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April 26, 2013

Northeast Fluke Fishing

A guidebook to the East Coast's top summer flounder haunts.

New Jersey Shore

Deep bayshore channels, 17 artificial reef sites, winding backchannels and hundreds of nearshore wrecks create a top-notch flatfish playground along the Jersey coast. Deep-cut channels like Ambrose Channel in Raritan Bay and Bayshore Channel in Delaware Bay hold doormats during the heat of the mid- to late-summer months, while submarine glacial rock just off the central- and northern-coast beachfronts magnetize fluke to the area in early ­summer. Most Jersey ­anglers look for the edges of the “sticky” ­structure to target their ­doormats. And as the saying here goes: “If you’re losing rigs, you’re in the right place.” Reef sites comprising Army tanks, tire units and low-profile wrecks attract monster flatfish, while winding six- to 12-foot channels of Barnegat Bay and Ludlam’s Bay are perfect places to battle fluke with light-tackle tactics. Hard bottom, soft bottom, wrecks and channels prove that there’s more at the Shore when it comes to ­targeting trophy fluke. 

Top Technique: ­Bouncing 3- to 5-ounce bucktails and 1-ounce bucktail teaser combo, tipped with fluke belly; sliding snell two-hook fish-finder rig lanced with 8- to 10-inch fluke belly, mackerel or sea-robin strip baits

Hot Spots: Old Grounds, Elberon Rocks, Raritan Bay/Ambrose Channel, Barnegat Bay/Oyster Creek Channel, Barnegat Light Reef

Who: Capt. Jerry Postorino, 732-688-0765, fishmongercharters.com

Captain’s Tip: Stay tight to structure for big fish, and be ­prepared to sacrifice bucktails.