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Took Vic, Al, and my brother, John, out for a day of bassing in/around Sandy Hook Bay on my "Bertha".

Started out clamming in the early am at Romer where we got nothing.

Moved into the bay and anchored on flats near Raritan Reach in several spots, but never really found a good concentration of fish or a solid bite on clams.

Trying 3 different spots on the red side of thwe reach, John and I each caught and released a pair of bass from 28-34 inches. There were a couple of skates and a couple of bluefish chew-offs, but we were only averaging a strike or a fish about every 20-30 minutes. (not exactly a gangbusters bite!) The bass that we caught were hitting our fresh clam baits very lightly.

Trolling a pair of Stretch 25" plugs in between anchor spots along the reach yielded a single ~30" bass which Al reeled to the boat. Faced with pressure from an anxious crew looking for better action, we ran back out to Romer Shoal for the incoming which again produced nothing but a couple of skates.

Moved over to the rip and tried anchoring/clamming just ahead of the current flow. This yielded another 3-4 big bluefish and a pair of bass for John @ 30-32" along with a single bass @ 26" for Vic. We also landed a few more skates including a couple "citation-sized" specimens.

Snagged some live bunkers from schools we found passing through the rip. The livies yielded only big 8-12 pound gator bluefish that were destroying the bunkers all the way to the side of the boat ... they were like packs of pit bulls competing for a tug toy.

A great day on the water with great company, we just never really put a solid bite together. I knew at the end of the day that we spent just too much time looking in unproductive areas. I was also sure that we could have caught more bass on the troll, but none of us are fans of trolling, so we decided to keep trying our clam baits instead of simply dragging lures around all day.

Winds were light, the skies were sunny and water temps ranged from 59-64 degrees.

Final bass tally was 3 for John on clams, 2 for me on clams, and 1 for Vic on clams while Al reeled in the single trolled fish.

- Gr8ful
 
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