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Captain's Focus

Chuck Many of Annandale spent Tuesday looking for striped bass on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands, and never found one of any size -- but made up for that with a hot bite of weakfish in the Hudson River. There was a north wind blowing when we headed out about 8:30 a.m., but it was moderate enough for decent drifting conditions in the Hudson River after our small peanuts bunkers and sandworms  were getting eaten up by porgies and tiny sea bass at Many's favorite rough bottom spots in Raritan Bay. Fortunately, there were weakfish on Many's river drift that normally produces school stripers. Most were on the smaller size for that area (19 to 23 inches), but a few bigger ones up to 29 inches were caught when we returned in the afternoon. We ended up releasing 30 along with a half-dozen 3-to-5-pound blues, lots of very small sea bass, some legal porgies, a couple of sea robins, and a short fluke. Vinnie D'Anton of Shark River Hills waited out the low tide in the Spring Lake surf this morning, and plugged a keeper striper for the second day in a row,. Today's bass was a more impressive 34-incher that weighed 12.8 pounds on his digital scale.   It also hit a Chug Bug and, like the previous bass, there was nothing in its stomach. At Belmar Marina, Bob Matthews of Fisherman's Den had a report of surf stripers hitting poppers at Deal. He noted that offshore fluking has been good. The Ocean Explorer had several limits Monday with fluke up to 9 3/4 pounds. Hunter Schiegel had a 10-pound doormat on the charter boat Fish Stix.  The charter boat On A Mission  reported a big catch of little tunny. Matthews noted lots of porgies are being caught north of Shark River Inlet. The Golden Eagle got off to a great start this morning with a 20-pound dolphin. Then there were lots of little tunny with some fares catching six to eight. Though there was only a pick of bluefish, those hooked were 15-to-18-pounders. That boat is tuna fishing through Thursday, but will return to sailing daily on Friday. Allen Riley of South Plainfield drove to Sea Bright in hopes of seeing some little tunny withing casting distance, but was happy just to get into lots of 1-to-2-pound blues on Crippled Herring and the Gibbs Minnow. The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant reported good little tunny fishing today, and also had a dolphin. The trawler Austin is scheduled to be sunk on Axel Carlsen Reef today.

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