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Captain's Focus

Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, reported a new seasonal standard for striped bass when a 55 1/2-pounder was weighed Sunday by Fred Heydorn. He caught the trophy on a bunker, as did Ron Fay with his 41-pounder.  Also at that marina, the Golden Eagle reported a return to hot bluefish jigging today -- especially on the first drift when the blues were up and 20-to-40 were on at a time. Run-Off Hammered jigs and Crocs did the job. It slowed to a pick, but everyone had a good catch. The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had very good bluefish jigging on Sunday, and for the first time this season there were stripers mixed in with them. Ironically, the Magic Hours trip after that, which is normally a much better bet for bass, only produced one.  Capt. John Kolias had a limit striper catch on bunkers for John Lucciola and his Uncle Babe on Saturday from Reel Fun out of Twin Lights Marina in Highlands. Three bass were boated Sunday before a switch to fluking where Kolias had found large fish on the opener didn't work out. Capt. Joe Massa ran his My Three Sons from Morgan Marina to West Bank this morning and chunked through loads of big blues for two bass before moving to Coney Island to bucktail fluke of 19 and 23 inches plus a sea robin. Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park reported good quantities of bluefish in the surf, especially on mullet baits, while kayak and boat fishermen caught big bass on snag & drop bunkers just out of casting range.  Don Geiss weighed a 50.5-incher at 44.65 pounds; Joe Demolia had a 44.5-inch, 33.8-pounder; and Cheryl Morris took a 47-inch, 35.4-pound bass. 

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