Sunday, February 10, 2019

Up and Down

The weather has been normal this winter, with warming temperatures ahead of low pressure systems and then plunging after the passage of a cold front. The water is cold, as it should be this time of year, but the half way point of winter has passed and there has not been much snow. We were able to get out this week and explore the beach. Usually, you don't expect to see anyone out in winter, but it was really cool walking five miles and never seeing another soul or even a boat or ship out on the ocean. It was like going back in a time machine! Saturday, we took a ride to the NJ Maritime Museum. I call it the "shipwreck museum" as it is full of artifacts claimed by divers from many of the spots we fish. I found it very interesting and will go back again. Capt Steve is out this morning on the Ocean Explorer and I will get a report later. Spring training starts this week, it won't be long now.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Ugly Cold

Damn, it's cold. That was a wild little five minute, white-out blizzard that brought in the cold air yesterday. Now we are stuck in the house with single digit temps. It was not too bad the other day, so we took a ride to the lighthouse. When I stepped from the truck and looked in the water, a big face was looking back at me. At least three big horsehead seals were hanging around the inlet. There were also a lot of birds but we did not find any winter exotics. We drove down to the other end of the island to check out the beach at Holgate. Everything was shut down, all the beach access was closed, the parking lots were chained shut and it was like "go away, we're closed." LBI is the real New Jersey part of the shore, crowded and over built like the rest of the state. I would not go out there in the summer for anything.  It is the opposite of the Bayshore area where we live on the mainland. Well, today I am sure the bay is frozen again and we have two more months of this winter to look forward to.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Worst Time of Winter

The long month of February is the worst time of the year. Football is over, baseball is a month away and fishing is over until the water temperature gets up around fifty, about early April.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Winter Adventure

We had to get out of the house after the recent cold snap and headed to the beach. Driving out over the causeway, the Barnegat bay was completely frozen over. The winter beach is a wild and lonely place, and I almost wished I had brought the fishing gear, as the surf was clean and green and it felt mild in the sunshine. Instead we had the binoculars, and were ready to discover the snowy owls that winter over in the park. We headed south and there was enough cloud cover to make excellent viewing conditions. A little less then two miles in, we found a large male snowy on the second dune from the beach, close enough to get a picture. They are magnificent creatures and it never gets old finding one. We picked up some interesting shells on the way back to the truck. After lunch, we went on some trails on the back side and took pictures of the frozen bay. It looks like the mild weather will continue for a few days, and if enough anglers are interested we will go after the blackfish one more time.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Blood Wolf Moon

The strange winter storm passed, bringing in the coldest air of the season. The NW gale has been raging for two days and combining with the full moon, it is causing the lowest tide you will ever see. I am sure there are going to be all types of low water issues. It would be perfect for clamming, but with the high temperature at 15 degrees and a forty knot breeze, I ain't leaving the house! And speaking of the moon, I got up to watch the eclipse and wasn't too impressed as I have seen the "blood moon" in the past and this one didn't compare. Fishing was good the day before the storm as it usually is. Capt Steve ran the Ocean Explorer and came in one or two fish shy of a full boat limit. Maybe we can get one more crack at them before everything shuts down until April.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Weather Forecasts and the Government Shutdown

Last week, all the media outlets were ranting over a snowstorm for the weekend. Now that the weekend is approaching, no one has a clue. NWS website says they are effected by the shut down, but they still give a forecast. I was thinking of trying the surf tomorrow but media outlets are calling for a low of thirty degrees overnight with light rain. Huh? That doesn't add up to me. Well the Weather Channel says the storm will start tomorrow but it is still in California today. Another huh? Well I guess we will be keeping the boat in this weekend, see what happens, and check back next week.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Settling in to Winter

This week was cold and windy and not much happened. Yesterday was the only nice day and a few boats sailed. Capt Steve had the J II out to the mudhole and made a little catch of assorted bottom dwellers. The blackfish on the inshore grounds were picky, but they bit Friday in the gale of wind. We took a ride over to the Lacey High School fishing flea market and found nothing but junk and cheap old men. The place was packed. We will try to make our blackfish trip next weekend on the best weather day, so be prepared. Right now, it is cold, calm and snowing lightly on the Jersey shore.