Wednesday, February 21, 2024


Fishing Line: Feb. 15

A nice blackfish for this angler. 
Courtesy Starfish

A nice blackfish for this angler. 

By Mark Robbins

Well, as you should figure, there is not a lot going on. The conditions allow, then they don’t, and the report reflects that. We’ll keep up with reports, so you can stay informed, but those are, unfortunately, down to a minimum.  

Fishing shows and boating expos rule the landscape, so we’ll also let you know about those, so you can plan accordingly if you would like to check them out.  

We’ll also have word of a new addition on the way for a local fishing business, as well as a new addition for a local fishing family. Let’s get going.  

First, congratulations go out to Capt. Brandon and his wife, Jennifer, on the recent birth of their second child, Isabella Anne Hurd, who was born Jan. 23. Isabella joins older brother, Bentley, as a fifth-generation member of the Miss Avalon fishing family.  

The Starfish continues to sail, at least for a few more days, as of this writing, but they have just recently ended their season Feb. 11. Prior to that, they were still putting their patrons on the fish.  

During the previous week, there were a lot of nice blackfish caught. The highlight of that period was a 16.75-pound blackfish caught by Mike Sensetta. Also, an angler named Doug was a pool winner during another trip.  

The Fishin’ Fever is officially done for the winter 2022-2023 season. Capt. Tom recently pulled the boat and will now start a “bunch” of projects that will end with the boat being ready for the April blackfish season.  

You can book your trips for blackfish, sea bass, fluke, tuna, tilefish, and swordfish now, while some open dates are still available. Call Tom at 609-868-6014.    

Another Utsch’s Marina boat, The Full Ahead, ended their season previously but will gladly accept your reservations for some 2023 fishing trips. Capt. Bob plans on seeing anglers again in April when blackfish season opens. Give him a call at 609-847-2304 to get the date you want for the species you desire.  

Call soon, as both previously mentioned boats fill their schedules quickly.  

The Starfish, based in Sea Isle City, recently announced that they will soon be taking possession of another vessel as they expand their fleet with a second boat.  

The 40-passenger boat is nearing completion, with its delivery expected in June. The planned usage calls for dolphin watching tours out front in the ocean and as a back bay cruising boat. Pricing for private packages or public cruises will soon be announced.  

Now, let’s check out what else is happening in the fishing and boating world. The first event is very close to home and is happening the middle of next month, while the others are occurring sooner but are spread out, roughly every two weeks, which allows you to fill up your weekends nicely.      

A local fishing show to check out is the Red Raider Fishing Sale and Flea Market. Keep the date, March 18, available and then head to the Ocean City Civic Center, which is located at 5th Street and the Boardwalk. The show starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m. and will occur whether it rains or shines.  

The show will feature new and used, as well as collectable, tackle, poles, and assorted fishing accessories.  

Admission is $4 for adults, while children ages 6 to 13 can get in for only $1. Children under age 6 are free with a paying adult. All proceeds from the show go directly to the Ocean City School Fishing Clubs.  

The New Jersey Boat Sale and Expo will start Feb. 16 and runs through Feb. 19. The show will be held at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center in Edison. The show starts at 11 a.m. Feb. 16 and will go until 7 p.m. The hours of operation will be the same Feb. 17, while Feb. 18-19, the doors will open at 10 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Feb. 18 and 5 p.m. Feb. 19. Admission for adults is listed as $15, while children under 12 are free. You can save $2 by ordering your tickets online.  

Capt. Nick Honachefsky, from Saltwater Underground, will be hosting a Meet and Greet on opening day, Feb. 16, from noon until 3 p.m. He will be exploring some of the finest fishing destinations the world has to offer and will also check out the inhabitants of these areas. He will also be speaking at a seminar during the show.    

A Kids Cove will have activities for the youngsters that will be available Feb. 18-19, starting at 10 a.m.  

If you feel trapped in the house by the cold weather, then this may be the kind of activity you desire to get in a summer mode of thinking.  

Another big show that is rapidly approaching is the Atlantic City Boat Show. It is scheduled for March 1-5 and will be held at the Atlantic City Convention Center.  

Plenty of activities, such as seminars, a paddle sport experience, a casting pond, an exhibit of sand art and a virtual trainer for your boating skills, will be available for you to enjoy. There will also be activities available for your young water enthusiasts.  

You can buy your tickets online or take advantage of the Saluting Our Heroes program, which allows for free admission to all active or veteran military, active or retired first responders, and USCG and USCGA members March 2. Show your valid identification card, along with a photo ID, at will call to receive your complimentary ticket.     

It’s that time of the year when the fishing is slim, and getting slimmer, but we continue to plow on. Since the last local boat that was still fishing has called it a winter, we can now start the countdown until April. That is the time when the local boats spring, no pun intended, back to life.  

Maybe, if you’re lucky, you can head south for some fishing, but, if not, then it’s time to just kick back and relax. Visit a fishing show and support our local youth, tie some rigs, or do something totally away from fishing. Either way, take care, and I’ll see you around.  

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