Abu Garcia seeks info on favorite fishing areas

The following press release may be of interest to anglers:

Abu Garcia is celebrating a century of innovation and epic fishing in 2021 by asking fans around the country to weigh in on the Top-100 fisheries in the United States.
 
The list, which could include anything from backyard streams to sprawling lakes and everything in between, will celebrate the best freshwater fishing this country has to offer and introduce anglers of all levels to well-known big-fish locations as well as hidden gems.
 
Anglers can submit their favorite fisheries for consideration, explain why they top their list and share photos of their favorite honey holes through January 25. The final list will be released in phases, beginning in late February. The detailed results will be available online for avid anglers to explore their next fishing destination as they look ahead to the next century of fishing with Abu Garcia.
 
To learn more about Abu Garcia’s 100th anniversary and cast your vote by January 25, visit www.abugarcia.com.
 
About Pure Fishing
Pure Fishing, Inc. is a leading global provider of fishing tackle, lures, rods and reels with a portfolio of brands that includes Abu Garcia®, All Star®, Berkley®, Fenwick®, Fin-Nor®, Greys®, Hardy®, Hodgman®, Johnson®, JRC®, Mitchell®, Penn®, Pflueger®, Sebile®, Shakespeare®, SpiderWire®, Stren®, Ugly Stik®, and Van Staal®.

The gale warning continues into Sunday
 

Blackfish were biting Thursday

Even though the wind was blowing Thursday, the Ocean Explorer from Belmar reported the westerly direction made for a nice ocean with blackfish still chewing inshore. “Howard” caught his limit out of 11 keepers plus a dozen shorts.

Small craft warnings are up to late tonight, but go to a gale watch Saturday with northwest winds of 20-25 knots with gusts up to 35.

Chuck Many has been releasing trophy stripers all winter while running his Ty Man out of Cape Charles, Virginia, but has been in port for some time waiting for the winds to relent. He posted the following advice: · “While I am sitting at the dock waiting for the wind to stop blowing, thought I would answer a question people have been asking: what are my Go To Striper setups? Trinidad 30a & 20a reels or Torium 20 or 30 HG reels, Shimano Teramar XX Northeast rods, G-Loomis IMX Pro Blue rods, and Teramar Inshore Rods. I spool with 40 or 50 pound braid or 30 pound mono depending on the application. Hope that helps!!”

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SWS National Seminar to go virtual at no cost

Due to the ongoing pandemic, George Poveromo had to cancel his annual Salt Water Sportsman National Seminar series for 2021, but with the help of his sponsors he will film episodes at the IGFA to be presented online at no charge. I’ll have more about this as more information is supplied.

Speaking of episodes, Nick Honachefsky has a new one on his Saltwater Underground series on the Sportsman Channel at 10:10 a.m. Friday.

The Mimi VI from Point Pleasant will continue open boat trips for blackfish through this month. They sail at 6:30 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays for $90 with a limit of 25 On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays the trip starts at 6 for a fee of $120 that includes whitelegger crabs and is limited to 15. Call 732 370-8019 for reservations and info about overnight canyon trips set for July to September.

Small craft warnings are up through Friday afternoon. Tomorrow starts with west winds at 15-20 knots plus gusts to 25.

Finally warming up in Florida

With morning temperatures at least in the fifties and warmer weather coming, it’s feeling more like winter in Florida now. Just a couple of days ago, Ken Markow of the Surf Kings reported from Key Largo that the snook had turned off and he had to seek out peacock bass inland. Frank Sieminski noted that inshore water temperatures had dropped to the low sixties and killed the bite. That wasn’t a problem in Quepos, Costa Rica where Capt. Hans Kaspersetz got started with a large snook.

It was a lot colder Tuesday at Belmar, where the blackfish bite was poor for the Ocean Explorer. The big swell was down, though the sea did get nasty. There was lots of small fish life on bottom, but only a few keeper blackfish.

Small craft warnings are up through late tonight for northwest gusts to 30 knots before turning to southwest 15-20 with gusts to 25 tomorrow.

Pending IGFA 16-lb test tautog record in South Jersey

Lacy Marine in Forked River weighed a blackfish of 18.2 pounds for Bruce Stout Jr. which is being submitted to the IGFA for consideration as a world record in the 16-pound line class division.

That’s better news than from the north where the Ocean Explorer and Big Mohawk reported a slow bite Monday — possibly due to a big swell the day before. Those boats continue to sail daily as west winds permit blackfishing not too far from shore.

Small craft warnings are up through late tonight. The Wednesday forecast is for west winds at 15-20 knots before switching to northwest 20-25 with higher gusts in the afternoon.

Little Egg Inlet Reef enriched

With fundraising from the Beach Haven Charter Association and their Junior Mates program, the Little Egg Inlet Artificial Reef received its first replenishment in 16 years last week. Jim Hutchinson Sr. sent the following report:

“Two years after beginning efforts to replenish the Little Egg Reef off Beach Haven, the captains and mates of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association saw their efforts pay off on Thursday, January 14. 

Captain John Lewis, Association president, oversaw three vessels sunk on the reef including a 140-foot barge, a tugboat, and a push boat. The boats were brought from Norfolk, Virginia, where they had been cleaned and prepared and sunk on the Little Egg Reef. 

New Jersey’s artificial reefs were originally constructed decades ago as habitat for various species of fish and a place for anglers to fish. Marine life grows on the materials attracting a wide variety of species and resulting fishing opportunities.

Over time the materials placed on the reefs sink in the sand and do not provide the needed structure. As a result, new materials are needed to supplement those original materials. The artificial reefs closest to Long Beach Island have not been enhanced since 2005.

Teenagers in the Association’s Junior Mates Program learned of the reef situation and asked what they could do to improve the situation. This humble beginning sparked a grass roots campaign which snowballed into an intensive campaign by the BHCFA. These efforts attracted the attention of concerned individuals and groups on the local and even national levels.

The group’s original goal to raise $100,000 to begin reef replenishment was reached thanks to the efforts of the mates, local community involvement, and matching funds from the Ann E. Clark Foundation and the Sport Fishing Fund.

Enhancement to the reefs was first expected a year ago, but unexpected delays including the Corona virus and bureaucratic red tape slowed down the time frame. The entire project was done under the watchful eyes of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection which assisted in moving the project along.

Within a short period of time marine, growth will occur on the sunken materials, providing recreational fishing activities for years to come.

Lewis had special words of praise for those assisting in the efforts, especially the Junior Mates participation. “Kids today take a beating for various reasons. Our kids have adopted a ’can-do’ approach and worked their tails off to implement their ideas and dreams.”

Bob Matthews at Belmar Marina reports little winter fishing activity though they still have green and whitelegger crabs in stock. He said the Ocean Explorer had an 11-pound tog recently.

Small craft warnings are up through late Tuesday with west gusts to 25 knots. Tuesday starts with west at 15-20 with gusts to 25 and 2-4-foot seas,

Ice Age in Florida

Though it’s still a lot milder than the north, this has been the coldest winter I’ve experienced in Florida as one cold front after another drives early morning temperatures down to the forties. Fortunately, it usually warms up later in the morning and there’s been no fish kills which occur when there are longer periods of very cold temperatures.

It just doesn’t seem to be right to wear long pants in Florida. I live in AFTCO shorts which also permit me to wade into the the largemouth bass ponds I fish in Ft. Myers in order to untangle larger bass that get tangled in reeds as I try to drag them through — while hoping that an alligator doesn’t appear and have to choose between the bass and me.

Bob Correll of Bay Head doesn’t have to worry about that problem while casting from a beach near his Hutchinson Island home as large quantities of small bait have been drawing Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, and now also bluefish right to the beach for hot action.

Vinny D’Anton of Wall has been wading in waters near his Sarasota winter home to consistently release spotted sea trout and ladyfish every morning while wading and casting such lures as the Z Man paddletails, DOA Shrimp and MirrOlures.

The Big Mohawk from Belmar had good conditions in west winds yesterday, but blackfish didn’t respond. That wind direction will prevail for some time and permit tog fishing to continue. Small craft warnings remain up, but drop a bit tomorrow to 15 to 20 knots plus higher gusts from the west.

Another trophy tog on Ocean Explorer

Though today’s trip was cancelled due to the winds, the Ocean Explorer from Belmar reported good blackfishing for some on Friday. “Howard”, who released a 14-pounder recently, caught another over the 10-pound mark. There were some limits, though others didn’t score. Whiteleggers worked best.

Small craft warnings are up trough Sunday night. There are west gusts to 30 knots which continue tomorrow.

Blackfish still a weekend possibility

Though small craft warnings went up at 1 p.m. through Saturday afternoon for east gusts to 25 knots, ocean conditions should improve with a shift back to west winds,

The morning forecast is for southwest winds at 10-15 knots before increasing to 15-20 in the afternoon with gusts to 30. Rain is likely in the morning. On Sunday the winds go west at 20-25 knots with gusts to 30 that should flatten the surf for anyone still seeking stripers along the Jersey Shore. The Ocean Explorer from Belmar reported some tog limits Thursday, but some didn’t score with fussy blackfish.

Jamaica catching jumbo porgies

Though the sea bass season is closed, the Jamaica from Brielle is concentrating on far offshore wrecks that hold great quantities of large porgies during weekend trips. The Saturday and Sunday sailings leave at 11:55 the night before. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.

Last weekend’s trip also produced a few ling and a surprising large bonito as catches ranged up to 30 fish. Chris Clendening of Sellerville, Pa. won the pool with a 4-pound porgy that edged a 3.75-pounder by Rich Stevens of Somerset.

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar reported another good day of blackfishing on Wednesday.

Though the wind is shifting to the east on Friday, the forecast is for only 10-15 knots until it increases to gusts to 20 knots at night along with rain.

Nick Honachefsky has new episodes of his Saltwater Underground coming up on the Sportsman Channel. The first showing is at 10:30 a.m. Friday, and then again Sunday at 4:30 a.m. and p.m.