When Crazy Alberto Knie is on the hunt for fish, anyone joining him better be prepared to put in a lot of time and end up in unexpected places. That’s the reason there was no blog last night as a trip which started from Fort Myers at 5:45 a.m. didn’t end there until 3 a.m. this morning.

The trip started with a long ride across Florida to the east coast where we joined up with three friends from Pa. in a search for freshwater exotics that managed to evade us all day. Though snakeheads and clown knifefish failed to cooperate, we did mange to release some colorful and hard-fighting peacock bass before making that long trip across the state again where Alberto and I cast small paddletail jigs from shore during the middle of the night to release spotted seatrout and snook plus a single ladyfish and even a Gulf kingfish which has the same tiny mouth as the northern member of that species that we catch in the surf — though very rarely on artificials.

I received a note from someone catching reds and seatrout, though it disappeared before I could track down who it might be from. I do check text messages occasionally, but find that many of them come in with no identification. Especially if you want a reply, use my e-mail at cristori@aol.com which I check every day. My daughter Cyndi set that up for me when I started on the internet — and the “c” is for captain.

The Hudson River Fisherman’s Association has issued a final sign-up notice for its Fred Rung Memorial Striped Bass Tournament which runs from April 17 to May 15 and is limited to the Hudson River and its tributaries. Visit HRFA.org for information on that all-release contest or e-mail joealbanese@gmail.com.

Party boats have been struggling to catch striped bass even as Raritan Bay charter skippers and pros have been doing well with jigs, bunker chunking and trolling most days. The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands found some improvement Tuesday as they at least marked bass in quantities that should have produced a good catch. Yet only six shorts from 21 to 26 inches were caught and as many lost. They were ready to sail this morning, but only four fares showed up. Tomorrow is canceled due to weather.

Chuck Many reports that jigging for smaller bass was hot during his last trip with Ty Man in Raritan Bay, but the bait bite for bigger bass was slower though he did release the lunker in the photo.

The Thursday forecast isn’t very good with southeast winds of 10-15 knots plus gusts to 20 and rain. There’s a clearing northwest forecast for Friday at 15-20 knots with gusts to 25.

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