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May 9 Report

The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association have had quite a bit on their plates recently, and most of it has to do with good fishing.

Most of the Association’s boats are in the water, and those that are still on dry land are nearing splash time. For those getting out to fish, the striped bass bite has continued strong while the opening of summer flounder season last week has seen some nice catches despite unfavorable weather.

Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” reports he has gotten good fluke reports in the Great Bay area from boats fishing out of his boatyard, Cape Horn Marina in Tuckerton. Many anglers out after fluke in that area have also encountered schools of bluefish racing around the bay.

Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing has been locating good amounts of fluke in the waters behind Barnegat Inlet. Captain Brett likes to fish the shallow water areas with light tackle. Captain Brett had Bob Dodds and his cousin Joe on a 3-hour bay striped bass charter. They had good action on fish to 26-inches. Another trip resulted in 10 keeper fluke despites some tough weather conditions. That afternoon Captain Brett had a family trip which resulted in six keeper fluke to 20.5-inches.

The entire association is keeping an eye on the striped bass regulations. Current rules allow for a daily bag limit of one striper of 28-inches to less than 38-inches. A recent emergency proclamation from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has decreed that every state on the east coast must change its regulations down to 28-inches to 31-inches.

Citing a dangerous decline in the striped bass stocks, the ASMFC demands that every state make this change by July 2. States which do not follow this decree face the loss of their entire striper season.

Until that regulation change is made, there is no change in the current rules. This change will not have any effect on the New Jersey bonus tag program. With the strong numbers of bass currently in the bay and inshore ocean waters, this is a good time to get out there and fish before the new rules take effect.

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