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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 Tuna Reports

  • 2017-06-15 BHCFA Beach Haven

    The fishing action for black sea bass on the inshore wrecks and reefs continues to be very good. The offshore bite has started with some nice tuna being boated already including some bigeyes over 200-pounds. In addition, there are reports of some big mako and thresher sharks in the area.

  • 2017-06-11 Ristori Bay Head

    Capt. Tom Savastano returned from Saturday's tuna trolling in the vicinity of Hudson Canyon with reports of bluefins up to 100 pounds plus a bigeye that size on Double Down out of Manasquan Inlet even though it was rough both ways. We've also gotten good reports from the Old Grounds this weekend on fluke and a few nice sea bass.

  • 2017-05-30 Ristori Bay Head

    After bringing in the first mako shark and school bluefin tuna from the canyons earlier in the week, the Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant ran a Saturday to Sunday overnighter that produced the first yellowfin tuna (about 35 pounds) and two dolphin from canyons in over 1000 fathoms off Delaware for David Stratoff and his son. Honors for the first N. J. bigeye tuna fell to a boat in the Canyon Runner reporting team as the Flying Fish landed one in Cape May on the way back from North Carolina.

  • 2017-05-28 Ristori Bay Head

    At Belmar, the Big Mohawk will be making a Monday fluke trip from 6 a. m. to 2 p. m. Capt. John Kolias took the Roy Runyak party down the beach to Shrewsbury Rocks on Saturday aboard his Reel Fun from Twin Lights Marina in Highlands, but the reports of stripers there that he had heard about didn't pan out.
  • 2017-05-25 Ristori Bay Head

    The Canyon Runner from Pint Pleasant brought in the first mako shark of the season Tuesday after their initial canyon overnighter. Six blue sharks were released at night before the 82-inch  (about 175 to 200 pound) mako was boated after a 25-minute fight. Trolling for school bluefin tuna at dawn produced four hits, with a 33-incher boated

  • 2017-05-20 Ristori Bay Head

    The surprisingly strong east wind made it tough on both boat and shore fishermen Saturday, but it's supposed to be lighter on Sunday in time for the Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament at Island Beach State Park. The east wind also prevented a repeat of a showing of small blues in the Bay Head surf, but I managed to tempt a 19-inch striper in Point Pleasant Canal on a Tsunami Shad.

  • 2017-02-07 Ristori Bay Head

    Adam La Rosa reports the 48-foot Canyon Runner boated big bluefin tuna on its first trip. La Rosa offers to take military out on those trips at no charge.
  • 2016-12-22 Ristori Bay Head

    As usual, there is still good blackfishing not too far offshore and limits of jumbo sea bass on deep water wrecks -- but what's not at all usual is the abundance of large school bluefin tuna within center console range. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, has also heard about tuna action in the Mud Hole on popping plugs, while blackfishing is good in 70-to-90-foot depths (especially on whitelegger crabs) -- and winter flounder continue to hit baits cast from the docks into Shark River on incoming tide when waters are warmest.

  • 2016-10-22 Ristori Bay Head

    There was some great canyon tuna fishing just before the storm, as noted in the following report from Adam La Rosa of the Canyon Runner out of Point Pleasant Solid Chunk Bite on Big Yellowfin Continues - Again Again - Double Digit Yellowfin Catches Abound One Last Shot At an Open Trip End of Next Week or Full Boat if you Are Interested - Then Bring on the Stripers!Here Are Pics for Monday-Tuesday's Trip October 17-18 Here are Pics for Wednesday-Thursday October 19-20 Pics from the Weekend 48' Canyon Runner Trip - 10 12-13 16 Call ASAP to secure it - it won't last long 732-272-4445 Solid Chunk Bite on Big Yellowfin Continues - Again Again - Double Digit Yellowfin Catches Abound One Last Shot At an Open Trip End of Next Week if you Are Interested - Then Bring on the Stripers!!

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