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Captain's Focus

It's probably not the start of the fall migratory run, but school stripers are now being caught with some regularity in the surf. Leif Pettersen has even been doing it with his fly rod, catching two to 25 inches Saturday at Deal, and adding one 25-incher this morning despite a booming surf. I had hoped the northwest wind would have calmed the surf overnight, but it didn't start blowing hard until later in the morning. The swell was so big at Sea Girt that I didn't think my Tactical Anglers Bomb Jr. popper would be noticed in all the white water, but I did release a 27-inch bass soon after arriving as the sun was coming up. Joe Mellillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, said several anglers plugged schoolies from local beaches this morning. Boaters had a hard time getting out of Manasquan Inlet into steep seas on Sunday, and then didn't find many fluke outside. However, blackfishing in Point Pleasant Canal was fine, and Melillo sold four bushels of green crabs that day. Allen Riley of South Plainfield tried plugging before daylight at Sea Bright, but only hooked small blues that then hit metal after daylight. Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park reports fluking in the surf is still good, and small blues are being caught on both mullet and metal. The Cock Robin from Point Pleasant had a decent bonito bite today, but there were no little tunny with them. They'll be seeking big blues on Tuesday, and hoping for better conditions than Sunday's. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported getting into 8-to-12-pound blues today.

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