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Captain's Focus

Shark fishermen are getting ready for their biggest weekend of the season as both the Greater Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association's Mako Mania and the Jersey Coast Shark Anglers Mako Fever will be contested. The South Jersey Marina Shark Tournament the weekend before last proved there were good numbers of makos moving up, as 40 were caught. All but 10 were released due to the 200-pound minimum in that contest. The Brett T. Bailey Mako Rodeo that was held last weekend out of Brielle still hasn't posted any results. Though the weather was good, there were very few reports today. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported good bluefish jigging for 2-to-3-pounders plus a single 6-pounder as catches ran up to 10 a man. Tank Matraxia of Lyndhurst didn't have such good news after fishing with a friend who usually catches lots of fluke on light tackle in Shrewsbury River. The waters there were discolored, and Tank put ALS tags in the only three shorts he caught while his friend was shut out. Vinnie D'Anton of Wall couldn't match the five stripers on bait he caught in the surf yesterday morning, but he did beach a 30 1/2-incher that had a variety of bait in it -- including sand fleas, grass shrimp, tiny peanut bunkers and half a sand eel. Though the bass seem to be feeding on everything, those who worked a variety of lures did nothing. Even old pro Frank Conover had to fish a mole crab for his 28 1/4-incher that had nothing in it. I almost never fish bait in the surf, but had to resort to that -- and caught a 26-inch bass on my first cast. I should have quit while I was ahead.  Allen Riley of South Plainfield fished the Sandy Hook surf with Duke Matero of Piscataway this morning, and barely managed to come out head while fishing fresh bunker and 4-inch Gulp Swimming Mullet as he released a 17-inch fluke, a skate and a stargazer. Matero caught a sea robin,which was one of the few Riley has seen this year or last. Though conditions were good, there weren't any other surfcasters within sight,

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