It’s a safe bet that the boats will not go out this weekend with the forecast of a strong winter storm.
The NOAA Coastal Marine Forecast predicts northerly winds will pick up tonight, with gusts reaching 35 knots. At the height of the storm tomorrow, seas could reach 10 feet and winds could reach 45 knots.
The ocean should start to calm down on Saturday evening but it probably won’t set enough to come out on Sunday.
The storm could force some gray seal pups to migrate to the beaches. The Brigantine Marine Mammal Stranding Center rescued a gray seal pup from Island Beach State Park on Sunday. Bob Schoelkopf, the centre’s director, said it was the first gray seal pup they had seen here this winter.
The pup, which was underweight, not eating and riding in the dunes, most likely swam in from Seal Island in Maine where there is a large colony of gray seals. He suspects there are more on the coast here.
Fishing report: Ice Fishermen Land Sunglasses, Boston Mackerel Hit Offshore
Very little fishing took place during the week, but a few party boats sailed with the black fish devotees. Captain Bobby Quinn on the Ocean Explorer party boat said Tuesday’s bite was pretty lackluster but his high hook for the day still managed three keepers together.
The ocean was nice and calm, a stark contrast to what he had expected this weekend. The fish were a little more active on Monday. Captain Matt Sosnowski on the Big Mohawk party boat had anglers who hit their catch limit.
If the storm plays out as expected, it may take a few days for the blackfish to re-establish itself once it passes.
White perch bites at night on the Toms River. The Hook House has bloodworms.
There is ice fishing at Lake Hopactong. The lake didn’t freeze over in time for the Knee Deep Club to stage its January ice storm, but the February contest is still possible.
What bites:get the latest fishing reports here
According to Joe of Dow’s Boat Rentals, the safest lakeside ice is in the state park and in the shallow creeks. There are about six or seven inches there. Anglers fish for yellow perch, crappie, largemouth bass and pike.
Greg Bogan said they only have a few spots left for their rod building course. The course, which covers the basics of stem wrapping, will take place February 7, 9 and 11. Call the store at 732-528-5720 to register.
The Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show runs through Sunday at the Javits Center.
The Hi-Mar Striper Club will hold its annual fishing flea market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on February 12 at the Port Monmouth VFW Post, 1 Veterans Lane, Middletown. The cost is $5. Children under 12 are free.
When Jersey Shore native Dan Radel isn’t reporting the news, you can find him in a classroom where he’s a history teacher. Contact him @danielradelapp; 732-643-4072; [email protected]