Winter appears ready to settle in with the season's first snowfall at the Shore on Monday.
The party boat rec captains took a pass on fishing yesterday but planned to be back down at the docks this morning to take anglers to the local snags for blackfish, one of the few fish readily available.
As the calendar flipped to January, several fisheries closed to regulations. Sea bass and winter flounder are done for now, while striped bass fishing is limited to just ocean fishing from 0 to 3 miles.
Supringslingly or not, there are still quite a few bass around to be jigged. There was good fishing over the holiday break from the beach and boats, such as the Gambler party boat, which is staying with the stripers for now. Mantoloking, Seaside and the south end of Long Beach Island sounded like the best grounds, at least up this way.
The blackfish bite has been slow and steady. Nothing too big has been pulled in so far on the local pieces but anglers have a fairly decent shot at landing the limit of four keepers.
Fishing report: 40-pound monkfish tops catches on the offshore sea bass trips
Capt. William Egerter Jr. of the Dauntless party boat was out Sunday and said a couple of his fares caught their limits while most had one or two keepers for their efforts. While anchored on a piece off Mantoloking last Thursday he said a big whale swam under the anchor lines.
He said he's fishing mostly in 80 feet or less of water. When he does go beyond that is when he starts seeing the silver eels. The ling fishing is pretty non-existent at the moment. He did have one stray mackerel landed inshore during the last week but said he read no markings on the fish finder. If they do show up in range and in a significant amount he will target them.
What's biting: Get the latest fishing reports here
Capt. Matt Sosnowski on the Big Mohawk was out Sunday and reported a six-pound blackfish was the top catch of the day. He said his fares reeled in a fair amount of keepers, including some limit catches.
Sports show postponed
Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, the Garden State Outdoor Sports Show is being rescheduled from Jan. 6-9 to Aug. 11-14, at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison. The show features the popular Garden State Deer Classic.
Rod building class
Brielle Bait & Tackle will be holding rod-building classes again this winter. All the basics will be taught over three, two-hour sessions in February. The dates are Feb. 9,11 & 13. The cost is $90. 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 Jan. 26-30.
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; email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: NJ fishing: Blackfish targeted on wrecks, striped bass being jigged