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Captain's Focus

Though bluefishing has been generally god for party boats this spring, today was a big exception. The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant called it "brutal slow" though an 8-pound fluke was boated and some short fluke released.  That boat is chartered Friday, and starts Thursday Fish and Fireworks trips at 6 p.m. tomorrow. The Golden Eagle from Belmar only read blues that wouldn't bite. Fluking wasn't very good for the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands, but Capt. Ron Santee said many of those caught were large -- including a 7-pounder. The high hook caught four keepers. A lack of drift was the problem. Capt. Chris Di Stefano of Wall joined the crew on Frank Criscola's Crisdel from Brielle Yacht Club this morning for striper trolling at Shrewsbury Rocks after very few bunkers were spotted in that area. As of 12:30 they had trolled five keepers and seven short bass. Big blues hit when they worked deeper waters.  A big swell that came up overnight screwed up surfcasting for Vinnie D'Anton and I at a Spring Lake jetty that had shown promise the morning before, but local pro Frank Conover plugged a bit further south and caught five stripers up to a 28-incher. Matt Slobodojin, at Jim's Tackle in Cape May, reports "Weather played a little bit of a factor in last week's fishing. There was a big ground swell that made fluke fishing tough at the reefs. The fish are still there and at the Old Grounds, but the bite slowed down with the conditions. The backwater fluke fishing is pretty slow right now and I don't get it, this is usually when it gets good in Cape May Harbor and the Intercoastal. We'll see what happens this week with any luck it will turn on. We're getting a few more reports of some fluke being caught in the channel near 19 Buoy and Miah Maul Light. There are small weakfish up in the bay now as well.There have been some bluefin tuna and dolphin showing up on the troll on and just outside the 20 Fathom Line. Most of the reports we've gotten are from the 20 Fathom Fingers north to the 28 Mile Wreck. I would think they will be on the 19 Fathom and Laurie Dawn Lumps as well, but we don't know anybody who has tried.Offshore the tuna bite was good this week when the weather cooperated. The good water moved south and the bite was between the Baltimore and the Poorman's Friday and in the Poorman's Saturday. There are a lot of small yellowfins, but plenty of 40-50lb fish mixed in. It sounds like there are plenty of dolphin on the pot balls. We've weighed quite a few in the 15-20lb range this week.In the surf the weakfish are still hanging around the rockpiles at The Point and Higbee's Beach. Bloodworms and shedder crabs are the best baits right now. Some are also being taken on bucktails and artificials. Little Doug Deep of Cape May caught his first weakfish a 13 1/2" fish he released. Not a  bad start for the little guy. Some kingfish are starting to show up on the beach front in Cape May. Joe Murray of Phila. took 8 kings on bloodworms this past Thursday. Some fluke are being caught on the Point jettys. Most are throwbacks, but this will get better with time.The Cape May Marlin and Tuna Club will be hosting their Kid's Tournament this coming weekend. It's open to the public and anyone wishing to participate can sign up at the club. The number there is 609-884-1006 if you have any questions. It's a fun tournament and there is food and a magic show afterwards.

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