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Captain's Focus

The weather was great, with light west winds, but only small stripers were hitting in quantity -- and then only for some. I can testify that fishing was terrible to the south. After a big storm at this time of year you should be able to head for Island Beach State Park and come across clouds of birds working over bass and blues. However, I didn't see a bird today other than ducks heading south as fast as possible as I joined Chris De Gennaro of Wall on his Albemarle, Kayley Marie, out of Manasquan along with my son Mike plus Greg Regan and Greg Hagler from Malvern, Pa. We marked some bait, but practically no fish. Blind trolling produced two bass of 30 and 36 inches -- and it sounded as if we were among the high hooks to the south. Capt. Russ Binns of Toms River ended up 27 miles south of Manasquan Inlet without finding anything before he got into a few 20-inch bass close to the beach at a couple of stops on the way back. There were more small stripers to the north. Capt. Rob Semkowyc of the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands said his fares caught hundreds of shorts, but not a single keeper. The Golden Eagle from Brlmar reported inshore waters were dirty from the storm, and stripers were in clear waters beyond three miles where all had to be released. A keeper was caught inshore on the way back. Hopefully, everything will be back to normal within the next couple of days. The Sea Devil from Point Pleasant reported a good day of striper fishing, but didn't specify where. Ed Macklin boated a 20-pounder. Dan Kilinski caught 17 stripers, though only one was a keeper.Bluefin tuna have been spotted in several areas recently. One private skipper was casting to them at Axel Carlsen Reef today, though none were hooked. There were also sightings reported at Manasquan Ridge and off the Governor's Mansion. There were reports of a pick in the surf from Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park, but there were no weigh-ins. Betty & Nick's in that town reported a few early weigh-ins up to 17 pounds. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina said there were shots of short stripers in a number of areas. Capt. Ryan Bogan, of Jamaica II at Brielle, said bottom fishing was very good for ling, with some sea bass also being boated.

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