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Captain's Focus

It appears that almost all fishing activity shut down well before Jose got close. Boaters had smooth seas and found plenty of little tunny a few miles off on Sunday, but there were no boat reports today -- and it's unlikely that anyone will sail Tuesday except in protected bays and rivers. The surf was still fishable this morning. John Bushell, at Betty & Nick's Tackle in Seaside Park, reported clean green surf with plenty of white water that's ideal for bass and blues. The mullet run which started in Island Beach State Park last week hasn't continued, and those prime forage fish remain scarce along the coast. It appears that Jose will be more like a northeaster, which is just what usually gets the mullet migration from rivers and bays started in the ocean -- and turns stripers on to poppers and swimmers. Colder temperatures are also a factor in getting the mullet run started, but it doesn't look as if we'll have colder weather until the wind turns northwest later in the week. Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park reports the 31-inch striper that won Saturday's NJBBA Kid's Surf Tournament at IBSP was actually bigger since its tail was cut off by a shark during the fight. Tom Cataline was also a winner in that contest with a 32-inch blue that weighed 7.2 pounds at Grumpy's. Vinny D'Anton of Wall got started late in Shark River this morning, but that worked out as he caught both a small bass and blue on a Chug Bug. I also slept in before making a very brief casting attempt in Point Pleasant Canal, during which I had a medium blue on a Tsunami white 6-inch shad for just a second before returning my lure with a cut right behind the hook.

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