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Captain's Focus

The only boat report today came from the Fishermen out of Atlantic Highlands. Capt. Ron Santee didn't know what to expect after the northeast storm, as a big swell is bad news for ocean bottom fishing, but he was pleasantly surprised to get action eight away. Some fares ended up with fluke limits, and the pool fluke went 6 7/16 pounds. Rental rod customers did best by using plain spearing. Though the waters were clear, there wasn't much doing for shore casters in Shark River. Vinnie D'Anton of Wall released a small blue on a Zoom jig at first light, and later caught two mini-stripers on the same lure. I never raised a thing to a popper. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, reported a 5 1/2-pound fluke was caught from the docks last week by Marty Westerfield of Wall. Matthew Slobodjian reports from Jim's Tackle in Cape May that "Fluke fishing was good at Del. reef site #11 this week right up until the wind came on. We also heard of a good bite up in the Delaware Bay near the Flat Top. The kingfish slowed up in the rips, but picked up right out front of Cape May. There are also a few fluke out front, but mostly shorts.The tuna bite held up well this week. The 19 Fathom lump had a good bit of fish on it this week. There were still fish at Massey's and the Hot Dog this week, but a little more spotty. Up north, little Lemke's Canyon is still holding bluefins. The "Libation" boated 2 bluefins and a dolphin on Wednesday at Lemke's in the 50 -60 lb. range.White Marlin are starting to show up in the canyons. The crew of the "Krazy Salts"released 5 Whites they hooked up in the Wilmington on Friday. Surf fishing is about the same as it has been -- mostly kingfish, small fluke,spike weakfish, and a few croakers. The Point has been generally best, along with Higbee's Beach. Sharks are still cooperating on the beaches, but most of the really big ones have moved into the deeper water of the Delaware Bay. Crabbing has been excellent all season long in the back bays, and a good alternative when the wind is blowing."

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