If you go for fluke on a headboat this time of year, bring a surf rod and bunker snag. I felt I was close to hooking a striper in the 40-pound range. Someone in a boat next to us caught one this large.
Follow my vignette and get psyched. Just as important as technique. But when you hook up, don't let line rub against the boat. Better to fish behind the drift, not underneath the boat. My son lost something really big that cut the line on boat bottom. Fluke hit squid (don't set immediately, feel into the hookset), but I caught one of mine on a three-ounce bucktail not tipped with any bait.
Boy Scouts has its priviledge, and I have to say I'm pleased once again to be involved in the organization after camping on the 7430 acres of Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Station this weekend. I have never heard so many whip-poor-wills calling all at once in all my life as they did very early this morning. I'm not sure I've ever heard any in New Jersey before.
We began with a fluke charter on the Suzie Girl out of Belmar. Everyone caught fish. But out of a group of maybe 30 of us, we brought back about a dozen keepers, the largest at five pounds. My largest went maybe an eighth of an inch under 18 inches, quickly tossed over the side unceremoniously.
What else can you do but refuse to fret when things get real edgy with big possibilities? I caught a bunker on a two-ounce bucktail tipped with squid. Quickly, I tied on a 7/0 steel hook, put it through the lively bunker's back, heaved it out with my 11-foot surf rod, and let it swim off. This way I got in a half hour trying for a big striper, which the head mate thought definitely cool, but it didn't work, even though big fish definitely swam down under nearby.
At the naval base, Bass Lake, again not a lake, but a pond of about 10 acres, actually looked very promising with its large stand of dead timber in the water, although almost all of this lay out of casting range. I caught two bass, one of them at least a pound, within a couple of minutes of getting to the site. The first thing I did, I tied on a Senko-type worm and started casting. I ended up catching six more bass yesterday evening, the largest just over a pound. Brian Shultz, one of the Scouts, caught a 13-incher from the dock.
I resolved to let those eight bass be it for me, and to let one of the boys borrow my rod the next day. Sure enough, just as I got out of my tent, I heard a lot of commotion, looked, and saw a very good-sized bass flopping in the sand on the small dike. I ran for my camera and measuring tape. That's a nice bass a sliver under 19 inches for Anderson Matinho. Anderson caught another close to a pound, and lost one the boys asserted was larger than his first.