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Captain's Focus

It's all over for fluking in 2017 as the fleet had to fight tough ocean conditions on the last day. Capt. Ron Santee knew he'd only have a short time in the ocean with fishable conditions, and the first couple of drifts were productive as some fares on the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands bagged two fluke -- and the 5-pound pool winner was netted. After that it was wind against tide and quickly got ugly. Santee retreated to the bay and finished up in Swash Channel for a few more keepers. He'll start fishing for porgies and the one blackfish presently allowed on Friday. The Golden Eagle from Belmar fished through a nasty ocean, but still managed a decent catch of little tunny and bonito, though few of the usually abundant chub mackerel. It was the opposite for the Queen Mary from Point Pleasant which reported loads of mackerel with some bonito and little tunny mixed in. Capt. Chris Di Stefano of Wall took his 98-year-old Uncle Joe and a nephew small boat fluke fishing in Shark River for lots of action with shorts on peanut bunkers but only two keepers. A big blue broke off on the very light spin tackle Di Stefano was using. Vinny D'Anton of Wall cast in Shark River this morning with no action, but then worked the surf at Avon where there were no big fish but all the snappers he wanted to hook on small metal lures in schools of rainfish. Allen Riley of South Plainfield tried everything at Monmouth Beach, and came up with two large snappers/small bluefish on a Gibbs Minnow.  There had been some large bluefish in Point Pleasant Canal, but the only one I know of caught there the last two mornings was a 9 3/4-pounder weighed in yesterday by Carl at Castaways Tackle. The boat traffic was too heavy Labor Day morning, but that wasn't a problem this morning when there was also no action. The Jamaica from Brielle has room on a limited 6 a.m. trip Wednesday for little runny and bonito. The Paramount will be handling the Jamaica's trips when they're in the canyon. For reservations on the special trip and the canyon sailings call 732 528-5014.

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