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Mackerel run is in high gear

Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Star-Ledger Staff
Winter mackerel runs in our area have been a lot more dependable than the traditional April-to-May northward migration during recent years, and anglers are well advised to fill their freezers with bait for next year at this time rather than wait for the fickle spring fishery.

Capt. Jimmy Elliott was pleased with yesterday's jigging from Miss Belmar Princess in 46-degree waters, five miles east of the Farms. The mackerel were of mixed sizes, but Elliott said they were getting larger toward the end and coolers were topped off with some jumbos.

Jumbo sea b [no swearing please] continued to cooperate Friday on far offshore wrecks. Capt. Howard Gogan Jr. said many of those caught on his Jamaica from Brielle were in the 3 1/2- to 5 1/2-pound class, with the largest weighing 6 1/2 pounds. Nine-year-old Claine Birch of Brielle boated the day's largest fish -- a 25-pound cod. Ante Sokosa from Bayside, N.Y., had a 20-pound pollock that beat out a 12-pound cod by Greg Golub of St. Augustine, Fla., for the pool. The Jamaica sails to those wrecks at 1 a.m. every day this week plus Jan. 1 at 3 a.m. Call (732) 528-5014 for reservations.

The winter show season opens Saturday with the 101st New York Boat Show at the Convention Center. That show runs through Jan. 8.

New Jersey's largest hunting and fishing expo, the 23rd annual Garden State Sportsmen's Show, runs from Jan. 12 to 15 at Raritan Center Expo Hall in Edison.

Vendors interested in taking tables at $25 each for the Feb. 11, 2006 Hi-Mar Striper Club's fourth annual Fishing Flea Market in the Middletown VFW can call (732) 726-0244 or (732) 291-5688.

If you don't mind traveling a bit farther for a gigantic flea market, the Upper Keys Rotary Club holds its 11th annual Nautical Flea Market Feb. 25 and 26 at Founders Park, Mile Marker 87 on U.S. 1 in Islamorada, Fla.

That event has generated more than a half-million dollars and has sent hundreds of kids to college over the past 10 years. For information, go to

Among the highlights of the recent Folsom wholesale tackle show in Atlantic City was the large selection of Tsunami lures, including the Swim Shads that were so effective this fall. The Tsunami rod line, designed by N.J. pros Capt. Nick Cicero and Jerry Gomber, is very inexpensive even for specialty models such as traveling rods.

Among the latest designs are wire line rods with tungsten carbide guides. Both the 6 1/2-foot umbrella rig model and the 7 1/2-foot bunker spoon rod will retail for only around $100.

Spro jigs were very popular with fluke specialists the last couple of years, and a 6-ounce version has been added to that line this year.

Penn has developed a new drag, based on the same material used in the transmissions of high-performance racing cars, and Dura-Drag will further improve the performance of International reels. Braided lines have made it possible to use relatively small-lever drag reels for big game if the reels can take the pressure.

The Penn 16VSX International is designed for the extreme angler as it holds 450 yards of 80-pound braid plus a top shot of 50 yards of 60-pound mono. That 41-ounce model has gear ratios of 4.25-1 high and 1.74-1 low.
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