Rich Linus’s group of three tugged in a bunch of summer flounder, including four keepers to 23 inches or 4 pounds from the ocean aboard Monday, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Flounder swam the bay, too – absolutely, Joe said – and striped bass roamed the bay. Joe was busy with other fishing, but high tides at dusk were ideal for popper fishing for stripers recently on the bay that he does with lures and flies. That angling’s been good this summer. Brendan Kenny and friends on Tuesday jumped on one of the inshore shark trips aboard, catching and releasing a 130-pound dusky shark, a 5-foot hammerhead shark and a brown shark. The trips, catch and release fishing for species including browns, duskies, spinners and blacktips, some of them required to be let go, usually within 10 miles from shore, are a chance to fight big fish without the long trek offshore. The trips fish with either bait or flies. Trips are also fishing offshore, and Joe heard about tuna and mahi mahi found close to shore, in 30 fathoms. The tuna were bluefins but even some yellowfins. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.
Many boaters fished ocean reefs and wrecks for summer flounder, piling up good numbers of the catches, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Experienced anglers could limit out, and many fished top-and-bottom rigs with a 2- to 4-ounce bucktail on bottom, with bait like mackerel or “meat,” and a 6-inch Gulp grub on the top hook in Pink Shine, white or Electric Chicken. Lots of snapper blues and cocktail blues swam inlets, and were hooked on rigs with bait like spearing and mullet or on small metal. Surf fishing was slow. Bonito schooled the ocean 10 to 15 miles from shore, and small blues and other fish, like skipjacks, were mixed in. Spanish mackerel were yet to be heard about among them. Farther offshore, the different species of tuna were both trolled and chunked at the canyons. Marlin were fought there.