Fish On

Warm weather means plenty of fish around

Ron Nuzzolo

“Fish On!! Fish On!!” – that’s what New Jersey anglers are saying after taking advantage of the unusually warm weather this weekend.

Striped bass fishing was exceptionally good, as anglers were picking bass right from the surf in Sandy Hook and a good number of bass were released along the surf. Once again the white storm shad produced most of the action. John Russo of Keyport reported releasing up to 25 stripers from 18 to 21 inches in a little over two hours. Monmouth Beach was boiling at one point, according to Bob Sweeney of Middletown, who released over 35 bass in the surf.

You can’t do that in the Florida Keys; only the Garden State can produce such action in January.

All aboard the Mack Express

According to my friends at, they reported from the Miss Belmar Princess and the Golden Eagle that everything was going very well. Anglers fared nicely with good-sized mackerel covering the decks and filling coolers. Mackerel fishing is underrated, to say the least. Get the kids, pick a nice day and get out there. Where else can you hook three, four and five fish at a time? Believe me, you will be hooked. It’s a great confidence builder if you haven’t had much success fishing in the past.

The Mud Hole is a buffet with all the Ling you can eat. Capt. Matt on the Norma K III is reporting red hot ling action, with most anglers catching 15 to 25 ling per trip, along with a good mix of sea bass and porgies on the off-shore wrecks.

Dean Kastagnola of Ocean Township was high hook with 32 ling. Rich Napoliello also had a great day with 27 in the cooler.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all of the tautog action that was seen this weekend.

Down south, I spoke to Wayne Smith who went out on the Searcher ll from Barnegat Light for tautog. Most anglers picked a great day Saturday and hit their limit. Jeff Calandra, from Princeton Junction, was the pool winner with a 9-pound whopper tautog. Wayne Smith from Jackson maxed out and topped the day with a 6-pound tautog.

Once again this brings me to my point. I mentioned six different species of sport fish right in our backyard and I didn’t even talk about cod fishing yet. Did I mention it’s January? Just a little tease for those cod lovers – keep reading “Fish On” weekly and you won’t be disappointed.

In my last article, I mentioned a great event for all anglers right here in the Garden State.

Sunday was the last day at the 24th annual Garden State Sportsmen Show in Edison.

I did attend the show on Sunday with my family. It was nice to see so many New Jersey residents introducing their kids to hunting and fishing. I can report camaraderie and smiles from all those who attended. It is never too early to introduce this passion to your children. Fishing is one of the only sports that can last a lifetime. There are so many of us who have cherished memories of fishing with our grandparents, parents and friends.

The show was not only very educational, but I was able to replenish my tackle box with some fair bargains. Overall, it was a really fun show for the whole family.

Did you know?

The world-record striped bass was landed in Atlantic City.

On Sept. 21, 1982, Albert R. McReynolds landed a 78.8 pound monster. Since world records are usually off the chart, the estimated age of Mr. McReynold’s fish is approximately 25 to 30 years old.

Finally I want to thank you for your e-mails. If you have any questions, need advice or want to share a story or photo with our readers, please send them to me at