Hot spot flounder Ocean City reef

Drift Ocean City Reef for flounder, triggerfish and sea bass with minnows, squid, mackerel strips and live spot.

To see the latest flounder trend, you don't need much more than Saturday's results of the 19th Duke of Fluke run by Sterling Harbor Marina in Wildwood. The contest had 123 boats and crews and 35 kayaks entered.

Scott Pierce on Tuna Chick was the winner with an 8.11-pound flounder. Rob Kurian on Sea Esta and Mike Mulholland on Deptford Mike shared second with 7.67-pound flounder.

Oddly, one of the other winners also weighed 7.67 pounds, and that was caught by Duchess champ Ashley Lucadema. Josh Edgar was the junior winner at 4.33.

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The boat division also had a category for five heaviest. Skip Jastremski on Stalker won that one at 33.3 pounds with Adam Crouthamel on Adam Bomb next at 30.22 and Roy Lucadema and Predator following at 27.75.

David Hirsch won the single-heaviest kayak duel at 2.94, beating out Dalton Campbell at 2.24 and Gerald Devlin Jr. at 1.91.

Obviously, the flounder caught from the kayaks were in the back bays. Cathy Algard, who still was recovering Monday from a hectic weekend running the tournament, said most of the winners were caught at Reef Site 11 or Old Grounds across Delaware Bay.

Here is some more flounder info.

Zeb Ewell of Ocean City on the boat Papa John with dad Charles had a monster Saturday while fishing 8 miles off Atlantic City. Zeb had flounder that weighed 9.05, 4 and 3 pounds at Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. The crew of four racked up 13 other keepers while drifting with the basic mackerel and squid combination.

Hunter Reese, a 10-year-old from Mays Landing, was fishing with dad Joe on Sunday at Little Egg Harbor Reef and hooked into a flounder that weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces at Captain Howard's Tackle in Egg Harbor City. The father-son team fishes "all the time" on their boat Melissa J.

The Hot Dog was on fire much of last week, but perhaps the parade of boats to the lump located a couple of hours south of Cape May and the resulting heavy traffic contributed to the bluefin and yellowfin tuna being a little harder to catch over the weekend. One on-site report indicated 100-plus sportfishing craft were there at times.

Jim Moran said from Moran's Bait and Tackle that skippers who moved off the Hot Dog and away from the "thousands" to Poorman's Canyon and some of the other lumps in the area did better.

Moran also relayed a bulletin from Bill May, captain of the Boss Lady out of Avalon Sportfishing Center, who radioed the news that tuna fishing turned on again Monday at the Hot Dog.

Matt Slobodjian at Jim's Bait and Tackle in Cape May reported that at least one other boat moved off the Hot Dog to one of the other lumps in the area Friday and racked up 12 yellowfin.

Curt Riccardi was busy tying Sea Witches for the offshore crowd Monday at Offshore Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City. He said that yellowfin and bluefin are at the Hot Dog but seemed like they were not eating Friday and Saturday like they were just before that, when crews were nailing double figures.

Brennan Marine in Somers Point filed two offshore reports. Ron Kovler on Next Case chunked three yellowfn 46-50 pounds with butterfish at Hot Dog on Friday, and Jeff Polcer and son Greg trolled two 45-pound yellowfin at Wilmington Canyon with rainbow Green Machines and ballyhoo on Saturday.

Bluefin and yellowfin are being marked, but maybe they have been put off their feed at times for one reason or another, which might be contributing to conflicting reports of some catching a bunch and some not.

Bob Duckenfield at Jim's said using live spot as bait can perk up their appetite and make a difference. Sardines is the other most-used bait for the chunk and jig.

A reminder that the captain's meeting is 7 p.m. Friday at Absecon American Legion Post 28 located at New Jersey Avenue and Mill Road for Saturday's Roy Kerstetter Open run by the Absecon Saltwater Sportsmen. The entry fee is $65 per boat with divisions for flounder, weakfish and bluefish. Money raised goes for a "Day on the Bay" for special-needs children.

Another popular flounder contest is scheduled for July 28, headquartered at Polly's Marina in Beach Haven. It is a two-heaviest fish format. Call 609-492-2194.

The Press Fishing Contest topped the 100-entry mark, so it's about time we print a leaderboard. The leaderboard is a listing of the heaviest fish by species that have been entered, not necessarily contest category contenders. This is also the halfway point for The Press Fishing Contest with 74 days to go. A total of 102 entries have been received in the first 74 days. The leaderboard will appear in the paper Thursday.

The Press Fishing Contest is easy to enter. There is no entry fee and no pre-registration. Catch a fish and take it to a participating weighstation for verification. The submission process is also quick and easy. Enter online - with photo, if available, and details - or fill out an entry form and mail it. Entries with or without photos are online all the time and can be viewed easily on the contest website:

The Press Fishing Contest offers gift certificates at sponsoring bait and tackle shops and marinas, also listed on the contest website, and weekly bragging-rights best-catch certificates all season long. The weekly winners are posted on the websites.

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Mike Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His Shep on Fishing column and Shep's Hot Spot appear Tuesdays and Saturdays in the sports section and daily on-line. Call 609-350-0388 or email:

You can also hear Shep's on-air fishing reports Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 6:05 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and 7:05 p.m. on WOND 1400 AM and on our website:

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