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Captain's Focus

Saturday's northeaster seems to have pretty much eliminated fishing for a day after the beginning of that storm brought about the first surf blitzes of the fall. Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, said there were 10-foot waves on the beach this morning  and no one was fishing.  As noted in Friday's blog, I saw surfcasters hooked up all the way from Sea Bright to Long Branch while fishing aboard Ty Man with Chuck Many and Art Berkman. I had to cast a large Tactical Anglers Sea Pencil toward the beach in order to raise jumbo blues to 17 pounds and a striper while Chuck and Art surprisingly couldn't get a hit casting soft plastic jigs toward the beach. Vinny D'Anton was on the beach at Monmouth Beach where he caught stripers of 16 and 26 pounds on poppers along with big blues. He said the fish were feeding on 4-inch butterfish and spike weakfish as well as some bunkers.  John Green was into even better action at Lavallette as bass from 18 to 24 pounds chased bunkers into range, and he released seven bass on CJ poppers in chartreuse and yellow. It was one of the best bass blitzes that veteran angler has seen, but he had to keep moving with his buggy in order to stay with them as they moved south. Betty & Nick's Tackle in Seaside Park weighed a 35-pound bass caught on a shad lure by Nelson Danchisko.  Boaters got their shots early on Friday as the bite seemed to drop off as the wind increased. Joe Reap said his crew caught two bass up to 38 inches on Reaper from Manasquan before bluefish took over off Asbury Park. The Jamaica from Brielle had a successful Halloween canyon trip with lots of dolphin, over 30 tuna, a few tilefish, and a 150-pound swordfish. Art Haluska of Edison won the pool with a 90-pound yellowfin, and added four big albacore. Naturally, today's canyon trip was cancelled -- as is the Sunday striper sailing. Cold northwest winds up to 40 mph are forecast for Sunday. That will help calm the surf, but it will probably take a couple of tide changes to clear those waters. Boaters may be able to fish very close to shore, where there's protection from west winds, but party boat anglers should check with skippers before coming down in the morning.

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