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Offshore Report

Report from Friday, June 26.

| Shark River Inlet | Manasquan Inlet | Great Egg Harbor Inlet | Townsend's Inlet | Hereford Inlet | Cape May Inlet | Last Week's Report |
THIS REPORT IS UPDATED EVERY FRIDAY
Shark River Inlet
The Katie H from Belmar is supposed to compete in Mako Mania this weekend, Capt. Mike said, but weather might postpone the tournament. Tuna trips will make up much of the schedule later this summer.

XTC Sportfishing from Belmar is supposed to compete in the Mako Mania and Mako Fever tournaments this weekend, Capt. Scott said. But that looks like it’ll be weathered out. Lots of sharks like threshers seemed to swim between Axel Carlson Reef and Barnegat Ridge, and Scott’s eager to fish for them. Eventually this summer, tuna trips will fill the schedule. Nothing was heard about tuna in past days.

Manasquan Inlet
Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach sailed for the canyons for tuna on a daytime trolling trip Wednesday, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. The trips usually depart at 12 midnight, but storms prevented that. So the trip left at 7 a.m., finding beautiful, blue, 73- to 75-degree water on the fishing grounds. A couple of knockdowns were scored quickly, in 100 fathoms, along the Continental Edge. They didn’t come tight, and the crew wanted to find a white marlin for one of the anglers, so the trip pushed out to the warmest water, along 500 fathoms. But little was found there, and the trip worked back to 100 fathoms. The anglers went 2 for 4 on yellowfin tuna. With enough tuna for the anglers and friends, the trip called it a day, heading home. Lots of promising signs for the offshore season! Alan said. A trip Friday to Saturday aboard first fished for sharks midshore at night. The trip fished for tuna at an offshore canyon the next day, and for sharks again on the way home. During the first sharking, at night, a 200-pound mako was fought until lost at boat side. During the tuna fishing, yellowfin tuna bit almost non-stop, “in the deep,” on trolled ballyhoos and spreader bars, in the morning. Three-dozen were landed, and nine were keepers and were bagged. The fish ranged from rats to 45 pounds, and a good spread of the yellowfins swam in the 73- to 75-degree water. The tuna fishing was finished by 10 a.m., and the charter wanted to fish for sharks again midshore, on the way back to port. The anglers hooked but lost three more makos. Sharking looks good for future trips, too.

Tuna fishing turned on a Hudson Canyon, Eric from The Reel Seat in Brielle said on Monday morning. Many small yellowfin tuna and a handful of bigeye tuna were trolled. The bigeyes weighed up to just under 200 pounds, and white marlin and a couple of blue marlin were in the mix on the trips. Closer to shore, scattered reports said bluefin tuna began to be caught along the 30-fathom curve, nothing great, but a few 50- and 60-pounders. For shark fishing, the Triple Wrecks seemed best, shifting north from the Fingers that fished better previously. Lots of mako, blue and dusky sharks were fought, and a handful of thresher sharks were.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet
Mako sharks still swam in good numbers off the coast, apparently, said Collin from 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Egg Harbor Township. A trip this week landed five makos and a 12-foot great white shark. A few small great whites were reported hooked recently. Nothing was reported about tuna catches, for unknown reasons, maybe because of weather. Tuna trips were known to sail, but nobody gave results.

Quite a few mako sharks were fought this weekend, said Capt. Mike from the Stray Cat from Longport. A bonito was hooked but lost near the transom on a trip that fought and released brown sharks 15 miles from shore this week aboard. That was the first bonito of the season aboard, and the year’s first reported on this site. The ocean was 74 degrees, clear and blue, and Mike planned to try for bonito again yesterday.

Townsend's Inlet
Nine or 10 yellowfin tuna, many small, but some to 41 pounds, were trolled at Wilmington Canyon aboard Saturday, mostly on ballyhoos, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service from Sea Isle City. The fish covered up the spread two or three times, all before 7 a.m. The 71- to 73-degree water, in flat seas, was good-looking, clear and blue, and lots of pilot whales swam around. One of Jersey Cape’s inshore shark trips fought and released dusky sharks and a 5-foot hammerhead shark 4 miles from shore last Friday on mackerel fillets. The water looked beautiful and was 68 to 70 degrees, and the sharks are in. The trips, usually within 10 miles from shore, are a chance to fight big fish without the long trek offshore. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.

Hereford Inlet
Shark fishing was great Saturday with Fins & Grins Sport Fishing from Wildwood, Capt. Jim said. The trip, fishing 30 miles from shore, landed five mako sharks, two dusky sharks and the biggest blue shark he ever saw. The ocean is alive with sharks, plenty of them. Sharking is also phenomenal on Delaware Bay for sand tigers and duskies. Both are required to be released, but anglers fish for them, an opportunity to fight big catches without the long trip offshore. The bay trips are half the price of ocean sharking farther from shore, another reason customers like the outings. Fins & Grins is tagging the bay sharks for NOAA, and a 400-pound sand tiger was tagged and released on the bay aboard Monday. Sand tigers and duskies were also battled and released Wednesday with Fins on the bay. A total of six were nailed on the trip, and, again, these were big fish, including 300 pounds for the sand tigers. Fins also fishes for other species inshore, any available, but the bay sharks are kind of a sure thing at the moment. Fins & Grins fishes every day, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.

Cape May Inlet
No boats seemed to run for sharks and tuna in past days, because of wind, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter from Cape May.

News about sharks and tuna failed to roll in during past days, maybe because of weather, said Joe from Hands Too Bait & Tackle I Cape May. Tuna were last heard about a week ago from Wilmington Canyon.

Last Week's Report
Sandy Hook

Wayne O’Neil from Twin Lights Marina at Highlands, Paul Presti, brother John and Paul’s son Paul Michael docked a 205-pound thresher shark Wednesday on the Old Gray Mare, Marion O’Neil 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 and dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait and tackle shop and ship’s store. The full selection of offshore baits is stocked. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card.

Shark River Inlet

XTC Sportfishing from Belmar competed in the South Jersey Shark Tournament from Cape May this weekend, Capt. Scott said. Seven or eight mako sharks 80 to 150 pounds, none a winning fish, and five brown sharks were landed. The trips fished 50 miles from shore, and the water was 66 to 67 degrees with excellent clarity. Reports during the event sounded like yellowfin tuna were boated at Lindenkohl, Spencer and Wilmington canyons. One angler reported a few bigeye tuna taken on the angler’s trip at the Wilmington.

Manasquan Inlet

Shark fishing seemed good at traditional places, like the Fingers to the Monster Ledge and at Little Italy last week, said Eric from The Reel Seat in Brielle. A healthy number of mako sharks in the upper 100 pounds to 200 pounds were landed. Farther from shore, tuna fishing was great at southern canyons like the Carteret and the Spencer last week. Lots of yellowfin tuna to 50 pounds were trolled on ballyhoos and spreader bars. A few bigeye tuna and marlin, both white and blue, were trolled at the canyons then.

Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach opted to tuna fish last weekend, instead of competing in the shark tournaments, Capt. Ray wrote in an email. Forecasts looked good for taking advantage of the good tuna angling at the southern canyons. The trip, on Sunday, worked up and down the Continental Shelf, a little inshore of 100 fathoms, at a couple of small temperature breaks. Fourteen yellowfin tuna, not big, and a few gaffer mahi mahi were boated. Half the tuna were kept, and the rest were released. A marlin was raised that didn’t bite. A decent spread of fish seemed to swim the waters, and they weren’t picky about biting. The fish bit ballyhoos, plastic lures and spreader bars. A couple of trips were supposed to shark fish this week aboard. But if forecasts were calm, Mushin planned maybe to push farther offshore for tuna, instead.

Barnegat Inlet

A shark trip is slated for Sunday on the Super Chic from Barnegat Light, Capt. Ted said. Sharking’s been good or fairly steady, from what he heard. Makos, threshers and lots of blue sharks roamed.

One trip subdued a 450-pound thresher shark, said Grizz from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. Catches of lots of blue sharks and some makos were reported. Shark supplies are stocked, like 22-pound flats of mackerel, 4 and 5 gallons of bunker chum and 4 gallons of mackerel chum.

Little Egg Inlet

Thresher sharks roamed close to shore, said Brian from Scott’s Bait & Tackle in Mystic Island. A 350-pounder was the biggest caught known about, hooked maybe 2 miles from the coast. Brown sharks, required to be released, swam along the coast. Browns and sand sharks also swam Great Bay. Mako shark fishing was good along 30 fathoms. Yellowfin tuna fishing had been good at southern canyons like Lindenkohl, Spencer and Wilmington.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet

There was a “hiccup” in tuna fishing, said Capt. Mike from the Stray Cat from Longport. But a few 40- and 50-pound yellowfin tuna began to move between the 30- and 40-fathom lines. That was good fishing, on the troll. Mike neither saw nor heard about bluefin tuna yet that usually arrive inshore soon. Mako sharks and tiger sharks swam the inshore ocean. Not many thresher sharks were heard about this year. “But there’s a lot of life outside the 30 line,” he said.

Weather kept boats from sailing for sharks and tuna, said Ed from Fin-Atics in Ocean City. Previously, good sharking for makos and blues was cracked at the 750 Square and 19-Fathom Lump. A customer released two makos last week on Wednesday. Also before the weather, good tuna fishing was lit into at Wilmington and Spencer canyons, mostly for yellowfins 30 to 50 pounds.

Townsend’s Inlet

***Update, Saturday, 6/20:*** Probably nine or 10 yellowfin tuna, many small, but some to 41 pounds, were trolled at Wilmington Canyon aboard today, mostly on ballyhoos, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service from Sea Isle City. The fish covered up the spread two or three times, all before 7 a.m., an early bite. The 71- to 73-degree water, in flat seas, was good-looking, clear and blue, and lots of pilot whales swam around. One of Jersey Cape’s inshore shark trips fought and released dusky sharks and a 5-foot hammerhead shark 4 miles from shore Saturday on mackerel fillets. The water looked beautiful and was 68 to 70 degrees, depending on location. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.

Hereford Inlet

A shark trip is slated for Saturday with Fins & Grins Sport Fishing from Wildwood, and sharking seemed decent in last weekend’s South Jersey Shark Tournament from Cape May, Capt. Jim said. Some decent-sized makos, and thresher sharks to nearly 500 pounds, were entered. Threshers sometimes also swam close to shore, near the surf, foraging on bunker schools. Sand tiger sharks and duskie sharks swam Delaware Bay. Those are required to be released, and anglers fight them and let them go, an opportunity to wrestle big fish without the longer trip offshore. Fins & Grins is sharking on both trips, inshore and offshore. If bluefin tuna move into the inshore ocean, the boat will steam for them.

Cape May Inlet

Good catches of yellowfin tuna were reported from Wilmington and Baltimore canyons last Friday and Saturday, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter from Cape May. All who fished those waters Sunday caught none, who George knew about. The South Jersey Shark Tournament was held in town during the weekend. A couple of mako sharks and a few threshers were entered, from what George heard. Sharks must be 200 pounds or heavier to be entered. Bluefin tuna sometimes show up in the inshore ocean as early as this weekend, Fathers’ Day weekend. George ran into them once during this weekend in a recent year. The Heavy Hitter is available for all of this fishing, and telephone if interested.

This shark season seemed good, and 20 fathoms seemed the targeted waters for mako sharks and thresher sharks, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. One boat during the weekend reportedly tied into 30 yellowfin tuna, including 18 keepers.