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ANGLER Flounder Fishing

Andrew Bloodnick caught this 16½-inch Flounder on the ANGLERFlounder fishing in New Jersey starts in March.   In our area, we do most of the early-season fishing in the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers.   The Flounder we catch in these rivers varies from less than keeper size (12 inches) up to 2 pounds.   By April, we do more and more fishing in Sandy Hook and Raritan Bays.   The bay fish tend to be larger than the river fish, with most weighing from 1 to 3 pounds.   During May, the Flounder start moving out of the bays and migrating towards their summer grounds offshore.   When the migration is happening, we catch flounder from Romer Shoals Light to Breezy Point, and southwards to the beaches of Sandy Hook and Sea Bright.   Pound for pound, Flounder put up one of the best fights on light tackle and, as most people know, taste delicious and are great table fare.

Like most party boats, we usually fish for Flounder from an anchored boat in relatively calm and protected water.   We recommend using light tackle spinning or conventional rods and reels, and monofilament line from 10 to 20 lb. test.   The typical Flounder rig we use is a two-hook rig with a 2 to 6 ounce sinker.   A small yellow plastic bead above each hook helps the Flounder to see the bait.   The three most popular baits are sandworms, skimmer clams and ribbed mussels.

To catch Flounders, all you have to do is drop your baited rig down to the bottom and gently bounce your sinker up and down about an inch or two.   The motion stirs up the bottom and releases bits of clams and worms into the water... This gets the Flounder both curious and hungry.   When you feel a Flounder nibbling, gently but firmly set the hook, and have a good time reeling it in.

Please note that for 2017, New Jersey state recreational fishing regulations do not allow you to keep Winter Flounder that are less than 12 inches long and the daily possession limit is two (2) fish.   The New Jersey Flounder season is open from March 1 through December 31.

Given the highly restrictive regulations, the ANGLER will NOT offer fishing trips that primarily target Winter Flounder during 2017.