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Captain's Focus

The day turned out to be better than predicted, with the strong northwest wind holding off in the morning. There was hardly enough wind to move flags along the beach, but the big waves of Friday were diminished to moderate. Small stripers were caught all along the coast, but it appears that only a few anglers hit concentrations. There was just a pick at Bay Head, where I had done well Friday. Bob Correll of Bay Head got a couple of small bass when he started at 6:30, and I saw a few others caught. My only hit was on-and-off, and only a sun dial prevented a complete shutout though I stayed longer than usual in hopes there would be a real bite as the tide got higher. Despite the forecast, it was surprisingly mild on the beach. The northeast wind predicted for Sunday will probably reverse that situation. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported it wasn't a great day of striper fishing, but they did boat three bass up to a 28-pounder plus a few dozen shorts, and a few blues. They will not sail Sunday due to the forecast, and are reducing the schedule to only Friday though Sunday at 7:30 a.m. The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands reported the catching was good, but the keeping wasn't. They conclude their season with Sunday's trip. Most of the big migrating stripers may have already passed by to the south. My friend,Harry Aiken, in Georgetown, De., said a skipper fishing for sea bass 12 miles off Indian River Inlet this week reported acres of big stripers rolling out there. Chuck Many of Annandale made his first trip of the winter season to Virginia this week, with Nellie Greer from Bethlehem, Pa., to fish on his Tyman that's wintered in Cape Charles. The quantity of bass isn't there as yet, but several 50-pounders and one sixty have been weighed in already at Chris' Tackle. They put in a long day on Thursday to release two of the big bass Many seeks (42 and 47 pounds) plus a few smaller ones.

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