Richard_the_Aughth

When does the fluking begin?

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I plan to target fluke off some CT beaches this summer, hoping to get one from a beach Ive been told does have them in the summer. I guess the waters dont house them close to shore anymore...

 

Anyways, Im going to start late May. Does this seem like a reasonable time in the season?

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5 hours ago, Richard_the_Aughth said:

I plan to target fluke off some CT beaches this summer, hoping to get one from a beach Ive been told does have them in the summer. I guess the waters dont house them close to shore anymore...

 

Anyways, Im going to start late May. Does this seem like a reasonable time in the season?

I used to fluke from shore quite a bit until all my spots dried up a couple years ago. In May I had the most luck fishing the mouths of the major rivers and then I would move to the beaches in late June. Good luck....finding a keeper from shore is no easy feat!

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7 mins ago, FlukeOff said:

I used to fluke from shore quite a bit until all my spots dried up a couple years ago. In May I had the most luck fishing the mouths of the major rivers and then I would move to the beaches in late June. Good luck....finding a keeper from shore is no easy feat!

Believe me, ive been trying for years....

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A keeper fluke from shore is going to be nearly impossible. Even catching one from a boat last year was close to impossible. There weren’t even many shorts last year. That fishery has been destroyed by commercial draggers. 

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1 min ago, z-man said:

A keeper fluke from shore is going to be nearly impossible. Even catching one from a boat last year was close to impossible. There weren’t even many shorts last year. That fishery has been destroyed by commercial draggers. 

What a shame. I haven't targeted them for decades but it seems like it wasn't that long ago (less than 10 years?) that we were getting them incidentally on striper jigs in RI, even occasionally a keeper. I was thinking they were making a comeback. Then they just disappeared again.

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20 hours ago, Richard_the_Aughth said:

I plan to target fluke off some CT beaches this summer, hoping to get one from a beach Ive been told does have them in the summer. I guess the waters dont house them close to shore anymore...

 

Anyways, Im going to start late May. Does this seem like a reasonable time in the season?

July-August feels like prime fluke season, but I've definitely had some good days in late May, too. Like Z-Man noted, catching keeper fluke -- or any fluke at all -- from shore feels tough. Not that long ago Hammonasset and a few other places on the shoreline, from New Haven to Old Saybrook, were good bets. (Chaffinch Island was always a favorite spot.) Now, not so much. But that's not to say there aren't fish out there. Just two years ago I had a memorable late-August morning on a Block Island charter with my family, when we set up in 70-75 feet of water about a half-mile off of SE Point and for three solid hours hauled in doormat after doormat. It was crazy. (And a few hours later, delicious.)

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29 mins ago, mikez2 said:

What a shame. I haven't targeted them for decades but it seems like it wasn't that long ago (less than 10 years?) that we were getting them incidentally on striper jigs in RI, even occasionally a keeper. I was thinking they were making a comeback. Then they just disappeared again.

Sea bass fishing has been getting better each year so that is one positive. I think they taste better than fluke too. The bigger ones are mostly out deep in 80-100’ so not really too accessible from shore. 

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There's been below-average recruitement from 2010 through 2018 or 2019--I've heard it picked up a bit since then.  The last stock assessment found the fish becoming less productive, with length at age declining--the fish are apparently growing more slowly--as well as delayed maturity.  When you don't have as many young fish coming into the stock, in four years or so (for the fish to reach 19 inches) you're going to see that reflected in the number of of legal fluke available.  From what I remember, the 2019 year class was fairly good, but we won't see the benefits from that until 2023 or so.  Right now, we're looking at some pretty big fish from the 2008 and 2009 year class, but not too many legal fish beyond that.

 

Having said that, if I was trying to catch fluke from shore, I'd do it early in the season.  Water will be cold when the season opens, which means that fish will be attracted to shallow water with dark mud bottoms, which tend to warm more quickly, and also hold bait at that time of year.  Outgoing tide at river mouths, or where water flows out of coves through a relatively constricted opening, would be places to start.

 

Don't live in Connecticut right now, and conditions are a little different on the South Shore of Long Island--although shallow water and dark mud bottom still tend to be productive--but I grew up in Fairfield County, and can think of some shore spots that fill the above description, which produced fluke in May back in the '70s that should still produce fish now.

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On 3/20/2021 at 10:29 AM, CWitek said:

 

 

Outgoing tide at river mouths, or where water flows out of coves through a relatively constricted opening, would be places to start.

 

 

I got some keepers from shore doing this last year, outgoing or incoming didn't really matter as long as I was fishing the beginning or end of a tide rather than peak.

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32 mins ago, nateD said:

I got some keepers from shore doing this last year, outgoing or incoming didn't really matter as long as I was fishing the beginning or end of a tide rather than peak.

Early in the season, the shallows tend to warm up earlier, and when the outgoing carries the warm water out of the back bay, I find the fish become more active.  Later in the season, it doesn't matter so much, until things really warm up.  At that point, the incoming can work a little better, because cooler water flowing into the river can spark feeding in fish logy from the heat.

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Got one on Saturday. 17.5” at the mouth of a river. Was just a stop after fishing middle ground for sea bass.  Did get some of those. Also a lot of sea robins where the fluke was. 

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