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Captain's Focus

Nothing that happened today probably makes any difference now since Saturday looks like a washout in a northeaster. It wasn't very nice on Friday, but still fishable as most anglers who fished for stripers in the ocean seemed to do well.  Chuck Many of Annandale started in Raritan Bay with his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands,  but the bass under schools of bunkers proved to be hard to hook. Many decided to run out to a hot jigging bite in the ocean, but first stopped under some birds over a few blow-ups where I cast the large Tactical Anglers Sea Pencil to release a 38-inch striper. We were late for the jigging bite at the Rocks, and were shocked to start hooking big bluefish where we hadn't seen any all season.  Surfcasters were into fish from Sea Bright to Long Branch, so I cast the Sea Pencil toward the surf and started raising fish steadily. They were mostly big blues. My last was a fat one that Many weighed on his Boga Grip at 17 pounds before releasing it. A 31-inch striper beat the blues to the popper and was released. Yet, Many and Ron Berkman of Pompton Plains cast soft plastic lures into the same area but couldn't get a hit on them. All we found further off was more bluefish, and Many finished up in the calmer Raritan Bay where he added our last striper release on a bunker -- though there was no late afternoon blast such as had occurred the previous day for Capt. Joe Massa of My III Sons from Morgan Marina. Berkman had been sea bass fishing on the Fishmonger from Point Pleasant on Thursday afternoon when they ran into surfacing stripers on the way in and jigged them up to 42 pounds. Capt. Dave De Gennaro reported the third day in a row of hot striper fishing off Ortley Beach. He trolled a variety of lures from his Hi-Flier out of Manasquan Inlet from 25 to 60 feet to load up with 12-to-30-pound bass. He expects to be able to fish an open trip there Sunday in the stiff NW wind predicted. The Cock Robin from Point Pleasant reported a hot start to jigging, but it died out as the NE wind increased. Their Saturday trip is a no go due to the forecast.

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