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Fishing Friday: Reefs, River Where Anglers Are Finding Fluke

Fishing Report Sponsored By:
Pell's Fish & Sport
A doormat fluke caught on the Cock Robin party boat. (Photo: Cock Robin Crew)

A doormat fluke caught on the Cock Robin party boat. (Photo: Cock Robin Crew)

Fluking has taken off big time in the Shore area over the past week, with anglers telling us more keepers are in the mix than at any point thus far this season.

We’ll start super local.

“Fluking has been good on both the Sea Girt and Axel Carlons reefs with healthy, fat keepers mixed in with the shorts,” said Pete from Pell’s Fish and Sport on Mantoloking Road. “The Manasquan River also continues to hold its share of keepers with our regular customer Bob bringing in an 8 and 5 lb’er along with three other keepers just east of the railroad bridge.”

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This is about the point in the season when anglers in the Manasquan will be finding fluke migrating just a bit from the area west of the railroad bridge to more holes east of it, including the mussel beds that dot the channels in and around Flag Island. Watch the depth, but know there are some excellent spots if you can decipher the change in bottom features on your sounder.

One of the most fun fisheries of the summer – snapper blues – are beginning to show up all over the place, Pete said. They’re easily found at the Mantoloking Bridge as well as in the outflow of the Point Pleasant Canal, especially on the river side. Use bait or poppers to lure ’em in. Poppers make snapper fishing a ton of fun because they’ll go after the lure and attack it, giving a surprising fight.

Also: “Crabbing continues to be very good at the Mantoloking Bridge, Metedeconk River and all local lagoons,” Pete said.

In the suds, “Fluke by day, Sharks by night, sums up the fishing scene in our area,” said Jon from The Dock Outfitters in Seaside Heights. “The beach conditions have been great and weekday lighter crowds make things more enjoyable.”

Anglers scoring the best hits are those who keep their bait fresh. But the fluke have been falling big time to bucktail rigs tipped with Berkeley Gulp baits.

Likewise to the report from Pell’s, the folks at The Dock say crabbing is simply on fire everywhere.

“Fluke continue to be at the top of the list on the beaches with small Blues making an appearance,” said the folks at Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park. Night sharing is “impressive,” Grumpy said, while bay crabbing is “exceptional.”

Just for kicks, some have reported blowfish showing up behind Island Beach State Park, if anybody is looking to switch things up.

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