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Captain's Focus

There was some good news from the surf this morning, as Vinnie D'Anton of Wall found a school of mullet at Belmar and lost a keeper-size striper on a Chug Bug before landing a 33-incher that weighed 11 5/8 pounds at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina. D'Anton said the mullet he spotted weren't being chased, but blind casts with the popper brought the bass up. He expected to find mullet in the stomach, but instead the bass had only been feeding on its usual summer prey -- sand fleas. Also at Belmar, the Ocean Explorer reported another fine day of porgy fishing along with blackfish and triggerfish. The Golden Eagle reported Saturday night bluefishing was only a pick of choppers up to 20 pounds in a nasty sea. Sunday's catch consisted of smaller blues and a few little tunny. That boat returned from a canyon tuna trip today with some yellowfins, while others were lost -- as were two swordfish. At Seaside Park, Betty & Nick's had a report of small blues being caught on every cast this morning from Gillikins south in Island Beach State Park. Fresh mullet is available for bait. I cast a 6-inch Tsunami Shad in Point Pleasant Canal this morning and only had one follow. A switch to sandworms at the slack produced a legal 15-inch blackfish that got me hung up in bottom on my light spinning tackle as I was fighting it in from the middle before I waited him out for awhile and he finally came out to be released. Five short tog were also caught from among the many small sea bass during the brief period of relatively slack current.

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