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I don't know if this is the best place to post this info. on this site so if one of the administrators wants to move it, please do so. The important thing is that we get the word out. Recently there were additional options regarding the fluke regulations that were approved by the NJMFC and the ASMFC. The final regulations will be set at the NJMFC meeting on March 4th. The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. in the L. Manuel Hirshblond Room in the Toms River Township Office, 33 Washington Street, Toms River, NJ 08753. This is our chance to voice our opinions on this matter whether you agree with my position or not. Please help pass the word around that these additional options are now a possibility. If you prefer a later start to the season that would allow us to fish later into September, while maintaining an 18” size limit and a 6 fish bag limit, please contact me at [email protected] or (973) 943-8201. If you belong to a club or organization that shares our viewpoint, please let me know. Below are the reasons we support options 3 or 4.
1.) Surf casters have their best opportunity to catch keeper fluke during the fall mullet run and we have not been allowed to do so during the last couple seasons.
2) There is little else to fish for inshore or from the shore during September. By contrast there are plenty of big stripers and blues as well as an occasional large weakfish during May and June.
3.) In recent springs there have been cold waters which are not good for fluke fishing. Because of this the party and charter boats will likely have more customers in the fall.
4.) September is one of the best months to catch a doormat fluke.
5.) While we realize that we have to give up about 3 days of fluking in the spring to have 2 in the fall, we are willing to do this because obviously the fishing is better later in the season.
It was not easy for me to get Options 2, 3 and 4 added to the list but I am very pleased that the NJMFC listened to my suggestions. I have always believed that the majority of fluke fishermen in our state would prefer a later start and a later end to our season while maintaining an 18" size limit. The past couple years, the only options that would have allowed us to fish further into September were those that came with a higher size limit. Now we finally have options that many of us favor on the table. Option 4 is favored by myself as well as the majority of members of the Berkeley Striper Club and the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association.

Paul Haertel

  1. 6 fish @ 18" - May 29 to September 6 - 101 days - 1% savings
  2. 6 fish @ 18" - June 12 to September 13 - 93 days - 1% savings
  3. 6 fish @ 18" - June 19 to September 17 - 90 days - 1% savings
  4. 6 fish @ 18" - June 26 to September 21 - 88 days - 1% savings
  5. 6 fish @ 18" - May 21 to August 29 - 101 days - 1% savings
  6. 6 fish @ 18" - May 12 to August 22 - 103 days - 1% savings
  7. 6 fish @ 18" - May 4 to August 15 - 104 days - 1% savings
  8. 4 fish @ 18" - May 23 to September 6 - 107 days - 1% savings
  9. 6 fish @ 18.5" - May 13 to September 13 - 124 days - 1% savings
  10. 6 fish @ 18.5" - May 29 to September 26 - 121 days - 1% savings
  11. 6 fish @ 18.5" - May 21 to September 12 - 115 days - 9% savings
  12. 6 fish @ 18.5" - May 29 to September 17 - 112 days - 9% savings
 

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I am not a fan of anything that increases the size limit. Thats a train that wont stop once it starts rolling.

I don't understand why option#4 is favored. That option effectively cuts off the spring backbay action.
 

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I can certainly see where the surf fishing contingent would pass on spring fluking for more time in Sept. Hell, I dont even acknowledge fluke exist until after July 4th. ;) May and June are big bass months from the beach.

However, the added time is almost useless due to the 18" size limit. Not that you cant get an occasional keeper, but most surf caught fluke just arent that big. The number of fluke is thru the roof and the surf guys are just screwed as far as trying to take a meal home.
 

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Having fished for fluke from the surf for years. I disagree. The best shot for shore bound anglers to get a legal 18" or better fish is the end of the season after Labor Day till the water temps go below 60. Last season in Sept & Oct in the area from Manasquan inlet to around Brick beach my fishing partner Chris & I released quite a few up to 8#. One day fishing the inlet I watched as Chris on less than 10 casts -3 @ 19 + another too big to lift estimated around 8#. After that we left shaking our heads. All on gulp hi/lo rigs. On a beautiful day with no one around to "borrow" a net. A few days later I released 1 over 20" from the surf in Bay Head.
 

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I would prefer 1 or 8 and absolutly no raise in size limit that would only increase throwback mortality
 

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Starting in June or ending in August would be a joke. So I think the new options (2 thru 7) are not viable options at all.

It should come down to 1 or 9. Option 1 is the closest to last year -- a little shorter season but both Memorial Day and Labor Day are in season due to where they fall on the calendar this year. If you want to add some days to the season on the front and back end, option 9 seems best to me but the limit is bumped to 18.5. I like option 9, but my guess is that we will get option 1.
 

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I heard from the meeting last Tuesday in Toms River that Option 1, after much debate between north vs. south positions(north season starts later/want later season;south starts early/start early), was the favorite. Increasing size limit was not favored because size would never come down, only stay the same or go up. Evidently, north conceded the point and option 1 was the favorite
 

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I can live with option#1.
 

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I'm thinking between these two. Looking to fish longer. It made me crazy pulling fluke after fluke at 22" to 25" in the fall while surf fishing and just watching them swim back in!

(#9) 6 fish @ 18.5" - May 13 to September 13 - 124 days - 1% savings

or

(#10) 6 fish @ 18.5" - May 29 to September 26 - 121 days - 1% savings

Lami
 

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"Increasing size limit was not favored because size would never come down"

What is the basis for this belief? I don't think that is true. Once the gov't says the fluke stock is "rebuilt" NJ will presumably get a significantly larger quota and can develop alternatives to meet it which would include a smaller minimum size.
 

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It always makes me sick to throw back keeper fluke in November and December while fishing the rips for stripers. So I say let it open in May - option 1 or 8(only 4 with option 8 but still 18" -less mortality) - AND most fish are bigger in the back in May anyway - who wouldnt be happy catching 4 18 inch or larger fluke from the back bays to take home ! That way the back bay rentals and what not would benefit economically and Mem.day and labor day would be open.
 

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I think I like #9. Who cares if it's a half inch more. I throw back so many slightly short fish anyway I'm used to it. But for the chance to get some more days at beginning and end of season, lets give a little on size. Bigger fluke in back bays early, and out front in Sept. Just so can be on the water and there's a chance of getting a keeper. By the way - how many guys can say they limited out with 6 keepers in a trip? I envy you. I'd be happy with a limit of 4 to get more days and little lower size limit.
 

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#2,3,4 are just silly,I can live with 1/2 difference in size if we can get a longer season.I caught more flounder off the surf in the fall that were sent back, than I caught all season.In S.J. There is nothing better than the back bay flounder fishery,in the spring and to take that away from all those thot have boats in the back is just not right.
Why can't we have different seaons for the N. ans S.? It seems to be two completly different fishery's?Why not admit it and move forward?:huh:
 
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