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Captain's Focus

It took a long time, but I finally got my first Raritan Bay legal striper report from a boat today. Johnny Bucktails did the job while clamming in only three to four feet off Laurence Harbor after sailing from Keyport. That bass barely made it at 28 1/2 inches, and a short was released. He had a few other bites, and didn't have any competition out there despite the warm weather. Johnny said there were plenty of bunkers around -- even in his harbor. There have been a few keepers caught from the bay shorelines, and the Tackle Box in Hazlet reported another taken yesterday by Jose Quintino of Hoboken on clam. He also released a short while casting at Cliffwood Beach. There were no offshore reports when this was written. Northeast winds of 10 to 15 mph, with gusts to 20 mph, are forecast for Sunday. Bruce Vitale of Piscataway was in Florida this week, where Bruce Hrobak of Billy Bones Tackle in Port St. Lucie set him up for some freshwater fishing. Hrobak formerly owned Jersey Shore Tackle in Brick. Peacock Joe wasn't available, but Hrobak got in touch with Adam of Reel Deal Adventures (561 706-8013) for a small boat trip on the Lake Ida canal. Slow trolling live shiners produced steady light tackle action as Bruce and his wife Ann caught 15 largemouth bass, a dozen peacock bass, and four clown knifefish, The latter are new to me, but Bruce said they were about 8 to 10 pounds and hard fighters. They are natives of Thailand, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says the knife-shaped fish with black spots have been caught up to almost 11 pounds so far in Lakes Ida and Osborne plus the associated canals.

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