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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

  • 2017-09-15 Ristori Bay Head

    Some pretty good weather is ahead of us, and anglers should take advantage of it since there's a tropical storm warning posted for Tuesday. There's already a large swell on the beach, and that will get even larger if Jose continues to swirl around offshore. Ocean chumming for bonito, little tunny and chub mackerel has generally been very good.

  • 2017-09-07 Miss Belmar Belmar

    This morning, we fished on the beach on bird life. We had some albies, bonito and blues in the morning. Once the tide changed, we lost the albies but boy oh boy did the blues bite! We SLAUGHTERED THE BLUES with most anglers onboard catching their limits and some! (but only keeping their limits) They ranged anywhere from 2-5 lbs. Ava 27s, both plain and tailed, worked the best.

  • 2017-09-04 Miss Belmar Belmar

    Today, we sailed out into the horizon east of our port. We anchored up along the edge of the mud hole and started the mackerel immediately. We were able to catch them and keep them all around the boat all day long. We had numerous bonito and some nice sized albies also in the catch. Everything was caught on 007 jigs.

  • 2017-09-02 Ristori Bay Head

    The best report today came from the Golden Eagle out of Belmar which reported a super day of fishing for bonito, little tunny and chub mackerel -- along with a 20-to-25-pound yellowfin tuna boated and another lost. Hopefully, those mullet will move out into the ocean after Sunday's east winds to get the fall surf striper run started early.

  • 2017-09-02 Miss Belmar Belmar

    This morning, we had another excellent day of fishing east of shark river inlet. We anchored up along the edge of the mud hole again and started the mackerel right away. We continued to catch the macs along with some nice sized bonito and jumbo sea bass (which had to go back)

  • 2017-09-01 Miss Belmar Belmar

    This morning, we had another good day of angling. We anchored up along the edge of the mud hole well east of shark river inlet. It didn't take long to start the mackerel and it got better as the day went on with some bonito and a couple of albies mixed in. It was an excellent day of fishing!

  • 2017-08-31 BHCFA Beach Haven

    The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association used the forced time off to tend to various items on their boats that might have needed attention.

    Last weekend Captain Ray Lopez had the Jayhee Cho party out for a trolling trip at the Barnegat Ridge. The group managed to boat multiple false albacore and one nice Bonita 

  • 2017-08-31 Miss Belmar Belmar

    We ran offshore today and anchored up along the edge of the mud hole. Mackerel fishing was good all day long and we also had bonito and albies in the mix. For the anglers who bottom fished, they were able to stay busy with jumbo sea bass!

  • 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.

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