July 10, 2011 Sandy Hook Bay Anglers (SHBA) 2 Day Fluke Tournament

Yesterday after having a good Striper run, we turned our full attention and energies to targeting the flatties. With Bill, Joe, Barry & Marty in crew, we fished Day 1 (Saturday) of the Sandy Hook Bay Anglers (SHBA) Fluke tournament. Started the morning fishing snags in 30ft of water where we boated 3 keepers and a bunch of shorts until we lost the drift. Moved out to 60ft where we grinded out another 10 keepers to 5lb until we lost the drift again. Made a few moves to some other areas in 50 to 65 feet that were Fluke nurseries. In between we saw fish crashing bait on the surface so we jumped on them to see what they were and immediately hooked up with Gator Blues on bucktails, so after we landed our fish, went back to Fluking. Barry also bucktailed a brown shark that we released boat side. Went to weigh in with something we thought was over 6lbs upon hearing the low weight fish was 2lbs but it turned out to be just a 5lb fish.

Today on day 2 (Sunday) of the Sandy Hook Bay Anglers Fluke Tournament (SHBA) I had a crew of Bill, Joe, George & Ed. Decided to gamble and travel in a completely different direction from the rest of the pack in hopes of landing the money fish today. We fished some less pressured spots and were mainly alone by ourselves for most of the day. Started on the spot where we left the fish biting at the end of the day Saturday.  Ed started us off with a qulity keeper but then we could only muster a few shorts in 50ft. A 3 mile move produced 3 more keepers in 65ft. Another drop nearby on a wreck in 80ft only yielded ling and some lost bucktails. So now I decide to go for broke and make an 8 mile move to a spot in 50ft that  produced 11 keepers to 6.5lbs and good number of shorts. Really thought the we would get a big one here with some nice fish above 4lbs being taken. Went back to the 3 keeper spot on the ride home where we added 4 more keepers and called it day, leaving them biting again after a long two days of marathon fished.. On the day, I earned my name as the NETKEEPER saving 3 fish boat-side with our Striper net including Bill’s 6.5lb Fluke who the leader snapped at the high teaser trying to make a final run at the surface. Had to ignore the urge to chase the multiple threshers we saw in our travels.

As for bait and tackle you name it, we fished it, Gulp, Squid, Spearing, Strip Baits and Mai Tai / Spro bucktails…. While I would have liked to have caught the big one, I was extremely happy with our 2 day total of 32 keepers. Congrats to the 1st and 2nd place winners.

Had a fun 2 days and great time fishing with both crews. Sunday if I had stitches in the gut, they would have all popped from the jokes and busting. If these two days are a sign of what the Fluke season holds, its going to be a great one. Don’t miss out. Lastly, unless I am chartered, I run these trips Open Boat so if you have an interest in fishing any of the upcoming Fluke tournaments, please contact me.

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