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Friday's column as submitted: SL4-4-14Ristori for FridayFLUKE & SEA BASS SEASONS SETby Al RistoriThe Marine Fisheries Council, in a special meeting yesterday afternoon at the Stafford Township Municipal Building in Manahawkin, accepted the preferences of their Advisory Panel in setting up this year's fluke and sea bass seasons.The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) had adopted a regionalization plan which joined N.J. with N.Y. and Ct. with a requirement that all will have an 18-inch minimum length for summer flounder along with a five-fish bag limit during a 128-day season.  The only choice available to the Council was the selection of dates for that season. The Panel preferred a fluke season running from May 23 to Sept. 27 in order to add some inshore fishing time at the end of the season when there will be a federal waters sea bass closure. South Jersey anglers generally prefer to open earlier, but the May 17 to Sept. 21 alternative didn't prevail. Brandon Muffley presented the Division of Fish and Wildlife proposal to provide a 16-inch fluke minimum for shore fishermen at Island Beach State Park. That concept had been approved last year in Connecticut for areas that can be closely supervised, but the Panel couldn't come together on that subject.  Some Council members want a South Jersey location added if the program goes forward. The subject may be taken up at the May Council meeting.Paul Haertel, president of the JCAA and a Panel member, was pleased that his concept of maintaining a limited sea bass fishery through the summer, in order to provide a by-catch for fluke fishermen who might otherwise be shut out, was approved.  As a result, the sea bass season will open from May 19 to June 30 with a 12 1/2-inch minimum and a 15-fish bag limit. That limit drops to just three sea bass from July 1 to Aug. 31, before increasing to 15 again from Sept. 1 to 6. Then there's a closure which encompasses the federal waters closure from Sept. 18 to Oct. 17, before the N.J. season reopens with a 15-fish limit from Oct. 18 to Dec. 31. That concept had been accepted unanimously by the Panel, and the Council did likewise.  Haertel said about 40 anglers attended the meeting which was much less contentious than in the past and concluded quickly.  Looking ahead to the fluke season, the Sandy Hook Bay Anglers will be running their 33rd annual Fluke Tournament with a guaranteed $5,700 in cash prizes on July 12 and 13 out of Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina. The boat entry fee is $80 if postmarked before July 1, and $100 thereafter. For information call 732 787-4008.Some tickets may still be available for tonight's 17th annual International Game Fish  Association (IGFA) N.J. Representatives Fund Raising Banquet and Auction to be held at 7 p.m. in Doolan's on Rt. 71 in Spring Lake Heights.  Call Jeff Merrill at 908 451-1110 to be sure a $75 ticket is available before making the trip. Pete Barrett, Bill Feinberg, Gene Nigro, and  Merrill are running the event that has raised over $220,000 in 16 years for the benefit of the IGFA's Junior Angler and Conservation programs. Everyone receives a commemorative gift from the IGFA. The cocktail hour includes a complimentary rum bar provided by Papa's Pilar Rum, preceding a hot and cold buffet dinner -- and the Fishing Tackle Bonanza Auction. In addition to  tackle, there will be fishing trips and fish art up for grabs., including a hand-carved striped  bass sculpture by John Fish; a Bodo Muche bronze blue marlin sculpture; a Reactor watch from Midlantic Gold Rush, and a fly fishing lesson plus half-day fishing trip on the Beaverkill River with legendary fly caster Joan Salvato Wulff. Capt. Bob Pennington has sold his party boat Sea Devil (relocated to Captree, N.Y.) , and retired -- but will still be sailing out of Point Pleasant once a week for Capt. Dave Riback on his Queen Mary.  That boat is currently being outfitted with new engines. Dick Ketchow, of Gateway Marine in Highlands, was an honoree,along with Tony Ntellas of the Wounded Warrior Project,  at last Saturday's Fishermen's Conservation Association Dinner in Staten Island. Ketchow is one of the top Contender dealers in the country, and has just added the Defience line of unique Pacific Northwest boats. The Canyon Runner fleet from Point Pleasant is once again offering a free July 4-5 overnight canyon trip to active duty or retired military members. Apply to Adam La Rosa at adam@canyonrunner.com.The Reel Seat has a grand opening of its new location in Brielle tomorrow. Dave Arbeitman says the former Brielle Galleries location at 707 Union Ave. (Rt. 71) has 3 1/2 times more floor space than the previous store. There will be door prizes and special tackle deals, while Nick Cicero of Tsunami and other manufacturers reps will be on hand to provide information throughout the day.   The Jamaica from Brielle wasn't able to get out for cod and pollock last weekend. The last offshore wrecks trip departs at 1 a.m. tomorrow, and there's a 4 a.m. mid-range wrecks trip on Sunday before a switch to striper seeking the following Saturday.  Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina that winter flounder fishing has improved for bulkhead anglers casting worms in Shark River, except on very rainy days. With moderate temperatures coming up, that fishery should also turn on for rental boat patrons who chum heavily and have patience. The blackfish season opened Tuesday, with four tog per day at a minimum of 15 inches allowed through the month. The Ocean Explorer is seeking them along with cod in deeper waters that aren't quite as cold as the normal spring inshore habitat for blackfish. Crabs are being carried for bait, but clams are usually a better bet for tog in very cold waters.  Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, says a few flounder have been  hooked on worms at both ends of Point Pleasant Canal. The water temperature there has climbed to 40 to 43 degrees, and a few short blackfish have also been hooked on worms.Barnegat Bay seems to be warming up beyond the traditional early season hot spot at the power plant. Fisherman's Supply in Point Pleasant Beach had reports of school stripers hitting the Rapala X-Rap XXXR at the Rt. 37 Bridge, with the best action in the evening.     There have been rumors of short stripers being caught on worms or clams from Raritan Bay shorelines, but tackle shops are still waiting for the first keeper. The New York winter flounder season opened Tuesday, making Round Shoal available to flounder anglers. That was a prime spot when Raritan Bay used to be packed with flounder.Visit my blog at nj.com/shore/blogs/fishing for daily updates as long as there's something to report. New York's striper season doesn't open until April 15, but that's in time for the 14th Hudson River Fisherman's Association Striped Bass Derby on April 26 and 27 out of  Atlantis Marine in Staten Island, Billy Joe's Ribworks in Newburgh, N.Y., and Croton (N.Y.) Yacht Club. The largest striper earns a Wavewalk W500 F2 Fishing Kayak -- and a Lowrance GPS/Fishfinder will be added to it if the bass is released. The entry fee is $40 for the Derby, and another $35 for the optional $100,000 awarded to the largest striper over 50 pounds.  Visit www.stripedbassderby.com for details. Call 732 330-5674for information on both shows. Capt. Dave DeGennaro runs his Little Egg Harbor Fishing Flea Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  tomorrow at Pinelands Regional H.S., 590 Nugentown Road. His Cape May Fishing Flea Market follows on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cape May Elementary School, 921 Lafayette Street. Admission is $4, but free for kids 12 and under at both shows. Call 732 330-5674 for information. The Beach N Boat Fishing Tournament got started at a second past midnight Tuesday when Mike Young and other organizers made ceremonial casts into the Beach Haven surf after having prepared for the cold at the Ingleside Inn bar -- though even that activity wasn't sufficient to keep anyone on the beach for long. The slate remains clear for contestants to follow in better conditions. The Cablz Zipf eyewear retainers use ball bearing technology to provide an adjustable fit.The 14-inch cable length can be adjusted tightly to prevent sunglass blow-off at high speeds, and then for a more comfortable fit while fishing. The universal rubber ends fit almost any eyewear frames. END 

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