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An unprecedented late December striped bass and bluefish blitz occurred at several points along the Shore during the beginning of a northeaster. The hot spot, as has been the case most of the season, was in the Island Beach State Park to Lavallette area, though there were also reports from areas such as Bay Head and Spring Lake as the predators drove large bunkers to the beach. Jay Amberg reported from Sea Girt that "while the Shark River head boat fleet was tied to the docks today, the central Jersey surf came back to life. There were big bunker, keeper stripers and some angry bluefish in the surf despite a 20-25 mph northeast wind. There was even a big whale feasting on the bunker schools off Belmar at midday (first one I've seen in weeks}. There were gannets diving on bait from Bradley Beach to Manasquan, but the bad news because of all the beach construction in Spring Lake and Sea Girt is that NE wind and swell made the water along those beaches almost black with all the sand being displaced getting dragged down the beach." Amberg said a friend released a blue of about 15 pounds, a keeper striper, and a short bass when those fish trapped bunkers between a jetty and the beach. Unfortunately, tomorrow's forecast is for a steady rain and strong east winds. John Green got a call from Ortley Beach before 8 a.m., and put his rods back in the truck to get in on the action despite a strong wind in his face. He saw blues in the 10-to-15-pound class plus bass ranging from barely short up to 25 pounds being caught on shad lures and metals as bunkers were pushed onto the beach. At Seaside Park, Grumpy's Tackle didn't have any weigh-ins Sunday, but the scales were busy this morning. Bill Bertsch had the biggest bass at 42.5 inches and 30.25 pounds on a bucktail. Keith Scharago beached a 43-inch, 28.6-pound striper on a Croc, and Frankie Z hooked 41-inch, 26.1-pounder on an S&S bucktail.  Betty & Nick's reported one angler was in a two-hour blitz. Chris Smith of Seaside Heights waited until late December to nail his largest striper of the year at 16 pounds. A Pa. angler had a problem with one of those jumbo blues as a trip to the hospital was needed to get the lure out of his hand.  Bob Matthews reported from Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina before the blitz. He noted that winds have been a problem for boaters, but some got out Sunday for good blackfishing. Barry Young Jr. weighed a tog of 12 pounds, nine ounces. Though winter flounder fishing remains good at the docks, that season closes Dec 31 -- along with sea bass. The Jamaica from Brielle had continued hot far offshore wreck fishing on Sunday's trip. Kimmie Kobayasi from Havertown, Pa. won the pool with a 25-pound cod while adding 13 sea bass and 26 porgies.

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