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Captain's Focus

There was a bump in the road in the jumbo bluefish run today. Miss Belmar Princess ran north to the hills they've been fishing for both the jumbos and little tunny. There was bird life, and they ended up catching some small blues plus a shot of little tunny on their last drift. The Golden Eagle from Belmar caught some 3-to-5-pound blues before fishing off the tip of Sandy Hook for cocktail blues -- and then finding more to the south. The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant reported slow bluefishing today, and will not sail on Thursday due to the forecast of northeast winds gusting to 25 mph. Capt. Ron Santee said he got into mostly short fluke and out-of-season sea bass today with his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. If the fluking doesn't improve by the end of the week he may switch to porgies. Tank Matraxia and his group from Lyndhurst had to talk Capt. Gene Nigro into taking them fluking today on his Phantom from Leonardo. Nigro warned them that fluking there is poor, and they only caught five shorts that received ALS tags placed in them by Matraxia. There were some big dogfish off Sandy Hook, along with sea robins and skates-- and they cast to a few small blues off Leonardo. The Ocean Explorer from Belmar reported steady fluking in the ocean, where the pool winner was about 7 pounds, and that angler had a limit. There was good news in the Sea Bright surf, where anglers finally got good shots at little tunny. Allen Riley of South Plainfield couldn't get a touch from those fussy fish while reeling right through them, but two of his partners caught tunny for the first time in years. John Mazzeo of South Plainfield scored with a Gibbs Minnow, and Jose Cotelo from North Bergen caught two on a chromed 2-ounce Crippled Herring. Vinny D'Anton of Shark River Hills cast his Chug Bug into the Spring Lake surf, and connected with a striper of almost 29 inches. Later he saw small birds working over 1-pound blues within casting range. I returned to Bay Head after seeing so much bait there the previous morning, but there was no bait this morning before I left to catch blackfish in Point Pleasant Canal. Jon Falkowski fished Sandy Hook this morning and didn't see any action there before ending up catching a sea robin on bunker.

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