It was a shock to me when retired N.J. Capt. Sal Cursi, famed Raritan Bay striper skipper of Kathy Sea called from his home in Florida to tell me that our mutual friend Bruce Vitale had passed away last weekend at just 73.

Bruce was a Navy veteran and retired from the Plainfield Fire Dept. before ending up in Toms River with his wife Anne. No one loved fishing more than Bruce, who picked up the nickname Cuz during time spent at a second home in North Carolina. I hope to have an obituary in tomorrow’s blog.


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The northeast wind made for a rough ocean today, but the outlook for tomorrow is better with a southwest wind at 10-15 knots before shifting to south at the same speed plus gusts to 20 in the afternoon. However, the surf will probably remain rough due to the big swell. It has remained clear so far, and I managed to release a 25 1/2-inch striper on a Tsunami Shad at Spring Lake this evening.


  1. Thank you very much for remembering my father in your blog post, Al. He really liked you and often spoke kindly of you. In fact, I remember his nickname for you: “Al FishStories”. I am not the fisherman he was, but I will do what I can to carry on his legacy and pass on what I learned from him to my daughters. I wrote an outdoors-centric obituary for him on


    1. Your father was a great guy to fish with and to converse with during our frequent phone calls. I already miss him. but I’m sure he’s found a better fishing spot in Heaven by now!


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