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Captain's Focus

It was generally a tough day for striper fishing, but there were some hopeful reports from Grumpy's and Betty & Nick's in Seaside Park. John Bushell said there was a big school of bunkers off the north end of the park, and he had the opportunity to snag-and-drop for a 20-pound release. There were some weigh-ins of mostly teen bass at both shops. Eric Zoppina had a 22-pounder at Betty & Nick's on a clam. Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, heard of some bass caught Tuesdy night in the area by pluggers on their teasers as they reported sand eels in the surf -- the first I've heard of them this fall. Jay Russell was casting after dark Tuesday at Spring Lake when he caught three stripers in the 25-inch class on a black Mambo Minnow. The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant reported jigging blues, but only a couple of stripers. They've cancelled for Thursday due to the poor forecast. I joined Bud McArthur of Brick on his Splinter for a couple of hours late in the morning. He had only caught big bluefish to the south yesterday, so he headed north. That turned out to be a bad move as we later heard about lots of action off IBSP while we couldn't even find a bunker to the north. Mark Roy did find bunkers near the Red Church, but there were no fish on them. He ended up in Raritan Bay where he boated a 30-inch bass on a live bunker from Release Me. Gene Graman of Middletown trolled a limit of bass during the morning in the bay on his That's It from Twin Lights Marina in Highlands.

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