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Get in last day before storm

Our break from midwinter weather will be coming to an end Monday night, but there’s one day left to enjoy a 5-10 knot northeast wind with seas of less than one foot despite some light snow. After that we’ll be in for much stronger NE winds.

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar had a nice day at sea on Sunday, with a pick of keeper blackfish and a cod. They’ll be out again in the morning in search of the big tog that evaded them today.

There was better news from much further south as Ric Gross of Point Pleasant reported he fished last week with Capt. Chase on Reel Rival from Boynton Beach, Florida as they had lots of action in 75-degree waters with triggerfish up to 4 pounds, , mutton snappers to 2 pounds and , porgies to 12 inches. Sounds good to me.

Sunday looks great for fishing

The marine forecast looks great for fishing Sunday and almost as good on Monday before a return to poor east conditions on Tuesday. Sunday’s winds are forecasted to blow 5-10 knots west with 1-foot seas after today’s west blast knocked the swell down.

The Big Jamaica sails at 1 a.m. for offshore wrecks that are loaded with porgies as illustrated below.  Call 732 528-5014 to reserve a possible opening. Both the Big Mohawk and Ocean Explorer will leave Belmar at 7 a.m. for blackfish.


The Hi-Mar Striper Club had its usual big turnout for their fishing flea market. I met several blog followers there, and passed the word about the blog to many more who will be joining us.

Sad news Friday was the passing of Capt. Joe Occipinti, Sr., whose Little Hawk was an imposing sight on the Raritan Bay striper grounds. His son, Joe Jr., will carry on running that large group charter boat from Atlantic Highlands.

Gale warning, but lots to do on land at Hi-Mar Flea Market, etc.

There were small craft warnings up today, but they’ll be replaced by a gale warning at 6 pm. that extends ino Saturday. The good news is that even though Saturday is a blowout, there’s plenty to do  ashore before the northwest wind flattens the ocean for what looks like a perfect Sunday with 5-10 knot west winds  and a one-foot sea.

The Hi-Mar Striper Club Fishing Flea Market runs from 8-2 in the Middletown VFW on One Veteran’s Lane off Rt, 36 in Port Monmouth. I’ll be selling new and used tackle there as well as my last book — The Complete Book of Surf Fishing. Stop by and say hello. The $5 admission also includes seminars which start at 8:30 with Anthony Arcabasxio on trolling Tony Maja bunker spoons for big stripers. Capt. Derick Bielitz follows at 9:30 with inshore tuna fishing from his Fisher Price. The Zagorski brothers provide their blackfish secrets at 10:30 — and Jeff Dement discusses the ALS tagging program at 11:30.

Further south along the Shore, Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park has the Northeast Rod Builders gathering from 10-4, with a $25 admission covering breakfast and lunch.

The Salt Water Sportsman National Seminar will go on all day at the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Hall Hotel, Call 800 448-7360  to determine if any tickets are available.

The Jamaica from Brielle postponed their Saturday offshore porgy trip to Sunday, and will sail at 1 a.m. that day. Reservations are required. Call 732 528-5014.

Blackfish party boats should be back in action on Sunday.

Hi-Mar Fishing Flea Market on Saturday

The Hi-Mar Striper Club Fishing Flea Market is coming up Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p, m. in the usual site at the Middletown VFW at 1 Veterans Lane off Rt. 36 in Port Monmouth. This is the largest event of its kind in the area, and the $5 entry fee also includes free seminars which begin at 8:30 with Anthony Arcabasio of Tony Maja Tackle.

I’ll be there with lots of new and used tackle  plus my surfcasting book,  Capt. Vinny Vetere of Katfish Charters will be showing  the TGT spoons which he purchased recently as well as his Ho-Jos.  I’ll have more about this event tomorrow.

George Poveromo’s Salt Water Sportsman National Seminar returns to N.J. at the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Hall   on Saturday with Nick Honachefsky as co-host and a full day of speakers ranging from local pros to the leading daytime swordfish skipper in the country — Capt. Nick Stanczyk of Islamorada. Call 800 448-7360 for tickets.

The weather is taking a nosedive on us, with small craft warnings tonight going to a gale watch Friday for northwest winds in the afternoon into Saturday — but it drops down on Sunday to a modest 5-10 knots.  As a result, the Jamaica from Brielle has postponed their Saturday offshore wreck trip for jumbo porgies to Sunday. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar had poor blackfishing Wednesday after having been into trophy tog the day before. There were some short blacks, but only two keepers and a cod. Due to the weather, they won’t be sailing tomorrow or Saturday, but hope to get out on Sunday.

Ocean Explorer finds trophy tog

The Ocean Explorer posted a belated report of catching the big tautog on Tuesday to challenge John Snook’s 13 pound, 8 ounce seasonal pool leader  A couple of 10-pounders were boated, but the big news was the 13-pound, 10 ounce tog that was a mere 2 ounces bigger than the leader. Yet there were no tears from John Snook since he was the one who caught it. The Ocean Explorer crew still expects to find an even bigger blackfish before the pool is awarded. There were also a few cod and pollock hooked on Tuesday’s trip.

The huge break in mid-winter weather is changing. The forecast for Thursday has gone up to 10-15 knots northeast with a chance of light rain in the morning.

Vinny D’Anton said shore fishing picked up in Sarasota after the water temperature went back up to 65 degrees. They had actually been hoping for it to drop below 60 degrees in order to kill off any remaining trace of he red tide which killed so many fish a few months ago. Vinny hooked some small spotted sea trout on a DOA Shrimp and added large ladyfish on a MirrOlure.


World Fishing Expo returns to Suffern on Feb. 28

The World Fishing & Outdoor Exposition moves into Rockland Community College at Suffern, N.Y. from Feb. 28 to March 3. The opening on Thurs,day will be the day to go for anyone named Rod or any derivative of that name as they will be admitted free with proper identification. This show attracts full displays by all of the major fishing tackle manufacturers.

Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park hosts the fourth annual Northeast Rod Builders event on Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fee is $25, which includes breakfast and lunch. There were 50 rod builders there last year.

Surf Day is coming up Feb. 16 from 8:30 a.m. from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Brookdale Community College.

The Salt Water Anglers of Bergen County will hold their fishing flea market  on Sunday, Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p, the VFW, 513 Veterans Place, Hasbrouck Heights. Admission is $5, with kids under 12 admitted free.  Call Craig Zincavage at 073 334-9618 for info.

The mild calm weather continues another day as the wind shifts to northeast though at only 5-10 knots. It’s the same for Thursday, but with a chance of rain in the morning.

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar had a flat calm Monday that included a few ling plus a keeper cod and pollock while Skip had an 8-pound blackfish along with another keeper.  An Ocean Explorer tog is pictured below.

blackfish Ocean Explorer

Porgies continue to hit on offshore wrecks

There was no change in the outstanding fishing for big porgies on far offshore wrecks during Saturday’s weekly trip by the Jamaica from Brielle. Porgies were read 40 to 50 feet thick, and high hooks bagged up to 40. There were a few ling, white hake and whiting. A 6-pound ling caught by Kurt Austin of Washington, D.C. ran away with the pool over a 3.5-pound porgy by Randy Rizz from Philadelphia.  The Jamaica will make that trip again at 1 a.m. Saturday. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.

Jamaica Feb. porgy

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar  fished a bit further offshore than they have been on a calm Sunday. The water temperature was  just over 60 degrees There were only a few blackfish up to an 8-pounder plus congers and good bergall action on bottom. The seasonal pool  is building up, and they are concentrating on trying to find big tog.

The incredible mild weather continues tomorrow as 5-10 knot west winds are predicted — though fog is possible. Even a wind shift to northeast on Wednesday brings only a 5-10 knot breeze.

Calm weather – picky tog

The weather is exceptional for mid-winter, but the blackfish bite has been slow. The Ocean Explorer from Belmar fished on Saturday and had a few keeper tog along with lots of congers and some dogfish. There was plenty of life on bottom as bergalls were hitting, and the water temperature was mild for January at 41 degrees. It got rough that afternoon, which may have affected the results.

The weather forecast is so good for Monday that boats may find it hard to anchor without swinging in the swell. Winds are predicted to be only 5 mph, and that continues much of the week except for Tuesday afternoon.

Enjoy the game!

Fine forecast for next few days

Boaters should have no problems the next few days while all of us can enjoy the transition from deep freeze to spring-like temperatures. Normally the shift from cold northwest winds to south with much higher temperatures would  involve windy conditions with rain — but that doesn’t appear to be the case this week. The current small craft warnings will come down by midnight, and the Sunday forecast is for west at 5-10 knots. The wind shifts south at 5-10 on Monday — and to west on Tuesday at the same speed.  We’re lucky to get a three-day stretch of calm like that in mid-summer — and it’s practically unheard of in mid-winter.

The Ocean Explorer was scheduled to sail from Belmar for blackfish today, but there was no report. The Big Mohawk will sail for tog at 7 a.m.

Canyon Runner boats fifth giant over 100 inches in N.C.

The hot giant tuna bite continues out of Oregon Inlet, N.C., as Capt. D……eane Lambros quickly hooked up Thursday morning, and continued his streak of catching at least one a day while making that 108-incher the fifth in two weeks over 100 inches.

You can learn how to catch giants as well as all other offshore game fish at tomorrow’s Canyon Runner Seminar in Atlantic City. That event is probably sold out by now. Do not make the trip without a ticket. Try calling Adam La Rosa at 732 842-6825 in case there’s still one left. The Canyon Runner donates $5 from every ticket to Operation Wounded Warrior, and that comes to almost $3,000 so far — before more will be raised at a raffle in the morning.

The Big Jamaica will be sailing at 1 a.m. for their weekly Saturday trip to far offshore wrecks for limit catches of large porgies. They’ve been enjoying great luck with weather on each of those trips so far, and that should hold with a morning forecast of just 5-10 knot west winds. It does increase to 15-20 with gusts to 30 in the afternoon during the trip home. Then it’s back to southwest at 5-10 knots Sunday and Monday along with mild temperatures.

Jamaica-scupThe blackfish boats should be back in action over the weekend. The Ocean Explorer will sail from Belmar tomorrow — and the Big Mohawk from that port is set for 7 a.m. Sunday.