Mon., Oct. 15, 2018
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Offshore Report

Report from Friday, October 12.

| Sandy Hook | Shark River Inlet | Manasquan Inlet | Barnegat Inlet | Absecon Inlet | Great Egg Harbor Inlet | Townsend's Inlet | Cape May Inlet | Last Week's Report |
Sandy Hook
Capt. Joe from Sour Kraut Sportfishing from Leonardo heard unconfirmed rumors about tuna holding 30 miles beyond the canyons, in around 1,000 fathoms, he said. Previously, mahi mahi were the only good catches he heard about from offshore. They were migrating out, thinning out, from inshore. False albacore seemed to swarm all over the ocean inshore.

Shark River Inlet
A trip looked for tuna 40, 50 and 60 miles from shore Sunday on the Katie H from Belmar, Capt. Mike said. He tested each of those distances, and lots of mahi mahi were crushed aboard. But only one small bluefin tuna was caught, and it was released. Plenty of mahi filled the waters, and lots of false albacore did. But tuna were scarce, and he’s probably going to switch to bottom-fishing for sea bass, cod, ling or other catches. Tuna currently swam far offshore, 130 miles out, he heard. On the trip, the water was blue and clear, looking beautiful, and held Sargassum and a bunch of life, including the mahi and albies. Much bait was marked, and Mike thought squid were probably abundant. Draggers worked the area. The boat’s temperature gauge broke, but Mike thought the water was in the mid-70 degrees.

Tuna fishing was slow on a trip Monday to Tuesday on the Golden Eagle from Belmar, a report said on the party boat’s website. But plenty of mahi mahi, a pretty good catch, and a swordfish were pumped in. Weather and seas were a little rough on Monday afternoon until early in the night. Then wind dropped out, and conditions became calm. See the tuna schedule online.

Manasquan Inlet
More mahi madness, a post said about an open-boat trip Sunday with Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach on Mushin’s Facebook page. The fishing absolutely crushed mahi again, it said, limiting out and releasing additional. After an overnight trip offshore was weathered out Saturday to Sunday, Mushin squeezed in the day trip Sunday, a long one. At first, lots of small yellowfin tuna, rats, and huge false albacore were trolled. Next, the trip moved to the mahi grounds, nailing them to 18 pounds. The trip returned to the tuna grounds and caught more of the rat yellowfins and countless albies. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing.

Few boaters did the fishing, but a nice little pick of yellowfin tuna seemed happening from the Triple Wrecks to the Texas Tower area, said Eric from The Reel Seat in Brielle. The fishing seemed pretty hit and miss, but the tuna were mostly hooked on chunks and jigs. Farther offshore at the canyons, mahi mahi fishing was good, and swordfish gave up a steady pick. A couple of longfin tuna and a handful of yellowfin tuna were heard about from the canyons, but only a handful. Closer to shore, good populations of false albacore and bonito could be found. If boaters wanted to troll them, the Mudhole was the place to be. If anglers wanted to cast to them, off Sandy Hook was hottest. The fish were also scattered farther south, but numbers held off Sandy Hook. Cast epoxy jigs and Deadly Dicks caught. S&S Slimfish in chrome worked well for Eric. John from the shop said bluefin tuna from footballs to 100-pounders were caught and seen from Sea Girt Reef to Shark River Reef. Tuna fishing at offshore canyons was very sporadic, he said. But one boat reportedly smashed a good catch of tuna, including bigeyes, far away, like 160 miles. John didn’t know whether the trip fished farther offshore than usual, he said when asked for this report. But he thought it might have.

The Jamaica II limited out on three 40- to 50-pound bluefin tuna Tuesday during a daily bottom-fishing trip for sea bass and other catches, the party boat’s Facebook page said. See a photo of one of the tuna from the page. A few were lost that weighed more than 100 pounds apiece. The boat on a previous day this week reported a 100-pound bluefin jumping around the vessel throughout the day’s trip.

Barnegat Inlet
Capt. Mike from the Tuna-Tic from Forked River postponed tuna trips because the fishing was slow, he said. But he hopes the catches pick back up. The angling was weathered out currently, too, including a trip slated for yesterday, because of remnants from the hurricane. Some bluefin tuna swam the Mudhole, but tuna fishing was no good at the canyons farther from shore. Weather or seas look too rough for the angling through the weekend. Monday or so looks iffy, too.

An overnight trip Sunday to Monday caught no tuna but limited out on mahi mahi, including good-sized, on the Super Chic from Barnegat Light, Capt. Ted said. At night, some blue sharks chomped. In the morning, fishing was great for blueline and golden tilefish.

An offshore trip Saturday to Sunday limited out on mahi mahi, bagged a longfin tuna, a 240-pound swordfish and a 90-pound sword and released two throwback swords on the Miss Barnegat Light, the party boat’s Facebook page said. A white marlin also “(fell) for a livelined squid” on the trip, it said. At first, the trip limited on the mahi on Saturday afternoon. Then the boat was set up on a first drift for the night in 75.2-degree water. The longfin was taken in the first hour of the drift. A throwback sword was released an hour later. On the second drift, the 240-pound sword came in. Soon after, the 90-pounder was bagged. Then another throwback sword was let go. Squid schooled around the boat throughout the night. The white marlin bit soon after daylight. One 30-hour tuna trip is sailing each weekend, and see the tuna schedule online.

Absecon Inlet
Customers trolled a 68-pound yellowfin tuna, a blackfin tuna and a bunch of mahi mahi 68 miles from port on an overnight trip Saturday, said Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle in Brigantine. The blackfin was unusual, of course.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet
A customer on Wednesday bailed mahi mahi, a lot, at 28-Mile Wreck on soft-plastic lures, said Justin from Fin-Atics in Ocean City. The angler saw bait balls, and the mahi were on them. No tuna catches were heard about, and six days seemed to have weather calm enough for boaters to reach the tuna grounds in past weeks.

Townsend's Inlet
Mahi mahi held 30 miles out, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City. Farther off at the canyons, mahi fishing was awesome. Not much was heard about tuna from there, but quite a few white marlin seemed reported from those waters.

Cape May Inlet
A trip Wednesday limited out on mahi mahi to 15 pounds, nailed a 160-pound bigeye tuna and went 0 for 2 on daytime swordfishing with Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing, Capt. Tom said. One of the swords looked 150 pounds. It jumped and cut off the line with its bill. A trip Sunday aboard limited on mahi mahi and bagged 20 tilefish. Jacks, rosefish and white hake were also cranked up on that trip. The tiles were goldens to 34 pounds and bluelines to 15 pounds. A trip a couple of days previously on the obat limited on mahi, bagged some tiles and tried daytime swordfishing. A sword was caught quickly on the second drop. Swordfishing is becoming good, so more of the daytime angling for them will take place on the vessel now. The daytime fishing, in deep water along bottom for the light-sensitive fish, is popular to the south like in Florida, of course. Tom is pioneering the fishing here. The sword trips can mix in either mahi fishing or tilefishing.

Mahi mahi fishing was good along the edges of offshore canyons, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter from Cape May. A few wahoos swam there.

Mahi mahi fishing was good at offshore canyons, the last Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May heard, he said. A customer walloped a good-sized bluefin tuna, an over, “(but) not like 73 inches,” Nick said, within 30 miles from shore. Lots of mahi also swam in that range, too.

Last Week's Report
Sandy Hook

Capt. Joe Baumle from Sour Kraut Sportfishing from Leonardo kept hearing about plenty of mahi mahi at the offshore canyons and pots, he said.

Shark River Inlet

A trip for tuna will fish Sunday on the Katie H from Belmar, Capt. Mike said. Weather looks favorable, and the trip will fish mid-range. Nothing good was heard about tuna all the way offshore. Not a lot was heard about mid-range either, but maybe the trip will run into some. The last trip did, covered in a previous report here. Mahi mahi should be able to be caught – they were around.

A trip Sunday to Monday found slow tuna fishing, a couple of bites, but excellent mahi mahi fishing on the Golden Eagle from Belmar, a report said on the party boat’s website. See the tuna schedule online.

Manasquan Inlet

An open-boat trip Saturday bagged one yellowfin tuna and released half a dozen small with Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach, a report said on Mushin’s Facebook page. The trip crushed mahi mahi 6 to 25 pounds, limiting out, on poppers and jigs on light spinning tackle. Tilefishing was slow on the outing because of strong current. A trip last week on Tuesday tried for mako sharks. No mako was caught, but other sharks were, including a 400-pound hammerhead. The anglers had a great time fighting sharks, it said. On the way home, the trip stopped at two wrecks to try for cod and ling. A couple of bonito and some triggerfish, porgies and chub mackerel were hooked. Out-of-season sea bass and fluke bombarded the bait and were released. Sea bass season opens Monday.

One yellowfin tuna and plenty of mahi mahi were decked on a trip Friday to Saturday on the Gambler from Point Pleasant Beach, a report said on the party boat’s website. Some small bluefin tuna were released. See the tuna schedule online. ***Update, Friday, 10/5:*** A few yellowfin tuna and a couple of longfin tuna were axed on a 36-hour trip that returned late yesterday aboard, a report said on Gambler’s website. Mahi mahi, big Pollock, large white hake, blue sharks, a big bull shark, small, undersized bluefin tuna that were released in big schools that smashed anglers’ baits, almaco jacks, little tunny and big squid were also landed. Seldom a dull moment, the report said. First on the trip, the captain spotted a huge weed line halfway out, and stopped the boat. Mahi and almacos were reeled in. Afterward, the trip made a drift at a wreck in 250 feet of water. Big pollock and large white hake were cranked in. Then the trip fished at pot gear, pasting a good mess of mahi. Before sundown, the boat was set up to fish near the eastern edge of Hudson Canyon at a good temperature break. At night, mahi, blue sharks and big squid were angled in the chum slick. Just before sunrise, the big schools of undersized bluefins raced through, pouncing on baits, keeping anglers busy. The bluefins were let go. Some fun mayhem. After the sun raised, the yellowfins, 50-pounders, and longfins, 30- to 40-pounders, were picked. Late that day, a report came in about yellowfins and little tunny inshore. The boat was run there, and the bull shark and a few little tunny were wrestled in. No yellowfins were seen at that spot. On the trip, Edwin Ortiz caught a 40-pound longfin, six mahi 8 to 10 pounds, two 20-pound pollock and two-dozen huge squid. The crew looks forward to the next trip.

Mahi mahi seemed to push a little deeper and farther from shore, said John from The Reel Seat in Brielle. Fishing for them became a little spotty there. Not many mahi remained inshore. Farther off, canyon fishing was spotty. Some mahi were boated there, but not the absurd number like earlier this year, and not like the absurd number of white marlin that swam the canyons this summer. False albacore were probably the biggest thing, Eric from the shop said. Lots swam in tight schools off Sandy Hook in 30 or 40 feet of water. But shots popped up from there to farther south, off Manasquan Inlet. Tuna fishing was slow at offshore canyons, Eric said. At mid-range, many small, undersized bluefin tuna swam the Triple Wrecks and the Texas Tower. Few fished for them, because the tuna had to be released.

Barnegat Inlet

Tuna fishing bagged two yellowfins and released a small bluefin on a trip Saturday to Sunday with Tuna-Tic Sportfishing from Forked River, Capt. Mike said. So tuna fishing wasn’t very good, and the trip fished from Hudson Canyon to South Toms Canyon. But mahi mahi fishing was great. The anglers loaded up on a bunch of them. A good number of the mahi were big, too. The mahi weighed 5 to 20 pounds. The tuna were chunked, and the mahi were chunked and trolled. Only two other boats seemed to be fishing: one of them a famous offshore charter boat, and another boat that could barely be heard talking with that vessel on the radio. Tuna fishing also wasn’t good inshore. The trip fished inshore at eight humpback whales feeding on sand eels. But no tuna bit. Another trip was slated to fish for tuna this past Wednesday that Mike postponed to wait for a better bite.

An overnight trip Saturday to Sunday limited out on mahi mahi “but the tuna eluded us” on the Miss Barnegat Light, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Squid swam, and the water looked beautiful. We just need tuna to find that water, it said. Tuna trips, sailing 30 hours, are running once every weekend.

Customers headed for catches like mahi mahi on Sunday, said Mike from Grizz’s Bait & Tackle in Forked River. Results were yet to be heard. All baits are stocked for inshore to offshore.

At Bobbie’s Boat Rentals in Barnegat Light, customers sailed for bonito Wednesday, Vince Sr. said the next day.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet

A couple of tuna charters were weathered out recently on the Stray Cat from Longport, Capt. Mike said. Mahi mahi still bit in the Cigar area. Triggerfish were around.

No customers seemed to fish offshore for tuna or other big game, said Ed from Fin-Atics in Ocean City. Townsend’s Inlet

A few trips were known to fish offshore last weekend at the canyons and a little inshore of there, catching mahi mahi, sometimes 30 in an outing, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City. Closer to shore, mahi, bluefish and bonito were boated. Mike saw two cobia that were caught during the weekend.

Cape May Inlet

Little was heard about tuna recently, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter from Cape May. Small ones were heard about. Lots of mahi mahi swam offshore waters. A few wahoos, not many, were still in.

Mahi mahi, lots, seemed to hold along pot buoys – they were loaded with them – from 20 miles from shore to farther out, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. Fishing pressure was down, so the mahi were plentiful, he guessed. White marlin fishing seemed to turn back on and be pretty good at Washington Canyon this week.