Story by Tom Pagliaroli


It’s arrived in time for many thousands of bay, tidal river, and inshore saltwater anglers to cancel a rod ‘n reel uprising: tomorrow’s (5/24) opening of the fluke season.

Yeah, 244 days since the last time one could drift bait combos or bounce a Gulp! tipped bucktail for this most delectable flatfish, and to say the anticipation is higher than Dubai’s Burj Khalifa skyscraper would be an understatement.

“Oh yeah, this weekend through next week is going to be hook and line intense, either dragging bait or working jigs, no matter where you fish,” opines the  “Ayatollah of Fluke-Arola” Stan Gola, inventor of the Rattlin’ Bucktail and president of Manchester, NJ-based industry leader S&S Bucktail Lure Company. This translates to mother lodes of flatties, but plenty of competition as well, no matter casting from boat, pier, bulkhead, surf or sedge bank. People like to fish for, and eat, summer flounder, so be prepared for competition.

The daily limit is three fish at an 18-inch minimum.

Sea Bass Doubler: The 10-fish 12-1/2” minimum sea bass season continues, and this even sweeter “white meater” will add to the bulging, palate-pleasing fluke larder. Both are caught in the same areas. Unless one has a private boat to get to the wrecks, reefs and rock piles, this is basically a party boat and charter boat dealio.

Area party boats and charter boats in the 105.7 The Hawk listening area include the Miss Barnegat Light (609-494-2094) and the Carolyn Ann III (609-693-4281); charters are Miss Liane Sportfishing (908-319-6751) and the Robin Ann (609-879-5269).

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