Baby it’s cold outside. Quite the roller coaster of weather conditions in 2014 so far, huh? Single digits, upper 50s, snow, rain, sub-zero windchills, all in about four days time. Up and down we go.
Amazingly, after Tuesday and Wednesday’s arctic blast, there will be a lot of winter anglers heading out into the ocean on Thursday and Friday with moderated temperatures and calm seas expected. This isn’t North Dakota, after all (and thank God for that!).
There haven’t been a lot of days the last couple weeks where boats could get to the cod fishing grounds, but the fishing had been pretty good the last time they were there. The Montauk party boats had some really good days right before Christmas and there is apparently a good body of medium size cod south of Block Island somewhere. The trick will be finding them and staying on top of them, and hoping commercial nets don’t wipe ’em out.
The Shinnecock fleet, which is just the “Hampton Lady” and “Shinnecock Star” and a spare few private boats still in the water, had been picking away at the wrecks south of Hampton Bays. The wrecks are giving up bigger fish, including some real trophies, but the bag numbers are much lower. Nonetheless the high hooks on most trips the “Lady” has made have had their limits. Sea bass aren’t in the mix anymore but there should be plenty of ling and tommy cod to mix into the cooler.
If you’re not one for the cold of the high seas or duck blind this time of year, the winter shows and flea markets are getting started. The New York Boat Show was a sad snoozer as has been typical for the last decade or so. Unless you have kids who like to climb on the boats, it’s pretty useless. Less useless but harder to get to is the Garden State Fishing Expo, which is this weekend down in Edison, NJ. It’s not as good as the March expo, which is dedicated solely to saltwater fishing, but this is a pretty good show with a ton of tackle shops offering good deals. Is it worth the 3-hour drive? I guess that depends on how bad the cabin fever has set in already.
Better to get out on the water, I think. Catch ’em up. See you out there.