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Weekly Update (May 21, 2017)

 

Well, Fluke season is now upon us (almost).   Thursday's the day and everyone is amped to get started.  Of course, as fate would have it, looks to be a wet one as steady rain is forecast.   Let's just hope we don't get too much rain so it mucks up the bay waters.  

Early indications are the Fluke are in in the usual early season haunts but early by-catch is not hot and heavy by any means.

 As for catching these early season Fluke take these 2 pieces of advice to the filet table.  

Outgoing tide is key.  The warming waters from the ebb are often like flipping a light switch.  Get set up from the very last of the flood through the first couple ours of ebb and you have your best shot at some Fluke.    

The second piece of advice is to keep baits and jigs small.  Shad darts are deadly on early season Fluke.  Remember, the water is still cool and the Fluke can be lethargic early.  Put a small Spro Bucktail on your bottom hook and a shad dart on top tipped with some Gulp and you are good to go.

Stripering is feast or famine.  Sharpies are getting them but not everyone is.  The fun thing about this time of year is that you can get into some real cows.  Something tells me this week is going to be good.  Bait (bunker) are schooled up so things are going to break open.  Last week's column touched on the same but if you want Bass you really need to be getting up early.  The combination of sun angle and boat traffic makes bassing tougher as we get closer to summer.  Get up early and find your own Bunker school and you can get a personal best.

 

 

Bluefish continue to be the most plentiful of your opportunities.  Expect those bay bound Bluefish to be migrating toward inlets and to become much more hit or miss in the bay in the coming weeks.  Ocean wise the Blues should stay heavy in-close for at least another 3 weeks before heading offshore.  One of the most reliable patterns I have ever seen is that you can catch Bluefish at the mouth of Barnegat Inlet on the outgoing tide early in the season.  Of course, it can get rough especially when a bunch of boats are trying to work the same patch.

BY THE WAY, Seabass also opens this week.  Enjoy it while it lasts.  Expect Seabass fishing to be phenomenal.  The fish have not been picked on for months.   Some good wreck numbers and some clam and limits will come your way.   There is not as much social recogntion of the Seabass regulations as the Fluke regulations but Seabass regulations are absolutely egregious at this point.  The generous bag limit of 10 Seabass gives way to 2 for the Summer season (staring July 2) and 5 for October - December.    To those not in the know, the Seabass migrate and school up on offshore wrecks late in the year and party boats run offshore trips specifically for this.  However, these trips are not cheap.  Not many are going to pay $200 for 5 Seabass.

Tight Lines.

Latest NJ Bonito Reports

  • 2017-03-30 Ristori Bay Head

    When I called a few years ago to question that listing, they conceded that they were using an outdated assessment though the coastal run had disappeared and even the big commercial boats were hardly catching any mackerel far offshore. His daughter, Natalie, was aboard Monday as they had hits every cast with live pilchards to Spanish mackerel and ladyfish, but could only manage a couple of small redfish (red drum) from among lots of non-biters.
  • 2017-01-17 Ristori Bay Head

    Yet, sailfishing had been good Monday, and it was quite fishable for Capt. Scott Stanczyk on Catch 22 from Bud N' Mary's Marina. Unfortunately, there wasn't much action and the sails were very small -- making them difficult to hook on the balao they preferred.
  • 2016-10-19 Ristori Bay Head

    Mass caught a little tunny on the way back, and found some school stripers under birds off Keansburg where he caught a doubleheader of 25-and-27-inchers before leaving the flighty stripers. Many cast a Tsunami shad to release a 24-inch striper.
  • 2016-09-20 Ristori Bay Head

    Chuck Many of Annandale spent Tuesday looking for striped bass on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands, and never found one of any size -- but made up for that with a hot bite of weakfish in the Hudson River. There was a north wind blowing when we headed out about 8 30 a. m., but it was moderate enough for decent drifting conditions in the Hudson River after our small peanuts bunkers and sandworms were getting eaten up by porgies and tiny sea bass at Many's favorite rough bottom spots in Raritan Bay.
  • 2016-09-14 Ristori Bay Head

    There were some big dogfish off Sandy Hook, along with sea robins and skates-- and they cast to a few small blues off Leonardo. There was good news in the Sea Bright surf, where anglers finally got good shots at little tunny.
  • 2016-09-12 Ristori Bay Head

    Nick Honachefsky has had shots at them in his local surf at various times of day around Normandy Beach, but they are chasing very small bait and wouldn't hit his Deadly Dick or a Williamson jig. Allen Riley of South Plainfield checked the surf from Sandy Hook to Monmouth Beach at mid-morning and didn't see any signs of little tunny.
  • 2016-09-10 Ristori Bay Head

    The Jamaica from Brielle got into the big blues during their Friday night trip as choppers up to 18 pounds were recorded along with only a few chub mackerel. The Golden Eagle from Belmar was catching 1-pound blues on Friday, but today had 10-to-14-pounders that hit mostly on bait -- plus a few little tunny.
  • 2016-01-21 Ristori Bay Head

    Last Friday's column noted how striped bass anglers were once again bailed out by the Hudson River spawning stock which produced consistent fishing in that river plus Raritan Bay while the coastal migratory was slow again in the spring before providing some shots of hot action off Ocean County in the fall prior to a decent showing of school stripers that worked out well for the party boat fleet due to the change to a slot bass in the bonus bass program. Surfcasters did well with those blues in that area at times, but I never saw any repeat of the spring bluefish blitz of the year before in the Bay Head to Point Pleasant area.
  • 2015-08-28 Miss Belmar Belmar

    All kids 14 and under fish for FREE Monday through Thursday on the Miss Belmar's morning trip for blues from 7 30 a. m. - 2 30 p. m. when accompanied by a full paying adult. With Miss Belmar's 3 engines and a total of 2,100 horsepower, she is the first boat to the fishing grounds every day and we guarantee it.
  • 2015-08-12 Golden Eagle Belmar

    Some days we see soon BONITA, or ALBIE's or MAHI mixed in. The Blues bite better on the bigger baits the Mackeral bite better on the smaller baits.

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