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Captain's Focus

Today's northwest gale following Saturday's northeaster should be good in the long run, as it will settle the rough ocean, but it wasn't very fishable today. Capt. Russ Binns left Toms River this morning with his Mar-Lin and ran out of Manasquan Inlet. Moving south he saw nothing and quickly decided the still very rough sea wasn't fishable even in the lee very close to shore. He just kept going and ran into Barnegat Inlet (which he described as evil) to return in the bay. There were no other boats, and no sign of fish. I doubt if any boats fished in the ocean, and the surf was too nasty for casting. I justified getting up by a brief attempt for blackfish in Point Pleasant Canal during the slack water. I fish there with one-handed spinning tackle and a tiny egg sinker or split shot. Every tog is a battle on that gear, and I braved the wind long enough to release a 12-incher.  Shorts are common there, but I did release a 17-incher on Thursday. When I stopped by the canal earlier, when the tide was running, it looked like the ocean with a short steep swell that would have been tough to navigate for small boats. Capt. Ryan Bogan hopes bottom fishing will be as good after the storm as it was last week on Jamaica II from Brielle. Tuesday was the only slow day as there were many sea bass limits up to 5 1/2 pounds plus limits of porgies averaging 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds. Cod in the 10-to-12-pound class were pool winners most days.  Though not as bad as today, the northwest wind is predicted to blow hard through tomorrow. Check with skippers before coming down. Surfcasting should resume Monday or Tuesday. 

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