We were fortunate to see what migrated to areas off Rhode Island and Montauk in 2018. The fish were here in late July and early August as well as the run of fish that occurred during November and December. Water temps changed....commercial vessels with permits have dug in and "poof" their gone.
Over the last few days I have been talking to a few captains and fishermen and saying that this is possibly the poorest early winter fishing period in many years. There has been some blackfish being caught in the NY-NJ BIGHT nexus, but other than that you have mid-range and offfshore wrecks that are pretty much empty.
It also begs the question of promoting bergall trips with the fare being a Ben Franklin to do so. I enjoy catching big bergalls and more so, eating them, but odds are the for-hire market is not large enough in customers fishing with 2/0 size hooks during the winter.
So what is the outlook during the next few months, or what we look forward to the March equinox on the 20th day of that month when spring finally arrives?
Watch the next mid-month moon phase and then the next important period that we typically mark on the calendar cod which is the first week or so in February when codfish normally make a showing east of Block Island in the vicinity of the Fairway Buoy.
Now much hinges on how the weather is going to shake out, as this winter so far and contrary to the noted meteorologist making their predictions, and now in the second week of January with warmer temps then in the past few years...especially when compared to the polar vortex slams and offshore hurricane we had last January.
For those with the fishing bug..... pay a toll, two or three and head over to the Garden State for blackfish...at least for now.