May 1 starts the heart beating a little faster in anticipation of that first head-shaker keeper. Count the days.
My soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The NJ summer regs are as follows:
Some things to remember * RENEW!
New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry
Get your gear read and put it by the door in anticipation!!! Check your net for holes! Make sure your vacuum sealer is ready! Get out all your lucky hats, t-shirts, etc….
(Linnaeus, 1766); BOTHIDAE FAMILY; also called fluke
Occurs in the western Atlantic from Maine to South Carolina and possibly to northeast Florida. It may be found in water as shallow as 6 in (15 cm) during the summer, though the largest specimens are found in depths of 8 to 10 fathoms. In the winter the large fish move offshore into depths of 25 to 80 fathoms.
The summer flounder is a left eyed flatfish. The eyed side always blends in perfectly with the sea bed. There is usually a scattering of 10 to 14 eye like spots on the body. As in other flatfish, the blind side is white and relatively featureless. The teeth are well-developed on both sides of the jaws. The dorsal fin has 85 94 rays; the anal fin has 60 63 rays. There are only 5 or 6 gill rakers on the upper limb of the first arch and 11 21 on the lower limb.
Adults are largely piscivorous and highly predatory, feeding actively in mid-water as well as on the bottom. They are often seen chasing bait fish at the surface. It is a rapid swimmer and a good light tackle game fish that provides lively action. It prefers sandy or muddy bottoms and is common in the summer months in bays, harbors, estuaries, canals, creeks, and along shorelines as well as in the vicinity of piers and bridges.
Drift fishing is the most common fishing method and probably the most effective, since drifting covers more bottom and keeps the bait or lure in motion. Many are also taken by chumming while fishing at anchor, by trolling, or by casting from shore or pier. Effective baits include strips cut from shark, fluke menhaden, herring, porgy, young bluefish, or sea robin; or a piece of blue crab. Effective lures include a small spoon, spinner, or feather. Some time must be allowed between the moment the flounder picks up the bait and the strike, or the bail may simply be yanked away. Inshore fishing is best on a running tide, and the largest fish are caught late in the season.
It is an excellent food fish; the flesh is white firm, and succulent. It is by far the most important flatfish of the Atlantic states
* 22.7lbs is still the IGFA record from 9/1975 reeled up in Montauk, NY
The largest summer flounder ever caught measured 4 feet and weighed 30 pounds.
- The oldest summer flounder ever recorded was aged at 20 years.
E kore te patiki e hoki ki tona puehu
The flounder (fish) does not return to his dust
Do not make the same mistake twice.
Andrew Lang was a Scots poet, novelist, literary critic, and contributor to the field of anthropology. He is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales. (1892)
The Story of the Fisherman and His Wife
There was once a fisherman and his wife who lived together in a little hut close to the sea, and the fisherman used to go down every day to fish; and he would fish and fish. So he used to sit with his rod and gaze into the shining water; and he would gaze and gaze.
Now, once the line was pulled deep under the water, and when he hauled it up he hauled a large flounder with it. The flounder said to him, ‘Listen, fisherman. I pray you to let me go; I am not a real flounder, I am an enchanted Prince. What good will it do you if you kill me–I shall not taste nice? Put me back into the water and let me swim away.’
‘Well,’ said the man, ‘you need not make so much noise about it; I am sure I had much better let a flounder that can talk swim away.’ With these words he put him back again into the shining water, and the flounder sank to the bottom, leaving a long streak of blood behind. Then the fisherman got up, and went home to his wife in the hut.
‘Ah!’ said the woman, ‘it’s dreadful to have to live all one’s life in this hut that is so small and dirty; you ought to have wished for a cottage. Go now and call him; say to him that we choose to have a cottage, and he will certainly give it you.’
So the man went home, and there was his wife no longer in the hut, but in its place was a beautiful cottage, and his wife was sitting in front of the door on a bench. She took him by the hand and said to him, ‘Come inside, and see if this is not much better.’ They went in, and inside the cottage was a tiny hall, and a beautiful sitting-room, and a bedroom in which stood a bed, a kitchen and a dining-room all furnished with the best of everything, and fitted up with every kind of tin and copper utensil. And outside was a little yard in which were chickens and ducks, and also a little garden with vegetables and fruit trees.
‘Listen, husband; the cottage is much too small, and so is the yard and the garden; the flounder might just as well have sent us a larger house. I should like to live in a great stone castle. Go down to the flounder, and tell him to send us a castle.’
The fisherman went home and thought he would find no house. When he came near, there stood a great stone palace, and his wife was standing on the steps, about to enter. She took him by the hand and said, ‘Come inside.’
Then he went with her, and inside the castle was a large hall with a marble floor, and there were heaps of servants who threw open the great doors, and the walls were covered with beautiful tapestry, and in the apartments were gilded chairs and tables, and crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling, and all the rooms were beautifully carpeted. The best of food and drink also was set before them when they wished to dine. And outside the house was a large courtyard with horse and cow stables and a coach-house–all fine buildings; and a splendid garden with most beautiful flowers and fruit, and in a park quite a league long were deer and roe and hares, and everything one could wish for.
The next morning the wife woke up first at daybreak, and looked out of the bed at the beautiful country stretched before her. Her husband was still sleeping, so she dug her elbows into his side and said:
The fisherman went home, and when he came near the palace he saw that it had become much larger, and that it had great towers and splendid ornamental carving on it. A sentinel was standing before the gate, and there were numbers of soldiers with kettledrums and trumpets. And when he went into the palace, he found everything was of pure marble and gold, and the curtains of damask with tassels of gold. Then the doors of the hall flew open, and there stood the whole Court round his wife, who was sitting on a high throne of gold and diamonds; she wore a great golden crown, and had a sceptre of gold and precious stones in her hand, and by her on either side stood six pages in a row, each one a head taller than the other. Then he went before her and said:
Thinking this he came to the shore. The sea was quite black and thick, and it was breaking high on the beach; the foam was flying about, and the wind was blowing; everything looked bleak. The fisherman was chilled with fear. He stood and said:
So the fisherman went home, and when he came there he saw the whole castle was made of polished marble, ornamented with alabaster statues and gold. Before the gate soldiers were marching, blowing trumpets and beating drums. Inside the palace were walking barons, counts, and dukes, acting as servants; they opened the door, which was of beaten gold. And when he entered, he saw his wife upon a throne which was made out of a single block of gold, and which was quite six cubits high. She had on a great golden crown which was three yards high and set with brilliants and sparkling gems. In one hand she held a sceptre, and in the other the imperial globe, and on either side of her stood two rows of halberdiers, each smaller than the other, from a seven-foot giant to the tiniest little dwarf no higher than my little finger. Many princes and dukes were standing before her. The fisherman went up to her quietly and said:
So he was frightened and went out; but he felt quite faint, and trembled and shook, and his knees and legs began to give way under him. The wind was blowing fiercely across the land, and the clouds flying across the sky looked as gloomy as if it were night; the leaves were being blown from the trees; the water was foaming and seething and dashing upon the shore, and in the distance he saw the ships in great distress, dancing and tossing on the waves. Still the sky was very blue in the middle, although at the sides it was an angry red as in a great storm. So he stood shuddering in anxiety, and said:
Then he went home, and when he came there he saw, as it were, a large church surrounded by palaces. He pushed his way through the people. The interior was lit up with thousands and thousands of candles, and his wife was dressed in cloth of gold and was sitting on a much higher throne, and she wore three great golden crowns. Round her were numbers of Church dignitaries, and on either side were standing two rows of tapers, the largest of them as tall as a steeple, and the smallest as tiny as a Christmas-tree candle. All the emperors and kings were on their knees before her, and were kissing her foot.
With these words they went to bed. But the woman was not content; her greed would not allow her to sleep, and she kept on thinking and thinking what she could still become. The fisherman slept well and soundly, for he had done a great deal that day, but his wife could not sleep at all, and turned from one side to another the whole night long, and thought, till she could think no longer, what more she could become. Then the sun began to rise, and when she saw the red dawn she went to the end of the bed and looked at it, and as she was watching the sun rise, out of the window, she thought, ‘Ha! could I not make the sun and man rise?’
But the storm was raging so fiercely that he could scarcely stand. Houses and trees were being blown down, the mountains were being shaken, and pieces of rock were rolling in the sea. The sky was as black as ink, it was thundering and lightening, and the sea was tossing in great waves as high as church towers and mountains, and each had a white crest of foam.