Winter Flounder Fishing in New Jersey

Winter flounder are big predators of the deep ocean, commonly found at depths around 700 feet (200 meters). They are also considered a good eating fish. Winter flounder have been introduced to many parts of the world, and are a popular game fish.

Winter Flounder Fishing in New Jersey . Camping field guide . The waters of New Jersey’s deep, dark waters are teeming with fish, and these fish love to eat. In fact, the winter flounder is one of the most abundant marine fish in the eastern United States. They like the protected waters of the shoreline and the inlets of New Jersey, where they can be found lurking in sandy flats and the cracks in the rocks.

As deeply iced in the winter as winter flounder are, they are a major target for many anglers. There are many reasons to fish for winter flounder in New Jersey, but these are the top six: 1. Winter flounder fishing in New Jersey is a summer tradition. 2. The winter flounder population in NJ is healthy. 3. The winter flounder fishing season in NJ runs from November 1st to April 30th. 4. Winter flounder are plentiful in New Jersey. 5. Winter flounder angling in New Jersey is nearly always safe. 6. Winter flounder fishing in New Jersey is very fun.

Although New Jersey’s summer bot season opened on Jan. 1. From early March, fishing in the bays and rivers can be productive into May. In April 1998 in Shark River, New Jersey. At the old Captain Bill’s Bait and Tackle shop in Neptune, my friend and I rented a 14-foot boat with a 9.9-horsepower motor on the stern and headed for the Shark River channel, about 10 minutes away, where we anchored and jettisoned chum boats filled with clamshells. Two hours later we had already caught 30 red flounder to 4 pounds and discarded the smaller ones. It was almost a joke. You might as well go fishing for winter flounder, because the bass aren’t there yet. How we long for days like this. The good news is that there have been a few years of pretty good fishing for flounder in the last decade, but most spring seasons have been random. New Jersey winter flounder fishing usually heats up in April and May, although anglers shift their attention to bass and bluefish hunting in May and forget about blackfin. Don’t make that mistake. Take your time this month and head north. The fresh, white, flaky flesh of the bone floats in the pan.


A general rule of thumb for fishing for winter flounder is to catch them on clear, sunny days when the water in the bays warms up quickly. Fishing for flounder is highly dependent on the tides, although wind can also play an important role in its success. The ideal situation is a calm, sunny, blue day at the beginning of an ebb tide. On a 10 a.m. tide, drop anchor at 8 a.m. to catch the last two hours before the water drops, and then fish the next 2 or 3 hours after the water drops. When fishing for flounder, drop anchor 2 hours before slack water and fish the next 2 to 3 hours after slack water. Flounder bite in most flowing waters, but fishing is best in slower currents. Remember, when there is a headwind, the chum line goes to the other side of the boat or to the bow and you are not in the catching area of the fish. That’s not to say that running water over dead soil can’t be productive – try both options if you have the time.

rods and jigs for winter flounder

Use a light to medium rod with fast line to feel the bite and set the hook with confidence when the flounder bites. These fish offer strong resistance, especially with light tackle. A 6½ foot Shimano Terramar casting rod or a St. The 7 foot Tidemaster Inshore Cross is equipped with a Shimano Stradic 4000 class spinning reel. Wrap 12-pound monofilament or 20-pound braided PowerPro line on the reel. To start with a lead swivel, then two 12-inch Mustad hooks in size 6 (Chestertown) or 8 (Mustad Long Shank Beak) to fit in the mouth of a small flounder, but with enough shank to thread a good piece of worm or clam.

Pots for salmon (chum salmon)

Spinnerbaits and their placement are the absolute key to success when fishing for winter flounder. Cylindrical wire mesh pots filled with frozen mussels, clams and corn work best; hang one or two from the bow so they sit well on the bottom of the bay. Be sure to poke holes in the bait bag before placing it in the pan to allow it to slide slowly. If you really need to sink the tablecloth, remove the entire frozen block from the bag. Feeding is an essential part of the flounder fishing process. A block of frozen clam bait in a metal bait pot will bring the flounder to your boat. To light a bone, cut off the end of one of those thick pieces, place it in the cavity of the shell, and voila! They have a Keta salmon launcher that can spread the slick far behind the boat.

Winter flounder bait

The winter flounder feeds on various species of sandworms, bloodworms, tapeworms, and mollusks. To use fresh clams, cut them into small pieces, with the hardest, orange part of the ribbon being best for bait. I found numerous siphons of clams in the belly of the bones, so they must be pulling those out as they feed on the muddy bottom. Small pieces of cockles, mussels or bloodworms are the bait of choice for flounder. word-image-5710 Every time I cast clams, I pick up the siphons and thread them on the hook as bait. Sand worms, blood worms and tapeworms can be cut into 2 to 3 cm pieces. Slide it over the shank of the hook and let it hang about an inch above the barb. Coat all baits with FinEssence crab or shrimp shedder oil. The more flavor you add to your water, the better.

Tricks of the trade

Start with the weights. Many old school enthusiasts paint them yellow because that color attracts bone. The right shape of the pellet can even make a difference, as a coin-shaped pellet excites the bottom better than a glass-shaped pellet because it bounces up and down. It will also be on the muddy bottom, which puts your bait in the strike zone. Attractants on the hook, such as small yellow maggots of an inch, fish bite strips and yellow beads, can also cause a seizure. Winter flounder are attracted to the color yellow, so many anglers paint their sinkers this color to attract more fish. word-image-5711 If you are fishing in shallow water, use a suction cup attached to a long broomstick and dip it into the water to create activity. And here’s a little tip: Always keep a 12-inch hook directly at the lowest point of the metal hull, make sure it is on the bottom and bait it with pieces of clam, mussel or worm. More times than I can count, I’ve pulled a bone or two with hooks on the pitcher – the bones came straight to the pot and ate like pigs in a trough.

Raritan Bay

The vast expanse of Raritan Bay is an excellent area for fishing for flounder. Try fishing Keyport Flats, a muddy bottom from a half mile to a mile, the mud flats west of Keyport 1 Bank, Morgan Creek Outfall, at Cedars and Romer Shoals. Average depth is 16 to 18 feet, with occasional outliers of 12 to 14 feet. Ebb and flow works best because it’s warmer, and when the temperature reaches 46 degrees, the bone really starts to chew.

Shark River

Shark River hot spots are always popular for fall fishing and are usually located around the bulkhead near the tennis courts, the L Street Pier, the red/green buoy opening at the entrance to Shark River Hills Marina, or one of the edges of the channel markers. Anglers can cast from the tennis court in the flats, which are 5 to 8 feet deep. Unlike predatory flounder, winter flounder have a small mouth for eating worms and small invertebrates. word-image-5712

Manasquan River

The Manasquan River is known as a hot spot in late spring, when flounder gather and begin to migrate from the headwaters of Barnegat Bay and use the Manasquan River system to enter the ocean. When they leave Barnegat Bay, they usually go to places like. B. outside the Point Pleasant Canal, near the old hospital (now known as the Condos) and on both sides of the canal west of the bridge over Highway 35. When late April and May arrive, fish the waters east of the railroad bridge and near Dog Beach and the Coast Guard Station where the remaining flounder are waiting to cross the bay.

Barnegat Bay

Barnegat Bay is usually a focal point for winter flounder fishing in the spring. Schools of winter flounder usually gather around the Oyster Creek spillway and feed on the stream of marine beetles and worms that emerge there. Once the water has warmed enough to allow the flounder to spread further, the shoals move into the shallow water between buoys BB and BI, and the fleet usually moves between these two marks, checking the water and looking for shoals. Mark 40 is another area where flounder likes to hang out. Captain with some winter flounder. word-image-5713

Article : Winter flounder fishery on Cape Cod Article : New study of winter bones reveals diverse lifestyleI have a friend that I fish with a lot, but it’s not frequently enough for me to have a winter flounder fishing buddy. Usually winter flounder season opens up in late February. This year, it didn’t open till March 15. I haven’t been able to get out to the Delaware Bay in a few months due to weather, so I was curious to see how things were going in the bay.. Read more about nj flounder season 2020 and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can you winter flounder in NJ?

If you’ve ever checked out a NJ fishing guide, you’ve probably seen the popular lure of flounder, or flathead. The name comes from the fact that they look just like fish, but can’t actually swim. Still, they’re a great bait to use when fishing for other species in the region. The winter flounder (also known as the blue flounder) is a heavily-used flatfish that can be found in the coastal areas of New Jersey. The winter flounder is a great fishery for a fisherman of any experience level. It is a sought after fishery for its moderate size and good fighting qualities. The winter flounder is a small flounder that can be targeted with a number of different methods.

How do you catch flounder in the winter?

In the winter months, New Jersey’s waters can be rough, and this can make it difficult for you to catch flounder. By taking the time to understand the special tactics needed to catch winter flounder, you can significantly increase your chance of catching a flounder, and optimizing your fishing experience. Winter flounder fishing, as it turns out, is a very different game from summer flounder fishing, even if you’re just out for the day. The weather, water conditions, the bait, the lures, the location, the fish species, and the time of day all have a significant influence on how successful you’ll be.

Where do flounder go in the winter?

New Jersey is known for its salt-water fishing, but that doesn’t mean freshwater fishing isn’t a good sport. The winter months of November through February are prime time for winter flounder fishing in New Jersey. The freshwater fish, which are typically found in Delaware Bay and other bays, are not able to tolerate the harsh winter conditions, therefore they tend to be a bit more aggressive. The winter months are often a rough time for flounder fishing enthusiasts, due to reduced water temperatures, ice and storms. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you are still catching some flounder in the winter.

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