The Jersey Coast Anglers Association (JCAA) 24th annual Fluke Tournament will be contested statewide on Saturday. This is the ideal contest for the world’s worst fluke anglers as they have as good a chance as anyone to win the biggest prize. Even those who never weigh a fluke are eligible to win the grand prize at the awards party on Thursday Aug. 9 in the Clarion Hotel on Rt. 37 East, Toms River. They’ll be able to enjoy free sliders, hot dogs and sodas while waiting for the boat number to be called for many valuable prizes up to the grand prize of a 14-foot StarCraft with 10 hp Yamaha and Yacht Club trailer. It seems that most years the boat ends up being won by someone who never entered a fluke.
If you do manage to catch a fluke, there are lots of rewards for doing so. The tournament is contested separately at seven regions with 10 prizes at each ranging from $1,200 cash for first through nine merchandise awards.
The potential is much greater than that as an additional $25 added to the $160 per boat entry fee makes you eligible for $50,000 cash by catching the contest’s largest fluke exceeding 12 pounds. Then there are both port and overall Calcuttas. Ten-year-old Dylan Cole was the overall winner last year and collected $12,881.
The regions to choose from are Jersey City, Sandy Hook, Shark River, Manasquan River, Barnegat Bay, Long Beach Island — and the Southern Region covering the former ports of Great Bay, Ocean City, Atlantic City, Cape May and Fortescue.
Enter online by visiting http://www.jcaa.org with your credit card. The phone number is 732 506-6565.
Today was another beautiful one the water, and Capt. Ron Santee was pleased with the fluke results on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. He had a pick of quality fluke and short sea bass most of the day before ending up with a flurry as a few fares finished with two keepers. Vic Babin led from the morning with a 6.4-pound fluke, but for the second day in a row the pool went to a fluke caught in overtime — a 6.9-pounder. The biggest excitement of the day was the loss of a doormat estimated at 10 to 12 1/2 pounds that came up tangled in the line and rolled free as the nets were coming. The Fishermen is chartered Saturday.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc had a letdown on his Sea Hunter from that port after yesterday’s 11.88-pound doormat by Willie Meyer and a good pick of keepers. It was mostly shorts in the same areas today,
Tank Matraxia of Lyndhurst had a good report for his crew as they fished with Capt. Greg Fabrizzi on Manic out of Keyport. They fished the ocean in the Sea Bright area and had lots of action. Matraxia didn’t get to catch a doormat, but he weighed a 29-incher at 10 pounds on his Boga Grip though it was on the thin side. Steve Lurria had the hot hand as he bucktailed the doormat among five of keeper size. Marty Nowinski was delighted with his largest fluke so far — an 8-pounder. Tank said there weren’t a lot of fish, but the quality was good. He had a 21-inch fluke and a legal sea bass, while placing ALS tags in 13 short fluke.
Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that Bob Crisci from Philadelphia weighed a 6.4-pound fluke that he caught on the Ocean Explorer. It’s been mostly short fluke in the river but snappers are building up and make great baits for big fluke.
Indeed, John Mazzeo of South Plainfield can testify to that after surfcasting yesterday at Sandy Hook. Allen Riley went home earlier and reported that they hadn’t caught any fluke on live snappers. Yet, Mazzeo stayed later and landed a 25-inch fluke which is his personal best from the surf.
There was some life in Shark River this morning — except on the end of my rod. I had one impressive blow-up on a Chug Bug , but never raised another. Vinny D’Anton caught three small bass on a 7 1/2-inch Sluggo and a Zoom jig before releasing a 24-inch bass on a Chug Bug. Frank Manzi waded in another direction and his one hit on a popper turned out to be the release of a striper that might have made 28 inches. Bill Hoblitzell got a shot of action on the fly with school bass and blues, but I didn’t break the ice until releasing a small bass on a Kettle Creek jig just before leaving.
There’s some south wind coming Wednesday afternoon, but the morning should be fishable.