A brutal week and a half of weather has really hampered participation throughout the region, though blackfish action in New Jersey continues through the end of the month and offshore cod, pollock and ling are still filing coolers aboard several of the major party boats. Much of the tautog bite has been farther to the south from Central Jersey down along the Delaware coast as melting snow in the northeast has been dropping inshore water temperatures significantly. Cold enough for some safe ice in the Poconos and a few lakes in northwest New Jersey like Hopatcong and Budd Lake, through along the coast rivers like the Toms, Mullica and Great Egg are mostly ice-free which is prompting some folks to look towards a white perch bite. Bloodworms are making an appearance at local shops for the perch action, which is also a good indication that the back bay striper and winter flounder seasons are fast approaching. All signs are pointing to the spring run! Big events for the weekend include the George Poveromo Show on Saturday in Linwood, Surf Day at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft also on Saturday, and the New Jersey Boat Sale and Expo through Sunday in Edison. Someone from The Fisherman will be found at every one of these shows – plenty of ‘how to’ seminars wherever you turn this weekend, and more than enough to get you amped up for the unofficial start to the 2016 season on March 1!