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Bass, Fluke Keeping Anglers Busy

Should be a busy weekend on the water, observers say

After a rainy week at the Shore, anglers hit the beaches and boats Friday to begin their weekends with some long-awaited fishing.

A lack of fishing reports pushed back our normal Friday fishing column to Saturday, but we'll make up for it with some reports of great fishing in our local area.

We'll start at the Manasquan Inlet, where anglers have been reeling in bluefish after bluefish all week long. It was tough to even park your car for a few minutes at the inlet wall this week without seeing someone hauling one onto the sand.

Local anglers told me this week that they've been using bunker to elicit the bluefish to bite, but everyone who's a frequent readers knows my partiality to poppers. In my humble opinion, they provide a bit more action (espcially on light tackle) and a better fight. It's also pretty cool to see the fish practically jump out of the water to attack the lure.

I've also heard the mouth of the Point Pleasant Canal, as usual, is a great place to catch some blues. When my boat was docked in Brick a few years back, hitting the canal mouth was a near-nightly tradition for me. I'd use my favorite classic rod, minimum-test line and a greenish-blue popper from Brielle Bait and Tackle and have fun for hours!

The fluke have been fickle at times, but the action has generally been steady. The usual spots are producing – the channels from the Route 35 bridge to Clark's in the Manasquan, as well as the clam beds off Gull Island – but ocean fluking has been hit or miss.

Farther down the ICW, the Oyster Creek and Double Creek channels have been very, very productive over the past week when anglers could fish, according to a report from Fisherman's Headquarters in Ship Bottom. Schoolie stripers, blues and fluke have all been in the mix, and very plentiful.

Just like the northern part of Ocean County, the bluefish have been on a mean bite in southern Ocean as well.

No weakfish or kings have been reported so far to the shop, the report said. I know of at least one that's been caught in the bay, however, closer to Beach Haven. The (lack of) weakie saga is continuing for another season, indeed.

The folks at The Dock Outfitters in Seaside Heights also reported good fishing in the bay – specifically blues at the BB buoy. Poppers have provided the most action.

In news from the suds, Jeff Bajek caught a 25-pound Cobia that he weighed in to Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park, a report from the shop said.

Bass and blues were both being weighed in when the weather cooperated, Grumpy said in his reports from the week.

Southward even farther, the crew of the Miss Beach Haven have been seeing some luck with sea bass at the Little Egg reef, a report said. Most anglers have been catching a few to more than 10 fish, and they've generally weighed up to 3.5 pounds.

Regardless of the numbers per angler, "everyone went home with fish," Sal from the boat said in a report.

The fish of the month thus far is the 50-pounder caught by Greg O'Connell, whose photo is attached to this article. The cow was weighed in to Surf City Bait and Tackle in (you guessed it) Surf City.

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