fultonjd

Finding Fluke in the back bays

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Hey Gang

 

I have been fluke fishing in the back bays of south jersey since I was a little kid, and the tactics have changed (lighter tackle, gulps, aggressive jigging etc) but basically have always just done the basic drift along a channel edge in the boat without much thought of location. Beyond looking for structure any other things you guys look for when on the hunt for flounder? I have had success but been thinking about how to increase my odds especially this early in the season. My understanding is unlike stripers fluke need higher salinated water so they will not move as far upstream to chase bait.

 

Not trying to spot burn or anything but more if you were heading out for a morning of fluke fishing in the bay for example just say at the start of outgoing tide, how would you approach fishing that tide?

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This time of year you might look for the warmest water you can find, usually fairly shallow.  A few degrees can make a big difference.  Good luck!!

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Fish the structure that others aren't, especially if it's very inconvenient.

 

Looking for structure that is in shallow water that everyone else is avoiding?  Find a minefield of commercial crab pots, and fish all around them.  That bait is drawing in a lot more than just crabs.

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50 mins ago, JoeyZac said:

Fish the structure that others aren't, especially if it's very inconvenient.

 

Looking for structure that is in shallow water that everyone else is avoiding?  Find a minefield of commercial crab pots, and fish all around them.  That bait is drawing in a lot more than just crabs.

Good tip on the pots.  Gotta try that tomorrow.

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The problem with shallow water is it is already full of sea weed.  I had to fish 4 ft and deeper to avoid the cabbage. Only managed one 16 inch fluke last Sunday 

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Creek mouths at the beginning of outgoing tide, same with big shallow flats have been my most productive south jersey back bay patterns .... I fish from stone harbor to ocean city . 

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6 hours ago, Tomm24 said:

The problem with shallow water is it is already full of sea weed.  I had to fish 4 ft and deeper to avoid the cabbage. Only managed one 16 inch fluke last Sunday 

Use a bobber to keep hooks just off the weeds. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I find myself fishing the flats at sunrise and then moving to channels and drop offs as the day goes on. My theory is that they can move into the flats as the sun rises under the cover of “darkness” or more accurately false dawn, and as the day goes on they loose the ability to sneak on baitfish without being seen first. Forcing them to take cover in the depth and ambush into the current. Seems to be successful. But let’s face it, if the fish aren’t there you have to move. The only way to know if they are there is to switch the presentation up, different colors, shapes, and also trailers. If to no avail after that, I move. To my surprise every fluke except one has ate the teaser hook of either a bare gulp minnow or a tsunami glass minnow with the mullet gulp mullet on it. Which leads me to believe they are currently dialed in on smaller profile. Just recently became convinced when the blues and bass have been throwing up bay anchovies and juvenile spot or porgy (couldn’t tell as they were too far digested). I also had a short fluke throw up a 2” fluke. Savages I tell you, eating their own kind.  I do my best to try and recall small details and I am always trying to learn.  I believe that above all else is that is key to finding fluke. If they are there, it’s for a reason, the same goes for if they are not.

 

Tight lines.

Edited by FlounderWetspot

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This past weekend I had a hard time finding fish at a spot that’s normally pretty consistent with fish. Began to target two crab pots and first drift by I had two shorts as soon as my rig hit the bottom. Targeted that the rest of the morning and ended up having a decent day. I’m guessing those pots started holding bait fish and the fluke weren’t far behind. 

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You need to screw both eyes around to the same side of your face and think like a fluke!

 

Fluke are ambush feeders that ideally want to position themselves out of the current to conserve energy but be in a position to look directly up current looking for something to attack.  Downslopes off of a flat into deeper water directly down current, adjacent to bottom structure directly down current....

 

One thing you can always do to try and up your game is eliminate the diagonal impact of the wind and drift directly down current.  Trolling motors are ideal for this as well as for slowing down your drift to keep your bait coming from the direction that the ambush feeders are looking....

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On 5/29/2019 at 8:53 PM, Targa18WT said:

Use a bobber to keep hooks just off the weeds. 

Not having a flexible work schedule has forced me to fish in many bad conditions.  An old guy in WW showed me how to use the float rig.  I use it now even in good fishing conditions:th:

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