Winter storm threat likely puts a fork in weekend wreck fishing

·3 min read

It's a pretty safe bet that the boats aren't going out this weekend with the forecast of a strong winter storm.

NOAA's coastal marine forecast is calling for winds out of the north to pick up this evening, with gusts reaching as high as 35 knots. At the peak of the storm tomorrow, seas could reach 10 feet and winds could top out at 45 knots.

The ocean should start to settle Saturday night but it's probably not going to lay down enough to get out on Sunday.

Hailey JiHye Kim of New York with a blackfish she landed on the Dauntless.
Hailey JiHye Kim of New York with a blackfish she landed on the Dauntless.

The storm could force some migrating gray seal pups up on the beaches. The Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine rescued a grey seal pup on Sunday from Island Beach State Park. Bob Schoelkopf, the center's director said it was the first gray seal pup they've seen here this winter.

The pup, which was underweight, not eating and up in the dunes, most likely swam down from Seal Island in Maine where there is a large gray seal colony. He suspects there are more present on the coast here.

Fishing report: Ice fishermen landing sunnies, Boston mackerel hit offshore

Very little fishing was done during the week but a couple of the party boats did sail with the blackfish faithful. Capt. Bobby Quinn on the Ocean Explorer party boat said the bite on Tuesday was pretty dull but his high hook for the day still managed three keeper tog.

The ocean was nice and calm, a stark contrast to what its expected to look like this weekend. The fish were a little more active on Monday. Capt. Matt Sosnowski on the Big Mohawk party boat had anglers who landed their bag limit.

If the storm is as predicted, it could take the blackfish a few days to settle back in once it passes.

The white perch are biting at night on Toms River. The Hook House has bloodworms.

There is some ice fishing going at Lake Hopactong. The lake didn't freeze in time for the Knee Deep Club to hold its January ice storm but the February contest is still a possibility.

What's biting: get the latest fishing reports here

The safest ice at the lake is at the state park and shallow coves according to Joe at Dow's Boat Rentals. There's about six or seven inches there. Anglers are pulling out yellow perch, crappies, largemouth bass and pickerel.

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 happening now 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 Feb. 12 at the Port Monmouth VFW Post, 1 Veterans Lane, Middletown. The cost is $5. Kids under 12 are free.

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;

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Fishing: Winter storm threat likely puts fork in weekend wreck fishing