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Offshore Report

Report from Friday, July 18.

| Shark River Inlet | Manasquan Inlet | Barnegat Inlet | Little Egg Inlet | Great Egg Harbor Inlet | Townsend's Inlet | Cape May Inlet | Last Week's Report |
Shark River Inlet
Several bonito were landed Sunday during bluefishing on the party boat Golden Eagle from Belmar, a report on the vessel’s website said. Those were the first bonito reported on this site this season. Blues, bonito and chub mackerel were fought the previous couple of nights aboard.

Customers wanted to fish for bluefin tuna on the mid-range ocean, but the only bluefins heard about were caught from Cape May to the south, said Capt. Mike from the Katie H from Belmar. Weather was often rough this week, but a friend fished offshore at the canyons early in the week, trolling seven yellowfin tuna and a white marlin. No tuna caught at night at the canyons were heard about yet, and the season was early for that. That usually begins in mid to late August, and tuna fishing just gets better from there, Mike said. He, because of the distance, prefers to fish the canyons overnight. The fishing overnight also offers chances at mako sharks and swordfish. But if a trip can fish the canyons only during daytime and troll enough tuna now, that can also be good. Katie H Sportfishing also fishes inshore, but is an offshore specialist. The 46-foot boat features speed and all the amenities.

Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters from Belmar heard nothing about bluefin tuna fishing on the mid-shore ocean, wasn’t paying attention while focusing on fluke trips inshore, he said. But trips aboard will sail for the tuna. Friends scored yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna and white and blue marlin, a great catch, at the offshore canyons on a trip this past week.

Manasquan Inlet
Bluefin tuna were boated in the Chicken Canyon area the last few days, and were definitely trolled, said Dave from The Reel Seat in Brielle on Sunday. Farther from shore, trolling for tuna was good at the canyons the past four or five days, he said then. A bigeye tuna bite turned on at Hudson Canyon on Saturday. At Toms Canyon that day, yellowfin tuna, sometimes longfin tuna and plenty of marlin, mostly whites, but sometimes blues, were trolled.

Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach has been busy fishing for tuna, mahi mahi and marlin at the canyons, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. Weather sometimes made the trips impossible to get out in recent days, and also scrubbed a couple of inshore trips aboard this week. But the boat was supposed to steam again now, including on an inshore or mid-range trip for bluefin tuna and mako sharks, and, during the weekend, canyon fishing for tuna and tilefish. Tuesday is available for fishing aboard, because of a cancellation. Mushin means a relaxed state of readiness.

Barnegat Inlet
Canyon tuna fishing seemed okay, not great, but there were tuna to catch, said Capt. Ted from the Super Chic from Barnegat Light. Bigeye tuna gave up a bite a little, and a few yellowfin tuna were bagged. The boat fishes the canyons for tuna later in the season. A trip aboard is slated to fish for bluefin tuna in two Saturdays on the mid-range ocean. Ted knew nobody who tried for bonito on the ocean yet this season, like at Barnegat Ridge. But he wouldn’t be surprised if some started to be around, and they usually start appearing in July. Bluefish boats usually start to run into them, but bluefishing was slow locally, and the vessels stopped sailing for blues.

Open-boat trips will sail for bonito to Barnegat Ridge starting with a trip 6 a.m. to 12 noon Monday on the Hi Flier from Barnegat, Capt. Dave DeGennaro wrote in an email. The water sounded a good color, “and 72-degree water moved in there,” he said, so it was time to fish for them and false albacore at the ridge. Finding bluefin tuna there also isn’t impossible. Three people max. All fish are shared. If weather is mint, “and we decide to push off farther … in search of tuna,” he said, the rate will be a little more, because of additional fuel. The fishing will also return a few hours later then. “So flexible people only, please,” he said.

Little Egg Inlet
One customer fought mako sharks at 28-Mile Wreck a few days ago, said Brian from Scott’s Bait & Tackle in Mystic Island.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet
Bluefin and yellowfin tuna are swimming 30 fathoms, said Capt. Mike from the Stray Cat from Longport. The angling had to put in time, or the fish didn’t come instantly, but tuna were to be had. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips for tuna with space available are on Saturday, August 16, and Sunday, August 24.

Townsend's Inlet
Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service from Sea Isle City, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle, sailed for tuna with Jay Von Czoernig and buddies last week on Thursday. That was the first day when seas allowed, after rough weather previously that week, and the trip went 2 for 5 on bluefin tuna to 70 pounds. The angling would’ve gone 5 for 5, Joe said, but three of the tuna were hooked at once. “Sometimes there’s nothing you can do,” he said. Last Friday, Lindsay Clarkson fished for tuna aboard, and a 40-pound yellowfin tuna, a 50-pound bluefin and a mahi mahi were boated. Both trips trolled the fish in 30 fathoms.

Tuna fishing picked a couple of the fish, both inshore, at places like the Hot Dog and Hambone, and at the offshore canyons, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City. Some trips caught better than others, but anglers caught. Only a limited number of the tuna, not many, were chunked, and probably 98 percent were trolled.

Cape May Inlet
Bluefin tuna were boated Saturday and Sunday on the Heavy Hitter from Cape May, Capt. George said. On the charter Saturday, two bluefins and four mahi mahi were bagged, and a couple of bluefins were missed. On Sunday’s charter, two bluefins and a couple of mahi were kept, and a couple of bluefins were released. Most of the fish were trolled on the trips, but some were chunked. On one of the trips, two bluefins were chunked but pulled the hook and got off, one on a jig, the other on cut butterfish. That trip also landed a mahi on a chunk. All the bluefins were unders on the outings. Many were 34 or 35 inches, but one on each trip was 46 inches, about 60 pounds, just shorter than the over size. The charters fished offshore of the Hot Dog, past the 30-fathom line, along hills and humps. The water was 77 degrees on the fishing grounds and 66 along the beach. Seas were rough on the way home on Sunday’s trip, but wind blew harder at the dock than on the fishing grounds. Weather was lousy Monday and Tuesday, but a friend sailed for tuna Wednesday, and George waited to hear results, when he gave this report that evening. The Heavy Hitter was supposed to resume fishing Thursday, after the weather, for inshore sharks.

Two trips fished offshore Saturday and Sunday with Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters from Cape May, Capt. Frank said. The trip Saturday limited out on three bluefin tuna, two unders and an over. The unders were about the same size, 45 pounds, and the over was 50 inches. The trip trolled the fish between the Hambone and the Hot Dog, and Sunday’s trip sailed right back to that spot. But the angling wasn’t so good. One boat the crew talked with was chunking the fish there, but Melanie Anne was trolling. So the trip moved to the 40-fathom line, including around the Tea Cup, and then the 50 line. A white marlin and two gaffer mahi mahi were trolled at the 50. The trip moved out to the canyon, working the wall to the tip. Two more whites were trolled. At the tip, toward 100 fathoms, two bigger bluefin tuna were hooked on the troll. One broke the hook, and the other was landed. Another tuna trip is slated for Saturday.

Last Week's Report
Sandy Hook

Numerous thresher sharks, up to 486 pounds, were docked last week at
Twin Lights Marina in Highlands. That was covered in the last report, and the weekly emailed report from Marion from the marina this week mentioned only a few fluke docked from inshore, no threshers or other big game from farther out. That seemed because of rough weather that began with Hurricane Arthur last Friday. The tough weather continued with strong winds this week until about a day ago. Anglers especially started stopping by with big game recently because of a scale with 3,000 pounds capacity installed at the docks this fishing season. Twin Lights, located conveniently 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 supply of bait is stocked, including for offshore. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card.

Shark River Inlet

Anglers wanted to sail for bluefin tuna on the mid-range ocean starting next week on the Katie H from Belmar, Capt. Mike said. But he heard about no bluefins caught locally yet. Some were boated farther south, on trips from Cape May. The tuna seemed yet to migrate north. Overnight trips for tuna aboard, at the offshore canyons, usually begin in August. Offshore seas built to 16 to 22 feet because of the hurricane off the coast last Friday.

Manasquan Inlet

Boaters still shark fished, at least before last week’s offshore hurricane, said Eric from The Reel Seat in Brielle. Lots of thresher sharks swam, and a few makos remained, at the time. Bluefin tuna were yet to really show up in the mid-shore ocean, before the storm and this week’s windy weather that kept trips docked, and now were running late. At Hudson Canyon before the weather, mahi mahi to 20 pounds, lots, were trolled. So were multiple white and blue marlin. Yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna were sometimes trolled farther south, like at Toms Canyon, back then.

Barnegat Inlet

An open-boat tilefish trip offshore was scrubbed aboard that was going to sail last weekend, because a couple of anglers cancelled, said Capt. Ted from the Super Chic from Barnegat Light. Maybe that was because of the offshore hurricane Friday and the seas expected afterward. More of the tile trips will probably be scheduled, and usually are this season. The angling’s been good on every one of the trips that sailed aboard in the last year. Trips will also tuna fish this season, and sometimes the tile trips mix in tuna fishing.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet

On the Stray Cat from Longport, an open-boat trip for tuna is set for 3 a.m. Saturday, July 19, limited to six passengers, Capt. Mike said. Telephone to jump aboard, and a couple of the open canyon trips were already sold out this month. Mike would like to set up an open trip for a combo of tuna and tilefishing, if anglers are interested. Call to let him know, if you are. Closer to shore, trips aboard are expected to begin to fish for tuna and wahoos along the 40-mile line next week. The offshore hurricane rolled through, but wasn’t much of a storm locally. Waters as close to shore as the artificial reefs remained clear – beautiful-looking – and in the 70 degrees, on summer flounder trips on the boat, after the storm. The ocean temperature along the beach plummeted to the 50s, because of south wind that inverted the water or pushed the cold bottom upward.

Nothing was reported about tuna or other big game from offshore because of the week’s seas, said Bill from Fin-Atics in Ocean City.

Townsend’s Inlet

Weather was lousy, and that was the big news, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City. No offshore reports were available.

Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service from Sea Isle City, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle, was headed offshore for tuna on Thursday, he said before the trip. The weather had finally broken. He heard no news about tuna in the days before, because of wind and weather.

Cape May Inlet

A couple of tuna trips are booked aboard this weekend, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter from Cape May. News was scarce, because of weather. But sometimes bluefin tuna were run into closer to shore recently. A boater would find them here or there, and one boater George spoke with landed bluefins three trips in a row, including nine on one trip, at a particular location.

Boats last fished for tuna on Sunday, Capt. Frank from Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters from Cape May said on Wednesday. The angling was slow in rough seas, and in the next days was weathered out. That forced fishing to be cancelled with Melanie Anne, but a busy slate of trips was coming up, including trips booked for today, Sunday, Monday and Wednesday, including some offshore fishing.

Offshore was too rough for fishing, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. Or the news heard wasn’t good in the seas.