Hey normandy, took my boat out on Monday off of Avon/Belmar and there were still plenty of bunker active with people still pulling in some good sized stripers. Bluefish are plenty active and fluke fishing is picking up in both the inlet and ocean. Overall it's been pretty good lately. Have fun!
Where are you fishing? Down here the Red Drum are starting to push into the flats and creeks, still a good Speckled Trout bite close to the waterways and Flounder (always laugh when I hear "fluke") are holding on the steep banks, around structure and the big ones are coming from ledges and AR's just offshore and near the inlets--Black Drum are in all these places as well. Just offshore there is a killer Spanish Mackerel bite during the dawn and dusk hours sight casting or trolling. Pushing out 20 miles or so the Mahi are starting to show up plus plenty of big Black Seabass, Gag Grouper, Pinkies, Beeliners, grunts and triggers. Close to the drop and the Stream..... well, we can just call it Pelagic Buffet. Big gaffer Mahi, decent size (30lb +) Wahoo, Blackfin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Amberjack, Slob King Mackerel with Red, Snowy, Strawberry, Scamp and Warsaw Groupers on the bottom around 20 fathoms.
In short, we got's the fish. Unfortunately we have had rain every day making the water cloudy inshore and nearshore--makes it difficult to just pop out for a couple hours.
Depends on what/where you are fishing. My go-to setup for inshore and trolling for Spanish are 7' St. Croix Medium Heavy, fast action 10-16# spinning rods with Shimano Spheros 4000 reels. I use 15# braid on them. If I'm going for something larger, I pull out the trusty Shimano TLD 25's on 6' 40# rods with 30# mono spooled and 45' or so 30# flouro tipper.
-Red Drum: Fly rod. Or, Redfish magic lures with paddle tail soft plastics, good old Carolina rig with live bait or swimming mullet soft plastics, 1/4 oz- 3/4 jig heads with jerk shads, 4" shrimp, swimming mullet, etc. Gulp baits. And can't forget a TOP DOG top water for the early AM.
-Speckled Trout: MR 15, 55, 42, 40, etc mirrolures. I like the suspending ones. Cajun thunder rattle cork with Gulp or LIVE shrimp (you can get them at Motts in WB).
-Black Drum: Standard 2-hook chicken rig tipped with something fresh
-Flounder: 1/2 -1 oz bucktail jigs with 5 and 6" gulp jerk shads, swimming mullet, 4" shrimp, Carolina rigs with live shrimp, mullet or pinfish (btw I use 1/0, 2/0 and 3/0 offset CIRCLE hooks for live bait). Or I get some beers and go gig at night.
-Sheepshead: Modified Carolina rig with #1 live bait nose hook and fiddler crab or sand flea attached. Or Hawaiian sling
-Spanish Mackerel: Sight cast with the fly rod or shore lures, diamond lures or anything that you can cast, is shiny and swims good at a fast retrieve. Trolling I pull Clarkspoons behind #1 and #2 planers, Mackerel trees, Deep Divers, Shore lures on the top lines.
-Mahi and King Mackerel: Blue Water Candy live bait rigs with live Menhaden or rigged ballyhoo behind various colors of skirts (I make my own).
-Grouper: Big ass rigs on big ass rods.
I get 99% of my tackle at Tex's in Wilmington.
I guess you all know by now how much I hate fishing.