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Captain's Focus

Bluefish hold the inshore spotlight, with big choppers hitting for northern party boats while small blues are in the Island Beach State Park surf. The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant reported good jigging for the large blues today, and the Golden Eagle from Belmar noted good Friday and Saturday night action with 8-to-16-pounders on bait as well as Sunday jigging. The Cock Robin from Point Pleasant was also into those jumbos on Sunday. The Golden Eagle was coming back from the canyon today with 20 tuna while 30 others were lost. Betty & Nick's Tackle in Seaside Park reports lots of small blues on mullet at the end of the paved road along with short stripers and out-of-season fluke. Grumpy's Tackle had a similar report from Seaside Park. They reported two keeper bass on Saturday -- a 31-incher on an SP Minnow by Craig Naplolitano, and a 33-incher on a teaser by John Hunter. It was a beautiful morning in the surf further north, with the swell down and waters being clear. Unfortunately, there was no bait where I plugged at Sea Girt -- and the only fish I heard of was a single small blue. Another angler said he had also fished at Point Pleasant with no action. I was still fishing the warm surf very comfortably in shorts, and even the dry sand wasn't cold -- as was the case early Sunday morning. A hard southwest wind came up late in the morning, and is supposed to continue. Nick Kolodiy of Brick said the ocean was a mass of white water in the afternoon. He cast metal in the morning at Bay Head, and had a bump from something. Allen Riley of South Plainfield had a similar experience at Sea Bright, though he did see some small bait in close and large bunkers offshore. Riley, and his brother Ed of Edison, threw all sorts of lures from before daylight to 9 a.m. without a touch. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, said there are some blowfish and small blues in Shark River, and he's also heard of a few winter flounder there.

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