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  #1  
Old 05-19-2004, 12:44 AM
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Default Jersey Shore Fishing Saltwater fishing updates from The Star-Ledger's Al Ristori

Capt. Brian Pieros of Whitehouse Station boated a 44-pound striped bass on his Daylighter from Staten Island early Saturday morning to easily win the weekend Monmouth Beach Cartoppers Association Striped Bass Tournament over 18 other boaters.

That contest was for total weight of the two largest bass of at least 38 inches, and Pieros only had to add a routine 24-pounder to achieve his winning total of 68 pounds. The 44-pounder was caught by Mike Fazio of Edison, and was the first fish of the day at Old Orchard before bluefish took over. At 49 1/2 inches, it could have been pushing 50 pounds if she hadn't been spawned out.


"Stupid" bass fishing continued Saturday in Raritan Bay, but there was a big change for many anglers Sunday. The Buoy 12 area of Raritan Reach lit up with stripers when I arrived early Saturday morning on the Atlantic Yachts Aquasport 27 Express. Ron Worebel and Matt Geiger of Rumson hooked up continuously on Montauk bunker spoons with bass to 38 inches before we decided to try other techniques. Some birds were up east of Old Orchard where blues hit popping plugs readily while a couple of bass up to 20 pounds were caught among them.
Al Ristori appears regularly in The Star-Ledger. He can be reached at [email protected]
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Old 07-01-2004, 11:25 PM
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Default Ristori Report

Bluefish have also been thick off Sea Bright and the Highlands Bridge, where they frustrated anglers trying to fish bunkers for striped bass on Tuesday. The Cliff Van Nest group from Point Pleasant joined me as we snagged bunkers on the way up only to find blues so thick there was little hope of getting through to a bass. Van Nest released one blue that had to be at least 15 pounds, and also added the only striper.


TOP CATCHES

Big makos have been scarce in local tournaments, but Basil Pappas of Franklin Lakes passes along news from the Wally Oakland Memorial Tournament at Shinnecock, Long Island that the winner was a 652-pounder caught on Poppa John.

Steve Cherry of Jersey City has been into some great striper fishing in the East River with his High & Tight. Last Thursday he and Randy Lee Jr. caught 24 from 26 to 39 inches plus 10 5-pound blues. Joe Yocco of New Providence and his future son-in-law Brian Coffing were aboard Saturday as 12 from 27 inches up were caught in two hours, including a 44-incher by Coffing who was into his first stripers. Monday night produced over 30 bass up to 40 inches for Cherry, Lee, and Doug Fallon, Jr. and Sr.
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Old 10-22-2004, 01:24 AM
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Default AL RISTORI REPORT

BY AL RISTORI
Star-Ledger Staff
It's going to be a whole new ballgame for anglers inshore and offshore after what's predicted to be a week of northeast wind extending into Saturday. Hopefully we'll then see bait pouring out of the bays and rivers to fuel surface-feeding activity for surfcasters and boaters seeking the first wave of migratory stripers.

The only saving grace with this northeaster is that it arrived off the moon, when tides aren't exceptionally high. Yet there probably will be some coastal flooding and the waters may be a mess until a couple of tide changes clears it up.
School stripers were cooperating for those using sandworms and eels in northern areas before the storm. Ron Halbert of Woodbridge and I joined Gene Graman from Middletown on his That's It to fish Shrewsbury River just yards from his berth at Twin Lights Marina in Highlands during midafternoon Monday.

We had a nice pick going early in the ebb, but it went dead by 4 p.m. and we added only one bluefish before quitting as the sun went behind the hills. Of the eight bass brought to the boat, there was only one 24 1/2-inch slot, with the rest running from 29 1/2 to 37 inches. Included were three releases that were right at the new 34-inch minimum for keepers. River waters were very clear at that time, and down to 54 degrees on the ebb while the ocean was averaging 61 degrees.

Capt. Kenny Grover had only seven fares on Freddy C. from Leonardo that night, but they limited out with 14 legal bass and released eight to 10 that fell between 28 and 34 inches. Dan Miller of South River caught three up to the 18-pound pool winner.

Canyon fishing has no where to go but down considering how good it was a week ago. An indication of what may be in store offshore was provided by Captains Jimmy Gahm and Steve Van Bergen, who ran a day trip Monday out to the Hudson with Jenny Lee from Manasquan in the brief period between the weekend northwester and the northeaster, which swept in Tuesday morning.

They were shocked to find the warm water gone, and replaced by off-color, 63- to 65-degree waters. Yellowfins and albacore were gone, yet there was no lack of action for the Charles Risner party from Newton. The group fought medium bluefins all day and at 4 p.m. finally hooked up with 275-pounder, which was eventually boated. The bluefin limit remains one per boat, but those larger mediums provide plenty of meat for a party.

The Recreational Fishing Alliance was one of the groups invited to see President Bush speak Monday in Evesham. Herb Moore, RFA counsel, was able to thank Rep. Jim Saxton (R-3rd Dist.) for his intervention, which probably was the reason the federal moratorium on striped bass fishing was never imposed last month.


TOP CATCHES

Large stripers made an appearance off Holgate last weekend when Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club held their Fall Bass Tournament. Rick Vohden fished aboard Sweet Marlyn as the crew clammed 14 bass in 1 1/2 hours on the outer bar. They kept a 21-pounder, three in the 16- to 18-pound class and three slots while releasing seven from 34 to 35 inches -- but weren't close to the winners. Bob Donat's Donuts produced the top two bass: a 42.1-pounder by Steve Evert and a 40.6-pounder for John Mullholland.

At Brielle, Capt. Joe Bogan reports fine sea bass fishing during most trips with his Jamaica II. Porgies were also being caught along with a mixture of semi-tropical species such as triggerfish, bar jacks, pinfish and grunts. Among those with limits of 25 sea bass were Herb Fienmann of Lakewood (up to 4 pounds); Fred Morris of Trenton, who added 30 porgies; and Anthony De Falco of Brick, who also bagged 20 porgies and jacks.

At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Art Hilliard of the Eagle has been concentrating on stripers since Sunday when clamming was good on the morning flood tide. The George Schofield Inc. party kept 16 slot bass plus a 34 1/2-incher taken by Bill Menke from Ocean Gate. Quite a few bass between 28 and 34 inches had to be released due to the new regulations. Conditions that evening were terrible with wind against tide and only a couple of slots were taken. Tim Kepler of Rockaway had the largest at 25 inches. More boat traffic seemed to slow Monday's clamming and only a few shorts and slots up to a 26-incher by Louis DeDonno of Middletown were caught. Hilliard tried the channels as the current slacked and they released a 32-incher there.

Greg Frullaney of Hewitt was high hook with nine albacore and one yellowfin on last Wednesday's great canyon trip of the Golden Eagle from Belmar that produced 30 yellowfins and 86 longfins. Anthony Jones of Swedesboro had just one fewer albacore, while Jan Blithe of Penns Grove totaled six albacore and one yellowfin -- and Ernie Delcher of Mahwah had one fewer longfin. Richard Clarke boated only one albacore, but had two yellowfins, including the 72-pound pool winner. The Golden Eagle's canyon season is coming to a close, but there may be space left on two trips. Call (732) 681-6144.

The John Murphy party from Metuchen limited on stripers while clamming during a Saturday afternoon trip with Capt. Frank Tenore aboard Fins on Feathers from Leonardo. Included were bass of 28 and 22.5 pounds.

The Monday blitz of small blues at Sandy Hook continued until after 11 a.m., but the surf has been a horror show in the northeaster since early Tuesday morning.

T&A Tackle in Port Monmouth reports stripers up to 40 inches have been caught recently on poppers cast from bay shores. Rocco Zarra of Jackson weighed a 15 1/2-pounder that hit a Yo-Zuri Surface Cruiser.

Gerry Hydrusko of Belle Mead fished aboard the Helen H. from Hyannis, Mass., on Oct. 7 and caught his limit of 40- to 60-pound yellowfins in Hydrographer's Canyon, where the water temperature was 74 degrees. Edwin Munzo of Princeton added two yellowfins as 50 of those tuna were boated along with two 60-pound swordfish and a few large dolphin. Three huge tiger sharks were hooked up but broke off.

Tom Sheets of Monmouth Beach ran away with the Columbus Day Weekend Monmouth Beach Recreation Striper Tournament, sponsored by The Tackle Box in Hazlet and Blue Water Marine, by beaching a 27 3/4-pounder there last Saturday morning on clams. Slots took the next two places for local anglers as Joe Nardone caught a 7-pounder on clams and Ed Ryan had a 6 3/4-pounder on a Storm lure. John Marchison Jr. of Monmouth Beach caught a blue to win the kids' St. Croix surf outfit.

The Tackle Box weighed a 140-pound bigeye tuna, which Joe Reilly of South Amboy caught recently at the east wall of Hudson Canyon from Kat. E. Strofik. Two stripers up to 12 pounds were taken on bunker heads last week by John Spiak of Laurence Harbor. A 15 1/2-pound striper was beached recently on clams at Sandy Hook by John Abrams of Wanamassa.

Roland Krumbein of Cresskill ran his Tuna Teaser from Brielle to just north of Toms Canyon on Oct. 8 along with Kirk Stanley to put youngsters Samantha Krumbein , 9; Sean Stanley , 7; and Blaik Stanley , 5, into some hot action. While most boaters did nothing that night, they boated an 80-pound yellowfin and lost others, added several dolphin, lost a swordfish under the boat, and boated a sword a little more than 100 pounds before the fishing really turned on at 3 a.m. when four more yellowfins and eight albacore were boated along with a dozen longfins released by 8 a.m.

Tom Wolfe at Jersey Coast Tackle in Brick reports that Frank Hahn weighed a 23 1/2-pound striper to take the lead in the free October contest. Wolfe notes that bait moved into the Mantoloking and Brick surf over the weekend when bluefish dominated catches.

Greg Bogan at Brielle Tackle said lots of small weakfish and larger croakers were spread along the ocean from Sea Girt to Bay Head before the storm, while small blues had been chasing bait at the mouth of Manasquan Inlet, and the railroad bridge was producing weaks, kingfish and triggerfish on worms and crabs.

The first Manasquan Glimmer Glass Fluke Tournament for boats moored north of that bridge was won Sept. 25 by Paul and Mary Beth Maclearie plus Chris Wood , all of Spring Lake Heights, on their Perfect Drift with a 5.5-pounder.

Greg Lospinoso of Highlands joined Tony and Richie Ciccone on the Therapy from Staten Island for a Sept. 24 canyon overnighter. They found cooler water in the Hudson and switched to the Toms, where there was a 5-degree temperature change. A hot chunking bite from 6:30 to 10:30 produced 22 tuna.

Al Ristori appears regularly in The Star-Ledger. He can be reached at [email protected]
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Old 11-05-2004, 11:50 PM
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Default Ristoris November 5th Report

Though there's far more of it predicted than we'd like to see, west winds forecast through tomorrow should set up more hot migratory fishing all along the Shore while quickly knocking down the seas built up by yesterday's east winds.

Though some surfcasters did well in raw conditions early yesterday morning, there wasn't the blitz fishing experienced the previous two days in many areas. It was literally a big bluefish hit on every cast with a popping plug Tuesday afternoon along much of the northern Ocean County surf. I never left the northern end of Mantoloking and stood in one spot to release most of my 26 from 6 to 12 pounds while casting without any sign of all those fish. Everyone else seemed to be doing the same thing. Nick Honachefsky fished with Guy Jackson of Brick from Mantoloking to Lavallette to catch 57 blues and 14 slot stripers between 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. while working Storm Shad and snagging peanut bunkers. Clammers had the upper hand with bass yesterday in the heavy surf.

Boat fishing for bass and blues was also tougher yesterday with much less bird action than had been the case, though there were hot reports offshore of both Sea Bright and Barnegat. When the west wind was blowing, there were birds working over many areas both inshore and well out from the beach.

Bottom fishing should also be productive in areas not too far offshore, with sea bass featured to the south and blackfish to the north. Unfortunately, New Jersey is still limited to one blackfish per person until Nov. 15, when the limit increases to eight until the end of the year. (NY its 10)

Bluefishing chumming remains excellent from the Mud Buoy to the Farms, but there's hardly any pressure on those large choppers any longer, with most party boats seeking stripers closer to shore.


TOP CATCHES
At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter had very good clamming for stripers through the weekend, but got back into the jigging mode Tuesday. It was mostly slots, plus a few throwbacks in the 30-inch range, and a 35-incher by Frank Getler of Kearny. Clamming had produced lots of slots and many from 28 to 33 inches plus a few larger bass including a 21-pounder by Eric Johnson from Highland Park.

Capt. Scotty Hilliard has switched to bottom fishing with his Prowler 5, but since Semkewyc had other business to attend to yesterday, he took the Sea Hunter's customers for stripers. That fishing started slowly, as both clamming and eeling was poor until Capt. Mike Scardigno of Mi-Jo called Hilliard and Capt. Ron Santee of the Fishermen into a jigging blitz in 50-foot depths south of the Highlands Bridge. There was a 50/50 mix of blues and slot bass, and even those with rental rods were able to catch them. Ten-year-old Daniel Salvati of Riverdale boated a 16-pound blue. Hilliard will fish the Mud Hole for ling and sea bass over the weekend, while weekday trips will be for inshore bottom fishing.

Capt. George Bachert fished Scotland for the first time this fall with the Teal and had a showing of ling in addition to blackfish. Scott Kearney of Jackson reported a fine night of striper fishing Monday on the Teal as over 50 were caught on eels by 25 anglers despite wind against tide. Though half were 28- to 33.99-inchers that had to be released, five large bass up to 39 inches were included. Kearney managed a 37-incher plus a 27-inch slot.

Capt. Art Hilliard of the Eagle said a slow start last Friday at Romer produced only two 31-inchers and a 32-inch bass, which had to be released. A move to the east then resulted in a limit of slots plus a dozen more 31- to 33-inch releases, with Al Stone of Rutherford catching the largest. A pleasant surprise was a 10-pound black drum. Other recent pool winners were Mike Raiola of Old Bridge at 35 inches and Frank Sardano of Toms River with a 27 1/2-incher.

At Point Pleasant, Capt. Jim O'Grady went south Saturday for his first day of striper fishing with Cock Robin and had bass of 29, 36 and 38 inches caught on bait along with sea bass, porgies, blackfish, fluke and lots of blues which continue to dominate when jigging. There was some improvement in striper jigging results Wednesday.

Capt. John Brackett of the Queen Mary said bluefishing was fabulous Sunday for 6-to-16-pounders on the west side of the Mud Hole, but he switched to stripers Monday. The first decent shot of stripers among the blues occurred Wednesday as over 20 slots were boated just a few miles to the south. The shift to easterly wind hurt that fishery yesterday, but Brackett expects a big improvement with the west winds expected through tomorrow.

Capt. Willie Egerter Jr. has been doing pretty well with sea bass from his Dauntless out of Point Pleasant. Porgies are generally small, but a dozen or more blackfish are caught each day along with a triggerfish or two and croakers.

Capt. John Hawryluk of the Norma K III says bottom fishing has been excellent for sea bass and porgies on wrecks 7 to 10 miles northeast of the inlet. Monday's blackfish special was very good even though only one per angler could be kept. The winter bottom fishing schedule is 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily except Monday when the blackfish trip is all day. Striped bass trips are run from 3 to 9 p.m. on weekends.

At Belmar, Capt. Chris Hueth had good sea bass fishing yesterday on his Big Mohawk along with some blackfish and porgies.

Capt. Hank Leonard says big blues continue to cooperate on his Golden Eagle from Belmar. The only night trips now are on Saturdays.

At Brielle, Capt. Russ Binns fished a couple of wrecks to the south last Friday with Escapade. Though the second wreck, in 80 feet, produced a good catch of sea bass along with quite a few small porgies, the bad news was that spiny dogfish have moved in already.

The Mary Lou Crew from Hoffman's boated 70 sea bass Saturday for the Mike Holmes party from Allentown, Pa., and added their limit of five tautog plus two blues and lots of porgies.

George Lewis of Wall weighed a 50-pound tilefish at Brielle Tackle after catching it last weekend in Hudson Canyon on a butterfish sent down with a 20-ounce sinker. Gene Kanzler of Jackson caught his first striper, a 9-pounder, Sunday on clams at Bay Head.

Capt. Dave DeGennaro had his brother Tony and nephew Chris of Wall aboard Saturday for the afternoon tide in Oyster Creek Channel for a good bite on clams, which produced eight bass, including 13- and 20-pounders. A return Tuesday was good for only two bass, though one weighed 17 pounds.

Allen Riley of South Plainfield caught medium blues and short bass Monday and Tuesday at the first parking lot in Sandy Hook, and was prepared for a blitz Wednesday morning with the predicted northwest wind. Unfortunately, in that relatively exposed area there was too much north in that wind, which made it very difficult to cast. As a result, Riley didn't catch a thing from 5 to 7:45 and there were none of the peanut bunkers that had been in the surf the previous two mornings.

John Luchka of Cranbury didn't see anything doing Saturday morning in the Lavallette surf, but ended up at the Manasquan jetty where he caught blues up to 4 pounds on metal.

Tom Paglioroli of Ocean City reported solid 1 1/2- to 4-pound blues Tuesday under gulls and gannets along his beachfront from 5th to 54th Streets.

Walter Martin of Morris Plains caught two slot bass plus blues Tuesday morning from the Sea Bright surf. The fat bass he kept had eight clams in its belly.

Capt. Tim Doolan of Bayonne hosted Matt and Sean Buente and their dad, Steve, of Hamilton as they fished clams behind a clammer off the Rockaways for seven stripers of 32 to 33 inches plus a 25-incher -- but none legal in both New York (where there's a 28-inch minimum) or New Jersey, where 28- to less than 34-inchers must be released.

Capt. Jim Freda fished the Mud Buoy last weekend and chummed up loads of 5- to 10-pound blues, which his fly rod customers caught one after another on yellow and white jiggies.

Capt. Larry Rhodes anchored his Pop-Pops-Toy on Saturday at Romer Shoal, where Bob Blackman from Mountainside and Jeff Gould of Roselle Park had good action with slots and 28- to 34-inch stripers plus several larger bass up to 36 inches, which they released.

Al Ristori appears regularly in The Star-Ledger. E-mail him at [email protected]
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Old 11-12-2004, 12:11 AM
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Thursday, November 11, 2004
BY AL RISTORI
Star-Ledger Staff
A sharp drop in water temperature seems to have activated striped bass fishing while diminishing the huge quantities of bluefish that had covered the Shore. Surfcasting was poor the past two days despite seemingly fine conditions, but boaters are finding more bass.

Several areas off Sandy Hook produced stripers on eels from slots up to a 25-pounder reported by Gene Graman of Middletown on his That's It. Also at Highlands, Capt. Lou Grazioso on Striper Mania had a big catch yesterday, as did Tom Morford of Atlantic Yachts in Middletown, who fished with Wayne O'Neill of Twin Lights Marina on his Old Gray Mare.


Capt. John Brackett of the Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had his best striper jigging so far during yesterday's trip. He started out in 80 feet, and later had shots closer to shore off Chadwick Beach and Lavallette as 37 bass were caught. Seventeen were slots and the rest shorts. Blues weren't as abundant, but some were large -- especially the 16-pounder that took the pool for Frank Strouse of Stirling.

George Gubuzda of Wall and I worked to the south yesterday in 54 degree waters, down four degrees from Sunday, after getting an early shot off Mantoloking that produced a jumbo blue for him plus a few smaller blues and a bass. We missed a flurry of slot bass off the Seaside pier, and spent hours off Island Beach State Park working birds that were constantly up and down for two slot bass, a 32-inch blue and a pick of 4-to-6-pound choppers. One more bass and a blue were jigged off Lavallette on the way back, but the birds broke up quickly. Large bait readings were spotted in many areas, but the action was nothing like the non-stop bluefishing of the weekend.
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Old 11-17-2004, 05:46 PM
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Default Ristoris latest New jersey report

Ristoris latest New jersey report
The first day after the weekend northerly was generally very disappointing for striper anglers who found lots of bait readings but little bird action and very few bass under circumstances which are usually very productive in November. Shore Catch Charters covered the coast, with Capt. Terry Sullivan heading north while Capt. Gene Quigley went south from Manasquan Inlet in the afternoon, but they didn't see much.

Surfcasting reports were also poor. I tried Manasquan in the morning and lost a couple of small bass, but most other anglers there released one or two shorts. It wasn't much, but better than most other reports. Evening there was dead in a continuing heavy swell and with very little water on the beach at low tide.

At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Rob Semkewyc didn't get out Friday or Saturday due to the weather, and was disappointed to find no bird action for jigging Sunday before switching to eels in Sandy Hook Channel for a good bite of larger bass with 80 percent being over 34 inches. John Reyes of Edison took the pool with a 23-pounder.

Capt. Danny Seich was pleased with last week's night striper eeling from the Teal. Friday was too nasty for fishing, but Saturday night's wind proved productive as about 60 stripers were caught. Wind against tide slowed Sunday's fishing though two dozen bass were hooked. The Teal is sailing nightly, including Thanksgiving.

Capt. Scotty Hilliard was pleased with blackfishing on Sandy Hook Reef from his Prowler 5 out of Atlantic Highlands. Jim Learn from Cliffside Park won the pool with a 6 1/2-pounder, and several 4-to-5-pounders were also boated. Hilliard noted he'll only running 4:30-9:30 p.m. striper trips on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Tom Liznack and Anthony Francisco from Linden hit it right in the western end of Raritan Bay last Wednesday as stripers were rolling on the surface without even many birds to indicate that action as they caught over 50, including some of 34 inches. The bass had stomachs full of mantis shrimp.

At Brielle, Capt. Howard Bogan Jr. reported good canyon fishing during Thursday night's trip with the Jamaica in 62.5 degree waters. A 100-pound sword fish was boated at 1:30 a.m. and a 200-pounder fought for two hours before escaping 20 feet below the surface. Tuna were recorded under the boat at 4 a.m. and stayed there throughout the morning though the bite was picky as they ended up with 25 up to 70 pounds.

At Point Pleasant, Capt. Jim O'Grady is hoping for better after the weekend northerly winds as he prepares to wrap up the season with Cock Robin. Though jigging for stripers showed some promise Wednesday, there were only some blues Thursday morning while the party boat fleet from Shark River to Manasquan inlets ran all over looking for bass and only managed three among them.

Stripers flurried in the surf at many points Friday morning during the beginning of the northeaster. Though most were shorts and slots, Brielle Tackle weighed a 23 1/2-pounder taken on a 6-inch Storm Shad from the Manasquan surf by Tony Martinez of that town. Doug Goselin of the Shark River Surf Anglers beached an 11 1/2-pounder on clams early that morning. Greg Bogan also reported a 16~-pound striper aboard the Paramount on clams by Roger Lee last week, while Landon Reto of Brielle beached both a 5-pound weakfish and a 10-pound blue on a pearl 6-inch shad jig during a late afternoon effort in the Manasquan surf earlier in the week.

Capt. Phil Sciortino had a fine charter with Tackle Box Sportfishing at Highlands on Wednesday for the Ehid family from Allentown, Pa. who eeled 12 bass up to 36 inches in the channels and also got into blues and small bass on jigs. Last week's weigh-ins at The Tackle Box in Hazlet included a 19-pounder striper on clams at Keansburg by Mike Kaczala , and a 15 3/4-pounder on clams at Sandy Hook for Dave Torrick from Cliffwood. Ken Rogers of Flemington used Tsunami poppers at the Hook for a 10-pound blues plus small bass.

At Highlands, Capt. Rich Newallis Jr. of Just One More did well jigging bass under working birds and also by eeling last week, but had to watch the main street in Highlands flood in 35 mph north winds Saturday.
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Old 11-24-2004, 07:13 AM
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Default Ristori: Surface fishing hot for stripers ... finally

Ristori: Surface fishing hot for stripers ... finally
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
BY AL RISTORI

It was a long time coming this fall, but surface fishing for migratory striped bass is hot right now and will, hopefully, last another few weeks.

The area from Shrewsbury Rocks to Sandy Hook has been a hot spot, though bass can pop up all along the Shore on any given day. Mike Carney of Staten Island had never caught a striped bass before yesterday when he not only broke the ice but released them in the most sporting fashion by casting swimmers and poppers as we chased birds and swirling fish between the buoys off the Rocks.

Birds were everywhere when we first arrived after spotting very little on the way up from Manasquan Inlet. Yet, the fish were scattered and lots of chasing was required in order to hook bass on the surface. From about 10:30 to 11:15 the feeding got more concentrated and intense, making it possible to raise fish on almost every cast with a Cordell Pencil Popper even though we were in 55-foot depths. There was a complete mixture of sizes from shorts up to one over 20 pounds that hit a Yo-Zuri Magnet swimming plug. Most were in the 26-to-32-inch range, and bass outnumbered blues three-to-one. We left them biting at noon, and another fleet was also catching them further north off the Highlands Bridge. Capt. Gene Quigley of Shore Catch Charters said his anglers had a few over 20 pounds on surface swimmers. Capt. Lou Grazioso was in the same area jigging bass with a white bucktail while his mate, Matt Calabria of Hazlet, dropped a fresh bunker head to bottom and put a 26-pound bass in Striper Mania from Highlands.

That fishing on calm seas was a lot better than the jigging in Saturday's rough conditions when I joined Capt. Hans Kaspersetz of Weehawken on his new 40-foot Luhrs, Maggie K, from Point Pleasant. Mike Fett of Woodridge and Capt. Lou Petrone of the Madonna were along as we fought our way up to the Rocks and jigged more blues than bass -- especially when we followed gannets diving steadily further offshore.

The strong southwester forecast for the next two days will change everything, but with the water temperature around 51 degrees there should be lots of surface fishing ahead of us. Jiggers also scored with those fish, and trollers could hardly move without hooking up, though there didn't seem to be any logic to cranking in fish on wire line when they were readily available on sporting tackle.

Blackfishing was a mixed bag over the weekend. Some boats had good action, but Capt. Paul Regula of the Bounty Hunter at Canyon River Club in Point Pleasant (who had good bass catches both days) said several top-notch charter skippers told him they hardly caught any Sunday. There was certainly no lack of effort expended that day because every set of numbers I went to was occupied by other boats before the last stop off Elberon produced a steady bite for two hours. Ross and Brian Goldberg of Manalapan plus Gary Heimberg and Jay Vodofsky from Marlboro put together a good catch though shorts outnumbered keepers three-to-one. Vodofsky's 20-incher was the largest.

There was some blitz fishing for surfcasters who were at the right spot at the right time, which always seemed to involve the presence of peanut bunkers. John Green of Brick said stripers had peanuts pinned in the pocket at the north jetty of Barnegat Inlet Sunday morning, but there was a mob scene of elbow-to-elbow anglers there. He did well with blues and some bass in Island Beach State Park the previous morning before finishing up with a hot bite of short and slot stripers at the Mantoloking-Brick border around 11 a.m.

Bluefish pinned peanuts into the pocket near the north jetty of Manasquan Inlet late Saturday afternoon. Everyone there had a hit on virtually every cast until dusk, but the choppers were so thick that only a couple of slot bass were taken. I had 29 releases of blues from 2 to 6 pounds in little more than an hour.

Allen Riley of South Plainfield took the weekend off to recover from his blitz of bass and blues Friday morning at Area C, Sandy Hook. He didn't hear of much over the weekend, and it was nothing special yesterday morning with little bait in the surf despite ideal conditions. The Luhr Jensen Javelin swimmer that produced dozens of fish Friday only fooled two 24-inch bass. Riley saw just two other fish caught in the area but noted birds were working hard well offshore.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: Jersey Shore Fishing Saltwater fishing updates from The Star-Ledger's Al Ristori

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  #9  
Old 03-18-2011, 12:38 AM
archiver archiver is offline
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Default 2011 Hudson River season opens above GW March 16

Published: Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 5:02 PM
By Al Ristori

Striped bass fishing in the Hudson River, in N.Y. waters north of the George Washington Bridge, opens on March 16, with a limit of one striper at a minimum of 18 inches. Anglers will need a N.Y. Marine Fishing License...

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Old 03-18-2011, 01:00 AM
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Default Best bets for the weekend

The 2011 striped bass season is officially under way as the opening of internal waters has resulted in the capture of keepers. Dave Showell weighed in three bass from 29 inches up to an 18.9-pounder at Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon toward the end of last week, and noted they were caught on lures cast in the shallows of local rivers.
The northern Shore got into the act Tuesday when Dennis Galvez of East Brunswick weighed the first striper at The Tackle Box in Hazlet after worming it at Cliffwood Beach. Joe Davino of Keansburg added a 10-pounder Wednesday in the dark at his local beach on sandworms. There hasn’t been much action so far, but it should open up over the weekend with warmer weather.
The Raritan Bay sod banks traditionally provide a good opportunity for anglers to cast worms or clams on the higher tides for stripers feeding in those shallow and relatively warmer waters. The largest linesiders tend to hit clams at night on northwest winds. When boaters get into the act later this month in the back of the bay, they too will be working shallow waters while chumming with clams.
Keep up with this fishing by following my daily blog at nj.com/shore/blogs/fishing.
A big question mark is whether we’ll see the unprecedented jigging of mostly legal stripers in cold ocean waters down the beach as occurred last April. Those bass would probably never have been exploited if it weren’t for the gannets diving on bait they were pushing up. Lures such as the Tsunami Shad worked slowly off bottom produced great action.
Charter skippers will be getting ready earlier this year in case there’s a reoccurrence of the hot April fishery, but they’ll also be dealing with record high gas prices with no end in sight. Customers may be able to lock in fees by booking early.
Though striped bass recreational landings along the Atlantic coast have been declining sharply, I considered the 2010 Raritan Bay-Northern Shore fishery for large bass to be the best in years – possibly because of a healthy Hudson River stock.
Not only did live and chunked bunker provide lots of the normal upper teens to 30-pounders into early July, but there was also a sharp increase in the number of 40-and-50-pounders hooked.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:00 AM
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Default Ristori: Anglers earning their stripes in internal waters

Cod is still king, but striped bass are starting to provide an alternative. There aren't many big cod around, though schoolies have been the most abundant in memory. They've been caught on both wrecks and open bottom, as herring and sand eels have been the attraction. Ling are sometimes mixed in, but haven't been as abundant as during the last few winters. A few large pollock have been caught from some wrecks. If herring are showing on the fishfinder, it's usually best to switch from clams to a jig and teaser. That might produce the pool fish.

Striped bass are being taken from many shore areas, including Graveling Point in Great Bay, the Beesly Point Power Plant, and South Jersey rivers plus Raritan Bay shorelines. Look for bigger bass in those shallow waters on high tides with clams at night.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: 2011 Hudson River season opens above GW March 16

Any reports of striped bass caught in Beacon yet? I know they were hitting in peirmont last week.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:20 PM
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Default Stripers turning on

Friday was a day of firsts for the Shore striped bass fishery. The first surf bass reported kicked off the season at Betty & Nick's in Seaside Park. That 34-inch, 13-pounder hit clams in Seaside Park for John Cremer of Pemberton, and was weighed by John Bushell Jr. at 1:27 p.m.
Chuck Many of North Clinton doesn't have his Tyman in the water yet, but used his "Tyman Jr.", a Lund "tin" boat, to take Capt. Lou Grazioso of Hazlet and Art Berkman from Pompton Plains out clamming in the back of Raritan Bay. Berkman started the trip on a high note with a 35-inch striper, and remained the hot hand as eight stripers were released -- with only one short among them.
There had been rumors that a 51-pound striper had been caught on a snagged bunker in Raritan Bay. Capt. Sal Cursi said he did see a 51-inch striper recently -- a massive bass for this early in the season, but not likely a 50-pounder. Though birds have been working over big forage fish in the west end of the bay, I haven't heard of anything in the ocean -- where we had fine jigging last spring under gannets.
I'll be speaking to the Sandy Hook Bay Anglers at their annual breakfast in Atlantic Highlands on Saturday morning. Fisheman's Headquarters in Point Pleasant presents free seminars from 6 to 9 a.m. in the store. D.J. Muller is on Saturday morning with a program on Cape Cod Canal stripers.








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Old 04-10-2011, 08:20 PM
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Default More surf stripers

John Bushell Jr. reports from Betty & Nick's in Seaside Park that a legal surf striper has been caught for the third day in a row. Gary Gabriel of Hawthorne released a 30-incher yesterday, and Sean Pritt weighed a 12-pounder Sunday afternoon. Those fish were hooked on clams at the north end of Island Beach State Park.
Captains Lou Grazioso and Fletcher Chayes of Two Rivers Charters took the Kondak family out to fish the flats for stripers with clams at the west end of Raritan Bay on Sunday morning. Retired Shimano rep Dick Kondak of Scotch Plains had his son Greg and grandson Jackson (6) aboard as they scratched out three keepers and two shorts. Jackson did all the reeling, and topped his catch with a 17-pound striper. The water temperature was 47 degrees, but Grazioso said one striper had green eggs in it. The eggs turn from yellow to green just before being spawned, but it's about a month before stripers should be spawning in Hudson River.
Greg Bogan reports from Brielle Tackle that flounder fishing continues very good in Barnegat Bay. The Miss Michele from Point Pleasant has been catching up to six a man. Though only two per angler can be kept, most are large flounder of 14 to 16 inches.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:30 PM
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Default Wagner has first volume striper catch in Raritan Bay

While striped bass have been providing some action in Raritan Bay, the first volume catch was reported Monday afternoon by Capt. Pete Wagner of Hyper Striper from Twin Lights Marina in Highlands. Wagner said the bass seemed to respond to that day's warm temperatures after a series of picky trips as the Mark Fidulli party from Garfield caught over 50, including eight keepers.
It wouldn't be hard to convince Dave Lilly of Hazlet that there are good numbers of bass in Raritan Bay. He was working on his boat in Keyport Sunday when two kayackers returned with striper limits. They had gone out in the dark, and immediately got into swirling bass, catching them on every cast with a "schoolbus" Bomber plug. That lasted until daylight put an end to the surface action.
Tank Matraxia, Marty Gras and Rob DeYoung of Lyndhurst made their first striper trip of the spring this morning with Captains Lou Grazioso and Fletcher Chayes of Two Rivers Charters. Bigger bass hit at first before much smaller bass took over. Matraxia put American Littoral Society tags in all 10 bass caught, including a 32 1/2-incher.
Betty & Nick's Tackle in Seaside Park reported a legal surf striper for the third day in a row on Monday as Jim Morris of Philadelphia released a 28-incher along with some shorts. All of the action has been on clams in Island Beach State Park.
Jim Hutchinson Sr. reports for the Beach Haven Charter Boat Association that Capt. Fran Verdi of the Dropoff has been clamming some stripers off Graveling Point. Four of the 11 bass caught Sunday were keepers of 29 to 33 inches.
Capt. Adam Nowalsky of Karen Ann II found water temperatures to be only 42.3 degrees over the wreck he fished on the weekend, but four-man limits of blackfish up to 5 pounds were taken along with some cod.

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