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Captain's Focus

The forecast for Wednesday is daunting, including a gale warning. Fishing almost everywhere may be a dead issue tomorrow -- and likely also on Thursday. However, the weekend may be nice. Though boaters seemed to have stayed home, the surf was very fishable early Wednesday morning. Indeed, it was just about ideal at Sea Girt if you had a heavy enough lure to cast into the slowly rising wind. Unfortunately, the fish didn't take notice of those fine conditions. I didn't hear of anything from striper anglers there, and I was happy when an 18-inch bluefish hit my tactical Anglers Bomb Jr. popper in the wash before the northeast wind got too strong. Allen Riley of South Plainfield said he also had good early conditions at Sea Bright, and caught two tiny blues that were hardly any longer than the metals they hit.There was no bait in the surf nor any bird action offshore. It will be a new ball game after the storm if the forecast of strong east winds and heavy rain is correct. That will be fine with Bruce Vitale of Piscataway. He was one of 15 anglers on Last Lady from Neptune that ended up working wrecks and rough bottoms all the way south to below Barnegat without finding a keeper fluke on Tuesday. Capt. Ralph Leyrer is one of the most experienced skippers on the coast, and that doesn't speak well about the amount of fluke still available even before the season closes after Saturday.

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