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Though some stripers were taken early, it was once again jumbo blues that made the day for boats fishing out of Shore ports. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported both species were located close to its inlet. Bass up to 30 pounds hit live bunkers, while the blues took everything from jigs to bunkers. The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had a similar report. The weather forecast of very strong north winds was way off, as they turned out to be very fishable northwest breezes averaging about 15 mph. Capt. Rob Semkewyc said stripers didn't turn on until 8:30 to 9 a.m., but then they had keepers, slots and shorts on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands, Shads and jigs both worked. The surf remained a tough pick. I started at Sandy Hook, with Vinny D'Anton and Phil Silvester. After doing nothing there, we checked other spots on the way south without ever being tempted to make a cast. No birds and no bait -- but there have been some blitzes of bass and big blues at Long Branch and Monmouth Beach the last few days. Allen Riley of South Plainfield was at the latter area Thursday morning when there was a brief shot after 8 a.m. when John Mazzeo of South Plainfield hooked a 27-inch striper Reports from the south weren't any better. One angler said he worked north from Island Beach State Park without finding anything. Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park reported the surf was quiet, with no weigh-ins the last two days. There was an impressive weigh-in at Betty & Nick's -- a 21 5/16-pound striper on bunker at Area 7 in the park.

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