Fin-atics Fishing Report 6/30/17 Summer fishing is here

Summer is Here

The water temperatures are rising and the crowds are filling in…it must be July in Ocean City! It’s becoming full on summer here at the Jersey shore and anyone who visits can get into some great fishing. With the recent string of great weather, anglers are having great success from the bay to the offshore canyons.

Fluke are on the move in the intercostal waterways.  Anglers are reporting good numbers of short flounder with a few keeper sized fish mixed in. Hot spots have been the Kennedy Park area, Ships Channel, and Anchorage Point.  Don’t hesitate to fish some of the deeper channels as water temperatures rise. The baits that seem to be producing are Berkley Gulp! baits, mackerel or squid strips and minnows. Boats heading to the reefs aren’t finding large numbers of fluke yet, but are pulling up decent fish in the three to five-pound range. Jon Werley of Ocean City brought in this week’s biggest fluke with a flatty that weighed just over six pounds. Crabbing has been picking up and should only get better as the water warms up.

Brown sharks starting to tease anglers

On the beach side we are hearing of decent sized kingfish in great numbers. Surf anglers are using bloodworms to catch the kings with the artificial bloodworm beginning to work better with rising temperatures. Brown sharks have started ripping up bluefish rigs in the surf and anglers targeting them are hooking up. Use a wire leader and bring a pair of pliers for safety when catching brown sharks from the suds. The offshore action has been incredible over the past few weeks.  We have heard Large numbers of small yellowfin and bluefin tuna in the spencer and Baltimore canyon. Most boats are having more success with the tuna on the troll rather than chunking.

Possible World Record?

Maureen Klause of Ocean City, NJ brought a beautiful one hundred and twenty-six pound Mako shark to the scale earlier this week.  This catch is a pending I.G.F.A world line-class record, she caught it on 6lb test!  It seems this summer will be great for fishing so get out on the water.

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Fin-atics Fishing Report 6/15/2017 Lots of Kingfish

Kingfish have arrived!

With the recent heat wave calming down, it is safe to say that summer arrived.  June has been an awesome month for fishing so far with the action only heating up.  The beach has come to life over the past weekend.  Reports of decent kingfish in really good numbers continue to pour in. Surfcasters are even catching a few nice weakfish mixed in with the kings.  The hot bait has been bloodworms as the water temps hang in the low to mid 60’s.  Look for Fishbites to start producing when the ocean water temps eclipse 65 degrees.  The middle of OC, beaches from 15th to 34th street have been the most consistent for the kingfish.

We are hearing daily reports of great fluke fishing in the bay and even out on the reefs!  I know it’s a little early, but boats prospecting on the reefs for fluke have been pulling limits. Rick Martin from Ocean City was rewarded with a five and a half pound fluke while bouncing a bucktail on the Atlantic City reef last week.  Also, Bob Pelikoski, a regular at the shop, had a banner day in the bay with two fluke taking the scale at three and a half pounds and a third pushing over four pounds. It seems these larger fluke are making a push for the ocean reefs so now is the time to get them while you can in the creeks and channels!  As usual Berkley Gulp! baits, mackerel strips and minnows have produced the most bites.  This year has been far different than the disappointing 2016 season, a lot more keeper fluke.  Now is the time and get out and fish before the water warms up too much and the crowds move in!

Fin-atics June 7th Fishing Report 2017

Fishing Report 6/7/17

Summer has finally arrived in South Jersey and so have the summer flounder! The state has officially settled on the summer flounder regulations.  The season will run until September 5th with an 18 inch minimum length and a limit of three fish per angler. Several anglers are finding keeper sized fish and even their bag limits in the bay behind Ocean City. Productive spots have been Ships Channel, Rainbow Channel and Kennedy Park on the Somers Point side. Anglers are catching fat flatties on Berkley Gulp, squid, minnows and mackerel strips.

It seems that the large, gator blues we had this spring have moved on.  They have been replaced with smaller, cocktail sized bluefish hitting lures and bait in the inlets. Reports are also coming in of nice flounder, small blues and even the occasional striper off the piers on the 9th street causeway. People are using cut baits off the pier such as bunker, mackerel and clam to catch these fish. Decent sized kingfish, striped bass and three to five-pound blues continue to be caught by local surf anglers along the beachfront.  Finger mullet, bunker and bloodworms have been the most productive baits on this front.

Sea bass will be open until June 18th and the action has been great. Boats heading to the wrecks in the fifteen to thirty-mile range are catching tons of fish and having no problem catching their limits of ten fish per angler at twelve and a half inches. With plenty of opportunities to fill the cooler now is the time to get out and fish! The store is stocked with plenty of bait and tackle so make sure to stop by before heading out on the water.

Local Catches

Debra Almeda of Corbin City weighed in the biggest fluke of the season so far at 6.23 pounds last weekend.  There have been plenty of other fish tipping the scale at three to four pounds regularly. Bill Carew came in the shop to weigh a solid five-pound weakfish.  He caught it while jigging a bucktail for fluke behind Margate.

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Fin-atics 3rd Annual Fluke Derby – 2015 Winners

Fin-atics 3rd Annual Fluke Derby – 2015 Winners
 
For the past three years Fin-atics has sponsored a FREE Fluke Derby for our customers to participate in for the summer season.  It is a friendly competition that we encourage everyone to enter.  All we require is to sign up each season and provide us with valid contact information.  All winners are notified via email and below you will find this years results.
 
June Winners:
1st Place – Ken Ruckle (25-1/2″ – 5.34lbs)
2nd Place – Brian Schuler (24″ – 4.95lbs)
3rd Place – Mike Gardner (24-1/2″ – 4.64lbs)
July Winners:
1st Place – Chip Roman (26-1/2″ – 7.57lbs)
2nd Place – Dennis Molette (26″ – 6.02lbs)
3rd Place – Ken Ruckle (24-1/2″ – 5.56lbs)
August Winners:
1st Place – Bob Pelikoski (25-3/4″ – 7.41lbs)
2nd Place – Dennis Molette (26″ – 6.76lbs)
3rd Place – Phil Degliomini (25-3/4″ – 6.11lbs)
Tournament Overall Winners:
1st Place – Chip Roman (26-1/2″ – 7.57lbs)
2nd Place – Bob Pelikoski (25-3/4″ – 7.41lbs)
3rd Place – Dennis Molette (26″ – 6.76lbs)
 
Congratulations to our Fluke Derby winners for 2015, we look forward to next seasons tournament.

Bluefish Fishing Tips

Bluefish are a very popular and abundant fish that can be caught all over the Jersey Shore. Wire leaders are a essential to successfully catching these fish, their razor sharp teeth are capable of cutting even 80lb Fluorocarbon leaders. Anglers use a variety of plugs, sand eel type jigs, squid or mackerel like lures when casting or trolling. Bunker, mackerel or eels are the preferred live baits. When these are not available, many types of cut bait also work.

Tips on Catching Bluefish

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When and where:

In New Jersey, the bluefish show up in the spring around early May, and they stay all summer long and into October. Another good thing about bluefish is that you can often catch them during the day; even in the summer. However, early morning and at dusk are the best times to catch bluefish. They can be caught right off the coast and out in the water. Fishing for them can be easily be done from a boat or on shore. The bluefish bite is at its best at dawn or dusk and any other time when there are low light conditions. The bluefish are much more aggressive than most fish and can often be found blitzing bait even under the midday sun. When they are not blitzing bait, they school up in staging areas and can be easily convinced to bite. Bluefish can be found in any depth and in almost any location where there is bait in the vicinity. They will frequently shadow a school of bait for a period of time and then suddenly make their attack. The resulting commotion will get the attention of every seagull within sight or earshot. A good moving tide can certainly improve the bite, but it is not unusual to see the fish feed right through the slack or flood.

Watch the birds:

The birds are very helpful when bluefish fishing. The birds can either be high flying, bee lining, screaming, wet roosting, or dry roosting. The angler needs to understand the implications of each of these behaviors. High flying birds typically circle repeatedly above a rather large patch of water. This is a sign that baitfish are concentrated beneath the surface of the water and out of their reach. They can easily cover a large area from well above the surface and they are waiting for predators to drive the bait to the top. It is very import for the angler to not have tunnel vision when working an area. Many times the fisherman’s concentration is on a small patch of water that the fish recently occupied, when just over their shoulder a full scale blitz is going on. Watch for birds flying relatively low over the water in a straight line. Several birds all heading in the same direction are probably making a bee line towards some obvious surface activity. When there are lots of birds over relatively wide area, the best thing to do is to listen for their screams. When bait appears on the top, they cannot contain their excitement and immediately give away the location. Large numbers of birds sitting on the water in an area is a sign that some significant feeding activity recently took place. The bait has probably gone deep and may be directly beneath them. The bass and blues may be nearby and simply taking a breather. A big flock on the water bears watching for a least a few minutes. A large number of birds roosting on rocks or docks suggest that there is probably a very large bait source in the area, but nothing has happened for quite some time. This may be worth revisiting later in the tide.

Use light Fishing Equipment:

Light spinning or bait casting tackle will provide the most sport and enjoyment. A good 6’6’’ to 7’ medium weight, fast action is enough to handle nearly anything. Braided and gel spun lines are perfect for this type of fishing. The thin diameter and slippery surfaces allow for long casts even with some of the smallest lures. The lack of stretch transmits every twitch of the rod directly to the lure and the angler can create some very enticing retrieves. Most pros prefer 20lb test as it has enough strength to handle some of the biggest fish and larger plugs, yet a thin enough diameter so that there is adequate line capacity in most suitable reels. A top quality reel with a good drag is a must.

Using Big lures:

Matching the size of the small baits being pursued is very difficult and unnecessary. These fish are attacking out of impulse and are drawn by the noise and commotion. A noisy 5-7 inch surface plug is most effective. Smaller plugs limit casting distance and make much less commotion. The fish are not intimidated by the larger plug size. Even the smallest blues do not hesitate to attack a plug which is only half their size. All plugs should be tied to a 2-3ft length of 30-50lb Fluorocarbon leader attached to the main line a small Mustad Rolling Swivel. The leader will aid the angler when handling the fish at boat side. Never handle the braided line, the thin diameter and unyielding edge can easily cut you. Popping plugs such as surface cruisers and pencils are usually the most productive. However, these lures take a certain degree of skill and practice to achieve a good presentation. Sometimes it is better to work a flat and angling face popper with a perfect presentation, rather than a surface cruiser in a mediocre presentation. The advantage of the cruiser and pencils is that they have a lot of action with very little forward momentum. This means that the plug stays in front of fish for a longer period of time and really gives the fish a chance to hone in on it.

Patience:

Like any fishing, this is one of the most important tips. When bluefish fishing the angler must resist the temptation to strike back at the fish until it is certain that it has the plug. Many times a fish will strike at a plug repeatedly and not get hooked. Simply maintain the same retrieve that got the fish’s interest in the first place, or stop the retrieve just for a moment to make the lure appear like a stunned or wounded baitfish. Start the retrieve again with just a slight twitch and the fish will usually strike again. If there are no takers during the course of a long retrieve, vary the speed to see if the fish are interested in a slightly different presentation. Slow retrieves are usually more effective as the fish have a much better chance to find the plug. Once the fish does have the plug, a short hook set is usually enough to ensure that it will make it to the side of your boat.

For more helpful Jersey Shore fishing tips as well as top of the line fishing bait and tackle, check out Fin-atics. Serving the Cape May County area, they offer quality equipment both in their Ocean City NJ store and online at good prices. Contact them at (609) 398-2248 or visit the website.

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