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Canyon Runner almost booked up for spring canyon trolling

The Canyon Runner fleet from Point Pleasant is almost completely booked for the early canyon trolling that was the best of last year’s offshore sport.

Adam La Rosa advises those wishing to fish during that prime time to get in touch with him shortly as there are only eight days left on the 60-footer. and 14 on the 48 before September. The same applies for those booking on the open boat trips. As an incentive, La Rosa is offering 50% off on a fall striper trip for finishing up his rearly booking. Call him at 732 272-4445,


Capt. Deane Lambros with a N.C. giant on the Canyon Runner. Giants were also caught in the northern canyons last spring.

The Philadelphia Boat Show opens Friday from 1-8 p.m. in Greater Philadelphia Expo at Oaks, and runs through Sunday. Adult admission is $10, with no charge for those 16 or younger. There will be 27 dealers exhibiting boats, and parking is free.

Thursday starts out well with west winds of 10-15 knots, though freezing spray is a morning possibility. The picks up to 20 knots with gusts to 25 in the afternoon.  Friday looks much better with southwest 5-10 knots and 1-toot or less seas.

First weakfish & stripers boated — but don’t get excited

The first weakfish of the year was boated Sunday, but it was a most unusual catch that may not be repeated — from a far offshore wreck.

A last minute call from fluke pro Dave Lilly provided news of other firsts. A couple of guys he knows have been making short trips in Raritan Bay to the sailboat anchorage. While chumming with clams for flounder today they spotted small pods of bunker and ended up catching a 21-inch striper on a flounder rig baited with clam. Furthermore, they had also caught a 19-inch striper last week — though still no flounder.

Lilly additionally had talked to Phil Sciortino at The Tackle Box in Hazlet who reported having seen adult bunkers in the surf.

The Big Jamaica from Brielle got in their Sunday trip, and did well, as usual, with jumbo porgies plus a few ling, white hake, cod and pollock — but also a weakfish. A few years ago there were several weaks taken from those deep water wrecks during late fall, and I was aboard one day when a few were caught while sea bass fishing. However, this is the first time I’ve heard of a weakfish way offshore in March.  Large spawning weaks  may arrive in bays and rivers during April — though they rarely bite that early. Phil La Grossa caught one last year (probably in Barnegat Bay) on May 1, and that 10.13-pounder stood up all year to win the coastwise 2018 Fisherman Dream Boat Challenge in that category by a wide margin. Ed Teise entered a 7.57-pound N.J. weak on May 24, and the next two weaks entered were only 6.05-pounders caught  on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.  Indeed, the weakfish situation is so bad that it took until Oct. 6 before all 10 places at a minimum of just 5 pounds could be filled by Fisherman subscribers fishing from N.C. to Maine.

The Jamaica’s pool winner was Andre Whitney from Washington, D.C. with a 21-pound cod, while second went to Big Lou from Philadelphia with a 9.8-pound cod.  That trip will be repeated Saturday and Sunday at 1 a.m. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.

There was finally some info about winter flounder being caught from shore. Fisherman’s Den in Belmar reported a very few being picked from the docks there. One boater who chummed caught two, That shop has bloodworms and sandworms in stock,

Joe Melillo will be reopening Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant on Saturday, and is ordering sandworms. He noted that the Spring Lake Live Liners have room for a few new members. Some of the finest surfcasters in the state belong to that club, and any dedicated striper angler joining would be sure to improve his success rate by learning from those pros. Those interested can fill out applications at Sunday’s Asbury Park show.

Small craft warnings went up this afternoon for gusty  west winds to 25 knots, It will be northwest at 20-25 knots tomorrow with freezing spray. That drops to NW 10-15 with gusts to 25 on Thursday — -but Friday and Saturday look good.

The Philadelphia Boat Show will run in Expo at the Oaks from March 8-10,

Canyon Runner releasing 3+ giants per day in NC —- open boat spots discounted

The Canyon Runner has discounted open boat seats available for the catch-and-release giant tuna season that started with three or more per day being released during the first three days.  In addition, there are some yellowfins available to provide tuna to be taken home.

The open spots are reduced to $550 a man, and only four anglers will be fishing. The includes all the amenities provided on charters, and includes the tip.  Call Adam La Rosa at 732 272-4445 to get details. There is also room on the March 14 free trip for active and retired military.

They didn’t expect to get out today,, but Tuesday was looking good down there. The marine forecast to the north is for small craft warnings today, but only 10-15 knots from the northwest in the morning before increasing to 15-20 with gusts to 25 in the afternoon — and into Wednesday. Thursday looks good at just 10-15 knots west.

Fighting giant

Snow may hold back flounder bite

Tonight’s snow may not result  in much accumulation, but every bit will further lower water temperatures and delay hopes for an early bite to break the winter doldrums.

Small craft warnings are up for gusty east winds, but it should switch to northwest at 15-20 knots by the morning. West to northwest winds prevail through the start of the week, and it will not be comfortable waiting for that first bite casting from the Belmar docks. Better days are coming — I think!

Shows wrap up

Both the Atlantic City Boat Show in Convention Hall and the World Fishing & Outdoor Expo at Rockland Community College Field Hose in Suffern, N.Y. finish their runs on Sunday.

The Expo winds up with Family Day from 9;30-5. but those with kids of 11 or younger should get there early as the first 100  kids will receive a free rod and reel while supplies last. For details visit

Next up is the Salt Water Expo in two weeks where I’ll be doing my usual seminar along with the free Tady lure for every attendee.

The weather forecast isn’t bad for tomorrow morning as the north wind is predicted to be only 5-10 knots before going southeast in the afternoon with likely rain. The Jamaica from Brielle is scheduled to fish the offshore wrecks for big porgies. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations on the 1 a.m. trip.

Capt. Chris De Stefano spent some time yesterday at the Belmar docks watching anglers casting for the first winter flounder of the season, but only two of those fishermen even claimed to have had a hit.

Nick Honachefsky gave it a try in the snow there yesterday and only had a coupe of taps in the very cold waters.

Vinny D’Anton has been picking away at spotted sea trout and ladyfish in the Sarasota area on the DOA Shrimp. He even released a pompano yesterday on a Mirrolure. Wade fishing has been well off from last year due to the recent red tide. At Siesta Key alone, there 29 tons of dead fish removed from the beaches.


NJ flounder opens– tog closes

It’s officially a season opener in N.J. today, but also a closure for tautog until next month.  I doubt if there was much fuss about the opening of the N.J. winter flounder fishery, and there wasn’t any answer to a phone call to Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina this afternoon. The docks there may be the best bet for filling the two-flounder limit, and size is no problem there as any flounder caught should be well over the 12-inch minimum. If you need bait, be sure to call in advance before going down there. There’s probably no need to rush as flounder usually bite best at this time of year when the sun is well up to warm the very cold river waters.

At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle has at least frozen clams, and Betty & Nick’s was hoping to get some worms delivered. The latter noted that white perch have been active in Toms River, and there’s also a by-catch of small stripers, Inshore waters opened today for  striper fishing under the same regulations as last year.

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar got in its last day of blackfishing, but it was a dud with just a touch of action late in the day for a few tog but no cod or ling. John Snook’s tog leader stood up to take the seasonal pool. The boat goes into the shipyard for a few weeks before some spring codfishing.

The weather looks a bit tough, though there shouldn’t be any coastal storm as was first predicted. A small craft advisory is up through Saturday afternoon. The morning winds should be northeast at 15-20 knots with gusts to 30 and 3-5-foot seas. Some rain and snow is likely. Sunday morning may also be wet, though the NE wind is predicted to be only 5-10 knots befotre shifting to the southeast.

The shows finish up on Sunday. The Atlantic City Boat Show welcomes boaters to Convention Hall, and Sunday is Family Day at the World Fishing Expo in Rockland Community College Field House at Suffern, N.Y. when kids under 5 are not only admitted free, but also get a free rod & reel as do those 11 or under — while supplies last. Get to the free parking early! Hours are 9:30 to 5. For details visit


Suffern Show & AC Boat Show both open through Sunday

There’s only a chance of some light snow tomorrow, so fishermen should have no problem getting to the World Fishing & Outdoor Show at Rockland Community College Field House in Suffern, N.Y. — quite unlike the very first edition of that show which was buried in snow until Sunday. They haven’t had any such problem since then.

Friday’s hours are from 1-9 p.m., and parking is free. Visit for details, including seminars and other attractions.

Boaters can head south to the Atlantic City Boat Show in Convention Hall which also continues through Sunday.

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar reported a nice day on the ocean though the bottom life in deep water wasn’t too active. There were some blackfish including 3 or 4 keepers plus a cod and a few ling. Tomorrow is the last day to fish for tog, and a lot of money is on the line in the seasonal pool.  They plan to fish even deeper to try for that money tog.

The weather forecast isn’t as good as it was projected to be last night,  The northeast wind is up to 10-15 knots with gusts to 20. Saturday is predicted to be northeast 15-20 knots with gusts to 30 and a chance of rain or snow.

Suffern show opens tomorrow.

The World Fishing & Outdoor Expo opens tomorrow in the Rockland County Community College Field House at Suffern, N.Y. Usually referred to simply as the Suffern show, it boasts full displays from virtually all the major manufacturers of fishing tackle. Lots of anglers always arrive for the Thursday opening at 2 p.m. so they can cover the 100,000 sq. ft. of exhibits without having to fight weekend crowds. Closing tomorrow is at 9 p.m.

Adult admission is $13, but you can save $3 on a weekday admission by buying on line at and using the promo code POSTCARD. Information about seminars and other attractions is available by visiting that site.

The Atlantic City Boat Show opened in Convention Hall today, and runs through Sunday.

Though cold, today’s weather was an improvement over those strong west winds. There may be some light snow or rain tonight, but the morning forecast is for only 10-15-knot north winds and 2-foot seas. The Ocean Explorer is scheduled to fish for blackfish tomorrow out of Belmar.

There was a good turnout at last night’s JCAA Open House Meeting in Brick. Those attending got an update on conservation issues from Tom Fote, and Paul Haertel provided a slide presentation on the many activities of the JCAA in behalf of the state’s anglers. Though primarily a club organization, they also welcome associate members who pay $25.

The JCAA Fluke Tournament has been moved back to its original tournament starting spring slot, and the 25th anniversary event will be contested statewide on Saturday June 15.

JCAA Open House tonight — Ocean Explorer fishing Wednesday

The JCAA Open House begins at 7 p.m. with pizza in the Jersey Coast Shark Anglers Building at 385 Herbertsville  Rd. in Brick, The phone number I had in last night’s blog for Paul Haertel, so he’ll know how much food to bring, was wrong. My old eyes are better at spotting fish than reading small numbers. Call Paul at 973 943-8201,

After all that howling west wind, the ocean should be calm tomorrow when the Ocean Explorer sails at 7;30 a.m. from Belmar into a forecast of northeast 5-10-knot winds and a 1-foot sea. They’ll also sail Thursday to finish the blackfish season. The forecast Thursday is for 10 knots again, but with a 3-foot sea.  The seasonal pool will be decided that day, and it’s up to $4100.

The Atlantic City Boat Show opens tomorrow at Convention Hall and runs through Sunday. The World Outdoor & Fishing Expo starts Thursday in Rockland Community College Field House at Suffern, N.Y. and also runs through Sunday.

Canyon Runner offers last minute open boat giant trips

Those who would like to enjoy the excitement of giant tuna fishing have the rare opportunity of reserving an open boat seat aboard the Canyon Runner now sailing out of Oregon Inlet, N.C. and hooking giants every day.

Friday and Saturday are available at $550 a person all in (including tip) with a limit of four. Call Adam La Rosa right away if interested at 732 272-4405. There’s also room on a free trip March 11 for active or retired military.

The JCAA is holding an open house at its Tuesday night meeting so clubs and individual anglers can see how that organization operates on behalf of the state’s anglers and may be interested in joining in that effort. The 7;30 P.M. meeting is in the Jersey Coast Shark Anglers Building at 385 Herbertsville Rd,. Brick. Light refreshments will be available at 7. There is no charge, but please call Paul Haertel at 973 843-3201 so he can order enough.

Coming up this week are the Atlantic City Boat Show in Convention Hall from Feb. 27 to March 3 — and the World Fishing & Outdoor Exposition at Rockland Community College in Suffern, N,Y, from Fen. 28 to March 3. Admission for the latter is $13, but you can get a $3 reduction by buying online at and using the promo code POSTCARD for Thursday and Friday.

The Jamaica from Brielle got in Saturday’s offshore wreck trip that produced lots of big porgies plus a few ling, pollock and white hake. It wasn’t as good as the previous trips due to a strong current, but the high hook still bagged over 40 scup. Mark Myricks of Jersey City won the pool with an 8-pound pollock, That trip will be run again at 1 a.m. this Saturday and Sunday. Reservations are required. Call 732 528-5014.

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar had a couple of nice days before the big winds arrived. On Friday they had a half-dozen keeper blackfish, a cod and ling plus a couple of pollock while fishing deep waters. After three tog and a few ling  were boated Saturday, the current got too strong in the deep, and they were surprised to find lots of bottom life in shallower waters. There were only a few keepers, but over 40 shorts were released. They hope to get out again this week before the blackfish season closes.

Storm warnings for west winds up to 60 knots and 10-foot seas remain up until 6 p.m., but then the winds will diminish gradually. Because the winds have been west, seas will settle in short order. It will be down to northwest at 20-25 knots Tuesday morning– and just north at 5-10 with one-foot seas on Wednesday.  Thursday looks fishable at northeast 10-15 knots.