Three Lantern Marine & Fishing

With any luck, cod will be back on the list for recreational anglers this season.

By Steve Zelck

As I write this, we just had our first “snow storm” of the season. You would have thought the world was going to end as they predicted approximately two to three whole inches – WOW. Considering that at this time last year, we were measuring every storm in feet. Truth is, we needed some colder temperature, because up until now we have had record high air temperatures due to a strong El Nino in the Pacific. A sign of global warming or global change – who knows. All I know is 60-degree air temperature is not right.

The folks on the West Coast were seeing tropical fish as far north as Washington and Oregon – also not right. And it water temperatures around here stay warm through the winter, then be prepared for a super hot summer – which would definitely screw up the fishing and send most of our favorite species running north of the border next season. So as much as I hate to say it, I’m praying for some colder temperatures. As it stands now, we’ve gotten off easy and it’s sure to be a short winter. And comparing it to last year’s winter, I think we can handle it.

So as far as fishing goes, we will see a lot less going on considering it’s February. I heard of a few tuna caught around mid- December, but that was the last I heard of any big catches – unless you’re on a commercial dragger. I still like to think back on 2015, and hope that 2016 will be just as good.  Speaking of good, there’s some good news on the horizon already. It looks like the powers that be are going to let us catch some ground fish. I’ve heard anywhere from 10 to 15 haddock, which will make trips offshore worthwhile and put more of our charters fleets back in business. No official word on cod yet, but I’m hearing one to three – we will take that over a big goose egg. I’m also hearing of piles of striped bass moving back into Chesapeake Bay with record numbers over 50-pounds. A friend of mine was in a tournament down there recently and a 52-pounder didn’t even get him a place in the Top 10. Great news for the breeding stock. And as far as tuna goes, they are all smart enough to be on vacation in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean spawning for the future. Their numbers are healthy and I personally can’t wait for this upcoming season. Hope everyone has been enjoying these winter months.


FORECAST BY: Steve Zelck was born and raised in Gloucester. Steve’s love of the sea lured him back to pursue his fishing passion and not a day goes by without him checking the pulse of the harbor for action. If you don’t find Steve at Three Lantern Marine & Fishing, you can bet he’s out working on his lobster boat, F/V Erik and Devin, named after his kids. He also tuna fishes aboard the F/V Bounty Hunter with Captain Bill Monte from Wicked Tuna.