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Captain's Focus

Posted on October 26, 2019 Tough day for party boat stripers Though the weather was fine in the morning, striped bass were generally very fussy  in the ocean, The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported seeing bass but few would hit in too much boat traffic Yet, Capt. Dave De Gennaro ran all the way north from Barnegat with his Hi Flier and found a spot where his fares were able to boat six bass on jigs and poppers while releasing others. He also called in Capt. Russ Binns from Bayville to that bite.  After boxing those bass, Dave ran off a bit to find bluefin tuna showing — though they wouldn’t hit. Bob Correll  Didn’t get back to Bay Head  from delays in Dallas until almost daylight, so he slept in until going out after noon on his Sea Vee 32 from Crystal Point in Point Pleasant with wife Mary Agnes, two big dogs and Uncle Al (me). We ran well to the north and found some scattered bird action. Bob kept running after those birds every time they dipped, and hooked two in the 25-pound class on a big popper — bringing in one and handing the rod to Mary Agnes with the other. I only raised oneto my popper on a blind cast, but that fish missed it twice. The 5-10 knot predicted wind was up to about 20 as we were reeling in to leave, when Mary Agnes hooked up on a jig. There was a big knot deep in the reel that prevented her from reeling, and Bob started handlining as I worked on it. We thought it was a small fish as it just dragged along while all this was going on. By the time we were able to. reel again, we were surprised to see a bass of at lest 30 pounds on the jig which hastened the release by spitting that jig just as Bob grabbed the leader.  Blog reader Dan found lots of bunkers off Sandy Hook, but did nothing with a diamond jig and only fed dogfish while livelining.  Tank Matraxia fished aboard Tagged Fish from Highlands. They didn’t find any stripers, but picked away at blackfish. Tank got his limit of one out of three caught. Capt. Rob Semkewyc reported poor fishing to the north with his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands. as the ocean was barren. He finally got into a couple of shorts at the end of the trip. ‘Vinny D’Anton had caught bass in the Monmouth County surf yesterday, but both he and I cast Tsunami Sand Eels into perfect-looking surf without hooking a bass this morning. I did catch three small fluke, and Frank Manzi came down later to catch one hickory shad after another on a teaser. Allen Riley and John Mazzeo also found perfect conditions at Sandy Hook, but no fish or bait except for a herring. The marine forecast is for west winds at 10-15 knots before switching to northeast at     5-10 in the afternoon. A gale watch is posted for Sunday.

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