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Offshore Report

Report from Friday, August 10.

| Sandy Hook | Manasquan Inlet | Barnegat Inlet | Great Egg Harbor Inlet | Townsend's Inlet | Cape May Inlet | Last Week's Report |
Sandy Hook
A charter boat from the docks landed bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna at the Chicken Canyon, said Tim from Dockside Bait & Tackle in Sewaren. 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.

Bluefin tuna catches were reported from beyond the Chicken Canyon, said Ron from Julian’s Bait & Tackle in Atlantic Highlands. A mix of trolling, jigging, popper-plugging and chunking seemed to catch. A handful of trips landed five or six. One angler showed Ron a video of a 50-pounder crushing a popper plug at the boat.

One angler reported a catch of six yellowfin tuna and a bigeye tuna on a trip, said Johnny O. from Fisherman’s Den North in Atlantic Highlands. Offshore anglers were buying flats of bait like butterfish and sardines. They began to catch on the chunk at night sometimes, but still trolled tuna. They also bought trolling tackle like daisy chains and spreader bars. Anglers yesterday bought bait to try for mahi mahi. All baits are stocked.

Mike from TAK Waterman Surf n Fish fished on a trip for bluefin tuna inshore during the weekend, he said. A little of a bluefin bite was underway. The fishing was tougher because of boat traffic on the trip. But the trip landed a 45-incher on a jig. That sounded smaller than other bluefins that the fleet caught. The water was a little greener than on his previous trip for bluefins two weeks ago, and sand eels schooled. TAK is a shop for fishing, mostly surf fishing, and surfing. The store also produces the TAK Waterman line of clothing for these sports and beach-going.

Manasquan Inlet
Before wind kept boaters from fishing offshore, they tied into good catches of yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna at Hudson Canyon, Eric from The Reel Seat in Brielle said on Sunday. They also decked good fishing for marlin and mahi mahi. Closer to shore, good numbers of yellowfins and bluefin tuna swam Chicken Canyon. Some of the bluefins measured up to 60 inches, if anglers got lucky and lit into one. Trolling usual tackle like spreader bars and daisy chains caught at the Chicken. Sometimes trips tripped on mahi mahi at the Chicken

Barnegat Inlet
Tuna-Tic Sportfishing from Forked River was cleaning tuna from a trip that just docked when Capt. Mike gave this report on Sunday, he said. A telephone call to him for a report later in the week was unanswered. Fishing for bluefin tuna inshore has been great aboard, and sometimes mahi mahi have been mixed in. Sunday’s trip bagged both, and the bluefins weighed 50 to 80 pounds. He couldn’t give more details, because he had to square away the anglers for them to depart. Tuna-Tic is also fishing for tuna overnight all the way offshore, including on three-day trips. The boat begins doing that about now each year. The three-day trips can fish for all catches available: tuna, marlin, sharks, mahi and tilefish.

An edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier from Barnegat on Thursday night: “Sunday we ran offshore about 60 miles to the southeast. We stumbled on a slick with chick birds hitting it. Great readings. Set up on the anchor and started chunking. Put out a few rods with bait and handed Matt Tebaldi a jigging rod with one of my favorite jigs. He and his wife Tess, from Manahawkin, were on their first-ever offshore trip. After about 10 minutes of jigging, Matt said, ‘I got something.’ It was apparent to me that it wasn’t a tuna, but nonetheless, let’s see what you got. He reeled in a 16-inch illex squid. Nasty looking creature. I stuck a hook in him and put him out at 50 feet under a balloon. Five minutes later the reel was screaming. After a long fight on medium-light drag, as we only had him on 40-pound fluoro leader, Matt and Tess tag-teamed an 80-pound bluefin tuna. Put him in the box and got a call from Brian Ewan on the Dora Lee that the troll bite was going off only 6 miles from where we were. We ran over, put out the spread and trolled two nice 40- and 50-class yellowfins. Here’s a video clip of Matt on one of those trolled fish. Returned the next day, Monday, and added a pair of yellowfins in the 20- to 30-pound class among a huge pod of whales and porpoises. Fished the last two days trolling Barnegat Ridge and sharking. Both days we clobbered the sharks. Today (Thursday) I had Michael Fuhrman of Cherry Hill, Steve Karl of Loveladies and Erin Foose of Altoona, Pa., on board. We had a bunch of sharks, mostly 3- to 4-foot Atlantic sharpnose, but Steve brought a 200-pound-class dusky shark to the boat, and a little while later, Erin bested a 120-pound dusky just 4 miles off the beach. Here’s a video of Erin and her dusky. The ridge has been giving up bonita, Spanish and king mackerel. We’re available for open-boat or charter Saturday through Monday. Inshore sharking and trolling for bonita and Spanish mackerel at Barnegat Ridge. We can do both in the same trip. If they relax the thunderstorm predictions for any of these three days, we can also make the 60-mile run to the tuna grounds. The ridge/shark combo trips are 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Four people max. The mid-range tuna trips are 3 a.m. to 5 p.m. Four people max. All fish are shared on all trips. Call me to book a spot on any of these trips. You can always try us right up until our departure time to see if we have a spot.”

Great Egg Harbor Inlet
Two trips Monday and Tuesday took a shot at tuna fishing inshore, along the 30 line, on the Stray Cat from Longport, Capt. Mike said. But no tuna seemed around, and the trips pulled back closer to shore and loaded up on bonito. For tuna, trips had to fish 40 or 50 fathoms, apparently. Places like the Cigar and the 750 Square looked devoid of life. Trolling inshore on trips crushed bonito and small bluefish aboard. Spanish mackerel and small mahi mahi were sometimes hooked during the angling. King mackerel kept biting off the lures. Monofilament leaders were fished, not wire that would prevent the toothy kings from biting off, because the other fish, even the blues, shied away from wire. Tackle trolled included 4-inch cedar plugs and feathers. The cedar plugs were dynamite. The cedars were what the kings kept smacking, too. The trolling provided plenty of fish for anglers. Bonito are good-eating.

Fishing for tuna offshore didn’t sound so good recently, said Thomas from Fin-Atics in Ocean City. It had been better, like for yellowfins at Spencer Canyon that Thomas heard about before the slowdown. Mahi mahi fishing had been improving out there. White marlin fishing was good.

Townsend's Inlet
Tuna fishing sounded just good at the canyons for yellowfins and bigeyes, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City. Sometimes tuna were heard about from closer in, like at 19-Fathom Lump. Most tuna were reported trolled, but some were chunked. Inshore trolling drilled lots of small bluefish and some catches like bonito and skipjacks. One angler reported two Spanish mackerel from the fishing. Troll lures like Clark spoons or feathers. Cobia seemed abundant inshore, and a 65.6-pounder was weighed-in yesterday. Being prepared to run into them is worthwhile.

Cape May Inlet
Tuna fishing had been decent and slowed a bit now, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter from Cape May. But maybe it’ll come back on. A bunch of bluefish, sometimes bonito and occasionally Spanish mackerel were trolled at 5-Fathom Bank aboard. Not many Spanish swam this area this year. A better number did last year.

Fishing for tuna, mostly yellowfins, a few bluefins, erupted Sunday at Massey’s Canyon and 19-Fathom Lump, said Joe from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. But that fishing seemed to die out now. On Sunday the tuna were caught every way: They were trolled, chunked and jigged.

Last Week's Report
Sandy Hook

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

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

Shark River Inlet

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

Manasquan Inlet

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

A day-troll sailed for tuna Sunday with Mushin Sportfishing 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 Mushin’s Facebook page 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 The Reel Seat 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.

Barnegat Inlet

Open-boat tuna fishing was weathered out two weekends ago on the Super Chic 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 Grizz’s Bait & Tackle in Forked River said on Tuesday. He was yet to hear results at that time. All offshore baits are stocked.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet

Tuna fishing is scheduled for Saturday through Tuesday on the Stray Cat 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.

Cape May Inlet

One trip fished, on Monday, with Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing 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 Heavy Hitter 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.