It's been a week of heavy rain, occasionally high winds, rough surf – and there's still a hurricane churning out there.
For ocean-going anglers, it may be a week to reconsider a trip to the reefs and see what's biting in the back bays.
The party and charter boat fleet Shore-wide was tied to the docks all week, and fishing reports were slow as molasses in January to come in. There were some anglers who snuck out into the back bay to try their luck during breaks of sunshine, but those who got out mainly reported muddy water and not much in the way of catching going on.
If you're fishing the bay for fluke this weekend, my advice is to stick as close to the inlets as possible. Most of the keepers have high-tailed it outta here by now, but a few may have been scared back in by the storms. Getting them on their exit could be a possibility. Plus, there's also the fact that the water will be cleaner as one gets closer to the ocean.
In Barnegat Inlet, be careful when fishing in the "inlet proper" this weekend, as there will most definitely be breakers in the middle and toward the south jetty along the pedestrian walkway. Try to stay as close to the channels as safely possible when drifting.
Things were mostly quiet on the surf fishing front his week, too, though the folks at Surf City Bait and Tackle reported some kingfish having been hooked nearby.
Further north in Seaside Heights, the folks at the dock were more optimistic, declaring in a fishing report posted to the shop's website that the mullet run had official started.
"Cocktail blues, fluke, and kingfish still seem to be the dominant species out there but the bonita, albacore or other speedsters can show up at any time," the report said.