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Captain's Focus

Capt. Vinny Vetere, of Katfish Charters at Great Kills, thinks there must be some connection between local striped bass and the stock market. When the latter was flying high, that was the same situation with the stripers, but when the market dropped 600 points on Friday the formerly steady bite turned off. That continued through the weekend as Vetere only found six bass for his Saturday charter before joining Staten Island pro Frank Note for a night attempt that logged 70 miles without a hit -- and then a shutout Sunday until almost noon. Vetere expects that fishing will pick up by Wednesday when the moon passes the first quarter. The Jersey Coast Shark Anglers Mako Fever Tournament that was postponed the previous weekend ended up with another good weather weekend as the BNR Fishing Team won with a 266-pound mako that edged a 250-pounder by Blue Goose. Mark IV was third at 188 pounds, followed by Knot Know It at 176 pounds. The largest thresher shark was a 152-pounder by Miss Tess. Capt. Ron Santee reported a good start to fluking in Raritan Reach on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands before a tanker came through -- and they then soon lost their drift. Catches still ranged up to four keepers and 7.1 pounds. The Sea Hunter from that port has been doing best on the morning trip, as hard south winds have been poor for drifting in the afternoons. The Golden Eagle from Belmar got a good start bluefishing this morning with 5-to-10-pounders on Run-Off Hammered jigs, but after they went down there was only a pick of 2-to-4-pound blues. Allen Riley of South Plainfield tried everything in his arsenal this morning in the Monmouth Beach surf without a touch -- even on Gulp intended for fluke. I had the same results at Avon, as I couldn't follow up on Sunday's 25-inch bass on a popper in the low tide shallows compounded by a breaking swell. Vinny D'Anton of Shark River Hills started in Shark River, but did nothing there before fishing the surf at Belmar -- and ending up in Spring Lake to catch two 24-inch stripers on his Chug Bug. At Seaside Park, Betty & Nick's reported surfcasters were complaining about cabbage in the water, but one regular had a bluefish blitz all to himself.

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