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Captain's Focus

Posted on August 4, 2019 White Marlin Open gets underway Hundreds of boats will be seeking big money billfish and tuna when the Ocean City, Md. White Marlin Open gets underway Monday. Last year that contest drew 382 boats and over 3,000 anglers contesting for a purse of $5.4 million. The winning white marlin was worth over $2.5 million. As always, I’ll keep track of results and post an additional blog when the scales are closed each day.   The hot bluefin tuna bite continues at the mid-range grounds off the northern N.J. Shore. Capt. Jim Freda of Shore Catch out of Manasquan Inlet put the Lee Santipal party into  three “over ” bluefins on jigs, releasing two.  The largest was 54 inches — and they added two “unders”. There was a big improvement in fluking out of Atlantic Highlands on Friday as Capt. Ron Santee finally saw a volume of large fluke being netted on his Fishermen. Dave Bachovin was close to the doormat mark with a 9 7/16-ound fluke, and added four more from 3 1/2 to 6 5/8 pounds. Joe Sullivan had four from 7 1/4 to 5 11/16 pounds — and Anthony Barker boated an 8 7/16-pounder.  Capt. Rob Semkewyc also did well with keepers that day, but today it was back to shorts as one angler caught 27 without a keeper on the Sea Hunter. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported chub mackerel didn’t hit well, but they added sea bass, bluefish, ling and Spanish mackerel. The Shark River blues didn’t cooperate again, but I did catch one and lost another on a popper. Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park reported more fluke in the surf on Gulp — and it was reported that those fish were spitting out sand eels. The blackfish season has reopened in N.J., but for just one tog at a 15-inch minimum through 11/15. Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant has green crabs in stock. Bob Correll reported from Bay Head that the cocktail blues failed to hit metal in t he surf for the second day in a row.     The forecast is for southwest winds at 5-10 knots with a slight chance of a shower into early morning. The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant is chartered Sunday morning.    

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