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Below is Friday's column as submitted: SL7-4-14-COLUMNRISTORI FOR FRIDAYFIGHT AGAINST SEISMIC OCEAN BLASTING GAINS STRENGTHby Al RistoriThough the Obama Administration continues to resist bipartisan efforts to stop seismic ocean blasting for a Rutgers climate change study off Barnegat Inlet, the NJ Outdoor Alliance (NJOA)and other recreational and commercial fishing organizations along with environmentalists who oppose the project got a lift this week when Gov. Christie announced the state would be taking the matter to court. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.) hasn't had any success dealing with NOAA on this issue, and fully supports the legal recourse. The Department of Environmental Protection has been opposed to the seismic blasting at a time of year when there's the greatest possibility of harming marine mammals and disturbing fisheries. Yet, NOAA has refused to even postpone the project to the winter when there would be a lesser impact on the environment. A rally against seismic blasting was held Wednesday evening at Barnegat Light, with Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2nd Dist) being among the speakers. Don Marantz of the JCAA said about 400 were in attendance.  Though it's not expected to do much damage to our coast, Hurricane Arthur will probably change fishing along the Shore for better or worse. A big swell is almost a sure thing, and that will foul up ocean fluking and wreck fishing for a day or two - though only any heavy rains associated with the storm will be a problem in bays and rivers. It's also likely that water temperatures will rise after hard afternoon south winds all week have driven them down to 60 degrees or lower in the surf due to upwelling of cold bottom waters. Though a storm normally results in dirty waters short term,  anglers who have been fighting seaweed in the surf and rivers this week hope the storm may push the weed away.   The largest among the many thresher sharks being caught relatively close to shore lately may have been the 486-pounder weighed in at Twin Lights Marina in Highlands from MAKTAC. Hi-Mar Striper Club member Tony Campi of Atlantic Highlands said they were sharking with bunker at the "entrance" to the Mud Hole when the huge thresher hit. It was 106 inches long with a tail of 102 inches. Though it's bunker schools that draw threshers so close, this one only had sand eels in its stomach. Unfortunately, there was no angler to take credit for the catch as the entire crew fought the shark over the course of 2 1/2 hours. Included were Casey Campi of Little Silver, Ryan Taffet from Tinton Falls; Brian Mavrinac from Middletown, and Jerry and Greg Sutton of South Plainfield. Bob Matthews has weighed in threshers up to 350 pounds this week at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina. He also weighed a 10 5/8-pound doormat fluke caught by Roy Pierson on the Capt. Cal.   Phillip Sciortino, Jr. has has started a new tackle company operating out of his Tackle Box on Rt. 36 in Hazlet. The first offering from Fishin Nations is a two-piece 9-foot surf rod with a super-smooth spinning reel loaded with 65-pound test braided line. The relatively inexpensive combos come in red, white and blue for the U.S. and 26 other countries -- or other color combinations for countries ranging from  Brazil to Portugal. Sciortino has also launched a Fishin Nations clothing line along with fish flag stickers.The Tackle Box weighed in one of the year's largest stripers after Rocco Casso of Roselle Park boated a 53 1/2-pounder Saturday night on a live eel off the Rockaways. Kyleigh Mc Grogan of Union Beach boated an 8 1/2-pound fluke on spearing and squid in Belford Channel.   Several fluke tournaments have sent notices about upcoming events. The 33rd annual 2-Day Sandy Hook Bay Anglers Fluke Tournament will be held at the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor on July 12 and 13 -- after the July 11, 7 p.m.  captains meeting in the Senior Citizens Building. Applications are available at marinas and tackle shops; by visiting www.sandyhookdayanglers.com -- or by calling Brian Dunn at 732 787-4008. The Point Pleasant Elks 20th annual Fluke Tournament on July 26 is expected to have a $40,000 purse. Early entries are $135 a boat until July 23, and then $185. Call 732 899-7638 for information. The Jersey Coast Anglers Association's 20th annual Fluke Tournament will be held statewide on August 2, with $1,200 prizes for the largest fluke in each of the nine ports from Jersey City to Cape May. The many additional prizes include expensive Canyon Reels.  To top it off, there's a drawing at the awards ceremoney that provides many other valuable prizes to entrants -- topped by a 14-foot Starcraft with 20 hp Yamaha, and a Sea Lion trailer from RJ Marine Service in Cape May. That ceremony won't be in Atlantic City this year, but rather on the evening of Aug. 6 at the Holiday Inn on Rt. 72 in Manahawkin.  The early entry fee is $120 per boat, which goes up to $150 after July 21. Visit www.jacc.org, or call 732 506-6565 for information. The Leonardo Flukemasters Tournament will be contested Aug. 2 on a five-fluke total weight basis.  The entry fee is $75 a boat. The captains meeting is at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 1 in the Community Fire House, Leonardo. Call Jeff Petach at 732 291-0073 for information.    Hopefully, fluke fishing will be better during the tournaments than it was Saturday, when the American Littoral Society (ALS) held its annual fluke tagging trip for members . Though Capt. Mike Scardigno made many moves with his Mi-Jo II from Atlantic Highlands, the Raritan Bay area wasn't very productive. ALS Tagging Director Jeff Dement and his crew were tagging every fluke of at least 12 inches, but there were only 40 tags placed by the 33 anglers and staff aboard. I jigged hard all day to end up high hook as five of my seven fluke up to 16 1/2 inches were big enough to tag. They all hit a chartreuse 4-inch Gulp Swimming Mullet on the teaser hook. The only fluke kept was the 5 1/2-pounder that took the pool for Lenny Zemeckis of Edison. It was far bigger than anything else, though a couple of barely  legal fluke were among those tagged. There wasn't even much "trash", except for a few mall dogfish and a single sea robin -- a species which seems to be scarce this year.  Yet, everyone had a great time and they'll all surely be back next year. For information on the ALS Volunteer Tagging Program call Dement at 732  291-0055.   Tank Matraxia of Lyndhurst is one of the top ALS taggers, with over 2500 tags applied and 139 returns, but he was only able to add one small fluke to his total on Saturday. Matraxia made up for that on Tuesday  off Coney Island aboard Down Deep from Keyport by tagging 20 shorts. Keepers were hard to come by that day, with only four boated by the 10 anglers up to one of 22 to 23 inches by Marty Gras of Lyndhurst. Capt. Kevin Cole said it had been much better the previous day.    Capt. Stan Zagleski has been coming up with some large fluke every day as regulars on his Elaine B II from Bahrs in Highlands work the depths when conditions are right. Joel Bain of Denville took Saturday's pool with an 8 1/16-pounder; Bill Yu from Palisades Park had a 7 5/16-pouder Sunday when Brad Weaver from Bound Brook bagged three keepers up to 7 3/16 and 5 9/16 pounds. Joe Stefanelli of Maplewood boated an 8 1/8-pound fluke Tuesday. Though Capt. Chris De Stefano said they "wasted" a lot of time Saturday fighting a blue marlin for two hours on 80-pound tackle in Hudson Canyon when that species didn't count in the Manasquan River Marlin & Runa Club's Jack Meyer Memorial Tuna Trolling Tournament, Frank Criscola's Crisdel is leading the contest with a 135-pound bigeye boated Monday when his son Michael took the boat further south. The contest ends Sunday, but big seas offshore from Arthur may end up protecting the leaders. De Stefano noted that the released marlin was 104 inches long and in the 500-to-600-pound class.    Joe Greco of Fort Myers, Fl. (formerly of Edison) took his son Joe, Jr. and grandson Matt out last Friday with Gene Graman of Middletown on That's It from Twin Lights Marina in Highlands as they chunked through lots of smooth dogfish at the mouth of Raritan Bay to catch five  stripers from 22 to 34 pounds. Yet, the next morning there was only one 14-pound bass when John Olson joined Graman on the last wooden boat that he built at his Keyport boat yard. Anglers must be aware that we're in the summer portion of the sea bass season, with only three allowed at the same 12 1/2-inch minimum through Aug. 31. That was intended as a by-catch in the fluke fishery rather than closing sea bass altogether. The scup season opened on July 1, with a 9-inch minimum and 50-porgy bag limit the rest of the year. After a slow day on the Wildcat, Capt. Jim McFarland came back strong Monday with his Big Mac from Green Harbor, Ma. when the Larry Desanto party from West Orange boated 142 fish that included cod to 21 pounds, pollock to 17 pounds. haddock to 10 pounds -- and porbeagle sharks of 211 and 245 pounds. Valerie Klimas of Scotch Plains had the top catch Sunday on Doug Rusch's Fin Fun from Brielle as she boated a 7-pound fluke on a Tsunami Facet jig tipped with Gulp at Manasquan Ridge.END 

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