Finding the time to target summer weakfish, between the best flounder bite in years and striped bass fishing, is the hard part for me. When I have targeted weakfish, I have been successful most of the time. The tip of the day is the summer weakfish are here for sure. The summer weakfish are smaller than the spring and fall run weakfish. However, there is always a couple of big weakies around in the summer. Ed Teise actually hooked a tide runner weakfish last Friday. Ed has zeroed in on the summer weakfish and is running up his catch numbers. Traditionally the weakfish will begin to feed at night during mid to late summer, it is about that time.
One of today’s stripers attacks my lure.
I headed directly to a spot that I knew was holding bait for the last week. Today I wanted to see if the spot was holding more than keeper flounder. I pulled the anchor knowing the area was holding stripers and weakfish. After, I fished for flounder shortly, catching a nice 23″ keeper. Then I headed to the shallow water to hunt for stripers. I found a good number of stripers. One smoked my drag during a couple of good runs, he was between 30 and 40 inches. Thanks to the clear shallow water I got a good look, before he shook the hook. I continued fishing and catching nice stripers , but the big one got away today. The water temperature that was holding the fish was 70 degrees.
One of today’s stripers takes a close look at my lure.
Today felt so much like fall, I decided to forgo flounder fishing to hunt summer stripers. It was refreshing to find them with very little effort. I was sloppy in my approach to the spots , but I still hooked up at most locations. In one area they were feeding on peanut bunker and they had no interest in my favorite paddle tail. What is exciting is the amount of bait fish I continue to see in the area this year. If the numbers of bait fish hold, this fall striper fishing will be much better than last year.
Today’s flounder, like all that I catch, were caught in the sounds of Cape May co..
One of the advantages of living in close proximity to the areas you fish, is it allows you more time to fish. I had not planned on fishing today, but . As I pulled back on the throttle, I found clear blue water, one of the conditions I was seeking. However, the water temperature was a little chilly. I checked seven spots before I found good conditions . The spots that were holding fish were two degrees warmer than the others. The water temperature was 63-68 degrees. Fishing pressure ranged from heavy to non existent depending on the spot. Total time spent 2 hours 35 minutes.
John and his 5 back bay keeper flounder
We were jumped by a gang of mad strawberry flies at my dock this morning.Keep in mind, that if you run into strawberry flies , hold your ground and swat, you can clear them out in a short time. After rumbling with the strawberry natives we loaded the skiff and were on our way.With the weekend fishing pressure coupled with the conditions, it took some effort to zero in on the fish. We fished 3.5 hours, the water temperature was 65 degrees, the bite window was narrow. It is was a good morning fishing with John.
The extra-large full moon tide, filled the sound with crystal clear ocean water. The view of all the marine life on and around the flats was spectacular. What I thought was a giant striped bass chasing bait, turned out to be a large shark aggressively feeding on striped bass! No time for a picture.
It was a beautiful day for flounder fishing. I ended the back bay safari with three keeper flounder. The largest was 23.5″, 4.9 pounds. I fished for two hours and ten minutes. The water temperature was 66 degrees at the top of the tide. Fishing pressure ? It looked like everybody was on the water today, including very busy fish and game officers and State Troopers.
Grass shrimp found inside a 20″ summer flounder
It started in May with millions of spearing. I noticed them being pushed around the sound by stripers , bluefish and weakfish. This June I seen the best run of grass shrimp in a decade , along with a good amount of minnows. Thus far in the back bays of Cape May County, NJ we have had a good fishing season. The success is linked directly to the presents of the bait. Hopefully the bait will hold into the fall. In this area red drum and speckled trout usually show up in the fall of the year. However, Kayak Bruce caught the first Jersey red drum this season in June. The first Jersey speckled trout has been caught also, by an Avalon sharp. Maybe this is a good indicator for the upcoming fall season?
Kenny,Ken,Chip and Charlie
Saturday was a beautiful June day for fishing . Every crew I spoke with caught fish. Mater of fact, a record amount of flounder were checked in. The tournament has a friendly family atmosphere. However, the competition and the excitement that accompanies it are in the mix. We had 6 keeper flounder and one weakfish. Our heaviest flounder was 5.3 lbs. It held for a second place tie with friend Chip Gruff’s 5.3 lbs flounder. Our weakfish held for first place. I was fishing the tournament with sons Kenny and Justin, it was a great day on the water.
You can see a complete list of the winners on the Grassy Sound Marina’s Facebook page.
A summer flounder fishermen’s wintertime daydream, that describes today. A blue sky, no humidity, no bugs, light wind and a good flounder bite . I fished for 2 hours and 20 minutes today. I caught 4 keeper flounder the biggest was 24″. The water temperature was 67 degrees. The conditions are excellent for back bay flounder fishing from Corson’s inlet down to Cape May Harbor.