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Ok, How Did EveryOne Make Out ?
Great - Good - Bad - Ugly
What are your opinions as a whole on how the season was for you personally and what are your expectations for the 2006 season ?
Also Post any pictures you might have taken of some nice flatties you caught this year.
Thanks,,,


Here's a nice one caught in the backbays of North Willdwood this past July by: John Robinson 28 1/2" - 7 3/4lbs..
 

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OK, I admit it.....I'm a lazy fisherman. I pretty much just work the waters on either side of the big bridge over the Grassy Sound channel. But I've always fished there and have done pretty well at my fav spots......but this year was horrible for me. Few flatties over 20" and way too many throwbacks. And it wasn't just me, up and down the boardwalk the reaction was the same. Although, the pic above is at the same place that I fish....I can see my neighbors house. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
 

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I fished that same area all summer and had the same results. Lots of small fish. Overall rating would be "Ugly" for me. Maybe the guys out front and in the bay had a better season.
 

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640 fluke tagged , 71 kept
211 more than last year for aprox same number of hours fishing
However largest was only 6' 1 oz smallest largest in past 5 years

Absoultely no reason to reduce the regulations and sent to NOAA my tagging stats for past 5 years which clearly shows a rapidly increasing mass

Got a response from NOAA thanking me
 

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Thanks for sending those data in, BW. I hope that they are taken into account, considering that they aren't part of the NMFS specified sample. That's the problem with statistics - far too many people can do the math without doing any thinking. They seem to lose sight of the fact that statistics are used to give an estimate of something that is impossible to know, and the estimates are only as good as the assumptions made during data collection. When I use statistics my first questions are: "Does this make any sense? And if not, then "what did I screw up?"

To answer the question, I could put my crew on fluke under 12 in. all summer long. Never saw so many small fish.
 

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Flukin sucked for me... caught about 1000 with about 15 keepers. meat fisherman when flukin not interested in C&R.

If 12" to14" was legal woulda been great.

Other than great bluefishing all year...worst fishing season I remember.
 

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Fished behind Avalon all spring and summer. Lots of 12" to 15" fish.Keepers were nothing to be proud of. Same goes for the other guys in my marina.
 

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Fluke fishing was really strange this year, even before the season starts i usually get a few 4 to 5 pounders while fishing for stripers and weakies, but not this year they were all small, you really had to work hard for the keepers this year, still averaged about 3 keepers a trip but i am used to limiting out at least the first few trips of the year with nice fish, oh well every year is different, maybe the big fish will come into the back next year, i believe they stayed on the offshore humps most of this year and never really came into the back! Buy the way i fish from land, i don't have a boat so most of my fluking is done around structure!
 

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What would make them stay out front as opposed to heading into the back bays?
I didn't fluke fish as much as previous years so Im not going rate the experience.
I'll be drifting in my new kayak next year!!!
 

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I had an ugly season, fished from April until October. Fished SIC, TI and Avalon. Only had 1 keeper flounder, 1 blue and 1 striper. Hundreds of fish caught but too small. Caught all my keepers in one day around Whale Creek. It was a long summer for me and it continues into stripers, no keepers as of yet. I just keep trying and drowning bait.
 

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Kenuloza, I am not sure what would make them stay off shore, but i would imagine if they ran into decent water temps and enough food for them to stay put out there, there would be know reason for them to come into the back bays, just my thoughts!
 

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I had a great year down here in De. I fish skinny water and had 4 flounder right in the 5lb range. I caught keeper fish on almost every trip. I had more keepers this year than any of the last four years I've owned my boat. I caught my biggest of the year 5.2 lbs in August which was odd. My fall season really stunk though.
 

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One of my worst years. I didnt get to put in as much time as usual but lots of throwbacks and hard to find a keeper. I also did not run into any fluke while fishing for stripers and weakies this spring. I usually get a couple nice flatties every year that way. Oh well.

RyanF
 

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Generally slow, but we had about 2 weeks of excellant fluke at daylight in the surf, right at you feet, with the fly rod. Really unusual but a blast until it was over.
 

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My worst ever in the back :( BUT, let me clarify by saying it started out poor in the spring and then the ocean fluking(CM Reef, Reef site 11, Old Grounds were great
for us. Therefore, did less back bay fluking than any time in the last 10-12 years. Just pulled the boat this weekend and went over my log for the year. Determined to get back to skinny water fluking in 06!
 

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I didn't put much time in either, but had all of the shorts you wanted. If everyone has so many shorts, when do they grow to become keepers? Are we just letting them grow for the commercial boats as I have been expecting lots of big fish for years?
 

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Glad to see a "summary" post like this! Surprising to me how many people were unhappy. Are all you fluke people just meat hunters? I fish the Raritan Bay area only. Yes, we had a very low percentage of keepers this year, but the numbers were high and I had a blast.

Here are the stats for two or three guys fishing:
6-11-05 ~24 Fluke to 18" 4 keepers
6-25-05 >100 Fluke to 18" 9 keepers
7-02-05 >100 Fluke to 20" 18 keepers
7-09-05 >50 Fluke to 18" 1 keeper
8-06-05 ~60 Fluke to 19" 5 keepers
8-27-05 ~60 Fluke to 20" 2 keepers

That action was great, and all the other stuff like sharks, skates, robins, sea bass etc were fun too. There was enough Fluke meat harvested to keep me happy. Nothing like the 10.75 lb "garbage can lid" I got in 2004, but still fun.
That action also gave me the chance to experiment with different rigs and stuff. There were days when I got more fish on a white Mister Twister with Smelly Jelly than the other guys aboard who use squid like it is their religion!
BIG TIP: Keep some of that stuff aboard in case you run out of bait or forget. IT WORKS!
I just hope all those throwbacks might live to be keepers in 2006. Very many were just under the mark.
 

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Back bay - Bad. Only 6 keepers, about 5:1 TB to keeper ratio. Many less fish in total this year. Biggest, 19 inches.

Ocean - Good to very good. Avg 6 keeper fluke per man per trip with only one trip with 3 KF. Pretty fat ones with biggest 8.9 pounds. Fluke catch is improving each season for the past 4 years at least for me. Looong way to go to catch CaptG.

Del Bay - not one fluke trip in the dabay this year!
 
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