NJ Fishing Report: August 9-15

North Jersey:

Fisher Price IV  Atlantic Highlands, NJ :

Captain Derek Bielitz  “We saw some good to very good fluking this week with fish to 6 lbs coming into the boat. Saturday was our best trip of the season with the Paul Rubee charter boxing their limit by 11 am and continuing to release shorts and keepers till it was time to go. The charter wound up landing a total of 60 keepers to 6 lbs. We are available for fluke and tuna trips throughout the month of September, and are also taking charter reservations for the Fall bass and blackfish trips for the months of October, November, and December.” To inquire about charter availability or open boat call 732-861-3394 or email Captderek1@yahoo.com

 

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FISH STIX  Shark River Inlet, NJ:

Captain Kris Black of Fish Stix Charters said the fluke fishing continues to be very good as well as porgy. They have dates available coming up so cash in soon because time is running out to get in on the action. Call or text Captain Kris to get on. 732-312-6878

 

 

 

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Time Out Charters Absecon, NJ

Captain Scott Newhall “Ocean fluke continues to be strong off Greater Atlantic City waters when the seas and wind cooperate.  There are holdovers still filtering through the backwaters and inlet as well.  Brown sharks and sand tigers are prowling the nearshore waters and snapper blues have shown up in the area.”  To book a charter or check availability with Captain Scott call 609-385-3729

 

 

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Vet Craft Sportfishing  Cape May, NJ

Captain Harvey Yenkinson  “We continue to have real quality fluke come on board with lots of shorts to keep the action constant and fun. My technique of putting my anglers within inches or feet of the less fished structure continues to produce. Running an open boat 8/31 plus some dates available in September” To speak to Captain Harv about open boats or charters call Weekdays:610-793-4468 Cell: 610-742-3891

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Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Report:  8/11

There are decent numbers of fish in the inshore waters off Beach Haven, but these fish are spread out, especially the fluke. The captains who belong to the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are benefiting from that organization. The boats are fishing in different areas and sharing their results with each other. In this way, all of the captains and their anglers benefit from that information.

 

Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” reports a noticeable increase in his fluke action. There are enough short fish to keep everyone busy pulling in fish, and every trip been providing at least one fluke for the cooler. His most recent trip resulted in seven nice keepers.

 

Captain Jimmy Zavacky and t he crew from the “Reel Determined” took Boy Scouts of American Troop #112 from Jacobstown out on the “Star Fish.” The larger boat was needed due to the 18 active anglers. With this many lines in the water there were many fish brought over the rail, and sea bass and fluke to take home.

 

Captain John Lewis reports that after a couple of disappointing trips last week, he is back on the fluke again. The fish had moved and he notes that with cooperation from some other captains of the BHCFA he has had some very good numbers of fish recently. The catch and release fishing is very good with a number of nice keepers providing fish dinners.

 

Captain Carl Sheppard reports he has been running the “Star Fish” on two 4-hour trips a day. He says they are catching a mixture of bluefish, sea bass, fluke and porgies. Some have been good sized, but for every keeper, they average four to five throwbacks. As August warms the waters, he expects to start running more full day offshore trips for pelagic species.

Outfitting for Back Bay Fluke Success

Every season starts long before opening day for most, with hooks sharpened, reels re-spooled, hoards of gulps and bucktails purchased, and every angler in the tri-state area frothing to hit the waters in search of that doormat flounder. Then comes opening day, you see the boats piled up in every orifice of the backbays looking for that trophy or at the very least their first flounder dinner of the season.
Depending on who you talk to from tackle shop to old salt to employee at the local sporting goods store everyone seems to have a different version of what rods, reels, line, and rigs to use.  Many I see on the water to this day are using meat sticks spooled with heavy braid more suitable for tuna than they are for backwater flounder where lightweight sensitive rods, line, and jigs are everything and can make the difference between a fish that hits the net or a well fed fish that is still out there laughing with one more minnow in his belly.

Rods and Reels:  For rods I prefer graphite for its sensitivity but some manufacturers are also making a composite blend rod for a more affordable price that still gets the job done. Typically a 7’0 penn battalion or squadron rod rated 8-15lb is what im using, with enough sensitivity to feel even the slightest follow from a toothy predator but enough backbone to set the hook and handle jigs up to around 1 1/4oz. For line lighter is better allowing for better depth penetration to keep you near the bottom without having to let a country mile of line out or fishing additional weight to get there, 15lb braid like Spiderwires Invisibraid I find is the best balance of strength and sensitivity.

With reels I find the 2500 size class Penn Battle to be a perfect blend of weight and line pickup to allow me to jig all day without getting tired from an overbearing reel.

 

Rigs: 

Flounder in the backwater is all about keeping the presentation as vertical as possible so flounder setupyou can tap dance over those pieces of sticky bottom and toothy structure. Again in this situation I believe less is best for my usual setup I fish 15-20 lb fluorocarbon leaders tying the braid to the leader using a Albright or other line to leader knot trying to avoid using

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Magic Tails Bucktail

heavier terminal tackle such as swivels or snaps, Typically from there i have about 8-10″ of leader before a dropper loop that is about 4″ long. On the loop I usually have a #1-2/0 Gamakatsu octopus style hook. Below this I leave about 12″ of line before tying a loop knot to a Magic Tail minnow head style bucktail.  Typical weight bucktails that I have found for the backwater that work for my area in almost all situations are 3/4-1oz and being most of my fishing is done in stained estuarine water I opt for the more visible colors like white and chartreuse. The minnow style heads from Magic Tail Bucktails I find to be the best style bucktail because when tied on the leader they still remain horizontally balanced. Unlike many other bucktails which hang more vertically when jigging does not present naturally whatsoever. I also prefer to trim the hair on the bucktail back a little almost to the hook this allows the tail of the gulp to show off its action and creates a strike point that is closer to the hook part of the bucktail. A little trick I picked up years ago that everyone does while jigging for pompano down south and it has paid off ever since.

 

 

Baits:

Usually you can find me fishing Gulp! 4″ swimming mullet in either chartreuse or white on both my dropper loop and tipping my bucktail,  Gulp! has been a great asset for flounder fisherman as that scent just seems to drive the flounder absolutely wild, so wild that I have had flounder spit up gulp that appears to have never had a hook in it almost as if 1433016566495some fisherman accidentally dropped them in the water and they floated along until ingested. When I am certain there are large concentrations of smaller baitfish like silversides or spearing around I’ll switch that dropper loops bait over to a minnow. In certain situations especially early in the season due to the lack of many other forage species I find the large flounder are feeding on calico, green, or asian crabs. This is confirmed with some of what they spit up when landed in the boat and don’t be afraid to put that crab back on the hook if it’s still alive or recently deceased as doing so has had some stellar results for me in the past. Most recently on a trip last year, everyone on the boat had caught but one client whom up until that point had only a few bites to show for his efforts.   One of my clients hooked a nice flounder and it spit up a lively asian crab on the deck I put that crab on his hook and for the next 2 drifts the same guy that had not caught a flounder yet the entire trip boated 4 flounder around his friends, whom at that point were asking me if I had anymore crabs.

 

Jigging technique:

When jigging as mentioned before it’s all about trying to keep it as vertical as possible this will allow you not only to feel every bite or breath from a fish, but also allow you to avoid getting snagged on the many pieces of bottom structure where the flounder live.  Typical day in the life of my jig is drop it straight down, jig along until it starts to scope well away from the boat and simultaneously the bottom (usually about 1-2mins. ) bring it 1433891302387in and drop back down again.  When dropped I hit the bottom and lift the rod tip about 4 inches so its hovering just above the bottom flounder are engineered to feed up having eyes that look upward. A flounder you can get to commit to a jig that is 2-20inches off the bottom is much more likely to open his mouth all the way and take the jig or hook much like a striped bass or largemouth, rather than the traditional peck, peck, peck felt using the typical drag the bottom technique. Having the jig off the bottom also allows flounder from a greater distance to key in on it, the way I explain it to clients is to look at it as an airplane, is it easier to see the plane when it’s laying on the runway or when it’s in the sky?  The action I choose to impart on the jig is just a simple and very subtle bouncing of the rod more of a shaking than anything with the rod tip moving up and down by a matter of inches. Avoid doing massive up and down motions of the jig as I find this is an archaic method that made sense in the monofilament days to compensate for stretch of the line, but now with the invention of superlines every motion on that rod tip is reflected almost to the millimeter on the jig below.

 

I hope these Pointers help y’all key in on that doormat flounder this season, or at the very least help increase those numbers!

 

-Capt. Brian Williams

 

Badfish Charters Ocean city, NJ

www.ocnjfishing.com

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Call or email to book a trip!

856 371 4346

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