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Fluke Head for the Ocean

Barnegat Bay still filled with flounder, however

How do fluke know these things? It's August, and just as the tourist season is entering its home stretch (for better or worse, depending on who you ask), so is the back bay fluke fishery.

After hanging on longer than usual, it seems that the best fluke action has moved to the ocean this week, rounding out the ages-old pattern of the life cycle of the summer flounder. But that doesn't mean back bay action has come to an end. There are plenty of fluke left in Barnegat Bay, but instead of fishing back by the BI and BB buoys, move closer to the inlet to score your catch. The northern banks of High Bar Harbor along the channel is a prime spot right now, and having fished this very area this week, I can tell you that the bite is on. Keepers are getting a bit harder to find, however, and most of the reports I've seen this week indicate the fluke are moving toward the ocean waters.

Capt. Allen Gonzalez of Reel Class Sportfishing, out of Point Pleasant, hosted an open boat "Fluke 'Til You Puke" trip on Thursday, and six anglers caught 75 fluke after the boat headed north toward Asbury Park and Elberon in the ocean. Of those fish, 22 were keepers. The group also managed a few sea bass, ling and hake.

On the wrecks, most reports indicated this week that sea bass fishing was hit or miss, and there were no silver bullets out there. Porgies were small. A few triggerfish were out there, though.

My buddies at The Dock Outfitters in Seaside Heights said non-fluke fishing was decent, with blues being hooked at Casino Pier and a few kings at the shop's dock on Barnegat Bay.

One last thing to keep in mind: The blackfish season is open right now, though only one fish, 14-inches and over, can be kept. But despite the regs, there's plenty of fun to be had fishing for the tog. Head to the Point Pleasant Canal (I'd suggest the south side, near the Route 88 bridge) or the rail at Barnegat Inlet (the closer to the lighthouse, the better) to try to score one.

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