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LBIfishermen seek to prevent cabin fever

By BERNARD VAUGHAN Staff Writer, (609) 978-2012/Press of Atlantic City


Ron Stott's surf-fishing poles line the ceiling of his warm garage in the High Bar Harbor section of Long Beach Township.

Why? Because it is too cold to fish.

Although Stott and other fishermen said they'll hit the beaches any chance they get, the winter does leave them with time on their hands they would otherwise spend fishing. And about the only thing a fishermen hates more than an unruly tide is cabin fever.

But Stott has plenty to stave off cabin fever in his garage - mainly, a disassembled 1936 Buick Victoria Coup.

Stott, 63, said he fishes two to three times a day in decent weather. But when weather isn't permitting, he heads to the garage to work on the Buick he bought fully assembled, but in deteriorating condition, nearly 20 years ago.

Like other fishing diehards, Stott also spends a lot of the off-season making rigs, sinkers and other preparations for the spring.

"I'll start working on (the car) now, and I'll work on it every chance I get," Stott said. "I put a TV on just for some noise, some company. I find it very soothing."

"Oh, yeah," joked Stott's wife Betty, who characterized herself as a "fishermen's widow." "Maybe for six weeks out of the winter when the bay's frozen over."

Rob Vallone, 21, said he spends a lot of the off-season winterizing his gear.

"I take a warm, damp cloth and with a basic rubbing compound rub the rods up and down," Vallone said at the Marina at Barnegat Light. "Then I put 3-in-1 oil on the rod guides to slow the rusting process. It improves the life of the rod."

But, more importantly, Vallone said, "It's something to do in February."

Vallone said he tapes morning editions of ESPN Outdoors and checks out flea markets and fishing seminars during the winter - anything, he says, to feed his interests. He also organizes trips to Cabela's, an expansive hunting and fishing outfitting store in Hamburg, Pa.

"On a cold Sunday, I'll call some people up and go to Cabela's for the day," Vallone said. "It gets you out the door."

Tom Deacon, 61, of Ship Bottom, spends more mornings at Subbogies Food Depot now that the fishing's not as good.

"This," Deacon said drinking coffee and watching CNN with friends at Subbogies, when asked what he does in the off-season. "Nothing, sit here and harass the waitresses."

Waitress Dawn Jorgensen laughed.

"I tie jigs, check the tides. When I leave here, I check the beach," Deacon continued, fiddling with his coffee mug. "But when you get into January and February, you do get cabin fever."

Matt Brown and Phil Woznuk said they supplement their fishing time hunting deer.

"In January I'll be going to the boat shows, too," Woznuk said while buying fishing gear at Fisherman's Headquarters.

Woznuk said his job as a mechanic at Viking Yachts also keeps him occupied - and somewhat close to the world of fishing.

"Besides that, watch football, eat, drink and be merry," Woznuk added before leaving.

The toughest part for Brown is the cabin fever he gets between the end of hunting season - his hunting zone closes in February - and the unofficial onset of the fishing season, with winter flounder, in March.

"I change the hooks on my rods, clean the reels, clean out my plug bag," Brown said. "I go through everything, see what I need and go shopping."

Ken Austin, of Fishermen's Headquarters, sounded like he didn't even want to think about what he'll be doing instead of fishing.

"Tie rigs, man, clean my equipment," Austin said, begrudgingly.

Woznuk had just left the store, which was chilly and quiet. Another customer ambled about the aisles.

Austin thought about it for a moment.

"Get fat," he added, laughing. "Hibernate. I don't do much in the winter, to tell you the truth."

To e-mail Bernard Vaughan at The Press:
 

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Steve,
Is the weather getting any better down there. temps look pretty good up here. So, steve are you going to be around Friday night. I'm looking to do some herring fishing. Bring your feed bag buddy the grille is coming down.
 

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Originally posted by fishintimeforever:
Steve,
Is the weather getting any better down there. temps look pretty good up here. So, steve are you going to be around Friday night. I'm looking to do some herring fishing. Bring your feed bag buddy the grille is coming down.
Paul, I would Love To Make It.But I Am Shut Down
Fishing Wise Until The Spring....Too Much Else
Going On,, But Conditions Don't Look To Bad, For
A Herring Bite,,Water Temps Are in the Low 40's
and Pretty Clean For This Time of The Year....

I'll Have To Get A RainCheck for the Grilling
Maybe In The Spring...

Good Luck, Let Us Know How You Make Out....
 
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