West wind made Raritan Bay a little crummy to fish for fluke on this morning’s trip, so the trip ran down the ocean beach, said Capt. Tom from the party boat Atlantic Star. There was a little ground swell, and Tom thought that might make the fish reluctant to bite. But he was surprised, because fluking was better than he thought it would be, and a few keepers and throwbacks were already tugged in, he said in a phone call aboard at 9:30 a.m., when he gave this report. The fishing was better than at the channels, where the boat fished previously, the last couple of days. A few fluke, not enough, bit on those days aboard, but sizeable ones did. One customer bagged an 8-pounder and a 6-pounder on Sunday morning’s trip, for example. Fluking then was the same at the channels as on the bay. Most of the fish were throwbacks, but some were large. Tom hoped today’s fluking would hold up. The Atlantic Star is fishing for fluke on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. through Saturday, the final day of fluke season. Afterward, the trips will bottom-fish for porgies and blackfish.
After fluke season looked like it would be dismal in the first 1 ½ months, the fishing turned out productive in the past couple of months, Capt. Ron from the party boat Fishermen wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Quality was the word, because once the fishing got going, a fluke had to be large to be a keeper. He remembered no other season when trips aboard decked so many 5- to 10-pounders “and limits to go along with it,” he said. Three fluke weighed more than 10 pounds this year on the boat, and a 9.4-pounder was currently in the lead in the season-long pool. Open-boat trips have been fishing for fluke once daily, each morning to afternoon, on the boat. Charters are booked this Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and daytime, open trips will no longer sail, until striped bass begin to show up. Then the trips will fish for stripers, and Ron hopes that’s by the third week of October. However, nighttime trips are currently sailing for stripers Mondays through Saturdays with Capt. Dan. Telephone him before coming down for a trip at 908-930-2335.