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Posted By Jim Hutchinson, Jr., July 6, 2020
John Creely was fishing out of Cape May on Friday with his buddy Anthony DeAndreas and found mixed action, with Spanish mackerel near Five Fathoms trolling Clarke spoons and a fluke nearer shore on salmon red Gulp. John also reported some weakies on squid and bluefish on the troll at the Cape May Reef.

“Well the Independence Day holiday has come and gone and the heart of the summer is upon us,” noted JB Kasper, our North Jersey field editor here at The Fisherman. In compiling this week’s fishing reports for TheFisherman.com and our weekly online digital edition for subscribers, we heard mostly the same thing throughout the state; a lot activity on Thursday and Friday for the holiday weekend, a bit less pressure on July Fourth, and another uptick in participation on Sunday. We’re still looking for a big uptick in fluke action however!

“Fluke fishing, while on the rise, is still not what it should be for this time of the year,” Kasper noted on Sunday, adding “That being said another 12-pound plus doormat fluke made the reports this week, second week in a row; there seems to be some better numbers of fluke holding just off and down from Sandy Hook.” Those fishing in the northern part of the NJ/DE Bay edition might want to add porgy to the list of available options, as the action has been solid on the north side of Raritan Bay with some real hubcaps eclipsing the 3-pound mark in some areas.

“So far, July has brought some warm weather, pushing in the bigger keeper fluke for folks to get out at the local wrecks and reefs,” said Central Jersey reporter Ashley Viola this week, who said sea bass and ling are also filling coolers. “The first report of Spanish mackerel has come through,” Ashley said, while adding “There is still talk of stripers, but it has slowed down a bit. Blues up to 3 pounds are being caught all over the surf and bay.”

An even more optimistic report on Spanish mackerel in the central region came through later on Sunday afternoon when Beach Talk columnist Nick Honachefsky got late-breaking word from Jason at Fishermen’s Supply about Spanish mackerel around Manasquan Inlet. “Macks were all over the Squan and Point area on Sunday as Hogy epoxys and deadly Dicks connected with the speed demons,” Nick said. For details on targeting this summer speedsters look for Nick’s article in the July edition of The Fisherman on newsstands and at tackle shops now.

According to South Jersey reporter Anthony Califano, anglers in Atlantic and Cape May Counties were treated to a wide bounty of fish in South Jersey over the holiday weekend. “The beaches and jetties are holding kingfish in good numbers while some anglers were surprised to hook up with a flounder, weakfish or even a black drum on their kingfish tackle,” Anthony noted, while reporting that the summer flounder bite is split between the back bays, the inlets and the reef sites. “Although there are still plenty of keeper fish in the back bays, there are also a ton of shorts to pick through,” Anthony said, advising “For a better keeper ratio, the reef sites are the place to be.” If you're sticking to the back bays, try the cooler, incoming tide.

For those looking to score a few summer exotics in South Jersey away from the beach, try trolling Clarke spoons around Wildwood Reef, Cape May Reef or along Five Fathom Bank.

Looking for a Spanish mackerel recipe?  Check out my father's "Fish Surprise" recipe on page 15 in this week's NJ/DE Bay edition of The Fisherman.   

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