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Returned back to the Atlantic Highlands on Wednesday 11/17 for a 'freebie' trip because of the wind on 11/15. We got fish that day, but the capt wasnt happy with the results and gave the 13 people on board a free trip. We took advantage of that free trip on 11/17.

Just as expected, the nice forecast brought out alot more people to the boat. We were on the Fisherman and I'd say there were around 40 people. Not packed, but technically a full boat. The Sea Hunter was completely packed and they left at 7:00 as a result. We left at 7:30 and proceeded to head up into the bay, same as Monday. We got past the Navy pier and you can see the fleet of personal boats already on the grounds. No bird action whatsoever, complete opposite of Monday. The capt slowly approached the fleet and no much was going on, until all hell broke loose!! Pods of bunker appeared on the surface with the water boiling from the stripers pushing the bait on top. Chaos ensued on the first drift with probably 30-40 fish caught. I couldnt catch crap for some reason while my brother-in-law got 3 on that first drift.

The tide turned to crap so the next several hours fish were caught sporadically with pods of bunker appearing here and there. I eventually got my first one of the day, 33" on a 9" shad/eel thing I got from Julians. Snagging a bunker and dropping it down produced another bass that I lost at the top which was probably 30" or so. Once the tide changed, the pods appeared again. I got nice fat 29" on a 7" talking popper that exploded on it..best topwater bite I've had and was the only fish taken on the top. The pods would appear and disapper really quick so you only had 1 or 2 casts for topwater. That was all the fish for me but my bro-in-law ended up getting a massive fish at 38" caught on a snagged bunker.

Several big cows were caught by others and sent back to swim another day.

The highlight of the day was when a douche trolling when right down the side of the boat and had his umbrella rig snagged by a customer. Joe, the mate, gave back the rig much to the disappointment of the guys on board. The douche almost bounced off the boat as he comes back to retrieve the rig and snag multiple lines yet again! Lots of yelling back and forth but no bloodshed.

This was easily the best trip I've had for big stripers. I've caught more schoolies (20+) on other trips but nothing like this size-wise. Massive schools of bunker still in the bay and they dont seem to be moving anytime soon. If you can, get your butt up into the bay before they leave..the big girls are still there and hungry!


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