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Captain's Focus

Fluke fishing was very good today in the Raritan Bay area. Dave Lilly of Hazlet had Nick Cicero of Folsom among his group as they were catching quite a few 5-and-6-pounders. Capt. Stan Zagleski reported catches of up to four keepers on his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands -- and there was also a burst of excitement as the first school of cownose rays came through. Zagleski noted that pink and white Gulp produced most of the larger fluke. Capt. Ron Santee had the Brian Benevento party aboard his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands as they had lots of action with shorts plus may keepers even though almost all were using rental rods and there was no one jigging. A couple of limits were taken. Jerry Krako boated an 8 3/8-pound fluke the previous day to edge an 8-pounder for the pool. The Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club White Marlin Invitational is finishing up today. As I'm rushing to get this blog out before the power goes off again, there has been no change in the leaderboard -- though it's likely that will change by tonight as everyone was fishing today.  I'll post results whenever they become available -- which is likely to be tomorrow. Capt. Tommy Joseph said porgy fishing on Rightaway III from Shark River was tougher today due to boat traffic, and possibly to the southeast wind. He still came up with a good catch by making a move from the area where he'd been filling coolers every day. Vinny D'Anton of Shark River Hills manged one small striper on his Chug Bug at Belmar this morning, but I couldn't raise a fish in the moderately rough surf. A move to Bay Head for fluke in the surf was just as bad -- without a single bite despite decent conditions. At Seaside Park, Betty & Nick's reports good fluking in the surf along with small blues on mullet as there's lots of bait in the surf from Midway Beach south. Grumpy's Tackle also is upbeat about the surf fluking with the 16-inch minimum applying in Island Beach State Park. Jerry Fabiano had a limit of fluke up to a 20-inch, 3.55-pounder recently on Gulp. Night sharking is producing some browns and sand tigers. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, says kingfishing has broken open in the surf on worms and shrimp. Shark River fluking remains good -- even from the docks.

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