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Captain's Focus

Capt. Stan Zagleski said fluking started slowly this morning on his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands due to wind against tide,- but big fluke were featured when wind and tide got together. Tom Hollywood Jr. of Staten Island topped the catch by boating his second career doormat -- and the Elaine B's sixth of the season, a 10 1/2-pounder. Dave Brink of Port Monmouth had an 8 9/16-pound fluke, and Frank Lavelle from Hoboken bagged four up to 9 7/16 pounds. Brad Weaver of Bound Brook added four to 7 11/16 pounds. The Elaine B. II returns to its normal 7:30 a.m. departure on Tuesday. Capt. John Kolias of Reel Fun from Twin Lights Marina in Highlands got a tip on a different area , and worked it Sunday or the Lynn Slawinski charter that caught keeper fluke on every drift over the spot. The Gambler from Point Pleasant has been doing well with fluke, except for Sunday when the drift was too slow. John Winterberger took the lead in the monthly pool that morning at 7.3 pounds. Mary Long boated a 6.7-pound fluke this week. Sea bass up to 3 pounds are also being hooked. Capt. Bobby Bogan had a good Thursday evening bottom fishing trip that produced ling catches up to 20 a man. Capt. Bud McArthur wasn't pleased with the fluking at Axel Carlsen Reef from his Splinter out of Brick on Sunday, and said it's covered with more pots than ever. He heard it was better at Sea Girt Reef, but I talked to a boater at Castaway's Tackle in Point Pleasant this morning who was there that day and only saw one short fluke brought up in a big fleet. The surf at Sea Girt and Spring Lake looked promising this morning, but I couldn't raise anything to a popper. A move to Bay Head for fluke produced a hit on my second cast, but it was just a sun dial. Then I got a good hit, and was surprised by a 3-to-4-pound bluefish that took the small jig and Gulp Swimming Mullet. A 17-inch fluke was next, before the area went dead with just one more sundial  before it was time for coffee. Vinnie D'Anton of Shark River Hills got a good start in Shark River with two stripers on his Chug Bug, though they were only 18-inchers. At Seaside Park, Grumpy's Tackle reported cocktail blues and fluke in the surf, while an impressive brown shark was caught at night. Betty & Nick's noted that both crabs and fluke are being caught off the docks in town, along with some blowfish.

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