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New Jersey Offshore Fishing Report 7-20-18

<b>Sandy Hook</b>

The shop’s owner expected to fish for tuna and tilefish today to tomorrow, said Tim from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b> in Sewaren. The offshore fishing was weathered out on most days. Dockside, located on Smith Creek, a tributary of the Arthur Kill, is accessible from land and water at the fuel dock. The fuel dock is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

<b>Manasquan Inlet</b>

Tuna fishing is solid now in the Hudson Canyon area, so the boat was going to be returned to home port in Point Pleasant Beach before this coming blow, Capt. Alan from <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> wrote in an email. Mushin will now fish the canyons from Point, and charters and open-boat trips are still available. Mushin fished from Cape May for tuna, sharks and tilefish in June until now to reach the southern canyons, like it does every June to July. From Cape May aboard, no trips fished since last weekend. The angling had been scheduled for this coming weekend, but was canceled because of forecasts for strong wind through early next week. Last weekend, a couple of trips fished aboard, including on Friday. That trip bagged tuna to 55 pounds and some mahi mahi, and released a white marlin. A trip also fished Saturday on the boat, trolling tuna to 65 pounds and limiting out on blueline tilefish to 18 pounds and golden tiles to 12 pounds. Mushin often mixes in tilefishing on these trips, and sometimes mixes in sharking. Lots of bait schooled the canyons, looking like that would hold tuna a while.

Inshore lumps and bumps started to pile up with bluefin tuna from rats to 20- or 30-pounders, false albacore and skipjacks, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b> in Brielle. Places like the Resor, Lillian and Atlantic Princess wrecks held some of the small bluefins. A couple of white marlin were even heard about from inshore. Fishing for bluefins from 30-pound schoolies to 64-inchers or 150-pounders sounded good Saturday just east of the Triple Wrecks on Joe Shutes and ballyhoos. Farther from shore, tuna fishing was fair last weekend. It had been good last week, and became slower in boat traffic on the weekend. Good catches of yellowfin tuna from 20 to 60 or 70 pounds were trolled anywhere from Hudson to Lindenkohl canyons on spreader bars, splash bars and all the standard fare. Alex from the shop joined a trip that docked nine yellowfins, departing at 12 a.m. Sunday, returning at 1 p.m. that day, Bob from the store said.  A slug of bieye tuna recently turned on suddenly. Not many mahi mahi bit at the canyons yet, Bob said.

<b>Barnegat Inlet</b>

An open-boat trip for tuna was maybe going to be weathered out today on the <b>Super Chic</b> from Barnegat Light, Capt. Ted said. The trip had the anglers to sail. Another is supposed to fish Sunday. Call Ted for availability.

An edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b> from Barnegat: “We ran to Barnegat Ridge on Sunday. Two- to 3-foot long swell, very fishable. Had John Post and his son-in-law Tim Smith and grandson, 13-year-old Timmy Smith, all from Mountainside, N.J., aboard. Stopped about 1 ½ miles shy of the North Ridge, as I usually do. This way the lines go out in the deep water, and we troll towards the high ground. As Nick (Dave’s son) was setting out the fourth rod in the spread, a cedar plug, it went spooling off in his hand. He locked it up, and Timmy boated a nice bonita. As we drew closer to the Ridge, there were slicks and chicks. This is best-case scenario wherever you’re fishing, but especially here. The slicks were so fresh that you could smell them 30 yards away, and there were a dozen to twenty chick birds picking at them at any given time. I could hear the rods going off in my head … but it never happened. Killer fish and bait readings throughout the water column. I gave it two hours of tight turns and nothing. There were quite a few spinner sharks thrashing and crashing, so this is the only thing I could suspect might’ve put off the species we were looking for. I had brought a can of chum and some fresh bunker, so I asked our crew if they wanted to try sharking, and they were game. It took about twenty minutes, and the first rod went off. Timmy jumped on the rod and brought a 60-pound dusky to the boat. Then two rods went off at the same time. We lost one, and Timmy finessed a 120-pound dusky to be released on the other. We were doing it all with 20- to 30-class gear, so it was a lot of fun. Nick and I were watching the balloons, and we both happen to see a fish jump over one of the balloons. I said, ‘that was a mahi,’ and he said, 'yeah, I know.’ He had eaten a hunk of bunker on a 9/0 circle hook rigged on 200-pound mono. Once again, Timmy was on the rod, and boated this 8-pound square-head baby bull mahi. This kid was a true angler. Smooth on the rod. <a href=" 
" target="_blank">Here he is on one of the duskies</a>.  If we had stayed on the troll, it might have been a one-bonita day that was over in the first five minutes. That bucket of chum and fresh bait turned it into a decent catch with plenty of action. Thank God for Plan B! … Running open-boat to Barnegat Ridge (today), leaving at 11 a.m., returning at 6 p.m. Trolling for bonita, mahi or any other high-speed fish that are in that neighborhood. I'll have the chum and bait on board if we want to try a few hours of light-tackle sharking. Four people max. All fish are shared. You can call for a spot right up until we leave. I'm available (as early as 5 a.m. today). Saturday is booked. Sunday and Monday are potential bay/inlet charter days, because the ocean will be a little rough from Saturday afternoon through the following few days. Looking to run offshore for tuna next week open-boat or charter Sat/Sun/Mon, trolling and chunking. Probably running 80 miles-plus each way, unless things heat up closer. Leaving at 2 a.m., returning around 4 p.m., sometimes later. So if you have to be back at a certain time, you won't make it. Four people max. All fish are shared. Reservations required. Everything is provided. If you have a favorite rod and reel, and it's appropriate, you can bring it. Hoping we get a nice stretch of weather, we are due.”

<b>Great Egg Harbor Inlet</b>

The <b>Stray Cat</b> from Longport is targeting tuna and summer flounder, Capt. Mike said. Trips are also trolling bluefish and catches like bonito and little tunny inshore. The tuna fishing includes fishing for bluefins closer to shore and yellowfins farther off at the canyons. The bluefins are holding along the 30-mile line, like at the Cigar, 28-Mile Wreck and Lemke’s Canyon. They’re hitting trolled Joe Shutes, cedar plugs and size-2 Clark spoons, and the Shutes are especially catching. The bluefin fishing isn’t hot, but the tuna are there. If anglers are interested in an open trip for tuna Friday, Aug. 10, at the canyons, call Mike. Those trips are limited to six passengers, and have been selling out. The canyon fishing is trolling currently. Mike expects to begin chunking for the tuna on Sept. 1. The inshore trolling aboard lately caught snapper blues, bonito and little tunny, and hooked triggerfish. The ocean turned over Tuesday and became absolutely blue on those grounds.

Nothing was heard about fishing for tuna offshore in about a week, because of wind and rough weather, said Nick from <b>Fin-Atics</b> in Ocean City. Getting out there’s been tough.

<b>Townsend’s Inlet</b>

Three yellowfin tuna to 65 pounds and a white marlin were trolled at Spencer Canyon aboard Saturday, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> from Sea Isle City, affiliated with </b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The water was 74 to 75 degrees, good-looking and held lots of bait and squid. The ocean close to shore recently became warm enough to hold mahi mahi. Those are fun trips that fight the dolphin on cast jigs, live bait, on the troll or on flies aboard.

Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b> in Sea Isle City</b> heard no reports about tuna fishing in probably a week because of weather, he said. But the last reports were awesome. Yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna mixed in were taken. A buddy’s trip landed two white marlin maybe a week ago. A couple of trips trolled places like Sea Isle Ridge, tying into bluefish, sometimes skipjacks. Mike saw a Spanish mackerel from the fishing. He saw his season’s first cobia this week. Some were surely around. Inshore sharking for species like browns and duskies, required to be released, chunked the fish in chum slicks, say 3 to 6 miles out.

<b>Cape May Inlet</b>

Some boats last weekend fished for tuna at Lindenkohl Canyon, and some at Wilmington Canyon, said Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> from Cape May. Tuna fishing then seemed to have to run over the fish while trolling. Some trips caught, some didn’t.  Some of the anglers canceled the fishing Sunday because of rough forecasts, but weather seemed to turn out better. George mated on a friend’s boat that day that trolled a mess of bluefish and a couple of bonito at 5-Fathom Bank, and seas were fine. A trip on the Heavy Hitter also trolled the blues and three bonito last Friday. The bonito on these inshore trips were small. Give a George a call if interested in tuna fishing or this inshore trolling. Tuna fishing was potentially going to sail today on the Heavy Hitter. Weather’s looking rough for the weekend. Tuna were picked lately, he heard. Friends were going to fish for them yesterday, so he expected to hear more. If interested in fishing, dates are open aboard.

Tuna anglers were headed out yesterday in a break in weather, said Joe from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b> in Cape May. The fishing had seemed to slow a moment but recently pick back up. Some trips caught okay, and some were skunked.

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