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New Jersey Offshore Fishing Report 8-4-17

<b>Manasquan Inlet</b>

In forecasts that called for rough weather for last weekend, Capt. Alan from <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> from Point Pleasant Beach emailed this report last Friday, he wrote. “No sense delaying,” he said. Until then, the boat kept fishing for tuna from Cape May, where the vessel’s been docked since last month to take advantage of the southern angling. The trips last week chunked for yellowfin tuna from the port, and no longer trolled for them. Plenty of the fish bit, but landing the 50- to 65-pounders wasn’t easy. That’s because light, fluorocarbon leaders and small hooks had to be fished.  Many of the fish broke off or pulled the hooks. The tuna bit best when 30-pound leaders were fished. “This is much more finesse fishing than brute strength,” he wrote, and a fight often lasted more than an hour. Drags were set at 9 pounds. The tuna seemed to continually change locations, “from lump to lump,” he said. So the angling took some looking. But once the fish were located, “it’s like old-fashioned chunking,” he said. Multiple hook-ups at once. The anglers weaving between each other, “doing the tuna shuffle.” Charters and a limited number of open-boat trips are fishing. Mushin will keep fishing from Cape May only a moment longer, before returning the boat to Point Pleasant Beach. The current angling sounded like it was at the inshore lumps. “Lump to lump,” Alan wrote. The fishing from Point Pleasant Beach will be for tuna at the canyons all the way offshore.

Yellowfin tuna were boated to the south in 30 fathoms from Lemke Canyon to the Hot Dog, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b> in Brielle. The throwbacks to 60-pounders were mostly on trolled ballyhoos, green-machine spreader bars or green-machine daisy chains. Yellowfins were also picked at all usual haunts, but Lemke’s to the Dog fished best.

<b>Barnegat Inlet</b>

<b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b> from Forked River fished inshore Tuesday, trolling bluefish, bonito and chub mackerel at Barnegat Ridge, Capt. Mike said. Offshore tuna trips will begin to fish the canyons today aboard. That angling’s just beginning, catching here and there. A couple of bites were happening. Anglers caught fish. It’s starting, and that’s why the trips are beginning aboard. Most of the tuna were trolled, but a few were chunked and jigged. A few more caught those ways should be seen in the next couple of weeks. Mike will know more after the trip today.

A couple of trips this month will launch the year’s tuna fishing on the <b>Super Chic</b> from Barnegat Light, Capt. Ted said. He’ll probably determine September dates for open-boat tuna trips in the next week. He’ll try to schedule a couple for October, too. That month’s booked busy, but he’ll try.  

<b>Absecon Inlet</b>

Jay from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b> fished on a tuna trip Wednesday that struck out, he said. One tuna bit on the chunk and broke off in like 8 seconds. The leader – light, 30-pound fluorocarbon – must’ve nicked on the mouth or something. Up on the troll, the trip hooked a 10- or 11-pound bluefish in 80 feet of water, 50 miles from shore, interestingly. The boat was trolling fast, moving to another spot for tuna.

<b>Great Egg Harbor Inlet</b>

Customers who tuna fished just began to return to the angling, after the weekend’s rough weather, John from <b>Fin-Atics</b> in Ocean City said yesterday in a phone call. Even before the weather, the water was dirty.

<b>Townsend’s Inlet</b>

Little was heard about tuna fishing since the weekend’s northeast winds and storm, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b> in Sea Isle City. Some trips headed for them, but not much was heard about catches. 

<b>Cape May Inlet</b>

The <b>Heavy Hitter</b> from Cape May tuna fished inshore Tuesday, Capt. George said. The fishing, on the chunk, was a little tough because light leaders had to be used. Four tuna were broken off. A mahi mahi was landed, and another pulled the hook. A small hammerhead shark grabbed a bait and was released. The anglers also tried jigging, but nothing hit the jigs. All the fish were hooked on butterfish. The water was filthy, after last week’s storm. George was surprised tuna were there. Lots of bait also schooled the 75-degree water.

A few tuna broke off at Massey’s Canyon Wednesday on the <b>Prime Time II</b> from Cape May, Capt. Steve said. That was on the chunk, and some mahi mahi were chunked on the trip. The end of the trip trolled, but nothing bit then. The tuna broke off because light, 30-pound, fluorocarbon leaders had to be fished. So did small chunks of bait. Was the water dirty? Steve was asked. “Not too bad,” he said, but it was somewhat. The reason the light leaders and small pieces of bait had to be fished to draw bites in discolored water was unknown, but it did. The water was 72 to 73 degrees, and the fish-finder seemed to mark sand eels along bottom. Not much other life was seen. Some tuna chicks flew around. Steve spoke with a few trips that had similar results that day. Steve will try to chunk for tuna or troll for mahi in the next days.

Fishing was docked aboard in the weekend’s weather, Capt. Tom from <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b> from Cape May said Sunday in a phone call. Yellowfin tuna 50 and 60 pounds, quality fish, good catches of them, were chunked and trolled inshore last week. A few private boats were known to troll marlin well in 100 fathoms that week. Fishing was supposed to resume Tuesday of this week with Fishin’ Fever. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing.

Tuna fishing sounded pretty good, a little spotty, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b> in Cape May. Fifty-and 60-pounders were mostly chunked or, in early mornings, were jigged. Light leaders 30 to 50 pounds were fished for chunking. Somewhat heavier could be fished when jigging. Offshore baits are stocked, like butterfish, sardines and ballyhoos.

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