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No Better Time to Get Out on the Water

Blowfish are great fun to catch for anglers of all ages. Here, young Anthony Arcabascio, grandson of bunker spoon trolling icon Tony Arcabascio, holds a big blowfish he caught aboard Tony’s boat Maja. Besides being a a ball to catch, blowfish are perhaps the finest eating fish during Jersey’s summer fishing season.

A shout out of support and best wishes to the Viden family, owners of Bob’s Little Sport Shop in Glassboro that recently experienced a fire and subsequent extensive damage.

Knowing the Videns personally and professionally for close to a decade, it’s the opinion from this corner that the store will be up and running as strong as ever. This group is a stanch defender of the Second Amendment (Bob Viden Sr. is a former board member of the National Rifle Association and is president of the NJ Firearms Retailers Association) and your right to hunt.


The freshwater bass “season” opened June 16, and the fishing for largemouths, particularly in south and central Jersey, was stellar. Manasquan Reservoir, Lake Assunpink, Alloways Lake, Union Lake, Lake Lenape, Pemberton Lake, Rainbow Lake, et al were great according to reports.  Smallies in the northern tier impoundments (Hopatcong, Monksville, Greenwood, Canistear, Split Rock to name a few) was excellent, but in the Raritan and Delaware River systems, high water/dirty runoff pretty much obviated angling activity. Barring severe storms and rainfall in excess of an inch, the bronze should turn golden by this coming weekend.


With the Father’s Day weekend heralding the true start of the summer shore touriust season, what better way to get the youngsters on the water than crabbbing? And with the shed concluded over a week ago, the blueclaws are on a feeding binge. The timing could not be better! And the perfect complement? Blowfish! Yep…the Chicken of the Sea is all over the bays and even along the beaches, especially at Island Beach State Park and Seaside, and Graveling Point at the end of Radio Road on Osbourne Island is l-o-a-d-e-d with what is no doubt the best tasting morsels along the Garden State coast. This is simple drop ‘n reel fishing with light tackle and a hi-lo rig baited with a strip of squid, clam or Fishbites. BUT…if fishing from a boat, it pays full bucket dividends to drop a chum log over the side. This will bring the puffers close pronto, and let the fun begin. Cleaning requires a nail in a board, a sharp knife and a pair of tongs. Cut behind the head, place the cut section in the nail head, grab the visible meat behind the cut firmly, and pull in one steady motion. Out pops the “chicken leg”, and fried, grilled, broiled or baked, the meat will make your tongue slap your brains out!


Flounder fishing is on the upswing in the bays, lower inlet areas and rivers now that the water is clean(er) and water temps are up a couple of degrees to the prime feeding range. More good news is that the killie (minnow) crunch is easing. No, supplies are by no means plentiful and prices are up, but it’s tough to beat a live minnie for a keeper flattie in the aforementioned swims.


The mouth of the Mullica is still strong for five to eight pound weakfish. Nothing is better than shedder, and right now, the only place to get Mother Nature’s Weakie KoKane is at Absecon Bay Sportmen’s Center on Natalie Terrace. Curt says they still have a fair supply, but the way the tiderunners are eating and word keeps getting out, he’s not sure how long this primo bait will last. In a pinch, a strip of squid soaked in BioEdge Crab potion affixed to a bucktail will catch weakies, and we go one step farther and rub the Crab wand on the bucktail. Cheating? Depends who you ask. Weakfish stuffed with shrimp and scallops, anyone?

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