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April 13, 2011

New Jersey Fluke

Shallow bay flats and back channels produce serious-caliber fluke fishing.

fluke rigs and tackle

New Jersey Fluke

An old salt once said to me,"Any color will work as long as it's white," and that remains true when choosing bucktails.A bucktail with any combination of white with yellow, chartreuse, olive or pink, or simply straight white, will be the top dog in attracting fluke.

Rods: 612-foot medium- to fast-action spinning or conventional rods, like the Shimano VST66MH orSt. Croix TIS66MHF.

Reels: Shimano Sustain 4000, Abu Garcia 6500 C3.

Lines: 20-pound braided running line or 14-pound monofilament.

Lures: Bucktails from 14- to 34-ounce tipped with Fin-S Fish, Berkley Gulp! Jerk Shad or Swimming Mullet, or a strip bait of squid, bluefish or two whole spearing. Teasers tied above the bucktail should be white 2/0 to 3/0 bucktails with Mylar flash. Strip baits of bluefish, squid, spearing or sand eels on a fish-finder slide rig with a leader of 30-inch 25-pound fluorocarbon, on a size 2/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook.


Jersey's 128-mile coastline is saturated inland with low-lying back flats and bays that provide estuarine environments for fluke. Winding back channels carved through marsh and sod create baitfish superhighways when the tides get rolling, and bait spills out toward the inlets. The shallow bays comprising these back channels and surrounding flats set the stage for fluke to hole up and sit on the edges, on the flats or in the channel itself in wait for prey to scoot by.

What: Summer flounder, aka fluke, in the 2- to 10-pound range.

When: New Jersey's season runs May 29 to Sept. 6; 18-inch minimum size, six-fish bag limit.

Where: Shallow bay channels and flats of Barnegat Bay, Great Bay, Ludlam Bay, Absecon Bay.

Capt. Al Crudele

Capt. Dave DeGennaro
Hi Flier

Capt. Dave Showell
Absecon Bay Sportsman