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Offshore Report

Report from Friday, June 22.

| Shark River Inlet | Manasquan Inlet | Barnegat Inlet | Great Egg Harbor Inlet | Townsend's Inlet | Cape May Inlet | Last Week's Report |
THIS REPORT IS UPDATED EVERY FRIDAY
Shark River Inlet
Capt. Mike from the Katie H from Belmar heard about tuna boated at mid-range, he said. He was going to offer that angling to a couple of charters booked for this weekend aboard, though the fishing might become weathered out. Those trips were supposed to fish inshore, but the ocean was too cold for fluke fishing, no striped bass or bluefish were really around, and sea bass season will close beginning Saturday. Offshore tuna fishing was also good, but the boat is yet to be readied for that angling. Mike planned to do that once sea bass season closed. The vessel is ready for mid-range tuna, though.

Manasquan Inlet
Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach, who’s sailing from Cape May through July for tuna, sharks and tilefish, did no fishing for them the last couple of days, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. But boats that did scored hot catches of yellowfin tuna on the troll. Bigeye tuna and bluefin tuna spiced up catches. Perfect weather last weekend caused lots of boat traffic – a lot, he said – making the angling tougher. Fishing on weekdays helps. Mushin does this fishing, at southern canyons offshore, each year from Cape May this month through July. This year’s angling’s been hot. Trips have bailed double-digits. Most catches are being trolled, not chunked or jigged. The catches are hard to pass up, if anglers don’t like to troll. Difficult to argue with full boxes of tuna. Some room is available on open-boat trips, and more will probably be added, because of demand.

Fishing for tuna offshore was the big thing, said Eric from The Reel Seat in Brielle on Sunday. Many tuna caught were reported from Toms Canyon last week. Lots of yellowfin tuna 40 to 60 pounds were taken. Bluefin tuna 150 to 200 pounds came in, and so did bigeye tuna 100 to 200 pounds. A couple of mako sharks caught were reported from the area then. The tuna were trolled on surface lures including spreader bars, Green Machines and bird chains. On Wednesday, Alex from the shop said tuna fishing was good to the south, like at Toms Canyon, for yellowfins and bigeyes on trolled spreader bars, daisy chains and plugs. Bluefin tuna were seen at the Texas Tower but not often hooked, he said. Anglers hoped more will bite when the water temperature rises a little. Mako sharks and thresher sharks were around, and Alex hadn’t heard a lot about them. But he was headed sharking that Wednesday evening. “So we’ll see,” he said.

Barnegat Inlet
A friend of Bobbie’s Boat Rentals in Barnegat Light on Wednesday landed two bluefin tuna 40 miles from shore, Ashley said. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, boat slips, a fuel dock and boat and kayak rentals.

Capt. Ted from the Super Chic from Barnegat Light is probably going to schedule two open-boat trips for tuna on July 4 and the following weekend, he said. Those will be announced on the boat’s Facebook page and website. Tuna fishing was super in the past couple of weeks. Hopefully it’ll just get better. Yellowfin tuna, some bigeye tuna and large bluefin tuna scattered in were hooked all the way offshore. Boaters sharking closer to shore also saw bluefins. That was 40 miles out.

An edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier from Barnegat: “We ran out to the Wilmington Canyon early Saturday morning, meeting at the dock at 2:30 a.m., throwing the ropes by 3 o’clock. The chart-plotter displayed 88 miles to our destination, and I thought that’s a lot farther than my Seaside Piers or Lavallette run. Ocean was flat-calm, and the marine forecast was for more of the same all weekend. Hoping this was going to be redemption time for last week’s zero we pulled at the Spencer Canyon. I had a full open-boat trip of (four guys, and we) arrived at the Wilmington around 7:30 a.m., and put out an eight-rod spread. Three spreader bars, three squid chains, a cedar plug and a Yummee Flying Fish I attempted to fish from a kite. There was not enough wind, and the helium tank did not deliver enough gas to the assist-balloon, so I wound up with a whirling-dervish instead of a stable-square kite. It wrapped around one of the other lures, and I spent the next 20 minutes untangling. When we started, we had 63-degree water and some pilot whales. During my untangling, I gave the wheel (to one of the anglers) and gave him a heading to bring us deeper and more southerly. In that 20 minutes, the radio was lit up with boats hooking up yellowfins in 68- to 69-degree water. I grabbed the wheel back from (him) and noticed the spike in water temp, and a dozen circling boats, and whales and porpoises. He brought us right to the spot! We trolled around that area, seeing and hearing boats hooked up, but not a touch for us. I started second-guessing our spread, our speed ... me. I dropped the RPM’s a little, and that dropped us from 6.3 to 5.8 knots. I started checking the lures for grass, because there was a little on the surface, but they came in clean, and alas, as I was checking the last lure, we watched a yellowfin crush a rainbow spreader bar, and another hit the green-machine bar, and another hit the flat-lined cedar plug, and another on the second rainbow spreader bar. Four on! We boated three, all 20-something pounds, but over the legal size, so they went in the cooler. We beat up that area some more and got a double-header of slightly bigger fish, and then we tripled up with a 20-pounder and two others that were taking more line and a little longer to subdue. They wound up being 40-and 50-pounders. Here’s a video of that hookup. We were all boxed up and headed for the barn, feeling great about the day, and about halfway home I saw schools of bluefin airing out. We put out a quick four-rod spread, and a 50-pound bluefin crushed the flat-lined red-and-white cedar plug. Forty-five minutes on a 20-class, (one of the anglers) decked a 50-pound bluefin. Got back to the marina by 6:30 p.m., and all was right with the world. We’ll run offshore to the tuna grounds from time to time. Either the canyons or hopefully the mid-range grounds, like 40- to 60-mile range, will heat up in the coming weeks. These trips will always be announced with short notice, sometimes only a day or two before, because we’re looking for perfection weather. If you’d like to be on our email list for these and all of our trips, as well as our fishing reports, you can email us from our website. As always, we’ll also fish for bonita, albacore, bluefish, stripers, weakfish, fluke, kingfish and all of the mixed-bag fishing (on Barnegat Bay). We’ll also light-tackle shark fish within 5 miles of the inlet for 2- to 4-foot brown, dusky and spinner sharks. All catch and release, and a lot of fun.”

Great Egg Harbor Inlet
An open-boat trip for tuna on Sunday sold out on the Stray Cat from Longport, Capt. Mike said. He’ll try to offer another on Sunday, July 15.

Townsend's Inlet
Tuna fishing sounded good for yellowfins and a few bigeyes and bluefins, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City. On one day, all reports came from Spencer Canyon. On another, from Lindenkohl Canyon. And so on. Reports sounded like that if a trip fished the right spot, tuna bit. If not, they didn’t. But some place seemed to produce every day. The tuna were mostly trolled.

Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service from Sea Isle City, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle, fished for tuna Saturday at an offshore canyon, he said. The trip trolled three yellowfins to 35 pounds. That was at a temperature break from 67 to 71 degrees. The water was blue on one side and not a good color on the other, and held good life and scattered weeds. Some trips seemed to catch in the area, and some didn’t. Joe’s trip caught only toward the end, and he’d like to know what percentage of trips connected. He ventured that 30 percent did. But some trips caught great.

Cape May Inlet
Two tuna trips fished this week aboard, said Capt. Tom from Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing from Cape May. The first, on Monday, struck out. But the trip tilefished and cranked in a load. The next, on Tuesday, went 1 for 2 on bluefin tuna then piled up a load of tiles. The bluefins were hooked in 30 fathoms, and the tiles came from 70 fathoms. The water inshore was 65 to 67 degrees and offshore, at the canyons, was 71. Yellowfin tuna fishing, with bigeye tuna and bluefin tuna mixed in, was good at the canyons on and off in past days, depending on conditions. Good one day, lackluster another. When Fishin’ Fever looked offshore on these trips, plenty of life including whales and birds were seen, and good-sized jags of bait were marked, but no tuna bit. The water color looked great offshore and green but clear inshore.

Tuna fishing is decent at offshore canyons, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter from Cape May. If interested in tuna, go now, while the fish are there. Nobody knows when they’ll depart. Yellowfins and bigeyes are biting, and bluefin tuna are hitting closer to shore, along the 30- and 50-fathom lines. All the tuna fishing seems on the troll, and none of the fish chunked was heard about. Boat traffic was busy on Saturday on the offshore grounds. Anglers had to expect that in great weather. George spoke with some who fared better on Sunday. The tuna fishing seemed better that day.

Bluefin tuna chomped along the 40-fathom line, and yellowfin tuna, decent catches, and a few mahi mahi hit at the canyons along the Continental Edge, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. Most of the tuna were trolled, on spreader bars and swimming lures. A customer landed a thresher shark heavier than 200 pounds 15 miles from shore.

Last Week's Report
Manasquan Inlet

An open-boat trip Saturday returned early because the anglers were tired after fighting more than two dozen yellowfin tuna to 65 pounds with Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. They were too tired to fish for tilefish afterward. Mushin, whose home port is in Point Pleasant Beach, is sailing for tuna, sharks and tilefish from Cape May this month and in July, like it does every year. The tuna fishing off Cape May to Maryland is hot! he wrote. The tilefishing’s also good. That trip trolled the yellowfins all morning, and left them biting. An open trip the previous day trolled the year’s first bigeye tuna aboard, a 110-pounder. That outing also trolled bluefin tuna to 45 pounds and yellowfin tuna to 60 pounds, good action, including many multiple hook-ups. All of these tuna were hooked in the same area on the trip. Then the anglers tilefished, limiting out on bluelines to 18 pounds and cranking in some goldens. Time to go! Alan wrote. Charters are fishing, and new open trips were just added for June 24, 28 to 29 and July 8.

A trip at the southern canyons trolled four bluefin tuna, four yellowfin tuna and a longfin tuna Saturday on the Tin Knocker from Point Pleasant, Capt. John said. All the fish weighed 30 pounds and were hooked on plastics. The ocean on the fishing grounds was 63 degrees on the cool side of a temperature break, and 67 to 68 on the warm side. Seas were flat and beautiful, couldn’t be nicer. Tuna are in, and telephone to get after them while they are.

Offshore fishing was the big news, Eric from The Reel Seat and Brielle said on Sunday. Fishing for yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna was very good at Spencer to Wilmington canyons offshore. Tremendous catches were trolled on spreader bars and ballyhoos. Reports about bluefin tuna 150 to 200 pounds rolled in from the Texas Tower in past days, he said that day. Those were all trolled on ballys. Dave from the shop on Wednesday said fishing for tuna was good offshore last weekend for lots of yellowfins and bigeyes and some bluefins. That was from South Toms Canyon to Wilmington Canyons, all on the troll. Spreader bars, daisy chains and ballyhoos were fished. Mako sharks were sometimes caught at night on the trips. Little was reported about inshore sharking. Dave heard about effort but not many results. Locals don’t often shark anymore unless in a tournament. One mako was entered in last weekend’s South Jersey Shark Tournament. The fish weighed 269 pounds, according to the tournament’s website. Anglers will see how sharking goes in this weekend’s Brett T. Bailey and Jersey Coast Shark Anglers shark tournaments.

Barnegat Inlet

The year’s first fishing offshore sailed last Friday with Tuna-Tic Sportfishing from Forked River, Capt. Mike said. The fishing was great, spending half the day on tuna, the other half on sharks. The tuna fishing limited out on bluefins to 62 inches and released additional. That was on the troll, and a half-dozen yellowfin tuna and some skipjacks were also trolled. The sharking fished at the same spot and released three throwback makos and two big tiger sharks. One of the tigers was huge, probably 16 feet, and took time to land. This was a day trip, not an overnighter, but the trip was back in port in the wee hours of Saturday. Fighting the big tiger delayed the return. The sharking was during daytime, not nighttime. The fishing grounds looked like National Geographic, with life like whale sharks and sunfish swimming. The water was a beautiful color, and its temperature varied greatly. The fish were hooked in 68-degree water, and a 10-degree temperature break was located a little ways away. Weather would prevent more of the fishing most of this week until maybe today. The bluefin fishing should be consistent in the next weeks, Mike thinks.

An edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier from Barnegat: “We ran to the Spencer Canyon on Sunday. Found the right water. Beautiful shade of blue. Tons of porpoise and whales. Skipjacks attacking our spread every 5 to 10 minutes. Caught one small bluefin tuna, not even big enough for the cooler, and way too many skippies. That’s the report. We were one of the boats that didn’t catch that day.” Trips aboard were going to fish inshore yesterday and today. “Saturday looks like the best day to run offshore,” Dave continued, “so as long as that forecast holds up, we are chasing tuna. Right now, it shows no storm activity and 1- to 2-foot seas. Probably headed for the canyons, unless I get some good mid-range reports in the 50- to 60-mile range. The canyons we’re fishing are about 85 miles. We meet at the dock at 3 a.m. and return around 5 p.m. Four people max, all fish are shared. If we stay within the 60-mile range, the rate is less money. But right now, the best reports are coming from the canyons. Yellowfin and bluefin."

Great Egg Harbor Inlet

Wind, seas and rain prevented offshore fishing in past days, said John from Fin-Atics in Ocean City. A few customers planned fish out there today. Previously, good catches of yellowfin tuna and a few bluefin tuna were pasted at Spencer and Lindenkohl canyons. The fish-holding water reportedly slid south now to Wilmington and Baltimore canyons. Some of the customers planned to sail there today.

Townsend’s Inlet

Tuna fishing was good for mostly bluefins, but more yellowfins and bigeyes showed up in the past week than before, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City. Tuna were no longer inshore at places like the Elephant Trunk and the Tea Cup. They were offshore, pretty much at the canyons. Lindenkohl Canyon gave them up, and all of these southern canyons seemed to have a bite sometime recently. All the tuna were trolled that Mike heard about. But maybe a trip or two hooked them on jigs or lures when the tuna popped up along the surface in a school. Shark fishing sounded slow, probably because of the new, larger, 83-inch-minimum size limit for makos. Makos that big weigh 180 or 200 pounds minimum, and most makos off the coast are smaller.

Cape May Inlet

Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter spoke with friends who all canceled tuna fishing on their boats through mid-week because of weather, he said. He ran no trips then either. Weather wasn’t good for sailing, especially offshore for tuna. On a trip Saturday that competed in the South Jersey Shark Tournament aboard, blue sharks were released. The ocean was cold, 59 degrees, where the trip fished between 19-Fathom Lump and the Elephant Trunk. Many who competed that day complained about cold water. Trips had to sail all the way offshore for warmer water. Cold water close to shore seemed to cause bluefin tuna to move to offshore canyons. But they were there. The bluefins last week held inshore, because the water was 68 degrees then. The temperature dropped 10 degrees afterward. At the canyons, some anglers scored better than others on tuna. A friend got into them well Friday. Another friend headed to the same spot the next day, and the water had become cold. That friend then trolled south and caught. If anglers are interested in tuna, jump aboard soon, because the fish will disappear before long.