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Captain's Focus

They may not be the large bass we were catching between the channels a few weeks ago, but there's no complaint about the action in that area with shorts. Joe Blaze of Brielle sailed with Capt. Hans Kaspersetz and I on Sheri Berri from Baker's Marina on the Bay in Highlands this morning as we worked on picking birds that ended up producing 26 bass for Blaze on his fly rod. Dr. Dave Cheli of Spring Lake boated a very late bluefish as we jigged small bass. The largest striper there was 26 1/2 inches, but the bite was hot on the Tsunami 6-inch Swim Eel with the addition of a split shot to keep it down on a fast drift. When that bite died out before noon, we moved down the beach to work around some circling birds. Bass of the same size kept hitting the eel until my 50th tore off line and turned out to be a 37-incher -- our only keeper out of 110 caught. The weather couldn't have been any nicer for December, with no need for gloves or heavy clothing as the temperature got into the fifties and winds were light. The Sea Hunter was in on the striper jigging, but Capt. Rob Semkowyc will only be sailing through Sunday. Tank Matraxia of Lyndhurst took 40 ALS tags with him, and Capt. Fletcher Chayes applied all of them to short bass. Emil Pavelec of Rutherford and Greg Lospinoso also added a blackfish and a ling at New Grounds. Joe Massa jigged lots of short bass from his My Three Sons from Morgan Marina before he and Dave Witt added four blacks at the Apple Pie. Capt. Stan Zagleski has been doing well with blackfish from his Elaine B. out of Highlands. There were many limits Tuesday as John Porada of Pompton Lakes took the pool with a 7-pounder.

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