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Offshore Report

Report from Friday, August 26.

| Sandy Hook | Shark River Inlet | Manasquan Inlet | Barnegat Inlet | Beach Haven Inlet | Little Egg Inlet | Great Egg Harbor Inlet | Townsend's Inlet | Cape May Inlet | Last Week's Report |
Sandy Hook
Not much was reported about tuna fishing, said Chris from Fisherman’s Den North in Atlantic Highlands. But one boat landed a couple at Wilmington Canyon, a long way from Atlantic Highlands. The store, new this year, the sister shop to Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina. Bait stocked includes all for offshore.

Shark River Inlet
Offshore fishing was slow, and XTC Sportfishing from Belmar would normally be running the charters currently, Capt. Scott said. But the trips were postponed until the angling improves, and offshore trips that sailed aboard made catches like white marlin and mahi mahi, no tuna. So charters are fluke fishing on the ocean for now.

Manasquan Inlet
Water seemed to be clearing at Hudson to Toms canyons, and the east side of the Hudson held a few bigeye tuna, said Eric from The Reel Seat in Brielle. The fishing was nothing spectacular, but a few were trolled each evening on Bomber Certified Depth Lures and skirted ballyhoos, some on spreader bars. A smattering of yellowfin tuna, not many, were trolled, but some were there. A decent population of white marlin held in the area. Those who targeted them could raise a dozen. Those who targeted tuna sometimes raised a few of the marlin. Fishing for mahi mahi to 20 pounds was pretty darn good in the area at lobster-pot buoys.

Barnegat Inlet
Tuna fishing was slow – horrible, actually – on a trip Saturday aboard, said Capt. Mike from Tuna-Tic Sportfishing from Forked River. A 150-pound blue marlin was landed, and a couple of white marlin but no tuna were around. So the trip switched to tilefishing, cranking up a couple of dozen. Some mahi mahi were also caught on the trip. A trip for tuna Monday was weathered out, and he was probably going to postpone another that was supposed to fish Wednesday, because the fishing seemed no good, he said before the trip. Inshore trips would fish for fluke and sea bass at ocean reefs until tuna fishing picks up.

Tuna fishing sounded slow, so a trip was postponed that was supposed to fish for them overnight Wednesday to Thursday on the Super Chic from Barnegat Light, Capt. Ted said.

The marine forecast would prevent fishing at Barnegat Ridge in past days on the Hi Flier from Barnegat, Capt. Dave DeGennaro wrote in an email early this week. Charters and open-boat trips fish the ridge and similar waters for catches like bonito, false albacore and any pelagics that are in.

Beach Haven Inlet
The June Bug Beach Haven sailed for tuna at Wilmington Canyon on Saturday, but life just wasn’t there, Capt. Lindsay said. Leaving at midnight, the boat arrived at 4 a.m. on the fishing grounds. A tiny yellowfin tuna was hooked at 8 a.m., and nothing else bit on the trip. Probably 50 boats fished the canyon that day, and one white marlin raised but not hooked was all that was heard about from the area. Lots of bait was marked on the machine in the blue-green, 79-degree water. Not much bait was seen along the water surface. No good tuna fishing was reported from the different canyons around that time. Bluefin tuna were heard about from 20 miles inshore of Hudson Canyon. Maybe rougher weather Sunday night would stir up the canyons and change the fishing, he said that evening in a phone call, when he reported the trip to the Wilmington. June Bug also ran inshore trips early last week, but not much was doing. A previous trip trolled bonito inshore on the boat, covered in a previous report here. Anglers want to fish for tuna this weekend aboard, and on Wednesday evening in a phone call, Lindsay said a satellite chart showed good water that was forecast to shove into Lindenkohl and Spencer canyons that night and Thursday, and a few tuna were entered in this week’s MidAtlantic tournament. Tuna catches apparently weren’t great in the Cape May tournament so far, but some were caught, according to results and press releases on the event’s website. Nobody competed Monday, the first day, because of weather. On Tuesday, the Pez Machine from Barnegat Light entered a 230-pound bigeye tuna, the biggest in event through that day. Another boat that day entered a 76-pound yellowfin tuna that was in the lead for those fish. A few other yellowfins in the 60 and 70 pounds were entered through Wednesday. This writer last checked the results yesterday, Thursday. Seas were rough but improved for the fishing Tuesday, and were better Wednesday. Some blue marlin and plenty of white marlin were caught during the contest by Wednesday. A 432-pound blue and a 77-pound white were in the lead then. Wahoos and mahi mahi were also entered.

Little Egg Inlet
Offshore anglers subdued white and blue marlin at Wilmington Canyon, sometimes tuna in southern waters, said Chris from Scott’s Bait & Tackle in Mystic Island.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet
Fishing was great, said Capt. Mike from the Stray Cat from Longport. Lots of bonito, mahi mahi, false albacore and Spanish mackerel were trolled aboard. Combo charters sailed, bottom-fishing for sea bass and summer flounder on the ocean, and trolling before and after. Was amazing how many fish could be hooked in a few hours. A trip Tuesday never even bottom-fished, because the trolling was so good. Cedar plugs, Zukers and Nos. 2 and 3 Clark spoons were trolled.

Offshore boaters fought many white marlin at Wilmington Canyon but also all canyons, said Joe from 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Egg Harbor Township. They also pasted bigeye tuna, at all canyons, really. Those who targeted them usually nailed one or two in a trip. All offshore baits are stocked. The company also owns 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora.

Abundant mahi mahi held 20 miles from shore at lobster pot buoys in 80 to 120 feet of water, said Bill from Fin-Atics in Ocean City. Many white marlin were landed at Wilmington Canyon, and not many tuna were boated anywhere.

Townsend's Inlet
Mahi mahi fishing’s been great aboard, close to shore, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service from Sea Isle City, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. A mother and son trolled six of the fish to 16 pounds Tuesday aboard. A father and sons trolled four mahi to 17 pounds Wednesday aboard, and other trips recently nailed the dolphin on the boat, too. Those included one with a husband and wife who targeted mahi last Friday aboard. They nailed two on fly rods and one on bait. The fish weighed 14 to 20 pounds, and the couple also fly-rodded a 5-pound black jack apiece. Joe and wife sight-casted to mahi Saturday, landing a 14-pounder on a fly and a 13-pounder on bait. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.

Cape May Inlet
Fishing for tuna’s been postponed until the angling improves within range for Caveman Sportfishing from Cape May, Capt. John said. Trips caught and released sharks inshore instead. A few tuna were caught at Lindenkohl Canyon or also farther north toward Toms Canyon in past days. The fishing was 90 miles from Cape May, too far to sail from the port. But maybe the fish were a sign that tuna might’ve been moving back in. Tuna were caught 40 miles south of Cape May, at inshore grounds, with Caveman in past weeks.

Offshore waters seemed to begin clearing a little, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. One angler landed a yellowfin tuna at Baltimore Canyon. Lots of white marlin seemed to hold at Wilmington Canyon’s north end. Again, water seemed to begin to clear there and at Lindenkohl Canyon.

Last Week's Report
Shark River Inlet

The year’s first overnight trip for tuna is set for Tuesday to Wednesday on the Katie H from Belmar, Capt. Mike said. A few yellowfin tuna were reportedly boated from Toms to Lindenkohl canyons earlier this week, this writer told him. Yes, he said, and he heard that Hudson Canyon held dirty, green water. A friend was going to fish for tuna inshore yesterday, and Mike would see how that went. Mahi mahi held inshore.

Manasquan Inlet

The crew from Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach looks forward to overnight fishing for tuna at offshore canyons later this month through October, Capt. Alan wrote in an email.

Toms Canyon to Lindenkohl Canyon seemed the place for offshore fishing, said Eric from The Reel Seat in Brielle on Monday. Plenty of white marlin, a few yellowfin tuna, piles of mahi mahi and a handful of blue marlin were fought. The mahi also swam Hudson Canyon. But anglers better fish that stretch of canyons soon, because dirty water was expected in a day or two, he said that day.

Barnegat Inlet

From Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle, Brian heard little about offshore fishing, but one customer had just bought sardines for the angling, and another had just bought butterfish and ballyhoos. One said good white marlin fishing happened.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet

A bunch of tuna were moving in, and the Stray Cat from Longport was getting geared up to sail for them, Capt. Mike said. Small yellowfin tuna and a few wahoos were found. The boat might be sailed to Massey’s Canyon for the tuna, and a little of a bite was heard about from there. But the boat will probably be headed to the Lobster Claw and the Elephant Trunk.

Customers who tuna fished mostly sailed to offshore canyons instead of inshore, where they fished previously, said Jake from Fin-Atics in Ocean City. The inshore angling, namely at Massey’s Canyon, seemed slower now. A couple of customers who stopped in yesterday were going to fish offshore canyons. How they were likely to fare seemed unknown.

Cape May Inlet

Charters chunked small yellowfin tuna inshore Monday and Wednesday on the Heavy Hitter from Cape May, Capt. George said. Bigger tuna were hooked aboard, but broke off light leaders fished. A wahoo was also trolled on Wednesday’s trip. George hopes the tuna stick around, and fish for them now, while they’re here.

Nothing was heard about tuna, because wind prevented most trips to the grounds, said Joe from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. But good catches of tuna were reported from inshore, the last time news rolled in. Anglers bought bait like butterfish for the angling.