2018 NJ Fluke Fishing Regulations Are Set
Fluke – Summer Flounder
Open Season from May 25th to Sept 22, 2018: 18″ Minimum Size with a 3 fish bag limit. Special Exceptions: Delaware Bay (and Tributaries) 3 fish at 17″, Island Beach State Park 2 fish at 16″.
Black Sea Bass
May 15th to June 22nd: 10 fish at 12.5”
July 1st to August 31st: 2 fish at 12.5”
October 8th to October 31st: 10 fish at 12.5”
November 1st to December 31st: 15 fish at 13”
“At the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council meeting on April 5th, the (recreational) 2018 NJ Fluke Fishing Regulations as well as Black Sea Bass were set. However, problems might exist with the sea bass regulations as states to our north have filed an appeal with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. They threaten to go out of compliance. The process is pretty complicated but they are going after a portion of New Jersey’s quota. Depending on the outcome of the appeal our sea bass regulations may change. [Update: They did not change!] I will keep you posted as things develop further.” ~ Paul Haertel, Jersey Coast Anglers Association
A top priority for the JCAA was to close the gap between the fluke season close and the open of sea bass. This period of time (September) is a great time to enjoy fishing in the state of New Jersey. But government regulations in years past left inshore anglers with weeks of little to nothing. The 2017 NJ Fluke Season closed on September 5th and cut most all of the prime time inshore reef fishing. The early September close also kept surf anglers from working the suds. September is always a great month full of opportunities for fluke fishing and fortunately in 2018 NJ saltwater anglers will be able to enjoy.
Stepping back and taking a look, it’s great to see the same size and bag as last year. While three fish at 18″ isn’t a perfect world, it is a regulation that most can live with. What’s important to everyone is the additional days. The majority are very happy except some from the southern portion of the state who expressed disappointment. South Jersey fluke anglers really want an earlier start and you can’t blame them! The early season offers great backwaters fishing and anglers want to get in on the action.
Long Beach Island is unique and sort of caught in a pickle. Being centrally located we call ourselves South Jersey but technically we are South Central Jersey. LBI shares features of both its North Jersey and South Jersey coast neighbors yet still holds unique prowess. With both vast backwaters, two inlets, great surf fishing beaches and a strong network of inshore reefs, LBI’s surrounding waters offer some of New Jersey’s best fluke fishing early, mid and late season. The area is well known year in and year out for trophy doormats.
We are looking forward to the 2018 Fluke Fishing Season and hope you are too. Now’s the time to prep. The last couple of years bucktailing for fluke has exploded. For many many years sharpies were dialed in and out catching the fleets. However, in recent years more anglers learned and adapted the tap dancing technique. I would be willing to guess three quarters or more of fluke anglers bucktail.
Those looking to learn about bucktailing fluke (very different from targeting striped bass on bucktail lures) should stop by the shop and ask a Fish Head team member. We are here to help and share information.
The past few years our best selling (and out producing the imitators / competition) bucktail was the Spro Prime Bucktail Jig that we stock in a great assortment of fishy colors and in more sizes than possibly any tackle retailer in the country. We have Spro Bucktials from as large as 8oz for anglers working deep water or those fishing rough or heavy drift conditions to as light as Spro’s Baby and Mini Bucktail which go as light as 1/8 and 1/16oz. These little bucktail jigs have accounted for many double digit fish when rigged as a teaser.
For all of those DIY rig tyers, we have a large selection top quality hooks from Gamakatsu, Owner and Mustad as well as all of the hard to find components that are sure to set your rigs off from the rest.
Best Of Luck Fishing The 2018 NJ Fluke Season!