Ralph Knisell is the Outdoors Writer for the News.
His column appears on Thursday.
March 1st begins the start of 2006 NJ striper season.
Marked by a cold Northwest wind.
The water temperature in The Great Bays is 44 degrees. The first "keeper" was taken last spring on March 29th.
This time of the year demands that anybody fishing the rivers and bays use bloodworms. Those casting into the surf on the oceanfront can score on clams, but elswhere its strictly "bloods". While some would like to substitute the artificial ones for the high priced real worms, keep in mind that some of these subs dont work as well with temperatures below 60 degrees as they do not dispense their scents in cooler waters.
As bloodworms are usually difficult to obtain this early in the season, we checked around to see who is carrying them. Some tackle shops have yet to open and only those mentioned here were able to be contacted or let us know the situation,
Locally, Jeff at Shags in Pennsville says he has them and will be open daily now. Ocean Fresh in Millville is well stocked and the Big Timber in Westville will have them later this week. John Seaford in Paulsboro also joins the group. In all cases, be sure and call ahead.
Anglers are reminded that the present law requires stripers to be 28 inches in length, with a daily bag limit of two at that size or greater. A lot of anglers are wondering about the status of the Striper Trophy Program, where anglers possessing the special cards are allowed an additional bass. The New Jersey Marine Fisheries Administration had this to say: "We are waiting for the higher-ups to get things underway as the Division has yet to release the program. As soon as this happens we will get the cards printed up. I see this not happening for at least a couple of weeks yet."
The status of the proposed Delaware State salt water fishing license is still in limbo. In talking with Roy Miller, Administrator of the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Division, we learned that it is far from a law at present.
"The proposal that we have is seeking legislative action and we hope to get it into the legislative session before it ends on June 30," said Miller. "The license will enable residents to fish in all Delaware waters, both fresh and salt and include clamming and crabbing as well If it is approved and signed by the governor, it will go into effect on January 1, 2007. It would not surprise me that if our law passes, New Jersey would follow suit."
This is an interesting concept and one that Jersey fishermen should be looking out for.
The popular Double A Marina in Fortescue now has new owners, Heidi Titus and Rick Lewoc of Franklinville. According to Rick, the new name will be the Sportsman's Cove Marina and they will be catering to the early striper fisherman that want to launch at Fortescue.
They are already getting ready for the season and will be launching very soon. In addition, Rick expects to have bloodworms by this weekend to accommodate the surf fishermen at Fortescue. They plan to keep the ramp open later in the day during the season as well, staying open from dawn to dusk for boaters who wish to fish the late afternoon. The marina will also be open late in the year so that striper fishermen can launch well into the fall.
There will be a couple of boat shows this month, but for some reason that defies wisdom, both are scheduled on the same weekend. The Philadelphia Boat Show, which has been resurrected after a year or so not being held, will be at the Philadelphia Convention Center from March 24-26. During the same weekend, the Wildwood Boat show will hold fort at the Wildwood Convention Center. Details on both shows upcoming.