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Captain's Focus

Just before sending this blog out I got an excited call from Dave Lilly of Hazlet to let me know that his crew fishing on the Relentless out of Manasquan Inlet had won the big money in the Point Pleasant Elks Fluke Tournament with their 10.1-pound doormat. They also entered fluke of 7.2 and 7.3 pounds. Check tomorrow for more info. The 45th Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club's White Marlin Invitational still has its scales open as this is being written. The big money in that contest is for white marlin, and Viking 62 shook things up by weighing in two of 60.3 and 66 pounds while releasing five others. I didn't see anything else coming in that would make a big change in the standings, but will have additional information later tonight or tomorrow. I had a mistake in yesterday's blog. The second blue marlin release was by the Fountain 38, not by Business -- which had a white marlin release. JCAA President Paul Haertel fished for summer cod locally yesterday as his crew caught up to the five by Kyren Dooley. Haertel had the largest at 18.55 pounds. They also caught some pollock plus limits of sea bass. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reports the pee-wee bluefish bite was off today after hot fishing yesterday. They did pick at blues and bonito while adding some sea bass. Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, reports an 11-pound striper caught on clams in the local surf by Bill Boyde of Howell. Mickey Sweeney of Howell fished bait at Manasquan for two legal bass. I caught my first fish in the surf on a lure in several weeks at Sea Girt this morning. I knew exactly what it was when it hit my Tsunami 6-inch eel -- a heavy fish that didn't run or fight right away. Sure enough it was a pot-bellied stargazer of 18 1/2 inches and probably 5 or 6 pounds. That was the first I've caught in a couple of years. At Seaside Park, Betty & Nick's Tackle is enthusiastic about fluking in the surf, and notes that houndfish have been seen there as well as in the bay. They also note the same about peanut bunkers. Grumpy's Tackle says shark fishermen are doing well on bunker at night in the surf.

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