Story by Tom Pagliaroli

 

And Saturday. And Sunday and Monday…

And everyday through September 22 when the 121-day flattie season concludes.

Hey, couple the fluke opener with the first segment of the sea bass season that doesn’t close until June 22 and includes a 10 at a 12-1/2 inch minimum limit, and expect the best eating of the year, especially if you have a vacuum sealer.

The flattie restrictions are three fish at an 18-inch minimum along the ocean coast, the exceptions being Island Beach State Park where it’s a two fluke limit at a 16-inch minimum, and the expansive Delaware Bay, where a tre’ at 17-inches is the legal limit.

It’s an offering free-for-all during the early weeks of the season, as the flatfish are famished and are putting the dentition to anything that looks, moves and/or smells edible. Live minnows (killies) are at a premium and will be for another couple of weeks, but these assure a jaw snap, as do a strip of mackerel or a minnie mated to a strip of squid.

What looks like a heinous limit-maker this spring, particularly based on its fluke-whack, stack ‘n pack history, is the new S&S Bucktails “2.0 Big Eye Rattle Tail” bucktail.

And its innovative plain head for those (like me) who do not want to bother with all the deer hair.

Available in numerous flattie-flattening color patterns and weights (1/2-6 oz.), it promises to be the go-to carrier when seeking the most and/or bigger fluke.

Berkeley Blast Off: The “New and Improved” 25-acre Berkeley Island Park in Bayville re-opens this weekend. It took until now, and an $8 million dollar infusion since the ravages of Super Storm Sandy to once again offer the great crabbing, fishing and other recreational opportunities as before, but hey, now is where it’s at, so let’s get it going!

From this corner, it’s the new pier that’s the headliner. Figure great shots at blueclaws via trap and/or drop (hand) line. For rod ‘n reel guys, gals ‘n kids, there are spike and the occasional keeper (12”) weakfish, cocktail bluefish, eels and white perch…for now. Later in the summer, snapper blues, puppy black drum (16” minimum length), and the rare-but-there keeper fluke (18” minimum) can all be caught from the expanse.

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