Delarock

2020 Fluke Season Post Mortem

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Season in NJ is pretty much over for most of us. Anyone want to share thoughts or brags? I’ll have my post ready soon, might squeeze something in on closing day.

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Lot more keeper size then last year.  I have no clue what Im talking about...but does anyone think that might be due to fewer commercial guys dragging them up due to the whole covid situation we had early spring?

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Was a very good year, never really a lull and keepers were plentiful in MC 

first year in 30 years i did not fish on a party boat- in my heyday I would do 30 trips a year minimum on the Sea Hunter. Hope to get back to it next year 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I caught more fish on non gulp products than gulp for the first time since gulp came out. 

Edited by BobBass

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Pretty decent year with a couple of limits, fished mainly the reefs. Catch limits were more controlled (IMHO) by wind more than population density. Seems you need the right day with current prevailing over wind but not too much current causing snags. I decided to go the Skinner route on one trip fishing with BT and teaser and Gulp only. I caught a limit and out fished my friends and will try it again in the spring. The teaser was actually more productive than the BT, being a little lazy about changing the BT weight relative to the current may have had something to do with it. Fishing with two others with coolers and tackle boxes eat up space quickly and getting to boxes usually interferes with someone else. I would like to hear peoples experience with glow BT's and if they thought they made a significant difference. There is a new paint labeled LIT and I watched a couple video's and it looks very promising but application details are lacking, winter project maybe. The Gulp trip was recent and the sea bass did a number on the tails which I replaced with Otter curly tails. I jig quite a bit and noticed the tails coming over the hook bend (not the hook point) so I'm going to figure something different for next summer. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I did good this year on the boat the handful of times I got out in OC. Lots of keepers. Nothing to brag about In size, but most were caught within limit rather quickly. All on white or char mullet gulp.

Edited by MattieG

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Posted (edited) · Report post

This year I wanted to try something different so I bought a spinning setup which I used primarily. Did 1-3 trips a week on party boats for most of the season, once I got dialed in I had a lot of limits. Biggest fish was 5.6, caught 2-3 in that range. Won a bunch of pools, including one monthly.

 

Used ball jigs with a glass minnow teaser. The glass minnow caught more fish, I want to say that it was probably about a 5-1 ratio. However, I was using a very light spinning rod and I feel that I spent a lot of time popping the teaser and not really moving the ball jig. This also resulted in a larger number of snags - picked up a heavier rod and haven’t really had a chance to test it out. Used a UL Centaur Constellation Slow Jigging rod rated 80-160g. Felt like I was having trouble popping 3 oz jigs off the bottom, picked up a Centaur Combat arm rated 100-200g and it fished 3 oz much better. I had marginal success with bucktail jigs and found that I had much better hookups with plain ball jigs.

 

Another thing that I firmly committed to this year was all Gulp, no bait. I used bait... twice? There were definitely days where people using bait or Gulp + bait were catching more. I’m of the belief that Gulp breaks down into bright (fire tiger, blue fuse, salmon, chartreuse) or not bright colors (pink fuse, new penny, red belly, orange/lime tiger). Some days they want something that stands out, some days they don’t. I did not use nuclear chicken very much. Size seemed to matter sometimes - I had days where they would crush a 5” Gulp but ignore a 6” in the same color. Used 90% swimming grub. At the end of the day, I’d feel pretty confident in saying that they don’t really care about color for the most part. I paid close attention to what everyone was using and there were days that I was catching on a certain color and nobody else was, or vice versa. However - my best producer by a wide margin was 6” Salmon Red on a glow teaser.

 

For next season, I’m going to want to be ready with 1-4oz ball jigs, unpainted or glow, with glass minnow teasers and Salmon Gulp. Will have try colors but I think Pink Shine, Mackerel, Fire Tiger, and Red Shrimp are probably a good place to start. I got a bunch of jigs from the same guy and regretted it when I tried different jigs - check your hooks! I was routinely replacing jigs/teasers after losing them to snags, once or twice a trip minimum. One lucky trip I didn’t lose anything but was having difficulty hooking up with fish by the end of the trip. Hook sharpener fixed that. Lesson learned.

 

 

Edited by Delarock

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Great year, over 1000 fluke and 100+ keepers on 20 trips. 
 

highlights: 

Nantucket trip (40k, kept 5)

high hook day in NJ, 10+k on a day when 4 out of 6 guys got seasick

 

things I learned:

1. Got much better at working bites and concentrating on when to set the hook. 

2. lost fewer gulp tails to nuisance fish by paying attention

3. I’d rather fish gulp but always try bait, just in case it works better

4. Always bring a rod rigged with a chicken rig or 3-way. Sometimes it just works better. 
5. If you don’t get a bite in 5 minutes, move or change something. 


I got zero bites with 5” plug bait. 
 

Edited by hookmeup

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I didn't get out much but we caught more keepers this year. Nothing impressive or anything but we actually took fish home regularly. Caught my personal best fluke weight wise probably down in Charleston in June. 22" but it was the fattest fluke I've seen compared to others in the 22-26 range

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Since nobody worked this summer the beaches were full during the day. This kept me from fishing my usual MOCO fluke spots out front due to my own COVID anxiety.  Fortunately the year was saved in the last 3 weeks of the fluke season when I ran into 98% keeper fluke on the bay side which were for the most part hitting plugs.  I landed about 20 with the largest being 26" and 4.5 lbs. In that 3 week stretch.

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Did my usual early season spin rod/Gulp in RB and out front. Picked up a few fish but nothing to crazy. Late August switched over to a fly rod and lead eye clousers. It was either the smart move or lucky move. Ended up killing them after dinner. Had more keepers then I had in years. Kept a couple as I like fluke wrapped in crab meat. For what ever reason felt the fluke this year were just thicker then usuall 

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12 hours ago, jerseystriper said:

For what ever reason felt the fluke this year were just thicker then usuall 

Heard that a lot for sure this year. 

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Wonder if the late start to the season and the closed tackle shops concentrated the fish and the catch rate. Actually we should start requesting an earlier opening day a longer season or smaller size limit for next year.

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