The New Jersey fluke season closes on Sept. 22, and those fish have been getting a rest due to the big swells and northeast winds that have reduced boat fishing to almost nothing. However, that will change this weekend as the marine weather forecast has no winds over 10 knots from Saturday to Monday.
At Atlantic Highlands, the Fishermen will fish for fluke this weekend, and the Sea Hunter will wait until Sunday for an 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. trip. The Atlantic Star got in a Thursday morning trip that produced shorts in some areas, but no keepers. The Sea Tiger II got out this morning and had a similar report until a keeper was caught on the last drift of that half-day boat.
The Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands will be sailing each of the next two days for fluke at 7 a.m.
At Belmar, the Golden Eagle will be sailing Saturday for blues (See photo below) at 7:30 am. and p.m. They’ll also be looking for little tunny, bonito and chub mackerel during the day. The first tuna trip is on Sept. 16.
The Ocean Explorer will be fluking tomorrow.
The Big Jamaica from Brielle will be fishing for blues each of the next two days and also hoping for little tunny (see photo below}.
Bluefish had been fairly abundant in Point Pleasant Canal, but Joe Melillo at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant said yesterday afternoon and evening was tough. That was still the case this morning as I cast on the end of the ebb and only caught one blue on a Z Man Swimmereez jig; It was a bit bigger than what we’d been catching at about 5 pounds, as was the only other one I saw caught. A couple were lost, but there were definitely fewer than we’d been seeing.
Frank Manzi got off to a slow start in Shark River this morning, but then got a shot of popper action with three larger school stripers up to a 27-incher.
At Seaside Park, both Grumpy’s and Betty & Nick’s reported the mullet run in the surf has started and that bait is in stock.
Capt. Chris De Stefano had a report from the Blue Runner, probably the hottest tuna boat this year, of an overnight trip that found none of the mid-range tuna that had been abundant plus none in the several canyons checked. They did boat a small swordfish.
Capt. Dave De Gennaro has had his tuna fishing opportunities shot down by the offshore weather, but is finding light tackle action with blowfish on Hi Flier from Barnegat. He says weakfish are in the bay, and he’ll be fishing with grass shrimp during an open trip Monday.