatively young and healthy Hueth. Hopefully, that concludes the bad news from 2020. Ironically, despite all the problems with the pandemic, it was more normal physical problems that downed other famed captains such as Art Hilliard, Stan Zagleski and Jeff Gutman — as well as Dave Arbeitman from the Reel Seat and my fishing buddy Bruce Vitale.

Matthews noted that only a few small stripers are still being caught in the local surf, and winter flounder fishing has been spotty at the the docks as the season winds down before closing on Jan. 1..

Capt. Vinny Vetere says the weather is right for closing out the year with a shot at big stripers with his Katfish from Great Kills. Call him at 917 693-8908.

Small craft warnings go up at 4 p.m. and into Thursday morning for southwest winds gusting to 35 knots with rain likely. Those winds go west at 15-20 knots plus gusts to 30 in the morning before diminishing to 10-15 northwest with gusts to 20 in the afternoon.

Chuck Many had to work hard for for just a couple of stripers during his last trip this week on his Ty Man out of Cape Charles, Va., but they were worth the effort as the pre-spawn bass weighed 57 and 56 pounds before release.

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