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New Jersey Offshore Fishing Report 8-3-18

<b>Sandy Hook</b>

Yellowfin tuna that were chunked, not just trolled, began to be heard about from the canyons, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b> in Atlantic Highlands. All the bait is carried for chunking. The shop is ready for that late summer to fall fishing.

Mike from <b>TAK Waterman Surf n Fish</b> in Long Branch knew that bluefin tuna bit inshore, nothing crazy, he said. He fished for them recently, covered in the last report here.

<b>Shark River Inlet</b>

The season’s first overnight tuna fishing at the canyons is slated for two Sundays from now, on Aug. 12, on the <b>Katie H</b> from Belmar, Capt. Mike said. But canyon tuna fishing sounded good for yellowfins and bigeyes, so the angling is available now aboard.

<b>Manasquan Inlet</b>

Four small yellowfin tuna were trolled at Hudson Canyon on Sunday on the <b>Tin Knocker</b> from Point Pleasant, Capt. John said. 

A day-troll sailed for tuna Sunday with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> from Point Pleasant Beach, Mushin’s Facebook page said. The trolling’s been fairly consistent at the canyons. But as good as the trolling was from Friday to Saturday, the angling was tougher on Sunday for the fleet, the page said. Many yellowfin and bigeye tuna were trolled from Friday to Saturday. Several boats reported great chunking for tuna overnight during the weekend, “which is an encouraging addition,” it said. Watch <a href="https://www.facebook.com/mushinsportfishing/" target="_blank">Mushin’s Facebook page</a> for open-boat, overnight chunking trips that will be scheduled.

Good catches of yellowfin tuna were chunked at night at Hudson Canyon the past couple of days, Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b> in Brielle said on Monday. That was the year’s first report about successful chunking at night on this website. Livelined squid were key, so be prepared to catch them. Mostly yellowfins but quite a few bigeye tuna were trolled in mornings at the Hudson around that time. The bigeyes weighed 90 to 150 pounds, weren’t huge, but were large enough. Closer to shore, not many bluefin tuna were reported caught. But bonito began to be trolled in the Mudhole area and at spots like the Lillian wreck and Little Italy. Some false albacore and a few mahi mahi were taken on those trips.

<b>Barnegat Inlet</b>

Open-boat tuna fishing was weathered out two weekends ago on the <b>Super Chic</b> from Barnegat Light, Capt. Ted said. Last weekend was fishable offshore, but the boat was busy with inshore trips. Ted will probably schedule more open tuna trips, but probably for September, because few dates are available aboard until then. That’s a good time of year for the angling, anyway. 

Customers fished for tuna during the weekend – they had the weather, Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Forked River said on Tuesday. He was yet to hear results at that time. All offshore baits are stocked.

<b>Great Egg Harbor Inlet</b>

Tuna fishing is scheduled for Saturday through Tuesday on the <b>Stray Cat</b> from Longport, Capt. Mike said. The trips will sail all the way offshore to the canyons. That fishing, for yellowfins and bigeyes, is spotty, hooking onesies and twosies. It’s all on the troll during daytime, not chunking at night. The trips will probably fish Lindenkohl or Wilmington canyons. There was a bite, no big numbers, at the Wilmington, Spencer and Hudson recently. The boat’s been doing lots of inshore trolling, crushing bluefish, little tunny, bonito and Spanish mackerel. Gobs of fish, and another trip was supposed to do that yesterday, he said before the outing. King mackerel bit off lures twice on Tuesday’s trip.  The trips are fishing monofilament, because even the blues refuse wire. No. 2 Clark spoons, yellow and green feathers, and cedar plugs are being fished. Old school, he said. Sometimes triggerfish are also angled on those trips. A piece of squid is floated to a buoy where the triggers gather, and two or three are hooked until the triggers get wise and stop biting, like mahi mahi do.

<b>Cape May Inlet</b>

One trip fished, on Monday, with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b> from Cape May, and smoked tuna, Capt. Tom said on Wednesday. Weather was rough the rest of the week through that day, and even at the end of that trip. On the trip, six yellowfin tuna to 75 pounds, three bluefin tuna to 60 pounds and a mahi mahi were bagged, all on the troll. The trip had 15 bites, steady action throughout the fishing. The fishing was very good. Both the yellowfins and bluefins were caught at the same spot. They were mixed together. Rain fell the whole day, and seas were slick-calm at first, in the morning. But on the way home, seas were rough as heck. Big, 7- to 8-foot “growlers.” But at least those were following seas. Another tuna trip was slated for yesterday. On a trip last Friday aboard, four bluefins, a couple of yellowfins and a 20-pound mahi mahi were trolled. He gave that report on Sunday, and when he did, he was asked where the tuna swam. They held in 20 to 30 fathoms, he said.  The water was green, dirty and also held weeds that kept fouling the hooks. But the trip kept grinding and hooked fish. Fishin’ Fever’s fishing in September will include deep-dropping for swordfish during daytime. Nighttime swordfishing is popular off the Northeast, and daytime swordfishing has become popular to the south, like in Florida, of course. Tom expects to pioneer that angling locally.

Tuna fishing seemed to pick decent catches of bluefins and yellowfins inshore, said Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> from Cape May. If anybody’s interested in tuna, sail for them before they leave. He’s seen the fishing be hot and heavy one week, and the fish depart the next. He hopes the tuna stick around. Inshore trolling aboard is hooking plenty of bluefish and some bonito at 5-Fathom Bank. Not many Spanish mackerel seemed around for the angling, though a good number hit last year. Telephone if interested in any of this fishing.

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