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Al Ristori Al Ristori

Conservation Editor

Al Ristori graduated cum laude with honors in economics from Colgate University before continuing on to Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I. and service aboard the USS John R. Pierce (DD-753) out of Norfolk led to his appointment as War Plans Officer at the U.S. Naval Station in Trinidad, West Indies.

After completing his tour of duty, Al took a fisherman's dream job as a manufacturers rep for Garcia Corporation -- traveling throughout New England where he fished stripers with coasal greats such as Stan Gibbs, Bob Pond, Ralph Grey, Bunny Di Pietro, Capt. Bud Henderson and Jimmy Andrews. A promotion to director of field testing for Garcia allowed Al to travel, fish abroad and gain valuable experience catching a wide range of species under a variety of conditions and sutuaitons. When Al finally left Garcia, it was to become saltwater editor for The Star-Ledger in Newark -- New Jersey's largest newspaper.

Al's fishing resume is nearly as impressive as it is extensive. He won the Schaefer Contest for largest boat striper in 1966 with a 61-pounder. That fish fell for a live eel cast from Al's tin boat with Jimmy Andrews as his fishing partner in Pleasant Bay. A longtime charter boat captain, he is also a former NY State record holder with a 409-pound mako and a 1022-pound bluefin tuna -- the state's first grander. Al also holds IGFA world records for leather bass and round whitefish, and he won the first Fishing World Cup contested at Tabira, Japan in 2001.
Deeply involved in fisheries management and conservation issues from the beginning, Al formed the Emergency Committee to Save America's Marine Resources to fight for the 200-mile limit, served one year as president of Save Our Stripers, and was nominated by the governors of N.J., N.Y. and Pa. to serve a three-year term on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. He is currently a N.J. member of the ASMFC Striped Bass Advisory Panel.

A prolific writer, Al's books include North American Saltwater Fishing, The Saltwater Fish Identifier, The Outdoorsman's Edge Guide to Saltwater Fishing, The Complete Book of Surf Fishing, and Fishing for Bluefish (The Fisherman Library). Now retired from the Star-Ledger, He continues to freelance a Friday column and a daily blog.

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