Rain doesn’t stop netting the season’s first fluke

The first fluke of the year were netted on Monday as the season kicked off despite some early morning rain showers.

The wet weather may have kept some anglers home as they weren’t many at the docks to go out on what was the earliest start to fluke season in recent memory. Capt. Tom Buban of the Atlantic Star said there was only enough people for one party boat to sail from the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina.

The conditions were fair enough for drifting the rivers and bays. Along with the intermittent rain, the day started with fog on the water and southeast winds, which shifted to the east as the day progressed.

A fisherman on the Fish Monger II charter boat with a keeper fluke from the first day of the season, May 2.

Capt. Jerry Postorino of the Fish Monger II charter boat in Point Pleasant Beach made drifts in the river as the ocean water temperature is still too cold for fluke fishing. His party of anglers all had an 18-inch or over fluke by early afternoon and Postorino was on the hunt for slot fish.

While Buban didn’t get out Monday, he did catch and release a couple of fluke during striped bass trips this weekend on the Sandy Hook and Raritan bays. He said he caught one himself on a flutter spoon that would have been a keeper had the season been open. He said the bay temps are chilly, fluctuating between 49 and 51 degrees.

Fishing report: They’re in! Bluefish crash Manasquan River

Striped bass fishermen had pretty good fishing on Friday and Saturday. Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park sold out of clams due to the number of surf fishermen headed to the beach.

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