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The greatest recent showing of peanut bunkers in the surf is fueling the best fall run of striped bass in many years for both boaters and surfcasters. Don't hesitate to take advantage of this fishery because when those peanuts head south there doesn't appear to be any other forage to hold migrating stripers in our waters. Anglers planning to fish aboard party boats on Black Friday should be aware that is probably the most popular day of the year. Be sure to arrive very early, as skippers will eave early when their Coast Guard capacity limit is reached. Missing out on the Black Friday sales isn't a problem now as many retailers are offering the sales online. Fishermen can even buy high quality Canyon Reels, assembled in Brick, direct from the manufacturer on a Black Friday sale at canyonreels.com. My telephone line (732 223-5729) suddenly went out this week, and Optimum hasn't figured out the problem as yet. Please send reports to cristori@aol.com. If you want to talk to me, use my cell phone -- 732 757-5531. As noted in my Wednesday night blog, that day's fishing trip on Ty Man out of Gateway Marina in Highlands illustrated the quality of the striper fishery. Nellie Greer of Bethlehem, Pa. and I joined Chuck Many of Annandale in releasing 109 stripers and seven bluefish while jigging and casting from Sandy Hook to Long Branch. All we needed were Tsunami 6-inch Swim Shads with the weighted version for deeper waters and the standard model for shallow waters. When birds worked over surfacing fish, I was able to cast Tactical Anglers Pencil Poppers to catch three stripers and an 18-pound bluefish. That volume of fish released normally occurs when the fish are small, but that wasn't the case at all. Almost all were slots or larger, and probably over half exceeded 28 inches. At times we were fishing close to shore over a carpet of peanut bunker schools and watching surfcasters also catching the stripers that would blast them regularly. We ended up under birds picking over swirling bass in 22 feet off Sandy Hook, where we were throwing the shads on light spinning tackle. Many thought he had hooked into a jumbo blue before the fish "turned into"a striper that weighed 25 pounds on Many's IGFA-certified Boga Grip before release.  Capt. Rob Semkewyc reported very good striper action on Wednesday as his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands limited on slots and released others while coming up just two short of a boat limit of keepers. The pool winner was 27.5 pounds. He expected another big catch during the Thanksgiving trip, and there were plenty of birds up. Yet, it was only a pick of one or two bass under them. The final count was 23 stripers in the boat plus 15-20 blues and a few short bass. The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had almost a boat limit of of slot bass on Wednesday, and mostly 24-to-32-inch stripers on Thanksgiving. At Brielle, the Jamaica has room on Friday's  1 a.m. trip to far offshore sea bass wrecks. The fare is $190, which be paid when boarding begins at midnight. Wednesday's trip started slowly in a strong current, but produced some limits of jumbo sea bass plus lots of porgies and some bluefish. The pool went to a huge 7-pound sea bass, with a 5-pounder taking second. Bob Correll of Bay Head said everyone was hooking up Wednesday morning at Spring Lake when stripers were blasting into peanuts. Yet, he didn't see a thing caught there that evening -- and it was quiet Thanksgiving morning. I moved south, and ended up casting blind into good-looking water at Normandy Beach where I was happy to release three stripers up to 28 1/4 inches on a Tsunami Talkin Popper. Vinny D'Anton of Wall had a good snag & drop bite of stripers up to a 34-incher Monday at Avon when he was surprised by a redfish of about 18 inches. The semi-tropical red drum has been rare north of Cape May for many years, but D'Anton caught one in November, 2012 at Spring Lake -- and did it again a week later in the same spot. Betty & Nick's Tackle in Seaside Park reported there was an early morning blitz just to their north on Thanksgiving morning. Grumpy's Tackle reported Wednesday was very slow in the surf, but weigh-ins resumed on Thursday. Capt. Dave De Gennaro of Hi-Flier at Barnegat got into lots of birds and swirling bass 1 1/2 miles NE of Barnegat Inlet during an afternoon charter. Those 25-to-36-inchers responded to swim shads and to wire line trolling with bucktails and pork rind.

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