Fish On

Crummy weather has led to a lull in fishing

Ron Nuzzolo

Unfortunately, there has not been much action offshore due to last week’s storm.

Mackerel have not been spotted offshore, leaving party boats still making trips for ling and keeping their eyes open in hopes of spotting those monster schools of mackerel. However, with spring weather finally here, the Raritan Bay is almost ready to break wide open with all the striper action you can handle.

As I said in previous articles, once the bunker schools settle into the bay, we can expect one of the best years for bass on record. That’s my 2007 prediction.

My friend Chris, owner of Crabby’s Bait and Tackle, has been nice enough to share the local reports as they come in from the bay

Dana Keegan caught her first striper on clams off Cliffwood Beach – an 18-pounder, at that. Crabby’s tells me that plenty of small bass are being caught, with a few bigger fish starting to surface. Boats are also doing very well in the bay, especially when they start chumming the stripers to the boat. Flounder fishing is still hit or miss. Junior Santos and five friends fished the Raritan Bay and played catch and release with 54 stripers and topped it with a 23-pounder chumming on clams. Robert Carey had a 16-pound bass off the Keyport Bulkhead.

I receive many e-mails asking where and how to fish these striped bass. Like everything else, you need to get out there and just do it. To answer where and how, there are several helpful Web sites available to assist. If you want to share your reports, please send them along with any questions to ron@signbrothers.com.

Crabby’s Bait and Tackle’s site is very simple and has basic “where to” information available. Chris and Cheryl are on the job and on call to all anglers interested in the latest Raritan Bay fishing reports and store weigh-ins. Crabby’s is located at 229 West Front St., Keyport, (732) 335-9311 or visit them on the Web at www.fishbox.tv/crabbys.

The Web site is very simple and will give you several famous local fishing spots and directions on how to access them.

Another good interactive Web site I have mentioned before is www.njsaltwaterfisherman.com. On this site you can actually interact on the forums with anglers all along the coast. The information shared is to help each other understand and appreciate the sport of fishing. Here anglers give their latest reports and experiences on the water from Raritan bay to Cape May. You will find what you need to make your trip more comfortable and successful. You can always learn a lot from the day-to-day information shared on these sites. You will also see how friendly the site is to use, and experience how the age of technology in this fashion is helping to protect the sport we all love.

Recipe of the week

Every week I ask readers to send in their favorite local recipes to share with the rest of us. At the end of the year, I will post my three favorite recipes. Once we post them, you, the readers, will decide who will become the first annual “Fish on with Ron – Local Seafood Recipe Champ.” Please send your recipe and or fishing report to me at ron@signbrothers.com.

Our recipe of the week comes from Marie Truscelli. Marie’s husband was the legendary lobsterman Joe Truscelli, also known as Lobster Joe, or by the boat Sporty. Joe was a legend of his time. Joe passed away about 10 years ago and since has had a street named after him in the Great Kills Marina in Staten Island, N.Y., where he fished from for 50 years. Everyone who ever wanted fresh lobster knew to go see Lobster Joe, and the legend was born. This recipe was Joe’s favorite and can be tailored to your favorite seafood ingredients. Remember, you can only get these hidden treasures right here every week with Fish On with Ron.

Get the Net: 5 out of 5 nets

Difficulty: Simple

Comments: Classic, special occasions only, save this one

Lobster Joe’s Fruitta di Mare

Two Lobster Tails; two fresh calamaris, sliced in rings; one can of Scungilli cut up; one pound of fresh shrimp, cut small; black olives, sliced; medium red onion and two celery stalks, chopped; eight garlic cloves, diced; squeezed fresh lemons (eight to nine); to taste with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, place cooked fish with the olives, garlic, onion and celery and mix together. Enjoy.

Chef: Lobster Joe Truscelli, Staten Island.