There may not be many NY/NJ Bight private skippers less interested in catching fluke than Chuck Many, who’s long been noted as a leading bass pro. He just feels that it’s much more interesting to spend available time trying to catch and release striped bass that grow much larger and fight a lot harder. Yet, he certainly doesn’t mind catching a fluke while striper fishing — and has had more success in that respect than many who target the species.
He did have an edge yesterday when Bryan Pieros switched to jigging a fluke rig tipped with a live spot as we were seeking stripers in the Hudson River where Chuck had been doing well with bass. Bryan’s move proved to be the proper one as he boated a 10 1/4-pound doormat after losing another that might have been bigger, That wasn’t the first time one of Many’s striper drifts produced a doormat. Back in September 2013, I was drifting a live peanut bunker on one Chuck’s spots off Coney Island when I boated a 12-pounder that received an American Littoral Society tag before being released. That was the only doormat I’ve ever caught west of Montauk,
We also added three 18-19-inch fluke yesterday, making it four keepers without a short,which is unusual these days.
The late blast of stripers up to 31 pounds was more satisfying to Chuck, especially because all four hooked yesterday shot away without assistance.
Though Monday’s fluking was good, both the Sea Hunter and the Fishermen out of Atlantic Highlands canceled Tuesday sailings due to the southeast wind against the outgoing tide which would make for difficult ocean fluking. Joe Rodd of Sayreville won the August monthly pool on the Fishermen with a 12.14-pound doormat, and added Monday’s pool on that boat with a 7.2-pounder in his limit catch.
Following up on yesterday’s yellowfin tuna report from Capt. Lou Grazioso, he was aboard Sean Cody’s Happy Hooker out of Manasquan Inlet as two were caught during a day when the bite was off a bit. Yet Matt Codey (17) managed a yellowfin Lou estimated at 80 pounds by casting a small popper that was inhaled so far that it had to be removed through the gill cover.
Large bluefin tuna continue to be spotted in the Shrewsbury Rocks area. Capt. Chris Di Stefano heard of one trolled bluefin being torn apart by sharks, and noted that a friend caught a 70-pound cobia that hit while casting a plug to the tuna.
The Jamaica from Brielle has added limited trips targeting bonito, little tunny, and smaller bluefins on Thursday at 6:30 a.m. and Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations..
The Golden Eagle from Belmar anchored up over the weekend and had a variety of fish swimming through the slick. There were even 12 to 15 big stingrays caught one day, and some fluke were added today to the chub mackerel, bluefish, bonito, little tunny, Spanish and king mackerel.