Jeff Merrill reports from Cape May that We're just hours away from the kickoff of the 2014 MidAtlantic tournament and crews are busy at CanyonClub Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey and Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland preparing for what's expected to be another exciting event. In addition to the popular billfish calcuttas of previous years, several new calcuttas this year include numerous meatfish options with large payouts expected for tuna, dolphin and wahoo as well.
Following is Friday's Ristori Report as submitted SL8-15-14-RISTORI REPORTNEW YORK HARBOR TO RARITAN BAYSome large fluke continue to be caught in Raritan Bay whenever there's a decent drift. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, reports continued good fluking in Shark River, though most of the bigger fluke are being caught on rough bottoms in the ocean to the north.
Despite the gloom and doom weather forecast, Chuck Many of Annandale decided to fish for stripers today with his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands. After a 35-incher on a live bunker to start, the majority of bass were shorts -- but if we were keeping fish there wouldn't have been any problem in catching a three-man limit for Many, Matt Calabria and I.
It was just a couple of mornings ago that I saw the first cownose ray of the season caught in the Bay Head surf. Allen Riley of South Plainfield and his brother Ed from Edison did nothing Monday morning in the Monmouth Beach surf.
Though fishing wasn't good on long drifts, the kids had a great time as they shouted out the slogan on Matraxia's shirt -- Shut up and fish!Capt. Stan Zagleski said the lack of drift also made for slow fluking on his Elaine B II from Highlands, but action improved with the afternoon wind.
Capt. Chris Di Stefano of Wall is back from fishing aboard Crisdel from Brielle Yacht Club at the White Marlin Open in Ocean City, Maryland. Capt. Dave Riback reported another hot day of jigging small blues plus bonito from his Queen Mary out of Point Pleasant.
At least that was the case in the bluefin tuna fleet Joe Reap took his Reaper from Manasquan offshore at 4 a. m., and we did get lucky once in the morning when I was trolling the big Boston Whaler east from the Reasor area. A very surprising report came from the Golden Eagle out of Belmar as they got into 8-to-10-pound blues on both bait and jigs.
Striped bass fishing was dead this morning, when I fished with Capt. Hans Kaspersetz and Tony D'Anna on Sheri Berri from Baker's Marina on the Bay in Highlands. Only a couple of dogfish were caught where we had been catching bass, but Many looked around at some of his other spots and we ended up releasing seven stripers on live bunkers and eels up to one in the 20-to-25-pound clss by Greer.
Fluking remains good for keepers in the bay, with some big fish being reported by Capt. Stan Zagleski on his Elaine B. II from Highlands when wind and current are together. POINT PLEASANT TO BARNEGAT INLET Fisherman's Supply in Point Pleasant had an unusual report of yellowfins being chunked during the day on Tuesday in Lindenkohl Canyon.
Mickey Sweeney of Howell stopped at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant where he reported the surf at Avon had been calm and clean when he caught short fluke and a sea robin Tuesday on Gulp, but wasn't very fishable today. His son Kevin, from N. C. also caught seven short fluke on a white Gulp 4-inch Swimming Mullet while daughters Kaitlyn (10) and Gillian (8) kept the snappers busy along with Sorrenta Riley (8) from Pa.