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Captain's Focus

Saturday's sea bass opener was set back by the northwest gale forecast, but the Jamaica II from Brielle got out and managed good catches -- though Sunday was better. Some anglers managed limits up to 4 pounds. Most party boats cancelled weekend trips, but some were out Monday in conditions which still weren't favorable. Capt. Ron Santee  said there were lots of shorts with the new 13-inch minimum length, but anglers were able to put a catch together on the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands along with blowfish and porgies -- and the one blackfish presently allowed. The Ocean Explorer from Belmar had a similar report.  Miss Belmar Princess stayed inshore due to the strong NW wind, and only picked away at some small blues and weakfish. They hope to get back to Shark River Reef for the jumbo blues as soon as the wind dies down a bit. The Jamaica from Brielle has openings on canyon trips leaving on Nov. 1 and 3 at 7 a.m. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations. The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant will be running a Striper Marathon Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. The NW wind is fine for surfcasting, and the surf is flat. However, there was no life at Spring Lake this morning. Vinny D'Anton even tried sand fleas with no success. I talked to an angler who was into lots of swirling fish feeding on rainfish at Bay Head, but no one could get a hit out of them. Bob Mathews reports from Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina that blackfish and winter flounder are available for shore anglers.

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