Arctic blasts and bomb cyclones give way to warmer coastal weather for the January 11-14 weekend; while blackfish lead the charge for most of the New Jersey and Delaware coastal fleet still fishing, many boats are also heading offshore for cod, pollock and jumbo porgies this week. Local ice fishing opportunities have improved significantly since the cold spell, and many freshwater anglers are hoping the late week warming trend doesnt negatively affect conditions too much. While fishing participation has been light, show season is underway as well for 2018 with the Garden State Outdoor Sports Show in Edison, NJ through Sunday, as well as the Lacey Township High School Fishing Clubs annual fishermans flea market on Saturday. The New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council also convenes to discuss sea bass in Stafford Township on Thursday the 11th, and The Fisherman will be there to report on the outcome.
NOAAs marine forecast shows winds and seas begin to subside a bit through Monday, January 22, and whenever weather allows there are party and charter boats sailing out of New Jersey ports for blackfish, cod, ling and some jumbo porgies offshore. Show season is officially underway with a couple of options in the Delaware Valley and Staten Island area this Saturday, January 20; there are also upcoming shows and workshops to consider (the February edition of The Fisherman is out next week with a comprehensive calendar listing through March 1.) If youre chomping at the bit for that back bay striper opening, make sure youre geared up; local shops are starting to get busy with winter rod and reel servicing, so be sure to drop your stuff now to have it ready in time for the March 1 opener.