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Captain's Focus

Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park reported some very early medium bluefish have been caught by boaters in Barnegat Bay. They also had the first surf keeper striper on Wednesday when J.D. Porter caught a 32-inch, 10.15-pounder on an SP Minnow. Grumpy's also noted some shorts had been caught in the surf on buckrails, but that clams were required on Saturday. They also mentioned that boaters had been into bass without providing any details -- though there were weigh-ins of two 38-inchers caught Friday on swimmers. They weighed 19.35 and 19.75 pounds. Winter flounder hit bloodworms Saturday at the Mantoloking Bridge. I doubt if there was any fishing on Sunday due to the very strong winds. At Belmar, the Golden Eagle had a hard time locating mackerel on Saturday, but got into them by late morning -- when doubles and triples were hooked. Unfortunately, there's still a lot of windy weather predicted for this week even as it switches to the south. As a result, the Golden Eagle won't sail on Monday. The Ocean Explorer brought a good catch of blackfish back to Belmar on Saturday. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, reports the blackfish boats also had some impressive winter flounder on Saturday. There have been some reports of small stripers hooked on bloodworms intended for flounder in Shark River, but no surf striper catches so far. It was so windy Sunday that Matthews said "The wind blew the flag pole down in the marina. It has stood there for as long as I can remember."                        The Mimi VI from Point Pleasant will be running open boat blackfish trips on April 8, 9 and 10.  Call 732 370-819 for information.

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