There appears to be a brief period of fishable weather, and there should be some anglers taking advantage of it Sunday. The water temperature offshore is down to 40 to 41 degrees -- which should be fine for mackerel.
It's a three night, six hour class that covers everything from start to finish involving custom rod-building. Students will learn finding the spline, installing grips and seats, guide placement, decorative wraps, final coating and everything in between.
Following is Friday's column as submitted SL1-3-14RISTORI FOR FRIDAYHUGE BLUEFISH WERE A 2013 HIGHLIGHTby Al RistoriPart Two of the 2013 fishing year review As noted last Friday in Part One of the 2013 review from my fishing log, my first surf striper attempt of the season produced a 28-incher on May 6. I never had a hit at Point Pleasant and Sea Girt on New Years Day morning, and Jerry Lasko did the same morning and evening at Bay Head and Belmar -- though he met fly rod pro Bill Massey of Wall at Belmar where he'd caught a 28-inch bass that morning.
He'll be fishing on New Years Day from 7 a. m. to 4 30 p. m. The Jamaica from Brielle will sail to far offshore wrecks for jumbo porgies at 1 a. m. on Saturdays in the winter after the sea bass season is closed on New Years Day.
Small striped bass remained active in the surf last January almost to the end of the month, so it should be no surprise that Bob Matthews reported from Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina that surfcasters did well the last two days in Monmouth County waters. Betty Nick's in Seaside Park actually weighed a keeper bass today, though at just 8 3 4 pounds the bass beached at Island Beach State Park by Brett Brounstein must have barely made it.
It was just a start, but a huge improvement over the first trip on Friday, as the Golden Eagle from Belmar picked some mackerel and herring while searching from Scotland to 17 Fathoms. Capt. Jimmy Elliott said anglers working hard at the gigging managed about a dozen mackerel and about as many herring.
There was virtually no run of big stripers pushing bunkers to the beach in the spring, and boaters on the ocean were generally very disappointed with striper fishing under bunker schools. There was nothing like the fishing I experienced during Christmas Week two years ago when Capt. Joe Massa ran his My Three Sons from Morgan Marina to Shrewsbury Rocks where jigs dropped under working birds by my son Mike and Bob Correll of Bay Head produced doubleheaders of cod before we added stripers and blues -- and saw a bluefin tuna jump by the inner buoy.
Not surprisingly, there's not much fishing information on Christmas Day, but Bob Matthews at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina was delighted with the largest tautog of the season he's weighed -- a 15 1 2-pounder caught Saturday off Long Branch by Jake Niedenstein of Wall. Capt. Scotty Hilliard reported that the Christmas morning trip of his Prowler V from Atlantic Highlands only had a pick of blackfish.