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Informative seminars and workshops spotlight the weekend show lineup from February 15-18, with the New Jersey Boat Sale & Expo in Edison, and the JSS Surf Show at Brookdale College in Lincroft.
By Jim Hutchinson, Jr.  |  February 13, 2018
If you're planning on bunker fishing for trophy stripers this season, head out to the New Jersey Boat Sale & Expo to check out the Fin Chasers castnetting demos on Saturday afternoon and fill your livewell faster and more efficiently.

If you’re looking to fine tune some of your boat and surf fishing tactics before the spring kickoff, be sure to check out a few of these fishing seminars being held this week at the New Jersey Boat Sale & Expo in Edison and Surf Day at Brookdale College in Lincroft.

Presented by the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ), the New Jersey Boat Sale & Expo cruises into the Raritan Center in Edison, NJ this Thursday and Friday from noon to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 to 8 and Sunday 10 to 5. Admission is $10 per person (16 and under are fee) and includes admission to the following line-up of hour-long fishing seminars presented by The Fisherman and the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA).

At 2 p.m. on Thursday, join The Fisherman’s Jim Hutchinson, Jr. for the official seminar kickoff as he talks up bunker busting bass techniques for the fall and spring; Aaron Held of Octopus Yachts comes into the seminar area at 3:30 p.m. for a Q&A session on onboard electronics configuration and use (Fish Finder & GPS Tips), with Capt. Gene Nigro of Phantom Sportfishing coming in at 5 p.m. (Fluking The Raritan & Navesink) to discuss fluke fishing throughout the Raritan complex, from deepwater to early season flats and edges.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn about MOJO fishing for stripers, be sure to join Capt. Anthony Grassi at 2 p.m. on Friday, as the Navionics pro and Fin Chaser Charters shares his secrets to success while Mojo Fishing for Stipers, how to find fish using the latest fishfinding technologies from Navionics and gearing up to catch trophies while trolling MOJO's. At 3:30 p.m., Capt. Joe Mattioli of On the Bite Charters runs attendees through A Season in the NY Bight with a spotlight on local fly and light tackle fishing from the the spring run of stripers, though the summer speedsters and late fall blitzes throughout the Raritan Bay. For doormat hunters, join Capt. Scott Newhall of Time Out Charters at 5 p.m. to pick up some Pro Tips for Upping Your Fluke Score in the season ahead.

A full day of Saturday seminars kicks off at 11 a.m. at the New Jersey Boat Sale & Expo with Gerry & Joe Zagorski discussing Blackfish Strategy & Tactics, a comprehensive look at one of the most challenging inshore species along the Atlantic Coast. At noon, join Capt. Brian Rice of Jersey Devil Charters for a detailed look at Striped Bass - Live Bait vs. Trolling; it’s a great opportunity to pick up a few pro secrets on adjusting your troll speed or advancing your liveline strategies.

At 1:30 on Saturday, Keefe Vallaro and the Bucktail Boys talk up everyone’s favorite summer target, doormat fluke, with a fun look at Bucktail Techniques for Fluke just in time for the season ahead; if you’re interested in even bigger game, Capt. Jim Freda of Shore Catch Guide Service will hit the seminar room at 3 p.m. for a spotlight on Bluefin: A Tuna for all Seasons, with tips on how to catch these midrange and offshore pelagics from May all the way through December.

Then on Saturday at 4 p.m., we clear out the seats of the seminar room to provide the Fin Chasers and Guides Secret crew enough room to hold castnetting instructions. Whether livelining bunker for stripers or feeding peanuts to crashing bluefin, learning to master the cast-net is the first step towards improved success; don’t miss How To - Castnetting 101 and perhaps by Saturday night you’ll already be throwing pancakes.

Finally on Sunday, noted author Gary Caputi with the RFA talks Tactical Toggin with a special focus on jigging for both blackfish and black sea bass on the local wrecks, reefs and snags starting at 11 a.m. At noon, Capt. Rob Crocitto of Bunker Box Charters out of Staten Island brings in his crew to rundown A Comprehensive Look at Fishing Raritan Bay, with everything from deep water fluking to shallow water plugging for stripers and bucktailing for weakfish; everything to score in 2018 on either side of the demarcation line.

For a regulatory update on fluke, sea bass, and the state of the federal fisheries law, sit down with RFA’s Jim Donofrio at 1 p.m. on Sunday as he answers every conceivable question you have on regulations and legalese in the recreational fishing world. As a full-time recreational fishing lobbyist in Washington and Trenton, Donofrio has been around the block a few times with the bureaucrats and legislators, and offers an inside look at the often confusing process.

Get more information on the MTA boat show this week at jerseyboatexpo.com.

Presented by the Jersey Shore Surfcasters (JSS), Surf Day runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Brookdale Community College at 765 Newman Springs Road in Lincroft, NJ. The toughest part about Surf Day is choosing which of the 14 seminars to attend.

“Now the morning seminars are ridiculous and trying to figure out which one to go to, you may as well just flip a coin,” said JSS surfcaster DJ Muller, who described the 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. breakout sessions like this:

“You have Bob Bott with the lower Delaware spring bass, can you say mooooo? Then you have Bernie Bass, the LI guide on bucktailing beaches and inlets, Frank Mihalic (JSS’er) with jetty jigging for blackfish, great stuff! And then you have a young, smart, up and comer Blake Griffiths, I would love to hear his take and perspective!”

There are four more seminar breakout sessions, from 11 a.m. until noon, 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the main seminar with DJ from 2:45 until 4 p.m. called The Thought Process of a Striperman. “This seminar will cover how to approach and attack a season or how to specifically plan a session using science, conditions, gut, and willpower to land stripers and preferably monster bass,” DJ said of his final presentation of the day in the main room, which is also where they’ll hold a Grand Prize Drawing at 4 p.m. (see full lineup of seminars below).

Admission to this full day “Dedicated to the Surfcaster” is just $10.

Get details at www.jerseyshoresurfcasters.com.