All Speakers

Al Ristori

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.

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 NJ, NY and PA to serve a three-year term on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. He’s also served on 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).

Alberto Knie

Alberto is a legendary fishing authority and known to be a multi-species global fisherman and trophy striped bass angler. His peers gave his nickname “Crazy” due to the intensity of his fishing. He is also a world record (Striped Bass) line class holder and a regular contributor to various regional and national angling publications. He is also the founder and President of Tactical Anglers, Inc. – (Innovator and creator of the Tactical Anglers’ Power Clips and Smart Lures).  He is the creator of the popular braid to mono Alberto Knot.  His specialty is multi-species Trophy Hunting strategies.

Alberto’s appearance is sponsored by St Croix Rod Company.

 Additional credentials –

  • Written 15+ Book Forewords for notable authors
  • Speaker and co-hosted the very popular National Seminar Series
  • Premier Pro-Staff - Consultant / Ambassador for St.Croix Rods /  Penn Fishing / Abu Garcia and various manufactures.
  • Featured fishing personality for various broadcasting shows
  • Alberto can also be reached on Facebook and Instagram as Crazy Alberto Knie

Nick Honachefsky

Nick Honachefsky, former Managing Editor at Saltwater Sportsman, currently holds editorial positions at Saltwater SportsmanGuy Harvey MagazineOutdoor LifeThe Fisherman, and On the Water Magazine. Honachefsky is Executive Producer and Host ofSaltwater Underground, partnered with TackleDirect and TV host of Hookin’ up with Nick and Mariko on the World Fishing Network. Featured as a fishing personality in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, NBC, Discovery Channel and HLN, Honachefsky is also saltwater fishing columnist in NJ’s Courier Post and The Daily Journal and is author of the local best selling books; The Jersey Surf Diaries and The New Jersey Boat Fisherman. A previous IGFA All Tackle World Record holder, Honachefsky fishes extensively throughout the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and the US, but calls Lavallette along the Jersey Shore his home. Whether he is livelining sardines for roosterfish in Nicaragua or dropping clam baits for lowlyling in the Mud Hole, he fishes non stop, 24/7, around the clock. Contact Nick at for autographed copies of his books and follow him on Instagram @nickhonachefsky.

Frank Mihalic

Frank's hard working, get it done style is one that we can all relate to. Frank has been a frequent contributing writer to The Fisherman Magazine and others over the past twenty years.   He specializes in adapting his tackle and gear to effectively fish each area under any conditions. Whether surf or boat, plug, jig or bait, he’ll gladly share his knowledge like you are old friends.  He is a Blackfish specialist. His seminar “Targeting Trophy Blackfish” is an interactive approach, sharing and showing you the tools and tricks that the sharpies use to catch giant Blackfish. Learn the techniques, tackle and gear that will help you catch the fish of your lifetime!

Jim Freda

Capt Jim Freda is a USCG licensed Captain and owner of Shore Catch Sportfishing out of Manasquan Inlet, NJ. He has been fishing the inshore and offshore waters of the Jersey Shore for 40 years targeting striped bass, bluefish, false albacore, bluefin, yellowfin, and mahi. Jim is on the National Elite Pro Staff for St. Croix Rods, and Pro Staff for Nomad Design Tackle, Spro, Gamakatsu, Tony Maja Products, Korkers, TAK Waterman, M. Fischer Plugs, and JP Lures. Jim is a highly respected charter captain, author, seminar speaker, and photographer. As a seminar speaker Jim has been featured as one of the celebrities on the Saltwater Sportsman National Seminar Series, one of the “Stars of the Show” at the Fly Fishing Show, the World Fishing and Outdoor Expo, the Saltwater Expo, and the Canyon Runner Offshore Seminar Series. His book, "Fishing the New Jersey Coast", is a best seller on the market and has received the “New Jersey Center for the Book Award” as one of the most notable NJ books. He is also co-author of "Saltwater Fishing, A Tactical Approach". Jim writes for Saltwater Sportsman, Big Game Journal, Fly Fisherman, Eastern Fly Fishing, The Fisherman Magazine, On the Water Magazine, and Jim has weekly saltwater fishing columns that appear in The Bergen Record and Coast Star newspapers. Jim has also been a guest speaker at all the Trout Unlimited Clubs in NJ and Pa and a special guest speaker at the Bloomberg Network in NYC. Jim’s favorite fish to target is bluefin tuna getting them up on top by casting to them with topwater stickbaits and poppers. He loves being on the water with his 19 year old son Tommy who is his mate.

Tony DiLernia

Captain Tony DiLernia, contractor to NYSERDA as a Offshore Wind energy liaison to the recreational fishing community of the New York Bight. Captain DiLernia has been a Charter-boat Captain in New York for 45 years and has represented New York on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, from 1991-2002 and 2012 to the present.

Frank Crescitelli

Capt. Frank has been fishing NY Harbor/NJ for over 35 years, and guiding for the last 17 years. Owner of Fin Chaser Charters, the area’s original full time Fly & Light Tackle guiding business. Franks passion for fishing is only matched by his dedication to protecting the resource, and is Chairman and Founder of The Fishermen’s Conservation Association (FCA). In 2008 Frank coupled with his product knowledge and marketing talents into his own tackle company, Guides Choice Tackle maker of  “Guides Secret Professional Grade Fishing Gear.

Capt Frank’s Professional Associations are: Raymarine Pro Ambassador, Buddy Davis & D&R Boats Fishing Team, Maui Jim Ambassador, Yeti & Cortland Line Pro. Temple Fork Outfitters, Daiwa & Optima Battery Pro Staff.

The “Fin Chasers” TV Show Season One now airing on Destination America, Pursuit Channel & Time Warner Cable Sports. Follow Capt. Frank, Wade Boggs & Team Fin Chaser as they chase World Records & fish tournaments on every single episode, it should be fun to watch.

As one of Franks Clients stated: “ The only bad thing about Frank guiding you, is that you don’t know who’s having more fun, you or him, but you’re the one paying!

Frank Tenore

Captain Frank J. Tenore holds a US Coast Guard 100 Ton Masters license and is the owner and operator of Fins on Feathers Charters for over 25 years. He is a life long resident of New Jersey and has fished his entire life in the Raritan Bay area. Captain Frank has also run several other charter and party boats out of the New York bight. Throughout the year Captain Frank presents seminars about fishing in the Raritan Bay at several different fishing expos, sportsman’s clubs and local power squadrons. He is an active member of Bergen County Salt Water Anglers, American Littoral Society, Hudson River Fishermen’s Association and Leonardo Party and Pleasure Boatman’s Association. Captain Frank always says “fishing is not a job, it is a craft.”

Gene Quigley

Capt. Gene Quigley is the co-owner of Shore Catch Guide Service, the Northeast's largest fly and light tackle guide service. Shore Catch has been in business for over 20 years  as has a fleet of custom boats and 4x4 vehicles that take  anglers from the surf to the offshore canyons. 
 A native  of the New Jersey shore, Gene has been fishing the inshore and offshore waters  for over 35 years. Gene specializes in fishing for Bluefin Tuna and Trophy  Striped Bass. Equally at home from the boat or in the surf, Capt Gene has put  hundreds of  anglers on their first  trophy Striped Bass and Bluefin; and is one of a handful of anglers worldwide who  have consistently landed Bluefin tuna over 100 lbs on fly tackle.                  

In 2013  Capt. Gene was voted one of the Top 50 Charter Captains In The World by Saltwater Sportsman Magazine and in 2010 was voted as one of the Top 100 Fishing Guides in North America by Field & Stream Magazine.
In  addition to guiding, Gene is also a noted outdoor writer, photographer, and  seminar speaker. He is on the editorial staff for Fly Fishing in Saltwaters Magazine, and contributes regularly to Saltwater Sportsman, Sportfishing,  Fly Fisherman, The FishermanOn The Water Magazine, New Jersey Angler, and was featured  as one of North Americas Top 100 Guides by Field & Stream Magazine.
Gene is the co-author of Saltwater Fishing, A Tactical Approach and also contributes a weekly fishing column in the Hook, Line and Sinker section of the Asbury Park Press
Gene sits on the national prostaff for St Croix Rod Company, Raymarine, AVET Reels, Cape Horn, Jones Brothers, Yamaha, Navionics, Mako Fly Reels, Aquaskinz, Rio Fly Lines, Gamakatsu, Spro, FINS Line,  Patagonia, Hogy, Yeti Coolers,  AFTCO, Costa Del Mar, STINGO-Fish, and Korkers. 
Currently, Gene is the Chairman of the New Jersey Professional Fly & Light Tackle Guides Association and sits on  the association's national board of directors. He has been a featured angler on ESPN  Outdoors, Versus, Outdoor Life Networks (OLN); Family Fishing Outdoors Show, PBS;Vacations On The Fly; television shows.
Outside of the fishing world, Capt Gene spends most of his time in the  mountains or in the ocean. From Surfing to Skiing and Snowboarding; Gene has  traveled all over the world in search of big waves, big mountains and big fish.

Paul Kross

Captain Paul “Butch” Kross has been fishing the nearshore and offshore waters of New Jersey since the early 60s. Butch started his charter boat career in 1979 on the first POPS TOY fishing out of Manasquan Inlet and has placed in many tournaments and continues to fish a board his 35 Bertram docked at Crystal Point Yacht Club. Captain Butch’s other passion has been fishing in Costa Rica on a yearly basis since the early 80’s. In the early 90’s Butch started assisting in coordinating groups of anglers to travel to the rich waters of Costa Rica. With his extreme knowledge of Los Suenos ,Jaco and Quepos Capt Butch has put anglers on the fishing trip of their dreams , whether it be offshore for Marlin,Sailfish and Tuna or nearshore for Grouper, Cubera Snapper or Roosters.  Captain Butch can help with all aspects of your fishing trip including transportation and Lodging in Costa Rica and booking the best boats. You will find Captain Butch fishing and enjoying Los Suenos for a few months a year mostly during our winter which is the best weather window in Costa Rica offering Flat Seas, no wind, daily sunshine with a abundance of billfish and bottom fishing.

RJ and Cody Melton

Captains RJ and Cody Melton have been perfecting the art of fishing the New Jersey Canyons over the past 20 years. They worked on private vessels for 10 years and for the last 8 have been running a successful charter boat out of Manasquan NJ called Jersey Nutz. During their time they have been exposed to both new and old techniques and have combined them to develop a successful game plan to keep their customers on the fish and happy while being extremely competitive in some of the top tournaments on the East Coast. Jersey Nutz and crew have created quite a resume over the years with tournament wins and work with some of the top companies in the fishing industry. Jersey Nutz is now known as one of the top canyon boats in NJ producing consistent catches and happy customers.

Shell E. Caris

Shell E. Caris is a legendary surf fisherman from New Jersey with over 60 years of surf fishing experience targeting striped bass. He is on the St Croix Rod Pro Staff and part of the Shore Catch Guide Service team. He’s been part of the “On the Water TV’ series with surf fishing shows on striped bass and bluefish. Shell E. has also written numerous articles on surf fishing and co-authored “Saltwater Fishing: A Tactile Approach”.

Tony Dilernia

Captain Tony Dilernia has been a charter boat Captain in New York for 45 years, and served as the Captain of the Research Vessel PICES from 1981 to 1991.He is the recently retired Director of The Office of Maritime Technology of Kingsborough Community College a unit of The City University of New York and has served on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council from 1991 to 2002 and 2012 to the present.  Recently has recently accepted a position as the Fisheries Liaison to the recreational fishing community for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, working with the recreational fishing community on offshore wind energy and the wind farms.

Tony Maja

At 41, Tony “Maja” Jr has been fishing for as long as he could walk, growing up fishing with striped bass trolling innovator Tony Maja, Sr.  Tony Jr. started trolling for big bass at the age of 8 and worked closely with his father to help perfect the technique and products that have led to more than 60 “trophy bass” of 50 or more pounds by Tony Maja customers during the past 8 years.  Tony’s seminar will be “Effectively Trolling up Trophy Striped Bass”.