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Captain's Focus

Following is Friday's column as submitted: SL8-1-14-COLUMNRISTORI FOR FRIDAYVIKING 62 WINS GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP AT WHITE MARLIN INVITATIONALBy Al RistoriIt takes both a white marlin and a tuna to become Grand Champion at the Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club's White Marlin Invitational, and there have been some recent years when no boat achieved that feat due to a lack of qualifying whites. That was no problem im last weekend's 45th edition of the WMIT as Capt. Brian Komer put the Viking 62 into a patch of whites that produced two boated marlin of 60.3 and 66 pounds for angler Bob Shomo plus five releases. Not only was Viking 62 the Grand Champion and White Marlin Champion, but they also ended up with $102,107.66 for being first and second in whites while ading the white marlin points title in the 46-boat contest.The tuna winner takes most of the money in the WMIT if no whites are weighed, and Pez Machine jumped out to a good lead the first day with a 228.5-pound bigeye that stood up to win that division though they finished second in total tuna points to Nora Angela.The $72,560 won by Pez Machine will buy a lot of peppermint. Only three blue marlin were released, and places were decided on time, with the Fountain 38 getting the championship over Pez Machine and Jersey Cape Diablo. There was no competition in dolphin after Capt.Mike Young of the Jersey Shore Beach N Boat Tournament and angler Chris Apgar weighed a 30-pounder from Jessste to win $680. No wahoo were caught. Relentless from Point Pleasant won the 175-boat Point Pleasant Elks Fluke Tournament when Nick Laviola of Locust boated a 10.1-pound doormat. Dave Lilly of Hazlet said they fought wind against tide, and only had a brief period on his spot with the right drift when Laviola caught a 7.1 and then the doornat while Lilly boated a 7.3. John Luchka was also on the team. Matt Sagan of Farmingdale was second at 9.3 pounds, and Dan Dias of Asbury third with a 8.9-pounder. Close behind were Albert Durso, Point Pleasant, 8.2 pounds; Gregg Nunn, Flemington, 8.1 pounds; Warren Eckert, Brick, 7.9 pounds; and Frank Hoilman, Toms River 7.7 pounds. Larry Newman of Brick won the Kayack divison with an impressive 28-inch fluke that edged a 27.5-incher by Dan Tholan from Forked River. Bob Coughlin of Newark, De. took third at 25 inches. The total length of three fluke winner was Gary Ward at 67 inches over Christopher Baggett of Shark River Hills with 60 3/4 inches, and Ryan Slate from Bridgewater at 54 1/2 inches. The JCAA Fluke Tournament runs statewide tomorrow at nine ports from Jersey City to Cape May. You may register online at www.jcaa.org right up to 11:59 PM today --or by calling the JCAA office at (732)506-6565 as someone will be in the office until about 9 PM. Last minute entries will be accepted at the nine ports as well until store closing times today.There's a guaranteed #1,200 first place at each of those ports regardless, of how many boats are entered, plus other valuable prizes down to 10th place. To top it off, each entrant is eligible for the drawings at the Wednesday evening awards ceremony at the Holiday Inn in Manahawkin. Over 50 prizes will be drawn -- ranging up to the grand prize of a 14-foot Starcraft boat, with a 20 h.p. Yamaha and Sea Lion Trailer. It's not necessary to enter a fish in order to be eligible, and the grand prize is usually won by someone who was skunked. The 17th annual Flukemasters Tournament is also on for tomorrow at Leonardo State Marina. That's a 5-fluke total contest with an entry fee of $75. The captains meeting is at 7;30 tonight at the Community Firehouse. Call 732 291-0073 for information.The Salt Water Anglers of Bergen County are up next Saturday with their Fluke Tournament out of Higlands, Belmar and Point Pleasant. Call 201 313-6576, or visit www.swabc.org. While New England anglers have been generallty struggling for striped bass during what should be their prime time, we've continued to enjoy fine action with big bass in very warm and relatively shallow waters in Raritan Bay. I was afraid it might be all over when Capt. Joe Massa said he found only smooth dogfish when he tried bunker chunking Saturday afternoon from his My Three Sons out of Morgan Marina. Despite a bad weather forecast we assumed would force us home early, we sailed Sunday on Contagious from that marina as Capt. Steve Hassz wanted to put some rime on his 25-foot Steiger and check out those bass. After Massa cast-netted some fresh bunkers , we set up on some marks and started catching -- while, surprisingly, there were no dogfish until the tide died. We then ran over to Coney Island for fluke. It was just a pick of mostly shorts, though we boated three from 18 to 23 inches before using our last few baits back on the bass. We ended up catching a total of 13 for the day, with all but one released. Massa released the largest at 33 pounds, which was the same weight of my largest the week before -- and the heaviest striper I've ever caught locally so far into mid-summer.Ex-Assemblyman Guy Talarico came by in his Jersey Patriot from Jersey City. Our bite had just died and the bait was gone, but he had one bunker and I suggested he drift it near us, Amazingly, he used that one bunker head to hook his largest striper ever, a 42-incher.Though the forecast scared off many anglers that day, we had no storms and didn't even see a dark cloud. Capt. Stan Zagleski must be setting a record for bay party boats this summer as he came up with the Elaine B II's fourth doormat of the season on Sunday. John Park of Edison boated the 10.6-pound doormat on a Spro rig, a day after Mike Scher of Cranford had come close with a 9.2-pound fluke.Capt. Rob Semkewyc also had a good fluke trip Sunday on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands as there were some limits up to a 7.3-pounder by Paul Schuckald of Kinnelon. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, weighed a 9 1/8-pound fluke boated Wednesday on the Capt. Cal by Rich Veisz of Allentown. Tank Matraxia of Lyndhurst finally got in a good fluke trip when he fished Tuesday with Capt. Kevin Cole out of Brown's in Keyport. They ended up at Sandy Hook Reef, where four anglers caught 19 keepers that were mostly in the 4-to-6-pound class. Bruce Vitale of Piscataway was out there the next day, when there was no such bite. He ended up at the Rattlesnake with Steve Failla Sr. and Jr. from Frenchtown to catch three fluke in the 3-to-4-pound class on Funny Pharm from Atlantic Highlands.END

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