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The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has confirmed the right of the public to fish from the five-foot public access all along Point Pleasant Canal. Ginger KopKash, Assistant Commissioner of Land Use Management, wrote that "The 5-foot wide public access walkway must be kept open to the public for access which includes fishing. Fishermen are allowed to use the walkway as all members of the public. In addition,  when the fishing pier is rebuilt it is the Department's position that the 5-foot wide public access walkway must be maintained for public access which once again includes fishing." The pier mentioned is located at the end of Bay Ave. in Bay Head, and is supposed to be rebuilt by next year. The condo association had planned to end all fishing in their area once that was available. Anglers must respect the properties they're fishing on, and clean up after themselves, including throwing seaweed back into the water. Unfortunately, there are a few slobs around, and we should also pick up after them. Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant and canal pro Larry McGinn deserve credit for bringing this problem to the attention of officials  The Fall Hi-Mar Striped Bass Tournament has been postponed to next weekend, Oct. 28-30, due to the forecast of gale-force northwest winds this weekend.That might work out for me as I have a garage sale on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1552 Osprey Ct., Manasquan Park 08736. My wife made me clean out the garage, and both new and used fishing tackle including big game up to 130-pound plus boating equipment, electronics, books and some household goods will be on display. Call 732 223-5729 for Sunday hours if enough remains. The sea bass season opens on Saturday, and runs through the rest of the year with a limit of 15 fish -- but at a minimum of 13 inches rather than the previous 12 1/2 inches. Every bottom fishing party boat skipper has been watching numerous legal sea bass being released since the August 31 closure, and they'll all be out there on Saturday. The Jamaica II from Brielle will run an extended 12-hour open trip at 5 a.m.  Saturday. Porgy fishing remains very good, with a 50-fish bag at a 9-inch minimum through Dec. 31. The one fish limit on blackfish continues, but Capt. Stan Zagleski put his regulars  into hot release fishing Wednesday on his Elaine B II from Bahrs in Highlands as catches ran into the 30's of mostly legal tog by Big John Poraba of Pompton Lakes up to an 8 3/8-pounder by Mike Naipawer of Bloomingdale. Elaine B. won't be sailing Friday before starting the sea bass fishery Saturday. The fall blackfish season with a bag of six at the same 15-inch minimum runs from Nov. 16 through the end of the year. Capt. Howard Bogan had another successful canyon trip from Tuesday to Wednesday with his Jamaica from Brielle as yellowfin tuna up to 75 pounds were boated. There were several limits, and the the bite was on bait. The water temperature offshore is still at 70 degrees, and the season should last for some time. For openings on upcoming trips call 732 528-5014. The jumbo bluefish bite continues at Shark River Reef. The Golden Eagle from Belmar had a slow start on Thursday, as has been typical this week, but ended up in with a good catch plus some little tunny. Bait has been most effective this week, but some jumbos also hit Run-Off Hammer jigs.  Miss Belmar Princess had a similar Thursday report, but also was into fine porgy fishing out there. Though the inshore water temperature hadn't changed at all from last week's 66 degrees when Chuck Many fished Tuesday afternoon from his Ty Man out of Gateway Marina in Highlands. Little tunny were still chasing mall bait on the surface. There were too many boats chasing them during a very warm afternoon, but Many marked stripers on bottom and released a 24-incher on a Tsunami Shad.  We went up to the Hudson River and found that the large weakfish we'd been catching for weeks on sand worms had given way to smaller ones. Only one of our five releases was of a typical 26-incher, and the last was only 16 inches -- the legal size in New York but far smaller than the 29- incher which had been the smallest we'd ever caught in the Hudson.   Capt. Rob Semkewyc started off his striper fishing this week on Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands with some 28-to-32-inch keepers and 26-to 27.5-inch slots, but every day is different in Raritan Bay and there were only some small blues on Thursday as he returned early at noon. Anglers casting shad lures are doing best. Due to the gale warning coming up, Semkewyc has cancelled Saturday's trip -- and will probably do the same for Sunday. Capt. Joe Massa, of My Three Sons from Morgan Marina, had a good variety trip on Wednesday as he caught blackfish, sea bass and porgies at Shrewsbury Rocks before adding a little tunny off Sandy Hook on the way back -- and ending with a double of school stripers off Keansburg. A rough sea from an unexpected northeast wind kept him off the ocean on Thursday, but he ended up releasing lots of blackfish from 5 to 19 inches in the bay. There have been bunker schools offshore, and anglers are hoping for a repeat of last fall's live baiting on them. However, big striper catches have been primarily by trolling so far -- and close to the federal waters where stripers are illegal to catch beyond the state line at three miles. Capt. Ken Gallop of Big Kid at Brielle Yacht Club released a 51-pound trophy bass on a Tony Maja #4 bunker spoon this week. Surfcasting has been slow to develop due to the high water temperatures and a lack of bait except at the tip of Sandy Hook where little tunny and hickory shad have been feeding on rainfish. Point Pleasant Canal continues to produce great numbers of blackfish even though the great majority are shorts. Jerry Lasko of Point Pleasant released 22 one day. An angler got a big surprise Wednesday after not getting a hit on a live eel. He switched to green crabs for tog, and hooked a striper just short of 30 inches -- which was released.

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