LONG BEACH ISLAND - Frigid temperatures, strong winds, snow, and freezing rain have put a damper on fishing activities in Southern Ocean County. With symptoms of “cabin fever” gripping area anglers, some are finding cures in various ways.

First, there are some local fishing flea markets along with fishing and boating shows that are only a short drive away. These activities are an excuse to get out of the house and look at fishing related items and talk fishing with other fishing fanatics.

This Saturday, February 16, the Southern Regional High School Fishing Club will hold it annual Fishing Flea Market at the Southern Regional Middle School at 75 Cedar Bridge Road in Manahawkin. The show will run from 8am to 2pm and all proceeds are used to fund the activities of the club members. Admission is just $4.

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The Philadelphia Fishing Show will be held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa. from February 21-24. Admission to the show is just $10 which includes a fill lineup of fishing seminars presented by the “Fisherman” magazine. For complete information on the show go to www.phillyfishingshow.com

Ending up the winter show schedule will be the Atlantic City Boat Show at the Convention Center in Atlantic City. The show runs from February 27 through March 3 and comes with a wide variety of seminars on fishing and related topics. Admission to the show is $16 daily, but a discounted rate of $14 can be obtained online before February 26. Visit the show’s website for information and the discount at www.acboatshow.com



A mid-winter report from the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association gives an update on that group’s winter activities preparing for the upcoming season. Captain John Lewis of the boat “Insatiable” reports the Captains and Junior mates have been active attending local fishing flea markets where they have been spreading the good word on area. Representatives of the BHCFA will attend the three shows mentioned above. Once the shows end, the “Insatiable” will be looking to get into the spring striper run and some early season bluefish.

Captain Carl Sheppard reports his boat “Star Fish” is in dry dock at Morrison's Marina in Beach Haven getting new windows installed and her bottom touched up. Meanwhile, the props are being fine-tuned. The “Star Fish” will launch on the first of April with new Garmin side scan sonar and GPS system. Her first trip is a bachelor party for 12 persons on April 6th. Captain Carl says he is hoping for a quick warm up and lots of large bass.

Captain Ray Lopez reports he has been working on the “Miss Liane” and upgrading his offshore tackle in preparation for the spring season. Included in this work was upgrading rods and reels. Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” has done an extensive overhaul of his electronic system as he has transitioned to an all Humminbird system. Captain Brett has them hooked into his Minn Kota Ulterra trolling motor. This permits him to position his boat exactly where he wants to without using a traditional anchoring system.

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted last week to maintain the same harvest for black sea bass that were in effect in 2018. This means that the New Jersey regulations for sea bass should be the same or very similar to those last year. This could mean an initial season from May 15 to June 22 with a minimum size of 12.5-inches and a 10 fish per day limit. The daily limit drops to 2 fish from July 1 to August 31 and increases to 10 fish from October 8-31.

The final segment for black sea bass from November 1 to December 31 sees an increase in the daily limit to 15 fish but also an increase in the minimum size to 13-inches.

A final decision will be made in the future. So far there has been no information forthcoming on the regulations for summer flounder and striped bass.

Questions on local fishing and fishing reports for future articles can be directed to jamesghutch1@aol.com.