. 2017 SEASON FOR SUMMER FLOUNDER Started out decent in spite of up and down windy weather APRIL.51 fluke caught ,tagged and released with average size of 19.12″. MAY saw a slight drop in size with largest caught the first 2 weeks and overall size of the month was 17.88″ JUNE saw another drop in size to 16.88″ but numbers were good. JULY as it normally is saw smallest fish of the year at 13.86″ .My 2018 problem started mid -JULY
when engine problems developed and I was out of the water for 6 1/2 weeks… Got going again late AUGUST and found fluke little larger at 14.78″. SEPT saw another slight increase at 14.94″ ,OCT was similar to SEPT at 14.88″ .NOV had fluke for about 10 days with an average size of 14.56″ Total for the year was 364 fluke caught with 322 tagged and released. Largest was 26″ with 3 at 26″ Several of my early tagged fish were re-caught in ocean in late May and June providing evidence that early Spring fluke begin moving back offshore in 6-8 weeks
2017 was best year for fluke in past 3 years in spite for losing 6 weeks
My basic rig for fluke was my designed 2 hook rig on a 2 way barrel swivel with 8″ leader tied for a 1/4-5/8 oz bucktail with a Gulp minnow, the other hook was on a 3ft leader with gold 5/0 hook . Depending on the time of year this hook had fresh stripped bait in early in May followed by Gulp Shrimp later and Gulp shrimp used most of the time the rest of the year.
Obviously 2017 demonstrated a population that the experts were not recognizing and I think that is due to changing fluke locations .Spots that produced for years did not produce and I found them in areas I never caught before. My belief is the ongoing beach replenishment is destroying inshore water ways with excess sand moving inside and choking bottom habitat with sand and destroying bottom life . This will continue and my best advice is to explore and look for new areas for more fluke inshore . There may be an increase in season length in 2018 BUT the regulators are still insisting on a 19″ size which is INSANE as 99% of fluke over 18″ are females. so NJ will have another fight on it’s hands
I would recommend that interested fluke fishermen get involved and voice their opinion this year as was done last year.
Decisions will be made in mid-Feb and a 30 day public comment session will be in place with meetings in NJ
My recommendations that need to be pushed go like this
#1–NJ needs to be split with an early opening in the South and later in the north.
#2 NJ must fight for at least a minimum of 18″
#3– Best option to allow for increasing the population is a slot size option of 2-3 fish between 15-18″ (keep in mind the commercial size is 14″) ,and one over 18 ” This would result in increasing the overall population as more females will be allowed to spawn
I will point out the initial size was set at 13″ several years ago and population grew every year BUT one even with increasing size UNTIL size got to 17 1 /2″ when population flatten out,since 18″ and now in some States 19″ the population as reported by the Feds has gone down…. You don’t have to be a genius to understand what is happening
OK this is my 2 cents as a result of flounder fishing in Cape May County NJ for past 60 plus years
Here is wishing you a GREAT 2108 SEASON

Bucktail willie update

I am a little late recapping my 2017 season due to some eye problems
I had eye surgery for a misplaced Retina at Wills Eye Hospital and currently only have use of one eye.recovery will be slow BUT as soon as I get little more vision back I will recap 2017


Took a ride over to barrier islands to look for Eagles ,found none BUT the marsh was frozen and several creeks frozen over ,Jenkins Sound was frozen as far out as I could see,actually saw no open water, Went on up to Corson area and could see Ludlam was froze over out to main channel. At Rush Chatin there was sizable chunks of ice flowing out on bottom of the tide .. I haven’t seen ice this early in several moons I guess the Global Warming nuts are now looking for more bulls#$% to put out so they can get more of our Tax Dollars . I can’t wait to hear the latest bullS$%^


TO all who have been following me I want to wish you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and I hope Santa is good to you
I will recap my year as difficult as it was right after first of the year
MERRY CHRISTMAS from Bucktail Willie


I got an invite from Grasshopper to fish on his Retainer but I was doing Shep’s radio show and couldn’t meet him until 9am.He said OK so I met him and off we went into the river.Beautiful morning ,flat calm,only problem was it was outgoing tide
We hit all the normal spots ,saw a few fish but no bites,finally I got a hit and had it on half way in before she dropped off. Tried a few more spots and finally I got into one that played with my eel 3 or 4 times before I got a hook into her and she turned out to be a fat 26″ bass. Tried for another 45 minutes BUT found nothing
Water temp 48 on outgoing and I suspect outgoing was cooler than incoming as ocean was reported at 50 and better bite would be on an incoming. This time of year couple degrees can make a big difference.
But it was a nice morning on the water with good company in December who can complain ??


Got an invite from Pat Martin to fish on his RETAINER. We fished the Great Egg Harbor River and found BASS. Only one over 28″ but a total 8 with 7 tagged and release all 22-26″ Also lost 3 others at the boat. Pat out fished me 5-3 .All fish caught on eels. Water temp was 47 and bite was not all that aggressive and they played with the bait before you could get a hook in them.
Great Day on the water and Pat knows these waters extremely well and is a great Captain
Thank you Pat


WELL, season is finished for and my boat. I went out this morning and it was a little cool and more NE wind than I would like but headed north on start of outgoing tide starting at 312 slow trolling with an eel.NEVER had a touch. Ted was in front of me on other side and had 2 shorts and called me over but I got nothing. I headed further north and finally picked up a 24″ rat on a bucktail but than again nothing.
Decided to head to Flat cr with tide out 2 hours and saw nothing and caught nothing. Another boat in creek also had nothing
Disgusted I headed to the barn
At dock begin removing what I dont need from boat in anticipation of pulling out and calling it a season tomorrow .
Water temps on top of tide this morning 52 , 2 hours out water temp dropped to 47. Also saw no serious bait even at my dock where there has been bait all year there was nothing.
Have reports of fish in ocean north of AC inlet but like last year I suspect these fish will boogy south on dropping water temps and probably stay outside 3 mile limit for most part given the water temps .
If you are still in the water best advice is to hit off shore lumps and hop for the best


Another day and no bass. Never marked a bass.Tried the last couple of hours of outgoing when it was flat out COLD. Tide dropped out I came back to dock and waited for incoming .Once in an hour I headed back out and gave it another 2 hours and NO BASS. Did picked up a 20″ fluke on a Spot but no bass
Season is over for me ,I may try in morning but than plan to pull out and call it a season
Sometime in Dec I will recapped my year which I am not all that proud of as it has been a difficult year to say the least .
Water temp was 46 on bottom of the tide but came in a little warmer and when I quit it was up to 51 .
Given these colder water temps inside I suspect any bass migrating will go right down the beach
I suspect the rivers (Tuckahoe,Great Egg and Mullica) are filling up with bass that will winter over given these water temps.
My plan is now to get boat out ,clean it up and put her up for sale as I need a smaller boat.This boat is too big for this old man . If you are interesting in a 19 ft Mako with a full T-Top, rebuilt ETEC 115 that has been attracted to fish over the years let me know

fishing report 11/12

Not a productive morning,no wind ,little cool and no fish. Caught last hour of outgoing and couple hours of incoming and never had a touch. Water temp 46-48 serious drop past couple of days… Given the water temp drop it could be the end of bass inside as I suspect anything coming down the beach will stay in ocean
I’ll give it a couple more days and probably call it a year


I am not in a very good mood,best to stay away. I pulled out of dock at 6am with tide just starting in and fished for 6 hours all the way up to top of the tide and NEVER HAD A TOUCH on a Spot,Eel or a bucktail. Never saw any bait . Pretty nice morning but guess the bass know there is some lousy cold weather coming went into hiding
Next 3 days looks windy and cold maybe even real cold but looks like a little warm up next week.
In any event I not in the best of moods at the moment