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Put a rental out yesterday for back bay stripers. They had a few hits but didn't hook up. About 3pm it got quiet so I jumped in the rental and headed just off the dock to make a few drifts.

White one ounce bucktail. Cut the hairs off just behind the hook. One inch piece of herring that was caught and salted last May. (refrigerated, not frozen)

Ran the motor and controlled my drift. Fished for 45 minutes on the last of the incoming tide. Four summer flounder up to 21 inches.

Hope this is a sign of things to come. :cool:
 

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Thats great news Fred! Can't wait to drop a hook.
 

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NICE JOB!
 

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So that were you were, stopped by with coffee at 3pm.

No body home... :rolleyes:
 

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I just hope we have that kind of fishing up this way, this year.
 

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Shhhhh Fred dont want those trawlers to drop those nets after the George Redding do you? Hope we have a good season in the back this year!
 

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Fred ,Great sighn We had 2 on clams while up the bay fishing for stripers on Sun.......
 

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That is good news. Fred, do you think cold water temps. in the ocean help bring those fluke in warmer water???
 

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Good goin Fred! That is good news for the bays.

Capt. Block, it's still early & every year is diff, as fluke generally don't return to the same waters each year. They say after migrating straight out in the fall, prevailing northerly currents in the spring take fluke further north each year in their spring migration. This is based on the fact that the biggest & oldest fluke are found in the most northern waters of their range, but I'm not sure it's ever been proven..I know they get some bigguns in RI, MA, etc.. Regardless, based on my observations of our NJ fluke fishery, I've allway's beleived that colder Ocean temps w/out a doubt bring the fluke into the bays in greater numbers and they will stay there as long as the water temps remain to their liking. I've also made the generalization that some years if temps remained colder than normal we'd get more fish in the southern half of the state..we'd do great in the DE bay while our buddies up north in the Raritan do squat, and vice versa w/ warmer than normal spring water temps. Once the fish are where they are comfortable w/ the water temp, bait will dictate their movements, but never over water temp!

What the heck, I'm bored..reminiscing on old times, things were different. Could be winters were colder, fluke were more abundant, the ecossytem was differnent, competition was certainly less, etc.. but back in the 80's & early 90's we'd have no problem making good catches in the back bays every spring, in the DE Bay or the inshore lumps and rips throughout the summer, then once the mullet run started right around labor day, the fluke would pour out of the inlets and off the inshore lumps to waters w/in a mile of the beaches and limits would abound! I caught my biggest fluke ever just off Diamond beach during one of these runs. Then come October, the lumps out to 15 miles would hold fluke that would gorge themselves on sandeels before heading offshore. This was the most furocious fluke fishing got, one did'nt even need bait, I would certainly bring sand eels along, but they were so aggressive, you could jig them up w/ metal!

Here's hoping for a good year, if so, don't tell the NMFS about it :D

[ 04-18-2005, 06:52 PM: Message edited by: CaptG ]
 

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CaptG, nice theory....never heard about the yearly slide of returning fish to the north but seems to make sense based upon the larger fluke being taken in greater numbers more to the north.

I didn't know that the fluke return to a different location each year. I have read that the Winter Flounder have been proven to return to the same waters each year to spawn much like a salmon.
Another thing I noticed it seems that the larger weakies 12-14 pounds seem to be more abundant up north....any theory on that?

[ 04-19-2005, 07:11 AM: Message edited by: TomOCNJ ]
 

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CaptG, thanks for the info, very interesting. I hope we will see a large number of fluke in the bay. I guess it is a wait and see game. I just hope the fluke find plenty of bait in the bay and that the whale did not eat all the bait. :D Maybe the whale in the river is a good omen, it was following the bait. I hope other big fish will follow the bait in the bay also. ;)
 

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Tom, based on landings data and tagging studies, it is believed that as fluke get older/larger they tend to move northward. Not all of them of course, just a general trend.

As for Winter Flounder, there are very few comparisons between them and summer flounder. Winter Flounder do not migrate north and south to any great extent, their primary migration is east and west, much like tog. While the management system currently manages Winter Flounder as if there are only a few stocks, that is for management and data purposes, not a reflection of how the fishery actually is.

Extensive tagging studies done over the last couple decades have shown that Winter Flounder are very regional, made up of many small "stocklets" as opposed to one or two large stocks that migrate heavily as is the case with Summer Flounder
 

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Originally posted by chunking:

Fished for 45 minutes on the last of the incoming tide. Four summer flounder up to 21 inches.

Hope this is a sign of things to come. :cool:
You and me both Fred. Here's hoping for a real good fluke season. Thanks for the report!

BTW water depth :confused: shallow?
 

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Thanks for the tagging study info Capt TB. Capt. Block, What have you found in the stomachs of the fluke you catch in the bay? In 90% of the ones I've checked..small brown crabs is all I ever find in them. Sometimes searobins, and some unidentifiable crustaceans but rarely any type of schooling or migratory baitfish..they feed primarily on small bottom dwelling creatures from what I've seen. If they come into the bay they will stay until the water temps or time forces them out. They'll school up on their way out to feed on bait fish holding in the rips and lumps outside, but I beleive water temp is the primary force directing the fluke migration w/ bait being the secondary consideration. Fluke are ambush predators, they prefer to wait where they are comfortable for meals to come to them, but will search out and chase bait when hungry enough.

[ 04-19-2005, 11:26 AM: Message edited by: CaptG ]
 
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