Fishing has slowed to a crawl as winter has really settled in.
Between frigid air temps and strong wind gusts, the chances to fish have been limited. There have been a couple positives, the ponds and lakes are icing up and there was a shot of Boston mackerel offshore.
The rule of thumb is always proceed with caution when it comes to ice fishing. The air temps around here can be fickle and good ice one day, can be unsafe if temps get above freezing.
But fishermen did get out on the ice this weekend. Greg Bogan at Brielle Bait & Tackle had a solid report from Rich Thomas of Howell who fished a shallow pond in Wall on Sunday and caught some sunnies. Thomas was using trout worms, according to Bogan, who said he's also selling live killies to angler going to the ponds.
The ice at Lake Hopatcong is about six or seven inches now around the shallow coves and the state park said Joe at Dow's Boat Rentals. He said the ice on the main lake is still a little iffy. Anglers drilling through the ice caught yellow perch, crappies, largemouth bass and pickerel this weekend.
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At the Shore, overnight air temps are forecast to be down in the teens or low 20s for the week which should keep the ice. There could be some melt on Tuesday, when daytime temps could reach the upper 40s.
Switching gears, Capt. Howard Bogan Jr. on the Big Jamaica said his fares landed some Boston mackerel on his offshore trip this weekend. The boat left the dock late Saturday night and returned Sunday evening. Along with the mackerel, his fares reeled in porgies, pollock, ling and some monkfish.
A couple of the day boats were able to target blackfish on Sunday. After a week of rough seas, the bite was a little slow.
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Captain Matt Sosnowski on the Big Mohawk said the water was still a turned up. He fished a few different areas Sunday at different depths and found a few drops had some life and whereas others didn't. The pool winner was a 6 pounder.
The Dauntless was also out and Capt. William Egerter Jr. didn't have much else to add. He did hit a spot where a few of codfish came up.
Greg Bogan said they have just a couple of spots left for their rod building class. The class, which covers the basics of rod wrapping, is Feb. 7, 9 & 11. Call the shop at 732-528-5720 to sign up.
The Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show is set to return to the Javits Center this Wednesday though Sunday.
When Jersey Shore native Dan Radel is not reporting the news, you can find him in a college classroom where he is a history professor. Reach him @danielradelapp; 732-643-4072; firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Ice fishermen landing sunnies, Boston mackerel hit offshore