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This weekend I had my first Surfcasting Guide of the fall season from striped Bass. Stefan and I fished the beach with bunker from 7:30-10:00 AM Saturday. Within the first 45 minutes, Stefan caught a 25” striper. That was the only action we had for the morning. There were reports from this weekend of fish of all sizes being caught on LBI. We saw 3 fish entered into the LBI Fall Classic all caught on the north end of the island. I have some open spots still over the next three weekends if you are looking to get out a catch your first striper or want to learn more about how to properly target stripers please call, text, or email me.

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Now that things have quieted down a bit on the Island I have more time to fish. I wanted to try something completely different than catching fluke from the beach like I have done all summer. So, I decided to go for Blowfish. I usually do not keep them but this time I decided that I was going to since I wanted to see how they tasted. I have heard they are very good and easy to fillet.

So, I set out near the bottom of low tide. I used Fish Bites Bag O’ Worms , and Fish’n Strips clams one on each hook with a regular Blowfish rig. I wanted to see if the Blowfish had any preferred scent; which they did not. I had an equal amount on both types of bait. In all I ended up catching about 15 in an hour and kept 10 of the biggest ones. Filleting them was not too hard and took about 20 minutes.

The next night I cooked the Blowfish. First, I cleaned up the filets. The belly had a bloodline and a fin that I removed which is shown in the second photo. I prepared them in a variety of ways. I did three versions in the frying pan: egg and flour, egg flour, breadcrumbs, and egg with pancake mix. All were then cooked in a preheated pan with oil (should have used more oil) and cooked on each side for 3-5 mins. I also prepared two filets in the air fryer after marinating them in a garlic herb sauce. Those were cooked for about 10 mins. They all came out very good but I have to say that the garlic herb was my favorite. The breadcrumb-coated ones were a close second. I felt like I was eating a chicken wing because they only have one spin bone with no rib cage so I ate it just like a wing. Click the Button below the photos to watch how I cleaned them!

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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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