Blue’s the word this week – but fluke made a big comeback over the past few days as the water calmed down.
Every report, every catch photo posted on Facebook and every fish tale this week has been about bluefish. They’re not everyone’s top table fish, but they’re fun to catch and, well, they’re here.
“Those small eatin’ size blues are everywhere and they are taking mullet, bunker, poppers, swimmers, metals or anything else you throw at ’em,” said Grumpy from Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park, in a report. False albacore are also popping up here and there, he said, and the fluke bite remains hot with more throwbacks than keepers (what’s new?) but plenty of doormats for anglers to round out their summer flounder season on a high note.
Likewise, customers at Reel Life Bait and Tackle in Point Pleasant Borough were on the hot fluke bite as the season’s end was in sight. Offshore, the false albacore bite at Manasquan Ridge was “red hot” chumming and on the troll. At Hudson Canyon, “plenty of big eye are being hooked up” along with yellowfin, longfin, and mahi-mahi, a report from the shop said.
The Miss Belmar party boat fished off the west side of the Mud Hole on Thursday, chumming and chunking, and the hard work paid off. Fish were on before the boat was even able to get its anchor set, with five or six bites at a time being a common sight.
“The blues ranged anywhere from 8-14 lbs and both bait and jigs worked well,” Capt. Alan said in a report.
The boat sails daily for blues from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and every Friday and Saturday night from 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Fluke and blues were the targets in the suds, said Mario from Murphy’s Hook House in a report Thursday. The ocean was giving up both species as well as an occasional short bass at the time of dusk. Poppers, SP Minnows, Gator Spoons and Krokodils were all working. A classic bucktail tipped with Berkeley Gulp seemed to be a good option too, as it attracts multiple species. Similarly, the report from Grumpy’s also mentioned short bass beginning to show up locally.
“Most of the reports are around dusk with Clams and SP Minnows getting most of the credit,” Grumpy said.
Small to medium size blues were showing up all over the barrier island, according to the folks at The Dock Outfitters in Seaside Heights.
“Albies continue to slash in and out daily, so have a rod with a thin metal at the ready so you can react at a moments notice,” said John from the shop, in a report.
The blues were mainly chomping on mullet, he said, while the fluke were going after Gulp baits as usual.
Keep in mind that there is an important meeting coming up in Belmar on Sept. 30 where federal regulators will seek comments from the public on future management strategies for the summer flounder fishery. Check out our story from earlier in the week for some more information.
That will do it for this week. As always, send your catch photos, reports and more to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll use it in a future edition!