Posted on April 8, 2020 N.J. Fishing rules tightenÂ up Though fishing has been endorsed in N.J. as good recreation during the pandemic, thereâ€™s been quite a bit of confusion as to just what is allowed. Jim Hutchinson Jr. of The Fisherman magazine has been able to determine through various sources that while party and charter boats canâ€™t take out customers, private boaters can fish with immediate family members while still observing the 6-foot distancing requirement. Tackle shops are allowed to take orders and deliver bait and tackle or leave it outside for a curb pick-up. The Tackle Box in Hazlet has a 24-hour refrigerated dispenser with bait outside the store. There can be no groups involved, even while fishing from shore. Anglers are responsible for avoiding that by moving away if necessary. Thatâ€™s likely to be a problem during Saturdayâ€™s trout opening day, and the DEP has urged anglers to fish on other days of the long trout season. Hutchinson also got word of the possibility that the May 15 opening of the Striped Bass Bonus Program may be postponed. Applications are not being accepted at present. Gov. Phil Murphy didnâ€™t change his closure of N.J. state and county parks despite an attack on that executive order by the NJOA which I saw this morning on News 12. Ironically, there was a completely different stance by N.Y. in a press release issued with the following headline: Please continue down DEC AND STATE PARKS ANNOUNCE BOAT LAUNCH DOCK INSTALLATIONS UNDERWAY Boat Launches Are Becoming Available Across the State to Access Great Fishing or Enjoying a Day on the Water Boaters and Anglers Encouraged to Use Boat Launches Safely and Responsibly, Recreate Locally, and Practice Social Distancing to Prevent Community Spread of COVID-19 Â Â Thereâ€™s a lot of wind on the way, with small craft warnings up Thursday afternoon before going to a gale watch into Friday afternoon. The morning marine forecast is for south winds at 10-15 knots plus gusts to 20 before shifting to southwest with gusts to 30 knots and 4-6-foot seas in the afternoon.