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SL7-25-14-RISTORI REPORTRISTORI REPORTNEW YORK HARBOR TO RARITAN BAYFluke fishing has been pretty good for quality fish even though the volume hasn't neen very impressive. Coney Island and the Rockaways are good at times, and some flukers have been running even further east to the Atlantic Beach Reef. Ambrose Channel has been a best bet, and Capt. Stan Zagleski has been finding some larger fluke every day in Raritan Bay on his Elaine B II from Highlands. Of course, fluke results are dependent on good drifting conditions. A lack of wind, or wind against tide, usually makes for tough fluking. Yet, Zagleski had an unusual situation Sunday when a northeast wind gustier than predicted was up against the current --but that combination actually provided a slow drift that was productive. On the other hand the complete lack of wind and little current Monday created very tough fluking. Zagleski recomends working the bucktail and Gulp rig, rather than just bait, in poor drifting conditions.The unusual summer run of large stripers on bunker chunks in Raritan Bay continues. It seems to have slowed a bit, but boaters getting anchored properly on bass readings can still do well at a time of year when even a single bass would normally be a prize. Smooth dogfish up to over 20 pounds are also abundant, but you just have to fish through those strong fighters. Surprisingly, all that bunker chunking doesn't attract any bluefish. Julian's Tackle in Atlantic Highlands had the first report of porgies in the bay, with some action developing off the Coast Guard Station on Sandy Hook. The volume of croaker and spot this year is nothing like last year. Capt. Chris Di Stefano of Wall talked to a friend that runs crab traps in Shrewsbury River. He said those traps were full of croakers last year at this time, but that's not the case now. Crabbing has also been the worst in years there, but eels have been unusually abundant. Phil Sciortino, at The Tackle Box in Hazlet, said crabbing is good in his area. Snappers are still small, but just right for fluke baits.SANDY HOOK TO MANASQUAN INLETOcean fluking has been up-and-down, but Shrewsbury Rocks and the Rattlesnake remain good areas to seek out larger fluke. Some sea bass are mixed in, though that fishing has been generally slow. Yet, Ross Goldberg said he had three-fish limits of 4-pounders last weekend on his Lady J. from Belmar. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, says his rental boat customers have been doing well with fluke in Shark River -- lots of shorts plus a few keepers up to a 6 1/2-pounder. The Shore bluefish fleet has been delighted to have blues back again, even if they're only pee-wees. Limits by jigging are routine most days, and there are a few bonito mixed in with them. The Golden Eagle from Belmar also reported a few very early little tunny with the blues ad bonito.Matthews reports kingfish are building up in the surf, while an occasional small bass or blue may be caught at dawn or dusk. The water temperture has been fine, but the afternoon south winds could result in another temperature-dropping upwelling of the very cold bottom waters that have been present all summer. POINT PLEASANT TO BARNEGAT INLETCanyon trolling has picked up, with good yellowfin tuna results in Hudson Canyon along with some albacore and an occasional bigeye or marlin -- plus dolphin. The Canyon Runner fleet from Point Pleasant has been doing very well trolling, but has also heard of some yellowfins being chuncked at night. The inshore tuna bite has also picked up. The Reel Seat in Brielle reports the southeast corner of Chicken Canyon has been a good bet, along with the Atlantic Princess. Fisherman's Supply in Point Pleasant notes there have been more yellowfin tuna than bluefins in recent "inshore" trolling catches extending to south of Chicken Canyon. Dolphin have also been common.Surfcasting in the Point Pleasant to Mantoloking area has been difficult due to floating weed that's been the worst in memory. It may go away for a day or two, but keeps returning. Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, says there are some small stripers and blues in Point Pleasant Canal. Blackfish are taking clam baits, and one per day at a minimum of 15 inches may be kept. Crabbing is very good. Tony Arcabascio of Bayville says there's been no change in Barnegat Bay as he catches only short fluke at such areas as the BB and BI buoys, and hasn't heard of any better in the ocean. He notes those shorts hit best on spearing and squid, but are very aggressive and have to be hooked quickly to prevent swallowed hooks. Arcabascio is still waiting for the build-up of blowfish in Barnegat Bay that's been a summer feature the last few years. Crabbing is vey good. Barnegat Ridge finally has bonito for trolling, though they're mixed with small blues. At Seaside Park, Betty & Nick's Tackle reports good surf fluking om bucktail jigs tipped with Gulp. On the bay side they call the crabbing at Good Luck Point "insane". Grumpy's Tackle notes that some small blues are hitting in the surf on mullet, and they weighed an 8.25-pound blue taken on a popper Monday by Scptt Williamson -- the first such catch reported from the surf in some time.SOUTH JERSEYJim Hutchinson Sr. reports for the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association some near-shore fluke and sea bass are being boated, but the emphasis now is on running out to the 30 Fathom line or beyond for tuna. Capt. Bob Gerkens of Hot Tuna had several yellowfin tuna up to 55 pounds out there last weekend along with dolphin and skipjack. Capt. Carl Sheppard of Star Fish missed a white marlin, but trolled a 47-pound yellowfin tuna and a 65-pound bluefin.Fin-Atics in Ocean City reports kingfish are finally starting to build up in the surf. Fluke are moving into the inlet and offshore. A few stripers and weakfish are available at night by the back bay bridges and sod banks. The Lobster Claw is producing 40-to-50-pound yellowfin tuna. Matt Slobodjian, at Jim's Tackle in Cape May, said fluke seem to be moving further south in Delaware Bay, with some now being caught on Brandywine Shoal up to 24-Foot Light -- and in 20-to-30-foot depths. Fluke are still in Flounder Alley (the 19 and 25 buoys and Miah Maul Light), as well as the Punk Grounds. It's mostly shorts, but keepers are mixed in. The same applies to the Old Grounds and Delaware Reef Site 11. The Ocean City Reef has also been very good for fluke. Half-day party boats are doing well with kingfish in the Cape May Rips, along with some weakfush and fluke. Shore anglers can catch croakers under the bridge in Cape May Canal. Triggerfish are moving into the rock piles, and those at Hereford Inlet have been a good bet. Small blues and bonito are being trolled at South Shoal. Tuna trolling has been productive inside the Elephant Trunk for both bluefin and a few yellowfin along with dolphin around the pot flags. The best tuna bite has been at the Hot Dog and surrouding area on the chunk. Yellowfins and bluefins of various sizes are caught until tiger sharks move in by mid-morning. The southern canyons are producing plenty of dolphin and good numbers of white marlin plus a few blue marlin. The best yellowfin tuna bite has been to the south and early in Washington Canyon -- where some bigeyes have also been trolled.END

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