The first doormat fluke reported to me from N.J. was caught today by Joe Jones of Allentown, Pa. in Raritan Bay, and it had plenty of room to spare at 12 pounds, 13 ounces. According to Kevin Kuriawa, Capt. Craig Kuminski was drifting in Raritan Bay with Vitamin Sea from Keyport when the slim 32-incher hit a jig tipped with Gulp that fell out of its mouth when it hit the deck in a striper net. Ironically, the same angler caught an 8-pounder when he chartered the boat last week,
Capt. Ron Santee said fluking was tough Thursday on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands when no wind resulted in little drift. Yet, Joe Ciervo of Middletown boated fluke of 5 1/2 and 4 pounds,
The best bet for the weekend may be the ocean fishing for small bluefish. Despite the poor shape of bluefish stocks, there’s been pretty consistent jigging action for 1-4-pounders which may have a few 5 to 6 pounders among them. Party boat anglers can keep five blues, and the action on jigs and teasers usually results in boat limits plus many releases. Bring reasonably light spinning tackle for the best results and most sport.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported having to go further and make lots of short moves in order to do well today with blues up to 5 pounds.
Dan Sheehan has been into 2-4-pound blues at Sea Bright, but notes it’s been ” Lots of casts for too few bites” in shallow morning waters.
Jim Hutchinson Sr. reports for the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association that although the black sea bass season has closed for a period in New Jersey, there are plenty of other species to keep anglers happy. Fluke are plentiful in the bay waters and will be massing by the inlets in a matter of weeks to migrate into the ocean.
Captain Ray Lopez and mate Kieran Chenoweth-Hafner got into some bluefin tuna on a recent trip on the “Miss Liane.” They had Keith and his crew on an inshore bluefin trip. The group caught 8 bluefin to 40-inches. Kieran noted it was a beautiful day with wildlife around the boat.
There have been good bluefin trolling reports from the mid-range grounds, and the canyons have been hot for bigeyes and yellowfins.
The Mimi VI from Point Pleasant will be running open for bottom fishing on July 1 and 2. The fare is $90 and they sail at 6:30 a.m. Call 732 370-8010 for reservations.
Saturday’s forecast is for southwest winds at just 10 knots, but increasing to 15-20 plus gusts to 25 knots — and the possibility of showers and thunder storms.