School bluefin tuna have often been hooked relatively close to the northern N.J. Shore this summer, and they may be coming even closer now.

Tank Matraxia was fluking yesterday at Scotland aboard Tagged Fish from Highlands when Capt.Chad Hacker pointed out medium bluefins jumpimg nearby. That’s become a familiar sight lately. but those fish are often very difficult to fool.

That wasn’t the case recently for Capt. Jim Freda on his Shore Catch out of Manasquan Inlet as he put Liam Kelly of the Manasquan High School Fishing Club into position to hook a 71-inch bluefin that hit a popper. cast well within sight of shore.

Matraxia said fluking was slow yesterday due to a lack of drift, though he managed a limit. There was a better report today from the Sea Hunter out of Atlantic Highlands as they got into quality fish with a 7-pounder edging a 6 for the pool — while two limits were recorded

The nice weather continues into the morning with north winds at 5 to 10 knots before a possibility of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon.

Capt, Chris DiStefano joined a friend on Raritan Bay yesterday morning to get his grandson Luke Burns (13) into his first stripers. They cast poppers that raised a 29-incher for Luke to fight — and then advanced to a 37-incher;Allen Riley and John Mazzeo fished Sandy Hook this morning and found it to be pretty dead; Allen got a very short fluke on his first cast, but they never had a touch after that — even on supermarket shrimp. The water tenperature was only 72 degrees, and there were no signs of bait — but plenty of black flies.

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