A small craft warning is up from late tonight through Sunday evening. West winds in the morning at 25-30 knots plus gusts to 35 are fine for NJ surfcasters, but will force boaters to fish very close to the beach — just as Capt. Dave DeGennaro did this morning with his Hi Flier from Barnegat. He had two hours of no fish and 20 miles of running north before getting into explosions of school stripers which produced great popper action. See photo below.

Capt. Ron Santee had to work harder to put together a catch on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands before it got really nasty on the change of tide. With even more wind and temperatures in the thirties, he’s decided to take a pass tomorrow.

Capt. Alan Shinn said Royal Miss Belmar went out at 6 and had a boat limit of stripers by 10. It took a few drifts to get them turned on even though there were lots of marks. The first two finback whales of the season were spotted on their whale watching trip. Miss Belmar Princess had a tougher time getting the stripers.going, but got into them eventually and stayed out later.

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