Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Sunday, June 10, 2012: The fluke have sprung. I’ve gotten reports of kick-ass catching near the inlets, including from the banks of The Dike (near Barnegat Inlet). The big thing is the size. Keepers include numerous flatties in the 20-inch and up range. I even had a report of “some of the best fluking I’ve ever seen” from a boat angler, north end.
The bassing is suffering a bit from the clean and (can you believe it?) warm water syndrome. The surf was near 70 degrees today. The beachfront suds are just a tad too sedate, laidback. It’s also problematic that bunker pods are everywhere, often with nary a striper stalking down below. Too much forage is never a good angling thing.
With 11 days to go until official summer, I’m having hard time trying to get a read on where – if anywhere – the fishing will go when the serious sultriness sets in. Obviously, most angling eyes will focus fully on fluke. Sounds good. I’m hoping we’ll finally have one of those years where hot nearshore drifting on the lumps and near artificial reefs means long cool sessions atop the ocean -- while scalding hot skies lean on the mainland.
Bluefish have shown again, particularly around Barnegat Inlet.
Plugging has slowed – and the few hookups have shrunk. I had two hand-holdable bass (mid-Island). Those are the bass so small you just reach your hand clean around them when unhooking. I hooked a fish that took some line before doing a hasta la vista. However, a bait fishermen had landed a larger bluefish hours earlier.
E-report: Jay: Got out this AM and north out of BI looking for bunker. Nothing until I got 1/2 mile south of the bathing beach. Snagged and drooped but nothing happening. I kept moving from pod to pod and finally hooked up. One fish but worth it. 39-11. Worked my way back to the inlet but nothing doing on pods that were not there in the early AM. Tried fishing the bunker on the inside of the north jetty but the piranhas trimmed my bunker down to the heads. Walt.
My wife and I limited out on fluke. We had enough fillets for a big family dinner. 12 of us. I wanted t let you know that I cooked a few of the smaller fluke whole. I was able to remove the flesh like a professional. Just watch out for the heat. I‘ll always do that from now on. Kev.
(Oh, yeah, I shoulda mentioned that pulling back that skin can get a tad scaldy. J-mann)
Striper fishing continued to be slow through the early part of the week, prompting many of us to begin speculating on whether it really could be coming to an early close this year. But by late Thursday the big girls had moved back in and found the bunker again, and it's been game on for jumbo stripers out in front of Island Beach State Park for the past few days. Largest fish of the week honors went to George Selph (again) with a 45 pound bass that inhaled a live bunker on Saturday's trip. This week also brought us our first decent showing of bluefish along the beach, ranging in size from 1-3 pound snappers up to 10-12 pound choppers. On the bay, fluke fishing has started to show signs of life now that our slime grass problem has started to diminish so we'll be targeting the flatties more over the coming weeks. Time to go fishing!
Until next week.
Capt. Jack Shea
Barnegat Bay Fishing Charters
Here is the press release for the 18th Annual JCAA Fluke Tournament. If you have any questions give me a call. Please feel free to forward or post these results. To see the port winner and comparisons you need to open the attached file since it does not format well in a email.
The 18th Annual JCAA Tournament took place on June 9th, 2012. Everyone reported having a terrific time. The Tournament had 397 boats competing in 10 ports. This was the lowest number of entries which means the participating boats had the best chance ever to win a port prize. We were competing against the greatest early striped bass season ever. The 10 port prizes are listed below.
The largest fish weighed in was 9lbs 8oz and was caught by Tony Botti from Aberdeen and weigh-in at Shark River. Fortescue had the smallest fish qualifying for a port prize weighing in at 2.12lb. Cape May had only eight legal fish weighed in this year. This means if you enter the tournament at that port and caught a legal fish you could have taken the last two places. You can find a comparison of total fish weighed in 2011 vs 2012 and the port prize winners and in the charts at the end of this press release. Shark River also had the largest Striped Bass weighing 42lb 8oz caught by Billy Mayfield from Point Pleasant.
In 2012 we had 40 qualifying fish over 5 lbs. This year the smallest fish was again was 2.12 lbs. Three ports did not have a fish over 5lbs. As you can see, the total weight of summer flounder that qualified for 10 port prizes for 2011 was 484.08 pounds. In 2012 the total weight was 485.76, less than 1 pound difference. It will be interesting to see the JCAA survey returns, to discover what the throwback ratio was and how many keepers were actually caught. Anglers will have an opportunity to give JCAA feedback about how the tournament is organized and also to suggest any changes that might enhance their experience. Surveys will be mailed to current and past participants, so anglers can tell us how to improve this tournament.
This annual tournament provides funds to help the Jersey Coast Anglers Association continue its fight to protect the marine resource, fund summer flounder research and fight for the rights of recreational anglers. JCAA deals with many issues. Currently we continue the fight to get the pots off the reef, Hook on Fishing Drugs Bill and to guarantee public access.
Golden Nugget is the host for the 18th Annual Jersey Coast Fluke Tournament Gala Awards Ceremony. The Golden Nugget invites tournament entrants to come and enjoy their facilities both before and after the award ceremony. You can meet JCAA Executive Board members and representatives from our sponsors. We will be working with the Golden Nugget to provide an even greater evening at next year’s awards ceremony.
This is your chance to win the $5,000 Grand Prize. In fact, 14 of the last 17 Grand Prize winners did not weigh in a qualifying port prize fish in the tournament. Someone from your boat must be present to win the Grand Prize and any of the dozens of great door prizes.
We want to thank all tournament participants and especially our sponsors for making the tournament a success. Our nationally known sponsors include West Marine, Penn Reels, Spiderwire Braided Line, Berkeley Gulp Bait, Interlux Yacht Paint, Costa Sunglasses, Minn-Kota Trolling Motors, Nor’East Saltwater Magazine and Golden Nugget AC. One of the $1,200 First Place Port Prizes were sponsored by Fisherman’s Headquarters (for Long Beach Island) and the remaining ports by the JCAA. Jersey Coast Fluke Tournament T-shirts and hats will be on sale as long as supplies last.
The JCAA Fluke Tournament GRAND PRIZE Registration will be at the Golden Nugget. Follow the signs to find the registration site. We will be in the Grand Ballroom. Registration is between 1 PM and 7:45 PM. If you have Golden Nugget Card you will receive a $5 Dinner coupon. If you don’t you can get one that night and get the $5 coupon. At least one person from your boat must be in attendance at the time of the drawing in order to win a prize. We expect a wonderful turnout. Please come early. Please bring your registration affidavit to save yourself time at the registration desk. There will be a cash bar in the room. All winning numbers will be announced in the ballroom. We will also be distributing the port prizes for those in attendance. The registration desk will issue one ticket which is good for both the Grand Prize and for the door prizes. We really appreciate both your participation and patience and are sure everyone will have a great time.
For the past eight years the JCAA has conducted a survey of angling success vs. effort during our annual fluke tournament. The data gathered has provided valuable insight into the success of anglers in ports from Jersey City to Fortescue. This year we will again conduct the survey but will offer anglers the opportunity to complete the survey on line. The survey can be found atwww.surveymonkey.com/s/KJ57R27 or go to the JCAA webpage (http://jcaa.org/) for the link. You will need your boat registration number and can only complete the survey once. When you are finished fishing on June 15 simply go to the site and enter your actual data. All those who fill out the report on line by Thursday, June 14th will be entered into a drawing for a free entry into next year’s tournament. Only surveys done on line will qualify for this additional prize.
First Place: $1,200
Second Place: Penn Battle BTL5000 spinning reel with an Allegiance
Inshore rod, Penn 320gt rod and reel combo with 2 spools of Spiderwire
braid line and 2 packages of Berkley Gulp bait
Third Place: West Marine $300 Gift Card
Fourth Place: Minn Kota Battery Charger
Fifth Place: Costa Sunglasses, and accessories
Sixth Place: Penn Battle BTL 5000 spinning reel with an Allegiance Inshore rod, 2 spools of Spiderwire braid line and 2 packages Berkle Gulp bait
Seventh Place: One gallon of Interlux Micron CSC bottom paint, Interlux boat soap and wax
Eight Place: Penn 320gt rod and reel combo with 2 spools of Spiderwire braid line and 2 packages Berkley Gulp bait
Ninth Place: Donated by Nor'East Saltwater Magazine, Abu Garcia 7000i reel and boat soap
Tenth Place: Allegiance rod and Saltwater Sportsman's bag with boat soap, fishing line, and more