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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.






Much better weather coming

Having survived the deep freeze, there’s  nowhere to go but up. The west winds up to 40 knots will be diminishing after midnight and dropping to 10-15 knots northwest with gusts to 20 in the morning — before dropping to 5-10 knots in the afternoon.

The Saturday forecast continues to look good at west 5-10 knots in the morning, though it will increase to  southwest at 10-15 knots in the afternoon with gusts to 20. Air temperatures will be improving, and by Sunday morning the wind should be down to southwest at 5-10 knots — which carries into Monday.

The Jamaica is set for another calm Saturday 1 a.m. offshore wreck trip where limits of big porgies are routine. The fare is $140, and reservations at 732 528-5014 are required.

Those staying ashore Saturday can attend the Canyon Runner Seminar at Atlantic City if any tickets are still available as there probably won’t be any at the door. Call Adam La Rosa at 732 842-6825.

Speaking of Atlantic City, the Atlantic City Boat Show will be moving into the Convention Center from Feb. 27-March 3.

The Sal Water Anglers of Bergen County have scheduled their Fishing Flea Market for Sunday, Feb. 7 in the VFW, 513 Veterans Place, Hasbrouck Heights. The 9 a.m to 3 p.m. event has an entry fee of $5, with kids 12 and under admitted free. Call Craig Zincavage at 973 234-9618 for info.



Main Attraction wins Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish crown

Following is a press release with results from the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament:

Main Attraction Takes Top Honors at The 29th Annual
Cheeca Lodge & Spa Presidential Sailfish Tournament
73 anglers fishing on 19 boats released 82 sailfish
over gripping two-day competition

ISLAMORADA, FL (Jan. 30, 2019) – Cheeca Lodge & Spa’s 29th Annual Presidential Sailfish Tournament, the third leg of the Florida Keys’ Gold Cup Series, hosted 73 competitive anglers this past weekend in the sportfishing capital of the world. Clinching first place,Team Main Attraction earned overall champion honors releasing a total of ten sailfish. Team members included Mark Busch, Clint Rodamer, Daniel Roberts and Shelby Bentley, all from Marathon, FL. Outstanding Captain and Mate Awards went to Main Attraction Captain Marty Lewis and Mates Clint Rodamer and Danny Lombardo.

We were honored to host this esteemed tournament and thrilled with the impressive competitive spirit this year’s showcase brought. We appreciate the tremendous support of our anglers and sponsors, and are proud to be part of the Florida Keys Gold Cup,” says Bob LaCasse, General Manager of Cheeca Lodge & Spa.“

Overall 50 sailfish were released on the first day of the tournament and 32 were released on the second day, for a total of 114 hookups and 82 releases by 73 anglers on 19 boats.

The Grand Champion Angler Award, sponsored by Caribee Boat Sales and Marina, went to Mike Varney of Key Largo, FL, on The Indigenous captained by Travis Dickens for five releases.

The Top Lady Angler Award sponsored by Blue Marlin Jewelry went to Michelle Espinosa of Miami, FL, for five releases onboard the Remix captained by JC Cleare of Miami. The Top Lady Angler Award is dedicated to the memory of Jay Anna and Kenny Cohan, beloved members of the Islamorada community.

Second Place went to Team HellReyzer led by Captain Ryan Alexander of Cutler Bay, FL. HellReyzer released ten sailfish with anglers Rey Acosta, Travis Upchurch, Jorge Corzo, Mike Acosta of Pinecrest, FL. Team Indigenous earned Third Place honors. Captain Travis Dickens of Islamorada, FL, and anglers Wade Stafford of Merritt Island, FL; Coleman Wherly of Melbourne, FL; Mike Varney of Key Largo, FL; and Wade Stafford of Merritt Island, FL; Coleman Wherly of Melbourne, FL; Mike Varney of Key Largo, FL; and Mark Toledo of Ft. Lauderdale, FL released nine sailfish.

In a long-standing Presidential Tournament tradition of conservation, the Mdala team won the Most Tagged Fish Award, captained by John Hagen with Angler Mike Walter, both of Islamorada, FL.

Tournament trophies were created by famed Keys artists Pasta Pantaleo and David Wirth, as well as Inside Design of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Pasta Pantaleo’s artwork was also featured on the tournament shirts, buckets and caddies.

The 29th Annual Presidential Tournament Title Sponsors included Caribee Boat Sales and Marina, Yamaha Outboards and Keys Audio Visual. Partner sponsors included BlueFin USA, Pasta Pantaleo, Blue Marlin Jewelry, EG Vodka, Cruzan Rum, Executive Printers of Florida, Florida Keys Brewing Company, Keys Audio Visual and RideStarRX.

 Live scoring for the 29th Annual Presidential Tournament can be found at

 Cheeca Lodge & Spa also hosts the All-American Backcountry Fishing Tournament set for Nov. 7-9, 2019.

About Cheeca Lodge & Spa

A cornerstone of the Islamorada community since 1946, Cheeca Lodge & Spa is set on a 27-acre private estate in the “Sportfishing Capital of the World.” Cheeca boasts 214 guestrooms, oceanfront suites and bungalows, and its signature feature is the classic 525 ft. wooden fishing pier. Cheeca guests enjoy watersports activities and excursions, tennis and sports courts, a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, a Spa with 11 treatment rooms, a family and adults-only lap pool, poolside cabanas, an oceanfront Tiki hut, Camp Cheeca for children, over 4,500 sq. ft. of event space, and three distinctive restaurants. For more information visit

 New Jersey fishing has been in the icebox with wind and cold temperatures, but after even more of that tomorrow there may be a pleasant surprise over the weekend. Gale warnings are up this afternoon for 40-knot winds and seas up to 8 feet along with freezing spray. The forecast decreases to west at 20-25 with gusts to 30 knots in the morning.  Despite bitter cold tomorrow, it gets better by Friday with west 10-15 knot winds plus gusts to 20 — diminishing in the afternoon to 5-10. Saturday looks like an unusually calm  midwinter day with a northwest wind at a mere 5-10 knots — followed by southwest at 10 knots on Sunday.




Canyon Runner boats 115-inch giant in N.C

It appears that the Sunday and Monday blogs I thought had been published never did appear. Therefore, I’ll repeat that information as there may mot be much more fishing coming up with small craft warnings today to be followed on Wednesday by gale warnings with gusts up to 45 knots in the afternoon. Bitter cold temperatures and perhaps some snow are also in the picture.

The Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant has been enjoying great giant tune fishing while operating out of Oregon Inlet, N.C. for the winter trolling. There latest and largest catch was a 115-inch giant that had a cored weight of 706 pounds. apt. Deane Lambros used a formula to place the total weight at from 868 to 893 pounds. They also had their first bigeye of the year on that trip plus a yellowfin. A 106-inch was caught Friday, — and a 90-incher was boated Sunday along with a wahoo.

canyon runner 115-inch giant


The Canyon Runner Seminar on Saturday in Atlantic City is almost sold out. That must for offshore anglers can try calling Adam La Rosa at 732 842-6825 for a possible ticket.

The Big Jamaica from Brielle had another successful porgy trip to the offshore wrecks where those fish were read 40-50 feet thick on the fishfinder. There was also some variety with a few ling, white hake and pollock plus lots of mackerel for those that wanted to jig them. Earl Speer of Forked River won the pool with a 8-pound pollock, and Rob Fusiek from Cape May was second with a 4.5-pound ling. That trip will be repeated Saturday, and the Jamaica may get a break again as only a 5-10 knot northwest wind is forecast for that day. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.