With small craft warnings up through late Sunday night for gusty southwest winds, it's time to ponder what's happened to the winter fishing we used to enjoy. While going through some old magazines, I came across the following reports in the Feb. 16, 2012 issue of The Fisherman. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported very good mackerel fishing, though they had to move about 20 miles further offshore. The Ocean Explorer at that port reported decent catches of ling, tog and cod in 100-to-150-foot depths to the northeast. Capt. Joe Bogan of the Jamaica II at Brielle reported catches up to 53 ling and three cod to 12 pounds. There was the same story of great ling fishing plus a few cod at Point Pleasant as the party boat fleet was being kept busy. Capt. Chad Hacker on Tagged Fish from Highlands had lots of ling plus tog up to 12 pounds. There were even stripers in the surf as Fisherman's Den in Point Pleasant reported Tsunami Sand Eels were taking bass up to 20 pounds mostly late in the afternoon in many areas along the Shore. The only good news I have now is that there are 5 mph west winds in the forecast for Tuesday.