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New Jersey Offshore Fishing Report 7-21-17

<b>Sandy Hook</b>

A trip searched for bluefin tuna Sunday morning with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> from Leonardo, Capt. Joe said. The fishing was slow for the fleet and produced none aboard. The trip afterward pushed out to the tip of Hudson Canyon and walloped 25 good-sized mahi mahi while pitching bait to lobster-pot buoys.

Okay fishing for bluefin tuna was honked at places like the Bacardi wreck at mid-range, said Rich from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b> in Sewaren. A trip yesterday was departing for yellowfin tuna fishing at the canyons offshore. Dockside, located on Smith Creek, a tributary of the Arthur Kill, is accessible from the water at the fuel dock and from land. The fuel dock is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

<b>Shark River Inlet</b>

Trips are slated to sail for bluefin tuna inshore the rest of this month on the <b>Katie H</b> from Belmar, Capt. Mike said. Chatter said the fishing wasn’t great recently, but maybe that will change. Charters are slated to begin fishing overnight for yellowfin tuna beginning August 1 at the offshore canyons. That’s a usual time to begin aboard.

<b>Manasquan Inlet</b>

Fishing for bluefin tuna 50 to 250 pounds was pretty good at the Triple Wrecks, the Texas Tower and the Bacardi last week, Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b> in Brielle said. Trolled ballyhoos caught best, but the fish were often hooked on popper lures and Ronz jigs.

<b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> from Point Pleasant Beach was fishing for tuna from Cape May when Capt. Alan sent this report in an email on land Saturday afternoon, the email said. The boat like last year is fishing from Cape May this month to take advantage of the southern tuna fishing that’s been good in recent years. Saturday’s trip was fishing lumps mid-range, and Alan had no live report when he emailed. But the angling was hot earlier that week for yellowfin tuna 40 to 55 pounds that were chunked in that area. Boats that trolled also caught. The mid-range fishing, 40 to 50 miles south of Cape May, seemed better than canyon fishing along 100 fathoms. But Mushin picked a few yellowfins early last week at those offshore canyons. That was on the troll, and black and purple lures seemed favorite this year. Mushin also mixes in shark fishing and tilefishing when possible. Mako sharking remained strong in 40 to 60 fathoms, and four makos were hooked and three were landed on one trip aboard last week. The makos weighed up to 200 pounds. The tilefishing’s been filling coolers with bluelines and goldens, good-sized. Charters and a limited number of open-boat trips are fishing.

<b>Absecon Inlet</b>

Good fishing for yellowfin tuna was smacked at Massey’s Canyon and the Hot Dog, said Jay from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b> in Absecon. He knows someone whose trip nailed one less than the trip’s six-angler limit at Massey’s on Wednesday on the chunk. Light leaders like 30 pounds were often fished on the chunk on trips. The fish can become leader-shy when anglers begin chunking. The fish have also been trolled. Good catches of bluefin tuna were also around inshore.

<b>Great Egg Harbor Inlet</b>

Yellowfin tuna were chunked at Massey’s Canyon, with bluefin tuna mixed in, said John from <b>Fin-Atics</b> in Ocean City. An 87-pound bluefin was checked-in, and an 18-pound mahi mahi was also bagged on the trip. Weather warmed, and customers began to fish for tuna and other big game more often.

On the <b>Stray Cat</b> from Longport, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel and mahi mahi were crushed on the troll inshore last week on Thursday and Saturday and on Sunday, Capt. Mike said. Non-stop. Two to three at a time. Triggerfish were also hung along buoys on cast bait on the trips. After trolling, each trip bottom-fished for sea bass, averaging eight to 15 keepers among throwbacks. On trips the rest of this week aboard, plenty of blues were trolled, and Spanish mackerel and mahi were mixed in, and the fish moved somewhat farther offshore than before, schooling 13 to 15 miles out. The ocean is gray-green, not clear, until off 20 or 30 miles. All who are tuna fishing seem to be catching. Onesies, twosies, he said, and the fish seem everywhere. Because summer flounder season this year closes early beginning Sept. 6, a discount will be offered for tuna trips to the offshore canyons in September, until the sea bass bag limit increases. Anglers should telephone, because of the substantial savings for tuna. Also bring a rod and reel to deep-drop for tilefish with braided line. A couple of the trips will also sail at 3 a.m. Aug. 12 and 26. Some will also run late this month and early in August.

<b>Townsend’s Inlet</b>

Sounded like tuna were bonked at the Hot Dog and Massey’s Canyon, mostly on the chunk, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b> in Sea Isle City. Sounded like tuna were mostly trolled at Wilmington and Spencer canyons.

<b>Cape May</b>

A charter went 3 for 6 on yellowfin tuna at the Hot Dog on Tuesday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> from Cape May, Capt. George said. All the fish bagged were chunked, and two mahi mahi were also taken on the bait. One of the tuna that was lost was jigged along bottom but pulled the hook. All the fish were beaten on 40-pound leaders, except one was clocked on 60-pound. Most anglers fished light leaders in this area. Sometimes heavier could be fished in early morning before too much light. The trip’s fish were landed throughout the day in the 80-degree, bluish-green water.  “So-so looking,” George said. Lots of bait schooled, and a whale stayed near the boat, foraging. Another tuna trip was headed out yesterday on the boat. Telephone if interested in the fishing. Tuna were pasted at canyons farther offshore, too. George spoke with someone who nailed them there. But George had no reason to sail to the canyons when the fish could be found closer in.

Tuna fishing sounded good for yellowfins and bluefins mixed together inshore, in 20 to 30 fathoms, on the chunk and troll, said Capt. Tom from <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b> from Cape May. Yellowfins were also trolled farther offshore at canyons. Charters and open-boat trips are tuna fishing.

Inshore tuna fishing seemed to be turning on for 50- or 60-pound yellowfins at spots like the Hot Dog, Tea Cup and Massey’s Canyon on chunks and 6- to 8-ounce jigs, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b> in Cape May. Offshore baits are stocked like flats of sardines, butterfish and ballyhoos.

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