There were no fishing reports today, but the blackfish and offshore sea bass boats should have good fishing conditions on Saturday with only light west winds predicted before gusty and very cold northwest winds return. The Golden Eagle from Belmar gave up on stripers some time ago, but looked forward to returning for the expected mackerel run at the end of December.
Though the brutal cold will put a big dent in saltwater fishing effort, offshore anglers are getting in their last shots at sea bass before the season closes at the end of the month while blackfishing closer to shore continues and stripers remain a possibility until ocean water temperatures drop much further. Capt. Bob Bogan will try to get back out for stripers after Friday's offshore sea bass trip.
Paul Haertel of the JCAA provided the following update on the sea bass situation Sea Bass Update - Important NJMFC ASMFC Hearing on 1 4 18 By Paul Haertel, JCAA Board Member Past President The New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council (NJMFC) will meet at 4 PM on Thursday, 1 4 18, at the Galloway Township Branch of the Atlantic County Library, 306 East Jimmie Leeds Road, Galloway, New Jersey. Then at the same location, at 6 30 PM, our Bureau of Marine Fisheries (NJBMF) in conjunction with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries (ASMFC) will have a public hearing pertaining to Addendum XXX for black sea bass.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc tried to get in a last trip today with his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands, but both the weather and the fish were uncooperative. Once we made the turn to head down the beach it was pretty nice with the wind at our back and the beach protecting us from the seas.
Capt. Stan Zagleski wasn't expecting much when he sailed his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands for stripers this morning, but he got into shorts and slots right away before looking for bass over 28 inches -- and limiting on them. Sea conditions were totally different than the prior day, choppy waves to 3 feet , windy, but we still found fish between the channels.
After red hot striper jigging on every trip this week, Capt. Rob Semkewyc finally had to settle for a more normal pick today on his Sea Hunter from, Atlantic Highlands. Capt. Stan Zagleski reported a decent pick of tog during Thursday's trip with his Elaine B II from Bahrs in Highlands.
The official release follows ASMFC Approves Black Sea Bass Draft Addendum XXX for Public Comment ASMFC and MAFMC Initiate Bluefish Amendment Annapolis, MD - The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) met jointly to establish recreational specifications for black sea bass, scup, and summer flounder consider approval of Black Sea Bass Draft Addendum XXX for 2018 recreational management discuss the initiation of a new Bluefish Amendment and jointly take action on several items related to all four species (detailed below). The addendum framework will consider implementing a conservation equivalency management program for black sea bass similar to that used with summer flounder by allowing state or regional measures to be implemented in both state and federal waters allow for a summer flounder, scup and black sea bass transit provision in federal waters around Block Island similar to the provision allowed for striped bass and consider the possible implementation of slot limits in federal waters for summer flounder and black sea bass.
The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands took a day off from this week's great striper jigging due to the strong NW wind forecast, but will be sailing on Thursday. The last couple of mornings I had a brief shot of small stripers at dawn in the Spring Lake surf, but was surprised to not even get a hit there this morning despite ideal conditions-- mild with a light NW wind.