The first portion of the 2021 black sea bass season comes to a close a minute before midnight Tuesday, and this is the final crack at this cooperative glutton until October 8 to take advantage of the 10 fish limit.

To be sure, this has been a remarkable first run, with limit, or close to limit catches the norm from private, charter and party boats. These have been nice-sized fish, too, with many in the two and three-pound range, with four and five-pound fish not uncommon.

In more than a few instances, sea bass have saved the day when the fluke have been finicky and the bite has been meager. Such has been the case at least half of the time since the flattie season opened May 22, and was common to hear “Good thing the sea bass were hungry,” or similar comments at the docks and in the bait and tackle shops.

And, of course, reading such on social media.

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With stocks rebuilt in excess of 230% or thereabouts, a strong opening season was expected. However, projections are always at the mercy of weather and conditions, but for the most part, all things aligned, making for a crusher of an opening act.

While clams, both fresh and salted, and also squid strips and the Fishbites Fish ‘n Strips Clam, are catching mounds-to-mountains of sea bass, it’s been jigs, either metals such as the plain AVA-17, 27 and 47, and the Runoff Lures sand eel in 2-oz. and 3-oz., or the bucktail/clam combo, that are catching the bigger sea bass.

Get to the boat, and have the vacuum sealer ready when you get home.

The clock is running.

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