The blizzard is really just getting started as I write this blog, but I'm already wondering what's going to happen to the millions of dollars worth of sand that was dumped on N. J. beaches last year and ,in many cases, covered productive fishing areas. I probably can't blame that for the historically bad surf fishing last fall, but it certainly didn't help.
My nephews, Bob Correll of Bay Head and Todd Correll of Fort Lauderdale, just finished up two Florida sailfish tournaments. Then they returned to Fort Lauderdale for a yacht club interclub contest that Todd had won last year while his son Connor took the junior angler award.
It actually felt pretty nice along the Shore by the middle of Saturday afternoon, and the snow melted away quickly, but small craft warnings are up for Sunday -- and then it really gets bad late that night -- with gale warnings up for Monday's northeast winds. Friends of Hi-Mar Striper Club pro Bob Kamienski can pay their respects from 2-5 p. m. Sunday in John F. Pfleger Funeral Home, 115 Tindall Rd., Middletown.
A few small red drum have been caught by striper anglers in the Shore surf since then, but last year I didn't get a single such report of a puppy drum from north of Cape May -- and I've never heard of even one of those average 25-pounders here. Party boats from N. Y. were catching vast numbers of sea bass off the Shore before the turn of the previous century, and it was around the time of the Yukon Gold Rush when pioneering N. J. skipper Henry Beebe tried a drift in deeper waters than he normally fished off the northern Shore and found incredible sea bass fishing on rough bottom that resulted in the area being dubbed the Klondike.
Why were they allowed to do that when NJ was not New Jersey was forced into a region with Connecticut and New York. Another reason NJ was forced into regionalization was due to a disparity in the regulations in the Raritan Bay area where the commission deemed it was unfair for NJ anglers to have a 2 lower size limit than anglers from NY who were fishing in essentially the same waters.
On Saturday there were 30 keepers up to 8 pounds out of 200 cod. Though I don't know where Capt. Al was fishing, those were just day trips from a port not very far from the Shore -- and that volume of small cod is very encouraging at a time of year when skippers are usually just hoping for a few big ones.
It should be a lot warmer tomorrow, but with lots of rain in the forecast it should be a good day to watch football games. There were no reports today, which gives you a good idea about what's going on at this time.