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Last night's blog was about the improving striped bass prospects, and was written before I joined Chuck Many of Annandale on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands for a 2 p.m. trip that I knew would be a late one. Fortunately, some stripers did join in on our variety fishing. Many first checked some rough bottom spots in Raritan Bay which didn't have much on them except porgies. Therefore he headed up to the Hudson River where we had released 31 weakfish in the 20-to-30-inch class two weeks earlier with just one school bass mixed in.  It wasn't the same as before after all the northeasters that brought the water temperature down a few degrees from last week's 69. We still released five weaks from 21 to 25 inches despite constant hits from porgies as we used up most of two sandworm flats. Many also released a short fluke, and was surprised by a little tunny when he cast into some small birds picking on tiny rainfish. A couple of blues interfered with that fishing, but Many still switched to a small Tsunami Eel which produced short stripers as small as 13 inches. Yet, Many also released bass of 26 and 31 inches, while I released a 28 1/2-incher on the same lure. We finished up with a few drifts after dark in Shrewsbury River that produced a short bass on an eel and a 6-pound bluefish on sandworms. Nick Honachefsky fished clams in the Lavallette surf this morning to beach a legal striper and, of all things, a small pompano. There was no repeat of the striper bite in the Spring Lake surf this morning, though Vinnie D'Anton of Wall released one of about 28 inches on a Chug Bug after raising two others in a very large swell, Mike Monte, a Shore native who has long run a tackle shop in Nantucket, raised three bass before I arrived -- and everything went dead. There was good surf news from Leif Pettersen, who cast a Bigeye Clouser fly in the Deal Surf to release stripers of 32 and 34 inches. He didn't need any fish for the table after fishing the Friday night canyon trip on the Gambler from Point Pleasant with Bill Malcome as they boated about a dozen dolphin up to 6 pounds after the very long trip to Jones. He also jigged a dozen squid, but there was only one yellowfin and a mako caught on the boat. Allen Riley of South Plainfield worked the Sea Bright surf for a pick of small blues on metal just before and after sunrise. Surfcasters fishing bait there did nothing.   Jumbo bluefish continue to please in the Shark River Reef area. Miss Belmar Princess had up to 10 to 15 on at a time today, with blues ranging up to 20 pounds, 10 ounces. The Golden Eagle from Belmar had a similar report, with bait working best. They will be tuna fishing Thursday. The Fisherman from Atlantic Highlands has had good porgy fishing the last two mornings, but the bite dies down on the tide change. The Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands will not besailing on Thursday. They will concentrate on blackfish at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday for the one presently allowed plus releasing the rest to sharpen skills before the season opens.

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