With Fourth of July week kicking off the vacation season for many people, this is the time many travel to the Jersey shore. And if you’re an angler, you can be treated to some good eating fluke as they’re being caught along with stripers and blues in the ocean, rivers and bays.
According to On the Water Magazine, party boats report keeper fluke on the reefs and wrecks while surfcasters are nailing them in the wash on sand bugs. Gulp and bucktails are picking them up in the rivers and bays. And there are plenty of bass and blues in the same places.
Capt. Phil Sciortino, at the Tackle Box in Hazlet, said fluking is on fire with good catches coming from the Rattlesnake and Shrewsbury Rocks. In addition, there are a lot of big blues being caught out front and folks are still catching bass on the New York side.
Mike Pinto at Giglio’s Bait & Tackle in Sea Bright, said there are loads of big blues in the rivers and in the surf where they’re hitting top water plugs. A few bass up to 25 inches are being caught in the surf on poppers and bugs. It’s an early morning bite on the outgoing tide. Fluke also showed up in the surf but action cooled a bit as south winds chilled the water.
Mike Gleason at TAK Waterman in Long Branch, reported good fluking off the beach and on the boats with Gulp and bucktails luring them to hook. Stripers there continue to eat sand crabs off the beach and a body of blues arrived that were falling for jigs.
Bob Mathews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, said Shark River is yielding some nice fluke with a 25-incher caught earlier in the week.
Kyle Tanger at Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach, reported fluking in the Manasquan River is crazy good on light jig heads and Gulp. Anglers are using 1/8 to 3/8-ounce jigs with 5-inch Gulp to catch loads of fish. Tanger said no weight or just a split shot is working best for folks fishing sand crabs for bass in the wash. There are also lots of blues around and a few bonito in with them out in the ocean.
PGCs HUNTING LICENSE SALES
Last Monday was no picnic for hunters attempting to purchase their general hunting license, antlerless deer license, archery and bear licenses. It seems the PGCs new online license system was overloaded and couldn’t handle the volume at 8 a.m. Monday when licenses could be purchased online or at a license agent.
The stories ranged from a sportsman accessing the system online to be notified he was number 53,000 in the wait cycle. Then after a 10-minute wait, got booted off and had to refresh the system. Another was 43,000 in line and just gave up.
License agency store sales were no different. The line of buyers at Coplay News Agency went back to the end of the block, then the system crashed at 8:20 a.m. those waiting were told. A buddy went there at 2:30 p.m. and only had a 20-minute wait as did another friend. Yet another had a two-and-a-half hour wait in line at Bucks Sporting Goods. Dick Sporting Goods and Walmart had similar lines and waits.
The PGC acknowledged delays but said the system ran smoother in the afternoon and on Tuesday. They reported that as of 11:59 p.m. on Monday, the agency sold 165,503 hunting licenses and a little over 164,000 antlerless licenses.
In comparison to the former way of issuing licenses, the PGC said last year 37,694 antlerless licenses were sold on the first day they were available. And as for as general hunting licenses sales in 2022, 140,600 were sold which went on sale 13 days before doe tags were offered.
REMINDER: JULY 4 is a fish-for-free day in Pennsylvania when you don't need a fishing license to fish Commonwealth waters
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.