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Captain's Focus

Capt. Charlie Fornabio doesn't miss the Shore at all this winter even though he's experiencing the coldest weather of the season in the Sebastian area of Florida's east coast. As I mentioned to him, "I'd rather have your cold than our cold!" Fornabio sent along the following report: " The coldest weather of the year has driven water temps down a bit in the last couple of days but the weather looks good for the temps to rebound and the fish to spread out within the lagoon. Spring can't get here soon enough for all of us. Fishing has been good when you can deal with the winds and weather conditions. We have been fishing the areas where you can get some protection from the winds and having success in the process. The best bite has been black drum, sheepshead, croakers, big whiting,snappers and even a few redfish in the mix. Docks have been active when you can fish those areas. Fishing deeper water will provide the best opportunity to catch fish in the cooler conditions. Pompano, bluefish and Spanish mackerel are in the inlet and turning basin." The "whiting" he's referring to is actually the southern kingfish -- which is almost identical to our northern kingfish that's a popular target in the surf during the summer. Fornabio can be contacted at 772 360-7647. The Ocean Explorer from Belmar wasn't able to get far enough offshore for good fishing on Wednesday, but the water temperature did jump up from 33 degrees inshore to spots as high as 42 degrees. There was bergall action, and a couple of keeper cod plus a 3-to-4-pound blackfish were boated.The low tide Friday in combination with the west wind left Shark River bottoms exposed in a "blowout" extreme low tide situation. There won't be any fishing this weekend due to the expected winds. The N.J. Boat Sale and Expo continues at the N.J. Expo Hall in Raritan Center, Edison through Sunday. Check my previous blog and column for seminars and details.

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