SOUTHERN OCEAN COUNTY — This is the time of the year when the dreaded effects of “cabin” fever” start to really affect those of us tired of being cooped up inside thanks to winter weather. Well, I may have some ideas to help you deal with this malady.

The first one is a meeting on Thursday, February 13, at 5 p.m. of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council. There are supposed to be decisions reached on both the striped bass and bluefish regulations in New Jersey for 2020. The meeting will be held at the Stafford Township Municipal Building on East Bay Avenue in Manahawkin. This will be the last chance to make your opinions heard before final decisions are made.

A recent release from the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association arrived telling me that the captains and junior mates of that organization have the next three weekends planned out with a variety of fishing and boating events.

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The first one is the Southern Regional High School Fishing Club’s annual flea market. This very popular event is considered one of the best of its kind in our area with many great bargains available from over 100 vendors. The great thing about this is that proceeds benefit the high school anglers in their fishing activities. The event is at the Southern Regional Middle School in Manahawkin on Cedar Bridge Road and runs from 8am to 2pm.

I promise that you cannot but be impressed with the efforts and work habits of these great youngsters and their advisor, Jason Hoch.

The following week the BHCFA will be at the Philadelphia Fishing Show that runs for three days, February 21-23. It is held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at 100 Station Avenue in Oaks, Pennsylvania. Besides the various booths at the show, there is an impressive lineup of fishing seminars taking place. Complete information on the show can be found at

The BHCFA ends up its 2020 show season the following week with the captains and junior mates on hand at the nationally famous Atlantic City Boat Show. This event runs from Wednesday, February 26, through Sunday, March 1, at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City. This show combines fishing and boating displays along with a wide variety of lectures and seminars. You can find out everything you want to know at

One other show outdoors fanatics might find interesting is the New Jersey Boat Sale and Expo this weekend at the NJ Convention and Expo Center in Edison. Although the BHCFA will not be there due to their commitment with the Southern Regional show, I hear there will be a huge display of the latest in new boats along with a lineup of fishing experts giving free seminars. Get the details on this show at

Most of you who read this are aware that my son, Jim Hutchinson Jr., is editor of The Fisherman magazine. He tells me that he will be at the three shows mentioned above in Edison, Oaks, and Atlantic City. I am proud to say that he will be giving a few of the fishing seminars.

Jim has told me that if you come up to him at The Fisherman booth and tell him that Jim Sr. sent you, he will have a free gift for you if you get a magazine subscription or renewal from him. Word has it that it might be some type of lure. I am not sure what it will be but to mention my name and tell him that his father wants you to take good care of you.