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New Jersey Offshore Fishing Report 8-31-18

<b>Sandy Hook</b>

Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> from Leonardo was in Prince Edward Island to fish for giant bluefin tuna, he wrote in an email Thursday. Boaters that day from the port caught and released 350- to 450-pounders on charters. Those are considered small. What a fishery, when 350-pounders are small! he wrote. Charters for the bluefins are catch-and-release. Anglers with a permit can keep one per year. Joe will fish for bluefins from the island commercially with a friend in the next day or two, and hopes for big. On Tuesday in an email from the island, he said many bluefins were being landed, and they averaged 800 pounds. Wow! He saw one that weighed 789 dressed. He also talked about offshore fishing from New Jersey in that email. Many white marlin were raised at Hudson Canyon, he said. A few small yellowfin tuna bit at the canyon, but trips had to work for them.

From <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b> in Atlantic Highlands, Johnny heard nothing about offshore fishing in past days, he said. Offshore bait wasn’t selling yesterday, maybe because of forecasts for rough weather today and iffy weather afterward this weekend.

Mahi mahi were abundant inshore, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Atlantic Highlands. A buddy’s trip popper-plugged tuna 4 miles beyond the Mudhole. He brought Ron steaks Wednesday. An 1,100-pound bluefin tuna was reportedly boated off Cape Cod.

<b>Shark River Inlet</b>

A tuna trip was supposed to sail at 4 a.m. Monday on the <b>Katie H</b> from Belmar, Capt. Mike said before the outing. The trip was maybe going to fish mid-range first, then head all the way offshore. Mike first was going to speak with anglers who fished for tuna Sunday.

<b>Manasquan Inlet</b>

The <b>Tin Knocker</b> from Point Pleasant fished for tuna mid-shore Saturday, trolling six yellowfins, Capt. John said. That was on plastics, and a 50-pounder was biggest. The rest weighed 35 to 40 pounds.

A “nice, fat” yellowfin tuna was boated Friday evening on an overnight charter from that day to Saturday with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> from Point Pleasant Beach, a report said on Mushin’s Facebook page. Lots of life filled the water, and next, a 450-pound blue marlin was caught – “gave a great show,” it said – and released. At night, “lots of shark activity,” it said. In the morning, boat traffic filled the water, “… but still managed to troll … some tunas,” it said. A trip the next day, on Sunday, was going to concentrate on jigging and popper-plugging for tuna. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing.

Tuna fishing sounded mostly quiet at Hudson Canyon, Vinnie from <b>The Reel Seat</b> in Brielle said yesterday. Southern canyons seemed to hold a few yellowfin and bigeye tuna and abundant white marlin. He heard that someone landed a couple of spearfish. On Sunday, Alex from the store said tuna fishing was terrible at Chicken Canyon on Saturday. He waited to hear results from Sunday. The Chicken produced before last week’s rough weather. Tuna were picked at Hudson Canyon on Saturday, nothing great, Alex said. 

<b>Barnegat Inlet</b>

A trip Saturday trolled four bigeye tuna at Spencer Canyon, 85 miles from port, on the <b>Super Chic</b> from Barnegat Light, Capt. Ted said. That was at a piece of clear, blue water. Five white marlin also shot into the trolling spread but never became hooked. Lots of billfish swam the area. Not a lot of life was seen, except usual life like a few pilot whales. A trip Sunday fished closer to shore, 50 miles from port, and jigged an 80-pound yellowfin tuna and trolled a good-sized mahi mahi and a couple of skipjacks. That water was a clear blue/green and held lots of whales and porpoises.

Not much was heard about fishing for tuna or other big game, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Forked River. He suspected that late-summer’s warm water affected the angling. But mahi mahi fishing was great 18 miles from shore or farther.

<b>Great Egg Harbor Inlet</b>

Inshore trolling smoked a good catch including three mahi mahi, including a 15-pounder, and some bluefish and bonito Saturday on the <b>Stray Cat</b> from Longport, Capt. Mike said. The trip also bottom-fished for sea bass, bagging 17. The trolling was slow Sunday, maybe because of the strong, full-moon current. A fluke trip that day did a little of the trolling. No trips fished in the heat Tuesday and Wednesday aboard. Brutal, he said. For this report, he wasn’t asked whether the boat fished Monday. The vessel is now sold out though this coming Monday. Trips during the weekend will probably do the trolling. That’s been super and a mainstay aboard, catching three or four fish at once, big numbers.

Boaters sometimes trolled a few bonito, false albacore, Spanish mackerel and small mahi mahi 4 or 5 miles from shore, said Ed from <b>Fin-Atics</b> in Ocean City. Not much was heard about tuna, frankly, he said. 

<b>Townsend’s Inlet</b>

This has been a good run of mahi mahi fishing inshore, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> from Sea Isle City, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. He’s been reporting good catches of them aboard, and another one of the trips was supposed to fish yesterday, he said before the trip. One of the trips Monday fished somewhat slower, landing two, missing a third. The two caught were sizable. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

The best fishing was for mahi mahi 8 to 30 miles from shore, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b> in Sea Isle City. The fish were boated in several ways. Trolling was probably the most common, with small feathers, small spoons, other small lures or ballyhoos, small or medium-sized. When trolling, trips tried to cover an area. If anglers knew buoys that attracted mahi, they cast lures like bucktails or maybe swimming lures like Yo-Zuris, or Fin-S Fish. Other anglers bought two or three quarts of minnows, chummed with them and free-lined the baitfish to the mahi at buoys. Others castnetted peanut bunker and did the same. Offshore fishing sounded like late summer’s warm water affected the angling.

<b>Cape May Inlet</b>

A trip Tuesday tried for tuna with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b> from Cape May, and none bit, Capt. Tom said. But white marlin fishing was very good. Nine whites were seen, six bit and three were landed. If the trip had stuck with the marlin, it would’ve loaded up. But the trip then tilefished, cranking in 20. A tilefish trip whacked them aboard this past week. A mess of golden tiles, a large number, to 27 pounds, including six that weighed more than 20, were pasted. Seven bluelines tiles were also waxed. A wahoo was lost on the way in, when the trip high-speed trolled for them. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing. If tuna are in, trips will tuna fish. If not, the white marlin fishing is gangbusters. Daytime swordfishing trips are coming up soon. A few have been landed, and fishing for them during daytime, instead of the usual nighttime, has become popular to the south, like in Florida, of course. Tom is pioneering the fishing here. His trips dunk for tilefish first, then hunt the swords. That, of course, is in deeper water than swordfishing usually fishes at night. The bait is plummeted to bottom to the light-sensitive fish.

A trip did a little fishing for mahi mahi on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> from Cape May, trolling a bunch, Capt. George said. Another trip, on Wednesday, fished closer to shore at 5-Fathom Bank, trolling bluefish and bonito. If interested in either fishing, give a call.

Not much seemed going on with tuna, said Joe from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b> in Cape May.

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