From RIBs (rugged inflatable boats) to inflatable kayaks and paddle boards; from bass boats to back bay boats; from PWC (personal watercraft) to jet boats; from center console inshore to center console offshore runners; from speed boats to pontoon and tri-toon boats; from sportfishing yachts to beyond-opulent cruising yachts, and everything in between.

They’re all at the Progressive Atlantic City Boat show currently running today from 11am until 8 pm, from 10am-8pm Saturday, and Sunday from 10am-6pm, at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

After working and walking it the past two days (the Wednesday opener and then Thursday) it was evident that people are in the buying mood and signing on the dotted line. From this corner, today through Sunday looks like the deals will continue being done.

To be sure, all the dealers are offering “show special” vessels at blowout prices and are also offering appreciable discounts, rebates or package deals on others. Engine manufacturers are working in concert by offering additional time on warranties or extended service plans. Financing rates are very competitive, and, with the 3.5% sales tax on boats (instead of the standard 6.625% state rate), it all adds up to big savings.

For those who are happy with their current boat but recognize the engine is about to breathe its last, well, re-powering is the option and there are marine centers exhibiting who specialize in this service. What’s more, with the aforementioned manufacturer incentives, it will mean substantial savings.

Besides the boats, there are aisles and aisles of marine and fishing tackle products and services, apparel, nautical jewelry, boating insurance and boating class services, marine artists, fishing publications, et al.

Today through Sunday there are is a full roster of free fishing seminars sponsored by the Recreational Fishing Alliance and The Fisherman Magazine that cover everything from blackfish to yellowfin. The seminars alone are worth the price of admission.
It’s a $17 ticket for adults, and youngsters 12 and under get in free.

Tog Season Closes/Striper Season Opens

The tog (blackfish) season draws to a close Saturday at 11:59pm. It will re-open April 1 and run through April 30. The possession limit will remain four at a 15-inch minimum.

The bay/tidal river striped bass season opens Sunday, March 1, and the new length/bag limit is in place. For 2020, it will be a one fish possession limit, with a slot length from 28-inches to under 38-inches. Under and over these lengths must be released. The Striped Bass Bonus Tag (SBBT) program will start May 15 and the limit will be one fish from 24-inches to under 28-inches. The SBBT application form will be available sometime in late March-early April. We’ll keep you posted on the exact date of availablity.

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