Author: Ryan Carson
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Every July I start my search looking for bait in the bays of the Jersey Shore. In search of schools of peanut bunker, spearing, killies, mullet and snapper blues. As we get further into the summer months the bigger these baits will become. All of these make great fluke baits especially if you can use them alive. If for some reason you can’t find them alive most bait shops will carry them. When using peanut bunker or mullet I like to butterfly them. The way to do this is you want to filet from the tail to right behind the gills on both sides of the fish. (DO NOT CUT THE FILETS OFF) Once you do that you want to cut the spine out of the center leaving you with the head and the filets left. This will create great action in the water.
Yesterday I decided to take a quick scouting trip to see how the bays were looking with bait. I managed to tons of spearing, and very small killies. I also managed to find snapper blues chasing spearing. This stayed consistent for each of the 5 spots I stopped at. I also managed to catch a 26 inch 1 lbs. 9oz eel in the throw net on a blind throw. While I had it in the cooler it spit up a very small fluke maybe 1.5-2 inches long. To my surprise it was still alive and with a quick revive in the water it was off swimming again. I also netted a few killies and decided to toss them out to see if anything would bite. Not 2 minutes in the water and I caught a fluke. Not to bad for a quick scouting trip. Ended up keeping the eel to make sushi and threw the fluke back because I didn’t bring a tape measure.
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