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Offshore Report

Report from Friday, August 18.

| Sandy Hook | Shark River Inlet | Manasquan Inlet | Barnegat Inlet | Great Egg Harbor Inlet | Townsend's Inlet | Cape May Inlet | Last Week's Report |
Sandy Hook
Yellowfin tuna to 70 pounds, including small, were trolled at Toms Canyon on an overnight trip last week on Thursday to Friday with Sour Kraut Sportfishing from Leonardo, Capt. Joe said. The angling wasn’t great but put together a catch on the 73-degree, clear, blue, beautiful-looking water. Nothing bit at night, though the anglers chunked the whole night. Lots of squid schooled at night. Not a lot of life was seen during daytime, except a few whales and porpoises. Joe heard about a few tuna, not many, chunked at night so far this season. Joe hopes to fish for tuna this weekend that reportedly bit inshore. He’s watching the forecast, after the hurricane offshore this week. Storms like that began to roll up the coast for the season.

Shark River Inlet
XTC Sportfishing from Belmar fished for tuna throughout past days, catching a few, mostly yellowfins, except a couple of bluefins Saturday, Capt. Scott said Sunday. That was all inshore, except an overnight trip fished Toms Canyon Thursday to Friday of last week. That angling wasn’t so good but landed a couple of yellowfins. Sharks were reeled in at night on the outing. All tuna were trolled on trips, except yellowfins were popper-plugged and jigged inshore last week on Wednesday aboard, covered in the previous report here. On that trip, no tuna were hooked when the boat trolled.

Tuna charters are booking to fish offshore canyons on the Katie H from Belmar, and the first is slated for Aug. 26, Capt. Mike said. Whether that trip will fish inshore for a day or offshore overnight will be seen. The offshore, overnight fishing can take off in late August, but September and October often fish great for that. Currently, bluefin and yellowfin tuna were boated mid-range, and the angling was spotty, typical for the time of year. Sometimes the tuna bit, and anglers just need to go and see.

Manasquan Inlet
Tuna fishing began trolling at 5:30 a.m. Sunday with Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach, Capt. Alan wrote in an email Monday. “We played the weather forecast right and the ocean settled in time for our start,” he wrote. The trip picked away at a variety of yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna and false albacore throughout the morning and into the afternoon. Multiple hook-ups were frequent – no shortage of action – because the fish foraged on sand eels. The fishing was wrapped up at 2 p.m., and the anglers bagged two yellowfins and two bluefins, all fat fish. The albies were fat on the trip, too. A bunch of rat yellowfins and bluefins were also tugged in. Purple and black plastics fished best, like they have. Charters and a limited number of open-boat trips are fishing. Mushin’s been focusing on tuna since June, fishing for them from Cape May until recently.

Tuna 40 to 60 pounds showed up at spots like the Resor wreck, Triple Wrecks and Chicken Canyon, after they appeared farther south at the Cole wreck previously, said Alex from The Reel Seat in Brielle. They were yellowfins, he said, and the fishing seemed hit or miss, or one trip might land five or six, and another might hook none. The fish were trolled on daisy chains including The Reel Seat’s Flock of Birds Chain. A few white and blue marlin were landed at Hudson Canyon this past week. Sometimes bonito or false albacore were heard about from reefs.

Barnegat Inlet
A day-trip trolled six yellowfin tuna, a 125-pound bigeye tuna and more last week on Wednesday with Tuna-Tic Sportfishing from Forked River, Capt. Mike said. The trip also raised six white marlin, catching and releasing one, and a dozen mahi mahi. The yellowfins weighed 60 pounds, except two were small. The fishing was good for Tuna-Tic, but not for everybody in the area that day. Tuna fishing was weathered out Saturday aboard, and more of the trips were set for the middle of this week until late in the week. Those might’ve been canceled because of the swell from the offshore hurricane. A couple of tuna trips are available that need more anglers, so if you don’t have enough people for a charter, jump on them.

A 25-pound bluefin tuna and six false albacore were trolled 50 miles from shore Wednesday on the Super Chic from Barnegat Light, Capt. Ted said. Seas were big in Barnegat Inlet when the trip departed in the morning, and the ocean held a ground swell throughout the day because of Hurricane Gert offshore. But the ocean’s seas weren’t bad on the 56-foot Super Chic. The water was green-blue, not the greatest-looking, on the fishing grounds. There was life, including lots of baitfish and some rays and the albies and some skipjacks, but in a small area. The next tuna trip is on Sunday.

From an email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier from Barnegat: “If you want to go on an adventure, the tuna have moved within 45 miles of the inlet, and weather for Sunday and Monday looks good. Yellowfin and bluefin mixed together. Twenty- to 60-pound fish on the troll, chunk or jig. This is the closest they’ve come to our inlet all season. We’re going to load the boat with slabs of bait, the trolling arsenal, jigging rods and come home with some tuna! … Friday and Saturday I’m going to stay close to shore because some seas are still forecast. We’ll do the (inshore) shark and fluke combo. If the inlet or ocean is too rough, we’ll stay on the fluke. Open-boat or charter, 12 noon to 6 p.m. On Sunday and Monday we’ll head to the blue water for tuna. Open-boat or charter. Leaving at 4 a.m., returning at 4 p.m. All open-boat trips, inshore or offshore, are limited to four people max, and all fish are shared. Any of these dates can be booked for your own charter as well. It’s never too late to check availability. You can call right up until ‘go time.’ On inshore charters, the head count is more flexible.”

Great Egg Harbor Inlet
A tuna charter will sail Saturday on the Stray Cat from Longport, and the effects of the offshore hurricane look like they’ll be gone, Capt. Mike said. Because flounder season this year closes early beginning Sept. 6, a discount will be offered for tuna trips to the offshore canyons starting in September, until fall sea bass season opens. Anglers should telephone, because of the substantial savings for tuna. The trips will also deep-drop for tilefish, depending on the tide.

Little was heard about tuna, said Bill from Fin-Atics in Ocean City. Marlin were caught at offshore canyons.

Townsend's Inlet
Not much was heard about tuna catches, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City. Lemke’s Canyon had given up a bite, and he guessed that was mid to late last week.

Cape May Inlet
Last week on Thursday might’ve been the most recent time tuna fishing was good for the local fleet, Capt. Tom from Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing from Cape May said Sunday. A tuna trip was supposed to head out at 2 a.m. Monday aboard, he said before the trip. So the trip would see how the fishing went now, he said. Tom gave no report since, but two photos on the boat’s Facebook page showed a tuna, a good-sized swordfish and two mahi mahi from the trip.

Bluefish and Spanish mackerel hit on the troll at 5-Fathom Bank, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter from Cape May. Tuna fishing became slower for the fleet recently, but maybe the angling will pick up again.

Fishing for tuna sounded spotty at inshore lumps, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. But some were picked, and bluefish and Spanish mackerel were trolled at 5-Fathom Bank.

Last Week's Report
Sandy Hook

Fishing was supposed sail for tuna overnight yesterday to today with Sour Kraut Sportfishing, Capt. Joe said the night before. Earlier in the week, he said he’d heard about catches at an uncommon place inshore but 86 miles to the south.

Shark River Inlet

XTC Sportfishing from Belmar was motoring back into the inlet Wednesday evening from a tuna trip when Capt. Scott gave this report in a phone call aboard, he said. A couple of yellowfin tuna were landed and a few were lost. That was inshore on popper lures and jigs. The trip trolled, but no tuna bit on the troll. The previous two trips also fished inshore and only trolled yellowfins. A tuna trip was headed all the way offshore to the canyons yesterday, the first to run there aboard in a while this year.

Spaces remain for 24- and 31-hour tuna trips in September and October on the Golden Eagle, a report said on the party boat’s website. Reserve them.

Manasquan Inlet

Tuna fishing is good “if you want to make the run,” John from The Reel Seat said yesterday. To where? he was asked. South is all they’re saying, he said. The tuna are inshore of the canyons, around the 30-fathom curve, but 60 to 70 miles south, he said. Most of the fish seemed trolled, because many Reel Seat spreader bars were sold for that. On Sunday, John from the shop said yellowfin tuna fishing turned on along Hudson Canyon’s west wall. The fish were trolled and jigged. Chunking for them at night should begin to catch in a couple of weeks. The Jenny Lee reportedly landed a white marlin along the wall. Tilefishing was good.

Mushin Sportfishing moved the boat back to Point Pleasant Beach, just in time to fish for yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna that began to give up good catches at canyons in range from there, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. The boat the past two months was docked at Cape May farther south, fishing for tuna. The boat was fishing from Point on Saturday evening when Alan sent the email from land. The trip at 5 p.m. had trolled a couple of “nice, fat yellowfins,” released a couple of small and fought a white marlin that got off, after only two hours of fishing. Black and purple lures seemed the “magic.” Charters and a limited number of open-boat trips are fishing. ***Update, Friday, 8/11:*** An open-boat day-troll fished a local canyon yesterday aboard, Alan wrote in an email. At first, the trip picked away at small yellowfin tuna and some mahi mahi. Other boats also hooked the small tuna. Then a couple of 70-pound yellowfins were crushed aboard. The quality of the larger yellowfins has been “nice,” and a good spread of yellowfins has been swimming these northern canyons. The outlook seems good. Purple and black plastics out-fished every other color on the trip, like has been the case. Weather was beautiful.

Ten yellowfin tuna 40- to 60-pounds, except a couple of rats, were trolled at Hudson Canyon on Saturday on the Tin Knocker from Point Pleasant, Capt. John said. The 77-degree, good-looking, blue water held no temperature breaks and sometimes held whales. A swordfish was also cranked in at night on the trip. The water was pretty dead at night otherwise.

The schedule of tuna trips is posted on the party boat Gambler from Point Pleasant Beach’s website. Spaces are beginning to fill, and some trips are sold out.

Barnegat Inlet

Fishing for bluefish and bonito was picking up at Barnegat Ridge, Capt. Mike from Tuna-Tic Sportfishing from Forked River said during the weekend. Good tuna fishing was had at the offshore canyons. Tuna-Tic was yet to fish there this season, but fished inshore for tuna last week. During chunking for the fish, plenty of tuna bit but broke off, because they wouldn’t bite heavier than 30-pound leaders. But a couple of the tuna were trolled aboard. Green-stick boats also caught because the leader doesn’t really touch the water. Tuna fishing should be good this week on the waning moon, he expected. The full moon might’ve affected the angling around the weekend.

Tuna trips are set for next week on the Super Chic from Barnegat Light, Capt. Ted said. The fishing sounded good both inshore and offshore.

Tuna trips will fish in September and October on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light. Reserve space while it’s available.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet

Weather was rough during the weekend and the beginning of the week, said John from Fin-Atics in Ocean City. Yellowfin tuna catches began to be talked about again from places like Massey’s Canyon, 19-Fathom Lump and other holes and lumps like that. Chunking for them sounded hit and miss, including because light, 25- and 30-pound, fluorocarbon leaders had to be fished. A couple were trolled outside of the chunking fleet, like on blue and white lures.

Townsend’s Inlet

Not much news came in about tuna, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City. One angler reported something like a catch of one tuna at someplace far like beyond the Continental Shelf off Toms Canyon. The angler texted something like: he had a tuna report. But that wasn’t really a report or good news or something! A handful of Spanish mackerel were heard about that were trolled at Sea Isle Ridge. That was the only type of trolling heard about recently. The ocean was dirty from the surf to 50 miles out.

A trip tried for mahi mahi inshore Friday aboard, but conditions were terrible, and none bit, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service from Sea Isle City, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. But this is the time of year for the angling.

With Fins and Feathers Outfitters from Avalon, a trip attempted to troll for mahi mahi at 28-Mile Wreck on Saturday but turned back, Capt. Jim said. One of the anglers was becoming seasick. Wind only blew 15 knots then, but built to 20 or 25 on the way in. The trip trolled the ocean for about 5 miles on the way in. But the water was dirty. Blue water was yet to be seen when the trip reached 25 miles out, when the boat was turned back. Chum and bait were also stowed aboard for sharking, if the trip had fished 28-Mile Wreck. Cape May Inlet

A mess of bluefish and Spanish mackerel were trolled Wednesday at 5-Fathom Bank on the Heavy Hitter from Cape May, Capt. George said. A trip last week on Thursday chunked a yellowfin tuna, a mahi mahi, a small hammerhead shark and a couple of false albacore on the inshore ocean aboard. Telephone if interested in any of this fishing.

A tuna trip was weathered out Monday with Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing from Cape May, Capt. Tom said. More tuna trips were slated for this week, and tuna were still around, being chunked and trolled. Farther from shore at the canyons, white marlin fishing was fairly good, and some blue marlin were fought. Mahi mahi fishing was super at the canyons. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing.

Tuna fishing sounded spotty at best at midshore lumps and places like Massey’s Canyon and the Tea Cup, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. The fish seemed not too close and not too far away. A few were picked here and there, better on overcast days. Marlin held at offshore canyons.