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Hot on the trail of fluke

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The catch: June 25-July1. By Dan Radel Wochit

The catch: June 25-July1. By Dan Radel Wochit

If the forecast holds there could be a very good run of fluke over the 4th of July weekend.

NOAA is calling for west winds around 10 miles per hour, which may create nice drifting conditions for anglers looking to collar a few fish on these now long days of summer.

Capt. John Connell of the Captain John reports they are still riding the good vibes of the 15-pound, 3-ounce doormat fluke landed by Gary Thompson last weekend. Connell said it may be the biggest fluke to be pulled from Raritan Bay this season.

The Elaine B II has been dialed into the big fish lately. Capt. Stan Zagleski Sr. sounded very pleased when he phoned in to report that the father and daughter team of Dennis and Danielle O'Brien, of South Bound Brook, landed a pair of doormats.

"Danielle had a 13.1-pound beauty, which is the largest ever boated by a lady fluke fisher aboard the Elaine B II. Her dad Dennis, not to be outdone, boated a 10.5-pound fish later in the day. It was his second doormat of the season already," said Zagleski.

Not to be left out was Steve Pirigyi's catch of a 10.3-pound fluke.

Out of Shark River Inlet Capt. Ron Kish, skipper of the Capt. Cal II reported mid-week that fishing picked up. He said the morning drifts were very active with both keepers and shorts biting at the baits.

"We moved around, some  areas were slower, overall  it was a decent day of fluke  fishing," he said.

Some of his party of fishermen had four keepers while others had two or three. He said anglers using green Gulp held an advantage over other anglers.

Porpoises ride along

Capt. Chris Hueth on the Big Mohawk reported a catch of a 7-pound, 10-ounce fluke. He was joined by some porpoises that swam along side the boat as he motored to the fishing grounds.

The Manaquan Inlet boats are finding fish around the local reefs that are just a few miles from the point of the jetty.

"The last few days on our fluke trips we have had a better percentage of keepers coming over the rails up to 7 pounds," said Capt. Bobby Bogan of the Gambler.

Gary Thompson, Keyport, with a 15-pound 3- ounce fluke caught on the Captain John. (Photo: Capt. John Connell)

Gary Thompson, Keyport, with a 15-pound 3- ounce fluke caught on the Captain John. (Photo: Capt. John Connell)

While the fluke boats are busying themselves on drifts inshore, a pair of bottom fishing boats out of Manasquan Inlet report finding the winter flounder honey hole out in the deep.

Capt. Willie Egerter of the Dauntless said they are "flooding in flounder" in the three to four pound range. The ling bite has also improved with anglers catching 10 to 25 of them.

"We are catching more and more so come on down to get your fill," the skipper said.

Capt. Francis Bogan of the Paramount reports purple hake are also biting on the deeper water wrecks. Brooklyn fisher, Timmy Magee won a recent pool with one that weighed 12-pounds.

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