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Offshore Report

Report from Friday, September 7.

| Attention: | Sandy Hook | 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

***NOTE: FRIDAY, 9/14:***
***SEE THE NOTE BELOW UNDER ‘ATTENTION’***
Attention:
Note, Friday, 9/14: This report was not fully updated today, because no trips fished offshore in the remnants of the tropical storm this week.

Remnants of a hurricane now began bearing down to boot.

Welcome to late summer! This happens.

At least one individual update was going to be posted below this day.

Sandy Hook
Capt. Joe Baumle from Sour Kraut Sportfishing from Leonardo just returned from fishing for giant bluefin tuna from Prince Edward Island in Canada, he said. The fishing was phenomenal, and abundant bluefins gathered only 10 to 15 miles from shore. Land could be seen. Bluefins 400 and 500 pounds jumped from the water. Any offshore angler should visit, he said. He fished on a commercial trip that bagged a 500-pounder, and a charter that released three bluefins including a 700-pounder. An 800-pounder was reportedly landed the day he left. Commercial fishing can only bag the first bluefin hooked on the trip. Charter fishing is essentially catch-and-release, because charters with a permit can only bag one giant a year. Joe flew to the island, and one of the mates from Sour Kraut drove. Driving took 15 hours.

A trip for mahi mahi tackled 42 on Tuesday, 25 miles off Sandy Hook, on livelined peanut bunker with Manicsportfishing from Keyport, Capt. Greg said. Another trip was going to fish for them today, before the forecasted rough weather. The trips are limited to four anglers. Mahi have been abundant. When peanuts were tossed to structure like a buoy for chum, a swarm appeared, like from nowhere. On one of Greg’s fluke trips this week, a 280- to 300-pound sandtiger shark was caught and released. In 50 feet of water!

Capt. Wayne O’Neil from Twin Light Marina in Highlands, Capt. Chris Bauer and Alex Bender boated tuna, skipjacks and mahi mahi at the Triple Wrecks on the Old Gray Mare on a trip, Marion from the marina wrote in an email. Twin Lights, located on Shrewsbury River near Raritan Bay and the ocean, with no bridges before them, includes a marina with boat slips, dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait-and-tackle shop and ship’s store. Baits stocked include those for offshore. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card.

Everybody fished for mahi mahi this week, because the dolphin showed up, said Johnny O. from Fisherman’s Den North in Atlantic Highlands. Now rough weather was moving in, and anglers will see if that changes fishing, including for mahi. Stormy weather is forecast for the weekend. If the year’s first hurricane shoves into the East Coast next week like is possible, rough weather could last into next week. Late summer’s storms are arriving! The changing seasons. Let’s hope for no hurricanes, of course. All baits are stocked, including for offshore.

Shark River Inlet
***Update, Friday, 9/14:*** The year’s first tuna trip is set for Sunday on the party boat Golden Eagle from Belmar.

Manasquan Inlet
An open-boat trip crushed yellowfin tuna, including on popper lures and jigs, Sunday with Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach, Mushin’s Facebook page said. The trip was scheduled to fish overnight. But so many tuna were caught – “filled the boxes,” the page said – that the trip headed home in late afternoon. At first, in the morning, the tuna were trolled. But they were so abundant, so the boat was stopped on them, and more were clobbered on Madd Mantis poppers, Sting-O jigs and chunks of bait. The trip limited out, and the anglers grew tired of catching and releasing more. “Nice quality Yellowfin to 80#!” the page said. The trip also nailed some “beautiful mahi off a piece of flotsam,” it said. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips for tuna have been added for Sept. 22 to 23 and 29 to 30.

Tuna fishing is booked for this weekend on the Tin Knocker from Point Pleasant but might be weathered out, Capt. John said. Stormy weather is forecast, and afterward, a hurricane could slam the East Coast next week. But tuna trips are running on the vessel. Inshore fishing for tuna still seemed better than offshore, for now at least. The previous tuna trip aboard, covered in the previous report here, trolled six yellowfin tuna. That was mid-shore, 70 miles from port, on side-winders and spreader bars.

A bluefin tuna or a yellowfin tuna was caught here and there at the Chicken Canyon, Alex from The Reel Seat in Brielle said on Sunday. Farther from shore, white marlin fishing was the best in a decade. In a tournament last weekend, catches of the marlin included more than 20 in a trip. Dave from the shop on Thursday said bonito, Spanish mackerel and king mackerel were fought at places like Little Italy to between the Klondike and Shrewsbury Rocks, not far from shore. Plenty of mahi mahi gathered a pot buoys, he said. Many white marlin gathered at Hudson and Toms canyons, he said, but also gathered throughout waters like that to canyons down south. Dave tilefished on a party boat at Wilmington Canyon on Monday, and whites swam that water. The tilefishing was good, and he drilled all of his on slow-pitch jigs. Dave’s an avid tilefisher, and even books party boat trips for tiles that sometimes anglers are welcome to join throughout the season. Call the store for info. The shop even sells a custom tilefish rod that might be the only available off-the-shelf. The store also carries the variety of slow-pitch jigs and the reels and rods to fish them. That is the first slow-pitch tilefishing reported on this website ever. The shop can educate you about the jigging.

It’s time! The year’s first tuna trip will sail Sept. 17 on the Gambler from Point Pleasant Beach, and room is available, the party boat’s website said. The trips are already filling, and do fill up, so book them. See the tuna schedule on Gambler’s website for info, including about reservations.

Barnegat Inlet
***Update, Friday, 9/14:*** Tuna trips, sailing 30 hours, will be launched Sept. 22 on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light.

A trip on the Super Chic from Barnegat Light was going to sail offshore Sunday night, trying to get into the good white marlin fishing that was happening, Capt. Ted said before the outing.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet
The only offshore reports were about lots of white marlin to the north, said Justin from Fin-Atics in Ocean City. No fish like bonito schooled inshore locally. They always seem only to show up farther south like at 5-Fathom Bank and farther north.

Townsend's Inlet
Four mahi mahi were trolled, several jumped off and some false albacore, big ones, were also trolled Monday inshore aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service from Sea Isle City, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Fun fishing, and this has been a good season for the angling. He wanted to fish for white marlin soon, but weather looked rough. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.

Cape May Inlet
Mahi mahi fishing picked off a bunch Monday 30 miles from shore on the troll, not as many as on the previous trip, but scoring okay on the Heavy Hitter from Cape May, Capt. George said. Trips are also trolling 5-Fathom Bank for plenty of bluefish and some bonito, Spanish mackerel and king mackerel. That was the mix of fish George heard about in past days.

A trip for marlin Wednesday went 3 for 7 on whites and broke off a 300-pound blue at the canyons in 100 fathoms with Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing from Cape May, Capt. Tom said. Then the trip tilefished, but only on half a drift, because two pods of tuna were seen. The trip went after the tuna, but they disappeared. Still, the tilefishing cranked up five goldens and three rosefish. The biggest goldens weighed 43, 27 and 23 pounds. Daytime swordfishing trips will begin on this month’s full moon. The fishing should begin to be great then. Swordfishing during daylight is common to the south like in Florida. Tom is pioneering the fishing locally. The trips fish the bottom in deep water for the light-sensitive swords. The trips first tilefish, then get after the billfish. Charters and open-boat trips are sailing.

Tuna fishing was pretty sporadic in warm water at places like the Elephant Trunk, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. But marlin fishing, mostly for whites, was unbelievable, a banner year, at the offshore canyons. That mostly seemed from Poorman’s to Baltimore canyons. A few blue marlin were also reeled in.

Last Week's Report
Sandy Hook

Capt. Joe from Sour Kraut Sportfishing from Leonardo was in Prince Edward Island to fish for giant bluefin tuna, he wrote in an email Thursday. Boaters that day from the port caught and released 350- to 450-pounders on charters. Those are considered small. What a fishery, when 350-pounders are small! he wrote. Charters for the bluefins are catch-and-release. Anglers with a permit can keep one per year. Joe will fish for bluefins from the island commercially with a friend in the next day or two, and hopes for big. On Tuesday in an email from the island, he said many bluefins were being landed, and they averaged 800 pounds. Wow! He saw one that weighed 789 dressed. He also talked about offshore fishing from New Jersey in that email. Many white marlin were raised at Hudson Canyon, he said. A few small yellowfin tuna bit at the canyon, but trips had to work for them.

From Fisherman’s Den North in Atlantic Highlands, Johnny heard nothing about offshore fishing in past days, he said. Offshore bait wasn’t selling yesterday, maybe because of forecasts for rough weather today and iffy weather afterward this weekend.

Mahi mahi were abundant inshore, said Ron from Julian’s Bait & Tackle in Atlantic Highlands. A buddy’s trip popper-plugged tuna 4 miles beyond the Mudhole. He brought Ron steaks Wednesday. An 1,100-pound bluefin tuna was reportedly boated off Cape Cod.

Shark River Inlet

A tuna trip was supposed to sail at 4 a.m. Monday on the Katie H from Belmar, Capt. Mike said before the outing. The trip was maybe going to fish mid-range first, then head all the way offshore. Mike first was going to speak with anglers who fished for tuna Sunday.

Manasquan Inlet

The Tin Knocker from Point Pleasant fished for tuna mid-shore Saturday, trolling six yellowfins, Capt. John said. That was on plastics, and a 50-pounder was biggest. The rest weighed 35 to 40 pounds.

A “nice, fat” yellowfin tuna was boated Friday evening on an overnight charter from that day to Saturday with Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach, a report said on Mushin’s Facebook page. Lots of life filled the water, and next, a 450-pound blue marlin was caught – “gave a great show,” it said – and released. At night, “lots of shark activity,” it said. In the morning, boat traffic filled the water, “… but still managed to troll … some tunas,” it said. A trip the next day, on Sunday, was going to concentrate on jigging and popper-plugging for tuna. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing.

Tuna fishing sounded mostly quiet at Hudson Canyon, Vinnie from The Reel Seat in Brielle said yesterday. Southern canyons seemed to hold a few yellowfin and bigeye tuna and abundant white marlin. He heard that someone landed a couple of spearfish. On Sunday, Alex from the store said tuna fishing was terrible at Chicken Canyon on Saturday. He waited to hear results from Sunday. The Chicken produced before last week’s rough weather. Tuna were picked at Hudson Canyon on Saturday, nothing great, Alex said.

Barnegat Inlet

A trip Saturday trolled four bigeye tuna at Spencer Canyon, 85 miles from port, on the Super Chic from Barnegat Light, Capt. Ted said. That was at a piece of clear, blue water. Five white marlin also shot into the trolling spread but never became hooked. Lots of billfish swam the area. Not a lot of life was seen, except usual life like a few pilot whales. A trip Sunday fished closer to shore, 50 miles from port, and jigged an 80-pound yellowfin tuna and trolled a good-sized mahi mahi and a couple of skipjacks. That water was a clear blue/green and held lots of whales and porpoises.

Not much was heard about fishing for tuna or other big game, said Mike from Grizz’s Bait & Tackle in Forked River. He suspected that late-summer’s warm water affected the angling. But mahi mahi fishing was great 18 miles from shore or farther.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet

Inshore trolling smoked a good catch including three mahi mahi, including a 15-pounder, and some bluefish and bonito Saturday on the Stray Cat from Longport, Capt. Mike said. The trip also bottom-fished for sea bass, bagging 17. The trolling was slow Sunday, maybe because of the strong, full-moon current. A fluke trip that day did a little of the trolling. No trips fished in the heat Tuesday and Wednesday aboard. Brutal, he said. For this report, he wasn’t asked whether the boat fished Monday. The vessel is now sold out though this coming Monday. Trips during the weekend will probably do the trolling. That’s been super and a mainstay aboard, catching three or four fish at once, big numbers.

Boaters sometimes trolled a few bonito, false albacore, Spanish mackerel and small mahi mahi 4 or 5 miles from shore, said Ed from Fin-Atics in Ocean City. Not much was heard about tuna, frankly, he said.

Townsend’s Inlet

This has been a good run of mahi mahi fishing inshore, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service from Sea Isle City, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. He’s been reporting good catches of them aboard, and another one of the trips was supposed to fish yesterday, he said before the trip. One of the trips Monday fished somewhat slower, landing two, missing a third. The two caught were sizable. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.

The best fishing was for mahi mahi 8 to 30 miles from shore, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City. The fish were boated in several ways. Trolling was probably the most common, with small feathers, small spoons, other small lures or ballyhoos, small or medium-sized. When trolling, trips tried to cover an area. If anglers knew buoys that attracted mahi, they cast lures like bucktails or maybe swimming lures like Yo-Zuris, or Fin-S Fish. Other anglers bought two or three quarts of minnows, chummed with them and free-lined the baitfish to the mahi at buoys. Others castnetted peanut bunker and did the same. Offshore fishing sounded like late summer’s warm water affected the angling.

Cape May Inlet

A trip Tuesday tried for tuna with Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing from Cape May, and none bit, Capt. Tom said. But white marlin fishing was very good. Nine whites were seen, six bit and three were landed. If the trip had stuck with the marlin, it would’ve loaded up. But the trip then tilefished, cranking in 20. A tilefish trip whacked them aboard this past week. A mess of golden tiles, a large number, to 27 pounds, including six that weighed more than 20, were pasted. Seven bluelines tiles were also waxed. A wahoo was lost on the way in, when the trip high-speed trolled for them. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing. If tuna are in, trips will tuna fish. If not, the white marlin fishing is gangbusters. Daytime swordfishing trips are coming up soon. A few have been landed, and fishing for them during daytime, instead of the usual nighttime, has become popular to the south, like in Florida, of course. Tom is pioneering the fishing here. His trips dunk for tilefish first, then hunt the swords. That, of course, is in deeper water than swordfishing usually fishes at night. The bait is plummeted to bottom to the light-sensitive fish.

A trip did a little fishing for mahi mahi on the Heavy Hitter from Cape May, trolling a bunch, Capt. George said. Another trip, on Wednesday, fished closer to shore at 5-Fathom Bank, trolling bluefish and bonito. If interested in either fishing, give a call.

Not much seemed going on with tuna, said Joe from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May.