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New Jersey Offshore Fishing Report 6-24-18

<b>Shark River Inlet</b>

Capt. Mike from the <b>Katie H</b> from Belmar heard about tuna boated at mid-range, he said. He was going to offer that angling to a couple of charters booked for this weekend aboard, though the fishing might become weathered out. Those trips were supposed to fish inshore, but the ocean was too cold for fluke fishing, no striped bass or bluefish were really around, and sea bass season will close beginning Saturday. Offshore tuna fishing was also good, but the boat is yet to be readied for that angling. Mike planned to do that once sea bass season closed. The vessel is ready for mid-range tuna, though.

<b>Manasquan Inlet</b>

<b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> from Point Pleasant Beach, who’s sailing from Cape May through July for tuna, sharks and tilefish, did no fishing for them the last couple of days, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. But boats that did scored hot catches of yellowfin tuna on the troll. Bigeye tuna and bluefin tuna spiced up catches. Perfect weather last weekend caused lots of boat traffic – a lot, he said – making the angling tougher. Fishing on weekdays helps. Mushin does this fishing, at southern canyons offshore, each year from Cape May this month through July. This year’s angling’s been hot. Trips have bailed double-digits. Most catches are being trolled, not chunked or jigged. The catches are hard to pass up, if anglers don’t like to troll. Difficult to argue with full boxes of tuna. Some room is available on open-boat trips, and more will probably be added, because of demand.

Fishing for tuna offshore was the big thing, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b> in Brielle on Sunday. Many tuna caught were reported from Toms Canyon last week. Lots of yellowfin tuna 40 to 60 pounds were taken. Bluefin tuna 150 to 200 pounds came in, and so did bigeye tuna 100 to 200 pounds. A couple of mako sharks caught were reported from the area then. The tuna were trolled on surface lures including spreader bars, Green Machines and bird chains.  On Wednesday, Alex from the shop said tuna fishing was good to the south, like at Toms Canyon, for yellowfins and bigeyes on trolled spreader bars, daisy chains and plugs. Bluefin tuna were seen at the Texas Tower but not often hooked, he said. Anglers hoped more will bite when the water temperature rises a little. Mako sharks and thresher sharks were around, and Alex hadn’t heard a lot about them. But he was headed sharking that Wednesday evening. “So we’ll see,” he said.

<b>Barnegat Inlet</b>

A friend of <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b> in Barnegat Light on Wednesday landed two bluefin tuna 40 miles from shore, Ashley said. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, boat slips, a fuel dock and boat and kayak rentals.

Capt. Ted from the <b>Super Chic</b> from Barnegat Light is probably going to schedule two open-boat trips for tuna on July 4 and the following weekend, he said. Those will be announced on the boat’s Facebook page and website. Tuna fishing was super in the past couple of weeks. Hopefully it’ll just get better. Yellowfin tuna, some bigeye tuna and large bluefin tuna scattered in were hooked all the way offshore. Boaters sharking closer to shore also saw bluefins. That was 40 miles out.

An edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b> from Barnegat: “We ran out to the Wilmington Canyon early Saturday morning, meeting at the dock at 2:30 a.m., throwing the ropes by 3 o’clock. The chart-plotter displayed 88 miles to our destination, and I thought that's a lot farther than my Seaside Piers or Lavallette run. Ocean was flat-calm, and the marine forecast was for more of the same all weekend. Hoping this was going to be redemption time for last week’s zero we pulled at the Spencer Canyon. I had a full open-boat trip of (four guys, and we) arrived at the Wilmington around 7:30 a.m., and put out an eight-rod spread. Three spreader bars, three squid chains, a cedar plug and a Yummee Flying Fish I attempted to fish from a kite. There was not enough wind, and the helium tank did not deliver enough gas to the assist-balloon, so I wound up with a whirling-dervish instead of a stable-square kite. It wrapped around one of the other lures, and I spent the next 20 minutes untangling. When we started, we had 63-degree water and some pilot whales. During my untangling, I gave the wheel (to one of the anglers) and gave him a heading to bring us deeper and more southerly. In that 20 minutes, the radio was lit up with boats hooking up yellowfins in 68- to 69-degree water. I grabbed the wheel back from (him) and noticed the spike in water temp, and a dozen circling boats, and whales and porpoises. He brought us right to the spot! We trolled around that area, seeing and hearing boats hooked up, but not a touch for us. I started second-guessing our spread, our speed ... me. I dropped the RPM's a little, and that dropped us from 6.3 to 5.8 knots. I started checking the lures for grass, because there was a little on the surface, but they came in clean, and alas, as I was checking the last lure, we watched a yellowfin crush a rainbow spreader bar, and another hit the green-machine bar, and another hit the flat-lined cedar plug, and another on the second rainbow spreader bar. Four on! We boated three, all 20-something pounds, but over the legal size, so they went in the cooler. We beat up that area some more and got a double-header of slightly bigger fish, and then we tripled up with a 20-pounder and two others that were taking more line and a little longer to subdue. They wound up being 40-and 50-pounders. <a href="
" target="_blank">Here’s a video of that hookup</a>. We were all boxed up and headed for the barn, feeling great about the day, and about halfway home I saw schools of bluefin airing out. We put out a quick four-rod spread, and a 50-pound bluefin crushed the flat-lined red-and-white cedar plug. Forty-five minutes on a 20-class, (one of the anglers) decked a 50-pound bluefin. Got back to the marina by 6:30 p.m., and all was right with the world. We’ll run offshore to the tuna grounds from time to time. Either the canyons or hopefully the mid-range grounds, like 40- to 60-mile range, will heat up in the coming weeks. These trips will always be announced with short notice, sometimes only a day or two before, because we’re looking for perfection weather. If you’d like to be on our email list for these and all of our trips, as well as our fishing reports, you can email us from our website. As always, we’ll also fish for bonita, albacore, bluefish, stripers, weakfish, fluke, kingfish and all of the mixed-bag fishing (on Barnegat Bay). We’ll also light-tackle shark fish within 5 miles of the inlet for 2- to 4-foot brown, dusky and spinner sharks. All catch and release, and a lot of fun.”

<b>Great Egg Harbor Inlet</b>

An open-boat trip for tuna on Sunday sold out on the <b>Stray Cat</b> from Longport, Capt. Mike said. He’ll try to offer another on Sunday, July 15.

<b>Townsend’s Inlet</b>

Tuna fishing sounded good for yellowfins and a few bigeyes and bluefins, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b> in Sea Isle City. On one day, all reports came from Spencer Canyon. On another, from Lindenkohl Canyon. And so on. Reports sounded like that if a trip fished the right spot, tuna bit. If not, they didn’t. But some place seemed to produce every day. The tuna were mostly trolled.

Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> from Sea Isle City, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>, fished for tuna Saturday at an offshore canyon, he said. The trip trolled three yellowfins to 35 pounds. That was at a temperature break from 67 to 71 degrees. The water was blue on one side and not a good color on the other, and held good life and scattered weeds. Some trips seemed to catch in the area, and some didn’t. Joe’s trip caught only toward the end, and he’d like to know what percentage of trips connected. He ventured that 30 percent did. But some trips caught great. 

<b>Cape May Inlet</b>

Two tuna trips fished this week aboard, said Capt. Tom from <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b> from Cape May. The first, on Monday, struck out. But the trip tilefished and cranked in a load. The next, on Tuesday, went 1 for 2 on bluefin tuna then piled up a load of tiles. The bluefins were hooked in 30 fathoms, and the tiles came from 70 fathoms. The water inshore was 65 to 67 degrees and offshore, at the canyons, was 71. Yellowfin tuna fishing, with bigeye tuna and bluefin tuna mixed in, was good at the canyons on and off in past days, depending on conditions. Good one day, lackluster another. When Fishin’ Fever looked offshore on these trips, plenty of life including whales and birds were seen, and good-sized jags of bait were marked, but no tuna bit. The water color looked great offshore and green but clear inshore.

Tuna fishing is decent at offshore canyons, said Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> from Cape May. If interested in tuna, go now, while the fish are there. Nobody knows when they’ll depart. Yellowfins and bigeyes are biting, and bluefin tuna are hitting closer to shore, along the 30- and 50-fathom lines. All the tuna fishing seems on the troll, and none of the fish chunked was heard about. Boat traffic was busy on Saturday on the offshore grounds. Anglers had to expect that in great weather. George spoke with some who fared better on Sunday. The tuna fishing seemed better that day.

Bluefin tuna chomped along the 40-fathom line, and yellowfin tuna, decent catches, and a few mahi mahi hit at the canyons along the Continental Edge, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b> in Cape May. Most of the tuna were trolled, on spreader bars and swimming lures. A customer landed a thresher shark heavier than 200 pounds 15 miles from shore.

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