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Captain's Focus

Nothing much has changed since yesterday as small stripers remain abundant for party boats, while some surfcasters also catch a few in relatively mild weather. Capt. Rob Semkewyc reported a high hook of 36 bass on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands -- but no keepers.With keepers being scarce, participation is down and it's best to check with skippers before coming down -- though the mild forecast for Dec. 1 should spark some interest. The Golden Eagle from Belmar found lots of birds today, but only a pick of short stripers. The Tackle Box in Hazlet weighed a huge 17 1/2-pound blackfish boated by Bob Fecso of Freehold on a whitelegger at Sandy Hook Reef from Ryan Burlew's Thelma Sea II. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, spoke highly of the blackfishing. One angler had a limit with the smallest over 6 pounds while the largest went 9 3/4 pounds. Jim Rice of Wall weighed an 11 3/4-pounder. The Jamaica II from Brielle reported a sluggish Friday with only some ling on deep wrecks, but an excellent Saturday with big sea bass and porgies plus a few cod and pollock. Trang Jin from Fort Lee boated a 38 1/2-pound cod, and Sigmund Molis from Hamilton had a 32-pound pollock. Wreck trips will be run from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays. There's a 24-hour trip at 3 a.m. Saturdays. Blackfish are the target the other days at 7:30 a.m.

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