Trips on the party boat Atlantic Star fluked at many places, including Flynn’s Knoll, Chapel Hill, Swash and Sandy Hook channels and between the channels, Capt. Tom said. Throwbacks were hooked everywhere, and by the end of each trip, a few keepers were landed. The trips couldn’t guarantee an angler a keeper, and the fishing wasn’t good. But the trips tried to give anglers a good time, and all seemed happy. Fewer throwbacks bit than before, except at some places. A customer Tuesday decked three keepers including a 7-pound 4-ouncer. The Atlantic Star is fluke fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.
Anglers slugged away at fluke throughout Wednesday’s trip on the Fishermen, a report said on the party boat’s website. Some drifts of the boat fished better than others, and some areas fished produced better than others. A couple of customers bagged four good-sized fluke apiece For one of them, the fish included two heavier than 5 pounds and one heavier than 6. A 7-pound 5-ounce fluke won the pool, and several 4- to 6-pounders were creamed on the trip. Some beautiful sea bass were in the mix. The day was beautiful on the water, and no report was posted for Tuesday. But on Monday, seas were rough in a roll. The wheel house looked like a tornado had ripped through, by the end of the trip. But anglers slugged away at just-keeper-sized fluke and throwbacks. A 6-pound fluke won the pool, and one angler limited out on five fluke. Five anglers bagged four apiece, a couple bagged three apiece and several landed no keepers. Bait and Gulps caught that day, because bucktails couldn’t be fished in the seas. The Fishermen is sailing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, for striped bass 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and for porgies 6:30 to 11 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. Tuesday night’s striper trip scored a good shot at the fish. Some big were nailed, including the 33-pound pool-winner. Please fish no braided line on the striper trips, the report asked.
The Rattlesnake in the ocean was the spot for fluke, said Jay from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Many fluke migrated to the ocean, and the angling was good there. Striped bass were clammed, wormed and eeled near Verrazano Bridge. Porgies with kingfish mixed in were plucked off the Coast Guard Station and the bulkheads on Shrewsbury River at Highlands. Crabbing was good. All baits are stocked.
Many fluke migrated to the ocean, and many that remained in back waters were throwbacks, said Chris from Fisherman’s Den North. But keepers were found at places like Reach Channel. Private boaters seemed to run around and catch keepers. Catching keepers at places like that could be tougher for party boats, but the head boats found some. A 9-pound 4-ouncer was nailed on the party boat Atlantic Star from Atlantic Highlands. Two private boaters competing in a fluke tournament during the weekend bagged an 11.9-pounder, a 7-plus-pounder and a 6-plus-pounder on the ocean in a trip. That was more than 20 pounds for three fluke. A trip today on a private boat docked nine keeper fluke from the ocean off Long Branch. The party boat Fishermen is fishing for fluke during daytime, striped bass Monday and Tuesday nights and porgies Wednesday through Saturday nights. Tuesday night’s striper trip socked a bunch of bluefish, eight or nine keeper stripers and a couple of throwback stripers, Chris thought. Porgy fishing was good at night on boats like that. Lots of snapper blues schooled the harbor, chasing peanut bunker that schooled the water everywhere. The snappers grew to good-size by now, almost cocktail-size. Not much was reported about tuna fishing locally. But one boat landed a couple at Wilmington Canyon, a long way from Atlantic Highlands. Baits stocked include fresh peanut bunker, and fresh jumbo spearing will probably be on hand the next couple of days. Live eels are carried for striper fishing. Killies and a full, large selection of frozen baits are stocked for inshore. All offshore baits are in supply, like flats of butterfish and sardines and rigged and non-rigged ballyhoos. The store, new this year, the sister shop to Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina, down the dock from the party boats, charter boats and private boats.