2020 fishing season so far

OK 2/3rds of fishing season behind us  ..SO how did everyone do ?  How would you rate the season by species and size??  IF you have an opinion please submit.

The FALL season could be outstanding IF we avoid big storms,warm water will keep bait inshore and as water temps drop fish will come alive and hungry

BUT would like to hear from you, BUT NO SPECFIC LOCATIONS

tight lines    bucktail

7/21 fishing report

I got out again on RETAINER with Capt Pat and we fished Great Egg Harbor Bay…Plenty of fluke with over 40 being caught BUT only 2 legal at 19 1/2″   Plenty of BIG Sea Robins to keep us entertained…..Beautiful but warm morning on the water…All of the short flounder had clean white side indicating they were arriving from offshore. The 2 legal size fluke had dirty bottoms with caked mud on one..I suspect they were heading back off shore


Jump on board Pat’s  RETAINER this morning at 630 and headed into Great Egg Harbor Bay. Beautiful morning no wind few bugs BUT very slow bite. Surface water on top of the tide was 62 but on the bottom it was clearly colder as bucktails were clearly colder than air.  Bottom line all we could find was 4 short fluke…Back at dock at 10am…What was caught was caught on pink gulp only


I know most on Barn are good Fluke fishermen but here is a couple of tips regardless of your skill and knowledge I have obtained fishing 60 plus years in Cape May County

Summer Flounder have been in Cape May County inshore waters since early April. They come inside for one reason and that is to fatten up for their journey back off shore to Spawn
They will be found where you usually find warmest water and generally feeding on grass shrimp…Current water temps are still in mid-50’s and with water temps under 65 I will provide a couple of tips as to where to find them consistently in those water temps

Look for shallow bays emptying into the ICW or other deep channels. On Outgoing tides go up into the shallow bays and drift out into the deeper channel using as light a weight as possible to just touch the bottom NOT drag it through the mud. Fluke 95% of the time will come UP to take a bait. Try this in several spots until you find a fish ,once one is caught keep working the same area until bite stops than find another spot using same techniques. Every shallow bay emptying into deeper waters have little ditches of small channels leading out of the bay and those little differences on the bottom makes a difference where the fluke are

INCOMING tide is just the reverse and drift from edge of channel into shallow water .
ON VERY BOTTOM of the tide work the channel edges until tide starts moving back in good.
You will find the most consistent bite in cooler water in these areas, water coming off the shallow bays have small spots of little deeper water and the fluke will be laying there with mouths open
This method will work consistently for me until water temps in OCEAN get over 65 and than you need to work deeper water
Summer flounder will hold in inside waters for 7-10 weeks before heading back offshore and when that starts the most consistent bite is in waters near inlets as they will still be stuffing themselves as they leave . Inshore fluke migration usually will continue into late June with largest fluke arriving earliest and July and August there will be an influx of undersize fluke.
One final comment ,vary the bait and color being used until you find a color combination that works…Water clarity can change with a tide and a color that worked yesterday may not work today.
Good luck in 2020 and be safe


Summer Flounder season will open Friday May 22nd FOR RECREATIONAL FISHERMEN…For hire and Party boats still not allowed to open BUT stay tuned as there is a possibility our NJ Leftest Governor will make a decision to open in next day or 2….Fluke are coming in and those who know where to find them are finding legal size fluke and of course throwing them back until season opens…Upcoming week looks lousy for weather so doubt if there will be much pressure on them ,but as of today Friday’s opening day looks promising

Would love to hear of your success on the opening weekend

Good Luck


Summer flounder season is scheduled to open on May 22 HOWEVER that is up in the air at the moment and couple of options will be discuss at Marine Council meeting 5pm Thursday 5/14  Marine Council called a meeting last week of advisors of which I am a rep for ASMFC and below are 2 options discussed

ONE  option on table is to delay opening until  the for hire fleet can fish..This was pushed for by the For Hire Captains and North Jersey reps. BUT if that is the outcome the inshore recreational guy  from





south Jersey will get screwed BECAUSE biggest flounder of the the year on average are caught early in  South Jersey  and any delay in season will have serious impact on positive results for inshore fishermen…Largest fluke are arriving NOW and majority will stay inside  for 6-9 weeks before moving offshore and by July 95% of fluke in inshore waters are under 18″.. SO THIS IS not a good option in my opinion

Option #2  was open as planned and once the For Hire sector is open extend their season by whatever time they lost from opening date and close inshore as schedule

These were the 2 recommendations that came out of the Advisers meeting called for by Marine Council last week


There could be other options available that Marine Council could present after they  had a private  meeting.    I suspect they will have a plan to present  in this Thursdays meeting and it will go as they present with little effective impact from fishermen…I suspect the meeting will be on the Web so stay alert for announcements

Fishing during tough times 4/5/20

Tough time to fish but NJ has kept State Parks open so you can still get some fishing time in..CMC inlets have seen the small striped bass return in big numbers following the shift to strong NE winds..All inlets are producing striped bass from 11″ to 20″ with occasional little larger but still short of 28″  Small jigs with rubber mostly white has been doing the trick. As long as the wind is NE the first will hold in tight schools,wind shift will get them moving around and stiff NW will chase them to ocean.  Get out enjoy the fresh air and keep your distance



I went out this morning looking for a fish and decided to try Tuckahoe first.  BUT found nothing so took a ride to Mays landing and threw a line  in with bloodworms on. This was at bottom of the tide and it had about an hour left….To my surprise I landed a  big fat White perch full of Roe and  was headed up steam i suspect to drop them I suspect..  Few minutes later another perch but much smaller. Tide dead and to my surprise another bite and this was “huge”?” striped bass of 11″ …Once tide started in no more bites ,gave it 45 minutes and called it a day

STRIPED BASS are all over

Short Striped Bass   11-18″ are thick around inlets of Cape May County. I talked to one guy yesterday who said he caught over 50 with largest being only 19″.. I won’t mention the inlet but all inlets in Cape May County are holding bass that are moving around with the tides .They are HUNGRY because other than grass shrimp there is little bait….Small bucktails tipped with twister tails or blood worms seems to be the most productive method BUT you have to work  the bucktail slowly and if you feel a tap give it a second or 2 before setting hook. I would bet if you get behind the inlets in ICW you could find larger bass

Bluefish should show up any day IF they are going to arrive….DON”T FORGET that the genius’s  setting  regulations has dropped the bag limit from 15 to 3   no size limit

Summer flounder are arriving and will be found in our shallow bays  especially on outgoing tides and they will be the biggest of the year on average BUT REMEMBER once again thanks to the genius’s setting regulation you can’t keep any until Memorial Day weekend  … I did get 2 early this week 14″ and one just short of 20″ while fishing for bass



Midnight tonite  Mar 17th  is the last time you can comment on phase one of  potential new Fluke and Sea Bass regulations….ELECT NOT TO COMMENT ,DON’T BE BITCHING LATER ABOUT REGULATIONS    COMMENTS CAN  GO   jbeaty@mamfc .org    title flounder/seabass comments