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Captain's Focus

The MidAtlantic offshore trolling tournament will be run out of Cape May next week, and there's a good chance that there will be even more at stake than the $4.420 million in last week's White Marlin Open at Ocean City, Md. -- which is also a satellite port for the MidAtlantic. The White Marlin Open had record white marlin fishing, though only one 76.5-pounder made the 70-pound minimum -- resulting in a pay-off of $2,818,660. Capt. Rich Kosztyu of Hamilton was also a big winner on Hubris from Forked River as his 236.5-pound bigeye tuna edged the previous leader by a mere 3.5 pounds to win $767,091. Marc Verzaleano of Mountain Lakes released 11 white marlin and one blue marlin from his Reel Steel with Capt. Dennis Glynn to win the White Marlin Open Master Angler Ring. Complete results of the White Marlin Open were posted on my daily blog at nj.com/shore/blogs/fishing. I'll also be providing a late night update for each day of the MidAtlantic after the scales close in addition to the evening report on local fishing. Small bluefish have returned to waters north of Shark River Inlet, and both the Golden Eagle and Miss Belmar Princess have reported decent catches the last couple of days on jigs. Ironically, the biggest bluefish have been right where they are sailing though every morning. There aren't many, and most are only 3 to 4 pounds, but I was surprised by a 6 to 7-pounder Tuesday morning while casting a popper from shore in Shark River-- and shocked by a 32-incher that was like those 10-to-12-pounders that were in the rivers early this spring. Fluke fishing has been generally good when drifting conditions are right. Cap. Ron Santee said that wasn't the case on a calm Thursday morning, and when he did find some current it was roaring at 2.4 knots. Yet some good fluke up to a 6 11/16-pounder were boated on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. Capt. Scotty Hilliard of the Prowler V from that port said that boat has had fluke up to 11 pounds this week. The Sunday evening wreck trip is producing mostly ling along with a cod or pollock to win the pool in 125-foot depths. The Gambler from Point Pleasant had a good Thursday morning fluke trip that produced a new monthly pool leader of 9.2 pounds for Linda Carrier. The Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association's Junior Mates Program had its last official class session on Thursday. On Friday the group will participate in the John Koegler Memorial Junior Mate Fishing Tournament. Following the fishing and weigh-in at the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club, a luncheon celebration will take place at the Club. Thanks to the generosity of the Koegler family and other sponsors of the BHCFA, there will be many great prizes awarded to the successful anglers. Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.net.  

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