South Jersey Fishing: Weather the Final Fluke Shots
3-2-1...BOOM! goes the 2021 fluke season when it draws to a formal close at 11:59 Sunday evening.
Done. Finished. Tuite finuite.
Three days remaining in what informal polls from yours truly stretching from Monmouth to Cape May counties, and grabbing a few opinions from anglers plying Delaware Bay, concur has been a better-than-good-to-almost-excellent season for the summer flatfish.
The ocean/bay/tidal river three fish minimum 18-inch limit, the two fish at 16-inches rule along the sands at Island Beach State Park, and the trio at a 17-inch minimum regulation in Delaware Bay all seem to have been easy to achieve...at least since the season opened May 22.
It’s crunch time, and the weather forecast says Mother Nature is not going to be cooperative, at least through Saturday. Still, from witnessing bait, mostly squid strips, minnies (killies), spearing, and Gulp! sales Thursday at a bunch of tackle shops during Thursday travel, and talking to a few flattie sharpies who plan to cast net peanut bunker, finger and corncob mullet, or are Sabiki-rigging snapper blues and cupcake spot, well, it’s shaping to be the last shot assault at putting meaty fillets in the vacuum sealer machine.
Jig head and bucktail sales were equally brisk.
With that ugly weather coming in?
Oh, yeah. Conditions through Saturday (and many insist will continue into Sunday) dictate that if you want to catch fluke, it’ll be most likely in a bay or tidal river. Yep, plenty of keeper flatties still hanging in before eventually heading out. Know your limitations handling a vessel in the winds and slop, especially if planning an out-of-inlet experience. If casting from terra firma, particularly on slick, slimy and otherwise slippery inlet jetty rocks, be maximum sure of your footing.
It’s big fluke time. Shorts will be in the mix, of course, and time is, well, short!
Remember: the fluke are already wet.