Guest Speakers for 2021

April 9: Anthony Arcabascio (Tony Maja Products) – Trolling Strategies for Striped Bass 

Anthony Arcabascio, aka Tony Jr, or just Tony, is the owner and manager of Tony Maja Products, which he took over from his father Tony “Maja” Aracabasio about three years ago.  Growing up in Manalapan, Tony has been fishing for over 35 years, and he says that he learned everything he knows about fishing from his father.  He still fishes with his father, now retired, on their 29’ SeaVee boat.  With the striper season just getting under way, Tony is going to review the gear he uses, and will give us the best tips and strategies for trolling for striped bass. He is prepared to answer all your questions so that you can have a successful run at New Jersey’s favorite Spring and Fall fishery.

May 14: Doug Zemeckis (Rutgers University) – Wind Farms and Recreational Fishing

Dr. Doug Zemeckis returns to VHFC by popular demand for the third year in a row. Doug is an assistant professor at Rutgers University, and serves as the Marine Extension Agent for Ocean, Atlantic, and Monmouth Counties out of his office at the Cooperative Extension of Ocean County (Rutgers) in Toms River.  He holds a BS in Marine Sciences from Rutgers, and a PhD in Marine Science and Technology from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. Doug has initiated several new outreach programs to the public, including the Introductory Fisheries Science for Stakeholders (IFISSH) course, which is now running its fourth series of weekly instructional seminars on fishery biology and management, and the monthly Marine Extension Program Seminar Series (MEPSS) which covers a variety of topics of interest to the NJ fishing community, presented by invited speakers from the academic community. This year Doug is going to review the wind farm projects that are planned off the NJ coast and will discuss possible impacts to recreational fishing.

June 11: Greg Cudnik (Fisherman’s Headquarters) – Approaches to Striped Bass and Other Species

Captain Greg Cudnik is a passionate saltwater angler with vast knowledge on the local fishery and saltwater fishing tackle. Greg is the general manager of Fisherman’s Headquarters and also runs Fish Head Charters – a Light Tackle & Fly Guide Service. He is also the Editor of a fishing report blog focused on the waters of Long Beach Island. Greg will share information about light tackle striped bass fishing in the area. His simple presentation will detail topics like rod/reel choices, line/leader and best knots as well as his top lures. Greg will also discuss fishing techniques and gear appropriate for other species in our area. Greg will be answering your questions to point you towards your next successful fishing trip.

July 9: Phil Simon (VHFC) – Past, Present and Future of Fluke Fishing in NJ

Returning for a second time after last year’s “Striper Wars II” presentation, fellow club member Phil Simon will update the membership on the biology and regulatory controversies surrounding our summer flounder fishery. Phil had a long career in biological research and has used much of that experience to keep an eye on the various regulatory agencies that manage the species of interest to NJ recreational fishermen. He will share what he has learned regarding why summer flounder stocks are declining (or are they?) and will present a few facts not normally heard from the experts.  During the fishing season, when not studying the latest fishing regulatory amendment, you can often find him wetting a line from his 21’ Steigercraft the Bayfillet based on Barnegat Bay.

August 13: Brett Taylor (Reel Reaction Sportfishing) – End of Season Fluke Fishing

Capt. Brett Taylor is a licensed USCG captain who has been avidly fishing the Barnegat Bay and surrounding waters for the past 20 years. He has become one of most sought-after charter captains along the mid-Jersey coast, primarily because he really knows how to find and catch the fish.  With two boats each equipped with trolling motors, he has moved Barnegat Bay fishing to a new level.  If you are a regular reader of The Fisherman or On The Water magazines, you will know that Bret is an expert at communicating his top fishing practices to the recreational community.  This year Capt. Brett will discuss his approaches to fishing the end of the summer flounder season. This is one talk that you don’t want to miss!

September 10: Aaron Held (Octopus Yachts) – Selecting and Installing a Trolling Motor

The use of trolling motors in the waters off NJ has exploded in the last few years. Therefore, we are bringing in the expert from Octopus Yachts to explain how you could add this advantage to your own approach to fishing. Capt. Aaron, Owner & Installation Engineer has been designing and implementing marine electrical and mechanical systems since 1996. Growing up on Cape Cod, MA, Aaron is familiar with the architecture and operation of both sail and power vessels having built two boats: an electric powered wooden runabout and a fiberglass center console as well as cruising aboard sailing vessels from Maine to the Chesapeake. Aaron holds his 50-ton USCG Masters License and is currently certified by the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA), American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), manufacturers including Raymarine, Garmin, Maretron, KVH, SeaTel and has a BS in Engineering from Tufts University in Medford, MA.  So please come with your questions – Capt Aaron has the answers.

October 8: Captain Mark Finelli – Fishing the Fall Striper Run

I started Laura Sportfishing in 2012 as a part time business and now average about 50 trips per year. I specialize in wreck and striper fishing but I will target whatever is biting on my 23 foot Parker center console. When I’m not saltwater fishing I’m either freshwater fishing or hunting. The rest of my time is spent coaching my children’s sports teams and working full time as a financial advisor. Through all this, I still manage to sleep of couple hours a night and do woodworking projects in my garage”




Fishing Facts

Of the fifty United States, thirty-eight have a striped-bass record. New Jersey has the largest striped-bass record—a 78-pound 8·ounce whopper that was caught in 1982. The state with the smallest striped-bass record is Iowa. That landlocked striper weighed only 9 pounds 4 ounces and was caught in 1983.
There’s something fishy about beer these days. Fish Tail Ale is popular as ever, and New Jersey’s Flying Fish Brewery is one of the state’s largest specialty breweries. There’s also Washington’s Wild Salmon Organic Pale Ale, Florida’s Land Shark beer, Delaware’s Dogfish Head beer, and two versions of Stingray beer—a lighter version from the Cayman Islands and a dark beer from Canada.
The triangle fly is probably the most unusual of saltwater flies. It’s one of the few, if not only, flies tied to a treble hook. It’s also barely a fly at all, because hardly any material is used. It is complete after tying the two straw pearl twinkle flashes and the tiny tuft of natural squirrel, leaving an entire hook fully exposed. Incredibly this barebacked treble fly is a knockout when it comes to sea trout.

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