Bucktail Willie Talks 2019 Flounder Season Regulations in South Jersey

We talk Jersey shore flounder & fluke fishing with Bill Shillingford, aka ‘Bucktail Willie’.

Bucktail is heard weekly on ‘Shep on Fishing’, every Saturday morning at 7a on WOND radio. Robin Scott of Ray Scotts Dock in Margate is also featured on this popular fishing show.

Shillingford is a member of the American Littoral Society.

The American Littoral Society promotes the study and conservation of marine life and habitat, protects the coast from harm, and empowers others to do the same.

Tagged Flounder

What to do if you catch a tagged fish.

It’s more than just tagging fish. We keep track of migration & growth patterns.

Bucktail Willie Talks 2019 Flounder Season Regulations in South Jersey


Shillingford has tagged over 21,000 fish with 1,400 ‘returns’. Ex: tagged fish caught at later date and location. New Hampshire, North Carolina, Maine. Sea Bass caught as far as Martha Vineyard, Cape Cod.

Twenty years ago, commercial boats decimated Summer Flounder along the continental shelf. 40-60 miles out off the coast of New Jersey. The continental shelf divides shallow coastal waters from the deep sea. Prized by fishermen for a rich species diversity and abundance of marine life.

  • At one time, 13 inch keepers & 10 fish max
  • At 17 ½ keeper size, the flounder population flattened out.
  • At 18 inches, flounder population started to decline.

Will NJ be split in half? North & South fishing regs?

An earlier summer flounder season would allow for bigger catches. April & early May.

Upcoming meeting: The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission ignoring data from taggers like Bill. Instead, they rely of faulty data gathered by the vessel Bigelow.

2019 Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass will discussed November 26, 2018 at 6p.

  • New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife
  • Stafford Township Administrative Office
  • 260 East Bay Avenue
  • Manahawkin, New Jersey
  • Contact: Joseph Cimino at 609.748.2020

Bill “Bucktail Willie” Shillingford > fish tagger for the American Littoral Society. Recently tagged his 20,000th fish. Serves on an Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission advisory panel. Represents New Jersey recreational anglers.

Shillingford has been fishing in South Jersey since he was kid. Grew up in Cape May County, Shillingford raised his family in Indiana, where he worked for Ford Motor Co.

Tagging monitors fish, how they grow, where they feed, where they travel to.

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