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Another gale coming

Small craft warnings are up to 6 p.m. for southwest gusts to 40 knots before going to a gale watch through Sunday afternoon. Sunday morning winds are forecast to be southwest at 25-30 knots with gusts to 40. They switch to west at 15-20 knots with gusts to 30 in the afternoon.

The Garden State Outdoor Sports Show concludes its run at the N.J. Convention & Expo Center on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There haven’t been any big stripers caught locally in some time, but there’s been no lack of them near their Chesapeake Bay spawning grounds during the catch-and-release season.

Chuck Manny has been into them steadily with his Ty Man running out of Cape Charles while trolling live eels. Dave Glassberg was among those who  came down from N.J. to fish with him last week.

Cape Charles bass


Tog still biting — when you can get to them

Blackfish continue to provide good fishing when wind conditions allow boaters to get to them. The Big Mohawk from Belmar reported O.K. fishing yesterday. Though there was nothing notably large, some anglers had limits and there were also a few cod. There is room on Monday’s reservation trip. Call 732 974-9606

Small craft warnings are up through Saturday afternoon, followed by a gale watch in the evening through Sunday afternoon. Tomorrow starts with south winds at 15-20 knots and gusts to 30.

The Garden State Outdoor Sports Show is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday at the NJ. Convention & Expo Center in Edison. For info visit

The Staten Island Tuna Club presents a fishing expo and fishing flea market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Mt. Loretto CYO, 6581 Hyland Blvd. Captains Jim Freda and Joe Mattioli will provide seminars, and Anthony Arcabascio will detail the use of his father’s Tony Maja bunker spoons. Capt. Vinny Vetere of Katfish Charters in Great Kills will be on hand with a booth displaying his Ho-Jos and bunker spoons.

Matthew Freda with a fall fly rod striper on his father’s Shore Catch.

Matthew Freda bass

Small craft warnings up, but west is good for tog & surfcasting

Though small craft warnings are up through Friday night, the west direction shouldn’t bother boaters seeking blackfish or surfcasters trying for school stripers that seem as if they don’t want to leave the Jersey Shore.

Southwest winds of 15-20 knots plus gusts to 25 are forecast for the morning.

The Garden State Outdoor Sports Show got started today at the N.J. Convention & Expo Center in Edison, and runs through Sunday. Friday’s hours are from 1-8 p.m. You can save $3 by buying tickets in advance at

Stop by the Hudson River Fisherman’s Association booth (722) to take a chance on Chris Lett’s personal canoe which he’s donated to raise funds for the HRFA.

It may be too late now, but the Canyon Runner is observing Law Enforcement Appreciation Day by providing 10 free tickets to their Feb. 1 seminar in Atlantic City to first responders. Visit if you are eligible.


Garden State Show opens tomorrow

The Garden State Outdoor Sports Show opens Thursday in the N.J. Convention & Expo Center at Edison, and continues through Sunday. I didn’t get a press release on this show, but it’s been holding down the opening of the N. J. show season for many years and those not familiar with it can obtain info on the internet.

The Staten Island Tuna Club hosts a Fishing Expo and Flea Market on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Mt. Loretto CYO building at 6581 Hyland Blvd.  Admission is $5, with children under 13 admitted free. There will be door prizes and raffles plus seminars.

Capt. Jim Freda will cover is inshore tuna specialty; Capt. Joe Mattioli discusses  inshore fly rod and light tackle opportunities; and Anthony Arcabascio details trolling techniques with his father’s Maja bunker spoons and mo-jos. Capt. Vinny Vetere  has a booth displaying his Ho-Jos and bunker spoons while also taking charter reservations for his Great Kills-based charter operation.

Blackfishing continues at a high level in relatively shallow waters as if it were the middle of the season rather than January.  Some small cod are also moving in. Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park reports small stripers are still being caught in the surf.

Though there are gusts to 45 knots tonight, they are forecast to drop to northwest at 15-20 plus gusts to 25 — and down to west at 5-10 in the afternoon.

The Jamaica from Brielle is running a Saturday trip to offshore wrecks for jumbo porgies plus a possible shot at cod and pollock. They sail at 1 a.m. , and will do the same thing on Jan. 18 and 25 plus every Saturday in February. Reservations are required. Call 732 528-5014.

Chuck Many continues to troll trophy stripers from his Ty man out of Cape Charles, Va. during the catch-and-release season.

Chuck bass VA

Talarico family enjoyed Key West variety fishing

Ex-N.J. Assemblyman Guy Talarico had his sons Christian, Guy II, Alec, Travis and George plus cousin Billy Talarico  in Key West last week to enjoy two days of non-stop fishing with his nephew, Capt. Chris Cahill, who charters out of Ocean’s Edge Key West Resort and Marina at Stock Island. They caught mutton, yellowtail and Lane snappers plus mackerel and a Goliath grouper that’s protected and also released about 50 keeper-size red groupers that were out of season. See photo below.  They also tangled with much larger Goliaths that were lost. The skipper can be reached at 305 290-2350.

The ocean was flat Monday after the hard northwester, but blackfishing was picky on both the Big Mohawk and Ocean Explorer from Belmar. Blog reader Charlie G. reports he’s still catching school stripers at Long Branch. Though small craft warnings are up for tomorrow, the early morning looks fishable with west 20-25 knot winds before it increases to 25-30 in the afternoon when a gale watch goes up for gusts to 45 knots.


Talarico snappers

It’s show time

Anglers will be doing more looking at shows than fishing as winter starts getting serious.

Though small craft warnings are going down and west winds in the morning are forecast to be only 10-15 knots with gusts to 20, there will be a shift to southeast in the afternoon with a chance of rain before another gale watch on Wednesday.

The Garden State Outdoor Sports Show runs from Jan. 9-12 in the N.J. Convention & Expo Center at Edison as the Metropolitan show season moves into high gear.

The Canyon Runner Seminar in Atlantic City seems a long time ahead on Feb. 1, but Adam La Rosa reports that there are only 80 of the $135 tickets remaining. They’ve been doing these seminars for 18 years, and fresh material is added every year — making it a must even for offshore anglers who have attended in other years.  Call La Rosa at 732 272-4445.

George Poveromo will be running his National Salt Water Sportsman Seminar Series Atlantic City stop in Resort Casino  Hotel on Feb. 7. I was able to take in Poveromo’s Ft. Myers, Fl. seminar with co-host Crazy Alberto Knie along with a full house Saturday in Gulf Coast University.  That’s Poveromo below along with R.I. celebrity Mitchell Chagnon (l) and me.  Nick Honachefsky will co-host the N.J. event. Call 800 448-7360 for the $55 tickets.

Poveromo Ft. Myers

It was also cold in Florida

Northern anglers had to deal with a west gale today, but they weren’t missing much in Florida where it was just 46 degrees this morning in Ft. Myers — where people aren’t dressed for such temperatures.

There wasn’t as much wind when I joined Crazy Alberto Knie to try casting light tackle for spotted seatrout at Lovers Key State Park, but the cool wind was strong enough to blow out most of the water he planned to fish. In order to bail out, we ended up buying 50 live shrimp and making the long drive to Marco Island to fish from a dock along with David Rizzo who had just returned to his home there after visiting his son in South Jersey.

Though Alberto had caught some larger fish at that dock in the past, the water was also fairly shallow — but everything eats live shrimp. The only barely eating-size fish for Alberto’s pan were a couple of kingfish I caught. Those were either southern or Gulf kingfish similar to the northern kingfish we catch in the surf during the summer — not the king mackerel which are commonly called kingfish in the south. To add to the confusion, Florida fishermen refer to them as whiting — the common name we use in the north for cold water silver hake.

We caught 10 species of fish ranging from pinfish and sea catfish to black groupers – and saw the largest mantis shrimp (about a foot long) I’ve ever seen swimming on the surface. That fishing brought me back to my roots fishing off a dock in Merrick, Long Island with a cane pole for whatever would hit. Toadfish were my big game at that time — and Alberto even caught one of hem today.

Alberto is busy co-hosting George Poveromo’s Salt Water Sportsman Seminars this winter. More about them tomorrow.

There were no reports today, likely due to the gale. Small craft advisories come down tonight as the winds drop to southwest at 10-15 knots by morning before increasing to 15-20 in the afternoon.


Tog biting, but gale on Sunday

Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that party boat blackfishing is holding up. He weighed a 10 1/4-pounder caught on the Ocean Explorer today. The tog limit is now four at a 15-inch minimum.

Matthews also noted that surfcasters are still caching 12-20 small school stripers many days while casting shads and 4-or-5-inch Mag Darters. He recommends crushing barbs on plugs in order to ensure safe releases. The northern Den has been closed in favor of building up the main store.

Unfortunately, there’s a gale warning up from midnight through Sunday afternoon. A northwest wind at 25-30 knots with gusts to 40 is forecast for the morning.  The Big Mohawk from Belmar has canceled their blackfish trip.

Another gale coming

Though the winter weather has been pretty good, it changes quickly — and another west gale watch is up from Saturday night through Sunday afternoon. However, Saturday starts well with southeast winds of a mere 5-10 knots before going southwest in the afternoon. Light rain and patchy fog is possible.

There were no fishing reports today, but the morning conditions should be fine for surfcasting and blackfishing. The Jamaica from Brielle will make their first Saturday cod trip of the winter at 4 a.m.  Room is available by calling 732 528-5014.

Chuck Manny continues to release big Virginia stripers during the catch and release season on his Ty Man out of Cape Charles. That included a 50 for Bob Bowden.

Bob Bowden 50

Chuck advises anglers who want a shot at these big pre-spawning bass that weigh more than normal, due to all the roe they’re carrying, by contacting SHO-NUF Sportfishing at 757 710-0098.That boat had a trip this week with eight bass out of 12 hits slow trolling live eels — and those bass releases ranged from 45 to 53 inches.

Blackfishing holds up

Blackfishing looks as if it will remain a best bet for some time as waters remain mild and tautog can still be found in relatively shallow waters.

The Big Mohawk from Belmar reported decent blackfishing today with some limits and a pool tog of about 7 pounds. Both types of crabs produced, though more keepers were caught on whiteleggers. They sail open at 7 a.m. tomorrow.

The Jamaica from Brielle switches to cod on wrecks to the east after the sea bass season closed at the end of 2019. They sail from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 4, 10 and 12. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.

Mimi VI tog

The Mimi VI from Point Pleasant is sailing open at 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday for blackfish. See photo above. The fare is $80, and reservations can be made by calling 732 330-8019.

Though small craft warnings are up through Friday afternoon, the present windy weather should drop off to southwest at 5-10 knots by morning. However, rain is expected.

Chuck Many continues to catch trophy stripers from his Tyman at Cape Charles, Va. during the release season by slow trolling live eels. He was alone last week for an epic trip with all bass from 36 to 54 pounds.

Chuck bass VA