The very good offshore fishing for sea bass is being shut down with the New Year, along with the winter flounder angling that's been producing two-fish limits from the Belmar docks. The Gambler from Point Pleasant reported their last offshore wreck trip produced good fishing for big sea bass plus some porgies and bluefish.
The NJ DEP issued the following information relative to the bonus striped bass program Striped Bass Bonus Program Information Effective 12 00 AM, Sunday, January 1, 2017, the 2016 Striped Bass Bonus Program will close for individuals and party charter boats. The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife will provide information regarding 2017 applications for individual anglers and Party Charter Boat Owners once a decision is announced.
We got anchored up on the piece and not much life a few shorts and a keeper plus the dog fish. The last hour or so we anchored up again on a wreck and pulled a few more keeper Tog for the day with some shorts too.
Only Option 1 provides for 18 inches -- but with a limit of just two fish and a season of merely 59 days that would doom much of the state's party boat fleet. Tom Fote, N. J. ASMFC Governor's Appointee, feels that even the best (Option 5 with a coastwise 128-day season of three fish at a 19-inch minimum) probably won't make the required reduction.