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Captain's Focus

Late entries have been building up the field for the 26th MidAtlantic Tournament all day at the captains meeting. When I first checked the site (www.themidatlantic.com) early in the afternoon there were only 131  boats and a purse under a million dollars, but by 6 p.m. it was up to 151 boats and a pot of $3,137,720. Boats can fish any three of the next five days. Monday looks fishable at this time, and Tuesday may be the only gusty day through Friday. Most boaters prefer to fish right away, while saving the last day when the weakest leaders may be targeted.  That can be risky as a few entrants in the White Marlin Invitational found when they lost their third day by waiting for the last day that turned our to be unfishable in the canyons.  In addition to my daily blog, I'll be doing a late one each fishing day of the contest after weigh-ins are completed. Fishing reports were late coming in today. At Belmar, the Golden Eagle reported a decent chub mackerel bite plus some sea bass and a couple of Spanish mackerel.  The Ocean Explorer  reported a fast drift from a west wind that required anglers to stay sharp.  Two anglers caught 7-pound class fluke, and some large sea bass were also boated. Dave Lilly of Hazlet didn't fish, but had a pleasant surprise from the seasonal Forked River Tournament when his 6 3/4-pound fluke only finished second -- but turned out to be the big winner as the first place angler wasn't in the Calcuttas -- just as was the case for Lilly when he was second at Sandy Hook in the JCAA Fluke Tournament.

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