2019 NJ Fluke Fishing Regulations – Summer Flounder

Update April 26, 2019

The NJ Summer Flounder aka Fluke Regulations are final. The fluke fishing season is open May 24th to September 21. There’s an 18″ minimum size with a 3 Fish Daily Bag Limit.

As per this chart there are some special regulations for location specific areas in the state.

When fishing for fluke (or any other species for that matter) please remember, “If you can’t keep it, save it!” It’s the anglers responsibility to take proactive measures in order to reduce discard mortality. It’s crucial to our fishery.

  • Plan Ahead: Always have a net and de-hooker aboard. Dehookers are a great tool for removing a hook from a fish’s mouth, especially fluke. We suggest the Old Salt Dehooker or Baker T-Handle Hook Out.
  • Use Appropriate Tackle: Classic long leader fluke rigs have a tendency to gut hook fish therefor we suggest targeting fluke with bucktail jigs. If using a long leader “classic fluke rig” it is recommended to use circle hooks in the 4/0-6/0 size range (if using j-hooks 5/0 to 7/0 hooks) to successfully land bigger fluke as well as reduce dead discard of undersized gut hooked fluke. When small fish are plentiful crush your hook barbs or rig up with barbless hooks.
  • Handle Fish With Care: It should go without saying, Always respect the fish you target, catch and release. Take the utmost care when handing fish and removing a hook. Time is of the essence so get the fish back in the water quickly. Ensure survival in anyway which sometimes calls for cutting the leader on a gut hooked fish.

Fish Smart! Future generations of anglers depends on our responsibility today.

We encourage any and all anglers in need of help or more information about fluke fishing to reach out and contact us at Fishermans Headquarters. We are here to help make you a better angler.

Fluke Love Bucktails! They are one of the most effective lures for targeting fluke all season. This early season fluke was caught drifting along a sod bank sitting right on a drop off.

Update April 17, 2019: 2019 NJ Fluke Fishing Regulations Are Still In The Works – Tuesday’s night (16th) meeting ended with a similar look to the previous year’s regulations. Now we wait for the commissioner to sign off…

Three Fish Bag at 18″ minimum size. The same season will be a very similar length with most likely an extra day or two…

Opening Day Friday May 24 – Closing on Saturday Sept 21

The location based “special regulations” will be just like last year; Delaware Bay (3 fish at 17″) as well as for the surf anglers of Island Beach State Park (2 fish at 16″).

Update March 7, 2019: At the March 7th NJ Marine Fisheries Council Meeting, Summer Flounder was one of many topics on the agenda. While dates, minimum size and bag limits were discussed… nothing was finalized.

Once the State sets the regulations they will be posted here.

Until then here’s what we can expect… Jim Hutchinson Jr. at The Fisherman, shared the following details about the possibilities of the New Jersey Summer Flounder (Fluke) Fishing Regulations. “At this point it looks like status quo for 2019. The NJDEP officials are still mulling over the options. In all likelihood we’ll have the same three fish bag at 18″ and the same season length (most likely Opening Day Will be Friday May 24, closing on Sept 21).”

Jim said, “We’ll have a full write up in the April edition of The Fisherman. It will spell out everything.”

6 thoughts on “2019 NJ Fluke Fishing Regulations – Summer Flounder”

  1. How come we in NJ have bigger size than DE and fish in the same spot. To be fair we here in NJ should be able to keep the same size and quality as DE We fish next to each other in the same water. It’s not fair. The commercial fisherman can take what they want and blame the relational fishermen.

    1. Hi Tom – Sorry I can not answer exactly why NJ’s and DE’s regulations differ. Each state does their thing based on mandates pushed down from Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Please note just like last year New Jersey has a special regulation for Delaware Bay (3 fish at 17″) as well as for the surf anglers of Island Beach State Park (2 fish at 16″).

      As far as the recreational vs commercial… the debate will always go on. We are all the same. Both recreational and commercial are strictly regulated. Commercial gets a quote and once filled they are done. Yes they get to keep smaller fish but it makes sense. Why throw back small ones to die when they can be kept. Their quota gets filled that much quicker getting them off the fluke grounds. If they were forced to an 18″ minimum size (like recreational) there would be far too many dead discard and they would be fishing many more hours/days putting unnecessary pressure on the stock.

    2. Tom
      The same situation applies to fishing in New York harbor. New York state regulations has summer flounder at 19″ and 3 fish while New Jersey regulations has them at 18″ and 3 fish.

  2. NJ is grouped with NY and I believe CT for the purpose of the quotas. DE is grouped with MD & VA. DE has a more favorable number based on the catches in their group versus NJ.

  3. So, then recreational fisherman should keep the fluke that are Gut Hooked their not going to survive either. Just saying.

  4. Why is it that the powers that be don’t realize with an 18 inch size limit that all of the fish that people are keeping are female? And that does not even account for the multitude of undersize fish that are released that do not survive. It seems to me that those making of the decisions have no concept of reality.

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