Capt. Chris De Stefano of Wall had reported seeing 18 anglers fishing for winter flounder from the Belmar docks yesterday morning without success. De Stefano also heard from Frank Criscola that the enormous swordfish boated on his Crisdel fishing out of Islamorada was only estimated at 649 1 2 pounds by formula.
Paul Haertel of the JCAA reports that Though we had expected the fluke and seabass regulations to be set at the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council (NJMFC) meeting on 3 15 18, the setting of regulations for these two species has now been delayed until a special meeting can be scheduled in April. Further, our council is seeking to close or eliminate the gap from when fluke season closes until when sea bass season opens so they have elected to wait until the special meeting in April to set the regulations for both species.
There probably won't be many catches reported, but anglers will be able to keep legal-size winter flounder and striped bass in all N. J. waters as of Thursday. Pete Connell of Avon was also fishing out of Islamorada yesterday as he and Don Smith chartered Capt. Chris Walton of Long Key who deep-dropped 20 miles offshore on his Regulator 28 for a good catch of queen snappers from the depths along with blackfin tuna and skipjacks trolled as they moved between drops.
The World Outdoor Expo opens Thursday afternoon at Rockland Community College in Suffern, N. Y., and runs through Sunday. I always found it best to get there before the 2 p. m. Thursday opening so I could get through most of the show before the evening crowd.
Next Saturday's trip will leave at 1 a. m. for cod, pollock and hake. His grandson Brandon was down recently and got into a good bite of Spanish mackerel by casting lures as those speedsters up to 28 inches turned on as the water temperature got up to 76 degrees.
Mild weather continues this week, and we may even see some sunshine tomorrow that we need to warm up inshore waters by the March 1 opening for winter flounder and internal waters stripers. The next couple of days look fishable before the wind kicks up Wednesday afternoon -- though the real problem starts the next afternoon and into Friday when gale warnings may be posted.
Those forage fish have been showing up early in Raritan Bay for several years, but stripers have always been weeks behind them. The Ocean Explorer from Belmar had a nice day on the ocean today, but an attempt to fish for tautog in shallower waters was offset by a roaring north current though they did get bergall bites on bottom.
It doesn't look like a great weekend for fishing, but according to the last forecast I heard there could be a window of opportunity on the ocean Saturday morning. A better bet is the Salt Water Sportsman Seminar which will be held Saturday from 9 a. m. to 3 p. m. at Linwood Country Club near Atlantic City.
com shore blogs fishing) Sea Bass On 2 8 18 the ASMFC's Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Board approved Addendum XXX which establishes a regional allocation of the coastwide Recreational Harvest Limit (RHL) as opposed to Coastwide Measures. JCAA supported that option as well because New Jersey is a transitional state in which its sea bass fishery doesn't really fit in with the states to its north or to its south.
Though today felt more like April than February, waters remain cold, especially on bottom due to all the snow and ice melt into rivers. At least the bottom is once again lively with bergall bites, and there have also been a few ling and short blackfish.