2024 NJ Fluke Fishing Regulations – Summer Flounder

Update March 8, 2024

The 2024 & 2025 New Jersey Fluke / Summer Flounder Fishing Regulations are as follows…

NJ Fluke Season is May 4th to September 25, 2024

This is a 145 day season (2023 was 149 days) which allows for both early season and late season fishing. This fills the demands of both North Jersey and South Jersey interests as well as land base, back bay and ocean going anglers. This regulation is for BOTH THE 2024 & 2025 SEASONS.

3 Fish at 18″ and larger

The minimum size of 18″ was a common length used for many years; 2008-2011, 2014-2021. A slot limit was used in ’22 and ’23 however science did not come back with positive date that supported continuing. Also the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) mandated a 28% cut. Out of 6 options that were approved after MAFMC Technical Committee review the option which the vast majority of the recreational fishing community supported ended up being chosen. This regulation is for BOTH THE 2024 & 2025 SEASONS.

Special Regulations

The special regulations for location specific areas in the state such as Delaware Bay (3 fish at 17″) and Island Beach State Park (2 fish at 16″) were left status quo for 2024. For those detailed specifics see the NJ Fish & Wildlife Digest or website.

Reduce Discard Mortality

If you can't keep it, save it. Reduce discard mortality and respect the species.

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.
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. Not only are effective, but bucktails are also one of the safest ways to catch and release fluke with minimal harm. Bucktails rarely gut hook a fish.

Author: FishHead.Greg

A Long Beach Island native with life long experience fishing and navigating the local waters, Greg is a distinguished Master Captain (the highest qualified operator license), holding a US Coast Guard Masters 50T Near Coastal License with Towing Endorsement. Raised in and now managing his family's bait and tackle business, Fishermans Headquarters (Since 1962, The Saltwater Fishing Bait & Tackle Experts) Greg is daily immersed in fishing. He is the Chief Contributor of FishingLBI.com (Long Beach Island's best fishing report blog) as well as the Admin for the shop's social media pages (on Instagram and Facebook). Be sure to follow!

9 thoughts on “2024 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.

    1. The problem with keeping “gut hooked” shorts is obvious. People would just keep shorts and claim they were guy hooked.

  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.

  5. Don’t feel bad, I’m a N.Y. fishermen. I fish the local waters with a small 18 footer. I’m fishing for Fluke in N.Y. waters for 19″ fish. I’m throwing back nice fat 18″ fish. OH what’s this pulling up to the spot I just drifted over. It’s a Jersey party boat fishing in N.Y. waters! What’s up with that? Let’s steal a few 18″ fish and run back over the boarder > See ya! All waters should have the same size limits and curl limits. I go to the Jersey side to fish it still has to be 19″. Not right!!!

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