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What is the difference between an $85 4000 size reel and a $125 4000 size reel both made for the same company? I get this question all the time from customers looking at the Penn Fierce and the Penn Battle. They both come with a standard 6.2:1 gear ratio, an aluminum body, the HT-100 drag system, and weight about the same. The extra $40 for the Battle comes from the ball bearings and gears. The ball bearings found in the battle are all sealed which helps keep the saltwater from corroding them. The Battle also has the CNC Gear™ technology, this means that instead of the gears being made from the mold they are directly cut from a piece of metal. This allows the gears to be strong and to fit into each other better. So, in the end, the extra $40 will get you a smoother, stronger reel that can handle being hit with some saltwater. If it was me deciding between the two, I would spend the extra $40 for the Battle. I treat all my reels as investments and know I will have them for many years. Those upgrades in the Battle give me confidence that I will not have any problems with the reel and that it will last longer than the Fierce.

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The 2021 striped bass season is days away. Please check back here weekly for fishing reports and tips and tricks for a successful fishing season. Early season stripers can be hard to find because the water temps are on the colder side the stripers won’t be very active. They will be found feeding mainly in the back bays, mud flats and the rivers that run into the bays. When choosing one of those three locations you want to mainly focus on the water temps in those locations. Back by the Old Fish Factory (The Stink House) marker 126 has a water quality station attached to it where you can water temps every 15 minutes. Here’s the link https://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=jctn4. This data can be very helpful to decided where to fish. As I write this the water temps there is 40 degrees, knowing this information I would focus my attention to fishing the rivers and shallow mud flats by these rivers where the water might be a few degrees warmer. The water will be warmest in the bay at low tide and just as the tide states to come in. When looking at the data from the marker it shows that the temperature in the bay fluctuated 2-3 degrees from low to high tide. This is very important because the closer the water is to 50 degrees the more active the fish will be and anything over 50 degrees is defiantly preferring to help increase your chance of catching. With these temperature swings the window to find feeding fish can only be a couple of hours. As the season unfolds, I will be checking the reports of all tackle shops from seaside to AC to give the most accurate reports.

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As the weekend came to an end the reports remained consistent. With there being a few bigger stripers off the beach still. Yesterday there was a 44'' bass caught up in Surf City on bunker during mid day. You just have to work through the spiny dogfish to have any chance at catching a bass. The night bite is staying constant with bass in the 20'' range being caught on lures. Right now the bass are main feeding on sand eels so you want to match the match by using small swim shad, Dimond jig, bucktail, and SP minnows. Also don't forget your teaser in front of any of these lures. A lot of these smaller night fish are cursing right along the shore so make sure you fish your lure till you can see it on the sand. On Sunday some of the boaters were getting into some larger bluefish in the 5-10 pound range. We will see these blues hit the beach? Only time will tell but I think if we do see them it will be by this upcoming weekend. Right now the weather for this weekend looks prefect so get out this weekend and fish! I have some availability Friday-sunday but they fill up quick! please call, text, or email me if you want to book a guide or have any question.

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