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Captain's Focus

I had to double check the calendar this morning to make sure it was July and not October as a rainy northeaster roared through the Shore. Fortunately, I had that weather at my back in Shark River and was able to stay dry in waders and a rain jacket. I was only sure of one thing, and that was that I'd be all alone under those conditions -- but Tommy Cox got there just before me at dawn. The casting wasn't really worth the discomfort, but there was one shot of small blues that produced one for Cox while my lone hit on a Storm Searchbait ripped off s few feet of line before cutting the 30-pound leader. I then tied on a small jig and paddletail that was hit by a mere 14-inch striper close to shore Cox covered quite a bit of ground, and ended up releasing two similar small bass. I pounded the surface with a Cordell popper, and just before leaving it was blasted by a 23-inch striper that looked like a monster in comparison to the first one. We never saw a boat in Shark River, and it appears that party boats cancelled their trips cancelled their trips. The Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club White Marlin Invitational is winding up tonight. Five boats still had their second day of fishing left, and might have been tempted to gve it a try because the leading fish were relatively small (as noted in last night's late blog) even though it certainly wasn't a canyon day. I'll have final results whenever they become available. Hopefully, there won't be a big swell tomorrow to slow ocean fluking that had been building up this week. The Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands had an 8 3/16-pound fluke on Thursday, and the Angler from that port called Wednesday their best day of the fluke season. Capt. Stan Zagleski had a good report on Thursday, when Jimmy Guarcello of Hazlet boated a 9 1/16-pound fluke to take the pool on Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands. Zagleski said Friday was also good for fluke along with some big sea bass.

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