Fluke Fishing Central Jersey Reefs

Here’s a short update on the local fishing, more specifically an update on the fluke fishing in the ocean. But first…

Public Service Announcement from Captain Brian Williams – Through education we can prevent ghost fishing and stop trashing the reefs! When snagged up, don’t cut above the water line. Break off! A straight pull will eliminate blowing up your rod. If using spinning tackle make sure the spool is down in its lowest oscillation position. This way the spool shaft doesn’t bend from excessive pressure. It’s best to have a dowel onboard for breaking off purposes. A couple quick wraps and it’s an easy pull to break off the proper way. Most of the time you’ll straighten the hook or break knot on the mono leader. This allows to gather and remove the length of braided line from the water.

Through education we can prevent ghost fishing and stop trashing the reefs! When snagged up, don't cut above the water line. Break off!

 

Store staffer Kelley Lutz fluke fishing with his lucky Hawaiian shorts.
Store staffer Kelley Lutz with his lucky Hawaiian shorts and a 23″ fluke.

Before work on Sunday Blake, Kelley and I put a couple hours in on the water. Since it was a quick trip we chose to focus on the BL reef. The site has been active with great fluke fishing the past week. We arrived, had a great drift and were instantly into bites. On our first drift Kelley got a thick 23″ fluke. For the next hour or so all of us were carefully releasing undersize fish and fighting to get through the piles of sea robins, sea bass and skates. Absolutely mowing through Gulp and natural baits! A number of the undersized were good healthy thick ones with fat bellies. About 5 five were right at the 18″ mark but went back to grow up. It would have been nice to have a full day trip on the grounds but it just wasn’t in the cards because we had to be back at the shop. Finished the day with only one true keeper fluke as well as one 15.5″ black sea bass.

Black sea bass are on the reefs but few are keepers. Here's one 15.5" sea bass that went for a live minnow.

Sonny Shepanski was on the water too. He started off in the same area and picked away. He said, “There’s tons of sea robins and skates but we managed to get five keepers in the low 20″ range. We had a strong showing of shorts. The Gulp nuclear chicken grub was the top killer. Also the classic meat strip and squid/minnow sandwich did well.”

The past week, the Carolyn Ann III has been on the meat! Were you there? You should have been! All joking aside that’s a serious spread of fluke! August is a great month for fluke fishing. Jump aboard and enjoy your day on the water.

Awesome catch fluke fishing from the boyz aboard the Carolyn Ann III.
Awesome catch from the boyz aboard the Carolyn Ann III

 

Chris Siegert sent in this photo… “Great day on the water fluke fishing with Manic Sportfishing! 20+ fish this size… Thanks for setting us up Fish Heads!”

 

Chris Siegert with one of many quality keeper fluke. He had a solid day fluke fishing the ocean.
Chris Siegert with one of many quality keeper fluke.

 

Grey Colsten reports, “Tons of small blues in the surf. They took over the suds so targeting kings is difficult. I’m only catching one or two kingfish each trip. The snapper blues are so aggressive, I can’t keep a bait set. There’s some big blues around too! Chunking bunker in search of a ray or shark… ended up getting a gator! There’s some guys fluke fishing the surf but the area I’m fishing doesn’t have a ton. Head up to the north end if you want to fluke fish the surf.”

Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters – Barnegat bay, inlet and ocean fishing report.

Can you really catch stripers in August? Yes, YOU can ! Because I know how! Keepers? Of course are another question all together. Anglers seeking a coveted Barnegat Bay Grand Slam continue to jump aboard the Reel Fantasea because we “ARE” “THE” inshore light tackle specialists! We won’t take the “easy day” of endless drifts for fluke because we teach and coach as we go, this is “all hand’s on fishing” with you and yours until trips end.

Both novice and veteran anglers aboard the Reel Fantasea continue their fast paced action within minutes of the dock with a mix of characters encountering Visible and competing slammer blues to upper double digits, non-stop fluke action [ literally] , and stripers for the savvy or astute students and devoted anglers.
Barnegat Bay Grand Slams [ striper, bluefish, fluke and weakfish ]  have been challenging but Barnegat Bay Slams have been regularly score for aboard the Reel Fantasea!
Enjoying your hard earned vacation time on LBI and don’t want to sacrifice family time but yearn “to the bend a rod” with a salty opponent before heading back home? Well jump aboard the fishiest boat around!!
Wishing everyone fair winds and calm seas,
Capt. Steve Purul
Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters
  

Fluke Fishing LBI Is On Fire!

The storm last weekend produced days of north east winds. At the time only surfers jonsin’ for swell rejoiced. Right now anglers can look back and see those weather days were worth it! The onshore winds created a downwelling event. The sun warmed surface waters pushed into the shore and down into deeper areas of the ocean. This ignited the inshore fluke fishing in the local Long Beach Island area and the surrounding waters.

 

Fish are actively feeding on the local reefs and open bottom areas. Were these fish present for the past month, sluggish due to cold bottom temperatures and just not biting? Very well possible!

Two things came together; time and temperature! Time – August is when most of the summer flounder local biomass move out of the bays. On their way out fluke move into the inshore areas that offer structure or forage. Sometimes this is on the reefs and wrecks or open sandy bottoms where bait like sandeels and crabs are easy pickings. Temperature – August is the year’s warmest combined air and water temperatures. Fluke in warm waters actively feed with a quick metabolism. Best of all they are aggressive.

 

This receipt is something all anglers love and can really use more of! Looking at the forecast it might stick around… North winds Tuesday, then east Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. A lot can change so now is go time! Get out and catch fluke!!!

 

Yesterday went down as the Fishiest Fluke Friday of the 2017 season. All day the shop was filled with anglers raving on the solid fishing. Literally selling boxes of fluke rigs, hooks, bucktails, teasers, Gulp and bait! ***Make sure you stop in and get a free Flounder Sample Pack of hooks! Thanks to Eagle Claw and the NJ Fish & Wildlife for the public awareness campaign “If you can’t keep it save it!” We all need to do our part to help protect undersized fluke.fishinglbi.com/2017/07/27/come-get-free-hooks-supplies-last/

 

Now today backs up yesterday with another solid set of reports. Here’s the low down from various anglers who shared.

 

Heres Jacob Bowles with a nice fluke!        

Jacob Bowles was on the water on Friday. He reported it wasn’t the best day out there for us but managed to get a 23” five pounder! We got out a little late in the morning and fished three hours. We worked over hard structure and managed to catch ‘em. Got the largest on a Magic Tail rigged with a big grub.”

 

Kevin Hughes was also on the water fluke fishing Friday. He reported solid fishing “We hit a two man limit in just over three hours of fishing. They want snappers!” Look at this fluke!

 

Chris O’neil got two 20” fluke yesterday with the old school high low with live minnow. He reported fishing Little Egg Inlet.

 

Many other report flowed in from the reefs and Inlet.

 

Today was the 23rd Annual Jersey Coast Anglers Association Fluke Tournament. Since the early days, Fisherman’s Headquarters has been a proud sponsor of the event and honored to be the Port Long Beach Island Weigh Station. Founded in 1981, the JCAA is one of the country’s best groups fighting for the recreational saltwater anglers of New Jersey. The JCAA offers anglers a strong voice on the state and federal level. The hard working group is responsible for many major accomplishments in fisheries management issues. One of the most important wins was achieving game fish status for striped bass in New Jersey. This fight continues today at the federal level. The JCAA also helped control commercial overfishing of menhaden, a vital forage in coastal waters. More recently and crucial to this summer’s fishery, the JCAA pressured the Mid-Atlantic Council and NOAA to reevaluation the way summer flounder are managed. The group defended NJ’s regulations and is one of the main reasons we have the season and limit this year. We encourage all anglers to learn more about the JCAA and fisheries new by checking out their website atwww.JCAA.org

 

Weigh-In log for the…

2017 JCAA Fluke Tournament Port LBI

*** UNOFFICIAL ***

 

PORT LOG – 2017 JCAA FLUKE TOURNAMENT – 08/05/2017
Port: Long Beach Island – Weigh Station: Fisherman’s Headquarters
Place Entry Number Registered Angler’s Name Caught By Angler’s Name Caught By Angler’s Hometown, State Weight (lbs) Length (in) Weigh-In Time
1 244 Werner, David Werner, David Manahawkin, NJ 6.720 24.875″ 4:32:00 PM
2 x?x Howell, Martin Frazer, Rob Tuckerton, NJ 5.880 23.75″ 4:40:00 PM
3 134 Wolfberg, Jack Wolfberg, Jack Fort Washington, NJ 5.790 23.25″ 4:32:00 PM
4 94 Hooven, Christopher Hooven, Christopher Medford, NJ 5.390 24.25″ 3:14:00 PM
5 66 Rust, Edward Rust, Edward Cherry Hill, NJ 5.050 22.25″ 2:50:00 PM
6 106 Cliver, Kevin Cliver, Kevin Sellersville, PA 5.000 23″ 4:15:00 PM
7 124 Schell, Dr.Paul Makitra, Gene Barnegat, NJ 4.960 22.75″ 4:25:00 PM
8 104 DePalma, Vito McKinnon, Gordon Lewis, DE 4.840 22.25″ 4:25:00 PM
9 217 Paolella, Dean Paolella, Dean Springfield, NJ 4.790 23″ 2:00:00 PM
10 95 Phillips, Richard Phillips, Steven Pemberton, NJ 4.340 23.125″ 4:30:00 PM
11 253 Vitale, Bruce Vitale, Bruce Toms River, NJ 3.830 21.25″ 4:35:00 PM
12 24 Partyka, Bruce Partyka, Bruce Manahawkin, NJ 2.900 20″ 2:55:00 PM

 

Dave and Friend with the winning fish.
Dave Werner weighed in the largest fluke today. Heres Dave and friend with the winning fish.

Dave Werner of Manahawkin fished the BL Inlet with live bait and caught 7 keepers today. His largest weighed in at 6.72 pounds and was big enough to win the JCAA Port Long Beach Island.

 

Martin Howell and Rob Frazer of Tuckerton were out on the Garden State South Reef today. They caught five keeper fluke on the bucktail and Gulp combo. Their largest weighing in at 5.88 pounds. The crew mentioned they were fishing right beside George Poveromo aboard the Marc VI. It’s nice to see George fishing our local water. Hopefully they were filming! It would be great to see another episode of George fishing the waters of LBI.

 

Christopher Hooven did very good on the BL Reef.

Christopher Hooven of Medford reported the BL Reef produced lots of shorts as well as four keeper fluke (largest 5.39 pounds) and one keeper sea bass. He said live snappers were the hot bait.

“Captain Flattie” Ed Rust got some really nice fish, 7 keepers!

“Captain Flattie” Ed Rust of Cherry Hill and Bill Rust fished the BL Reef and did good. Bucktail rigged with Gulp did the trick for the guys, catching about 50 fish with 7 keepers.

Dean Paolella caught six fish drifting Spro bucktails.

Dean Paolella of Springfield, NJ got six fish drifting Spro bucktails off of Seaside’s open sand bottom. His largest was 4.79 pounds.

 

Most of the weigh ins were caught in the ocean, but a couple good report came in from the bay. Kevin Cliver of Sellersville, PA got six keepers on live minnow fishing the bay. Bruce Partyka of Manahawkin caught 28 fluke with three keepers up to 2.9 pounds. Bruce said he focused on the north end of LBI’s bayside waters. He fished Double Creek and the Inlet with natural and artificial baits.

 

Here’s some reports from offshore anglers fishing bluewater.

Captain Jeff Warford reported an awesome trip to the edge. “On our latest canyon trip (8/3/17) we saw some of the best action in years. It was EPIC!!! It’s the only way to describe the trip. 20+ tunas in the 55-75 pound class, 36 mahi and 33 tilefish up to 21 pounds. The troll was just on fire. They were smoking spreaderbars. While hooked up the cleared lines dangling lures from the riggers were hanging yellowfin that were leaping air born. They were hanging themselves.

 

Another solid report came from Steve Fernandez aboard the Five Seas. “A bunch of yellowfin to 70 pounds some huge tile fish two makos and some mahi and a lone monkfish! It was an action packed trip.”

Heres Steve Fernandez with a big golden tilefish.

Store staffer Dan D split out of town to head up the Mass to get into the solid tuna bite. He went up and had a great time. He hooked an 88” slob and said, “These feeds are sites you can not even dream about!”

 

Reel Reaction Charters – Fishing Report

It has been an absolute banner year for Fluke and now the ocean is really starting to heat up.  The ocean is definitely holding much better ratios of keepers to shorts and we like fishing a variety of structure to put them on the deck.  The Bay is still very active, but your approaching much higher amounts of short Fluke with ratios at 15-20 to 1.  I’m still waiting for the bay Blowfish bite to start as this makes for perfect trips for the little ones.  But right now, it’s all about quality Fluke in the ocean.  Reminder: We continue to run 7 days a week until September and we are now starting to book our Fall Striped Bass trips.

With an Ocean planned for this week, my wife Jennifer, Luke and I scouted out a couple of my choice areas.  With our 1st drift, Luke boated the first keeper at 18.5 inches. We scored keeper Fluke on the next few drifts to 6 pounds. We finished in the bay and boated two more keepers to 5 pounds. Jen was the high hook catching 5 out of our 7 keepers (18.5, 19, 19, 20, 23, 23, 24). Awesome day on the water with the family!! I think the Ocean is ready for charters!

Next, I had Mike Edwards, Tom Heisroth, and Neil Ringel on a 4hr Bay/Inlet charter. We concentrated our efforts just in and just outside the inlet. Even with outgoing tide conditions, the guys released close to 30 Fluke and had 3 keepers (18.5, 20, 21.5 inches). They worked the S&S BigEye bucktails tipped with natural bait. Great job!

During midweek, I had Dan Perlman, his wife Melissa, and their 3 boys (Aaron-age 12, Brody-age 10, and Elijah-age 7) on a 4hr Bay/Inlet charter. We worked some of the same areas as the day prior and had the same tidal conditions (outgoing). With all three boys new to bucktailing and saltwater Fluke fishing, they did a pretty good job catching 23 Fluke with two keepers (18, 19.5). There is nothing better than seeing kids catch fish!

I had Matt Windover of Philadelphia, PA and Charles Jack of Limerick, PA on a 5hr Ocean charter. We started working an area close to home and only had one keeper after multiple drifts. With little to no drift, we headed out to some a few deeper snags and it was “Game On”!  Matt and Charles boxed 9 keepers to 6.5 pounds. Charles caught his personal best at 26 inches and weighing 6.5 pounds.  It’s not everyday that you play catch and release on keepers for the last hour. Great day on the water!

I had return client Tom Dillon and his son Tommy on a 4hr Bay & Inlet charter. We worked some areas close to the inlet and the father-son team caught close to 40 Fluke with two keepers at 3.5 pounds (20in) and 5 pounds (23in). New Jersey Fish & Wildlife was doing surveying at Bobbie’s Boats in Barnegat Light (charter pickup/dropoff location) and weighed each fish as part of their survey.  All fish were caught on the S&S BigEye tipped with artificials.

If interested in booking a charter, book through the website (www.reelreactioncharters.com) or call/text 609-290-7709. As always, we use the highest quality gear and everything is included: gear, tackle, fish-cleaning, and ICE!  It’s “no worries” fishing.  Just come aboard and FISH.

Capt. Brett Taylor ~ www.reelreactioncharters.com ~ Call or Text: 609-290-7709

Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters – Barnegat Bay, inlet and Ocean fishing report

The 2017 summer fishing season continues to offer excellent light tackle fishing opportunities for both novice and veteran anglers aboard the Reel Fantasea!

Anglers are minutes away from drag burning, rod bending action from the dock! No long boat rides, no long days away from the family , no boring trolling waiting and hoping while starring endlessly at rods along the transom, this is all hand on fishing! Plenty of action is available at your wanting all within minutes of departure and can be customized to your needs as we offer 3,4,5 hour trips available for those who want to get out fishing but not commit to an “all day affair”.
If waking up to greet the sunrise and the new day or jumping out after dinner for a “happy hour special” and be back in time for time with the family works for you come jump aboard the Reel Fantasea ! Looking for more on the brine? No problem select a longer day of “catching”
Big Slammer blues continue to entertain and test our anglers skill, endurance and tackle with slammer  blues regularly reaching the lower teens (pounds)!
Tons of flounder a.k.a fluke are very abundant with several “fish on” with every drift with keepers hitting the ice on a regular basis as well. The action matches well for our younger anglers that maybe looking for a little “less from their quarry” but still looking to participate with hands fun.
Inshore snags and wrecks offer up excellent “instant” action with a wide variety of host such as seabass, porgies, blackfish, trigger fish, bergals,,,,,,(?) for our younger anglers as well.
wishing everyone fair winds and calm seas,
Captain Steve Purul
Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters

August Is A Great Time To Be Fishing LBI

August starts off with a bang! Good weather conditions have allowed anglers to get out and fish the waters of Long Beach Island. Positive reports are flowing from inshore, offshore and from shore anglers. Here is the update on the August fishing LBI has to offer.

LBI Fluke Fishing Report:

If looking for large fluke, this is the month! In late summer fluke stack up in the Inlets, beach fronts and near shore structures. Bottom fishing the open bottom sandy areas as well as the local reefs and wrecks are producing. Quality fishing right now from the Barnegat Inlet, the local reef sites and the waters from the Bather’s Beach to the Pier.

Doormat fluke!
Here’s a Long Beach Island doormat caught by Michael Petruzziello with Captain Alex of Lighthouse Sportfishing!

Captain Alex aboard Lighthouse Sportfishing put his client Michael Petruzziello on this 30” 10 pound 2 ounce doormat. It went for a live snappers in the Inlet. Captain Alex reported, “This is the second true doormat I have put clients on in the last three years. The last fish was a monster weighing in at 11.5 pounds which fell for a live peanut bunker.” Large fluke want big live baits!!!”

Here’s an update from two of Long Beach Island’s local party boats fishing out of Barnegat Light. After reading the recent update from both boats we all will agree now is the time to get out and go fluke fishing.

Here’s the Miss Barnegat Light’s fishing report from Captain Lou… “After the weekend’s northeast blow, the fluke fishing aboard the Miss Barnegat Light rebounded quickly. Even on Sunday, while the ocean was still settling, we had a fair amount of keepers. The last couple of days we have had great action. Some anglers are limiting. There’s a good mix of keepers to throwbacks. Seems like things are progressing nicely as we enter August. The squid and spearing combos as well as bucktails with Gulp of various colors have done the trick. So far this week, the pool winners are ranging 3 to 6 pounds.

Four large fluke caught aboard the CA3
Now those are some nice fluke. August is a great time to jump aboard a party boat and drift up some dinner.

The Carolyn Ann III reports, “The bite is on! The fishing is and has been good on recent trips. Some beautiful fish and limits to be had. Get out now while the catching is good!” Here’s a photo of a recent angler on the CA3 with two nice fish!

fluke always fall for a bucktail with Gulp!
Zach M with one of many nice fluke he caught jigging Gulp!

Zach Michot reported a solid day fishing with Capt Paul Haertel and Bill Browne, “Good day on the fluke grounds. The Magictail bucktail jigs with Gulp was the bomb! We finished the day with our three man limit of fluke and sea bass. Released a handful of keepers to catch another day!
Adrift Sportfishing reported an epic trip, “Seven fluke over six pounds largest was 8.8 pounds!”

 

The land based duo of David and Alex Ho are dialed in and on the fluke. As reported on the July 30th report, amongst other keepers David got a 28” 9.24 pounder and Alex a 23.25” 5.2 pounder. These are some serious fluke for land based anglers and a great feat for landing on the rocks. Congrats gentlemen!

 

Fish Finder Frank Foley stopped in recently and shared a report, “We enjoyed the day on the water fishing. The bluefish were snapping in the Inlet. Full on feasting on mini snappers. They were crushing poppers on top. It was crazy watching the voracious cannibals. In the area we did good with tog and fluke too.”

 

Speaking of bluefish… Grey Colston just got this gator bluefish off the surf! Good size blues are still cruising both the surf as well as the Inlet. Fluke and kingfish are also in the suds. This morning Rob Vallone tried for kingfish but got run over by snappers.

 

As per our last report resident striped bass are around. The small linesiders are hanging around the lagoons and bayside docks chasing bait. It’s plentiful with both peanut bunker, spearing, mullet and mini snapper blues. Anglers are having fun at night fishing small lures Try a small lead head rigged with a grub or split tail plastic. ¼ oz bucktails and 3” swim shads are also great choices.

LBI Shark Fishing Report:

The local warm summer waters are full of sharks! They are literally everywhere from the inshore waters and surf zone as well as the bay. We suggest not swimming in murky water especially if you have an open wound. It’s said that swimming with jewelry isn’t the best idea either.

 

While these brown sharks (sand bar shark), sand tigers and black tips are plentiful they are not out hunting humans. They’re just cruising and enjoying the waters of LBI like everyone else. If interested in catch and release fishing the largest game possible from shore or near shore this is the ultimate fun!

 

Monday night I had father and son team from Montreal out for a bay sharking trip. The session was slow due to wind against tide. We unfortunately missed two bites but adjusted and worked through the difficult conditions. We finally got a bite that took the hook and it put up a nice fight. The 14 year old Canadian enjoyed his time battling the bruiser like a champion right to the end with a successful release.

large brown sharks love eels
Here’s a monster brown shark that had a serious set of shoulders and was pushing 7′ in length.

Tuesday night’s bay shark fishing trip was different. The conditions were prime and it panned out to be a flawless summer night! Not only did we get a number of bites (released four nice size toothy ones)… we caught our largest brown shark to date. We met Momma Bear the bay monster! She put up an epic fight. The trip will go down as one of our best.

Anyone looking to get out and go shark fishing should go asap! Stop in the shop and we can assist gearing up. You can hit the beach or boat and soak some baits! If looking to get in on a Four Hour Night Bay Shark Fishing Charter with Fish Head Guide Service reach out now by calling or texting Captain Greg at 609-713-9299

 

Midshore & Offshore Fishing:

The relatively calm ocean waters has anglers heading off and most return with meat. Bluewater fishing is solid with a variety of opportunities. Most reports are from anglers pulling fish on the troll however good action has come on the chunk and jig/pop. We heard some boats were heading to the Hudson to fish a promising stretch of water along the west wall. South of there fish were caught at the Toms. The Chicken Canyon and the waters further off around the Baccardi produced. Further south lots of boats are fishing Lemkes and the Cole. We heard one day was smoking hot then the next day was slow.

 

Store staffer Dan was out on Tuesday and beat on the fish. Dan said the jig bite turned on and some boats were into them casting on top. He shared his story about fighting a good size yellowfin but breaking it off near the boat after an hour battle.

 

tuna and wahoo
Tuna and wahoo are being caught mid-shore on the 30 fathom line.

 

Earlier this week, Tom Bernat and Gil Dilts fished with Captain John Rimmer aboard the Old Grandad. The crew boated two yellowfin and a 50 pound wahoo on the troll fishing the mid-shore on the 30 fathom line.

this wahoo went for a joe shute trolled way back
This beautiful 50 pound wahoo caught by Tom went for a Joe Shute trolled way back in the spread.

The crew aboard the Canyon Runner hit the dock yesterday with a solid catch of yellowfin. Captain Phil and Kevin reported, “The fish are all up on top in multiple schools with some yellowbirds up to 70 pounds. Both the chunk and troll are producing.”

 

Captain Mark from Bluerunner Sportfishing & Waterproof reports, “Fishing is great! We loaded the boat with yellowfin, Bluefin, mahi, tiles and mako. Solid fishing shaping up for late summer and fall.

yellowfin tuna caught on the troll
Tuna on the deck!

 

– Fishing LBI Tournament News –

  • The JCAA Fluke Tournament is this weekend! August 5th, 2017, the Jersey Coast Anglers Association will hold its 23rd Annual Fluke Tournament.
  • The Forked River Tuna Club Presents their 60th Annual Fluke Tournament on August 12 to 19th Check out their website for more details.
  • The LBI Surf Fishing Classic is right around the corner! This year’s event is now 9 weeks running October 7th to December 10th. The one extra week was added and the format was modified slightly to offer larger cash prizes. There’s other great new things offering an awesome value… tournament collectable hat and shirt to early sign ups (first 300 before October 7th).  For more details go to LBIFT.com where tournament news will be added. Prizes and special tournament days are still not finalized. Once done the info will be posted.

Lighthouse Sportfishing Report August 2

Been crazy busy the last four days with seven trips during that time. Spending that much time on the bay, during many tide cycles, you kind of get the pulse of the ebb and the flood. So much, that you don’t even need to look at a tide app. All you need to do is to pay attention to nature’s subtle cues and sync your clock to hers. Having fished in Florida many times years ago I started subscribing the to the Florida Sportsman magazine. Even though it was geared to fishing another State, dah that’s obvious, you glean information from the articles and apply them to your area. One resonating theme was the benefits of live bait. Sometimes in Florida, you do not even start fishing until you “make bait”. Now, having long subscribed to that theme, I do what it takes to make bait. And sometimes the rewards from those benefits are reaped to the extreme. Case in point Tuesday’s magic hour trip with Michael Petruzziello. Before we started fishing I had him and his friend Dianne make bait in the form of snappers for the last part of the trip when the tide would be perfect. Coming across what was literally and acre + of snappers blitzing we quickly put a good dozen in the Debbie M’s live well. After messing around with some adult bluefish around the inlet we switched over to fluke fishing. In doing so, and I kid you not, I said to Michael “I just have this weird feeling we are going to be able to catch a really nice fluke tonight”. With two live snappers unhappily sent to the bottom, I positioned the boat so that the lines were in the correct drift. Shortly thereafter, Michael, “I think I have a fish or I am stuck on bottom”. To which I replied, “you have a FISH”. With the St Croix rod doing double duty, I knew immediately he was battling flukezilla. When we got first glimpse of the denizen from the deep I instructed Michael, not the take the fishes’ head out of the water and work with me to get it to the net. I’m not sure if my first try with the net was a big miss or fluekzilla saw the net and dove down 10 feet. None the less, on the second pass the beast was in the net and we welcomed it aboard the Debbie M. Taped out at 30” and coming in at 10 lbs. 2 oz. it was a true doormat. This is the second doormat I have put a client on in the last three years. The last one was 11.5 pounds and fell to a live 8” peanut bunker. There’s something to be said about making bait.

Screaming drags, Capt Alex 609-548-2511