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Captain's Focus

The only fluke report today was a good one from Capt. Stan Zagleski on Elaine B II from Bahrs in Highlands. Most of his regulars had been scared off by the northeast wind and rain on opening bay, but Zagleski  e-mailed  "Opened our fluke season today with some regulars and had decent fishing for the guys.  Fished a few of the regular early season areas and ended up with most of the guys having  at least one keeper to take home.  Some had two each, and both Mike Naipawer, Bloomingdale, and John Vanderstad, Pompton Lakes, went home with their limits.  John Nodroff, Hasbrouck Heights, took the first fluke pool of the season with a four pound fish." That was a lot better than the ocean bluefishing.  The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported a lot of running around for relatively few blues, though a 14-pounder took the pool. Th Queen Mary from Point Pleasant also reported poor bluefishing on the day after the the blowout -- and an exceptionally rough inlet in the morning. That should be a different story tomorrow with the gusty west wind knocking down a big swell overnight.  That swell isn't good for bottom fishing, but the Ocean Explorer from Belmar reported very good sea bass fishing on the opening day for that species. I joined Bob Correll of Bay Head on his 23-foot Boston Whaler to search for bunker and striped bass late in the afternoon, but after running south from Manasquan Inlet to Bay Head and then north to the Rocks we never saw a bunker. There were only a few readings to the north, but we couldn't snag a bunker casting blind. The only birds we saw were over dolphins. A few casts in the river didn't raise any blues, but I saw a kayack angler release a 16 1/2-inch fluke. The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands finished up daily striper fishing with just a few big fish. Capt. Rob Smkewyc switches to half-day fluke from 8 a.m. to 12:30, and 1:30 to 6 p.m. However, he is planning an evening trip for big bass on Tuesday, June 6 from 2 p.m. to dark. That reservation trip will be limited to 25 at $80 each. Joe Melillo weighed an 11 1/4-pound striper at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant for Anthony Pellagrino of Point Pleasant after he caught it on a lure in Point Pleasant Canal. Vinny D'Anton is back in Wall after wintering in Florida -- and his first northern trip was successful as he got into some blues up to an 8-pounder on a Chug Bug in Manasquan River after doing nothing in Shark River and the rough surf.

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