DEP Commissioner Bob Martin will hold a press conference rally in favor of status quo for fluke on Friday at 10 a. m. at Fisherman's Supply, 69 Channel Drive, Point Pleasant Beach. Joe Melillo even lost his phone service at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, but remains open during the winter.
Resolution AR-206 by Republican Conference Leader David Rible of Wall urges NOAA to set aside new summer flounder catch limits until a new baseline stock assessment can be completed. That resolution was passed unanimously!
With 60 mph northeast winds lashing the Shore, there's no local fishing news today, but Capt. Pete Grimbilas of the NJOA had some hopeful news about the fluke problem as DEP Commissioner Bob Martin has scheduled a rally for Friday at 10 a. m. in the parking lot of Fisherman's Supply in Point Pleasant Beach. Ric Gross, one of the regulars at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, fished out of Clearwater, Florida with his son on Two C's II during fine weather Wednesday that permitted a 13-mile run offshore to catch lots of hogfish up 7 pounds along with grunts, sea bass, porgies and puffers.
The Big Mohawk from Belmar got out today, but found blackfishing to be very sluggish -- with just a few keepers. The Ocean Explorer from Belmar didn't have a report today, but fought a big ground swell and north wind on Thursday for a few tog that included a 12-pounder.
The New Jersey Boat Sale Expo runs from Feb. 16-19 at the N. J. Convention Expo Center in Edison. I fished Monday with Capt. Rick Stanczyk in his flats boat out of Bud N' Mary's Marina in Islamorada as he ran far out in the back country where we fished light spinning tackle with small jigs topped with live shrimp to release snook, redfish (red drum), black drum, spotted sea trout, ladyfish and mangrove snappers .
Yet, sailfishing had been good Monday, and it was quite fishable for Capt. Scott Stanczyk on Catch 22 from Bud N' Mary's Marina. Unfortunately, there wasn't much action and the sails were very small -- making them difficult to hook on the balao they preferred.
Though the fish weren't turned on as they often are on the flats out of Bud N' Mary's Marina in Islamorada, Florida Keys back country fishing was as fascinating as ever when I joined Capt. Rick Stanczyk for an hour of high speed running in his flats boat to Lake Ingram. Capt. Rick Stanczyk can be reached at Bud N' Mary's Marina (800 742-7945), where a fleet of flats guides charter for back country, bonefish and tarpon fishing which only gets better as the season progresses.