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KEEPING A TROPICAL EYE

Posted By Jim Hutchinson, Jr., September 2, 2019
KEEPING A TROPICAL EYE
Ten-year-old Robert Marchesano just got in his first “offshore trip” to Barnegat Ridge before the start of the new school year, scoring this nice king mackerel with dad Jeff aboard the family’s Bone Doctor out of Lavallette.
Now that September has officially arrived, it’s safe to say we’re fishing the final days of the 2019 fluke season (comes to an end in New Jersey on September 21). But looking at past experiences and recent reports, it’s also some of the very best days of the season. “Fluke fishing showed some better numbers of bigger fluke in the back bay waters and several boat captains told me it looks like the early week winds pushed the bigger fluke into lower New York Bay, the Arthur Kill and other back bay areas,” wrote North Jersey editor JB Kasper in this week’s New Jersey edition of The Fisherman. JB said he heard that fluke fishing also started to produce some better results in the ocean later in the week as waters settled down. “Cocktail blues provided decent fishing in the bay most of the week and late in the week bigger blues, albacore and bonito along with some keeper and short stripers and weakfish moved into the waters off Sandy Hook,” he said. In the Central Jersey region, field editor Ashley Viola said bait is thick which has led many to predict a good fall striper run. “They think this will keep the bass around longer than last fall,” Ashley said of the presence of bait locally, adding “Many anglers are already getting some schoolies at night or early morning on topwater and soft plastics, with a few keepers reportedly in the mix.” Ashley also reported that bluefish have been getting better and more numerous between Brielle and Beach Haven. In the South Jersey region, field editor Anthony Califano said winds “out of nowhere” affected many recent trips, however, those with the luxury of fishing any day/any time were able to pick the short weather windows “and scored well with flounder, mahi, bonito and blues,” according to Anthony. “The back bay fishing was also affected by all the wind this week with many anglers switching from flounder drifting to either crabbing or fishing for blowfish, croakers, and kingfish which were all in abundance,” Anthony wrote in his weekly summary in the printed weekly edition, available exclusively by mail to subscribers of The Fisherman Magazine. Don’t forget, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife will be hosting public hearings regarding the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Striped Bass Management Board approved Draft Addendum VI for public comment. The proposed measures include reduced quotas for commercial fisheries and changes in bag limits, minimum size limits, and slot limits for the recreational sector. Options for the use of circle hooks when fishing with bait to reduce release mortality are also included. For 6 p.m. hearings in New Jersey you have Tuesday, September 3 at Roselle Park Borough Hall in Roselle Park, NJ; on Wednesday, September 4 at the Ocean City Public Library in O.C., NJ, and then on Thursday, September 12 at Bay Avenue Community Center in Manahawkin, NJ.
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