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How to Properly Net a Flounder (Fluke)

Experienced Fluke Fishermen all will tell you that you need to net your fish. Whether you be fishing from a Bridge, Pier, Jetty, or Boat if any part of landing that flounder involves lifting it out of the water, well then you better use a net to land that fish if you want to keep it.

Fluke notoriously have a soft mouth that tears easily. Frequently after hooking and fighting a flounder it's mouth will tear a bit making it very easy for the hook to back out causing you to lose your fish. barbed style hooks help but it is criticallyimportant to always keep a tight line while fighting Fluke to the surface. Not keeping a tight line to the top is surely the number 1 reason people lose Fluke on the way up.

So now keep in mind, tearing at the mouth is a big concern for losing flounder when the fish is IN the water. Well, physics aside , things 'weigh' more in air than in water. So as soon as you try to lift that Fluke out of the water you can count on any tear in the mouth to get larger.

 

The Netman's Job

Summer Flounder

Get in Position

Ok so first things first. Someone yells 'fish on' and/or calls for the net. Common sense says, get the net in hand and go stand next to the person fighting the fish so you are ready. Depending on the angle the person is fighting the fish, you should position yourself on the side of the person where you cause the least interference to the person fighting the fish.

Use 2 Hands

While I am waiting I like to hold the net by holding one hand on the net handle and the other holding the net. Why hold the net you ask? Because until you get that net in the water catching the netting on something as you try to is always a possibility. Whether your on a party boat, private boat, pier etc there are usually any number of obstructions around and holding the netting keeps control in your hand until it enters the water.

Lower the Net

I believe most people wait too long until putting the net in the water. Is it a BIG deal?  Probably not but what we are talking about here is the difference between being pretty good at netting fluke and being a pro. Kind of like free throw shooting in basketball. Repetition is how you build great technique. So get the net in the water with ample time for adjustment.  Get Ready.

When you do put the net in the water to wait, you want to have the net deeper than you expect to land the fish at. You want the entire net basket to be submergered.  Because it is much easier to lift the net then to dive the net into the water.

Depending on how deep you are fishing, it seems reasonable that you should have the net in the water and waiting whenever the fluke is within the upper 1/3 of the water column. How do you know this? Judgement and it comes in time. But the exact specifics are not that important. What is important that you be ready but not be in the way.  Lets review 2 extremes on what you don't want to do to emphasize the point.

Scenario 1

You are deep fishing for Fluke in 90 ft of water and as soon as someone yells fish on you go stand next to them with the net in the water and just totally be premature.

Scenario 2

You are fishing for Fluke in 30 ft of water and you lollygag and wait til you see 'color' and end up rushing and losing discipline and lose the fish.

 

Head First

Supposing we are now next to our best fishing buddy as he is reeling in a big flounder. The most important part of the whole deal. Net the fish HEAD FIRST. Fluke can not swim backward. So if you net the fish head first, it can not swim away from the net. Easy as that.

 

The Fisherman's Job

The fisherman needs to assit the person netting the fish if you want to be successful. He can do that by following these 3 simple rules

'Swim' the fluke into the net

Never lift it or even only it's head out of the water

Keep the line tight at all times

Just a final note that given NJ's 2016 regulations of 18” Fluke you really need to have a large net. 18” Fluke are not small and you really don't want to lose the fish of a lifetime because you were using the wrong net.

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NJ Boat Ramps Map

longitude latitude name description address city zip phone
-74.1341 39.9052 Rinderer's Marine
Concrete ramp
No fee
Sloop Creek Rd.; Bayville Bayville 08721 732-269-9494
-74.139 40.8112 Nutley Municipal Ramp
Concrete
Fee per launch
Park Avenue Nutley 07110 973-284-4966
-74.1594 40.7626 E.J. Vicent Waterfront Park
Concrete ramp
Permit required
Bergen Ave. Kearny 07032 201-955-7983
-73.9201 40.9548 Hazzard's Ramp
201-993-3253
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Palisades Interstate Park; Englewood Cl Englewood Cl 07632
-74.0604 40.6953 Liberty State Park
201-9150-3401
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Jersey City
-74.2026 40.6346 Elizabeth Municipal Ramp
Concrete Ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Front St. Elizabeth 908-820-4296
-74.2545 40.5454 Woodbridge Township Ramp
 
Cliff Rd. and Ferry St. Woodbridge
732-6340-4500
C
-74.4272 40.4907 Highland Park Municipal Ramp
Concrete ramp
Yearly fee
Rest rooms
Foot of Second Ave. Highland Park 732-745-3900
-74.3832 40.4888 Edison Municipal Ramp
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Meadow Rd. Edison 732-248-7219
-74.3558 40.4745 Sayreville Muncipal Ramp
Concrete ramp
Daily or seasonal fee
Rest rooms
River Road Sayreville 08871 732-257-3700
-74.2752 40.4833 South Amboy boat Club
Concrete ramp
Daily or seasonal fee
Rest rooms
Foot of George St. South Amboy 732-727-0657
-74.2152 40.4357 Wagner's Twin Towers Marina
732-583-6930
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Amboy Rd.; Clifford Clifford
-74.2073 40.4357 Keyport MaineBasin
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
West Front St. Keyport 07735 732-264-9421
-74.1997 40.4389 Olsen Boat works
Concret ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
East Front St. Keyport 07735 732-264-4198
-74.2026 40.4394 Keyport Municipal Ramp
Concrete ramp
Daily or seasonal fees
Rest rooms
American Legion Dr. and Lower Broad St. Keyport 07735 732-739-3900
-74.0607 40.4224 Leonardo State Marina
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
24 hrs. Rest rooms
Concord Ave. Leonardo 732-291-1333
-74.037 40.4171 Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Foot of First Ave Atlantic Highlands 732-291-1670
-74.043 40.3661 Fair Haven Municipal Ramp
Concrete ramp
Seasonal fee
Batten Rd Fair Haven 732-747-0241
-74.0776 40.3509 Sea Land Marina
732-741-5753
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
West Front Street Red Bank
-74.0848 40.3489 Chris River Marina "
732-741-9676
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
"
West Front St. Red Bank
-73.9739 40.3351 Monmouth Beach Ocean Boat Launch
732-229-2204
Small boats only
No fee
Route 36 (Ocean Ave) Monmouth Beach
-74.0026 40.3121 Pleasure Bay
Asphalt ramp
No fee
River Lane Long Branch 732-222-7000
-73.977 40.3173 Long Beach Ocean Boat Launch
732-222-7000
Sand beach ocean launch site
Small boats only
No fee
Seven Presidents Park Ocean Ave Long Branch
-74.0287 40.189 Bry's Marine
732-775-7364
Concrete ramp
Daily or seasonal fees
Rest rooms
Highway 35; Neptune Neptune 07753
-74.039 40.192 Shark River Hills Marina
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Riverside Dr. Neptune 07753 732-775-7400
-74.043 40.1765 Belmar Marine Basin
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Highway 35 Belmar 732-681-2266
-74.042 40.111 Manasquan Marine Center
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Brielle Road Manasquan 732-223-4277
-74.101 40.1245 Cove Haven Marina
Concret ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Ridge Rd. Brick 08723 732-458-2016
-74.0514 40.0659 Point Pleasant Municipal Ramp
Concrete ramp
No fee
Rest rooms
Foot of bay Ave. Pt. Pleasant 732-892-3434
-74.0939 40.026 Baywood Marina
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Pilot Dr. Brick 08723 732-477-3322
-74.0772 40.058 Sherman's Boat Basin
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Princeton Ave.; Brick Brick 08723 732-295-0103
-74.1284 40.0661 Green Cove Marina
Concrete ramp
Fee perlaunch
Rest rooms
Division St. Brick 08723 732-840-9090
-74.1317 40.0673 Johnson Boat Basin
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
route 70 Brick 08723 732-840-9530
-74.0748 39.9692 Lavallette Municipal Ramp
Concrete ramp
Seasonal permit
Bay Blvd. Lavallette 732-793-2111
-74.0795 39.9484 Bayside Marina
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Bayside Terrace Seaside Heights 732-793-8554
-74.1905 39.9464 East Dover Marina
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Fisher Blvd. Toms river 732-270-1104
-74.1448 39.9395 Island Heights Municipal Ramp
Concrete ramp
Seasonal fee
Residents only
Lake Dr. Island Heights 732-270-6415
-74.1318 39.9435 Gilford Park Yacht Club
Concrete ramp
Daily or seasonal fees
Rest rooms
Riverside Dr. Toms River 732-269-9838
-74.1198 39.9273 Ocean Gate Yacht Basin
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Bayview Ave. Ocean Gate 08740 732-269-2565
-74.085 39.9144 Seaside Park Municipal Ramp
Concrete ramp
Seasonal permits
Bayview Ave. and 13th St. S. Seaside Park 732-793-0234
-74.1129 39.923 Becker's Boat Basin
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Bayview Ave.; Ocean Gate Ocean Gate 08740 732-269-3723
-74.1364 39.8863 Whitney's landing
Asphalt ramp
Fee per launch
Butler Blvd.; Bayville Bayville 08721 732-269-1186
-74.1415 39.8736 Downe's Fishing Camp
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Brennan concourse; Bayville Bayville 08721 732-269-0137
-74.1409 39.8736 Trixie's Landing
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Brennan Concourse; Bayville Bayville 08721 732-269-5838
-74.1602 39.873 Up The Creek Marina
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Harbor Inn Rd. Bayville 08721 732-269-6469
-74.1586 39.8608 Laurel Harbor Marina
Concrete ramp,
Fee per launch
Laurel Blvd. Lanoka Harbor 609-693-6111
-74.1886 39.8309 Rick's Marina
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Marine Plaza; Forkd River Forkd River 08731 609-693-2134
-74.1852 39.8306 Townsend's Marina
Concret ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
East Lacey Rd. Forked River 609-693-6100
-74.1828 39.7919 Waretown Fishing Station
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Bryant Rd. Waretown 08758 609-693-2813
-74.1867 39.7882 Mac's Dock
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Oregon Ave.; Waretown Waretown 08758 609-693-3658
-74.1114 39.7575 Barnegat Light Municipal Ramp
Asphalt ramp
Daily or seasonal fees
Rest rooms
Bayview Ave. and 10th St. Barneget Light 08006 609-494-2343
-74.1799 39.6619 Surf City Municipal Ramp
Concrete ramp
Daily or seasonal permits
Rest rooms
Division St. and Bay Ave. Surf City 609-494-3064
-74.216 39.6682 Margo's Inn Marina
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Route 72; Manahawkin Manahawkin 609- 597-4970
-74.2813 39.6232 West Creek Municipal Ramp
Concrete Ramp
No fee
Cedar Run and Dock Rd. West Creek 609-296-3040
-74.2702 39.6161 Mariners Landing
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Dock Rd. West Creek 609-296-3040
-74.2961 39.609 Little Egg Harbor
Asphalt ramp
No fee
Brook St. Parkertown 609-296-7241
-74.238 39.5706 Beach Haven Municipal Ramp
Concrete ramp
Seasonal permit
Rest rooms
Foot of 9th St. Beach Haven 609-492-0111
-74.344 39.6018 Skinner's Marina
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Bartlett Ave.;Tuckerton Tuckerton 08087 609-296-3051
-74.332 39.5477 Captain Mike's
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Great Bay Blvd.; Tuckerton Tuckerton 08087 609-296-4406
-74.3349 39.5516 Rand's Boat
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Great Bay Blvd.; Tuckerton Tuckerton 08087 609-2964457
-74.3882 39.5395 Great Bay marina
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Radio Rd. tuckerton 08087 609-296-2392
-74.4698 39.5483 Chestnut Neck Boat Yard
Concrete ramp
Fee per launch
Rest rooms
Route 9 Port Republic 609-652-1119
-74.37 39.4086 Brigantine Municipal Ramp
Concrete ramp
Daily or seasonal fees
Rest rooms
6th St. and Bay shore Ave. Brigantine 609-266-7600
-74.4879 39.4265 Absecon Municipal Ramp
Concrete ramp
no fee
East Faunce Landing Rd. Absecon 609-641-0663
-74.463 39.3514 Atlantic City Municipal Ramp
Concrete ramp
No fee
Blvd. Ave. Atlantic city 609-347-5421
-74.4782 39.3412 Ventnor Municipal Ramp
Sand beach launch
Small boats only
No fee
ski Beach Dorsett Ave. Ventnor 609-823-7904

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