An arctic blast, bomb cyclone and freezing rain to start the week – it may feel like the longest winter of your life, but the sad truth is we’re less than 10 days into the New Year!

The good news is the coastal weather forecast is shaping up, with temperatures expected to jump back into the 50’s by Thursday or Friday. While ice fishing fans may not view the “warm snap” too fondly, those looking to get out on the cod, pollock, blackfish and porgy grounds this week are certainly smiling a bit brighter this week.

It’s also the start of the show season in the tri-state region, with the Garden State Outdoor Sports Show returning to Edison, NJ this Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 11-14. The 35th year for the Garden State Outdoor Sports Show welcomes the return of the tackle time pavilion, expanded hunting & fishing pavilion and the always popular NJDEP deer classic. The show boasts their world famous Hawg Trough, a 5,000 Gallon Aquarium, and Pro Staff Fishing Demonstrations.

There are also outstanding fishing seminars this week featuring popular Fisherman contributors like Nick Honachefsky, DJ Muller, Austin Perilli and young gun Chris Prozor. FLW pro bass angler Bill McDonald and B.A.S.S. Federation National Champion, Ed Cowan, will cover the freshwater opportunities, while noted flycaster Mike Corblies will once again be onsite offering his first-hand guidance in the world of fly fishing.

Show hours are 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $15 at the door, but you can save $5 by getting tickets in advance at the Garden State Outdoor Sports Show website (other great offers available exclusively online).

The Garden State Outdoor Sports Show will take place at the New Jersey Convention & Expo Center at 97 Sunfield Ave in Edison, NJ where parking is always free.

As the sport show kicks off on Thursday, the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council will also pick up where they last left off back in November in addressing the potential of a February black sea bass opening. The council was scheduled to meet last Thursday but it was postponed due to the weather. This Thursday, January 11 at 5 p.m. the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council will convene at the Stafford Twp. Municipal Building at 260 East Bay Avenue, Manahawkin, NJ.

States have an opportunity to provide a limited recreational fishery during the 28 days of February, but only if they’re willing to give up some allowable fishing days later in the spring. At the November meeting the council decided to await final action on a limited Wave One fishery for black sea bass in February following the recent joint sessions of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAMFC) in December.

Following the council meeting, a public Hearing will take place starting at 7:15 p.m. on Draft Addendum XXX to the ASMFC Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan. Draft Addendum XXX was initiated to consider alternative regional management approaches for the recreational fishery, including options for regional allocation of harvest limits based primarily on state history in the fishery. The draft addendum also includes an option for coastwide management should a regional approach not be approved for management.

As for the status of the 2018 sea bass and summer flounder options, that final regulatory decision won’t be made until ASMFC and MAFMC meet again next month, with the March 8 meeting of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council expected to be when this seasons recreational limits are finalized.

If you’re looking for great deals on new and used fishing tackle, you might also want to join the Lacey Township High School Fishing Club on Saturday, January 13 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. for their Fisherman’s Flea Market. A rain or shine event, the fishing flea market is being held at the Lacey Township High School at 73 Haines Street in Lanoka Harbor.

The 9th Annual Lacey Township High School Fishing Club Fisherman’s Flea Market benefits the student members of the club and funds all of their activities throughout the year. Admission is just $3 at the door.

For Staten Island anglers, on Tuesday, January 9 the newly formed Staten Island Fishing Club will hold a general membership meeting starting at 7 p.m. at SSG Michael Ollis VFW Post #9587 at 575 Mill Road in Staten Island, NY. For new members interested in joining at meeting, please come 15 minutes early. Refreshments and food provided after meeting. Special guests this week include Jason and Frank from Kettle Creek Outfitters. Get more information at the Staten Island Fishing Club’s Facebook page.