Blackfish responded to light winds and calm seas today to provide good action on the Ocean Explorer from Belmar. It looks good for Tuesday, and the Ocean Explorer will be fishing -- as will the Big Mohawk.
There were no fishing reports in miserable weather, but the northwest wind is predicted to drop to 10-15 mph (though with some higher gusts) before a switch to southwest on Monday. If it makes you feel any better about the local weather, the wind chill in Ft. Myers this morning was 32 degrees.
The redfish were around the docks both N and S of the Ft. Pierce Inlet most were undersized, but we did catch a couple of slot fish as we fought our way through the sheepshead to get to them. I was able to get out the inlet and fish along the inshore reefs and had 2 days of great fishing.
As noted in yesterday's blog, several N. J. congressmen are supporting that position in the closing days of the Obama administration -- and there are high hopes that the Trump administration with its emphasis on economic growth will take a friendly approach to the status quo proposal. Prior to the hearing, the Marine Fisheries Council noted 9-1 for a proposal by Bob Rusch to adopt status quo fluke regulations for 2017.
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and a bipartisan group from the New Jersey Congressional delegation sent a letter to U. S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker asking her to prevent rulemaking that would reduce the summer flounder quotas for recreational and commercial fishing from going into effect. The ASMFC set up inequitable distribution of the resource right from the beginning, forcing the public to release great numbers of edible-size fluke which can then be netted by commercial fishermen who get 60 percent of the fishery and only have a 14-inch minimum.
The NW wind should settle the ocean for better conditions on Thursday. He and neighbor John King hoped to fish reefs in the Gulf of Mexico, but there was a front coming through that produced some early rain and then just enough north wind that would have made the trip offshore uncomfortable.
He's hoping the NW winds predicted for Wednesday will start calming the ocean, but he'll be waiting in port for that to happen. At Belmar, the Ocean Explorer got out Monday, but found very little action with blackfish in east winds.
The very good offshore fishing for sea bass is being shut down with the New Year, along with the winter flounder angling that's been producing two-fish limits from the Belmar docks. The Gambler from Point Pleasant reported their last offshore wreck trip produced good fishing for big sea bass plus some porgies and bluefish.
The NJ DEP issued the following information relative to the bonus striped bass program Striped Bass Bonus Program Information Effective 12 00 AM, Sunday, January 1, 2017, the 2016 Striped Bass Bonus Program will close for individuals and party charter boats. The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife will provide information regarding 2017 applications for individual anglers and Party Charter Boat Owners once a decision is announced.