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The uncooperative weather we have experienced through too many late fall and early winter weeks seems to have decided to continue its act in 2022.

Rain, wind, and now fog, have really challenged captains and anglers alike. The heart and body are willing, but the mind looks at the conditions and says no. At this time of the year, that is probably the prudent decision.

It doesn’t hurt to err on the side of caution today, while you let the bad weather pass. Remember, you can always fish tomorrow. Well, that’s assuming the bad weather clears out and that’s always a bad thing to do.

Gone Fishin’ IV Sports Fishing Charters, with Capt. Mark at the helm, has been out trolling and jigging for striped bass. His patrons have been doing very well catching some nice fish, while also catching their limits.

Many of the fish are bigger than the 38-inch limit for keepers, which is a nice situation to have. If some of these fish can breed again then that is a great benefit to the overall population of the species.

The trip right before the calendar turned was another success, as the party aboard that day limited out. They were able to skirt around the weather and were rewarded with a good day on the water.

Gone Fishin’ IV is continuing to sail for stripers since the bite has remained steady. Give Capt. Mark a call to set up your own charter or grab a spot on an existing trip. Call or text him at 609-425-8302. The boat is located at South Jersey Marina in Cape May.

Another boat that is still plying the seas and hitting the hot spots is Bayhound Charters Light Tackle Sportfishing. They have been staying busy catching an assortment of late-season fish.

A New Year's Eve trip for Kris Kaczor, Billy Gehringer, Scott Bailey, and others resulted in a productive day. The six-man crew finished the day with 26 keeper blackfish, plus plenty of throwbacks, which contributed to a good day of action. That action didn’t even include the striped bass that they caught, as they retreated inside the line on their way back to port.

Previous trips to different wrecks have produced nice catches of sea bass, porgies, and pollack. The various fisheries are still going strong, which is nice to see and experience.

Call Capt. Al at 609-602-2662 to set up a trip of your own. Let him know what you want to fish for, and he will set you up with a trip. He is based out of Sea Isle City.

Another boat located in Sea Isle is First Fish Adventures. They have continued to fish as the continued presence of striped bass off the coast has made it hard to stop. That’s to be expected, as these fish have been right off our coast for the past few weeks.

On the final trip of 2021, anglers Bill Hamilton and Mike Jarvis, along with Capt. Zig, hit the water looking for striped bass. The trip lasted till 11 a.m. because the fishing was good, and everyone had their limit and their tag-fish. Not bad when it’s a quick out and back trip.

The good fishing continued after the calendar rolled over. Anglers Kristen Early and Tim Bronsoson grabbed the first charter of the new year. They also claimed the first limits of the year, as each got their one fish. Tim’s fish came in at 38 inches, while Kristen’s was a 33-incher. It was a good start to fishing in 2022. It should also be the best for a while, as Capt. Zig plans to resume fishing in the spring. Talk about going out on a high note.

A local follower of the column was in Fort Myers, Florida, and able to do some fishing. Noelle Johnson and friends went fishing with Capt. Tony’s Fishing Adventures out of Fort Myers Beach. They fished on a six-hour trip that went out into the Gulf of Mexico and reported their nice day on the water included catching some grunts, red snapper and an undersized grouper that was returned to the water.

Capt. Tony’s also offers full day and night fishing, so there was a possibility for some more fishing before the group headed back north. Thanks to Noelle and friends for sharing their fishing experience with us.

Although I like our cold and snow, and our blackfishing scene, a report like this makes me want to see what fishing there is like. For those of you who want to do some striped bass fishing, keep in mind that the backwaters are now off-limits. These waters are closed from Jan. 1 till the beginning of March. You can still fish in the ocean, but just remember to stay within 3 miles of the shore if you take your boat out. The captains who are still running know of this rule and stay inside of it to avoid any problems.

It’s getting slower as more and more captains call it a season, take a break to refresh their minds and bodies, then start to prepare their boats for spring. Some boats are still sailing, so take a look around, find one and get another trip or two in. Good luck if you get out and I’ll see you around.

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