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JERSEY SHORE FLUKING HEATS UP

The Fourth of July holiday has already gotten underway for some folks, and you can bet there will be plenty of anglers looking to use the mid-week vacation day as an opportunity to get onto some heavy duty fluking.
By Jim Hutchinson, Jr.  |  July 2, 2018
JERSEY SHORE FLUKING HEATS UP
Kevin Newberg of Avon caught his 13-pound doormat in the Shark River on Friday morning using Gulp on a jighead. Weighed in at Fisherman's Den South in Belmar, a Dream Boat entry station for subscribers to The Fisherman.

In our weekly reports at The Fisherman compiled on Sunday night, July 1, it appears that both the bay and ocean fluking alike are beginning to finally take shape as we enter the Fourth of July holiday week at the Jersey Shore.

“Fluke is king right now as we swing into summer season,” said Bob Matthews at the Fisherman’s Den in Belmar this week, reporting to our North Jersey Field Editor JB Kasper that fluke fishing has been “going like gangbusters” in Shark River and around the inlet itself. Tops on the list for the week was the 13-pound, 4-ounce doormat for Kevin Newberg of Avon, NJ using a jighead tipped with Gulp.

While many of the latest fluke reports can be found online at TheFisherman.com, subscribers will get even more details this week in their printed edition on the big fluke coming out of other areas along the coast as well, including the 9.55-pound monster fluke for Leonard Grieco of Clark, NJ who nailed his trophy in the Manasquan over the weekend and weighed in at Hoffman’s Marina in Brielle.

“Fluke fishing is in full swing in the bay,” said Joey Mitchell of Lacey Marine in Forked River this week, saying keepers are coming from areas in Barnegat Bay as well out front on the ocean grounds, with nicer fish in the 5-pound not uncommon. “Hot lures for these fluke include bucktails in the chartreuse and white color along with pink,” Mitchell said, adding that “6-inch Gulp grubs seem to be pulling the bigger fish compared to the usual 4-inch swimming mullet.”

Though south winds made for tough conditions over the weekend, those who were able to beat wind against tide and put themselves in good drifts were able to put together catches. In Ocean City, Ed Bronstein at Fin-Atics said weekend action was primarily out back in about 10 to 12 feet of water, with the switch to incoming tide with cooler, cleaner water providing some of the best catches on a mix of minnows, squid, fresh mackerel strips or Gulp.

While continued reports pile up from the back bays and sounds of South Jersey and the Delaware coast, a few anglers have also been hitting the ocean structure in search of a few bigger fish. “The Old Grounds produced flounder today,” reported Amanda Morris at Lewes Harbour Marine in Delaware. Amanda went on to report this week that summer flounder were also being caught out of the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal on squid and minnows or bucktails tipped with Gulp!

Entering the first week of July, we also begin to see a host of summer fluke tournaments being held. As noted in his report this week, Greg Cudnik of Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom, NJ noted how the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club’s recent Inshore/Bay Tournament produced good fish including the winning 4.36-pound fluke for Mark Parker aboard the ABC.

If you’re looking to get into a little bit of tournament action from off Barnegat Inlet to Great Egg, and along any bay in between, the 21st Annual Sunshine Foundation Family Fun Day and Fishing Tournament will be held on Saturday, July 7. The captains meeting will be held on Friday at 6 p.m. at the American Legion Post #493 on 420 Radio Road in Little Egg Harbor, NJ. Tournament crews have the choice of fishing for fluke or bluefish, or both with cash prizes totaling $3000 awarded to the top three finishers ($800, $400, $200) based on combined weight of the two heaviest of the species.

Entry fee $70 and the tournament itself runs from sunrise Saturday with weigh-in from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. sharp at the American Legion Post #493. All funds raised from the tournament go to the Sunshine Foundation which provides 79.6% in direct benefits to help fulfill the dreams and wishes of terminally ill, chronically ill, physically challenged and abused children. Pick up an application this week at Great Bay Marina, Scott’s Bait & Tackle, West Creek Bait & Tackle, Skinner’s Marina, Grizz’s Bait & Tackle, Cape Horn Marina, Capt. Mike’s Marina and Tuckerton Seaport.

For more information call Tom at 732-267-6451 or Frank at 908-380-8491.

Don't forget, active subscribers to The Fisherman Magazine also qualify for entry in our Dream Boat Fishing Challenge; get full details with complete set of rules and our current leaderboard to learn more.

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