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





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




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





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.

NJ Fishing Report: August 1-8th

It was a tough week for weather so the reports were few and far between, weather looks to be a little bit better this week but it’s going to be wet out there. Fluke fishing so far in Northern Jersey has been consistently good, the same could not be said for the Southern Region in the past but a consistent bite has been developing so hopefully this trend will continue. Here is what I was able to round up from the Captains.

North Jersey:

Fisher Price IV  Atlantic Highlands, NJ :

Captain Derek Bielitz  “The fluke fishing bounced back this past week. Several trips saw limit or near limit catches of fluke coming from the rough bottom with jigs and GULP baits. Unfortunately we were unable to get offshore with the weather this week, but it looks like some nice water pushed closer in and we will be back offshore this coming week for tuna and mahi. We are currently taking charter reservations for the remainder of the fluke season as well as tuna trips through the end of September. We are also booking fall dates for October, November and December stripers and blackfish trips. ”To inquire about charter availability or open boat call 732-861-3394 or email Captderek1@yahoo.com




Time Out Charters Absecon, NJ

Captain Scott Newhall “Fluke was a mixed bag this week in the AC area.  The beginning of the week saw nice fish banging in the bay and inlet waters before NE winds changed the pattern and the fish turned off for no apparent reason.  Later in the week, ocean fluke bite picked up and expert anglers started to score in the sloughs and rubble.  Those who did best know how to work the bottom without snagging.  Snags lose gear, but waste time for retying.  The best fluke bet is the inlets and ocean moving forward.” To book a charter or check availability with Captain Scott call 609-385-3729







Vet Craft Sportfishing  Cape May, NJ

Captain Harvey Yenkinson  “Fluke turned on big tie for the Vetcraft this week with some real big fish in the mix. Sea Bass still being put in the box too” To speak to Captain Harv about open boats or charters call Weekdays:610-793-4468 Cell: 610-742-3891




Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Report:  8/4

After a month of struggling to put together decent catches of fluke, the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are finding more keeper fish. Helping to improve the action is the annual migration of the fish from the bays into the ocean. As a result, the fishing around the inlets has shown some great improvement while the action on the inshore artificial reefs is also showing more big fish.


Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” notes that while “we have been picking away at them; the fishing seems to be picking up slowly but surely.” He believes a couple of days with a good Northeast wind should do the trick. Meanwhile, wreck fishing has been providing a variety of fish for the cooler to take home.


Captain Fran Verdi of the “Francesca Marie” terms July a “hard month” and says that most trips got their sea bass but the fluke fishing was slow. Suddenly, as August arrived, and his party had lots of action, putting five nice fat fish in the box. The top fish was 24.5-inches long, providing some very nice filets. He has been working some of his productive wrecks in addition to the reef sites.


Captain John Lewis also notes the recent uptick in fluke action as his recent parties have been able to take fluke filets home for dinner. His most recent trip had fish up to 24.5-inches. It appears late summer is going to be the time for anglers to finally score well on the fluke action.

NJ Fishing Report: July 25- August 1

I will have to make this a quick one, I am writing this in a Howard Johnsons in Hyannis, MA and the Wi-Fi here is less than stellar but the show must go on! Hopefully tomorrow I will be reeling in a monster fluke on the Nantucket Shoals but you don’t care about that I’m sure. So here it is!

North Jersey:

Fisher Price IV  Atlantic Highlands, NJ :

Captain Derek Bielitz   “We got in a few trips this week for both fluke and offshore. The fluke fishing picked up pretty nice this week with several trips limiting out the boat with fish to around 5 pounds. The guys that worked the jigs hard all day were rewarded with steady action of keepers and shorts all day. We were able to get offshore this past Sunday and the action was a little slower than we hoped for, but we were able to bring back a few yellowfins to 45 lbs and had some skipjack action. We will continue to sail for both fluke and tuna through August and September before switching over to bottom fishing and striped bass fishing. We are currently taking charter reservations August and September fluke and tuna trips as well as booking October, November, and December striped bass and blackfish trips.”To inquire about charter availability or open boat call 732-861-3394 or email Captderek1@yahoo.com




Insatiable Sportfishing, Beach Haven, NJ

Captain John Lewis   “As the bottom water temps are rising the fluke started to feed again. Each day this week we did better than the day before with a keeper about every third fish. two young ladies had the biggest fish of the week at 22″ and 24 1/2”.  To inquire about a charter or open boat contact Captain John at Captainjohn22@comcast.net or 609-670-5980




Time Out Charters Absecon, NJ

Captain Scott Newhall “Fluke, fluke, fluke!   Bay, inlet, ocean!  Gulp, dead bait,.live bait!  Enjoy.” To book a charter or check availability with Captain Scott call 609-385-3729



Badfish Charters Ocean City, NJ

Captain Brian Williams  “Flounder fishing in the backwater is finally where it should be with more consistent smaller flounder everywhere as well as some nicer fish in that 4-7lb class. Peanut bunker are now consistently on the menu as they bays are thick with them. The reefs and nearshore wrecks are also holding fish. The big talk on the oceanfront are the hoards of small Mahi that have moved in just a few miles off the beach on some days. The low light striped bass fishing has been off the hook with many double digit evenings.  The fish have been destroying topwater with reckless abandon sometimes with multiple fish fighting for the plug. Shark fishing has also turned on with the warmer temps with lots of 3-5ft brown sharks shadowing the bunker schools just out front.” To book a trip call/email Captain Brian 856-371-4346 or Bwilliams@ocnjfishing




Stalker Fishing Charters  Cape May, NJ

Captain Skip Jastremski  “Fluke and Tuna were on the menu for stalker fishing charters this past week.  The fluke bite here in Cape may has much improved with some larger fluke coming over the rails!   Also the tuna bite has remained consistent!   This should only get better as we go through the month of August!To book a charter or inquire open boats on the Stalker II or the Backwater Skiff Give Skip a call. 609-972-5218


Vet Craft Sportfishing  Cape May, NJ

Captain Harvey Yenkinson  “Continue to put together good catches for my charters. Finding fish on reefs, wrecks, and on the spawning squid grounds” To speak to Captain Harv about open boats or charters call Weekdays:610-793-4468 Cell: 610-742-3891




Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Report:  7/28

The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association have been keeping their parties happy lately with a nice selection of fish. While the fish are not always large, the action has been steady enough to please the anglers.


Captain Carl Sheppard on the “Star Fish” had a party recently which experienced some real variety. First they found some small fish in the back bay consisting of small black bass, sea robins and smooth dog fish. At the turn of the tide, some weakfish rose to the bait. They seemed to prefer gulp or small pieces of squid. As Captain Carl moved toward the ocean with the flood tide, he found both herring and cocktail bluefish on the bars right close to the breaking water of the inlet. He managed to find some small fluke on the open bottom in the ocean and on the artificial reef where he also found some short sea bass. Another trip on the “Star Fish” with Captain Tom Masterson and Mate Marlyn Graham the Barth family picked up 20 small fluke in the inlet along with some nice kingfish. In the afternoon, Captain Carl and Mate Marlyn Mike had the Dr. Brian Wilonski’s family of 10 from Princeton out. The youngsters had a ball catching 3 keeper porgies and a mess of throwback black sea bass.


Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” has been exploring different wrecks with success His anglers have been busy reeling in fish and taking fish home for the table. He expects fluke fishing to pick up soon, and he has been exploring different areas. He has some inshore night trips for shark scheduled and is optimistic about them.


Captain Fran Verdi of the “Francesca Marie” reports he has been busy fishing and finding that it has been taking work to put together some decent catches.



NJ Fishing Report: July 18-25th

Fishing has continued to be consistent both inshore and offshore for most of New Jerseys entire coast. Fluke fishing in northern new jersey has been very good and very consistent. Further south fluking has been very hit or miss having spent a good amount of time this past week fishing in front of and behind the Sea Isle, Avalon, and Stone Harbor areas I can safely that the back bay was much more productive. Although shorts were much more common than keepers there was still plenty of decent fish to be had in the bay, out front I hit the Townsends Inlet Reef, Sea Isle Lump, and a other nearby wrecks with little to no life on any of them. Many of the local fisherman that I spoke to echoed the same sentiment but are hopeful things will pick up out front soon with a lot of fish still holding in the back bays. Offshore the tuna bite has been good but recently the inshore fishing for yellowfin and Bluefin has been what a few captains have said “the best they have seen in years” with most of these fishing being targeted on the chunk or jigs. This kind of action does not last long so don’t wait to get it on it.


North Jersey:

Fisher Price IV  Atlantic Highlands, NJ :

Captain Derek Bielitz   “We got in a few fluke and tuna trips this week. Fluking was up and down. Mainly dependent on the conditions. The days we had good conditions, the charters were able to put nice catches of fluke together with fish to 5 lbs and some sea bass mixed in. We were able to get offshore twice with one trip seeing a mix of bluefin and yellowfins. On another trip we saw tough fishing with 5 fish being hooked on jigs, but unfortunately we were unable to land any of them due to pulled hooks and break offs” 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 “Fluke fishing has been steady if you have jigs and gulp, some guys catching limits on trips and others struggle. Been taking lots of family fun trips dragging bait in less sticky bottom producing mostly shorts but some keepers too” call or text Captain Kris to get on. 732-312-6878




June Bug Sportfishing  Beach Haven, NJ

Captain Lindsay Fuller “June Bug had a couple of inshore trips this week with several nice keeper fluke, even found a few bonita. We are planning an offshore day trip that will leave at midnight Saturday morning getting back that evening around dinner time. That trip has a few slots open and is $500 per man.” Interested people can call to speak with Captain Lindsay about charter availability  at 609-685-2839 or email captlindsay@fish-junebug.com


Pura Vida Sportfishing Cape May, NJ

Captain Phil Leo is not an easy man to get a hold of these days but that’s because he has been out on the Pura Vida putting a hurting on the tuna day in and day out with little time for small talk. Phil is still doing well inshore chunking and jigging yellowfin and some Bluefin as well. They will also be fishing fluke in between runs to the inshore grounds. To inquire about open boats or charters Call Phil at 856-834-4170 or email captphil@pvfishingcharter.com




Time Out Charters Absecon, NJ

Captain Scott Newhall “The summer flounder fishing in the Atlantic City area remains strong.  Upwelling events are the only thing that can create temporary lockjaw in the fluke so anglers are always rooting for the SW winds to stay away.  The entire bay and inlet systems are producing, but the ocean remains spotty.  In this region, the ocean fluke fishery lags behind that of areas north of Barnegat or south near Cape May.  In a couple weeks that will change.” To book a charter or check availability with Captain Scott call 609-385-3729





Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Report:  7/21

The fluke bite in the Beach Haven area has been on a bit of a down swing as the fish migrate from the bay waters into the ocean. As a result, the boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association have been finding some alternative targets with good success.


Captain Carl Sheppard and mate Marlyn Graham had the Bonnesen out wreck fishing on the “Starfish” for the family’s first ever fishing trip. Despite some recent days of slow fishing, that day the family had some sensational fishing. They caught a total of 60 fish, managing to box 9 black sea bass, 2 bluefish, and a nice sized porgy. The largest sea bass measured 16-inches.


With fluke fishing in a bit of a lull, the “Irish Jig” with Captain Gary Dugan has been focusing on wreck fishing. A lot of sea bass have been coming over the rail, with a fair amount making the cooler. Now that black fish (tautog) are back in season, Captain Gary hopes to be able to put some of those monsters he has been throwing back into the fish box. He says he is ready to return to fluke fishing when things pick up in that area.


Captain Lindsay Fuller on the “June Bug” reports his recent trips have been half and full day inshore trips. His anglers have been putting together some decent bags of bluefish and some keeper fluke along with small sea bass and a sea robin. Captain Lindsay tried a trip to the Atlantic City Reef where he picked up a dozen or so Taylor sized bluefish, all caught on #2 Clark Spoons on 25-foot leaders with a 2-ounce trolling weight to keep the spoon just under the surface. Despite his success with the bluefish up in the water column, his bottom fishing on the wreck was slow. He blames that on the number of fish pots placed on it. Captain Lindsay hopes to make some offshore trips in the near future for tuna. He added he has been using mates from the BHCFA’s Junior Mate’s program, and he has been very pleased with their performance and work ethic.


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.



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

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.




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



Call or email to book a trip!

856 371 4346