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name Season Bag Limit Size Limit Note
Winter Flounder OPEN 2 12.00 Season Closes 2017-12-31

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 Winter Flounder Reports

  • 2017-06-08 Ristori Bay Head

    Capt. Allen Lee had run the boat down there for this week's South Jersey Shark Tournament plus the upcoming tuna fishing, and was just fun fishing at 2 30 a. m. Sunday when the mako took two baits. Don Marantz invited me to join his Monday party on BarbGail IV from Point Pleasant along with former JCAA presidents Tom Fote and Mark Taylor plus Bruce Vitale and Dr. Eleanor Bochenek as Capt. Chris put us into a boat limit of sea bass on a wreck before making a run to Shark River Reef for another boat limit of big winter flounder that had to outfight protected ocean pout for Gulp 4-inch Swimming Mullet.
  • 2017-06-07 Ristori Bay Head

    Capt. Rob Semkewyc got an assist from Capt. Pete Wagner on Hyper Striper from Twin Lights in Highlands wih a castnet full of bunkers during his Tuesday Magic Hours trip with the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands and boated several stripers from 30 to 46. Capt. Kenny Namowitz has openings on his Mimi IV from Point Pleasant on Thursday for bottom fishing that's been producing limits of sea bass and winter flounder.
  • 2017-05-27 Ocean Explorer Belmar

    Another great day of sea bass fishing,,fish were flying all day as we drifted as it was so calm out there...even had some flukes,,,winter flounder and ling mixed in to.
  • 2017-05-16 Seahunter Atlantic Highlands

    After all the rain and wind the past few days and the color of the water on the way out. We ended up picking most of the day with short and keeper Stripers and even had three jumbo flounder to top things off.
  • 2017-05-15 Dorothy B Atlantic Highlands

    The action on the shorts began as the first line went into the water and provided action on and off for the rest of the trip. We landed 4 keeper Bass, 2 Flounder as well as all the throwbacks even though the conditions were far from favorable. 
  • 2017-04-20 Ristori Bay Head

    Shore fishermen are about to enjoy what will probably be the most exciting casting of the year during the next few weeks as big bluefish take over in rivers, inlets and bays. Bunker chunks have been producing some in Barnegat Bay and Toms River -- and the Tackle Box in Hazlet reported they were hitting all day Thursday in Raritan Bay.
  • 2017-04-19 Ristori Bay Head

    20th Annual NJ Banquet Auction 20th Annual New Jersey IGFA Fundraising Banquet Auction Friday, April 21, 2017 at 7 pm Doolan's Shore Club700 State Hwy 71Spring Lake, New Jersey, USA Featuring a cocktail hour, hot cold buffet dinner, a Grand Raffle with items from YETI, Maxel, Tsunami, and much more!Reserve your seats today by emailing IGFA New Jersey Representative Jeff Merrill at jeffmerrill2 verizon.
  • 2017-04-19 Big Mohawk Belmar

    WE HAD SOME NICE BLACKFISH ALONG WITH SOME WINTER FLOUNDER TO ROUND OFF THE MIX. WE WILL BE HEADED OUT AT 7AM TOMORROW.
  • 2017-04-14 Ristori Bay Head

    The Golden Eagle from Belmar saw some big bass on top early Friday, but only marked them later in the trip as a couple up to 33 inches were boated. Those boats will be looking for stripers Saturday along with Miss Belmar Princess and the Jamaica from Brielle.
  • 2017-04-13 Ristori Bay Head

    A mild winter and early spring often results in a good April bite of mostly short stripers on clams for Raritan Bay boaters, but this year the bass have been on herring and hitting lures. Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park is still hoping for the first bluefish report, but reports school stripers in the surf on clams and small lures -- plus many more in Barnegat Bay on bloodworms and small plugs.

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