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Captain's Focus

As noted in last night's blog, Capt.Dave De Gennaro was loading up with fresh clams on his Hi Flier from Barnegat to fish in protected waters on Saturday due to the continuing rough seas. That turned out to be a very good choice as he anchored at Oyster Creek on the start of the ebb. It took 40 minutes to get a bite, and then it was a bluefish bite-off. Then a 10-pound blue was boated before Matt and Ralph Polito of Philadelphia plus John Amalfa of Brick were surprised by a 23-pound striper rather than the expected schoolies. Bass of 15 and 17 pounds were later added along with another blue. De Gennaro knows it will be raining on Sunday, but feels confident that stripers will bite again. He'll be running open at 5 a.m. -- and also on Monday. Call 732 330-5674 for reservations. Big bluefish were hitting in Manasquan Inlet early this morning, and the large group charter boat Miss Michelle III from Point Pleasant stayed right there rather than testing uncertain prospects in a rough ocean.  That turned out to be a good decision as the Queen Mary from Point Pleasant called the ocean fishing "terrible", and isn't sailing Sunday. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported lots of readings, but no bites. Anglers casting into the inlet were doing well. I released four in the 30-inch class on a large Redfin and a Gag's Bluefish Bomb before heading to Castaway's Tackle in Point Pleasant where Joe Melillo reported that blues were also being caught in the river and canal. The Jamaica from Brielle will be sailing on Sunday for blues and stripers. The Elaine B. from Highlands fished the last day of the blackfish season, but it was ruined by a big swell that reduced the bite to a pick of mostly small tog on clam. The Elaine B. switches to striper fishing daily at 7 a.m. until the fluke season opens on May 21. At Seaside Park, bluefish are being caught in the surf as well as the bay -- but mostly on bait. The largest weigh-in Friday at Grumpy's Tackle was an 11.5-pounder on bunker by Joe Bolcer. Betty & Nick's reports the NE winds have brought the water temperature in the surf up to 52 degrees.  A strong current required 8-ounce sinkers to hold bottom. Dave Perruso of Palmer Township, Pa. reports shad fishing in the Delaware River at Phillipsburg has been so good that anglers are catching from 10 to 100 a day up to 5 1/4 pounds.

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