Story by Tom Pagliaroli

The massive Saltwater Fishing Expo roars into the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center, 97 Sunfield Avenue in Edison this Friday through Sunday. The easy-to-reach venue off Route 287 is anywhere from a half-hour to one-hour drive from 105.7 The Hawk listening area. This is the largest saltwater fishing-specific show of its kind in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. National rod, reel, and line manufactures, local and regional rod and lure manufacturers, guides, party and charter boats, fishing apparel and eyewear, fisheries conservation organizations, fishing boats and fishing kayaks, marine electronics, fishing publications, the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife, the Recreational Fishing Alliance...the list goes to the walls. In excess of 245 exhibitors will be strutting their collective stuff, and the list of how-to/when-to/where-to seminars presented by some of the best in the fish-catching business, from blackfish to wahoo, will give you cranium strain akin to a helium-filled beach ball. Show hours are: Friday, Noon-8pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and 10am-5pm on Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults and $3 for youngsters 6-11. Parking is plentiful and free.

Photo by Tom P

Still Trout About: The 2019 trout season commences at 8 am on April 6. Starting this Monday, the intensity-on-wheels pre-season stocking schedule commences over 172 waters, with 167,530  rainbow trout, ranging from the 10.5-inch average up to 25-inch sweat-generators being released by the afternoon of April 5. Those brooks, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and reservoirs being dosed with trout will be closed to fishing these next three weeks, with a few exceptions.  Here in Ocean County, the one-mile Trout Conservation Area of the Toms River that begins at the end of the Riverwood Park stretch and extends downstream to the Route 571 overpass is open to fishing. It’s artificial lures only and all trout caught must be released. Trust me on this one: this beat, while not loaded, per se, still has enough 11-20 inch holdover ‘bows in residence, in addition to the new load of pink-sash recruits, to make it an energetic effort through the tangled, dark water depths. Just be prepared to lose a few flies, plugs and/or spinners...it’s the brooding, insolent nature of the swim. Prospertown Lake and Lake Shenandoah are also open to fishing during the three week pre-season stocking period, but again, all trout caught must be immediately released.

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