An open-boat canyon trip with <b>Andrea’s Toy Charters</b> arrived Monday morning at the West Elbow of Hudson Canyon and went zero for two on big yellowfin tuna and missed the bite by an hour, Capt. Fred said. Then the anglers reeled in a dozen tilefish, and they fished at the lobster pots and fought two mahi mahi to 10 pounds on light spinning tackle. Afterward they went back on the troll for tuna, but the action was dead, and tuna fishing seemed strictly a morning bite. All the life was on the West Wall of the canyon, and the water was 78 degrees and green but held lots of bait. Open canyon trips are taking place once a week, and now the trips will leave the dock at 5 p.m., because nighttime tuna chunking seems to be starting. The trips sail on a 31-foot Contender that makes it the canyon at twice the speed of a party boat, allowing more fishing time, and the anglers will get to the fishing grounds by 8 p.m. They’ll chunk all night and then go on the troll for tuna, and afterward they’ll mix it up with tilefishing and hitting the lobster pots for mahi. Mid-shore open trips are also taking place that travel as far as 30 fathoms for tuna, mahi mahi and such fish.
On the <b>Fish N Trish</b> Tom Morford from Wellcraft boats was aboard Sunday for a Mudhole trolling trip, Capt. Joe said. A couple of bonito and lots of big bluefish were hooked, and a fish dumped off line from a reel like crazy that might’ve been a wahoo. The water was 76 degrees and a little green.
George Ziugzda’s charter shark fished Saturday on the <b>Benchmark</b> and battled a 110-mako shark and released another mako 40 miles offshore, Capt. Nick said. John Dunne’s group shark fished at the same spot Sunday and boated a 130-pound mako. The Benchmark was sailing this week on its first canyon charter of the season.
Ron Massari and friends took a day trip to Hudson Canyon on the <b>Jenny Lee</b> on Sunday and trolled eight yellowfin tuna to 90 pounds, mostly on Reel Seat spreader bars, Capt. Dave said. Several of the fish were 60 to 70 pounds, and several other fish bit but were lost.
The Tiki Tembo fished early last week at Hudson Canyon and caught five yellowfin tuna to 50 pounds and a 190-pound bigeye tuna, said Dave from <b>The Reel Seat</b> in Brielle. No bluefin tuna were hooked in the inshore ocean yet, and plenty of bonito were at Barnegat Ridge.
Barnegat Ridge was attracting bluefin tuna and dusky sharks, said a fax from <b>Jersey Coast Bait-N-Tackle</b> in Bricktown.
The <b>Hi Flier</b> spent the day Wednesday trolling at Barnegat Ridge, Capt. Dave DeGennaro said in an e-mail. Bonito were clobbered on the trip, and 25 were boxed. The boat trolled feathers and small spoons on 15- and 20-pound-class tackle. These trips also target bluefin tuna, and on inshore charters weakfishing was on fire at Meyer’s Hole in Barnegat Bay. It doesn’t get any better than this, Dave said, and it’s possible to do both the Ridge fishing and the weakfishing in the same charter, for those who want it all.
John from <b>MarineMax</b> in Ship Bottom trolled the Toms Canyon on Wednesday for five hours and had no knockdowns, he said. Porpoises and turtles were around, and the water was 77 degrees and greenish. MarineMax is carrying the new <b>Laguna</b> boats, and <a href="http://northeast.marinemax.com/laguna_models.asp?nav=90846&"_blank">click here</a><a href="" target="_blank"> </a> to check them out.
<b>Beach Haven Inlet</b>
Charters on the <b>June Bug</b> competed in the Beach Haven Tuna and White Marlin Club Invitational White Marlin Tournament last week, Capt. Lindsay said. Boats could compete in the event two of three days from Thursday to Saturday, and a charter on the June Bug competed on Thursday, first sailing to the 30- and 40-fathom lines. Not a lot happened until they reached the 40-Fathom Fingers, when a 50-pound wahoo was caught, and two white marlins were raised, and some tuna hit. Another charter on Friday competed in the event at Wilmington Canyon in 4- to 6-foot seas, and in the first hour two whites were raised, and at least three tuna struck in a group of tuna that came through, and a 12-pound mahi was hooked at a lobster pot. But then one of the anglers became sick, and he was diabetic, so the group had to head back to shore at 9:30 a.m. They left the fish hitting, and no other boats were seen at the canyon that day. If the anglers had decided to come in earlier, they could have made it back to port by 9:30 a.m., the cut-off time for when boats in the competition were allowed to come back to compete on another day, and Saturday’s weather turned out better. Lindsay believed that only one marlin, a 68 ¾ incher, was entered in the tournament and won, and other whites were released. He believed that anglers on the boat M.J.’s won the category for biggest tuna with a 112 ½ pounder that was hooked at Baltimore Canyon, and it was the third time in four years that the M.J.’s won the division. Lindsay said longfin tuna were hitting throughout most canyons, and a fair number of yellowfin tuna were around, and so were a fair number of white marlin. The only drawback was that the water was uniformly warm with no temperature breaks to concentrate fish.
Capt Jack Fisher and a party fished at the Chicken Canyon and trolled yellowfin tuna to 45 pounds and mahi mahi from 5 to 8 pounds, and all the mahi anyone could want were there, said an e-mail from Vinny from <b>Sheltered Cove Marina</b> in Tuckerton.
<b>Great Egg Harbor Inlet</b>
Jim from <b>Fin-Atics</b> in Ocean City fished at Spencer Canyon from Monday to Tuesday, he said. Longfin tuna were boated, and a bunch of bigeye tuna covered the trolling spread in 2000 feet, but the bruisers broke off. The water was 84 degrees and very blue at the spot with the bigeyes. On the water that day Jim heard about a blue marlin caught at Poorman’s Canyon and one boater who hooked a bunch of white marlin at Baltimore Canyon.
Large bluefin tuna hammered high-speed vertical jigs at the Hambone, and 19-Fathom Lump, Massey’s Canyon and the Hot Dog were also productive, said a fax from T.C. from <b>Brennan Marine</b> in Somers Point. The Ocean City Marlin and Tuna Club’s tournament is taking place this week, and the tournament action should be hot and heavy.
The <b>Over Under</b> is back in Avalon for the summer after returning from its winter and spring home of the Bahamas, an e-mail from the boat said. The boat started fishing offshore from Avalon last week and competed in the Jersey Shore Classic offshore fishing tournament over the weekend. Seas were pretty sloppy Friday, and Saturday morning wasn’t much better, but three bluefin tuna were caught on the chunk that won the stringer category. The bluefins were 128 pounds, 115 pounds and 108 pounds, and the biggest tuna in the tournament was 139 pounds, and fish in the lower 130s won second and third. The Over Under trolled all day Saturday to try to find larger fish, but only yellowfin tuna hit. The boat’s third big bluefin was hooked on the drift later that day.
Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Gibson’s Tackle</b> in Sea Isle City sailed to Baltimore Canyon on Sunday and landed mahi mahi, and a blue marlin crashed the spread, and a white marlin was raised, he said. The water was about 80 degrees, and although satellites had previously showed temperature breaks, no temperature breaks were found. Joe also fished for big bluefin tuna at the Hambone on the chunk, and the fish were biting like crazy, but they were very leader shy, and lots of boats were there. Joe had to scale down to 30-pound leaders for the 100-pound fish, and many of the speedsters broke off, and everybody was talking about breakoffs on the radio. Joe tried 40-pound leaders, and the fish refused to touch them, and most of Joe’s bites were on live peanut bunker. But there were also bites on chunked butter fish, but only large chunks could be used that buried the hooks, because the fish were so shy. Some yellowfin tuna were at the 40-Fathom Fingers, and lots of billfish were between 30 and 50 fathoms. All the offshore action seemed to be at first light, and if no bites were gotten by 11 a.m., then no fish were going to be hooked. But tuna fishing farther offshore than the lumps like the Hambone has generally been a little slow. Lots of dolphin were that far offshore, and blue marlin and white marlin were plentiful from 30 fathoms out.
Sea Isle Ridge apparently gave up occasional tuna and dolphin and some bonito, said Chuck from <b>Roseman’s Marine</b> in Stone Harbor. Several customers caught tuna at the Hot Dog.
<b>Cape May Inlet</b>
On a tuna trip on the <b>Canyon Clipper</b> on Tuesday at the Hambone with Lydon Uy a big tuna was hooked on the chunk early in the morning but lost at the boat, Capt. Stan said. Then the boat went on the troll, and a 60-pound bluefin tuna was nailed. The water was 77.6 degrees and beautiful, and no life was seen. The Rich Tierney charter on Saturday tuna fished at the Hambone and bagged a 100-pound bluefin on the chunk. They also lost three bluefins at the boat, because the fish were so strong that they were snapping the 60- to 80-pound leaders, and everybody was complaining about breakoffs on the radio. The charter also trolled a smaller yellowfin tuna. The early mornings seemed good for chunking, and a few tuna could be trolled later in the day. A friend tried fishing at the Chickenbone on Sunday and hooked yellowfin tuna, and a bite seemed to be starting there.
Charters on the <b>Down Deep</b> tuna fished a couple of times, and tuna fishing was turning on at the Hot Dog and such places, Capt. Bob said. Don Horndeff’s charter fought a 120-pound bluefin tuna and a 106-pound bluefin to the boat and also landed some dolphin. Mike Biarlamb’s charter bagged a bunch of dolphin and were looking for tuna but found none. Other charters trolled inshore and hooked practically as many bonito and bluefish and such fish as they wanted.
Big, 140- to 150-pound bluefin tuna were hauled in on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> around the Hot Dog on Sunday with Terri Tully, Lou Harmanini and Charlie Stimeirch aboard, Capt. George said. Mike Brennan and Dennis Davis tangled with tuna that were about 110 pounds. George heard about tuna that were caught later this week at lumps like the Hot Dog, but the bite seemed to slow down compared with before. He heard from one angler who boated two of the tuna Tuesday and another who fought a single 100 pounder to the boat Wednesday. The Heavy Hitter’s inshore trolling trips have been bailing bonito and blues.
Tuna fishing was good, and charters with <b>Jaftica Sportfishing</b> have been fighting bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna while chunking at the southern lumps, Capt. Ray said. The bluefins were mostly 80 pounds, but fish to 200 pounds were possible. Inshore trolling trips produced lots of nice-sized dolphin and bonito.
Two large bluefin tuna to 135 pounds were nailed on the <b>Top Shelf</b> on Sunday morning at the Hambone on the chunk, Capt. Bill said. Afterward the charter tried trolling for yellowfin tuna but instead landed two more bluefins in the same area. A charter trolled at 5-Fathom Bank on Friday and loaded up on around 75 bonito and bluefish.
Tuna fishing was as good as it gets at the Hambone, Massey’s Canyon and the Hot Dog for 100-pound bluefins, and the bruisers couldn’t be stopped on 50-pound-class rods and reels, said a fax from Matt from <b>Jim’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Cape May. The best bite was at sunrise to 8:30 a.m., and afterward lighter fluorocarbon picked a few throughout the day. Butterfish, sardines and live bait all worked, and anglers should fish one or two lines deep in the 60- to 80-foot range. Diamond and butterfly jigs also worked well right on the bottom. Some nice yellowfin tuna were also landed. Pete Savard weighed in a 180-pound bluefin from Massey’s Canyon on Saturday. John Harford nailed a 110-pound bluefin at the Hambone. John Hanstein boated six nice yellowfin tuna in the 50-pound range at the Hot Dog and scored two bluefins the next morning.
It was all about big bluefin tuna, said a fax from Capt. Fred from <b>Harbor View Marina</b> in Cape May. The Hambone, Massey’s Canyon, the Hot Dog and the Chickenbone all produced large bluefins that were all over 100 pounds, and some were as big as 140 pounds. Harbor View’s charter fleet all did well with limit catches and many releases.