Joe Greco (88) of Ft. Myers lost a short battle with lung cancer this week, but the good nature of that fine angler will long be remembered.
The former resident of Edison made a quick move to Florida from N.J. taxes and cold weather along with his wife Sue shortly after retiring from his profession as a computer analyst. He bought a small boat that could get into the shallowest waters and spent years learning the entirely different fisheries there for everything up to tarpon.
Joe quickly became friendly with local skippers who helped in the transition to skinny waters tactics, and he especially enjoyed fishing for sheepshead with 10-pound test freshwater spinning rigs.
The last time I fished with him, we weren’t doing well on the inside, so he made a move on a calm day to just outside the harbor to fish over a sunken clothes dryer that quickly provided action on our live shrimp with short, but feisty groupers before I hooked something much bigger. I assumed it was a shark which would soon cut me off, but Joe thought it might be a cobia. The battle continued on the 10-pound outfit for a long time before Joe was proven right as a cobia finally surfaced. Unfortunatey, we had no gaff, and the only net was a small, short-handled sheepshead net. Cobia usually go wild when netted, but Joe was able to get its head in that tiny net before we both grabbed the metal hoop and slid the exhausted cobia aboard.
Joe was proud as a peacock when we returned to the marina with the biggest fish of the day on the smallest boat — and steaks from that 42-incher were passed out to all his friends and the employees.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported no change in striper fishing as they got into them right away and had action throughout the trip. Big fish outnumbered the keepers.
The Jamaica from Brielle is starting the offshore wrecks sea bass fishing with 10 p.m. departures by reservation, four nights a week.
The forecast is good for days ahead. Thursday starts with east at 5-10 knots.