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Captain's Focus

There was considerable variation in striped bass reports today. I can testify that the bite between the channels was way off. Capt. Hans Kaspersetz was among the first out there on Sheri Berri from Baker's Marina on the Bay in Highlands. However, the bird action in fine conditions was very modest compared to yesterday's in rough seas. There were lots of shorts hitting at first, but I got lucky while working a Tsunami 6-inch Swim Eel off bottom on my light surf outfit as three large bass up to 35 inches took the little eel and tore lots of line off the Shimano Bait Runner. After that we only picked a few shorts and a couple of big blues. Capt. Rob Semkewyc had a big drop-off in action there with his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands, but moved to a different area for a good afternoon bite. Though there were a lot of surfcasters spread along the shore from Sandy Hook to Monmouth Beach, those I talked to said there had only been a few brief flurries of bass rather than a repeat of yesterday's Sea Bright blitz. There was a big fleet of boats off Brick Beach, where there had been action yesterday. At Point Pleasant, Capt. Bobby Bogan said he fished down to Island Beach State Park and had a decent pick of keeper bass plus some blues on his Gambler -- though it was nothing like yesterday's hot jigging bite. The fish there are feeding on large butterfish as well as sand eels. Ava 47 jigs worked well. On the other hand, Capt. Bob Pennington of the Sea Devil reported "spectacular" striper fishing today with most fares catching several .John Green was on the beach waiting for those fish to move in to Brick Beach, but that never happened. The blackfish season reopens Saturday for the rest of the year, with a 6-fish limit at the same 15-inch minimum. Capt. Stan Zagleski will be sailing daily at 7 a.m. with his Elaine B. from Highlands. His son did some diving last week and came up with over 1,000 pounds of sinkers from one wreck.

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