New Jersey Flounder Fishing to Rebound Post-Ida
While the blow known as Ida wreaked havoc in New Jersey’s northern tier counties, the coastal region was, for the most part, spared huge amounts of rain.
The ocean/bay areas of Monmouth, Ocean, Burlington, Atlantic, and Cape May did get hit with scattered downpours, periods of sustained rain, and buffeting winds, it was but a glancing blow.
Give the waters a day to clear from whatever is left of inland runoff, heavy surf, and the inevitable after storm groundswell, and it should be all systems go for some final shots at the fluke.
The season ends September 19, and the flatties are on the move. From bays to inlets and the beaches, from the beaches to the inshore wrecks, reefs, and gnarly bottoms, they are heading out. This is the norm for that first September storm that usually occurs sometime during the first week of the month. Sure, Ida was early, but hey, she’s out of the way and there should be some good-to-excellent fluking available through the closure.
Unfortunately, the killie (minnie) shortage continues, but this could end by next week as suppliers should be back setting traps in the tidal creeks and ditches. Bait and tackle shops have been hard-pressed to procure this favorite flounder bait now going into its second week. For the die-hard squid/killie combo bay and angler, this does put a crimp in the game, but local spearing, even frozen, is a solid substitute.
A live bait certainly worth the effort trying to locate is a live spot. These mini members of the drum family are lights out when it comes to catching the bigger flounder. They can be caught from docks and bulkheads with bits of clam or Fishbites, but locating them is another matter. Best leave that to the bait dealer. One shop that usually does have them is Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. Spot is at an extreme premium and doormat hunters snap them up as soon as they are available. As such, it’s advised to call ahead to see if there are any in the tanks.
Those casting from the beaches can do no wrong with a bucktail or jig head mated to a four-inch or five-inch pink, white, chartreuse, or nuclear chicken Gulp! Grub or Swimming Mullet.
The six-inch Gulp! Grub on a bucktail or jig head is a late-season flattie flattener, especially on the wrecks, reefs, and rough bottoms. Cooler-filling colors include pink shine, white glow, nuclear chicken, salmon red, curried chicken, and chartreuse. Not to be overlooked is the Gulp! Nemesis, in particular the opening night and pink shine patterns.