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Captain's Focus

There wasn't much going on today, as it appears most boats didn't sail due to the south wind and a big swell.  I tried casting into Shark River, and hooked up on a jig with a T-Man paddlerail just before dawn. The fish jumped, and I said to myself "I know what you are."  Yet, that jumping "blue" turned out to be a 19-inch striper which provided a very rare complete jump out of the water. That was also my only hit. Tommy Cox also pounded Shark River briefly without success. Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant reports one of his regulars was reeling in a large blackfish yesterday when a shark cut it cleanly right behind the head. Another angler said he saw two sharks swimming alongside the wall. The Jamaica from Brielle had good chumming Thursday for bonito, blues, chub mackerel and even an 8-pound dolphin. They have room on the Sunday 10 p.m. multi-day trip for tilefish. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations. The first canyon tuna trip will be run on Aug. 27.  The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had similar chumming on Thursday, but a bigger dolphin of 15 pounds that hit a bucktail.  At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Ron Santee said that Thursday's fluke results were poor in a big roll though a 6-pounder took the pool and there were some triggerfish and sea bass added to the Fishermen's catch. The Angler reported Tom Karg boated an 8 1/4-pound fluke Wednesday, but fell just short of the monthly pool leader  which is his brother Bill's 8 9/16-pounder.  Ron Decker of Springfield boated a 7 7/16-pound fluke on Thursday's first drift of the Elaine B II from Bahrs in Highlands -- and it stood up to win the pool. The Tackle Box in Hazlet weighed an 8 1/2-pound fluke that Frank Janiec of Flemington caught in Raritan Bay this week. Jim Hutchinson Sr. sent the following report for the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association: "The New Jersey summer flounder season will be ending on Tuesday, September 5. It appears that the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association will be catching their share right up to the final bell.  Captain Gary Dugan of the "Irish Jig" boasts "the fishing has been on fire aboard the "Irish Jig." He has been fishing the local lumps and reefs to fill the coolers. He has had seasoned fishermen and families with children alike having great success while enjoying their trips.  Captain John Lewis of the "Insatiable" reports strong fluke fishing with double digit catches each day. The keeper ratio varies from day to day, but they find fish to take home every trip. The Prigge family caught their share of fluke in addition to sea bass, bluefish, dogfish, sea robins, and two surprises-a squid and a brown shark that was over three feet long.  Captain Dave Kreines of the "Byte Me" had a pair of fluke trips recently. He had the Pelenski family out to the Little Egg Reef for a half day of non-stop action with fluke including two keepers, plus sea robins. Two days later, the O'Briens - grandfather, father, and daughter- started out in the inlet where they found a couple of shorts, and then ran out to the Little Egg Reef for a slow but steady pick of fluke resulting in a pair of keepers along with the ever present sea robins." Thursday, August 17 is the last Junior Mate class of 2017 with the annual John Koehler Memorial Junior Mate Fishing Tournament the next day. The boats will leave Morrison's Marina at 7am and return at 1pm for the weigh in, awards presentation and lunch that will be held at the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club. Captains Lopez, Sheppard, Zavacky, and Lewis are donating their boats, gas, bait, and gear for the event. Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.net.

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