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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A FEW GUYS HAD TEMPERATURES WHERE THE WINTER FLOUNDER WOULD BITE.DOES THAT TEMP HOLD TRUE NOW OR ONLY IN LATE WINTED.

SMILE IF YOU SCORED/.???????

[ 01-03-2004, 10:58 PM: Message edited by: BIGGESTJACK ]
 

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Winter flounder move in when the summers are moving out. They remain active in the back bays until the water drops into the lower 40's.

Some will stay in the back in a semi dorment state hunkered down in the mud until the water starts to warm in March. Short warming periods like we have now will get them active but since their systems have been on auto pilot they don't need much in the way of food.

When the water warms in spring they will become very active into their spawning time. They spawn at around 46 degree water temp (I can't even find it in 46 degrees)

There have been some decent catches in the Wildwood area last year. It's just that they turn on at about the same time stripers do.

Hmmm, winter flounder about 12 inches long or stripers over 30. Tough choice.

Watch for the return of the red wing blackbirds in March. That was always the indicator that it was time to fish. :D :D
 

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While we're on the topic...

I've always read about the WF fishery being mainly in the Shark river and Barnegat waters. Did it just never catch on in South Jersey or are there just too few WF around down here?

[ 01-06-2004, 05:21 AM: Message edited by: Backwater ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I REMEMBER IN THE LATE 60'S AND EARLY 70'S MY FATHER AND A COUPLE FRIENDS FROM SHAWCREST WOULD GO CATCH A FEW WHEN THEY FIRST CAME BACK NORTH.LAST YEAR HEARD OF A FAIR AMOUNT BEING CAUGHT AND A FRIEND PROFESSOR BONES NAILED THEM WITH SIZE A FEW TIMES.HE USE TO GO NORTH TO CATCH NOW FINDING HIS spots HERE.
 

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South Jersey is about the limit of their southerly range.

During good years we have a decent run. In off years they are hard to find.

They run the opposite of summer flounder in Jersey. While larger summer flounder are caught more often in North Jersey the Winter Flounder run larger in South Jersey.

We used to fish Manasquan River for winters and load up with a lot of small fish. We would make a few trips to North Wildwood and only catch a dozen but the smallest was larger than the biggest from Manasquan.

Judging from what I have caught in my drop net this past summer I would say that we are in one of those good year patterns. :D
 

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Chunking, I thought winter flounder in South Jersey was a lost art form. I used to fish for winter flounder north down to Ocean City. Haven't tried it since the 70's. You really think there is a decent shot down in the Wildwood Cape May area? That is good to know. I guess early spring would be prime time. Would like more info. Sounds like a good way to get an early start on some fun.
 

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I have caught them in the Spring while bucktailing the inlet. Ugly, almost transparent.
 

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Originally posted by Dr. Bass:
I have caught them in the Spring while bucktailing the inlet. Ugly, almost transparent.
I'm sure there are some winter flounder in our South Jersey backwaters, but I've never caught one south of Tuckerton. I think a few guys catch Sundials/Windowpane flounder and call them winter flounder. Each spring our South Jersey backwaters seem to fill up with them.
 

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I agree with far26 I thought I was catching winter flounder and found out they were window pains,not worth cleaning.Winter flounder are fat and delicious.
 

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We get a lot of windows in south Jersey waters each spring.

There were a few good catches of real winter flounder in March and April behind the Wildwoods.

Also all summer I was catching hundreds of two and three inch winter flounder in my drop net at the dock.

For this many small winter flounder around means there were some big winters reproducing.

Last March and April while chunking with clams in the back for stripers we had a few days where we were getting fast taps that weren't stripers. One time we snagged a 15 inch winter on a 7/0 striper hook.

This Spring I plan on giving it a real try. I just know that the day I drop over a size 10 winter flounder hook a 40 pound striper will be there to pick it up. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
BELIEVE ME THERE IS NO FENCE STOPPING WINTER FLOUNDER FROM JOINING US IN SOUTH JERSEY AND ARE EVEN CAUGHT ON OCCASION SOUTH OF MOREHEAD CITY.LAST YEAR THE CATCHES I KNOW OF WERE CAUGHT IN APRIL AND WEIGHED IN AT STERLING HARBOR.SOME OF THE FISH WERE GOOD SIZE WINTERS.THE MAN WHO HAD GOOD MULTI DAY CATCHES HAD FISHED NORTH FOR YEARS BUT SAID THE FISH HERE WERE BIGGER AND HE WOULD BE FISHING HERE THIS YEAR.HE LIVES DOWN HERE YEAR AROUND.
 

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The only commercial dragger left in Sea Isle fishes for Winters just off of Sea Isle and Avalon.Big fish and 200-500 lbs. a day. In April and May.
So the nice fish either migrate down the beach or out from the bays.

[ 01-07-2004, 01:57 PM: Message edited by: captbill35 ]
 

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I agree with Jack. Sorry guys, I know what a winter flounder looks like. 34 years to date, born and raised on the shore. There are winter flounder in the Avalon back, April is the best month.
 

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Dr.Bass,

Just to clarify WF are not transparent and ugly. Have darker fluke like markings with small mouths unlike the more agressive summer flounder. Have done well in the past @ SRI doulble anchoring with clam clum and using sandworms on (chestertown)?? rigs. A good chum slick is critical to catching these guys in any kind of numbers. If ever going to Shark River Inlet be careful. Some spots are barely navigable even in the rental boats at certain stages.

Happy New Year to All

Paul
 

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winter flounder are great table fare, Raritan bay Navesink river and Shark river are the hotspots in NNJ....we used to run up to Boston Harbor in the early 70's for the big yellow tail....would always come home with triple digits all over 2 lbs...but they're all gone now...glad to hear there may be some down here in the Wildwoods...when water gets around 40 or so try mudflats with southern sun exposure...stir mud...chum heavy(mussles and clam)...small baits with yellow sinkers (yellow sinkers and beads have always increased my catch, dont know exactly why but it works..)....small circle hooks may also increase hookups...they worked wonders this summer for me on surf kingfish....
 

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Med

Never fished for WF but read alot about it. Always wanted to give it a try. Every thing I ever read said yellow worked good, even that some chum with canned corn.

Which circle hooks you using? Was looking for something like that for kings last fall but couldn't find any that held bait well. BTW, kings in my opinion best eating fish. WF as good or better?

[ 01-07-2004, 03:46 PM: Message edited by: Backwater ]
 

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Backwater, WF are as good if not better than kings...much like fluke or summer flounder..circles I used for kings were Gami octopus, small size around #1 or #2...small piece of bloodworm and I dont think I missed a hit all summer.... it was a tip I got from a local "pro"... ;) kings were my go to fish this summer, when all else failed..they won a cast net and tackle box in NWW surf contest for me..havent used circles on flounder yet, but since the baits are similar and WF have small mouths and "suck" up the baits seems like they would work...I always use a small "corn" bead on leaders...have to chum heavy to draw them in...ground clam & mussle work well as does the cheapest store brand fish based catfood in a can...make sure the chum is ground up very fine or all you do is end up feeding them... :D
 
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